Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Angi Morgan's epic journey to receiving The Call

Thanks for having me on The Five Scribes today. It’s awesome to be here and I can’t wait to see the “cute” picture Donnell says she has of me. I’ll list some contests at the keep reading.

Donnell asked if I wanted to talk about receiving “THE Call.” I’ve been asked several times how it compared to winning the RWA Golden Heart®. Each--at the time--caused me to soar higher than I’ve ever been before in my writing career. Everything you can imagine...well, it’s better. My road to publication this year has been fast & furious. I got The Call on November 12th and my book is now available. But that’s not the entire journey.

Fellow chaptermate and friend, Catherine Spangler, has constantly reminded me this past year that I worked long and hard for this whirlwind trip. Over ten years of preparation. Some people call me an inspiration or say that I’ve given them hope. I just call myself stubborn.

In 1997 my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He died before his 62nd birthday. He worked very hard his entire life--one of the smartest men I’ve ever known, a self-educated man who read encyclopedias. He’d just found a wealth of friends and was happy to start slowing down and having fun. Driving back from one of our visits with my father, my husband told me that I was a writer. “Life is too short and we never know how long we’ll be here.” He didn’t want me to wait to pursue my dream of publication. We decided together that I’d stay home with our kids, I’d volunteer...I’d write.

So in 1999 I joined RWA, getting involved with local chapters in 2000. I volunteered, I learned, I soaked up everything anyone would let me overhear. And here’s the part of the story most people don’t remember. My manuscripts were requested and asked for revisions several times. I was close I could... Well, you know. Not once, but several times I’d send revisions before an assistant editor moved on (changed lines, publisher, even fired). I had an agent. I was a 2004 GH finalist.

I didn’t sell.

I received multiple rejections every year. I lost several of my critique partners and association friends--many had stopped writing and drifted away. I lost heart and couldn’t finish a manuscript. Then I lost my agent. (She couldn’t represent someone who didn’t have anything to submit.)

I took two years off from writing with a good reason. We had a foster daughter and she and my youngest both graduated (’07 & ’08). I deliberately didn’t try to write. I volunteered, stayed active in my local chapters. I’d found a best friend, Amy Atwell, in 2004. She encouraged me, kept prodding me to write something new. I made a friend with Christie Craig who had been trying to publish again for much longer then me. Her encouragement never ceased. And then a revelation--Amy and I knew what was wrong with my finished work See Jane Run.

Many have heard that I claimed 2009 as my year. was MY TIME. I was determined to do everything in my power to sell. I put my revision cap on and wrote a column for my chapter newsletter, documenting what I did each month on my road to publication. From January to December, I never let my doubting mind have control. It was MY YEAR.

A new journey is beginning for me. My “sophomore” book has been written, sold, and scheduled for a February 2011 release. .38 Caliber Cover-Up is my second book for Harlequin Intrigue®. I have a fantastic editor, a wonderful agent who’s interested in my career, and great critique partners. My family’s so excited they’re busting with pride.

And I have the support of everyone in RWA that taught me, mentored me, and helped me along this long road. Honest truth, cross my heart...I wouldn’t have gotten here if I hadn’t been encouraged and nurtured along the way. A very sincere thank you.


CONTESTS: The details for my contests are on my website. Hold Up the Cover will run the entire month HCH is on bookshelves--I have several prizes to be drawn for those sending me a picture of themselves with the cover (and signing up for my newsletter). And there’s one more contest for debut week: I’m blog hopping and if you leave five comments on five blogs this week, then send me an email, you’ll be entered in a drawing for more books and prizes. (You can even go back to blogs from 9-13 and 9-14.)

Visit her website or become a friend on Facebook.

As promised, here's the cutest little picture of Angi, with a little help from her friends....

And here's Angi's QUESTION FOR YOU: How long have you been striving to reach a goal...any goal? What kept you going?


Wendy Marcus said...

Thanks for sharing your story, Angi!

Liz Lipperman said...

Great Story, Angi. It gives hope to all writers out there.

I have been writing for too many years to count. It's only when I started taking my own writing seriously that things started happening. I once accused my hubby of not believing in my writing to which he replied, "When you start believing it, so will I."

He couldn't have been more on the money with that. We are writers, and the sooner we embrace that to its fullest, the more chances we will have of having a happy ending like yours.

