Factors that dictate who to submit to


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Amber Zade

I've been in Houston over 20 years but I still consider myself a Californian.

I work from home as a tech support rep for a company I won't name. I have a love hate relationship with the company I work for.

I have always wanted to be a writer and I suppose if you define writer as 'one who writes' I've always been one. However, it took the sort of nerve I didn't have to admit to anyone that it was all I ever wanted to do.

I knew when I graduated high school that I wanted to write fiction. But I started a journalism curriculum instead. Facts and being objectivoyu aren't really my thing and so I switched my major to psychology. My reasoning was, if I got my doctorate, I could make a lot of money (125 an hour even then!) and then I could write. No one would even be the wiser until my first novel came out.

So, right. That didn't work out. I can be a really caring person but I'd already had too much crazy in my life to want to be a therapist for a living. I much prefer observing people from afar.

In the meantime I got married and had a baby.

I was at home, alone with a newborn, with my husband on Westpac (a 6 month tour), and I chose that point to declare to my friends and family that *I* was a writer. I quickly wrote my first novel, an historical romance titled Daemonbane. It was about a royal who was also an undercover pirate. I had only read a few historical romances but I figured that that was what women wrote. Remember this was 20 years ago and I wasn't what you'd call worldly.

However, I wanted to share my epiphany, joy, happiness about my writing with someone and when my husband responded by having no interest in reading my writing, and when I discovered he actually had no opinions or thoughts to speak of, he became an ex-husband. Perhaps I should have dated him for longer.

It's all well and good to ditch a dud of a husband but it also made me a single mother. I ended up moving to Houston at my mothers insistence. My mother would be the aforementioned crazy. No one needs to know why or how. No one needs to understand my mother. The situation between us devolved to the point where she instigated a custody suit. She didn't want custody of my son. She really was only hoping that the idea that I might lose my son would give her more control over me. So, she got my ex-husband a lawyer and told him tales of my exploits as a wanton woman who regularly neglected and abused her toddler son. I'll spare you the specifics and the denials. My only reason for even mentioning it is because after I was threatened with losing my son, and threatened by someone so close to me, I decided there wasn't anyone I wanted to speak to, there wasn't any relationship I wanted to take a chance on, and there wasn't a chance in hell I was going to do something that I had been told time and time again was frivolous. I worked as an administrative assistance, a database administrator, a website designer, a data entry specialist but for a long time all I cared about was making it another day and being able to macaroni and cheese on the table.

I never stopped writing. I wrote on online forums where we discussed love, truth, fear, reality, and god. At the time it felt like we were discussing things that really mattered. Then I went back to school and of course there were papers to write, discussion topics to answer, and it was more than easy because I'd already been writing for forever...about just about anything you could imagine...and sometimes taking the opposite point of view just for fun.

A few years ago my son went away to school. This turned my life upside down. It took me a long time to figure out what was going on and why. I decided I wanted to write. I started to have thoughts and opinions again. In short, I stopped being afraid. I had been nurturing a totally irrational fear of losing my son for a very long time. It was irrational but not any less real.

After deciding to write, again, I found that it wasn't as easy as writing a paper, or a short story. I am discovering there is a whole process involved with taking yourself seriously as a writer. Things like writing every day, and not going back and rewriting the first chapter 50 times. Writers have to be very disciplined. The kicker is that each of us has a different writing process. It takes time to learn what it is.

I went to Romantic Times last month and I have two requests for my manuscript. Request may be a strong word. Two agents are allowing me to send them my manuscript. Still, what a good feeling even if nothing comes of it.

I've been in several critique groups. The one I am in now has several people who are young from my point of view. Their confidence, commitment, and discipline astound me. Didn't anyone tell them how stupid it was to become a writer? They're so bright, I really enjoy the critique group.

So that's my story for tonight.

Oh yeah, Zade is not my real last name. 20 years ago when I first started going online (it was a bbs and a gateway to the internet at that time) I took on the name Scheherazade. It eventually became Zade or Zadie. I love the story of Scheherazade.

If you got this far, thank you for your time.

Welcome to the Colony Amber. With a life experience like that, I think you have a great foundation as a writer, and anything you write has the potential to be great because you have so much experience to draw on. Even if it's a story set in the ancient past, or the future, you have all the human emotions, and experiences to draw on. You also have the patience to keep on going. ;)
Yay!! I'm glad someone took my email to heart :) Glad to see you on here, Amber. I joined on Saturday and have already been immersed with warm welcomes. This place is an instant community. Hope you get a lot out of this!
LOL Yes I love it so far. People are very nice and there is lots to read.
Hello, Amber.
Thanks for sharing your story, and fair play to you for getting this far with your head high. I couldn't help thinking it would make a great autobiography.
I mean, a really great one. But I can understand you wouldn't want to make entertainment for strangers out of your personal story.

Good luck with your submissions, by the way. Whether you've been "requested" or "allowed"; a bite is a bite, as the fisherman said.
Welcome, Amber, your family sounds kind of like mine. On to happier times, though.
Wonder if Scheherazade ever told her hub off after they were married. Or reminded him, Ahhh, bless, remember all the times you nearly cut my head off?
Though at least she had a steady gig as a storyteller.

Welcome, 'Zade.
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Factors that dictate who to submit to


Casting off