Honorary Heartlette(s) – Mary Buckham and Dianna Love

March 2, 2008 at 7:39 am | Posted in Dianna Love Snell, Honorary Heartlette, Mary Buckham, writing | 106 Comments


Today we have double the pleasure. Dianna Love AND Mary Buckham are joining us, and they’re offering some fun giveaways, so stayed tuned for more on that in a minute. First, I’d like to tell you a little about our guests.

Dianna is a Rita-Award winning author (WORTH EVERY RISK) who also owns her own business (www.ArtProductionsInc.com) where she designs, fabricates and installs unusual outdoor marketing projects for Fortune 500 companies. She’s excited about her next project, PHANTOM IN THE NIGHT (Pocket/June 2008) — a romantic suspense collaboration with #1 NYT Best-selling Author Sherrilyn Kenyon.

Mary is a popular national speaker and writing instructor who has two award-winning books to her credit (INVISIBLE RECRUIT is her latest). She is also one of the driving forces behind www.WriterUniv.com — an on-line university by and for writers.

Their topic today? Breaking Into Fiction – What it takes to get published today!

As I mentioned, Dianna and Mary are offering door prizes! All you have to do is post to be entered in the drawing, both geared toward aspiring authors. The first is a drawing for a set of 5 BREAK INTO FICTION™ templates from the highly successful Break Into Fiction™ Template Teaching Series (www.BreakIntoFiction.com).

The second is a critique of your query or cover letter to get you one step closer to a dynamite proposal package.

And now for the blog…

We often wonder what it takes for writers today to break out of the pack of hopefuls to become a published author. As relatively new authors themselves, Mary and Dianna delved into this mystery and are here to share what they’ve observed while working with hundreds of aspiring writers. And they want to hear your views on what you feel it takes to get published too.

Dianna–If you’re a voracious reader like me, you have stacks of books by favorite authors who are multi-published. But what about the debut author whose first book hits the shelves and no one has heard of him/her? Prior to selling, I sought books by new authors to see what was selling. That was how I read Mary’s debut book MAKEOVER MISSION — a fast romantic suspense — before I ever met her in person. I enjoyed the surprises I found this way and think that’s why I’ve continued to seek out debut authors. When Brenda Novak told me about the Fog City Divas Blog, I found Monica McCarty, debut author of HIGHLANDER UNTAMED. Brenda knows I read suspense since I write it, but she might not have known that I enjoy historicals as well — so, bam, I’m introduced to a new author.

The month my first book — WORTH EVERY RISK — came out, I was approached at the Romantic Times Convention by a woman who said, “I bought your book and really enjoyed it.” I was blown away by anyone knowing who I was and told her I was flattered and thrilled. She said, “No, you don’t understand. I didn’t know who you were, but I saw your name and book everywhere I turned so I finally had to buy it.” That was a “wow” moment I’ll never forget, which made me feel better about the time and expense I had put into marketing the book, since we rarely have any idea if our marketing works.

Mary—After working with hundreds and hundreds of writers over the last few years whether in a classroom teaching environment, working one-on-one with synopsis or query help or through the Break Into Fiction™ PLOTTING weekends there are several elements that I’ve seen that sets some writers apart and gives them that extra edge needed to break out and into the ranks of the published. The first is attitude. There’s a mind set that is loud and clear dividing those who will be published from those who’d like to be published. The first group will do what it takes, regardless of the obstacles, work or time involved. When they receive rejections they mourn, but then get right back to sending out another query, another proposal, getting more feedback if needed as they continue to press forward. They do not start their conversations with phrases such as “But I have a job…young kids…school-age kids…aging parents…no support…little time…” You fill in the blanks. Those who will be published will offer no excuses.

The second issue is the willingness to take feedback and apply it. Not to say that all feedback is spot on, but those who will be published will keep pushing themselves to learn from others and apply what they learn so that their work and their process of working continues to improve. The ones who will be published continue to work at the craft of writing, whether it’s taking online classes or conference workshops, or analyzing other writers or improving what they already do well. The ones who will be published never give up, because that is a guarantee of non-publication.

Dianna – Once you’ve decided you’re “in” for the long haul, you can never, ever, ever stop learning or trying to improve your writing. I hope to still be learning something new the day I draw my last breath. I attack every story with gusto, wanting to drive my characters and plot to a new level. Mary and I often read for each other and I love the way she never fails to surprise me with the way she thinks. I want books that catch me off guard so that’s what I’m after when I write. We both analyze everything we come into contact with – novels, movies, short stories, characters, writing craft and style. If one of us finds something interesting we share it and the other will dig a little deeper for a new nugget of information. We love the time we’ve spent with all the thousands of students we’ve worked with on their stories while sharing our Break Into Fiction Template Teaching Series, but realized there was no way to reach everyone. That’s what led to the nonfiction book we’ve written that is coming out in 2009.

Mary – The great news for writers everywhere is they have the choices daily to commit and work toward their goal of publication or not. They have the power. Many times as unpublished writers we think all the power is in the hands of editors or agents, but it’s not. It’s in your hands and the day you decide that nothing will stop you from being published is the day you’ll never turn back. You’ll make different choices as to how you spend your time, who you will associate with, how you will invest in your career. The greatest power to break into fiction publication rests with you and we’re here today to let you know that.

Now what about you? What do you see as the greatest obstacles to publication and what sets those whom you know have published apart?


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  1. Dear Mary and Dianna,
    Thank you both for joining us this month and for sharing such an inspiring post! When I observe the differences between my friends who are published and those of us who aren’t (yet!), I am struck by the amount of focus and determination my published friends have. Their constant learning and every day stick-to-it-iveness –no matter what — really sets them apart. They are in it to win it, and it shows!

  2. Hi Jessica –

    We’re flattered to be guest bloggers today and excited to visit with everyone. I’m on the east coast close to Atlanta and Mary is Seattle, WA so she’ll be on here a little later.

    Those of you lurking – it only takes a post to be entered into the drawing for our giveaways. 🙂 Yes, we will bribe you to come out and talk, because everyone has something to contribute.

    thanks for having us here today – Dianna

  3. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Allen Taylor

  4. Thanks for the great post, Mary and Dianna. I love what you said about no excuses. For years, I’ve fit my writing in around a demanding full-time job, two kids, a husband, a dog, a house, etc. I do it because I can’t NOT do it. When I signed my first contract last fall, I announced to my family that “Mom’s little hobby is now a business.” Three sets of astounded eyes looked back at me. “LITTLE hobby?” my daughter finally said. LOL! Okay, call it an obsession, call it my passion, but my debut will be out in September. The obsessed passion is finally, FINALLY paying off! Thanks Jessica and Megan (sneaky girls–didn’t know you had such a cool blog!) for sharing your contacts with us.

