Letting New Writers Down Gently

14 09 2012

adult hand helping child writeAs an editor, I often have the onerous task of writing rejection letters. Many newbie writers dash off their first novels in a few months. Then proud of their efforts, they pop them into envelopes or attach them to emails, positive they will soon have a book contract in hand. And many also expect to quit their day jobs once the book sells.

I sat across the table from one starry-eyed hopeful a few months ago who told me that she was spending all her after-work hours penning her middle grade book. “I can’t keep up this pace forever,” she confided. “It’ll be great once it sells. Then I can quit my teaching job and just write full time.”

If only… I struggled with what to say. Should I tell her the truth and dash her dreams? Or let the shock of rejection letters and the truth of royalty statements (should she be so lucky) knock her down later?

I opted for soft-pedaling the truth. “You know, many writers, even famous ones, needed to keep their day jobs even after they were published.”

She gave me a dubious look, and I could practically read her thoughts, That won’t be me.

I have never understood why people – who would never think they could pick up an instrument, spend a few months practicing, and debut with a symphony orchestra – think that they can sit down and write a best-selling novel.

I think F. Scott Fitzgerald explained things beautifully when he added this to the end of a letter he sent to a beginning writer:

P.S. I might say that the writing is smooth and agreeable and some of the pages very apt and charming. You have talent—which is the equivalent of a soldier having the right physical qualifications for entering West Point.

Angel in the Mist

26 01 2012
Angel in the Mist

Photo Credit: Zsolt Zatrok

Just got word that my short story “Angel in the Mist” will be published in the charity anthology A Community of Writers (Sunbury Press, 2012). Even cooler: All my CPs will also have stories in the book. Joint booksignings, here we come.

Royalties from the sale of the book will be donated to the Fredricksen Library in Camp Hill, PA.


What if you sacrificed your life so others could live? A different kind of ghost story.

Wow, I’m Rich!!

10 08 2009

Or I will be soon. I’m already dreaming of the things I’ll buy with the royalty check from this:

Our Price: 85,008.00

Prices excluding shipping charge.

Summer Lovin’
by: Dara Edmondson, June Sproat,Kimberlee R. Mendoza, Laurie J. Edwards, Mona Ingram, Sydney Shay

Too bad it’s in Indonesian money… Still it’s exciting to know someone bought it in Indonesia.