[Wyrd Words Weekly] The sweetness of success...

Hello Reader,

So often, I write about how to overcome the disappointments and challenges of the writing life. This week, I'm thrilled to write about one of my all-time favorite success stories.

Writing and publishing a book is a huge accomplishment no matter the circumstances. But sometimes it's made sweeter by the backstory surrounding it and that's definitely the case with my friend, client, and fellow book coach Suzette Mullen's story.

You see, when she first reached out to Author Accelerator for help with her memoir, she hadn't yet realized what her story was truly about. It started out as an exploration of making a professional shift and turned into a memoir about coming out later in life.

That's the type of realization that not only affects your book, but your life as a whole. And the beautiful synchronicity of Suzette's story is that she not only came out, divorced, and found love again over the time that she worked on this memoir, but she pivoted in the her professional life as well and became a book coach who works with other LGBTQ+ memoirists.

That perseverance in her personal and professional life was reflected in her memoir's journey to publication as well. We worked through an initial draft of the "coming out" version of the memoir, but then she continued work on her own, getting feedback and fresh eyes from another book coaching colleague and beta readers.

But when she started querying, she wasn't getting the kind of response she'd hoped for. So she reached out to me again for some pitch strategy and query work. But once we started that work, I quickly found issues in the query that indicated there were some big picture changes needed. That discovery process ultimately became my Five Step Query Letter Audit.

It can be so frustrating to get big-picture foundational feedback late in the process, when you think your story structure is solid and your manuscript ready to pitch. In fact, I wasn't sure Suzette was going to dig into the revisions I'd suggested.

But I'm so glad she did. Because after a deep revision in which we started with a reverse outline and restructured her story to focus more clearly on choosing scenes that revealed her story's heart, the manuscript was so much closer to the vision she'd held in her head and her heart. And when she sent her revision out into the world, it got picked up by the perfect publisher for this story: University of Wisconsin Press. It releases in February as part of their "Living Out" memoir series.

If you'd like to take a sneak peak at the memoir, check out an excerpt here.

Suzette's story gets at the heart of why I do this work, about the power of introspection, of letting a story marinate, and of deep revision with the help and guidance of a book coach. It's the kind of book that will change hearts and minds and that I'm proud to have been a part of bringing to the world.

Congratulations, my friend, and thank you for being a constant source of inspiration to me!

If you're like Suzette and have a story that's not quite getting the type of agent or editor response you'd been hoping for, let's jump on a call and chat. I bet I can help.

Looking forward to it!



PS - One of the ways I keep myself positive and motivated is through regular writing retreats with my pals. That's why I'm thrilled to share this free opportunity for a three-day virtual retreat with my friend and colleague Suzy Vadori. Her energy is contagious, so I know you'll get a lot out of this fabulous retreat:

Julie Artz | author, editor, book coach, dragon

Julie Artz works with both award-winning and newer authors across the publishing spectrum from Big Five to small and university presses to indie and hybrid. She is an Author Accelerator-certified Founding Book Coach, a sought-after speaker and writing instructor, and a regular contributor to Jane Friedman and Writers Helping Writers, and a regular instructor for AuthorsPublish, IWWG, ProWritingAid and more. Her work as a Pitch Wars and Teen Pit mentor, a former SCBWI Regional Advisor (WWA), and her memberships in The EFA, the WFWA, AWP, and the Authors Guild keep her industry knowledge sharp. A consummate social and environmental justice minded story geek, Julie lives in an enchanted forest outside of Redmond, Washington, with her husband, two strong-willed teenagers (when they’re not off at university!), and two naughty furry familiars. She’s built a thriving book coaching business based on her values, her editing chops, and her knowledge of story. Check out her weekly newsletter, Wyrd Words Weekly, and subscribe today.

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