One of my favorite authors is visiting today and is sharing his own inspiration with all of my readers!
How to stay inspired when writing is rejected? guest post with Jon Messenger
Wow. That’s a really great question and a tough one to answer. When I first started writing, I had no idea about self-publishing. I didn’t know it was an option to use Kindle Direct Publishing to put my work out there. Instead, I made a terrible mistake of finding an agent. Like all authors, I knew that the first book I wrote was a NYT bestseller waiting to be discovered, so I sent query letters to every major agent I could find. I invested in four-inch wide tomes that listed every possible agent in the business and flooded the market with my manuscript. Three quarters of them never replied. 99% of those that did reply sent a form letter saying, “Thanks, but no thanks.” When I was starting to feel completely dejected, one agent wrote back, from a small agency in Florida.
This was my big chance. I knew it. Getting my book in the hands of an agent meant that my books were really going somewhere. Then my agent wrote back and said, “we need to do some minor edits to the book. Our prices are competitive, though, so it should only be about $3000 to get the updates done.” I should have walked away right then. Every alarm in my mind was blaring but I felt trapped. I didn’t have another option. There weren’t tons of other agents banging on my door, begging for my book. So I paid it. And they gladly took my money.
After the edits were done, they said they were passing my manuscript around to a number of publishers. It took me about 9 months to realize they hadn’t done a single thing with my book, so I wrote them a polite letter stating that I no longer required their services as an agent. They wrote back and said, “Dear Mrs. Messenger…” After nearly a year with this agency, they didn’t even know my gender.
I was crushed. You asked how I stay inspired after rejection and the answer is I didn’t. I shelved my trilogy and didn’t write again for nearly three years. I took their terrible business as a reflection of my writing.
Eventually I had to realize why I was writing. It wasn’t to be a NYT bestseller. That’s a positive effect of my writing, but not the cause. It wasn’t to make money, though I’ll never turn down a royalty check. I was writing because I loved telling stories and I wanted to know that somewhere, out in the world, someone had my book on their Kindle or in their hands, reading my story and losing themselves in the world I’d created.
Negative reviews still hurt, make no mistake. Every time I check Goodreads or Amazon and find a new, negative review, I wonder if I’m fooling myself into thinking I know what I’m doing. But then I take a deep breath and remember that my books have been downloaded more than 100,000 times worldwide. I have a dozen or two bad reviews and hundreds of good ones.
Maybe those people are just big jerks.
You want to know how I stay positive in light of bad reviews? I just remember that bullies have existed since long before the internet came along, though the anonymity of a computer gave the brutish lot a bigger platform from which they could ridicule others. I stood up to bullies in high school when I was on the Speech team and Academic team. The best way to stay positive is to remember that they really are just big jerks and their words have no credence in my life.
Well thank goodness Jon kept at it because now he has numerous books under his belt!
Jon’s latest release is spotlighted below…
Title: Earth God
Series: The World Aflame Saga #4
Author: Jon Messenger
Published: May 26th, 2015
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Genre: NA Paranormal Romance
Recommended Age: 13+
THE EARTH GIVES WAY TO THE SEA,
THE SEA BOWS BEFORE THE WIND,
THE WIND FEEDS THE FLAME,
THE FLAME BURNS THE WORLD OF MAN DOWN TO THE EARTH.
The Fire Elemental has risen and its followers, the Fire Caste, have destroyed the planet. Humanity hangs on the cusp of extinction; their only hope now lies with the troubled Wind Warrior, Xander Sirocco.
Xander has absorbed the power of the Wind and Water Elementals but at great personal cost. Finding Sammy has been his anchor through the chaos around him, but now he finds himself wondering if saving her is enough.
Sammy remains a prisoner of the Fire Elemental, her mind trapped, as the dragon possesses her body. Her love for Xander keeps her going, but will her passion be enough to stop the Elemental from killing Xander once and for all?
