A Piece of My Mind: Another Voice in the Crowd
Bennet Pomerantz

You know sometimes you need to listen to another person's experiences, rather than your own voice. My friend Rebekah is a first time author, sending out query letters. I asked her to pen what she feels like as a first time author sending in her novels to many publishers,


First Time Author
         By Rebekah Corcoran

My name is Rebekah and I am addicted to writing. It is my drug of choice. If there were a Writers Anonymous program for authors I would be compelled to attend. I have the first of twelve steps down - I can admit my addiction. Reading was my gateway drug of choice - it propelled me into the writing world. When other children were out playing, I was in my room reading. I would get in more trouble by having a flashlight under the covers past my bedtime than for anything else. I looked forward to family vacations; the drive from Illinois to Florida allowed for me time to read multiple books, I never bothered to look out at the scenery. The librarians knew me by name and it was common for me to check out ten or more books at a time, several times a month.

In kindergarten, I won the school's short story contest for creativity. From there on reading and writing became my passion. In high school I had to sneak in writing between classes and extra curricular activities. Teachers constantly accused me of plagiarism just to compliment me later when I validated my writing.

Then I found the Internet. My daily blogs were attracting thousands of readers. I was astounded. People actually liked to hear what I had to say. My short stories would get the most attention - sometimes drawing up to 15,000 comments in one day. I loved the attention, but lets face it my readers were far from professionals.

It has always been my dream to be a published author. If only I had known what I was getting myself into. For years I have written novels, finished them and then hit delete. Writing just for the sake of writing. Deleting my novels drives my husband crazy.

The fear of rejection was so great I could taste it. I was afraid that being rejected would diminish my love for writing. Little did I know that rejection actually fueled my desire to write.

As a new author I have discovered that this community is not as easy to break in to as one might think. It is not just writing a fabulous novel and having agents falling at your feet to represent you. It has everything to do with networking, communication and resources.

Being intelligent is not how much you know, but knowing where to go to get the information you need. I would have never thought that starting out would be so difficult. There are strange words that keep popping up all over the place: query, synopsis, and submission guidelines. What? I can't just send you my amazing novel?

Then of course there is the ever-frustrating fact that I don't have an agent and the "unpublished" labels that are constantly attached to my resume. I am published! I am! I try to argue - my high school paper loved me! I even wrote for the college newspaper and my town paper. So what if my town population is a little under 5000. It counts, right? Wrong.

I am determined, passionate and goal orientated. As frustrating as being a new author might be I am confident that I can and will succeed. I just need to sharpen a few more pencils, read a few more books, talk to a few more authors and drink a couple more cups of coffee. Isn't there a frog somewhere I can kiss that will turn into a magical agent or a fairy godmother that can sprinkle her dust over a publishing house for me?

I believe in happy endings. I do.


To Rebekah and all other writers just starting out. I leave you the advice I always give... Reach for the Stars

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About the Writer:

Bennet Pomerantz is a media review columnist in 175 newspapers with his weekly column AUDIOWORLD. His fiction and reviews have appeared in the pages of Affaire De Coeur, Gateways, Mystery Scene, Power Star, The Hot Corner, Washington Entertainment Magazine, and many others. He is also known for his review appearances on the MCN Forum. View his web site at Audioworld.