Time Will Tell – Mary Vine

05 Jun

When I sold my first book, I’d already had it critiqued enough that few changes were needed. With my second book, I had one person look at the first chapter and the rest was up to the publisher/editor to suggest changes. I think we went back and forth about six times before it was ready for a contract. I’ve heard this happens to authors when the second submission isn’t as finely tuned as the first and the agent or editor likes the story enough to spend extra time making the story work.

I was more excited with my third sale than any of the three. The first sale was surreal. The second had so many changes that over time I realized that it would sell and I was prepared for the good news. The third contract was offered by email about three weeks after I’d submitted it. She didn’t say please change blah, add blah. Take out blah, blah, blah. It was just, “I want to offer you a contract…” I was caught off guard and I squealed with delight. A different emotion crossed my face than any my husband had ever seen.

After looking one more time for an attachment of suggested changes and didn’t find one, I immediately wondered if perhaps my first attempt at another genre (this third book) was my fit, what I should have been writing all along. Just maybe I’d finally found my true calling. Why yes, of course. But when I told my brother-in-law about my new revelation, he said something perhaps more realistic. He said that he’d been a carpenter for many, many years. His first attempts at building were far from what he could do now. I imagine it is the same for you, he said. He’s right you know; practice makes perfect.

At this moment I know for sure that I’ve written 5 1/2 manuscripts and I should get better along the way. I’ve learned from critique partners, conferences, blogs, books on the craft, reading how others put words on the page. Time, and all of this, makes me a better writer. I suppose it is more “romantic” to think that I’m only better because I’m called to do a particular work. Time will tell all, and in more than one way.


Posted by on June 5, 2011 in Idaho


12 responses to “Time Will Tell – Mary Vine

  1. Janis McCurry

    June 5, 2011 at 7:32 AM


    Great points. How we evolve as people as well as writers is always a “WIP.” Now, if I can just figure out my niche. 🙂

  2. Liz Fredericks

    June 5, 2011 at 7:39 AM

    Thank you for another inspiring post. Please keep these coming. It helps to remember that skills can be honed. I know that luck is part of ‘getting the call’, but hope that skill and craft matter as much.

    • Mary Vine

      June 5, 2011 at 10:40 AM

      Thanks for the nice words, Liz.

  3. Johanna Harness

    June 6, 2011 at 5:34 AM

    Congratulations, Mary! I’m so excited to hear about this third contract. Wonderful news.

  4. Carley Ash

    June 6, 2011 at 6:34 AM

    Congratulations Mary, and thanks for sharing some of the details of how it happened for you.

  5. Cas Betts

    June 6, 2011 at 7:35 AM

    Wonderful! So glad to hear of your continued and growing success. We miss you – would love to see you next time you’re over our way. Keep up the great work; and thanks for sharing your insights!!

  6. Mary Vine

    June 6, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    Thanks, Cas! I do plan to meet with you all again one of these days.

  7. gswguest

    June 6, 2011 at 10:31 PM

    Mary, It’s such a thrill for me to watch your career blossom. It hardly seems possible, but I’m sure you do write better with each novel. Here’s wishing you lots more offers with no revisions attached 🙂

  8. Steph Bochenek

    June 17, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    Mary, what a wonderful insight to your journey as a writer. I think it’s a little bit of both. I had a light bulb moment with a critique partner a few weeks ago and it was great. Keep on writing.


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