Dream Come True

5 Nov

oax 11

Two and a half years ago I sent out my first query letter for my novel, Lost in Oaxaca. Over the course of that time I’ve received more standard rejection emails than I can count (actually I did count them but I’m mortified to admit to you how many are clogging my inbox.) I experienced some lovely moments of hope after receiving a handful of requests from agents to read the full manuscript. Then I was over the moon when the head of a reputable New York literary agency said she was “this close” to adding me to her list. She ultimately chose to decline.

One agent said I’d written “a well-crafted novel” and gave me some helpful advice. Another said she loved the book but had no idea how to market me. I’m not famous. I have no brand. These days, traditional publishing relies so much on who the author is, or what she looks like—it’s no longer focused solely on the writing. I totally get it. What traditional agency would want to take a chance on a middle-aged piano teacher who has hardly published anything?

All hope is not lost, though. I didn’t spend five years of my life writing/editing a novel to give up that easily. I’ve decided to head in a different direction. Come hell or high water, this novel is getting published.

The exciting news is that Lost in Oaxaca was recently accepted by Spark Press Publications, a hybrid agency that selects its authors based solely on the quality of the writing. https://gosparkpress.com/about/.

I know your first thought is that this is merely a vanity press—that anyone with enough cash can get their work published, not matter how good (or bad) it is. After much research, I’ve learned that this is definitely not the case. While I do have to finance the publication, I don’t have to worry about navigating all the difficult details of publishing.  Those details most likely would have led to a mental breakdown had I decided to self-publish. Keeping my sanity is worth the cost.

I’m a late bloomer. I didn’t start writing seriously until I was in my early fifties. With a family and a full time job, I don’t have a heck of a lot of time left over to write, let alone market my novel. This might be my only chance, so I’m going for it.

Barring any unforeseen problems, Lost in Oaxaca should come out in sometime in 2020.

Watch for the movie version shortly after that.

A girl can dream, can’t she?


photo (28)


20 Responses to “Dream Come True”

  1. Jacqueline Hilliard November 5, 2018 at 1:18 pm #

    So excited for you Jess!!! and proud, you are following your dreams….

    I can’t wait to read it.


    On Mon, Nov 5, 2018 at 1:09 PM Allegro non tanto wrote:

    > Allegro non tanto posted: ” Two and a half years ago I sent out my first > query letter for my novel, Lost in Oaxaca. Over the course of that time > I’ve received more standard rejection emails than I can count (actually I > did count them but I’m mortified to admit to you how many are ” >

  2. Karen Prince Fox November 5, 2018 at 1:56 pm #

    That’s so great Jessica! I can’t wait to read it!

  3. Elisabeth November 5, 2018 at 3:04 pm #

    Brava, bella!
    The world needs your story.

  4. debatterman November 5, 2018 at 7:11 pm #

    Yay for you! One day soon I’ll have the pleasure of reading your novel. And in just a week I’ll be seeing you 🙂

  5. The Pensive Mind November 6, 2018 at 4:42 am #

    I am someone who is new to wordpress,,started writing blogs some months back,,right now decided to use the search engine for reading some other bloggers’ post, and yours is the first one that came up,,with this post. I have this dream from childhood that I will publish my own book someday, and while reading your blog, I really felt motivated, so decided to follow you. I would love to read your book one day and am looking forward to read your other blogs. 🙂 Thankyou for this blog… 🙂

    • Allegro non tanto November 6, 2018 at 6:24 am #

      This is probably one of the most inspiring comments I’ve ever received. I’m so happy you found me. Seven years ago, when I decided to pursue my dream of writing, I began my blog. I had no idea what I was doing; I just needed an outlet to express my creative soul. Then came the idea for a novel. I started with one chapter and it just spilled out of me over time. It’s been a remarkable experience–painful, joyful, crazy, etc. I encourage you to keep going! There were many times I was going to quit, but something kept me going. Best of luck to you in your literary pursuits!

      • The Pensive Mind November 6, 2018 at 11:12 am #

        Thankyou..I would keep going…and do tell when your book gets published,,I would love to read

  6. Bonnie Forman Gerstenfeld November 6, 2018 at 6:51 am #

    SOOOO excited! Beyond well deserved

  7. Allegro non tanto November 6, 2018 at 9:10 am #

    Thank you, my friend! ❤️

  8. Theresa November 8, 2018 at 8:56 am #

    Great news!

  9. Michele Abbott November 11, 2018 at 8:08 am #

    Way to go!!! Your dedication is a true inspiration. I have so many ideas and “I should’s” but you have actually done it.

  10. Allegro non tanto November 11, 2018 at 4:56 pm #

    There’s still lots of time for you, Mich! Love you!

  11. Melanie Jacobson November 12, 2018 at 9:48 am #

    Persistence and patience pay – and TALENT, of course! Brava, Jessica! I can’t wait to see your work in print. Lura and Jim will be thrilled. I anticipate your book talk at Chaucer’s! Congratulations!

    • Allegro non tanto November 12, 2018 at 10:10 am #

      Thank you, Melanie! Besides getting published, my dream is to do a book signing at Chaucer’s!

  12. Suzanne November 14, 2018 at 7:58 pm #

    Marvelous, magnificent, Jessica! You found your in …. look forward to reading your novel!

  13. chrissy March 5, 2019 at 2:08 pm #

    Good for you! Thanks for writing an inspiring post!

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