pre-publication blues? don’t give up!

This June I will be hosting guest posts from four great authors who are all standing on the brink of publication. I’ve met all of these wonderful people through social networking sites, and they’ve enriched both my life and my writing. I hope you enjoy their posts as much as I have enjoyed getting to know them.

Today, we are kicking off June with a lovely lady I met via Twitter. Her name is Jen K. Blom, and she writes middle grade and young adult novels. She is lively, witty, and full of life with a very full life of her own, but she always makes time to share encouraging words with writers. (A note on the picture: Jen really isn’t that young, except in her heart.)

Jen told me that she grew up on the Oklahoma prairie before she began a journey that took her to the four corners of the earth and now calls Berlin her home. Along the way she picked up two neurotic hairless cats, a fantastic husband and a bilingual baby girl, all of whom make sure she’s frantically busy – or writing.

Her debut novel, Possum Summer, is slated to be published by Holiday House in the Fall of 2011:

Princess is a die-hard tomboy growing up in the middle of the Oklahoma plains with a dad that’s off to war and a mama who’s gone all day working. She’s in charge of their farm and all the inhabitants living on it for the summer, and when her dog kills a possum and she finds an orphan in its ragged remains she has a tough decision to make.

Save him against her father’s wishes? Or let him die?

From the moment she looks into his eyes her heart is lost, and she decides to try it – no matter the cost to her. But when Ike the possum’s cover is blown and tragedy strikes, she struggles to find the power in herself to get past the price he has to pay.

You may visit Jen at her website, but if you want to really keep up with her, then you should follow her on Twitter or friend her on FaceBook.

Do you write middle grade novels (at least one book) that specialize in animal subjects? Then you might be interested in  signing up for Jen’s email newsletter, Critterology, which will be published once a month to promote author releases and news. Click here to sign up for Critterology.

Meanwhile I hope you enjoy Jen’s guest post as much as I have. Please help me welcome Jen K. Blom:

Pre-Publication Blues? Don’t Give Up!

by Jen K. Blom

Hello. My name is Jen, and I’m a writer. (“Hello, Jen.”)

I’m just like you.

Well, I’ve got a three-month old baby, a husband, and two cats. And a flat. I work. And write at the same time. I’ve done this a long time (except for the baby bit). This was my fifth completed book, but the first that I’d been confident enough about to say “yes, this could be a debut book.” We’d been subbing, and having some good success, but still no contract.

I always dreamed of the time I would get my book deal. The heavens would open, golden light would stream down, and in a blink, I’d be standing amongst the successful writers I had known and loved for so long. Fame! Glory! Powdered donuts!

Well, I did get it. Go me.

Here’s what they don’t tell you.

When you do get it, you’re happy, but more shocked. And you’ll sit there, in awe, and stare at perfectly blank walls and think, “holy moly, I got a book contract.” You’ll wonder why you aren’t more excited – this IS after all your crowning moment, right?

Well, no. No, not really.

Your crowning moment was finishing a book. The idea, the execution, the revising, the betas, the query letter, the all of it. The book contract really is just nice sprinkles (or as my British buddy says, Hundreds and Thousands) on top of a very tasty cupcake. Because really, if you never ever got that book contract, would you not still consider yourself a writer? I would. And I’d still write for me, for the laughs (and tears) I get from putting a story onto paper that nobody else but me could write. And I’d still have the writer friends I’d found (and CHERISH!) along the way. I mean, hey. It is just a contract, after all. You’ll get it if you don’t give up. Not giving up is key.

But actually finishing that book? Kudos, my friend, to YOU.

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About T. Frohock

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19 Responses to pre-publication blues? don’t give up!

  1. jaekaebee says:


    You, Teresa, are wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Kelly Bryson says:

    Powdered donuts? How about a nice boston cream donut? Thanks for the words of wisdom, Jen. Are you sure that the sun won’t be a teensy bit different *when* I get a book deal. (thinking positive here). More radiant?

  3. Shari Maurer says:

    Jen, what a great post. You said it all beautifully. Congrats on your sprinkles and can’t wait to read Possum Summer!

  4. astrid says:

    Just the words I need right now, as I’m sitting here glued to my chair and finishing those edits. It’s always wonderful knowing the goods that will come when I keep on fighting and never give up :). Thank you for sharing, Jen and Teresa.

  5. jaekaebee says:

    Teresa – I can’t wait to buy your book. 😀

    Kelly – well, I can say that the sun is VERY sun-shiney. 😀 BUT Boston cremes? Erm, no thanks. I’ll take glazed or powdered! Ha !!

    Thanks Shari. I’ve got CHANGE OF HEART coming to me as we speak! YAY!

    Astrid, you’re gonna do it. I have complete confidence in you.

  6. Niki Smith says:

    Go Jen! Can’t wait to read Possum Summer~

  7. Jan O'Hara says:

    Why am I not surprised to see a discussion about the heart of writing that involves donuts and cupcakes? This is quintessential Jen.

    Thanks for the inspiration! It resonates from 4000+ miles away.

  8. Teresa, you did such a nice job on this! I can’t believe you wrote everything for Jen and she’s now trying to steal your glory! Total possum lover thing to do! Bwwaaaahhhhh! 🙂

    Great job to you both!!!! 😉

    xoxo — Hilary

  9. thank you for doing this…as a writer myself… i know how hard it is to get your works out there…so this is great… i am only saddend that i can’t send my book info to you….well because then people would know who i am….i’ll keep checking back to see who you have added…


  10. Great post, Jen! I still sit and stare at the wall sometimes, but I bet a powdered donut would bring me round. Congrats on the contract!

  11. jaekaebee says:

    Niki – I can’t wait for you to read it either! ❤

    Jan – you are a darling. And yes, donuts always, always save the day. 😀

    Hilly – possums rule, rats drool!!

    Crushing – don't ever give up hope! With hard work, anything is possible!

    Suzanne – Donuts, as I said to Jan, always help in some way. Congrats on your double contract right back! ❤

  12. Merrilee says:

    Well said, Jen. Sometimes we are so focussed on the publication, we forget the importance of just writing something that’s wonderful. Thanks for the wise words, mate!

  13. Great post! Jen is a doll…Not giving up is the key…at least that is my hope…

  14. jaekaebee says:

    Merrilee, it is all my pleasure. Thanks for reading them. 😀

    And Sharon, you’re a doll!!! XOXOXOXO

  15. kat magendie says:

    YAYY! Congrats on the book contract! So exciting – enjoy ALL the firsts and ALL the moments!

  16. Amy Bai says:

    Wonderful, Jen! And such a great point: all the steps on the way to seeing your book on the shelves are amazing, and validation is definitely YUM, but the real accomplishment is writing the book. Nothing else happens without that. 🙂

    Can’t wait to read your book!

  17. Fantasy says:

    Cool one =)) =^_^=

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