Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Tenacity Interviews - Ann Shorey

In an culture of bad news - it's time for some hope! Welcome to the Tenacity Interviews where I ask published authors 7 questions about their tenacity on the road to success. It's time to sit back, relax, and be inspired to reach for your dreams!

Ann Shorey has been writing for over fifteen years. She’s been published in the Adams Media Cup of Comfort series, and had one of her stories included in Chicken Soup for the Grandma’s Soul. Ann has also written articles for various local and regional publications. After completing a narrative family history in 1998, she realized she had uncovered a treasure trove of inspiration, and turned to fiction as a way to put that inspiration to good use.
Ann teaches classes on historical research, story arc, and other fiction fundamentals at regional conferences. She works in Sutherlin, Oregon, where she lives with her husband, Richard. The Edge of Light is her first novel.
Ann may be contacted through her website at

1) How long have you been writing before your first sale? By this, I mean seriously writing with intention for publication – include the years of struggle before publication.
I started writing seriously in 1991, beginning with nonfiction articles. Around 2000 I decided to take tidbits from family research and write a novel about the life of one of my female ancestors.

2) How many rejections did you face before you got a “yes”?
Fifty-two! That’s counting rejections for nonfiction articles, but most of them were rejections for my novels. The third novel is the one that got the “yes,” and that was after several re-writes. The good news is the “yes” was for a three-book deal, so it was worth waiting for.

3) Why didn’t you just throw your hands in the air and say “forget it!”
It never occurred to me to do that. I truly felt led to write at this stage of my life. When I’d be tempted to quit, I’d ask the Lord to send me encouragement if he wanted me to continue, and something always happened to get me back in front of the computer.

4) What has being tenacious taught you about yourself?
It has taught me not to quit too soon. Some things in life have come easy for me, and writing success did not. I’ve learned as long as God is in a thing, it won’t go away. Without Him, nothing works, but when He’s behind me, things come together. All the “no’s” have taught me humility.

5) What does your support system look like? Friends, family, pastor, etc.
My husband is my biggest supporter. He’s always been there with encouragement and stories about other (now) well-known writers who suffered many rejections. I’m also blessed with a very supportive critique group, and a dear friend who thinks everything I write is wonderful. My pastor asks “how’s the writing going?” but like most non-writers, he really doesn’t understand the process.

6) Where will your tenacity take you next?
I’m mulling over ideas for another series.

7) What advice do you have for a writer who is facing “no” right now?
Keep polishing your work and resubmitting it. Look for solid suggestions in the rejections and take them to heart. Don’t be so in love with your own words that you are unwilling to listen to constructive advice. If you feel you’ve exhausted all the possible markets for a particular book, start something else. In fact, while you wait for responses, start something else. Above all, go to the Lord with your discouragement.
Yep, rejection and discouragement come - they are part of learning and living, but the tenacity to succeed overcomes. Where will your tenacity take you today?
I bid you good writing.


L. Diane Wolfe said...

Great interview! Yes, it takes persistence and consistence in this industry and in any endeavor for that matter. Most people who give up do not realize that they we4e just one step away from success.

L. Diane Wolfe

Cathy Bryant said...

Thanks for these tenacity posts! I'm a newbie on the writing scene, but I can already tell that this adventure is more of a marathon than a sprint. These interviews inspire and encourage me!

Cathy Bryant

Bonnie Grove said...

Diane: You're so right. Persistence and consistence. A good phrase to post near one's computer!

Cathy: I'm so happy! That is the entire purpose of these interviews - to inspire and encourage. Thrilled to hear they are accomplishing their mission. It helps to have the stirring stories of people like Ann Shorey and others to work with!

The Koala Bear Writer said...

I agree--great interviews, Bonnie! And Ann, I love your advice to "start something else" while waiting for the first thing to come to fruit. Josh Harris' mother used to say "Hustle while you wait"--don't just sit around doing nothing while you're waiting for something to happen. :)