Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Writer's Wednesday - Elle Kennedy

Please welcome debut Blaze author, Elle Kennedy, for our Writer's Wednesday!

First off, I wanted to thank the ladies at the Pink Heart Society for having me today! My debut Blaze, Body Check, is out in stores now, and I’m thrilled to finally see my name on a Blaze cover. After years of rejection, I figured I’d never sell a darn book, so I’m pretty glad I was wrong about that.

But the title of this blog sums up the way I was feeling last year. At the time, I’d had a proposal out with Blaze, and a full manuscript with Silhouette Romantic Suspense. And I told myself, if neither of them sells, it’s time to give up. I’m not a quitter. Really, I’m not. But I am a realist. If I wasn’t going to make any money writing, then I needed to find another way to bring in an income, and writing was sucking up so much of my time.

So, I made the decision to quit submitting work. I had a whole plan: find a good paying, full-time job, buy a house, maybe have a kid. And as for writing, well, I’d think of it as a hobby, and not a career. I was being realistic

Two weeks after the decision was made, I got a call from the editor at Silhouette Romantic Suspense, saying she wanted to buy my book. Two weeks after that, Brenda Chin from Blaze called me and said she wanted to buy my book too. How’s that for luck?!

Needless to say, I am unbelievably relieved that giving up didn’t have to be an option. I think I really would’ve done it, though, had I stacked up another pile of rejections. Life as an aspiring writer is hard! Submitting, waiting for months only to get rejected, submitting again—hey, a request for a full!—waiting again, and yup, another rejection. I did it for years, and each new rejection took my confidence down a notch or two. Until last year I finally reached that breaking point and had to say, look, maybe you’re just not a good writer!

Fortunately, two editors disagreed with that notion. And honestly, I learned a valuable lesson. Getting published is extremely difficult. It doesn’t happen with the snap of your fingers. I always wonder, though, would I have actually given up?

I’m really glad I never had to find that out….

But I am curious—has anyone else ever given up on their dream? Have you ever gotten so frustrated by not reaching a goal that you just threw it out the window? Do you regret it? Or did the dream come true?

Share your answers! One commenter will win a copy of Body Check, so even if you don’t have an answer, comment anyway for a chance to win!



  1. I've thought about giving up loads of time Elle but never could actually go through with it :) Loved the story of your journey - very inspiring!

    Can't wait to read your book!

  2. Hi Elle,
    Well done - two acceptances! I have not and will not give up on my dream to be published although real life gets in the way and can drag you down. Making you feel like giving up, but your story gives hope to all us aspiring writers.
    Good luck for the future,

  3. My dream was to become anurse. I did accomplish this BUT, after 7 years of frustration...poor pay, bad hours, NO RESPECT!1 I gave it up to raise 4 children. Now, my kids have moved on to college, I wish I would have retained my license because nurses are finally in demand and getting better pay!

  4. Congratulations on reaching your dream Elle! That was a great story and I'm glad it worked out for you.

  5. I gave up the flute in elementary school. I gave up Tae Kwon Do because of an injury. I refuse to give up my chance at being published. Writing is my passion -it makes me happy. If I don't write, I get crabby.

  6. Rachael and Rachael (lol!), I'm glad the story inspired you. And I'm glad neither of you plans on giving up any time soon--keep going!! Seeing your name on a cover is the biggest thrill there is.

  7. Marcie, I get crabby too if I don't write. And when I get writers block, watch out. Bi-otch central at my house. My family hates me when that happens :)

  8. Hi Elle - congrats on your two book deal. How exciting! I do love reading about writers "journeys" - it give us newbies hope I can tell you when all I've got to remind myself of the hours of toil in writing my latest ms are the numerous rejection slips! But saying that I do love to write and don't think I'll ever give up. Even if I don't get published I still feel a sense of satisfaction when I have completed a novel and typed "The End". There aren't that many people that can say they have written a whole book - published or not! Caroline

  9. Congrats on your book deal.

    I love reading about writers who finally get the call - it's so inspiring.

    As a newbie, it's hard getting rejected and like, Rach, I've considered giving up. I think, maybe I'm not good enough to be a writer. Then I think, nah, this is what I love and what I want to do. So I keep trying.

    Thanks for sharing and all the best with your writing :)

    PS - you must be so excited to see your name in print :) that's a great cover!!

  10. Elle, congrats! I'm one of those people who get VERY grumpy when I don't write as well. Boy does it get nasty. So even if it never happens for me, I'm never, ever giving up writing. I've been doing it for the past twenty five years so can't see myself stopping just because of a some measly rejection slips! ;-)

    In fact, just last year I decided to quit my job so I could pursue my dream of being a full-time writer (yes, my husband is a minor god and earns for both of us). Not published yet but I'm in this for the long haul. Like Marcie, it's my passion.

  11. Elle - I'm glad you did not give up. I read and really enjoyed Body Check.

  12. Elle, you are so inspiring!
    Congrats on achieving your dream!

    It's so frustrating trying to get published - I've got a stack of rejection letters myself...but I'm trying to stick with it! I wish I could quit my job and focus on writing full time - maybe one day I can!

    All the best,

  13. Jackie, you're so lucky to be able to write full-time. Even now, I still have two jobs, along with the writing. Tell your husband I think he's wonderful for giving you that opportunity!

  14. Mandy, one day, when I'm a best-selling author whose sold billions of copies of my books, I plan on selling all my rejection letters on ebay :)

  15. The winner of my random draw, for a copy of Body Check, is...


    Congrats! Send me an email at to claim your prize.