Author Topic: The Wild Rose Press  (Read 789 times)

Offline stevenlabree

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    • Steven LaBree
The Wild Rose Press
« on: June 03, 2022, 03:42:53 PM »
I have been writing, for what seems, forever. As a child, I wrote songs and poetry which got me nowhere. As a young adult, I wrote stories of youth and adventure but nothing great. I suppose my career began when, by chance, I sent a story to a publication and covered mostly wildlife, camping, regular hunting, and fishing type categories. Six months or so later I received a phone verifying my mailing address. Honestly, I had forgotten that I sent the story in. I asked why the person was asking. She responded, “We need an address to send you your check.” Still puzzled, I said, “What check?” and she told me about my payment for my story. That was quite the thrill. I had several more opportunities with this magazine before I decided to move on.
Standing in line one afternoon awaiting the cashier’s inability to find a price for the customer ahead of me, I picked up a “romance” novel sitting at eye level. I was shocked at how poorly it was written, placed it back on the rack, and thought, I can write better than that. I had been tinkering with a storyline and the thought came along at the same time as NaNoWriMo. I am a long-time believer in serendipity and with the standing in line, my writing, and NaNoWriMo staring me in the face, well, you can figure it out. My wife was out of town, I was totally alone, and in the span of a week I had drafted nearly 100,000 words of my magnum opus—at least that was my thought. I fine-tuned the draft about the time CreateSpace was the vehicle of choice. Me and my idiocy pushed forward like a NASCAR driver in second place knowing this would be the end-all and I would become a famous author. I suppose you can figure out that result also.

Writer’s group after writer’s group I learned my craft and realized how much I needed to learn. I read every writing book I could find (I have dozens of them now). I read the classics, I read the top ten, I read whatever I could get my hands on and learned, one must study the writing and not just read the story. Learn arc, plot, character development, description, and all the nuances needed to develop the talent. I finished my book and took the next logical step, rejections. Yup! Rejections! Seriously? How dare an agent reject me. How could a publisher pass on this masterpiece? As we all have discovered, the road is filled with potholes and problems. So, I did what everyone else was doing. I self-published (Amazon) and there were quite a few sales. I was happy but not satisfied. I certainly wasn’t going to retire on that. Fast forward ten years in a normal job, responsibilities, life, and all the other sh*t that gets thrown your way. Like Lennon said, “life is what’s happening when you’re busy making other plans.” And life happened. Over those years times changed. Self-publishing grew and traditional publishers changed. I had completed a new novel and nothing like my first. My first was a love story, this new baby is a police mystery with a twist of paranormal. This time my objective was to be traditionally published. I drafted, rewrote, proofread, edited, rewrote, reproofed, reedited…you know the drift. I sent it off to a few publishers and two of them wanted more. Long story short I went with the one I felt good about and we are in contract stages now and she loves the story. Can I explain how it feels when the editor comes back with, “this is a great story and I love it. Thank you for gifting me with this.” It’s almost better than getting paid to do this. Almost.

So, back to the original magnum opus. I had drafted, rewrote, proofread, edited, rewrote, reproofed, and re-edited that novel and thought, although it was self-published, perhaps the publishing house would be interested. My current editor could not, but she passed it up the line to the head honcho that said, yes. Of course, my thought was BOHICA. The person was about to tell me how they could help me publish this novel and it would only cost, blah, blah, blah, but that didn’t happen. What did happen was she asked me to polish the work and make sure it was perfect and send it in which I did. They provided the formatting, corrections, cover design, and most importantly a traditional contract. This novel releases in June 2022 and, as you can imagine, I am very excited. This morning The Wild Rose Press presented a contract for my next novel, Cold Water Creek. My first was a love story, this latest is a police detective murder mystery with a bit of the paranormal. My editor has already asked if I would like to do a series for the detective character.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would have the moniker, Novelist, but here I am. So, don’t give up, keep pushing forward, and please, polish your work until it shines and then send it to the world.