Here I was in the late summer of 2019 with a completed young adult novel and no place to go. I knew I had revisions ahead of me, so I returned to the advice of my old friend, Margo Dill, from Women on Writing (WOW). She has a website Editor 911 devoted to helping authors in several categories, and I wanted her to read my work, edit , and comment on weaknesses and strengths. Since I worked with her on WOW, I had a discount but her fee was still reasonable, well worth the cost.

She did a great job and I was delighted to get a printed copy back from her with edits and a lengthy letter outlining those factors. Actually, she found more strengths than I did and less weaknesses than I did. Pretty good! She also had publishing recommendations which were helpful.

I want to give a shout out to my friends and writing partners, Dee Boling, Xavier DeSoto, and Doug Stevens, all writers themselves, who took interest in my work and stuck with me. It really does take help from others to get a writing project off the ground.

I began the job of researching and in a former blog, I wrote about query and the work of looking at samples online and writing over and over until you get that one page you feel might make an impression and get a nod from some kind agent. I did not. As a tip, I regret not writing about my themes in my query; I believe my theme of racial tension is important in the novel and would be of interest to more agents. Instead, I focused on the pregnancy and the sexual assualt, both important themes to today’s reader, but this is such an important moment to write about attitudes towards race.

Another shout out to Shannon Thompson, author of many novels who focuses on young adult and a really neat person. You can follow here on Twitter and Facebook where she maintains an interesting, often carefree, presence.

Back to me. When it became pretty obvious, I couldn’t get an agent – YET -I began researching independent authors, These are traditional publishers, but I will tell you, you must follow their submission guidelines, and they vary. You might not want to go forward when you read some of them. If you don’t follow their guidelines, they will not respond. If they request a fee for ANYTHING, you are in the self-publishing domain, which is fine if that’s want you want to do. I determined early on I didn’t want to self-publish my first novel. I wanted to learn more about publishing and marketing. BTW, no matter who you publish with, you will have to help with the marketing. It’s quite possible I will do self publish next time, but for now, I needed help. I had been through several surgeries and didn’t know squat about publishing, so I went through Black Rose Printing. in Texas. Haven’t paid them a dime, and more than satisficed.

That’s where I am today. My novel, CC’s Road home, will be released January, 2021, and I hope to do a cover reveal very soon on this website, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I am very excited to say the least and those links are on my homepage.

If you would like a sample query letter or the website I researched to find independent traditional publishers, give me your email address on my home page and comment as to what I can help you with.



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