Hi, I’m Dani Wade, and I’m addicted to writing. I should know. I’ve tried to quit more than once. But the characters, the voices kept drawing me back through 8 years of rejections, writer's block, babies and job changes.
I’ve been writing for 11 years, since my daughter was a toddler. I finaled in contests, including RWA’s Golden Heart in 2009, but could never find an editor who loved my work. I kept learning, kept writing, kept absorbing knowledge as a lot of my closest friends sold their first books and many more.
My lowest point came in 2010 – things were shaky at home and I got a particularly harsh rejection that slid the knife between my ribs and twisted. After all those years of hard work, it came at a time when I literally couldn’t shake it off. I stopped writing completely. I had stopped before, sometimes for months at a time. When I was pregnant and right after my son was born. When I first started back to work outside the home. But this was different.
I wanted complete radio silence.
But that wasn’t what I got. Within a few weeks, the voices started creeping in again. You might have heard of them – they whisper dialogue and emotions into your inner ear, begging you to commit it all to the page. It was with fear and trembling (and a lot of encouragement from close friends) that I stepped back into the writing arena, and then the pursuit of publishing.
In the end, it paid off. I finally sold with the help of a friend and a lot of hard work to Shana Smith for Harlequin Desire. I'd been working with her on revisions for a story that a friend had read for me and insisted I submit. I completed a full revision and received another detailed email from her that I opened just knowing it was a rejection. I kept searching for the line that said, “But this just isn’t right for us…”
It wasn’t there!
She requested another set of revisions on the proposal and I found myself almost paralyzed. What if I screw this up? But I received great editorial suggestions – Shana’s notes were thorough, encouraging, and spot on. I turned in the revisions just shy of my self-imposed two week deadline.
Now Shana had told me she’d read it “quickly”, so I was thinking a few weeks at the earliest. Imagine my shock when she called a mere 4 days later. 4 DAYS! I think my brain short-circuited when I heard, “This is Shana Smith from Harlequin.” But I know it did when she started talking about a contract and release date.
It finally happened, and in the months since then I’ve put all that knowledge that I absorbed over the last decade to work on line edits, AAs, and my next proposal.
But those unpubbed nerves still ruled. So much so that when the lovely Shana Smith was moved to a different line and I was transferred to my new editor, Charles Griemsman, my first thought was, “What are the odds that two editors will like my work?” But he loved HIS BY DESIGN and has been a dream to work with.
Perseverance is a long, tough lesson, but I can assure you it is SO worth it. I’m finally bringing my stories and the characters I’ve come to love to readers. I hope you love them as much as I do!
Share with us today the one thing you worked years to achieve and how it paid off! That's always a reason to celebrate!
Dani Wade astonished her local librarians as a teenager when she carried home 10 books every week – and actually read them all. Now she writes her own characters who clamor for attention in the midst of the chaos that is her life. Residing in the southern
with a husband, two kids, two dogs, and one grumpy cat, she stays busy until
she can closet herself away with her characters once more. U.S.
Dani's debut Harlequin Desire, His By Design, hits the shelves in August 2013!