Welcome to my blog, SCRIBBLING TO (IN)SANITY! First time here? I'm a romance writer who wants to believe most problems can be solved over coffee, a mixed drink or by anything covered in chocolate. I'm a believer in second chances and that it's always the right time to fall in love. As the saying goes, you're a guest in my house only once...then you're family. So I invite you to join the fun! I love comments but it's okay to lurk too - just know I'm glad you've found me and I hope you visit me again soon!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Guest Mary Marvella: Am I Famous Yet?

Today I've opened my blog up to author Mary Marvella...grab a cup of your favorite beverage of choice and welcome Mary to my "home!"

Want my autograph?  Why, you ask? Didn't you know? I Indie-published 3 books and 2 novellas. That's why. Not impressed? I contracted a book, and it has been published! Exciting news to me.  Still not impressed? I was a guest Monday night at blog radio (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hummingbirdplace) and am now a radio celeb.  Well, you can't have my autograph anyway, and one day it will be worth something.

In case you didn't catch on, I'm messing with you! I think each person who completes a book deserves a gold star, and revising one earns an extra gold star.  Each person who has submitted a book to an editor or an agent deserves more points, of course. (Have a handful of stars.)

If you took time to polish a book and Indie publish it, you deserve a medal. (We're past the gold stars now.) Seriously, it takes guts/courage to do that. I'm not bragging or complaining, but the formatting part caused me pain and whining. I am not computer competent. BUT I did it 5 times.

In 1991 I started writing my first novel and some family memories as short stories. Since then I have taken courses, attended workshops, read books and magazine articles, entered contests, and submitted my manuscripts. Despite "good" rejections, no one wanted to buy my books. I really wanted to sell and get an advance and lovely royalties. That didn't happen.  One editor I respect and love for her writing suggested I self-publish a book she had to reject. I considered it, but still held out hope for that sale, even to a small publisher, even to an e-publisher. (So much for the New York Times Best Selling list and long lines in bookstores.) No one wanted that book or my others.    

Finally I bit the bullet and uploaded one novel and then another and become an editor for a new small press.(Gilded Dragonfly Books) Finally an editor wanted my first novel.  I had revised it and polished it and he wanted me to polish more. Because I didn't give up or cling to old dreams, I found a new one. I have a romantic suspense novel published as an erotic romance. (Who knew?)

My advice.

Finish the novels you begin, even if the stories and characters change and toss roadblocks in your way.

Revise and polish over and over again.

Listen to critique partners and beta readers, but remember the book is YOUR book!

Submit the book until you don't have any options left.

If you decide to publish the book yourself, get it edited by someone who knows about story development and someone who knows grammar rules.  Just because you think someone knows good grammar and punctuation doesn't mean it is true.

Don't give up on your dreams, but be willing to adjust them.

Try new things, like I did the radio interview.

Mary Marvella is a retired school teacher turned writer.  She tutors and edits and writes, and that's about all she does.

Protective Instincts   http://amzn.to/1gzMH1w

A teacher becomes the target of a professional killed and must allow a student's father to keep her safe by using his premonitions .
There is hot sex in the book.

Twitter  Mary Marvella@mmarvellab


  1. Great advice! You sound so reasonable and level-headed. :D I love that in a writer. Congrats on all your success. It's exciting and inspiring, too.

  2. Thanks, Bethanne! I wanted folks to be able to read my stories. That meant I had to publish them in some way. I wanted the money and recognition. Well, I had to adjust my dreams and learn a lot of new things! Now folks can read the stories I love.

  3. It's a grand adventure, isn't it Mary? Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I like your attitude. Wishing you lots of success on your writing journey!

  4. Thanks, Gemma! It is indeed a wonderful adventure! I wish you much success, too!

  5. And let's not forget the stars for surviving the rejection letter. I'm reading your book now and loving it...Way to go!

  6. It's nice to dream about being famous, and also nice to share the path with others online along the way!

    Morgan Mandel

  7. Mary, you are totally awesome! And as usual, you give great advice. (Although I may not finish all the books I've started -- the one under the bed, for instance. It's really boring.)

  8. Thanks, Deb for the reminder! Writers deserve chocolate and gold stars for continuing to write after rejections letters stab us in our hearts.
    Grin, I am glad you are enjoying my book!

  9. So true, Morgan. I love the Internet and the friends I have made here. Thanks for stopping by.

  10. Barbara, you are too sweet to me! The books gathering dust might have something salvageable. The ones you are writing now are NOT boring!

  11. You've been famous for years already. You just didn't know it.
    Great advise!

    1. Mary Marvella, you are a marvel and a famous one at that. Thanks for your candor and the spirit of adventure in every word. From one famous author to another, I wish you continued success.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Charmaine, you made me smile! And we need to swap autographs and start a fan club!

  12. Why is it that whenever I post the most awesome comment it always gets eaten by the blog troll and never gets posted? MM, you are infamous, oh wait, you said famous. Well in my opinion you are an awesome author, great editor, and super CP/friend. No one writes Southern fiction better. So, there you are famous!

  13. Thank you, dear Scarlet! If I am famous it is because I know such worthy and supportive people. I am blessed to have you as a special friend/CP!

  14. Mary! Wise advice my dear friend! You'll always be famous to me. I miss seeing you. Hope you're doing well! *hugs*

  15. I miss you, too Sutton! I think you beat me to Indie Road, didn't you? I admire your hard work! Two famous pals!


Thanks for stopping by the blog today and for joining in the conversation with your comment! Happy scribbling!