By Margaret Millmore
My parents taught me that working hard, and giving it your all would yield satisfactory results. I didn’t understand (or subscribe) to that notion until I was out of high school. I’d never been a good student, but when I was forced to pay my own tuition, I worked hard, and I did well. When I entered the work force, I started at the bottom of the ladder and I did not want to stay there. Again I worked hard and had a long and successful career. When I decided to write full time, I knew I had to apply the same principles, unfortunately I had no idea what I was doing, or how to do it.
I wrote my first full length novel almost five years ago. It was riddled with problems: it was entirely too long (over 155k words); it was in dire need of editing; and it had vampires and werewolves (which, as most know is one of the most prolific sub-genres out there). I’d spent about 8 months querying agents and publishers, but to no avail, I was the queen of rejections. Devastating and demoralizing? Yes. Time to give up? No.
So what did I do? I chucked the book into a deep, dark corner and pretended it didn’t exist, and then I wrote my next book. That book became Doppelganger Experiment and was published in 2011 to mixed reviews, some of them bad. Those bad reviews were a result of bad editing, which, no matter how much I wanted to blame on someone else, I could not, the mistakes were mine and I owned them. We pulled the book, had it re-edited and I believe its better, at least I hope so.
Now what? Well I’d mentioned that first book to my publisher, she was interested, but it was too long… Break it up into a series, she said. Well, I’d never intended to write a series, but why not? I’d learned a great deal at this point and I applied that to the book revisions. The Four Series was born.
DoppelgangerExperiment, but was extremely critical about the editing errors… He also recently finished Book I in The Four Series (in a record 2 days). He said: “Wow, this is you, this is your element. I can see your excitement in the characters, they way you developed them and how they interact with each other. I didn’t expect the story either; you changed all the rules when it comes to the vampire/werewolf thing. It reads more like a fast paced thriller/suspense novel, not some teenage fantasy about mythical villains. I can’t wait for Book II!” He isn’t a literary critic, but he did make my day and that made it all worthwhile.
A native Californian, currently residing with her husband in San Francisco; she is the grandniece of Irish author Benedict Kiely and the second cousin of Irish author Sharon Owens. Current published works are: Doppelganger Experiment and The Four Series – Book I - The Beginning, The Change (The Four Series-Book II and III through IV are expected 2013).
www.margaretmillmore.com Twitter: MMillmore