‘Can Rebecca find hope in the wilds of the Arizona desert?‘
– Wild Horses on the Salt
Today I am delighted to welcome author Anne Montgomery with a guest post entitled ‘Being an author is not for the faint of heart‘. Anne’s novel Wild Horses on the Salt was published June 14, 2020 by Liaison (Next Chapter imprint). The novel tells the story of a young woman who flees an abusive relationship and finds hope in the wilds of the Arizona desert.
“Authors need to be inquisitive, persistent, dedicated, self-reliant, and open minded.“
[ About the Book ]
Rebecca Quinn escapes her controlling husband and, with nowhere else to go, hops the red-eye to Arizona. There, Gaby Strand – her aunt’s college roommate – gives her shelter at the Salt River Inn, a 1930’s guesthouse located in the wildly beautiful Tonto National Forest.
Becca struggles with post-traumatic stress, but is enthralled by the splendor and fragility of the Sonoran Desert. The once aspiring artist meets Noah Tanner, a cattle rancher and beekeeper, Oscar Billingsley, a retired psychiatrist and avid birder, and a blacksmith named Walt.
Thanks to her new friends and a small band of wild horses, Becca adjusts to life in the desert and rekindles her love of art. Then, Becca’s husband tracks her down, forcing her to summon all her strength.
But can she finally stop running away?
Being an author is not for the faint of heart
by Anne Montgomery
Lots of people dream of seeing their names on a book cover. As I wrote my first book in 1992—one that will never see the light of day—and have written seven to date, I think I can safely share some words of wisdom with those who aspire to be authors.
Let’s say you’ve written a brilliant first novel. All your relatives and friends have gushed about your fabulous book and you’re already imagining those big royalty checks and that Netflix series. Please…slow down. Understand that those who love you will also love your book, not because your protagonist is endearing and your plot flows flawlessly. No, it’s because these people adore you and would never dream of hurting your feelings. But don’t be fooled. Find ways to show your manuscript to people who will be honest about your writing, who will scrutinize your plot for holes, point out that your characters have little depth, and your dialogue is stilted. Then love them for it, because they’re making you a better writer.
Once you have your manuscript tidied up, don’t be shy. When I hear people say, “I’m afraid to send my book out because it might be rejected,” my response is, pick a different field. If you’re the least bit thin skinned, the publishing world is not for you. My books have been rejected by agents, publishers, and reviewers thousands of times. Do I enjoy said snubbing? Of course not, but it doesn’t stop me from trying again.
I know you’re desperately in love with your first book. That’s normal. But even well-written books go unpublished for any number of reasons. So, after sending out all those queries and getting no nibbles, slide the manuscript into a drawer for safe keeping and write another one. Read the comments in your rejection letters and glean what you can. We become better writers the more we practice. The good news is that when you’ve published a book, the one in the drawer might be resurrected and rewritten. And remember that publishers aren’t looking for one-hit wonders. They want authors who produce books regularly, so if you only have one book in you, self-publish the story and give it to friends and family.
Those lucky enough to sign with a publisher need to understand that writing a book is not the hard part. When the editing is done and the cover art perfected, the real work begins. This isn’t olden times when authors traveled on the publisher’s dime to be feted by adoring crowds and housed in five-star hotels, while their publicists did the heavy lifting. Sure, the top twenty authors from the big publishers might enjoy those luxuries, but not the rest of us. You’ll be responsible for monitoring your own social media and writing regular blogs on your website which you must create and maintain. Your job is to build a fan base and make yourself accessible to the public. Remember that prospective publishers can and do check your social-media footprint, and if they find you lacking in that department, your manuscript will often be rejected.
Authors need to be inquisitive, persistent, dedicated, self-reliant, and open minded. A sense of humor is also a plus. They should travel and learn about other people and cultures. They should take pride in those steps forward, no matter how small. They must stand up in the face of rejection, make adjustments, and try again. And they should not quit their day jobs. Few of us will make a comfortable living writing, so unless you are financially well off, plan accordingly.
Purchase Link ~ Wild Horses on the Salt
[ Bio ]
Anne Butler Montgomery has worked as a television sportscaster, newspaper and magazine writer, teacher, and amateur sports official. Her first TV job came at WRBL‐TV in Columbus, Georgia, and led to positions at WROC‐TV in Rochester, New York, KTSP‐TV in Phoenix, Arizona, and ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, where she anchored the Emmy and ACE award‐winning SportsCenter. She finished her on‐camera broadcasting career with a two‐year stint as the studio host for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Montgomery was a freelance and/or staff reporter for six publications, writing sports, features, movie reviews, and archaeological pieces.
Her novels include The Scent of Rain, A Light in the Desert, and Wild Horses on the Salt. Montgomery taught high school journalism for 20 years and was an amateur sports official for four decades, a time during which she called baseball, ice hockey, soccer, and basketball games and served as a high school football referee and crew chief. Montgomery is a foster mom to three sons. When she can, she indulges in her passions: rock collecting, scuba diving, musical theater, and playing her guitar.
Website ~ https://annemontgomerywriter.com/
Twitter ~ @amontgomery8