Without a manuscript, you can't be published. If you have one that isn't selling, put it aside and write a better one.

Thanks for sharing your journey. I can't wait to read Hill Country Hold Up.

Lynne Marshall said...

This is a wonderful story, Angi. I am sending the link to my friend and CP who is in a similar position as you were.

Many success to you, and I love the Intrigue line.

Angi Morgan said...

You're very welcome. It's hard to admit that I've been writing seriously that long. But hey, I hope I've learned something along the way.


Angi Morgan said...

LIZ !!

You have to believe. Have faith you know what's best for your writing and have faith in yourself.

Good things are going to happen for you my friend!


Angi Morgan said...

Hi Lynne,

Share away. And Thank YOU! It's fun to share now (even the ten-year-part). I know my dad would be proud he always supported my writing. Afterall, he bought my first computer way back when they cost about $2 grand a piece. And in order to give me one, he had to buy my sister and brother's families one at the same time. BUT HE did make it to where I could just type and type and type...
(I hated white out).


Donnell said...

Angi, I've been writing since 2001. You know, I don't think we completed high school or college in a sprint, so why is it we think we'll reach the level we need to reach to be published. It's a process. And each person's process is different.

If you go back to your earlier ms. as I have, I see that they were far from publishable. I'm delighted to say I'm graduating from stage to stage.

I'm also thrilled that you shared your process with us, Angi. Can't wait to read Hill Country Hold Up.

Thank you!

Angi Morgan said...

Thanks for asking me to visit. I hope you guys will visit my new blog (short with a picture): A Picture A Day...

And you're right. Everything takes time. Even perfecting the art of cooking rice for sushi...did you know those guys apprentice for at least 7 years before they can cook the rice? (yes, I'm a Foodnetwork Junkie)


Kathy said...

I loved reading your story I think it is so neat the way it worked for you.
I had the shock of my life in 2008 when they called and said I won the Southern Heat and the editor requested a partial. It took 6 months to screw up the courage and send it off. It took over almost a year to receive my rejection notice. But it wasn't a form letter was nice explaining why they rejected it. That impressed me a lot. NOw I'm focused on finishing this story before I go back and "fix" anything else. I am on about the third revision of it but it is going forward and I'm not trying to edit as I go where I will never finish it.

Lena Diaz said...

Angi, I remember watching you on the stage accepting your Golden Heart and being in awe of how much you loved your husband and how happy you seemed together. Thanks for sharing some of the 'why' behind it. My story is similar - my husband encouraged me to write when my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. Luckily, she's still with us, but my husband had the same epiphany, that life is short and you should pursue your dreams. Thanks again for sharing your wonderful Call story.

Jill Monroe said...

Congrats, Angi!

Angi Morgan said...

The best of luck to you, Kathy. I'm sorry about the rejection, but you can push through it. Keep believing.


Angi Morgan said...

You're part of the reason I kept writing !


Angi Morgan said...

Lena! So glad your sister is a survivor. My neighbor just celebrated her RE-Birthday after finishing a year of chemo.

And we think we have life hard with rejections.

Mary Marvella said...

I am so proud of you, Angi! I've been at this since 1991. I'm either a low learner or awfully stubborn. I have 8 completed novels. I got "good" rejections more than 10 years ago.
They were still rejections. Got one today.

I can't wait to start filling a shelf with your books.

Angi Morgan said...

Thank you, Mary. AND next year, in NYC you can put my books out for the signing! What a hoot!

Your day will come. Just keep being stubborn.


Angi Morgan said...

THANK YOU ladies at Five Scribes for having me as a guest.

I appreciate everyone stopping by and the support.

Don't forget to check my website for my contests: My Blog Tour and Hold Up The Cover.

'Til next time,

Toni Anderson said...

Congratulations, Angi! Will look for your book :) It is a long hard journey.

Ellis Vidler said...

Loved your story, Angi. I want to read your book. Good luck!

Angi Morgan said...

Toni and Ellis, Thanks for leaving a message. I 5really hope you enjoy the book. My first signing is tomorrow and I'm half 5scared and half too-excited to sleep.


Leslie Ann said...

Angie, what keeps the hope alive to reach a goal? Belief in myself. Really. Even as a kidlet I was told I would always say "Lessie do it." It may be a long journey, in fact too long most the time, but I keep believing I'll make it whatever goal I'm striving for.