Friday, March 2, 2012

Milestone Mania

a guest post from Midnight Ink author, Sue Ann Jaffarian

This week marked a major milestone in my writing career – I completed and turned into my publisher my 7th Odelia Grey mystery novel, or, more importantly, my 12th mystery novel in total. Twelve. Four quarters. A dozen. Wow, it astounds me to no end, especially when I clearly remember holding my first completed (and still unpublished) novel in my hands fourteen years ago. It was just a stack of printed white copy paper – not quite a ream – and contained my dream of becoming a published author. It was my first milestone in this long journey.

I was also reminded this week that I've been with my current employer six years. When I came to work here, I had two novels published: Too Big To Miss and The Curse of the Holy Pail. That means in the past six years I've written ten novels spread out across three different series, and held down a demanding day job.

During the fourteen years since I wrote that first novel, I have moved twice, had five employers (and gone two rounds with unemployment), and had three serious boyfriends. I've battled depression, and nearly ended up broke and on the streets twice. But I never lost sight of my dream and kept plugging away, often on hand-me-down computers.

I'm not saying this to garner ooohs and ahhhs, or any sort of kudos or sympathy, but to point out what can be done if 1) you want it bad enough, and 2) you want it bad enough. Only if you want something so much it hurts, will you make the commitment to make it happen, no matter what the obstacles.

The only sure-fire way to fail is to give up.

I've also hit another writing milestone and it involves change. After careful consideration, I decided to move my popular Ghost of Granny Apples series to a bigger publisher with wider distribution, and have agreed to a two-book deal with Berkley for Granny Apples books #4 and #5.

It's not easy to move an on-going series to a new publisher, but the timing was right for the Granny Apples series. Its popularity is growing and sales are strong. The third book in the series, Gem of a Ghost, was just released and going gangbusters. It was now or never. And going to a larger publisher doesn't necessarily mean bigger and better sales. Granny and I are going to have to earn our stripes all over again. I'm up for it, if she is.

The Odelia Grey mysteries will remain with Midnight Ink, where they are contracted through book twelve. I will begin the 8th book in the series next week and look forward to writing it as much as I did the earlier books. The 7th book in the series, Hide and Snoop, will be released September 2012.

I'd better get busy … I see many more milestones ahead of me and want to reach them all.


Robin Allen said...

Ooh and aah anyway! Your prolifictude and dedication is inspiring. Success born of hard work is so much sweeter, isn't it?

Shannon Baker said...

Do you sleep? Congratulations on all the successes and your determination and spirit. If you want it bad enough...

Unknown said...

Wonderful post, Sue Ann. I LOVE the comment "The only sure-fire way to fail is to give up," and plan to quote you. Also going to post a link to your blog post on my FB page - brilliant advice for writers at all levels, and intriquing series to boot!

Vicki Doudera said...

You forgot to say how kind you've been to new authors along the way.

Congrats, Sue Ann!

Kathleen Ernst said...

Congratulations on all of your success! It's never easy to navigate the publishing biz, much less add on all the other aspects of life! And oh, how I agree with your bottom line: if you want it bad enough.

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Thanks, everyone, for stopping by today. And thanks, Robin, for inviting me. And, Shannon, yes, I do sleep. Every night. Or so I'm told.