  5. Hi Allen –

    We’re happy to guest post so Mary and I are on different sites monthly. Thanks so much for stopping by this one today.


  6. Hi Marie –
    Congratulations on your first sale!! And for showing everyone you were putting in serious effort all the times you were writing. Any goal worth accomplishing is usually going to be a tough one, which makes it all the sweeter.

    thanks for coming by today!


  7. Hi Mary and Dianna,

    Great blog! Wish I was in America and could attend one of your break into Fiction Plotting weekends–I’ve heard so many good things about the course. I can’t wait for your non-fiction book to come out.

    Some writers seem to get published sooner than others, but the secret–if there is one–seems to me to be perseverence. I agree completely that any writer who wants to be successful must continualy learn and improve.

    Some people say it is down to luck if a writer gets published or not, but as the golfer Arnold Palmer said, “The harder I practice, the luckier I get.”

  8. Ladies!

    Thanks so much for joining us. This was amazing stuff and personally very timely. As my time restraints change, my attitude has to stay the same – forward to success. No cause and effect, just positive thinking.

  9. HI Helen –

    Congratulations on makign the final round of American Title. I’m hoping for a book deal for both of you (since I’ve heard of both top finalists getting them in the past).

    You’re right about perseverence and luck playing into the mix. What’s the saying about how luck is when preparation meets opportunity? There’s a lot of truth in that. The nice thing about continuing to study while you either work in that first sale or push for the second, third or fourth (because it doesn’t come automatically as many authors can tell you), is that you keep exercising your brain. I think of it as another muscle to be toned and tested as often as possible.

    Thanks for the great comment on our Plotting retreats. Wish you could join us for one, too, because they have been very exciting. It’s a real joy to see new writers have “break through” moments and published authors take their stories to a new level. We really appreciate the enthusiasm that has been generated by the retreats and amazed by how many people internationally have heard about our program.

    Mary and I are excited about our Break Into Fiction book due out in spring 2009 – which will have ALL the plotting templates and instruction in addition to a lot more.

    Maybe we’ll do a retreat in the UK sometime.

    thanks for stopping by!


  10. Mary came to my local RWA – it was fabulous. We all wanted her to move in with us for a few weeks and straighten our books out!

  11. Dianna and Mary,
    Thanks for sharing your insights. I’m fairly new to the “deciding I’m in for a long haul” mindset and your post was encouraging and yet I realize it’s not going to be an easy road. I’ve always enjoyed learning new things and writing is proving to have lots in store for me to learn all the time. The excuses — or rather balancing priorities — is one I still have lots to work on.

  12. Hi Bria –

    Atta girl. No one is going to row our boat harder than we will for ourselves. My husband is my biggest cheerleader (next to my writing buddies) when it comes to my books. My family is excited about my writing, but they really don’t understand how big a deal it is to sell your first book, final and/or win a Golden Heart or RITA award, be offered additional contracts or make a best seller list. This is a very unusual business for those outside of it so they have no reference point.

    It reminds me of how following a visit to family in Biloxi six months after Katrina when the Mississippi coast was still so brutally wrecked it hurt to drive through the areas I came home to friends who asked, “So, did they get it all cleaned up after the hurricane?” I would be at a loss for words on what to say, because the coast still looked like a nuclear fall out. But these friends were not insensitive, they just had never gone through that type of destruction so they could not comprehend the level of damage.

    That’s why we can’t expect our friends and family to understand what it takes to push constantly to sell a book when there isn’t always a lot of cheerleading or positive feedback some days. We have to depend on our inner drive to get there. They’ll cheer for you, but they may never understand how important it is. On the other hand, did any of us really understand how tough this was before we started?

    Love your attitude – forward to success!
    Thanks for stopping by,

  13. Hi Jenna –

    Mary will be on here soon, but I know she’ll be tickled to read your blog. She’s a fabulous speaker and really great when it comes to working on stories. I can’t tell you what a pleasure it has been to work with her on our nonfiction project and back & forth on our fiction projects.

    thanks for stopping by,

  14. Hi Kaige –

    You’re right about taking your time to decide what mindset you want to assign your writing.

    I think too many people start out with “I’m going to do X by Y date,” then lose their joy of writing when those things don’t happen. I never had any mindset when I “first” started writing. When I caught the bug for writing, I focused on learning. I didn’t think much about actually selling the book until I held one in my hand I felt good about (a year later) sending off.

    I didn’t think about how dedicated I was in the initial few months. For me, the first question before donating a lot of time and money to anything new that interests me is – Am I passionate about this or is it just a passing interest? If I’m passionate, nothing stops me from driving toward a goal. Once I realized how much I enjoyed writing and wanted to do it – I jumped in with both feet and had a mindset of “full speed ahead.” 🙂

    thanks for stopping by,

  15. Great post Mary and Dianna. Every once in a while I need to be reminded that if you want to be published, you have to write and learn every day. I’m glad I read your post today.

  16. Hi Mary and Dianna,
    Congratulations on the book deal for Breaking Into Fiction. This is going to help so many writers. Can’t wait for it to come out.

    Just this year it hit me that even though I’ve worked very hard on my writing, I’ve also given a lot of my time to taking care of others. I think the comment about working no matter what and keeping focused on your end goal is key.

    That’s what I love about you two ladies. You’re always pushing forward. Thanks for being an inspiration.


  17. Hey Dianna!

    Waving from the Bandit lair.

    I’m one of those people who tends to lose faith fairly frequently–like–oh–every day. And I have to remind myself, or sometimes be reminded, that I can’t quit. The thing I did, fortunately, recognize early on is that I needed those reminders, so I surrounded myself with people willing to get out a pointy stick and poke me a bit if I needed it.

    For those of you who don’t know, Dianna has been one of my primary “butt kickers” when I’ve felt like quitting or slacking. I guess we all have those moments.

    But it really is a muscle, and the more you work it, the stronger it gets. When you quit for a while, it’s harder to get back in the chair.

    Thank God for the laptop and a comfy chair by the fire at Panera. That’s what it takes for me–if I’m not writing at home, I have to put down whatever needs doing, pick up the laptop, and drive somewhere where I WILL write.

    Today it’s 70 degrees in Kentucky after a long couple of months of cold weather, and I’m letting myself out to clean up the yard and be in the sunshine. But tonight, after dark, it’ll be back to the laptop.

    I’m looking forward to sitting in one of Dianna and Mary’s workshops soon! She’s been telling me about Break Into Fiction and I can’t wait! Also can’t wait for Phantom In The Night this summer!


