Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Welcome, Tonya Renee Callihan

My Road to Publication
Every writer has a path they take to become published. Whether they are still on that road to discovery, have just reached the top of the hill, or are basking in their glories at the top of the mountain.

Every writer has their own struggles, obstacles, triumphs and joys on that road. And every writer has a goal.

What has my road to publication been like?

A long one, a tough one. At times I felt like giving up. For about eight months I had given up.

I started writing during my Christmas break in 2000. I was thirteen years old at the time. At that point in my life I had only read children’s books and books for school. I’m not sure if I knew what a romance novel was. I can remember my mamaw would always bring my mom a box full of books every now and then. Whether she picked them up at a yard sale or they were given to her, as soon as she finished reading them she would bring them to our house.

I can remember my mom always had her nose in a book as well. She made sure us kids had books to read. I have to thank her for that and dedicate my writing career to her for that very reason. Without her pushing us to read and to be the best we could be…and for reading those romance novels, I don’t think I would be the writer I am today. Thanks mom!!

I snuck two books from her collection. One was a Harlequin Superromance, something about a Montana man and Montana Sky by Nora Roberts. I loved that book and to this day it is still one of my all time favorites to go back and read. I stayed up late at night reading both of these books and I feel in love before I was half way through the book. When I finished reading the novels I announced to myself, ‘hey I’m going to grow up to be a romance writer’.

For the past ten years I have been writing, pouring my heart and soul into these stories and my characters. It’s been my passion. I knew if I worked hard I would accomplish my goals.

But of course you have that road block that pops up from time to time. For a while it was hard to juggle everything and fit writing into the mix, but I somehow managed to set aside time a couple of times a week to write.

Then I discovered the online world of writers. At first no one would acknoweledge my presence. I was new, I had questions, I had never been published. Obviously I was a nuisance. So, I hid on the sidelines and read the other posts and learned from what ‘experienced’ authors had to say. Yes, I’m still a little bitter in this area. But I later learned I was definitely in the wrong groups and hanging with the wrong writers. I also learned that over half of them weren’t published themselves.

So I gave up for about eight months. Every now and then I would write, but mainly I wrote ideas, scenes, plots etc. I never really put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and wrote another story. One night I had a dream…or more a nightmare. Twenty years down the road I was having a conversation with who I am assuming was my daughter, I was telling her how I regretted never writing again and telling her to never give up on her dreams. She told me I shouldn’t give up either that I should start writing again.

The next day I woke up and decided my dream daughter was right I shouldn’t give up. Therefore I began to research Yahoo groups and publishers and joined their groups. I asked questions I got answers. I made comments I got responses. I had problems I got encouragement. I was finally in the right place.

Within two months of starting to write again and believing in myself and my goals once more I got a contract with Secret Cravings Publishing for my book series, ‘Night Pleasures’. My first book Night Promises will be out January 5, 2011.

My advice to you as a writer is to never give up. Don’t be afraid to get out there and follow your dreams. No one can stop you but yourself.

My Links

Thanks so much Roseanne for allowing me this opportunity. I love to hear from readers, writers, etc. If you have any questions


Tonya Renee Callihan said...

Thanks Roseanne for having me here today:)

Lin said...

What a great journey you have been on. I don't think any journey is appreciasted unless it has some bumps. Overcoming those bumps makes the sight of the goal so close up ahead all that much sweeter because it comes with the tests of our own convictions.

I put my quest on hold for ten years because two alleged pros told me I was writing crap...I locked my muse away...but oh my, now that she is free again, I cannot believe the true power behind her voice.

Your voice is strong Tonya...thanks for sharing it with all of us.

Layla Hunter said...

Thank you for sharing your journey with us! Life has a way of putting up roadblocks to our true passion but I believe as long as you never stop reaching for your dream, you will find your way! Congratulations on your first book! I cannot wait to read it!


Kat said...

Great posting. I really enjoyed it. Nice to learn more about you Tonya.:-)