Please Give a warm welcome to Jessica Penot, author of Twilight Saint.
How I Sold My First Novel
The Twilight Saint is not my first novel. It is my third novel and with every novel I’ve written it has gotten a little easier to sell them. It is the first novel that is the hardest to sell. In fact, selling your first novel can seem like an insurmountable obstacle at times. I spent a year trying to sell my first novel, Circe, on my own. I would submit it to publishers and I would get lovely rejection letters that said things like, “find an agent” or “we don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts.” These statements seemed like a massive conundrum to me since finding an agent was just as difficult as finding a publisher and without an agent, how can you get anyone to solicit your manuscript?
So I went on a mission. I decided I had to leave my tiny, book nerd corner and go out into the world and learn about the business of publishing. I started by going to several conferences. I sat in large rooms and listened to editors and agents talk about the state of publishing. I submitted my work for review by agents and editors. At my first conference, I thought I must be lucky. I found an agent who wanted to represent me. I didn’t wait ten seconds before signing a contract with her. I was thrilled. Of course, I was stupid. This was the first thing you should never do. I didn’t take any time to research the agent. She sat on my work for two years and only submitted it to two editors. I wasted two years and to make matters even worse an agent from a reputable publishing house wrote me a few months after I signed the contract and indicated she wanted to represent me. I was also contacted by an editor I met at a conference who wanted my work and my agent never submitted it to her. I knew that I was an idiot by this time.
I didn’t give up, however. I left my agent behind and went to more conferences and met other writers who had been successful. I took their advice and listened and was patient. This was the hardest thing for me. I’m not a patient person and when I have an offer on the table I like to leap before I look,but I held my breath and waited. Finally, I found an agent that I could work with. She found a small publishing house for my first novel. I was thrilled. Since that time, I have published four other books with various publishing houses and have found moderate success in my writing. I made a lot of mistakes along the way, but I learned that with patience, all things are possible.
Blurb:It has been thousands of years since the fall of the great nations and the tribes that remain in the ashes of the fallen must fight to survive in the shadows. In this desperate landscape, Ailive has spent her entire life fighting for the honor of her tribe and she has grown weary of war. When Ailive sees a chance to escape her fate, she flees into a chaotic landscape where death and darkness lurk behind every friendly face until she finds refuge in the peaceful city at the center of her world. In this city, Ailive finds everything she’s ever dreamt of, but news of a strange prophet from the South brings whispers of war to Ailive’s peaceful home. Now Ailive alone can stop the genocide of an entire tribe of people. Ailive alone holds the key to bringing peace to the world and destroying the monstrous man whom she once loved, if she can only gain the courage to pick up her sword again and make herself fulfill the destiny she’s fought her entire life.
I walk the way of the storm. It is all I have ever known. In the haze of early childhood memories, there exists brief moments before the storm, but now it has consumed everything. Every piece of me has been lost and all I can remember is fire and smoke and the remains of old dreams singed by death. Even as I sat high above the city, looking down on the magnificent beauty of my tribe, the smell of death lingered. Our tribe’s city was alive, vibrant, and prosperous, but to me it was nothing.
I sat perched on top of the highest tower of the karash, looking down on what most people in our tribe would call the real world. I was a Xenderian. I was part of the most powerful tribe of its time. I was more than part of it; I was the sword that cut the path to its glory. I was a karake. I was born to fight for the glory of my people, but as I looked through the icy air, I felt dead inside. My scars were long and my nightmares haunted my every moment.
I am a therapist and writer who lives in Alabama with my three corgis, children, husband, and other strange creatures. My short stories have been published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies including CSM, Summer Gothic, Bound By Blood, and Outer Darkness. I have ghost story columns in theValley Planet and White Cat Magazine where I share my love for ghost stories that send shivers down your spine and keep you up at night. I also share my passion for all things ghostly and haunted at my blog, ghost stories and haunted places.
I am currently working on my next Haunted America Book for History Press,Haunted South Alabama. Follow me at my blog to learn about the ghost stories I am chasing and collecting for this fascinating addition to Haunted America. I'm also workng on the next book in my Circe series. The demon is awake and waiting for my new heroine in the swamps of Southern Alabama. Click Here to Follow My Blog! You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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