  18. Hi Barb –

    We all have to be reminded to keep reaching for more information and better ways to write. It’s easy to fall into the habit of thinking as long as we write regularly we’re moving ahead, but taking a step back and going to a class or finding someone new to brainstorm with not only helps improve our craft, but keeps the joy of writing fresh.

    thanks for stopping by,

  19. HI Kat –

    Thanks for the kind words. It’s hard to write during tough times and we won’t always be able to just because writing emotional stories is tough when your heart’s being squeezed, but you choose the times you can and save the “can’t do it” for those really hard ones.

    Catherine Mann is a friend and wonderful writer who I watched deal with hurricanes, taking care of 4 (5 really since they took in another one) kids and caring for family many times while her Air Force husband was away in dangerous places. She’ll be the first to tell you it wasn’t easy, but she has a career to protect and develop so she sometimes has to write when things are chaotic and draining.

    Bless you and all the others who do for so many around you while still working on your books. I really admire all of you who have children and write. You’re really something – giving to the world in more than one way.


  20. Allen ~~

    Gold stars to you for jumping in with a first post and doing your research. Involvement and awareness are keys traits of writers who punch over the top to publishing and keep there once they do. Glad you visited today!

    ~~ Mary Buckham 🙂

  21. Hello Marie and mega congrats on getting The CALL and a contract. Please share the name of your book so we can keep our eyes open for it. One of the smartest things Dianna and I did before we were published – and even before we knew each other — was to read newly published authors to see not only what was being bought now but what was making a manuscript stand out from other manuscripts. Obviously yours did and we can’t wait to read it while toasting your accomplishment! Great job!

    ~~ Mary Buckham :-0

  22. Dear Mary and Dianna:

    I am just starting to learn the working of book writing versus screenwriting. I am at the beginning of square one. Thank you for sharing your insight with all of us. We all learn from each other.

  23. Hello Helen ~~ so nice to see you here. You’re spot on that perseverence makes a major difference between those who want to be published and those who will but there’s another difference and you’re a walking example of this. The willingness to move outside your comfort level. For the American Title Contest you had to learn how to promote yourself — something that’s hard for so many of us. As writers we tend to be watchers, and not the center of anyone’s attention. But you faced the feat of self-promotion and between that and your wonderful writing you are so, so close to making your publishing dream come true. Gold stars and cyber high fives to you!

    ~~~ Mary Buckham cheering you on!

  24. Hi Mary and Dianna,

    I think a big part of what helps a writer keep going is support, be it classes that support a writer’s understanding of craft, friendship or (giant amounts of)chocolate. : ) (I have to wonder if why so many books come out at Christmas is due to the injection of chocolate at Easter.) I’ve heard wonderful things about the Breaking Into Fiction weekend. And anything that helps a writer focus and get motivated about his or her story is worth gold!

    –Liz Jasper
    2008 EPPIE Award nominated author of UNDERDEAD.
    Not undead, merely…UNDERDEAD

  25. Hi Cassondra –

    Thanks for stopping by and for the kind words on our workshop and my next book. For those of you who don’t know about the Bandit Lair – that’s the Romance Bandit Blog, created by a group of 2006 Golden Heart finalists (including Cassondra Murray) and it’s a wonderful blog to visit.

    Cassondra makes a good point here about finding a spot that feels like your private writing place. She’s a wonderful writer who is much more diligent than she lets on.

    I like to write in my space at home, but sometimes I also like to see a different setting if I’m feeling like too much energy is at the house (I have a business as well).

    I like that you’re going out to enjoy some sunshine today, Cassondra, and already have planned out when you want to work. We need to take breaks and allow our minds to play just as much as we need to bear down and get pages done.

    thanks for stopping by and big for your sweet post. I’ll see you at the Bandit lair this week.


  26. Bria ~~ thank you to Jessica and you and the other purple heart blogsters 🙂 for creating an environment for writers to learn from one another. It’s an honor and a privlege to be invited today. And continue to mush forward because you will achieve your dreams!

    All the best ~~ Mary Buckham 🙂

  27. Hi Maureen –

    Yes, that’s quite a difference. I’ve been working with someone who is making the change from screenwriting to novel writing and see what a challenge that is. But you also bring some different angles on characterization and dialogue with the screenwriting background that will give you a hand up.

    thanks for stopping by today!

  28. Hi Liz –

    LOL – I love the Easter chocolate theory for so many books coming out at the end of the year. Sort of like so many babies showing up after a cold winter.

    Congratulations on having an EPPIE Award nomination! And kudos on selling UNDERDEAD.

    Thanks for sharing feedback on our Break Into Fiction weekends and for stopping by.


  29. Jenna ~~

    How sweet of you! I had a great time in Portland and with the Rose City RWA members. Trust me I’d love nothing better than to escape home and talk writing for a week ~~ anything to get out of housework and laundry :-)) Jenna, your post reminds me of another great can-do attribute of those writers who will push over the top, and that’s surrounding themselves with not only a support system [whether it’s fellow chaptermates or family and friends] but challenging yourself to work with writers who inspire you. Working with Dianna does that for me daily. Her work ethic makes me feel like I’m sitting around eating bon bons all day 🙂 but not only that she challenges me to think bigger, stretch as a writer and reach for further stars. Surround yourself with fellow writers like her and you’ll be autographing your own books in no time!

    Thanks for stopping by today ~~ Mary B 🙂

  30. Hello Kaige ~~

    Oh, I think I have name envy 🙂 In my next life I want an exotic and fun name so I’m making a list and your name just went on it 🙂 So smart of you to realize your strengths and areas of writing – or being a writer- that still pose a challenge for you. Secret is running with your strengths and finding support to shore up those other areas until you can stand firm on your own. Buddy up with a go-getter [I have Dianna who is like the Energizer bunny on speed in her slow moments :-)] Or treat yourself as you would a beloved child or friend and give to you what you’d no doubt give to them in order to succeed.

    Best of luck! ~~~ Mary B 🙂

  31. Hi Mary –

    Regarding your comment –

    [Working with Dianna does that for me daily. Her work ethic makes me feel like I’m sitting around eating bon bons all day…]

    hahahaha… yeah, righ. What Mary isn’t telling all of you is that she’s referring only to the work she does with me on our nonfiction projects, but in addition she teaches online workshops all year in addition to her own writing. I would just shoot myself if I had all that to do at the computer. 🙂

    We do compliment each other well when we brainstorm and plot our fiction projects. Mary (and her wonderful husband Jim, who I won’t share the nickname of but we call him TJ for short ) knows the most amazing things and has a gift for retaining lots of historical information to do with contemporary things.

