Today’s a special day at Women’s Fiction Writers (OK, every day is special!) because our guest is Laura Drake! Laura shares awesome publishing news below as well as her journey to get there — but what she doesn’t mention is she’s the President of RWA-WF which is the Women’s Fiction Chapter of Romance Writers of America. Laura is smart, funny, dedicated and hard working. I am pretty sure she doesn’t sleep at all. How do I know? I’m the RWA-WF Secretary, and we’re emailing all the time in addition to hanging out on the RWA-WF email loops and taking care of all kind of RWA-WF business.
I’m thrilled that Laure took the time to share herself with all of us here — and I’m hoping (guilt-guilt-guilt) that she’ll join us again when her first book hits the shelves!
Please welcome Laura Drake to Women’s Fiction Writers!
It Has Been A Long Road – Or – Learning The Hard Way
By Laura Drake
As writers, we’re observers. We’re endlessly fascinated by human behavior. Over the years, I’ve observed that no one gets it all. We’re all a blend of assets, fatal flaws and blind spots. I’m not sure we have control over which of the above we’re ‘gifted’ with.
I’m not smart. No, really. I had to work hard in school to get decent grades. I don’t think well on my feet. I’m a bit of a klutz, physically and socially. If you believe in ‘old souls,’ I’m not one of them. I learn by jumping in and flailing about, making mistakes until the right path presents itself. I’m not being self-depreciating – I have assets. I just had to find what they were as I went along.
My biggest asset? I’m a plodder. I know, it’s not sexy. But that’s okay, because it works.
My husband and I ride motorcycles. Before I learned to ride my own, I rode behind him for a hundred thousand miles. That’s a lot of time for your mind to wander while observing life from the pillion seat. One day, outside Kernville, California, a dog ran in front of the bike. After a sphincter-tightening scare, he trotted off, but it gave me an idea – kernel of a plot.
Me? Write a book? Who was I to write a book? My brain worried at it, but I refused to be a cliché, sitting in front of a blank computer screen. But the idea wouldn’t leave me alone. Oh, the pressure! Then one day I finally realized – my computer had a ‘delete’ key! I could write anything I’d like – no one would never see my drivel!
So I plodded forward on my ‘biker-chick’ novel, finally finishing it a year and a half later. Then I stumbled onto an online critiquing community, and realized I knew nothing about craft. POV? What the heck was that, and what did it have to do with my book?
Seven or so revisions later, I was ready to submit (oh, the ignorance,) and researched how to get an agent (oh, the hubris!)
Fast forward about ten years. I’d finally put the biker-chick novel under the bed, wrote two more books, joined RWA, took classes, attended conventions, pitched. I was a veteran of the submittal wars. I watched authors around me being published. I felt like the last klutz to be selected for the pick-up softball game.
But I just kept at it. I knew my writing was ever-improving, and my last book? It was special. I just knew it in my heart. Last summer, I snagged discovered a wonderful agent who thought so too. That was the start of the crazy Wild-Mouse ride I’ve been on since.
In December I signed a 3 book deal with Grand Central. And last week, after more than thirteen years, I my ‘biker-chick’ book sold to second publisher!
Do you despair that you’ll never sell? Do you look at the other writers, wishing you had her voice, or his fast writing style? Don’t. You have assets, and if you keep moving forward, putting one foot in front of the other, you’re going to get there. If you don’t stop, how could you not?
I’m a plodder. I’m embracing it. Yeah, it’s not sexy. But you know what? Right now, I don’t care.
Laura Drake is a Midwesterner who never grew out of her tomboy ways or a serious cowboy crush. She writes Women’s Fiction and Romance, and in December, she sold three novels set in the world of professional bull riding to Grand Central. THE SWEET SPOT, in which a couple struggles to reclaim their lives after a tragic loss, will be released in the spring of 2013.
Laura resides in Southern California, though she aspires to retirement in Texas. She’s a corporate CFO during the day, and a wife, grandmother, writer, and motorcycle chick in the remaining waking hours.
You can learn more about Laura and her books here: http://LauraDrakeBooks.com And you can follow her on Twitter too: @PBRWriter.