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Last week, while vacationing with my family in Delaware, I received an e-mail response from a publisher. I took a deep breath, prepared myself for a rejection. The e-mail said:

"Thank you for your submission of A Bend in the Willow, and thank you for your patience while our team evaluated the project. I've heard back from my team now and will share some of their comments with you...

The story hooked the readers from page one and had them reading well into the night. The story was intriguing, well-written, and the plot and characters well-developed.

On the back of this, the team is recommending the book for contract." I had to read it three times before I believed it. 

They sent me a 12-page contract. My son, a lawyer, reviewed it for me. And today,  with hands that shook a little, I signed and mailed it back. The novel I've worked on for more than a decade is going to be published. Did you hear that folks? MY NOVEL IS GOING TO BE PUBLISHED.  Am I happy? If I had a cake I'd push my face into it just like my little grandson did on his second birthday. 

You may read a sample (the prologue) by going to the Book page of this website. 

I can't remember a time when I didn't know I was born to be a writer. I suppose that makes me one of the lucky ones. I do know why I'm here. But as all you other writers out there know, it isn't always an easy life. In fact, it is rarely easy We writers receive so many rejections. We agonize over query letters and sample chapters, then send them out to agents and editors who often don't respond at all.  One time I received a letter from a small press I'd queried. It said, "I only publish my own work and I'd rather have a root canal than publish yours." If it weren't so funny (and almost always wins the worst response from an agent or editor award) I might have cried.

 Tenacity is the most important quality for a writer. It is a gift I received from my father. Believe in yourself and the power of your words. Never give up. Keep sending out your work. And one day, you'll get an e-mail or a letter in the mail that makes you want to throw up your arms, leap into the air, and smash your face into a cake.   


Charles Dallmann
07/13/2016 5:00pm

Congratulations to you on your talent and perseverance! You deserve to celebrate because you earned it. You are an inspiration to us all. Keep up the enthusiasm and good work.

08/26/2016 9:42pm

Congratulations on your success! It is very rewarding when someone likes and appreciates your work. I can't help but wonder what your book is all about. Because I love to read books too. Some people are born to be something and we all think that you are truly born to be a writer. I wish for you success in the future too!

12/05/2016 1:07am

Congratulations to a new chapter in your life! I also love writing and I admire you for not giving up in reaching your dreams. Writing gives me a sense of comfort. It becomes my companion whenever I cannot say what’s on my mind so I express my feelings through pen and a paper. It becomes my best friend, my confidant. I was never the outspoken type of person. I am contented with my dearest journal in the four corners of my room. I write a lot but I’m the only reader and the space above me.

Linda Wilkinson
07/13/2016 5:04pm

I cannot tell you how proud and happy I am for you! Watching you work so hard for this moment is so awesome! You inspired us all to reach to the skies and never give up on our dreams! I will be standing in line on day one for my copy !!! Love you!

07/13/2016 6:11pm

I am so pleased to hear this, you inspire all of us to chase our dreams and to not give up. You also teach us to always love others without judgement and to make the world a better place! So very proud of you!! Love you!!

susan domingos
07/13/2016 6:25pm

That made me sooooooooooooooooooo happy. Congatulations! We'll have to celebrate with a cake.
Susan D.

Carol Lintner
07/13/2016 6:40pm

Congratulations my dear friend! Your perseverance has paid off and is so deserved! I'm so proud of you. Enjoy your cake! Put me down for a copy! I'm looking forward to reading it and adding it to my Susan Clayton Goldner collection!

07/13/2016 7:33pm

Oh my goddess! You did it!!! I am so happy for you and I, too, want to hold your creation in my hands.

07/13/2016 8:12pm

So happy for you! Congratulations!

07/13/2016 8:43pm

This is wonderful news!!! Congratulations!!!

Marjorie Waterbrook
07/13/2016 8:46pm

Congratulations, Susan!

Lisa Baldwin
07/13/2016 9:00pm

Congratulations, Susan. This is terrific news and very exciting. I am so happy for you AND so encouraged for myself. I'm curious to know about the process, so please share as this publishing adventure unfolds.

Martha Miller
07/13/2016 9:48pm

Congratulations, dear Susan -- but we're not surprised that your talents have once again been recognized. You have only one way to go: UP!

Sherry Anderson
07/14/2016 5:46am

Susan, that is the BEST sort of news! Congratulations!!!!!

Anne Stabile
07/14/2016 9:04am

Congratulations! Never more well deserved! I'm so happy for you. I remember reading your first chapter on this website and thinking, well, if that book can't get published, nothing should. I can't wait to read the entire thing. You are such a fantastic writer and have been so generous in helping me with my writing. Hooray!

Andy Goldner
07/14/2016 3:09pm

Its been a long road but I never questioned your ability to get published. Congratulations from a life long supporter.
Your loving Husband

Bob Olds
07/14/2016 9:51pm

Could not possibly be happier for you. I'm really enjoying your much-deserved luck vicariously. I believe you, that tenacity will pay off . . . now I just have to come up with tenacity to match yours.

07/17/2016 4:52pm

I knew it would happen. It was just a question of when. You've taught a great lesson: Don't ever give up on your dream. Congratulations!

Barry Wilson
07/18/2016 7:09am

Fantastic news, my friend. In terms of tracking “rejection trivia for writers,” 12 was how many times Harry Potter was rejected before finally being accepted by Bloomsbury on account of an editor’s 8-year old daughter wanting to know how the story ended and 12 was the quantity of Emily Dickinson’s poems that were published during her lifetime out of the 1,800 that she sent to publishers. It is great to see the literary equivalent to “you had me at hello” win the day here. This world is better for us all with you writing in it. Your blog made me happy and smile ear-to-ear and that’s my favorite Mark Twain quote as well. I read the prologue shed a tear. You’ve created a compelling read here. Wished I’d have sent cake.

07/19/2016 11:11am

Susan!! This is such incredible news! I'd push my whole face into a cake, too, if I could!!!! Congratulations on loving your writing so much that you've stayed with it all the way across this finish line.

martha R
08/02/2016 4:35pm

Oh, how very lovely! I read an earlier version of A Bend in the Willow and have always mourned the fact it was languishing on a shelf somewhere. The stars are aligned and the book will reach an audience. Hooray! I can't wait to be at the publication party.

04/12/2017 6:56am

It is so exciting news when you know that you are gonna be publishing. This is like heaven!


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