I’m a published author – Almost

published author

If you follow me on any form of social media, you’ve heard me scream, shout and dance (okay, you probably couldn’t hear that) about this fact. I have a publishing contract. I will be a published author in two weeks.

It’s so official that I have an author webpage attached to my publisher’s site. Goodreads permitted me to claim the name of S.L. Hughson, and I am an official Goodreads author.

Someday, I might even get a royalty check.

But you all know I don’t really care about that. It has never been about the money for me. And I hope it never will be.

So, how did this event transpire? I know some people want the complete scoop.

First off, my awesome writer friend Jenny shared a link to an open call for submissions. It was for an anthology of fantasy short stories. I was all over that.

Except I didn’t have the time to focus on creating and completing a compelling story. What I did do was like the publisher’s Facebook page so I would see future announcements in plenty of time to respond with a story of my own.

Six month later, guess what I saw?

This lovely page

So I started brainstorming. I don’t want to say too much about this because I’m answering a question about it during the blog tour in a couple weeks. I will say: biker, car crash and new adult.

I drafted a story. It was supposed to be between 7,000 and 12,000 words. Mine came in around 16,000. And so I let it sit.

When I came back to it, the scenes which didn’t need to be part of the story screamed it. They didn’t progress the relationship between my “Accidental Valentines” in the least.

That brought me to about 12,000 words. Whew! But I wasn’t done cutting – or tightening the writing. In the end, the story I submitted ran about 9,900 words.

I submitted it about two weeks prior to the deadline because it was November and I was doing that whole National Novel Writing craziness.

I figured I’d find out about the acceptance in early December. Shows what I don’t know.

Here’s the email that changed me from pre-published to published:


Thank you so much for your submission, Dream Architect, to our upcoming Accidental Valentine anthology. I’ve had a chance to read your story and really enjoyed it. Roane Publishing would be pleased to offer it a place in the anthology. Congratulations!

If you are still interested in having the story included, just let me know by return email, and I will have Rebecca send over a contract.

Warmest Regards,
Acquisitions Editor
Roane Publishing

I received it on November 22 – exactly TWO DAYS after the submissions deadline. So, they obviously had a shortage of submissions and that’s why they chose my story.

Or not. My editor at Roane Publishing has remarked several times about enjoying my story. After rereading it and red-lining it three or four different times.

Soon enough, you’ll be able to decide if it’s any good for yourself. On release day, February 13, I will have all the links here to the blog tour, release giveaway and the booksellers.

I signed the contract the next day (a royalties-only agreement which suited me fine). A few weeks later, I got a questionnaire to complete for my biographical information. I wrote a blurb for my story and went on vacation.

Just after Christmas, I got the first round of edits. They were more about cutting excess words than anything else. A couple of clarifications needed to be made because my wording sucked. Back to the editor.

At the beginning of January, I got the manuscript to review for a second time. Again, only minor wording changes. I’m starting to think I write pretty cleanly by this time.

That’s it. That’s my exciting journey to becoming a published author. Not a single rejection from this publisher.

Now, if I could say the same thing about my novels, you’d hear me dancing like a mad ballerina.

8 thoughts on “I’m a published author – Almost”

  1. I’m waiting eagerly for your published story to come out so I can read it. Having read some of your writing through the years, I know how fulfilling this is for you. You are a good author with awesome story ideas.

    1. Linda-
      Keep writing and you will feel the thrill of being published. I’m glad my experiences encourage you. Keep on…so I can see your byline on a cover before I open up to read a great story.

  2. I am so excited for you, Sharon!! It just makes my heart sing hearing your publishing story and I can’t wait to read the published story. Good for you!! Now if you could just get that house sold, you’d be golden. 🙂

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