This post, by Liliana Hart, originally appeared on her site on 7/19/11.
As of this blog post, I’ve been self-published for exactly fifty days. We’ll get back to what this means a little later, because I want you to see the journey before the results (unless you’re one of those people who reads the back of the book first. You guys should just skip to the bottom).
I’m all about being open and honest about my career, because I wouldn’t be where I am if it weren’t for other authors who did this for me. Hopefully, my story will encourage those of you who’ve had a similar journey. Now don’t get too excited, my career isn’t cause for fireworks and explosions. Not yet. But I have hope that it will get there if I stay the course and keep writing books. This business is about consistency and perseverance. And writing books your fans will love.
I wrote my first book during Spring Break of 2005. I’d started books a million times before (this number is a slight exageration meant for impact), only to stop halfway through and toss it in the trash. I’m talking a lot of books here. I’d been trying to write a book since my freshman year of college, but I NEVER FINISHED. This is key. The finishing.
I was still teaching in 2005, and I’d declared Spring Break to be just for me. I was going to sit down and write. I didn’t want to go out with friends. I didn’t want to take a trip. Quite frankly, I didn’t even want to have a conversation. I wanted to write. So I did.
By June of that same year, my book was finished. It was a 120,000-word thriller about a virgin assassin who’d been raised by the CIA to kill (Stop Laughing-I know it sounds ridiculous). This was actually a very high concept book (I won’t tell you the high concept part right now because I’m actually rewriting it to publish-Don’t worry, she’s no longer a virgin). But as several agents and publishing houses said at the time, the concept was higher than the execution. I needed to hone my craft. But the rejections I got from this book didn’t discourage me, they only pushed me to keep writing. And to write better.