    I’m happy just to remember where I hid my M&M peanuts from my husband. 😉


  32. Barb ~~

    How delightful to see you here today. Glad you could make it. You know something that took me years to learn — and if this helps you run with it – and if it doesn’t — disregard. 🙂 I learned that we don’t have to write every day, especially if that rule creates speed bumps in getting our manuscripts finished. With 5 kids at home under the age of 8 when I started writing I realized ther were some days I was not going to be able to think much less write and if I thought I HAD to write everyday to be a real writer I’d only end up beating myself up, which in turn made it harder to get back to the page. For me I changed that “real writers must write daily” rule to “real writers write in whatever way works for them to get the book finished”. Some times that meant daily, sometimes that meant in huge chunks on rare weekends. It’s not the process but the finished product and that’s where to keep your focus.

    Hope this helps ~~ when I finally let go of the “every day” expectation and focused on getting the bloody manuscript finished — my writing life, and production, sped up.

    Thanks for being here and letting me use your words in a different spin.

    All the best ~~ Mary B :-0

  33. Hi there Kat ~~

    Oh, I like being an inspiration 🙂 Can you repeat that to my children Gold stars to you for learning that while volunteering has a place in our writing lives, it can also act as a time trap and energy sucker if we over volunteer, or allow the volunteering to eliminate or even seriously impact our writing time. It’s a constant juggle but it sounds like you have eliminated a few balls to put your fiction first. Way to go!

    ~~ Mary B 🙂

  34. Cassondra Hello! I’ve heard so many good things about you and your writing from Dianna that I thought she was making you up 🙂 You’ve tapped into a very, very important element of stickingtoitness [if that’s not a word it should be :-)] The fact that it’s not whether we feel the fear, or lack of faith or siren call of the laundry calling us [trust me, I can ignore that without a problem!] but it’s what we choose to do about it. We are given choices daily to feel down, depressed, helpless, hopeless and that’s all before the first cup of coffee. But we don’t have to act on those feelings. We can use them as action signals to drive us to the page, or Paneras or the coffee shop – whatever and whereever it takes to write.

    Thanks so much for popping in here and I look forward to meeting you in Florida next month!

    ~~ Mary B 🙂

  35. Maureen ~~

    Oh, how fun! To have learned the discipline and focus of screenwriting first. I know so many book-length fiction authors who are going from 400 page manuscripts to 90 page scripts and reveling in the challenge. You have a great strength to exploit and square one is the perfect place to begin. For myself I always start backwards and muddle my way to square one eventually 🙂

    Thanks for being here today and best of luck!

    ~~ Mary B 🙂

  36. I finished a “first attempt” novel after taking several online classes and buying a bookshelf full of books on the “how to’s” of writing, editing and building scenes and characters.
    I have written on and off for years but have only thought about being published in the last couple of years. I enjoyed reading your posts and wish I could attend one of your weekends. I live closer to Seattle than Atlanta.

  37. […] some great advice and words of wisdom at Bria’s blog, from two guest bloggers-Mary Buckham and Dianna Love. The topic is BREAK INTO FICTION – WHAT IT […]

  38. Lovely Liz ~~

    So nice to see you here! For those not aware Liz’s first e-book UNDERDEAD [which is up for an Eppie Award] just recently came out in paperback version and it’s a hoot! If anyone enjoys sassy, smart and funny reads as much as I do – run, don’t walk to Amazon to find this book. And gold stars to you for pointing out that there are many ways to create support — a short definition is anything that gets you juiced to get back to the page. I love in my live workshops to see folks start to squirm in their seats and get a dazed look. At first I assumed they needed the bathroom 🙂 but eventually I realized it was writers who couldn’t wait to start using the information in their stories. What a fun situation! So thanks for sharing that on-line classes, or live workshops, or fellow writers or chocolate [always a necessity] all can support a writer.

    All the best ~~ Mary B 🙂

  39. Mary and Dianna, thank you for a great post on what it takes to get published AND stay published. I can’t wait to buy your Break Into Fiction book and learn more.

    Mary, I had the pleasure of meeting in Dallas when Helen Taylor introduced us. You gave me pertinent advice about promotion that helped a lot when my first book To Love A Hero was released in January. Thank you.

  40. HI Mona –

    Congratulations on your first book – To Love A Hero! I love to hear stories of new sales. Mary is fabulous on everything – writing, templates, promo, research, teaching. I’d have to hate her if I didn’t like her so much. 🙂

    Thanks for the kind words and we’re looking forward to that book coming out, too! 🙂

    thanks for stopping by, Dianna

  41. Thanks for a great post Mary and Dianna…I totally agreed that the right mindset when it comes to my writing will totally effect any given day.

    When I head to the keyboard with excitement and positive thoughts running through my head I get so much more done than when I drag myself there doubting my abilities and desire.

    And I totally behind the ‘always learning’ mantra and that’s one of the most wonderful things about the world of romance — how willing everyone is to share their knowledge. With my first release, REILLY’S PROMISE, will be in bookstores in May, I am still taking online classes, reading blogs and how-to book, attend workshops to continue to learn the craft.

    Looking foward to seeing your non-fiction book in stores!

  42. PLEASE READ – I almost forget to share a great opportunity coming up that will benefit any writer. (I need more coffee…)

    If you don’t know about this (or if you do and might have forgotten) – don’t miss Brenda Novak’s annual Auction to help Diabetes Research. This is turning into a huge auction every year and one all writers don’t want to miss.

    Why? Because editors, agents, authors – everyone in publishing that knows about the auction (at this point, a LOT) donate services. I would have loved to have had the chance to bid on critiques or lunch with an editor or agent when I was starting out. Authors offer mentorship and critiques as well.

    Mary, Sherrilyn Kenyon and I have a page with 10
    special offerings (even one for one-day event for a writing chapter). Beyond all those great offerings for writers are plenty for readers and everyone you know. It’s a great way to help Diabetes research and further your career.

    Just stop by http://www.BrendaNovak.com


  43. Hi Mary and Dianna – I have attended Mary’s great workshops and love them – In reading this blog, I realize I’ve never read a book of either one of you, and you’ve got me hooked – I’m going to get hold of both of your latest books. I love your advice, especially not listening and speaking why we can’t get published, but instead keep on pursuing the goals, with a clear vision of getting that best seller! I’m not a believer in the ‘doing’ of getting published as much as I am in the ‘being’ of getting there – I think it’s who we ‘be’ in life that drives out results and I’m happy to see you are addressing that. Thanks for the great read today on getting pubbed – judi (Lynn Romaine) – stop by my blog sometime (www.ecosuspense.blogspot.com)

  44. HI Christyne –

    Congratulations on your first book coming our in print in May – REILLY’S PROMISE. Btw – I got hung up at your website reviewing all the great “inspirational” photos for your heroes. Very, um, inspiring.
    (what…there were heroine photos, too?…okay, if you say so )

    Aren’t we fortunate to have been introduced to romance writing? I enjoy other genres and am currently working on a mainstream, but I will ALWAYS LOVE writing romance and very thankful for having written that first just because of what we learn in this genre.

