Refer to my last post to get information on the tour, read my review, or sign up to participate yourself (for some very cool prizes). In honor of SURRENDER, by Elana Johnson, being released last week, and because I read and loved the book, I wanted to participate in her blog tour. Which involves me blogging about a time I didn't surrender.
Now, I wouldn't describe myself as a fighter. In fact, in the "fight or flight" response method of coping with threatening situations, I am hands down "flight". Seriously, you would not want to be standing anywhere near me if a man walked into the room with a gun because I'd be jumping out the window before my brain had a second to even register what floor we were on. And I wouldn't even think about you until I landed and was all the way behind the first solid object I encountered. I'm a huge wimp.
So this is one of the reasons it took me so long to throw myself into publishing. I did not want to face rejection. More so, I did not want to fight with rejection. I just wanted to avoid it. In high school I wrote a short story my teacher loved and she said, "Kasie, we should submit this to (such and such) magazine." I thought that sounded cool and had no idea how the whole publishing process worked back then so in my doe-eyed innocence, I said, "Yes. Let's do it!" A few weeks later I received my very first rejection letter. I did not like how that felt at all. So, I tucked it in my drawer and thought, 'Well, that wasn't fun. I never want to try that again.' And I didn't. For a long long time.
This fear of facing rejection battled with my desire to share my creative expressions. When I finally wrote a story that I thought was worth something, through lots of pep talks and many deep breaths I forced myself to query it with agents. Cue the theme music for the parade of rejections that followed. (I wonder what that theme music would be anyway? Something to do with rain or sad clowns or crying babies, I'd imagine.) This was my fear coming true. I wanted so badly to crawl back in a hole and forget I tried. To never tell anyone I'd even thought about this silly dream. The problem was I had already told people and they were pushing me forward.
So far this sounds like a very depressing story. With the talk of jumping out of windows and my poor high school self and my sad music full of babies crying. I should fast forward a bit. Problem is, it took a while. I decided to keep trying. That first book died a slow and painful death. And by slow and painful, I mean a hundred edits that sucked the life out of it. So onto my second book that actually got me an agent. That book also died in the submission pools. And my agent and I parted ways.
That leads me to Pivot Point. I was kind of tired by this point. It had been years. I wrote Pivot and really loved it, but I was beginning to question whether or not I knew what was good anymore. I almost quit. I was so close to quitting. And I don't say that lightly. I remember laying in bed one night in tears telling my husband I didn't think I could handle any more rejection. That it hurt too bad. But I had the most supportive family and friends and crit partners ever and they wouldn't let me quit. I surged forward and well, obviously, the rest is history. Pivot Point sold and I am so happy I didn't give up. And not to sound melodramatic or anything but it is the name of the blog tour and the book, so I have to say it: I didn't SURRENDER!! :)