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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Guest Blog: Robin Saxon and Alex Kidwell

How We Got Into Writing

Whenever somebody asks Alex and I about how we got into writing, giving the answer always makes me feel like a bit of a cheat. So many authors have the same story - they spent years sending manuscripts in, receiving rejection after rejection. The saying goes: You’re not a real writer if you couldn’t wallpaper your house with your rejection letters.

Alex and I don’t have a single rejection letter. It’s not because we’re simply just that awesome, it’s because we got incredibly lucky. Thinking back, we really should have bought a lotto ticket right after Dreamspinner Press accepted our manuscript for Blood Howl.

When we came in to the gay romance genre, we had read very, very little in it, despite the fact that gay rights and LGBT literature is one our passions. We had no idea what a ‘shifter genre’ was (I was utterly perplexed when people started labeling Blood Howl as a shifter book), we didn’t know what stereotypes there were in the genre, we even didn’t know if our book would be labeled as erotica or not. We just wrote the kind of book that we’d like to read, and we took our many years experience in informal writing (we also both have several completed and incomplete novels, never submitted to anybody, on our computers) and turned that into a book.

In saying that, we have now immersed ourselves in the gay romance novel world. I now know what the shifter genre is, I know the stereotypes, I know what erotica means. We stumbled our way through promotion and editing, having no real clue how any of it worked - now, as we line up a second manuscript for submission in the near future, it’s satisfying to know that we’ll have a good idea of what to expect.

The biggest lesson I think we have taken away from our experience, as atypical as it was, is that there’s no reason at all to hold back. All those years we spent too afraid to even take the risk seem so silly now. Even a rejection letter, even a hundred, would be worth the rush we felt holding our first book in our hands, hearing people talk about what we’d written, actually joining this community of authors. The fear is like the fear of heights - it’s said that people aren’t actually afraid of the height of the precipice, they’re scared of falling off of it. The rush, though, on the way down, is absolutely life changing.


About the Authors: Robin Saxon and Alex Kidwell live in the Midwest with their two cats, Starsky and Hutch. Their first book, Blood Howl, is available for sale at Dreamspinner Press. They can be found at their blog and on Facebook.


Na said...

This is a great story. It seems so hard or easy for some to get into the writing business but I agree with you -don't hold back. I say never give up and keep trying. I have heard of some really successful writers who took years to "make" it.

Robin Saxon and Alex Kidwell said...

Na, it's so true! No matter how an author gets to the point of being published, the important thing is that they're continually writing and continually telling stories.

Thanks for stopping by the party! :D

Beatrice said...

Thank you for sharing your experience! A lot of people are afraid of rejection, but these rejections only serve to make us better writers. :)

beatrice.g.tan [at] gmail [dot] com