Goodness, that was a long time ago! I always knew I wanted to write, but it seemed so impractical, so I trained as a teacher instead. But the desire never went away. I was teaching a Sunday school class for six-year-olds when I read the story in the take-home paper and thought, I could do that. I approached it very methodically, studying a lot of examples before trying my own story.
When I thought I had something that had a success at selling, I searched through the Writer's Market in the library and made up a list of all the possible markets. The first place I sent it to returned it with a form rejection. The second sent a form rejection with a handwritten note of encouragement on the bottom. The third place bought it for the magnificent sum of $25 or so. I continued writing for those papers, eventually branching out into writing for teen and adult religious publications. Eventually I moved into mainstream magazines, both fiction and non-fiction, and then into book publishing. Each time I approached a new market I followed the same procedure--reading a lot, studying and dissecting published works until I felt I understood what made them saleable.
I started focusing on book-length fiction in the 90s and had some success, but nothing that led to a long-term career at a particular house. Lines kept dying on me! I kept at it because I was born with a persistence gene, I guess, and when the founding of the Love Inspired line was announced, I felt convinced that was the place where I was meant to be. My first submission to them sold, and I've been with them since 1998.
Check out Buried Sins, also by Marta, and visit her online at www.martaperry.com.
PATHS TO PUBLICATION, Heidi Ruby Miller, Marta Perry, Final Justice, Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense, writing, author interviews