How I got published - An interview with author, Carol S. Boshears
firstwriter.com – Saturday November 29, 2008
Carol Boshears recently acquired a publisher using firstwriter.com's database of over 1,000 publishers. We asked her about her writing, and how she found success.
fw: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us, Carol, and congratulations on securing a publishing deal! Tell us a little bit about the book you sold.
CC: The first one's working title is Glass House and Girdles Anthology. It is a non-fiction collection of stories, first, of my childhood memories of my 1950s neighbourhood and its characters, my experience on my first professional job as a caseworker and the characters I knew, and how I changed the face of the department and several other compelling stories like the one of my friend who at a young age was a POW in WWII and walked the "Death March" from Germany.
The other, which I hope is a separate book was ghost written by me for my cat. Its title is The Chronicles of Blitzen.
fw: Where did you get your inspiration from?
CC: Easy – my experiences and of course, a very naughty loving cat.
fw: Did you find it easy to finish the stories?
CC: I am still working on my last story! All of them took years with a lot of breaks in between. I didn't force it.
fw: Had you done any writing before?
CC: I had written a children's story for Celebrating Greyhounds magazine (free of charge). I wrote my first play in third grade, so I have waited a long time for some success. I also, this past week, had the lead article in Antique Trader and will have another published in the near future.
fw: Did you find that writing credit helped when you were approaching publishers?
CC: I don't think most care at all. In fact, a lot of publishers are looking for "fresh" people who aren't published. The only book I had before was one I helped my husband with: Goner Ceramic Arts – a Comprehensive Guide. Hardly writing!
fw: Did you get a literary agent before approaching publishers?
CC: I had the hardest time trying to even find where one got an agent, so I went directly to the source!
fw: Had you tried any other methods of finding a publisher before you joined firstwriter.com?
CC: I hadn't really given it much of a try before other than looking up different publishing house who usually didn't want anything sent unless you had been published before.
fw: And what feature did you find most useful about firstwriter.com in helping you to find your publisher?
CC: The major one was the descriptions of the publishers provided.
fw: So once you'd selected suitable publishers based on the firstwriter.com descriptions, how did you go about approaching them?
CC: I composed my own query and used no flourishes, just honesty and an attempt at a short description to get their attention. I sometimes sent out several at a time knowing I'd never her from some. I can't wait forever for someone to reply and sit around. I was proactive.
fw: What kind of experience did you have before you got signed?
CC: I got more than several rejections, but persisted. Most were quite polite. I spent about one year approaching publishers, initially. I was accepted by one house that eventually went under right after I signed. I didn't give up.
fw: That must have been a blow... but at least you secured another deal. Who is your latest deal with, and why do you think they signed you?
CC: Small Dogma. They are small and looking for meaningful subjects. Mine seemed to fit the criteria.
fw: How is the editing process going?
CC: I haven't seen an edited version yet, but I am anxious to see soon what was done, to give my okay. I still insist it has to sound like me.
fw: And what advice would you give to other writers trying to secure a publisher?
CC: From my perspective, forget agents. It is almost impossible to find a good one. If you believe you have a good product don't give up. Have some friends read it and comment. Tell them to be honest. It can only help.
fw: What plans do you have for the future?
CC: I have no schedule until my editing is finished. I also write science fiction or, in my case, sci-str (science strange!) stories and will try to get a group of them published. Then it's a cookbook I believe.
fw: Thank you for your time, Carol, and best of luck with your book!
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