Monday, May 27, 2013

You Don't Know What You Want Til You Have It


I've missed two Muse Monday postings, but with the hubbub lately I couldn't decide what to write about. Now that I've changed course, I can tell you about my path.

One question writers always get is how/when did you start writing. If you've read my bio you know I started life as an artist, although I'd always loved writing. When I took some creative writing classes after Lance was born, I turned away from painting and started writing short stories. I didn't start out to write romance but the genre found me. Back then, I hadn't read any of the stereotypical romance books and still don't. Romance is a very broad genre, and I think readers realize that now.

There's a saying (and a song) you don't know what you have til it's gone. With me, it's you don't know what you want til you have it.

Once I decided to write a book, I wanted an agent. This was before the eBook  revolution and the big publishing houses still ruled the world of publishing. To this day, writers can't get one of the 'big six' to deal with them without an agent. My dream was to get an agent and walk into a big chain bookstore to see my books on the shelf. While seeking the agent, the industry started changing and I ended up publishing with a couple of small houses. I would occasionally go to agent appointments. On my sixth agent appointment, I landed an agent who'd been in the business forever. I was ecstatic. I'd started my three book love and murder series. She said she'd represent me and the series.

Rosette to be published soon
Meanwhile, life outside of writing changed. My husband retired and we joined forces with our son and family on the farm. Life inside of writing changed too. The new world of publishing started chipping away at my old dream. I continued writing my series while my publisher shopped it. But I also wrote a short that The Wild Rose Press contracted as a Rosette. It felt good to publish something.

After waiting nine months for something to happen with my series, I reevaluated what I wanted and what I can do. The old style houses, the big guys that still have a lot of influence over the Barnes and Nobles of the world, move slow. And they have their own style and could determine my pace. In other words, have more control over my writing.

With the farm and Frank's retired lifestyle, my goals changed. I bowed out of my contract with my agent. Hard to believe that something I wanted for so long ended up not what I wanted. I'm pretty happy publishing with a smaller house. I write everyday, but I also have farm and family so I can gauge how much time to give each of my loves.


  1. What a great story, Brenda, and one that I bet a lot of writers would like to follow instead of pushing for that agent and the elusive Big6 contract. I just got my agent last October and she's looking for an pub house for my book and so far 7 out of 10 have said "no". Then we move on to smaller presses. I guess I'll see what happens next.

    1. Good luck, Patti. My main complaint with having an agent (and it could just be mine) is that in 9 months time, I'd never even gotten a no. I had absolutely no activity. Yours sounds more active. Good!