Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Saturday, June 02, 2007

How Did That Get Published?

by Heather B. Moore

Sariah Wilson asked me to fill in for her today while she's recovering from the birth of her daughter. Some of you may know me from or my editing blog:

But I know Sariah because I was jealous of her latest book. More jealous than the typical author would be of another author. She writes Book of Mormon fiction, just like me. But hers are more romance, and mine are more, well, just a little of everything. And we have the same publisher. After reading Secrets of Zarahemla, I emailed my editor and, in not so many words, asked if my career as an author would still continue. They assured me it would. So here I am. Still an author.

My question today is: Have you ever read a book and thought 1) How did that get published? Or 2) I can do that, why am I not published? I've asked those questions many times of many books, and finally I decided to try writing a novel. But as I've written a few books that haven't been published and a few others that have, I find myself in awe of other writers. First of all, it's hard work. And the editing is not anything I'd wish on my 2nd worst enemy. I'm even more impressed when I pick up a book and get so involved in the story that I forget to pay attention to annoying adverbs. Then I think: Wow! I wish I could write like that.

Recently I read "Sam's Letters to Jennifer" by James Patterson. It's a sweet story and I'm sure it's a NY Times Bestseller, but hey! It's so simple, so . . . just plain normal, funny, and somewhat predictable. Kind of like an extra long short story someone might write in high school. But it works. And I was amazed that such a straight-forward romance, with no graphic language or sex, could be published in today's dog-eat-dog world. I've read one of Patterson's detective novels, and it definitely had sharp dog-teeth.

If you do read "Sam's Letters to Jennifer" just know that Sam is the grandma (Samantha). I had to go back and reread to understand that. And there is more than one Danny in the book. The most inspiring part of SLtoJ was that the descriptions were at a minimum. A writer after my own heart. Maybe there's hope for me after all.

So today, I'm celebrating the books that inspire writers like me to fill the query slush piles. Tell me, what are the books that have inspired you in one way or another?


At 6/02/2007 10:35 PM, Anonymous Proud Daughter of Eve said...

Books that have inspired me to write: Patricia Kenneally-Morrison's "Kelts in Space" version of King Arthur as well as her "Tales of Aeron." Unfortunately I re-read the Tales of Aeron recently and her "pro-Kelts, nasty-Christians slant," which somehow sailed over my head ten years ago, made me want to chuck the books at her head. Still, the breadth of alternate history and the intricate culture she created really fired my imagination.

"Elfquest," by Wendy and Richard Pini. It's a comic book, so at least half of the story is in a medium in which I have no skill but the vibrant characters and the issues addressed have inspired me to fanfic for nearly fifteen years -- something which the "Keltaid" books never did.

Then there's this other book. I don't remember the title. I picked it up one day in the university bookstore and put it down again shortly thereafter, firmly convinced that if they would publish that then they would certainly publish me! It was horrible. The main character was a super-gorgeous, super-smart, super-rich, super-telepathically gifted, child of super-famous politicians. To make matters worse, she wasn't even likable. She was, basically, a Mary Sue. I still twitch when I recall that story.

At 6/03/2007 12:22 AM, Blogger Josi said...

I love Elfquest! Twenty years ago my parents gave each of us kids one volume--it might be the main reason we still talk to one another, so share books. I recently started scouring Amazon for my own set--but shhhhh, don't tell my siblings. I don't want them to think I don't need them anymore.

"These is my Words" by Nancy somebody opened my mind to so many possibilities, The DeVinci Code also helped me see pacing and chapter breaks in a whole new way. Both books made me want to write in a different way. However, my most impiring books are the ones like you daughter of Even mentioned--bad ones. Ones that make me grit my teeth and run as fast as I can to my computer because I KNOW I can do better than that.

At 6/03/2007 12:42 AM, Blogger Karen Hoover said...

There were two books I read when I was 13 that were written by a 12 year old. I don't remember the titles or author, but I remember feeling that the world had opened before me. It was the first time I realized I could be published too. That's when the dream began. I may not have accomplished it yet, but I know I can. If a twelve or sixteen year-old can do it, then so can I!

At 6/03/2007 10:11 AM, Blogger Josi said...

For anyone who doesn't know who Karen Hoover is, look for her name on Amazon in a couple years. She won the LDStorymakers writing contest that ran in conjunction with the LDStorymakers conference in March, got acclaim from Brandon Sanderson himself and is well on her way. Soon enough thirteen year olds will be reading her books and finding the world to open before them like it never has before. Go Karen!

At 6/03/2007 6:31 PM, Blogger Tristi Pinkston said...

I agree -- Karen rocks!!

Also, congrats to Sariah on the birth of her baby! We expect a big long blog complete with baby pictures when you get back, Sariah!

At 6/04/2007 12:25 AM, Blogger Karen Hoover said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 6/04/2007 1:06 AM, Blogger Karen Hoover said...

I am absolutely speechless. You guys just totally made my day!

At 6/04/2007 12:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Josi, I just finished reading "These is My Words" for our bookclub. Great book. The author is Nancy E. Turner. Stephanie H.

At 6/04/2007 4:38 PM, Blogger Heather B. Moore said...

I'll have to check out all of those books. I've heard of "These is My Words" and "Elfquest." Thanks for the suggestions. And I agree with everyone about Karen. Best of luck with your publishing journey.

At 6/04/2007 5:09 PM, Blogger Karen Hoover said...

Thanks, you guys. You're the best!

At 6/06/2007 10:03 AM, Blogger Julie Wright said...

Just because I'm behind but not wanting to be left behind I have to add my own KAREN ROCKS!

At 6/06/2007 11:49 AM, Blogger Karen Hoover said...

LOL Stop, already. You're making me blush! I must be the luckiest gal around to have such strong supporters. You guys are the ones that ROCK!


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