News Flash: Alicia is the winner of V.M.’s giveaway! Please check your email, Alicia.
If you are lucky you’ve read books by and met Valerie Burns. I love this inspiring story about her writing path. Look for a fabulous giveaway at the end of the post! Here’s a little about her new book (releases November 26) , Bookmarked for Murder, is the fifth book in the Mystery Bookshop Mystery series:
Amateur sleuth Samantha Washington’s shopping trip to Chicago takes a deadly detour when a man is murdered on her bus . . .
After some post-Christmas retail therapy in the Windy City, mystery bookshop owner and historical whodunit novelist Sam Washington is returning home to North Harbor, Michigan, on a chartered bus. With Nana Jo and her gal pals Irma, Dorothy, and Ruby Mae from Shady Acres Retirement Village along for the ride, it’s a lively trip. But one passenger is not so lively—a gentleman Irma befriended is found dead in his seat after an unscheduled stop. The ladies immediately shift gears to find out who punched his ticket, while Sam slips into the driver’s seat to make sure Nana Jo and her crew steer clear of fatal conclusions . . .
Valerie: I’ve worked in corporate training for three decades (yeah, I’m that old). I’ve trained everything from DOS (remember that?) to Windows, Macs, software programs, customer service, sales and tons of other things. It’s hard to work in the training/education field without learning a few things along the way, even if it’s only about yourself. One of the things I’ve learned over time is that I have a need to analyze. So, here’s my latest analysis.
November 2019 marks my two-year anniversary as a published writer (where has the time gone?). My debut novel, The Plot is Murder, released in November 2017. On, November 26, 2019 Bookmarked for Murder will release. This will be my 10th book. Yes, I said 10th ! You’re probably asking how on earth I wrote 10 books in 2 years? The answer is, I didn’t. I absolutely did not write 10 books in 2 years. I published 10 books in 2 years (there’s a big difference). I started writing my first book, Travellin’ Shoes, back in 2008, but it took me 10 years to find an agent and a publisher interested in publishing it.
Between 2008 and 2017 I sent out a lot of queries to agents and publishers and got a lot of rejections. Over the years, I thought many times about giving up. Today, I’m very thankful that I didn’t give up. Whenever the desire to quit hit, I reminded myself about other authors who were rejected. Publishers rejected J.K. Rowling, Herman Melville, even Agatha Christie was rejected. Can you imagine that? Reading about those famous, highly successful authors who were rejected taught me that publishing is subjective. Just because one agent/editor doesn’t like a particular story doesn’t mean the story is bad or that another agent/editor won’t love it. Publishing is also a lot about timing. Getting the right book idea into the right agents’ hands at the right time is critical. Lastly, I learned the importance of perseverance.
During my 10-year waiting period, I wasn’t idle. I made a lot of revisions to my first book (I probably rewrote it at least 5 times). I read a lot of books on craft and I went back to school to get an MFA. I’m not saying writers need an MFA degree to be successful, I’m merely recounting my 10-year journey. Through everything, the one thing that I think helped me the most was that I kept writing. I wrote the sequel to my first book, Motherless Child. I even started another mystery series, my Mystery Bookshop Series. Eventually, in 2015 when I sold my first book, The Plot is Murder, it wasn’t the first or even the second book that I wrote.
So, as we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States, I am thankful for my soon to be released 10th book, Bookmarked for Murder. I’m also thankful for the many rejections that I received which helped me to get to this point. I’m especially thankful for the agent and the publisher that finally said, YES.
Readers: I’d love to celebrate Thanksgiving by giving someone a set of books in my Mystery Bookshop Mystery Series. For a chance to win the first four books in this series (U.S. ONLY) tell me one thing that you are thankful for this Thanksgiving Season.
About the author
V.M. Burns was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana. She received a Bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University, a Master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Seton Hill University. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Dog Writers Association of America, Thriller Writers International and a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime. V.M. Burns is also the Agatha Award nominated author of The Plot is Murder, the first book in the Mystery Bookshop Mystery series; and the RJ Franklin Mystery series.
She currently resides East Tennessee with her two poodles. Readers can keep up with new releases by following her on social media.
Available for Preorder—- BuyLink