How to Get Published is a continuing feature at As the Pages Turn where we ask authors to tell us their publishing stories. Was it a rocky road or did it come easy for them? Did they start with an agent and get a NY publisher interested in their book or did they self-publish? What words of wisdom do they have for all of us who would like to be published one day?
How I Got Published
By Jill Limber, author of The Right Track
The Right Track is my third book, but my first contemporary. It was such a change from writing historical romance I decided to write about something I was very familiar with. The plan worked, because I submitted it to a New York publisher without the help of an agent, and it was picked up right away.
This book was perhaps the most fun to write of all my books. The fun part involves the setting of the book. It takes place on a private railroad car as the hero and heroine travel across the United States.
The setting is a real car, built almost one hundred years ago, and the book was written on that car. My other job is being a professional chef and the owner of a catering company. I have worked as a personal chef for the owner of the railroad car for years.
The inspiration for the book was a complete no-brainer, and I didn’t have to do a lot of research. When travelling by train, even if you’re working, there is enough downtime to get a fair amount of writing done. The hardest part is to not get too distracted by the scenery and lose your concentration.
I remember writing one scene as we started up into the Rocky Mountains. We had spent the night in the station in Oakland California, and the car had been switched from the back of the Coast Starlight up from San Diego to the rear of the California Zephyr for the second leg of our trip to Chicago. It had rained during the night, but the day dawned clear. It was in the spring and as we left the city, there were wild flowers everywhere.
We climbed into the foothills of the Rockies, where the views are always spectacular. By the time we got to five thousand feet or so, the snow started to fall, and within an hour, the forest was transformed into a winter wonderland. Needless to say, I didn’t do as much writing that day as I had hoped. Between gazing out the windows and treating the owners and staff to fresh baked cookies and hot chocolate, as well as the usual three full meals, there wasn’t a lot of time left over.
I suppose my best advice for someone starting out is the old standard: Write what you know. It is easier to craft a great story if you are on familiar territory.
A multi-published author and former RWA President, Jill Limber’s latest books are Montana Morning, A Heart That Dares and The Right Track. As a child, some of Jill’s tales got her in trouble, but now she gets paid for them. Residing in San Diego with her husband and a trio of dogs and one very ancient cat, Jill’s favorite pastime is to gather friends and family for good food, conversation and plenty of laughter.
You can visit her website at www.JillLimber.com.