    Thanks for the note about our nonfiction book (hoep to have a date soon, but thinking early 2009) and for stopping by.


  45. Hi Mary and Dianna! It’s good to “see” you here and thank you for sharing your pearls of wisdom. Dianna, congrats on the book with Sherrilyn Kenyon! Brenda Novak does put on a wonderful auction. The opportunities for new writers to bid on critiques is wonderful.

  46. I’d always wanted to write and woke up one morning thinking if I didn’t start writing NOW, I’d never start. That was a while ago now and while I’m published, I’d still like a NY contract. I think a person wanting to be a writer needs to make writing a habit and sit down every day at the computer, no matter what your mindset. I’ve made writing a habit and try to challenge myself with each book, constantly learning. I know if I work hard, I’ll eventually get to my destination.

    Thanks for your wonderful post and advice. I’m looking forward to the start of Brenda’s auction since I was sick last year and missed the entire thing. The auction presents some wonderful opportunities.

  47. HI Lynne –

    I was typing away a minute ago and Poof – it just disappeared. Congratulations on getting your Eco Suspense stories published – that’s a big suspense market on the rise. Very clever to write those.

    Mary gives fabulous online and live workshops – I hear about her all the time from writers I meet when we aren’t together. I love the ones we do together. I dont’ know why we sync well (since she’s so fluid and I tend to be off-the-cuff ), but we do. Or at least no one has given us the hook yet. 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by and I’ll put your blog down to check out when I’m online during the week.

  48. Mary and Dianna,
    Your blog was empowering! It really reminds me that just like any other profession, you have to work your way up and I guess the only sure thing that works is that you have to keep at it–no matter what. I’m so amazed by the number of successful writers I know who really have crazy, busy jobs and families to take care of. They don’t make excuses. They just get it done.

    For me the greatest obstacle to publication would probably be networking. I always hear you should go to conferences and network to make contacts. That always makes me nervous. I’m shy, that’s why I write 🙂

  49. Hi Kendra –

    It’s so great to “see” you here. I hope to see you in person this year some time. Thanks for the congrats on the book deals with Sherri. I’m just so excited about cowriting the BAD Agency series with her. She’s a great author and an even better friend, as I know you know.

    You’re a wonderful writer too and have had success in this up and down business. Want to share what you’re working on now and what keeps you moving forward?

    thanks for stopping by and see you soon – somewhere!

  50. Hi Shelley –

    Congratulations on all the books you have published. Wow, quite a list and growing. You’re obviously putting power behind your determination by writing constantly. I like that you have another target once you published.

    I’ve always been that way. I reach one goal and look to the next one. You’re doing everyhing you should to keep moving forward. Kudos.

    Thanks for stopping by,

  51. Hi Seapenquin –

    Thanks for the kind words on our blog. We blog and teach workshops to help other writers, particularly to help the not-yet-published, so it’s nice to know we’re helping.

    I can see where conferences and networking can be intimidating when you first get involved. Try going to a writing chapter (if possible, go to an RWA chapter even if you don’t write romance because they are all wonderful and welcoming) first and get to know a few people. After that, try a small conference and see how that goes. I knew NO ONE in this business when I started in 2001. I’m amazed at the number of wonderful people I’ve gotten to know since then and it all started with one chapter meeting.

    So glad you came out to visit and “network” today. This is another good start.


  52. Mary and Dianna,
    Your post could not have come at a better time for me, as I’m finding myself pulled in many directions these days. You’ve helped me realize in my “heart and soul” that writing is very important and I’ll have to make adjustments. On the days when I can clear the decks and spend a good chunk of time at the computer I am so much happier with myself. Even if what I’ve written is drek, at least it’s words on the page. I’ve heard you speak on the RWA Nationals tapes and what you say is very empowering. I’m looking forward to the release of your non-fiction, always eager to learn more about this business.

  53. Hi Luanna –

    We’re so glad this post is at a good time for so many. 🙂 That really makes me happy for you when I hear how writing touches your heart and soul – that’s the way it should be. Some days are harder than others at the keyboard – we all write our drek pages – but I would hope just putting your ideas down on paper always means something special to a writer.

    You made a good point about “at least it’s words on a page” because I’ve written pages of drek just to keep moving forward then looked at them later, realized they were editable and enjoyed a break from typing to edit.

    Thanks for listening to our workshops live and on tape, and for your supportive words on our nonfiction book. And thanks for stopping by,


  54. Hi Mary & Dianna
    Thanks for the blogging and many responses. It’s a long, hard road to publication and I’m hoping I’m getting closer to Publication Crossroad.

    I ventured out to Sleuthfest over this past weekend in Deerfield Beach…..I’ve never been before and it opened my eyes to some new thoughts. I love stumbling over golden nuggets to help me hone my craft.

    Mary — I’ve gotten some gold stars along the way from you in the Synopsis class and by engaging your services on my final synopsis for the story I’m pitching now.

    Thanks so much — we appreciate your wisdom and help.
    Nancy Naigle

  55. Hello Barbara ~~

    Gold stars on getting your first book finished. That is a huge step. I also wanted to share that the BREAK INTO FICTION plotting weekends are held throughout the country – in 2008 we’re in Houston, Seattle, Richmond, Chicago and Los Angeles. To find out exact dates be sure and visit http://www.BreakIntoFiction.com.

    Thanks! ~~ Mary B 🙂

  56. Happy Texas Independence day, ladies.

    And thanks for a great blog with positive input on what it takes to get published. You didn’t feed us nice sounding platitudes. Diana, great advice to read new authors. That does let you know what’s marketable. Not that you want to write the same thing, but it does help focus your writing. Can’t wait to meet you in person next month in Houston.

    And, Mary, you always encourage even when you’re filling our heads with crafting skills to make us successful. Thanks, your classes have certainly improved my writing a hundredfold and I can’t wait for the Break Into Fiction plotting weekend.


  57. Mona ~~

    How delightful to see you here today and huge congratulations in having TO LOVE A HERO published! I think you need to write your life story next because it’s so fascinating :-):-)

    Can’t wait for our paths to cross again!