Humanity’s last hope rests in Xander finding the Earth Elemental. Claiming the power of the Earth is the last step before he can confront the dragon holding Sammy hostage. Unfortunately, he’s not the only one who knows the location of the Earth Elemental.
It’s a race against time between Xander and the dragon to claim the last of the Elemental power and bring an end to a war that’s spanned millennia.
Earth God is the exciting conclusion to the bestselling and award-winning World Aflame series.
| Barnes & Noble
Excerpt from Earth God by Jon Messenger:
“What if there was a previous dominant species that we replaced after they screwed it up?”
Jessica arched her eyebrows. “You’re not going to bring up the dinosaurs, are you?”
“Yes, the dinosaurs, exactly! Think about it. The whole world started off with Pangaea, one super continent where all the dinosaurs lived. Then, boom, all of this sudden something happens and wipes them all out. Scientists keep saying it was probably a meteor, but what if it wasn’t? Think about it. What would a meteor have done to the planet? Set it on fire? Filled the sky with ash to choke out most other life? Doesn’t that sound exactly like something the Fire Elemental would do?”
“I’m impressed you know about Pangaea. But it doesn’t change the fact that if I didn’t know you better, I’d say you were a giant stoner.”
“The Earth Elemental could have easily made Pangaea for the dinosaurs,” Sean continued as though he hadn’t heard her. “After they screwed it up somehow, the Fire Elemental wipes them out, the Earth Elemental splits the continent, and they start over, only this time with primitive mankind. It makes sense.”
Jessica pinched the bridge of his nose. “I want to tell you that none of that makes sense, but we just held a conversation with an Easter Island head before Xander become the embodiment of the Earth itself. Anything’s possible at this point.”
“Do you think they ever tried a Xander before?”
Jessica paused. “A Xander?”
Sean glanced away from the blond and stared across the ocean. “They must have had Warriors for each of the elements. The fact that a Velociraptor Fire Warrior is a pretty badass mental image notwithstanding, do you think they tried this before? Creating someone who can stop the cycle?”
“I don’t really know—“
“Because they failed,” Sean said bluntly. He turned back toward his girlfriend. “If they tried it, they failed because the dinosaurs were wiped out. I just keep thinking that we’re not taking this seriously enough, and I know that’s ironic coming from me. I keep worrying that the Fire Elemental is just sitting back laughing right now, knowing that it kicked the crap out of a Sarcosuchus Water Elemental once before and is about to do the same to Xander.”
“I think by this point we’re all taking this seriously,” Jessica said. “Just because you’re joking doesn’t mean you’re not; we’ve known each other long enough to know it’s just your defense mechanism.”
They sat in silence, watching the lapping waves and trying not to see the lava pouring into the ocean not far away. It was peaceful, sitting on a deserted island in the middle of the Pacific. It was easy to ignore the fact that the world was coming to an end. Sean mentally noted Easter Island as a place to visit, once this was all over.
Jessica chuckled softly, disrupting Sean’s musings. He turned toward her inquisitively. “What’s so funny?”
“Pterodactyl Wind Warriors,” she said.
For a moment, he merely arched an eyebrow before he started snickering. Sean couldn’t help but laugh at the absurdity of the thought. They both laughed until their sides hurt. It felt good just to laugh for no particular reason, to forget about the insanity of their lives for just a moment.
About the Author:
Jon Messenger (Born 1979 in London, England) serves as an United States Army Major in the Medical Service Corps. Jon wrote his first science fiction trilogy in 2008 and has since written and published over 10 novels. The scope of his writing has expanded beyond science fiction to include the New Adult and Steampunk genres. His books have become Amazon bestsellers, been translated into foreign languages, and have won numerous awards both for content and covers.
Clean Teen Publishing Links:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
- A bookmark swag pack, winner’s choice of any Clean Teen Publishing eBook, and a $15 Amazon gift card.
Giveaway is International.
a Rafflecopter giveaway