Purple Prose + Novel

How I Got Published by Liz Botts

Today, we have the first of a series on how some of your favorite authors got book contracts. Our first wonderful lady is Liz Botts, author of IN THE SPOTLIGHT, CURTAIN CALL, BELIEVE, and THE HIDDEN DOOR.

Image of Liz Botts

As a child I played with Barbies to an absurd degree. My friends and I spent hours creating elaborate stories with these dolls. I attribute this to my love of storytelling. We had a game called “Grandma Insane,” which revolved around a family whose matriarch was a crazy woman with a propensity for disappearing. In eighth grade I wrote down the story of Grandma Insane as a musical during our free writing period. It was truly horrific.

However, my teacher was impressed with the effort, so started my writing journey. In high school I spent much of math class scribbling in my journal, inventing characters, and writing snippets of stories. (Maybe that’s why my math grades were never that good.) A stint on the school newspaper proved that journalistic writing was not for me, and I enrolled in a creative writing class. Here I had the best writing teacher ever. After taking that class, my writing improved significantly.

During college my writing consisted entirely of papers for classes. Characters still filled my head, especially during summer breaks, but I did nothing with them.

After college I got married and started working with high school students. I had always been a reader, but for the first time I started reading young adult books. I started writing again. Little things. Nothing major.

Then I discovered NaNoWriMo. Writing a novel in a month? Cool. My first attempt was ugly. A few years later I made another attempt. A decent one. A year later I made another attempt. In the meantime my husband and I had two boys. I kept insisting that I wanted to be a real published writer. And doing nothing about this dream.

When I got pregnant with our third child I decided that before the baby came I was going to at least submit a story to a publisher or agent. I chose one of my old NaNoWriMo stories, edited it, and submitted it. I got rejected several times, but I listened to what the rejection letters said and made changes to the manuscript. Finally, I resubmitted it, and within 24 hours I had a contract. Persistence is key to getting published, but also a humble heart and the willingness to check your ego at the door.
LIZ'S AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://www.amazon.com/Liz-Botts/e/B005860EHU/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1361361501&sr=1-2-ent

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Thanks for being here and taking the time to tell us how you got published, Liz :) Look for other author stories daily from now until Feb. 28th!

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How I Got Published by Liz Botts + Novel