    ~~~ Mary B 🙂

  58. Jane ~~

    How fun for you to have hooked your blog to this blog — Dianna and I keep saying we need a techno partner because both of us are techno peasants. Dianna tends to try and hang herself with her phone cords and I can’t even find a phone when it’s ringing. And here you are linking blogs. Might have to learn how to do that when I grow up [I can here Dianna choking from here :-)]

    Thanks for chiming in! ~~ Mary B :-

  59. Luanna ~~

    Thanks so much for stopping by and letting us know that in spite of those days where you feel split that you’re moving forward and finding ways to put your fiction first. Gold stars you! I also have to explain that on the Nationals tape on PACING if you listen to that Sherrilyn was double-booked and running late to the workshop so all the ummms and blank air time was Dianna and myself trying to channel Sherry — which is a real hard thing to do. Makes writing look
    easy 🙂 At the actual workshop we pointed to the empty chair as a clue that the next words were really Sherry’s. To say the least we had way too much fun!

    Keep on writing! ~~ Mary B 🙂

  60. Hi Seapenquin ~~

    Thanks for being brave enough to share your fears of networking as a personal obstacle to being published. Great news is Dianna and I both know tons of published authors who are shy and retiring ~~ and once upon a time I was too. [Dianna never was ~~ she missed that gene ~~ and I’ve seen her make best friends with everyone from the copy shop tech to any editor and agent out there worth knowing. I’m waiting for that to rub off on me but it’s not happening so far :-)] But learning to network is like any other aspect of getting and being published. Take baby steps and keep challenging yourself. You don’t have to go to your first Conference and spend the whole weekend or week networking. You might start with giving yourself permission to meet 3 new people — once you’ve done that, pat yourself on the back. Next you move up to 5 people and stop by the bar – even if you drink Spring water. Next time sit at a table with total strangers. See? Make the baby steps work for you. Also Gwen Shuster Haynes teaches a great online workshop called INTROVERTS AND EXTROVERTS: Marketing Strategies for Both – where she teaches writers to use their strengths. Introverts can get energy by marketing and networking opportunities that would drain an Extrovert. I think she might be teaching that again for http://www.WriterUniv.com [as soon as I get ahold of her] So look for info there in a bit.

    Thanks for posting today and keep on writing! ~~

    ~~ Mary B 🙂

  61. HI Jane –

    Mary has the right of it. It’s amazing that both of us even manage to show up on this blog together without short circuiting the thing. 😉

    Thanks for stopping in.

  62. Hello Shelley ~~

    Thanks for being a great example of if you don’t make up your mind and just do it – you’ll never get published. Jennifer Crusie has a great quote:
    “What’s the worst thing that can happen? You never get published or the book of your heart tanks, and you never reach your goal, but at the end of your life you look back and say ‘I had a dream and I fought for it, I believed in myself and my work, and I never, ever gave up’. That’s a life well-lived folks, a helluva lot better than ‘I had a dream but it wasn’t realistic so I quit and watched television.'”

    So gold stars on taking the first steps toward your dreams and already planning on the next ones.

    All the best ~~ Mary B 🙂

  63. I’m so excited about all the comments and the energy that you all are sharing on the blog today! You’ve brought so much of yourselves to this discussion and it’s been a great day for learning and meeting new people. Thank you all for stopping in and making our online hang-out come alive! And of course, thanks again to Mary and Dianna for their time and generosity in making this exchange happen!

  64. Hi Mary,
    Thanks for your interest in debut authors and our books. Mine is called “Line of Scrimmage,” and it’ll be out in September from Sourcebooks Casablanca. Here’s the short blurb: In the Hail Mary play of a lifetime, a sexy NFL quarterback has just ten days to convince his wife to give him a second chance before their divorce is final—and he has to act fast because she’s already engaged to her high school boyfriend. It’s a fun story that was a kick to write mostly because of my incorrigible hero, Ryan Sanderson. I hope you’ll get a chance to check it out this fall. “Line of Scrimmage” was my seventh completed MS and not the one I pictured would go first, but as so many others have said here today, who can predict anything in this crazy business? Throughout the years of struggle that led to THE CALL, my motto was this: The only thing I know for sure is if I give up it will never happen. I had it printed out and taped to the wall over my computer so I wouldn’t be tempted to quit. Thanks for all your (and Dianna’s) great words of wisdom!

  65. Chrystine ~~

    Gold stars on REILLY’S PROMISE being ready to launch so soon. I bet you’re on a razor-edge of excitement right now. :-)) And cyber-high-fives for sharing a key realization that the learning and the growing and the setting of goals does not stop when you get The CALL but continues!

    Thanks so much for sharing and being here today!

    ~~ Mary B 🙂 who’s making a list of new books to purchase!

  66. Lynn ~~

    How fun to see you here! Having you take part reminds me of another aspect of writing that you yourself have maximized and that’s using Contests to hone your craft. I remember my first contests that I swear the only thing I did right on the page was spelling my own name 🙂 and there was more than one Contest that I had to put the feedback away after chocolate and red wine when I could face the good news in the feedback 🙂 instead of what I perceived as the not-so-good news 🙂 But even entering Contests prepares one for sening out to editors and agents – and elarning how to read feedback makes it sooooo much easier to read between the cryptic lines of editor or agent rejections. Gold stars Lynn on the Contests you’ve entered and finaled in and won too! It’s that attitude that’s going to stand you in good stead as you continue forward in your career.

    All the best and thanks for sharing! ~~ Mary B 🙂

  67. Marie –

    Thanks for sharing more on your book. I’ve been hearing that Sourcebooks is acquiring and they’re supposed to be very nice to work with – that’s so cool! Sounds like a great story.

    All of you – remember what we said about reading new authors. There’s no better way to find out what a house is buying.

    Dianna 🙂

  68. Marie ~~ Oh yummy, what a great sounding book and way to go with getting published! I absolutely love your motto and want to repeat it here because it’s so, so true:

    The only thing I know for sure is if I give up it will never happen.

    Thanks for sharing your great news and my to-buy and to-be-read pile grows larger 🙂 Lucky me!

    All the best ~~ Mary B 🙂

  69. Hi, again, Jessica –

    Thanks for the nice note. We’re thrilled to be here. I’m with you – this group deserves a round of applause for coming out to visit on the weekend. It’s a lot more fun when we have so many willing to share their writing challenges and accomplishments.

    It’s nice to know we aren’t alone. 🙂
    thanks, Dianna

  70. Dianna,
    You heard right–Sourcebooks has been wonderful! I feel truly blessed to have connected with Deb Werksman. She has been lovely to work with.

