Friday, July 15, 2011

The Call...Take Two by C.H. Admirand

Instead of sharing the first time I received the call, I decided to share the second time because it will give you a sense of why my decision to keep moving forward despite the rejections helped me to hone my craft along the way. Before I do, you need to know that my Purcell ancestors’ motto is Aut Vincam, Aut Periam: I will either conquer or perish. 

Two months before my first book was published my editor left, and I was orphaned. Sad but true and not uncommon in this business, unfortunately for me the new editor turned down my next book and another trilogy.

Devastated, but undaunted, I kept writing, submitting, receiving rejections and attending conferences and writers' meetings..because the more one writes the better one's writing becomes (IMHO). Thank goodness my characters kept me busy writing while my family kept me sane. I have always believed that because there are hundreds of fabulous writers out there, my book needed to land on the right editor's desk at the right time when the planets were perfectly aligned in space. Exactly six years after I sold my first book—I sold five more!  

Since then, I’ve been writing and publishing in the library and small press market and thoroughly enjoying the challenges and successes along the way. But a few years ago, my career branched off in a new direction after meeting Deb Werksman at a writers conference. That meeting led to Deb offering a contract for my series: The Secret Life of Cowboys.  TYLER—my 10th book and first mass market paperback, released in March and book two, DYLAN, will be released in January 2012. 

I’m finishing up JESSE, the third book in the series before I move in a slightly different direction: Small Town USA and my new series—WELCOME TO PURITY! If I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. I work hard at my craft and love being able to share my stories with readers. I’ve been in this business for over fifteen years—longer than some, a newbie to others, but I am very lucky that I have had the opportunity to work with such a diverse group of editors in my journey as a romance author.

This is just the beginning of the next phase of my writing career, and I am delighted to have found a home with Sourcebooks. I love working Deb and her fabulous team. I have plans and goals that I will work hard to achieve with the help and guidance of my fabulous agent, Eric Ruben. Managing my career and decisions are no longer so daunting, now that I have his expertise and professionalism to rely on.

Other writers will have different stories, but I'll keep my rocky road, picturing Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken as I move forward. It seems to fit so perfectly. Besides, if it was easy, it wouldn't be my career or life we were talking about! After all—Aut Vincam Aut Periam!


  1. Colleen, I loved reading about your journey. Even though TYLER's your 10th book, I bet in many ways it felt like your debut.

  2. Thanks for sharing your story of perseverance, Colleen. I'm so glad you kept writing!

  3. Thanks, Tracey. ;) You know, it really is another a different market and I'm so delighted to be here. ;)

  4. Thanks, Mia ;) My characters won't let me give up!

  5. I love the motto, and the persistence you've shown. When people tell me of enduring long publishing droughts, I take heed because it seems to be something that befalls anyone who's been around this business for more than a few books. Cowboys are coming on strong as the true American heroes we've always known them to be, so let's hope the droughts are done with your forever.

  6. You post all goes to prove that you are a strong, determined woman. I can't wait to see what is going on in Purity! What an opportunity and still yet another debut for you.

  7. Thanks, Grace. My Irish ancestors were a hot-blooded, hot-tempered people who enjoyed a good fight.;)

    The long-ish stretch between books is not uncommon, which is why you'll see some of the RWA contests with the category for those who have not been published in 5 years. ;)

    The romance industry is constantly changing, but it's like the fashion industry where fashions and fads (genres and sub-genres) come and go out of favor/fashion.

    One of the things I love about Sourcebooks is their diversity as far as the romance genre goes-they have it all and they listen to the readers ;)

  8. Hey Carolyn! Thanks ;)I usually don't think of myself that way, unless we're talking about my kids and family...for them I have and will continue to adopt another of my ancestors quarter/no prisoners. ;)

    I haven't salted anyone's fields lately so, everyone is pretty much safe in that regard. ;)

    My Purity series is making me crazy because it won't leave me alone long enough to finish JESSE's story! I've got some great material to work with that I can't wait to weave into the first book in my new series.

  9. Great story C.H. and Yay that you continued to persevere! I loved reading Tyler and can't wait to read Dylan!

  10. CH what a great story!!! Determination and not giving up, is truly the key!

  11. Thanks, Maria...I wish I could say it was fiction, but it's not! LOL!

    I was really worried for the longest time that I'd be a one-book-wonder. But I am stubborn by nature, and had already heard the word "no," so I really had nothing to lose.

    Besides, my characters (especially John Reilly) really wanted their stories told. Poor John had to wait until 2010 for his! LOL ;)

    I'm delighted that you enjoyed're in for a treat with Dylan. I am so excited about the opening and how he meets Ronnie. ;)

  12. Thanks, Terry...I left out the part about the endless supply of chocolate to bolster my determination after all of those rejections...but that's a story for another day. LOL!

    And you are so right! You never know just how close you are if you give up.

  13. Thanks for sharing, Colleen. I really like all of these stories because it reminds me everyone struggles in this business. It's easy to sit at your computer and think you're the only one.

  14. Colleen - Great story. As I've always said, publishing is not for sissies. It's a tough business. I've always lived by the motto What doesn't kill you makes you strong. We writers have to be strong as all get out. I'm so glad you've never given up. I have your books on my TBR pile and can't wait to get to them!

  15. Hey Shana! You know it's so true, as writers we are so tied to our computers and breathing life into our characters and stories that unless we have day jobs, we don't get out much. At least I don't! ;)

    It is also something that isn't easy to share with other writers. I remember posting a discrete question to one of the PAN groups I belong to and one or two people answered me off loop preferring not to respond to the group. Which only made me want to keep my struggles to myself.

    As authors I think we need to share the tough stuff with the good stuff. But...that's just my opinion.

    Remember - you definitely aren't in this alone! :)

  16. Thanks, Robin! It's true, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. My mom swears that the Lord only gives you what you can handle, but sometimes, I really am ready to show uncle! LOL.

    This business isn't as easy to survive in as some people might imagine. Just think of the major changes technology-wise in the last decade! No wonder my hair's turning gray! ;)

  17. Just wanted to stop bye and say i can't wait for Dylan's book. I loved Tyler's and can't wait for book two. Thanks so much for writhing such wonderful books.

  18. Your story is very encouraging CH! I hope it inspires others to never give up, npo matter what artistic field they are endeavoring to succeed in.

  19. Hi Helen! Thanks so much for stopping by. I am so glad that you enjoyed reading Tyler & Emily's story...I really can't wait for Dylan & Ronnie's story to be out.

    I don't have an excerpt from Dylan up on my new website yet, but I will as soon as I can leave Pleasure, Texas. I've been finishing up Jesse & Danielle's story. ;)

    Thanks so much for the kind words. ;)

  20. Thanks, Roni. That is the one piece of advice I always give to aspiring writers, to never give up. ;)

    One of my favorite authors, Nora Roberts, was interviewed by Writer's Digest Magazine years ago and she said a writer must have the 3 Ds in order to succeed: Drive, Discipline & Desire. To that I've added Determination.;)

  21. Great story and why give up if you love what you are doing! And doesn't that poem end by saying "and I have miles to go before I sleep"? Keep traveling even when you come to forks in the road. And, remember, my favorite cowboy is "an outlaw in a white shirt".

  22. Thanks, Amelia! I agree never give up what you love. ;)

    Actually the poem ends "I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference."

    The line you're thinking of is from one of his other wonderful poems: Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.

    Another one of my favorites. ;)