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  • MJ Carter

A Rose By Any Other Name

Might smell as sweet. But I 'picked' the best. Well, they picked me, and I couldn't be happier.

When I last wrote, which admittedly was in December, I was sad to report that I'd parted ways with my agent. Not my happiest time. A writer writes. But without a strong 'crew', a writer is often adrift. I was definitely floating out there without a paddle. It took weeks to convince myself that I still needed, or sometimes even wanted, to get my story out there.

I did my research and sent queries to 11 agents looking for what I'd written. Yes, only 11. I had a plan. Two had further interest that went nowhere. Most rejected my story via a form email. A few followed the 'silence is far from golden' trend. It's all okay. I get it that I've written a story that isn't easily 'reader group' defined. Bookstores and e-book vendors don't have a 'here's a sweet and gentle story section.' It's up to me to make the connections, and where's my platform to prove it? Yes, big-time publishers don't want to waste time and ink and audio on unknowns. Yes, one could argue that all the great authors were once unknown. Regardless, the long and the short of it is that I was on to step two of my plan.

Independent publishers.

And I contacted only one.

Pretty ballsy/brave of me, I know. But when I read about The Wild Rose Press, I knew this was the kind of partnership I'd be fortunate to find. Co-owners Rhonda Penders and RJ Morris are established authors who believe in a better way for writers and publishers to team up and work together towards a common goal. They formed The Wild Rose Press in 2006. 500 authors and over 3500 titles later, they're still in full bloom. (Okay, I had to throw one pun in here!)

So, I sent my query and waited. You don't wait long with The Wild Rose Press. Even with a slight snafu of my query arriving during the hectic Christmas week - (what was I thinking?) - Rhonda got my work into the proper hands. I soon heard from editor Nan Swanson who, as busy as she is, always always always has a prompt and helpful reply to my questions. After some positive and very professional back-and-forths, they're taking me on. My little story about two best friends, one handsome actor, and an entire village turned upside down is going to see the light of day. At last!

I'm looking forward to tackling the edit stage. Every improvement seen through an editor's eyes is an avenue to a better story. As I wait, I'm reworking another one of my 'almost made it' stories. As stated earlier, a writer writes. Luckily, this time, I've got a full crew of experts onboard to point out the way.

Thank you, Wild Rose Press, for your belief in me.

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