Today is the last of the Pay It Forward Interviews. My inteviewee today is Colleen Rowan Kosinski, who has worked harder than most people I know to get published. To me, Colleen’s tenacity has made her a success, because if there’s one thing you see over and over it’s "Don’t give up." Colleen is a shining example of that attitude.
Can you give us a haiku of your book?
THE SILVER CORD
Above and below
A silver cord in between
Holding on to life.
When will I consider myself a “real” writer? I believe I’ll be able to call myself a “real” writer when a publishing house loves my work enough to invest in publishing my novel.
Where are you on the path to publication?
I’ve been on the journey towards publication for over six years.
Six years ago I pulled out a picture book I had written in college and decided to see if I could get it published. I was so naïve. I bought a Writer’s Market book and concluded that I’d need an agent. Opening the page to agent listings, I started alphabetically. After querying two agents in the “A’s” I was offered representation. Easy, peasy.
We worked together on a few projects and almost sold one. The editor loved it but sales and marketing didn’t. Unfortunately, that agent made the decision to pursue another line of work and I was left agent-less. No problem I thought, I’d pull out the old Writer’s Market book again and find a new one. Not so easy this time.
I had so much to learn. Veered away from picture books and started writing screenplays. I actually had a producer read one of my scripts. It was too “blue” for his investors (they wanted a ‘G” rating) so he passed, but he told me he had enjoyed the script and it had made him laugh out loud.
I decided to use that script as an outline for a novel. Finished that first novel and wrote another. Then another, and another. I completed five novels. All bad, but I was learning. I joined a critique group. Went to an SCBWI conference in NY and was blown away. Kept writing. Tried again for an agent. No go. I began exchanging work with writers on line.
Wrote another book. Same thing. But the important thing was with each novel attempt I learned more about the craft.
After a trip to Ireland, I came up with a nonfiction idea that was completely different from my novel work. Queried a few agents with the idea, and had three offers of representation. I was over the moon! Worked feverishly on the new project and it almost sold, but those darn sales and marketing people nixed it. They are my nemesis.
Sadly, I found that my new agent, although she had loved my nonfiction project did not feel the same passion for my fiction work. We parted ways. I cried a lot. I’d gotten so far.
I’m hoping my current project will be “the one.” I’ve learned so much over the years. I’ve exchanged manuscripts with extremely talented writers (almost all have sold their novels), enjoyed conferences and workshops, and gotten to know so many nice people in this small world of children’s book writing. I’m hoping I’ll reach my destination of publication soon, but until then I’ll read and write every day. Writing is my passion, and I’ll never give up.
You can find out more about Coll at her site and the links to other interviews by clicking on the last entry!
I hope these interviews have inspired you to keep going, regardless of where you are on this crazy road!