This apple did not fall too far from the tree. Carolyn is also a strong woman, who's not afraid to speak her mind, especially when it comes to writing and publishing. She shared the story about her own path to publication. It started approximately four years ago. "I hadn't written anything for thirteen years—yes, you heard that correctly."
No one was feeling motivated, to say the least. "One day, a fellow employee emailed me and asked me to tell her a story." Carolyn typed up a few paragraphs, on a lark, and sent them back. Her friend loved what she had written and demanded more. They exchanged more emails and then Carolyn's friend insisted that she had to finish it. That story became Carolyn's first full-length novel.
She had no idea how her life would transform. "I have not gone one day since without writing, reading about the craft, or sharing what I've learned with other writers. Writing has truly become interwoven with who I am."
She connected with an online writing forum where she made some great friends. Their feedback and constructive criticism helped her mature as a writer. She had been timid, at first, about jumping into a thread with strangers, but eventually she became less shy about reaching out to other writers. A blog and a Twitter account soon followed with even more peers for her to discuss writing.
"When I started out, I had been determined to publish traditionally—land an agent and so forth. I learned how to craft a query letter, a synopsis, and I sent out two of my books to agents." Carolyn went through the rejections, the requests for additional materials, and, finally, was invited to submit a full manuscript for review.
Hearing back from this agent regarding the full manuscript was a pivotal moment. The agent had loved the novel, but had provided some vague response about how the storyline could be developed further. Carolyn decided that she didn't want to continue seeking an agent. "I LOVED it, the way that it was written. This was when I made a huge decision—self-publication."