My guest today is a very special sister of mine, a sister-in-arms.  I first met Jess through RomVets, a great organization of women who serve or have served in the U.S. Armed Forces and write romance.  (Our fearless leader is the infamous Merline Lovelace.)  I got to know Jess through her blogs and interviews and find her someone well worth knowing.  When she launched I simply had to be a part of it.

I would still respect and admire Jess without all that.  You see, Jess is a soldier.  A soldier who rose through the enlisted ranks and became an officer.  In my experience, those are the best kind of officers.  Without further ado, I give you Captain (Select) Jessica Scott, U.S. Army.

First, let me say congrats to Lisa on her latest release and thanks for having me on today!

I had a goal. When I finished my first book in 2007, I (don’t cringe) immediately began querying and actually had multiple requests for it. Then, everyone passed. So I revised it feverishly and resubmitted. Again, everyone passed and 2007 turned into 2008. I kept writing, knocking out 4 books in 08 before I deployed to Iraq.

Deployment kept me busy but still, I wrote. While I was deployed, I wrote or rewrote (throwing out entire drafts and starting over) 7 books, all the while working on revising the book I’d managed to land an agent on. My agent and I parted ways due to differences in time management techniques and I thought for sure I could land another agent.

That was in November. It is now March and guess what? Still no agent. My writing career has not died. I’m part of the PBS Regarding War discussion on women and war. I’ve sold an article to the Romance Writer’s Report. But the fever that burned in me for my fiction seems to have faded. I’m still writing, still working on fiction, but as life overtakes me, I’ve slowed down. I haven’t seen a day over 200 words since before I left Iraq. I don’t know if I’ll see numbers like that again anytime soon.

I’m much more realistic about my prospects as a writer now. I’ve slowed down tremendously and I’m still learning that getting that first draft out is the easy part. Making it readable and saleable are a process in and of themselves.

Attempting to sell a novel is difficult, time consuming and by far the most frustrating thing I have ever attempted, and that includes deploying to Iraq. Rejections hurt. Waiting sucks. This is a damn tough business and one I would say that you should only step into if you have really thick skin.

Writing is the easy part.

I still have my goal to publish my novels. I still work toward it every day. But at the end of it all, even though the fire does not burn through my veins like it did, it still simmers within me, a slow burn rather than a consuming blaze. I can’t not write. So I write. But trying to sell is going to take a lot more than my own hard edged determination.

It’s going to take work.

If you’re interested in my journey through Iraq last year or my continuing quest toward publication, you can stop by my blog

Thanks again, Lisa for inviting me here today!

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