From concept to published novel, the journey is arduous. There’s the idea, research, revising, rewriting, hooking up with critique groups (like IWW or Critique Circle), then revising and rewriting again. And again!
There’s the horrid synopsis and query letters. And rejections. Lots of rejections. Agents. Editors. more rejections. More revising. The entire process can take many years, probably a few tears, and much nail-biting. I hope to grow my nails back one day.
Award-winning authors, Margaret and Terry Moran understand this long, rough road to publication very well. Pull up a chair while Margaret shares their journey. Take it away Margaret!
Margaret Moran: I have to give my husband first credit for our novel, MY ENEMY’S FACE. About fifteen years ago, Terry wrote the book, titled “The Other Side”. He found a publisher in Birmingham that was looking for “1960’s racial tension” stories. We wrapped it up, mailed it off, and then expected the usual rejection letter. One Saturday, the editor of the publishing company called and said that although he had instructed his secretary to return any unsolicited manuscripts, he picked it up and began reading. He wanted to publish it! We were on cloud nine! He was small, and didn’t have an editor, so he told us to fine tune it.
That’s where I came in. I was stronger in English than he was in school, so I took the editing job. New scenes began popping into my head, and even though I thought I was just correcting it, I wrote the scenes down. Terry liked the changes and we found ourselves rewriting quite a bit of the book.
Bad news. The publisher went out of business!
Skip ahead 15 years! With 3 children, 2 jobs, and a household to run we just didn’t try very hard to get our book read. Every once in a while I would look at it on the shelf and just feel like it needed to be published! I knew it was hard to get a publisher to look at books without an agent, so I prayed that someone we knew would have a connection in the publishing business. The next night we were eating dinner with friends when they mentioned their brother-in-law worked for a major publishing company! They made a call and the editor agreed to read it. We were so excited and sent it off right away.
Sounds perfect, right? Well, it came back with a standard rejection letter attached. You might imagine our disappointment! Another year went by when my husband found a friend he worked with in the FBI and found out he had a couple of books published. He told him he would introduce him to his publisher, Total Recall Press. In less than a year, we had “My Enemy’s Face” published as well as “The Miami Files”, a drugs/FBI/Mafia thriller my husband had written.
The moral of this story? Don’t give up, no matter how many rejection letters you get!
The novel, MY ENEMY’S FACE, takes place in Alabama, circa 1965. The local high school is integrated, making the Mayor of the town of Webber furious. His son, the local football hero/heart-throb carries his father’s racial hatred with him and decides to make life miserable for the new arrivals. His main target is Noah Franklin, who happens to be the son of the Mayor’s family maid. When the hatred turns violent, a mysterious Act of God makes the two boys switch places, physically. They find themselves experiencing racism through the other’s eyes. The two become bonded with their impossible secret, and hearts are changed. It is inspirational, strong, and a glimpse into a world that amazingly happened only decades ago.
REVIEW by Laschinski Emerson
My Enemy’s Face provides specific details of the atmosphere of growing up white versus black in a small Alabama town. The mysterious role reversal of the lives of a white boy and a black boy and their ultimate outcomes makes this book a must read. Having grown up in Mississippi during serious racist tensions, I had either experienced or seen first-hand many of the vivid details and situations outlined in the book.
To purchase MIAMI FILES by Terry Moran, click here.
Visit Margaret and Terry Moran on Facebook: Moran Books
Thanks Margaret, for sharing your journey and for introducing us to your novels. Check them out! I’m sure you’ll love them both.
And as Margaret and Terry will surely agree, all goals are worth pursing. In the end, it’s like giving birth. You never regret the sweet bundle in your arms, in spite of the struggles involved in bringing the new creation into the world.