Even a journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.
I’m sure you’ve all heard this proverb, maybe to the point where you roll your eyes when you hear it again. But it’s true.
In 2013 I was finishing my first story, Rendezvous with Hymera. I’ll tell you straight, it was terrible, and it took years to build the guts to say this. But at the time I was beyond proud of my first “baby”.
I very boldly wrote to Janet Evanovich and asked for her advice on what to do next. Never in a million years did I think she’d reply, yet in a few hours I had a personal reply from THE Janet Evanovich! Basically, she told me to get an agent—which I regret not doing. However, everything happens at the right time. At that moment, with that book, I didn’t stand a chance.
Thankfully, most publishers, even the big ones, accept unagented submissions, so I started pitching. About a couple dozen rejection letters later, I received my first ever contract offer! It was from a small press that went bust within a year, but at the time, to this starry-eyed rookie, that was the opportunity of a lifetime. Someone believed in my story enough to want to publish it.
Fast-forward eight years and this is most of my career in one image.
I’ve learned to write better and polished my storytelling skills.
I’ve learned to market my books and built a brand.
I’ve met countless fantastic people, including the amazing authors in the Authors’ Billboard group, which I had the privilege of joining in 2018.
I fulfilled my dream of being the first Romanian who became a USA Today bestselling author.
I’m part of literary circles I never dreamed I’d be a part of.
I was recently accepted into a steamy romance anthology sponsored by one of the biggest figures in publishing, Craig Martelle, Inc. My story, along with nineteen others, were selected out of nearly two hundred submissions.
I started a new pen name and I’m exploring new genres.
Some of my books have been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and the work is ongoing.
It really is that first step that matters, because without that, none of this would be possible. No matter how small it seems sometimes, each step forward matters. It’s progress. And whatever you do, I hope this story will give you a bit of inspiration – whether it’s to take the first step toward fulfilling your dream, or the next step forward.
If you’d like to learn more about me and my books, please visit melindadeross.com. I would LOVE to hear from you!
Also, remember to check our website for the Authors’ Billboard fabulous collections of books and box sets, all of which are the best deals you find on the market.