My first novel, DAWNFLIGHT: The Legend of Guinevere, began taking shape in the fall of 1989. I finished the first draft in about three months and then began the laborious process of polishing, submitting, waiting, receiving a rejection, polishing, submitting, waiting … I looped on those steps more than 20 times before a literary agent agreed to sign me as a client on September 16, 1996. With its October, 1999 release, Dawnflight took almost exactly a decade to see the inside of a bookstore.
If there is one single word of advice I can give to aspiring writers, it's patience! A second, and in some ways no less important word: perseverance. And finally, while you're patiently persevering, don't lose faith in yourself or in the quality of your work!
My second novel to be published, LIBERTY
(written under the pseudonym Kimberly Iverson) might have been written
faster had I not suffered a neck fracture in a car accident in April
2003, about 3 months after I started writing the first draft. In fact I
made a point to write Chapter 4 while in the hospital recovering
from a post-op infection. In my draft I labeled the chapters using
Roman numerals, which of course would be "IV" for Chapter 4 … but I
digress. On the day of the accident, shortly after I was pulled to
safety from the smoldering wreckage, my first words were, "Cool! This
means I have more books to publish!" And behold, 7 months later, HQN
Books, an imprint of Harlequin, acquired Liberty for eventual publication in October 2006.
Now that I have decided to go the independent publishing route -- Dawnflight has been re-released, and I am in the process of setting up retail channels for its sequel, Morning's Journey -- I am hopeful that the writing/publication process will go a lot faster. We shall see. Life does try its best to intervene.