CATHY GILLENTHACKER is a full-time wife, mother and author who began writing stories during “nap time” when her children were toddlers. She wrote seven books as she taught herself how to be an author, and her eighth attempt was published in 1982. Since then she has written and published more than 70 novels.
How-to Tips for Aspiring Writers:
Tips for those looking to get their work published/break into the industry.
1. Finish the book. You can learn a lot from writing the whole story, and you won’t learn enough if you only write proposals—aka first three chapters and an outline. Plus, if you are unpublished, you need to present a full manuscript.
2. Once you have finished the first book, send it out and then begin another completely new story. The more novels you have out there, the more likely you are to make a sale.
3. Read everything you can on perfecting your craft. I am still studying books and articles on plot, characterization, pacing, conflict, and so on. And I am still learning.
4. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was a publishing career. Persistence and dedication to craft pays off. It took me seven full manuscripts, in three different categories, written over five years before I sold my first book. But what I learned during that time was invaluable. Which is why, 35 years later, I am still able to earn a living, writing. When success came, I was ready for it.
5. Believe in yourself. Only you can write your stories, your way. That’s your voice. It’s unique to you.
6. Listen to your editors. They are your friends, and have a perspective you will never have when it comes to your stories. If they tell you something needs work, fix it, don’t argue. Trust in their judgment will pay dividends. Remember, if you don’t succeed, they don’t succeed, so they have every reason to want you to put your best work out there.
7. Pay attention to quality. Although it is important to get enough books out there, to develop name recognition, it’s also important to make each and every book better than the last. So make sure each new project has a fresh spin that makes it seem new and exciting.
June 6, 2017
$5.75 US; 224 pages
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