  71. Hey Judythe ~~

    I am soooo glad you stopped in and gave me a reason to have my hubby take me out to dinner tonight. I thought I was going to have to resort to the ol’ ‘it’s a day ending with “y”‘ but we’ve never done Texas Independence Day — so I can hardly wait to tell him 🙂 🙂 🙂

    You also brought up a very good point — being willing to ask questions about the business of publishing, listen to the answers and not bury your head in the sand. Publishing is a business, it’s not a hobby or a not-for-profit exercise in frustration [though some days it might feel like that :-)] But there’s tons and tons of writers who have made every mistake in the book and learned from them who are more than willing to share so that you might 1) learn from their experience or 2) can figure out a different mistake to make 🙂 Good news is the definition of an expert is the person who’s made every mistake at least once. Trust me I’m well on my way to expert status in soooo many fields 🙂

    Looking forward to seeing you in Houston next month to plot your next book. Can’t wait!

    ~~~ Mary B 🙂

  72. Hello Nancy ~~

    How delightful to have you pop in today! What’s new out at the Bellyache Swamp 🙂 I so love the fact you live next to it that someday it’s going into a story! Kudos on attending your first Sleuthfest. That’s on my to-do conference list. Left Coast Crime is about to be held too in Denver next week. So many great conferences — what I love them most for is to focus us as writers on our fiction and to get us revved up to get back to the page.

    Take care and thanks again for posting ~~ here’s hoping our paths can cross again soon!
    ~~ Mary B 🙂

  73. Kendra ~~

    How fun to see you here ~~ it’s such a small world! I hope you’re finding a few pearls of wisdom [Dianna does pearls — I usually do rhinestones :-)]. Hope your writing is going well and that you’re moving toward your dreams everyday.

    Take care and thanks for popping in ~~ Mary B 🙂

  74. Hi Nancy –

    I’ve never been to Sluethfest, but have wanted to – maybe in 2009. That’s great to pick up some new nuggets and be surprised. Really makes a trip to conference worthwhile.

    Love seeing Mary’s Gold Star students here. Isn’t Mary a synopsis whiz? I could be too…if they considered 50 pages a standard synopsis. 😉

    Congrats on finding more ways to push yourself closer to publication.

    thanks for stopping by
    Dianna…who is wondering about Bellyache Swamp

  75. Hi Judythe –

    Thanks for the kind words. WE can’t wait for the Plotting Retreat in Houston either. I’m so glad you came out today to visit.

    Looking forward to hearing aobut your story!
    thanks for stopping by and for joining us in Houston.

  76. thanks for letting me know about this contest, i will post a link 😀

  77. Rachel ~~

    So nice of you to stop by today and to share the blog with others from your blog site. Gold stars to you!

    All the best ~~ Mary B 🙂

  78. Mary & Dianna –

    Thanks for the inspiring post. It’s good to be reminded that we’re not powerless, that the decisions we make every day affect our futures.

    One of the best pieces of advice I was given when I began to learn my craft was to separate the goals I could control from the ones I couldn’t and to reward myself for accomplishments that were within my control. (Example: I can’t control whether or not a given editor will buy my manuscript, but I can control whether or not I FINISH said manuscript.)

    I reward myself for writing “The End”, for sending out query letters, and even for receiving rejections. (After all, I can’t be rejected if I’m not courageous enough to send my work out the door.)

    Celebrate the work you complete. If you do enough of it, you’ll get there.

  79. Hi Rachel –

    I don’t have any Gold Stars to give out (note to self, raid Mary’s Gold Star storage…), but it’s great to see you and to link over.

    Thanks for stopping by,
    Dianna…who has a few M&M peanuts laying around here somewhere she could share

  80. Debbie’s post makes me think of some of my favorite advice I stumbled across in the past year. It’s from the book, The Comic Toolbox by John Vorhaus: “Applaud every small victory, because every time you do, you create an environment in which a larger victory can grow.”

    It seemed appropriate to share in the context of today’s discussion . . . 🙂

  81. Hi Debbie –

    I love what you’ve shared about focusing on the goals you can control. I just finished an article on that and tell writers all the time not to focus on anything out of their control. Life is so much easier and more productive if you put your energy toward the things you can do like figuring out what works for you – writing daily, weekly, weekends, whatever.

    You’re definitely on the right track and in the right mindset to reach your goal. And I really believe in rewarding yourself every time you reach a goal – finished a manuscript, wrote a synopsis (that is a big deal), sent a query, received a rejection and took note of any feedback, moved on to the next book.

    Kudos to you and the others here who have sent your baby out in the world and keep moving forward no matter what you hear. We write stories about everyday men and women who face what seems like unsurmountable odds, but they still persevere to reach their goal. Your path to publication is “your story” to be shared with others who come behind you.

    Thanks for sharing yours here,

  82. Jessica –

    What a wonderful quote and piece of advice to share! I’m saving that one. 🙂


  83. Thanks for the affirmation, Dianna.

    Jessica, that’s a fabulous quote. Might have to print that out and plaster it on my design wall!

    Onward and upward!


  84. Great post, ladies! And very inspirational. Thanks.

  85. Debbie ~~ I do love a woman who knows how to reward herself 🙂 and I reward myself all the time when I’m at Dianna’s house [thus the reason there are not as many M&Ms as usual]. I used to dread rejections cuz let’s face it – they do suck [word my kids taught me that is so versatile]. Then came the day when my hubby agreed that we got to go out for a very nice dinner [read=not McDonalds or Chucky Cheese] every time I received a rejection. It was a win-win! I got lots of queries out and lots of one-on-one time with my sweetie. The reward system was so succesful that the day I did get The CALL my first reponse was – “oh, darn, I had a great restaurant all picked out”. I won’t tell you how long it took me to figure out I could have dates out when I got good news too 🙂

    Thanks for dropping in today and keep on controlling what you can control as you move forward ~~ Mary B 🙂

  86. Jessica ~~

    Oh, super nice quote and thanks for letting Dianna and I have so much fun here today!

    Hugs ~~ Mary B 🙂

  87. *LOL* Great story, Mary! Thanks for sharing.


  88. Hi Lexi –

    Thanks for stopping by and the support. 🙂


  89. I’m signing off for the night. I start pretty early in the mornings to get my writing done before this part of the world wakes up.

    It’s been great fun here today. Thanks so much to Jessica for inviting us and for handling the blog posting. Mary will be around for a while longer since she’s up in the PNW and more the night owl. 🙂

    You’ve been a wonderful bunch. I’d hand out Gold Stars – but you-know-who has them all 🙂 – so cyber hugs from me all around. Keep writing and marching forward to reach your goal.

    We’ll all be there to cheer you on when you reach it.

    thanks, Dianna

  90. Hi Lexi ~~

    Oh, another really cool name to add to my list of what I can be named next life. We’re tickled that you’re finding inspiration ~~ sometimes all it takes is knowing you’re not the only one slogging 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by today and we’ll drop your name into the basket to pull out two lucky winners.

