cj Sez: Lyrical Pens is excited to present a guest post today.
|DARLENE DZIOMBA |
Welcome, welcome to Lyrical
Pens, Darlene. I think your unique comparisons and descriptions of your journey to publication will help everyone
visualize the struggles of an aspiring writer. Carry on . . .
“ People say, “What I know about, fill in the
blank, wouldn’t fill a thimble.” Five years ago, when this crazy thought of “I
should write a book” popped into my head, I could probably fill a thimble with
my knowledge of writing a book. I had written long papers in Graduate School,
so I understood how to outline and general rules of grammar. I had read
thousands of mystery books and knew a story needed a protagonist, a villain, a
plot, and some red herrings.
I sat down and began
my outline. I am a plotter. Hats off to the pantsers out there. I need a plot.
Then I started writing. I wrote and wrote and wrote some more. I had what
published authors would call a very long synopsis. There were more pages than a
synopsis, but I was nowhere near book-length. I signed up for a Writers
Workshop to get feedback on my progress. Ten talented writers, one a published
author provided me with volumes of feedback. My knowledge level overflowed the
thimble and topped off a shot glass.
Shots can be fun,
but more education was in order. I turned to Sisters in Crime. I took online
classes, zoomed into webinars, and lurked across multiple list servs. I revised
and rewrote, and wrote some more. My knowledge level expanded, and I could easily
fill a six-ounce glass.
I got to around forty thousand words and patted myself on
the back. I was doing a great job. However, I wasn’t sure what to do next. I
was not ready to start submitting this work to agents. At least I knew that
much. So I went to someone whose knowledge could fill a ten-gallon punch bowl,
a librarian with a published author in the family. He introduced me to a host
of people who were happy to read my WIP and give me more feedback.
Armed with a
ten-ounce wine glass of knowledge and my 74,000-word manuscript, I started
submitting to agents. Then I emptied glass after glass of wine as I listed
between listening to crickets and receiving rejection emails.
I had outgrown my
glassware, and it was time to pivot. Through all the learning and networking, I met many self-published
authors. I researched platforms.
I established a business to collect royalties
and pay for writing expenses. (A person can dream that the royalties will one
day cover the expenses.) I grabbed one of the empty pinot grigio bottles and
filled it with my knowledge. I had a book, and I knew how to self-publish it. Clues From The Canines was
I didn’t want to
stop learning at 750ml. If the royalties are going to pay the expenditures, one
needs to know far more about Marketing and Publicity than I did. My fellow
writers at the Guppies and SinC Grand Canyon Writers were there to help.
knowledge to fill a three-liter wine box, Up Close and Pawsonal, the second book in the
Lily Dreyfus series, will release on March 4. 2023. In this book, Lily Dreyfus
will enjoy an outdoor concert until shots are fired from a passing SUV,
critically injuring two bandmates. She is drawn into investigating the crime to
help cope with PTSD and to avenge the death of the band member who was her
There is still more
to learn about the craft, and I will continue to gain knowledge as the Lily
Dreyfus series expands. In August, I will attend Killer Nashville. By the end
of the conference, I’ll have enough knowledge to fill a small barrel of
/ / / /
Darlene is a member of Sisters in Crime National and several
regional SinC groups. She combined her passion for the written word and animals
into the Lily Dreyfus series. Darlene volunteers at the Animal Welfare
Association, a New Jersey animal shelter, where she chats with the dogs while
completing her assignments. She has a 30-year career in Finance at the
University of Pennsylvania and is an avid reader, gardener, and traveler. Darlene lives in New Jersey with her
four-legged best friend, Billie.
Find and follow Darlene on these sites:
Up Close And Pawsonal
A casual evening of listening to music by a local cover band
turns into a murder investigation when a drive-by shooting destroys the
tranquility of the night and critically injures two of the band members.
Dreyfus, stressed and unsettled from having been at the concert, is informed
that one of the dead band members is the nephew of her coworker at the Forever
Friends Animal Shelter. Lily will leash together a set of seemingly unrelated
events to seek the perpetrator and make them heel.
cj Sez: Darlene, your journey to get Up Close and Pawsonal ready to launch is a super example of dogged determination, discipline and attention to detail for all aspiring writers and perhaps a learning moment for readers. Thank you for sharing on
Lyrical Pens, and we wish you best-selling author sales and rave reviews for Up Close and Pawsonal.
That’s it for today’s post, folks. You-all
guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same. Raising prayers for your
health and safety.
Follow me on . . .