Never give up, never surrender.”
– Galaxy Quest

Never, never, never, never give up.”
– Winston Churchill

In the twelve years I struggled to make my first publishing sale I never thought much about my own perseverance. I simply love writing too much. Building worlds, inventing characters, devising plots, creating conflict, conjuring romance… it all brings such a thrill I get this little burst of excitement in my chest every time I return to my manuscript in progress.

I guess what got me to thinking about my own perseverance was a critique partner’s claim that if she didn’t sell her latest WIP– the third manuscript she’d received a revision letter for– she was going to call it quits. That just seemed so sad to me. Give up my imaginary friends? Never!

Every rejection letter I received I was able to tuck away and forget about. Sure, each one brought a dismal cloud that seemed to rain only on me, but they never daunted me. They never translated into “I can’t do this.” I just moved on.

Strange, considering my nature.

I never had much perseverance as a child. Sure, my teachers said I was exceptionally bright, but I never had much see-through-itive-ness (and I liked to make up words). I was easily frustrated and quickly bored. My parents developed a habit of making things easier for me when it appeared I wasn’t going to finish something, and that only enabled my ease in giving up.

But I never quit writing. Never stopped reaching for that elusive contract. I’ve heard other writers call themselves gluttons for punishment. Sadists. “Why do we do this again?” With all the roadblocks in this slow moving industry, why bother? It certainly isn’t a get-rich-quick trade.

I consider myself extremely lucky the niche where I finally found my perseverance is so darned much fun. My first book was published by Loose-Id. Every step along the way has been a thrill. Each little milestone – my first revisions, (and second and third, and line edits…:) my first cover, my first ISBN – have all been like a little party thrown just for me.

Those twelve years as an unpublished writer have taught me the key to perseverance: find that thing you love to do. That prize you have to have. That goal you have to reach. Trust me, the success feels good. The way I feel right now makes every day of those twelve years totally worth it.

And I still like to make up words.

  1. I hate coffee. I literally hate it so much that it’s difficult for me to write characters who like it.
  2. When I was 10, I had a pony named FUBAR. The name fit.
  3. Favorite food: pasta.
  4. I may be the only person alive who does not find Paris romantic.
  5. I’m deathly afraid of spiders and exoskeletal bugs.
  6. I believe marijuana should be legal and alcohol illegal.
  7. I have double-jointed thumbs. My husband thinks it’s just wrong.
  8. I am a cat person. I think dogs are adorable, but I do not speak their language.
  9. Abbott & Costello meet Frankenstein scared me as a kid.
  10. I think nerds are sexy.

It seems that recently there are a lot of people claiming they have legitimate rights to resell work, stating such malarkey as, “I bought this collection of ebooks through ebay, so it must be legal.” “The seller claimed he has the rights to sell me a ‘resellable’ collection.” “I own the copyright to this collection because I burned it to a single CD.”

Sorry, none of that makes it legal. If someone purchased a “resell” license to a collection of books, they’ve been taken for a ride. A very simple way to explain this is simply to look up the word “bootleg” in the dictionary.

Only I own the copyright to my work. Period. No one can give another person “resell rights” to my book. I can’t even resell my book. To do so would be a violation of my contract with my publisher. And just because another person loads it onto a CD or combines it into a collection, they do not automatically have rights over it. What they’ve purchased, and what they’re selling, are bootleg copies.

boot·leg: /bo͞ot/leg/
Adjective: (esp. of liquor, computer software, or recordings) Made, distributed, or sold illegally.
Verb: Make, distribute, or sell illicit goods, (esp. liquor, computer software, or recordings) illegally: “bootlegged videos”.
To produce, distribute, or sell without permission, illegally copying, distributing or selling copies of copyrighted material.

Just…don’t. ‘Nuff said.