What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You, Professionally by Michelle Lindo-Rice @mlindorice

Michelle 2015My dream to become a published author began over fifteen years ago. I remember the joy I felt when I wrote four full-length novels. I could tell a story but I knew nothing about writing or publishing. As a result, I made many mistakes. Mistakes which held up my dream of becoming a published author.

After each novel, I used friends to read and critique my work. I had no idea I needed to get my book professionally developed or edited. I had no idea there were different kinds of editing, either.

For years, I sent my letters out to agents and publishing houses with my sample chapters attached. I received hundreds of rejections without knowing why. An avid reader, I remember reading several books and saying to myself, “My story is just as good. Why can’t I get published?” I was right. My story was good. My writing craft was crappy. I had no idea about the importance of the first five pages.

One day, I received a scrawled written note on the self-addressed stamped envelope that carried my rejection letter. It said, Get an editor!

My heart pounded. I read and re-read that. Finally! I knew what was wrong. So, I went searching … in all the wrong places. I found a website called Preditors & Editors. I read through all the names. One person on there claimed she edited an award-winning novel. I looked up her website and contacted her. She gave me her price and turn around time.

With renewed hope and my hard-earned sacrifice in a check, I mailed my manuscript. Months passed. Then, it was returned. It was edited in pencil. A word missing here and there was replaced but otherwise she praised my work. I can remember my wide-smile as I once again composed my proposal packets. This time, I told myself, I was ready.

… Even more rejections.

Crushed, I decided to put my dream on hold. Luckily, the fire still burned. I self-published and continued writing until God put me on the right path.

Now that I’ve been published and have been put through a real editing process, I know I was ripped off. An ‘editor’ took advantage of my innocence. I have learned that there are several kinds of editing: developmental, line, content and copyediting. I learned editing is not just proofreading.

As an author of eight published works with the ninth currently being written, my advice to anybody who asks me about writing is: Network and to get a professional editor, preferably one recommended in the genre you write. I also advise them to learn the craft of writing. Yes, writing is a skill you must learn and develop. Being able to tell a story is not enough. You have to be able to write the story and write it well.

silent_praiseAbout the Book

Nothing just happens.

When Officer Chase Dawson pulls over Melanie Benson, he did not expect to feel an instant connection with this beautiful deaf woman. Chase asks Melanie out on a date but she turns him down flat. Lucky for Chase, their paths cross again when he is assigned the case of a missing deaf child. Chase knows this is God’s doing. But, he wonders is this a fleeting attraction or real love?

Melanie Benson cannot believe how strongly she feels for a man she has just met. Because of past hurt, Melanie is leery to open her heart. For personal reasons, she especially would never date a cop. But when Melanie has to work with Chase on his case, they share a kiss that sets her heart ablaze. Will Melanie overcome her past pain and choose love?

Set in the small town of Port Charlotte, FL, SILENT PRAISE answers the question, Is there such a thing as love at first sight? And, if there is, what happens after that?

Short Excerpt

Prologue

“I can’t hold it.” Melanie “Lainey” King squeezed her legs together. Crouched over in the dark, she shivered from inside the three-foot oblong closet space. Lainey peered through the folds of the closet door. Her eyes were wide with fear. Mama and Uncle were asleep on the big bed. Lainey slept with Mama unless Uncle came around. Then she had to sleep in the closet.

Lainey’s lower body shook. She had to go. Now. She pushed the closet door wide and crept outside teenaged mutant ninja turtle style. Lainey inched her way to her mother’s bed.

“Mama, I’ve got to go pee.” Lainey whispered as quiet as she could into her mother’s ear. She did not want to wake Uncle. His snore bounced off the walls of the room. Lainey twisted her tattered, once-white nightgown, spotted with dingy brown stains. Her lips quivered.

Oh no! A small line of urine trickled down her legs. She cupped her mouth to keep from crying aloud. If she peed on herself, Uncle was going to let her have it. She shook her mother again. “Mama! I’ve got to go to the bathroom!”

Mama did not budge. But Uncle did.

“What do you want?” He snarled at her into the darkness.

Even through the dark, Lainey could see his hateful eyes.

Uncle jumped and came around the bed to grab her shoulders. “What do you want?”

Lainey’s teeth rattled. She opened her mouth but no words came. With a groan, Lainey emptied her bladder. Tears rolled down her face.

“I didn’t mean to,” she said.

Uncle sniffed. “Did you pee on the carpet?”

Lainey shook her head. “It was an accident.”

Uncle bent towards her. His stinky breath hit her in the face. “You’re five years old and old enough to stop peeing on yourself! Your mother’s bragging how smart you are, says you’re reading and writing and all that so you know better. But you know what, you’re just plain nasty. Yes, that’s right. You’re scrawny and nasty, and I can’t stand the sight of you.”

Read a Longer Excerpt here: http://michellelindorice.blogspot.com/2015/03/silent-praise-chapters-1-and-2.html

About the Author

Michelle Lindo-Rice is the bestselling author of “Able to Love” and “On the Right Path” series. She enjoys crafting women’s fiction with themes centered around the four “F” words: Faith, Friendship, Family and Forgiveness. She was nominated for Author of the Year 2014 in Building Relationships Around Books book club. Michelle’s first published work, Sing A New Song, was a Black Expressions Editor’s Choice featured selection. My Steps Are Ordered, the second book in the “On the Right Path” series made the AALBC bestseller lists on May/June 2014 and August/September 2014. My Steps Are Ordered was also #1 in UBAWA’s 2014 Top 100 list. The Fall of the Prodigal made Black Christian Reads Fiction Top Ten List several times in  2015.

Originally from Jamaica West Indies, Michelle Lindo-Rice calls herself a lifelong learner. She has earned degrees from New York University, SUNY at Stony Brook, Teachers College Columbia University and Argosy University, A pastor’s kid, Michelle upholds the faith, preaching, teaching and ministering through praise and worship. Feel free to connect with her at michellelindorice.com

Her published books are:

  • Sing a New Song (Feb. 2013)
  • Walk a Straight Line (Jan. 2014)
  • Color Blind (May 2014)
  • My Steps are Ordered (Aug. 2014)
  • Unbound Hearts (Dec. 2014)
  • The Fall of the Prodigal (Jan. 2015)
  • Silent Praise (Apr. 2015)
  • My Soul Then Sings (Sept. 2015)

You can read her testimony, learn about her books, PLEASE join her mailing list, or read a sample chapter at michellelindorice.com

Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter (@mlindorice), Tumblr, Google +, YouTube, StumbledUpon, Goodreads
Michelle’s blog: michellelindorice.blogspot.com

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5 thoughts on “What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You, Professionally by Michelle Lindo-Rice @mlindorice

  1. Michelle your story sounds like mine. I didn’t have a clue, submitting and getting rejections. Only you kept pressing on. I put my books in the closet. You give me hope that there is a chance to seeing my name on one of my manuscripts.

    Now I know I need to invest in an editor to improve my story. I’m pressing on.

    Thank you for sharing your lessons.

    LaShaunda Hoffman

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