    ~~ Mary B 🙂

  91. My comment is coming in a little late since my part of the world was asleep when most of this was happening!
    I have to say that I agree with many others that success in writing takes a great deal of practice. Why should we assume we’ll be “naturals” when pro athletes, musicians, etc. must practice intensively? In addition, I think you have to get out there and share your work with people. If you’re too scared to show anyone, improving is a real challenge. For me, making online connections with others has been vital because I don’t have the luxury of a local writer’s group.

    Thanks for the blog, ladies.

  92. Hello All ~~

    I want to thank so many for stopping by today and sharing what it means to break into fiction today. Dianna and I hope that it might help to know that in spite of the struggles, and the challenges and the uphill slogging that you all perservere to meet your publishing dreams time and time again.

    Our best wishes are with you all and thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!

    All the best ~~ Mary B 🙂

  93. Great Post! To me the hardest part is getting past the slush pile. That said, I also believe that you keep going. If you write a great book, it will be read. And the biggest thing is to start the next one as soon as you have finished polishing the baby and sent it out. Don’t sit back and just wait.

  94. Hi Mary and Dianna,

    Thank you for the message. I’m lucky enough to have a really supportive husband, a great published friend that critiques, helps me plot and gives me a nudge when I need it, and determination. I will do this.

    I get the “cold pricklies” from others sometimes, too — “Why aren’t you published yet?”, “Why don’t you try something else?”. They don’t understand that writing is breathing for me. There is no quitting, and there is nothing else that makes me this happy, at least in this life.

    Again, it was great to read your comments, and I look forward to seeing you soon, Mary!

  95. I still think that luck has a small part to play in getting published. To have the right timing and have everything fall together at the right moment – the editor reading your query package isn’t PMSing, if your query is passed on the new editor LOVES it, you meet the editor/agent of your dreams at a conference and she loves your stuff even if she wasn’t keen on getting your submission. You can write the most fantastic book in the world, but if it doesn’t get into the right hands, it’ll go nowhere but the slush pile. It makes me think of the last Winter Olympics when Cindy Klassen of Canada won the most medals ever; two bronze, a silver, and two gold. She said in interviews later that “everything came together” for her; “the ice surface, my mental state, the ability (or lack of ability) of the other athletes.” It all merged into the perfect environment for her to make that world record.

    I’ve also noticed in forming friendships with published authors, that they tend to be more educated than alot of unpublished authors I’ve met at conferences and chapter meetings. Whether this means they have a better grasp of grammar, vocabulary, how to put things together, I’m not sure. But it’s a definite trend I’ve seen in those who reach the bestseller lists.

    And having a supportive husband who does concrete things to give you time and space to write helps too! I know of one pub whose husband takes their daughter to the cottage for the entire month of July so she can draft her next novel. That’s commitment to your wife’s career! 🙂 And having a stress-controlled life helps too. Not stress-free, but not overwhelming either.

    Thanks for the encouraging blog! I’m looking forward to what the rest of the week brings. 🙂

  96. I’m such an impatient person. I think that’s my greatest obstacle to writing success.

    As soon as I get a great idea I want the book written, and as soon as I get the first draft written I want to send it out. But it’s never ready when I think it is!

    Slowly, slowly, I’m learning patience. But it’s taking a hell of a long time.


  97. Gwen ~~Don’t you love the internet where someone is awake somewhere in the world 🙂 You’re spot on in understanding that what the “pros” make look easy is in reality a result of lots and lots of work until it becomes second nature and then there’s still tweaking being done for the best ones.

    Thanks for popping in ~~ Mary B 🙂

  98. Hello Vicki ~~

    Thanks for stopping by! You earn your gold stars by knowing that you don’t submit and wait — you submit and keep writing. There was a mystery writer – Lawrence Block – who tells the story about a writer who asked him to read his first work. Lawrence said fine, as long as you start on the second. Writer got back to Lawrence and said what do you think? Lawrence, who didn’t read the first book past the first pages, said, almost there let me see the second, so the writer gives it to him. Same thing happens when the writer came back and asked, how’d you like it? Lawrence says — almost, let me see your third book. Now the third book Lawrence read and then passed along to his agent because the writer had grown and improved as a writer and that book was purchased.

    Thanks for stopping by and I hope you find a few pearls of wisdom!

    All the best ~~ Mary B 🙂

  99. Laurie ~~

    How delightful to see you here. I agree 100% that luck does make a difference but I also believe we can create our own luck by being prepared and willing to take risks and willing to keep moving forward. Support is invaluable too — and many times support is not through your CPs [though many times it is] but having a group of friends who push you to grow, to think bigger and to challenge your own beliefs on what you can and can’t do ~~ can make a world of difference and goes a long way toward creating that luck 🙂

    Thanks for dropping by and posting ~~ Mary B 🙂

  100. Thanks, Mary, Diana, and All for the terrific tips on keeping up a positive spin. I’m coming into this late, but really enjoyed the posts.

    Me, I’m counting on perseverence and education to launch me into the land of publication.
    The thing is…you KNOW/FEEL when you’re getting close and if you just stick with it then it will happen. I’ve learned so much this last year it makes me giddy to think of it. So exciting.

    Looks like I’ll be adding your ‘help’ book to my collection soon.

  101. […] their post HERE to get some great information and enter for the contest being drawn on […]

  102. […] as our guests this month, the timing of today’s blog post is a little uncanny. As Dianna mentioned in their post, “If one of us finds something interesting we share it and the other will dig a little deeper for […]

  103. Hello-
    What a wonderful blog. I couldn’t help but feel like I was standing at the edge of a bottomless chasm when it came to publishing and finding an agent. Then I remembered that I felt a similar emotion when I typed the first words of my novel, but eventually I wrote the final two words, “The End”. So I know the task may seem daunting, but through my own perseverance, I will reach my goal. Thank you for putting words to how I feel, and I wish all of you continued success.

  104. Stephen,
    Thank you for joining us and for posting a comment. I am happy to hear that you found help and support in our blog, and I hope you will visit us again! Wishing you continued success as well …

  105. […] career, creativity, writer’s block, writing | This month we had two wonderful Honorary Heartlettes guest blog for us. Mary Buckham and Diana Snell inspired us […]

  106. […] such people, Dianna Love and Mary Buckham, spent a day with us back in March with a post on BREAK INTO FICTION – WHAT IT TAKES TO GET PUBLISHED TODAY. In it, Mary shared the following: The great news for writers everywhere is they have the choices […]

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