Whenever I speak to anyone about my book, one question that continually is asked is, “What are the challenges you’ve had in getting published.” Here is my answer:

Challenges doesn’t even begin to tell it. I thought I would have a leg up, having had a book series published, but the world of fiction is so very much different. The first thing I tried to do after having the book written (although it’s gone through an evolution since this stage) was to try and interest an agent in representing the work.  I learned a lot in this process, about the business of publishing as well as about writing. When I first began to fish for an agent, I had to decide what genre of fiction the work was. Was it a mystery? A detective novel? Horror? Paranormal? True Crime? Historical fiction? I honestly did not know.

One of the big lessons I learned was that how I categorized it was a function of who I was trying to sell it to. Some agents only represent one or two genres. I went from one genre to another, writing well over a hundred queries, and being turned down well over a hundred times.

But along the way, some of the agents were kind enough to offer bits of advice, which I tried my best to incorporate and I believe made my work a much better novel in the end. By this time, though, I’d run through so many agents that I was afraid I had poisoned the well, so to speak. So, I started looking for publishers who would deal directly with authors, which means smaller publishing houses. I was lucky enough to find MX Publishing, a smaller publishing house in the United Kingdom, that specializes in Sherlock Holmes book, and while my book was never meant to be a purely Sherlock Holmes book, the publishers liked it and agreed to publish it.

The sequel, which is currently in the works, may be another challenge since Holmes will be absent. I hope I’ve learned enough to meet that challenge. Here I go again!