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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

How to Become a Successful Writer--Part 3: Beth Ziarnek

I'm excited to welcome a fellow author from my literary agency, Beth Ann Ziarnik, for part three in my How to Become a Successful Writer series. She has quite the inspiring success story. Read more below and check out her novel here:

Making a Dream Come True
By Beth Ann Ziarnik

When on January 2 this year, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas released my first novel, Her Deadly Inheritance, I was thrilled. At last I reached my elusive dream of becoming an author of romantic suspense—my favorite genre.

What followed astounded me.

Readers raved about it, saying they couldn’t put it down. I would say, “Really?” As it remained on the Amazon bestseller lists for months (and at this writing still is), again, I’d say, “Really?”
If these things entitle me to be named a “successful author,” I confess I did not achieve this alone. Hundreds of friends and professionals helped me during the many years I worked toward learning the fiction writing craft. When Her Deadly Inheritance debuted, hundreds more joyfully helped to promote it. I will be forever grateful.
If you are an aspiring writer or book author, here is my best advice on how to realize your dream of publication. They made a difference in my life. You may find them helpful, too.
BELIEVE in yourself and the writing gift God has given to you. Work hard toward making your manuscript the best it can be. Read and study those books and magazines on writing. Take courses online, at your local college, through the mail. Read the kinds of books and articles you would like to write. Most of all--write, write, and write some more! Reach for excellence.
NETWORK by joining a local writers’ or critique group. If you can’t find one, start one. You’d be surprised how many writers live and dream near you. I helped organize Word & Pen Christian Writers which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year and still attend its meetings. Participate in online writers groups like American Christian Fiction Writers. Encourage other writers and let them encourage you. You will grow much faster toward publication.
Go to writers’ conferences and seminars. I try to attend at least one each year—such a worthwhile investment of time and money. This year it was Write-to-Publish where I was named “Writer of the Year” and the Green Lake Christian Writers Conference.
You will have fun, make many wonderful writer friends, and become a familiar face to agents, editors, and publishers. Through attending conferences, I connected with my agent Jim Hart, my book’s publisher Eddie Jones, and my editors Rowena Kuo and Christine Richards.
PERSEVERE. No matter how long it takes to achieve your dream, don’t quit! I had to cling to this piece of advice, especially towards the end when sorely tempted to stop trying. If I had quit, I would’ve missed seeing my dream come true by mere months. The closer you get to publication, the harder it is to hang in there. But don’t quit. Keep honing your craft and marketing your manuscripts, and one day you will hold your published work in your hands.
PRAY and ask others to pray as you work at your writing and marketing. Each week I send reports to my prayer team, telling them what I’ve accomplished and what I intend to work on so that they can support me in prayer. In my humble opinion, every writer needs a caring prayer team. Writing can be a lonely pursuit.

BIO: A long-time fan of romantic suspense, Beth Ann Ziarnik offers her first novel with all the twists and turns, cliffhangers and romantic tension she and readers have come to love. She is a co-founder of Word & Pen Christian Writers in Northeast Wisconsin and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. In addition to her 450 published pieces (several included in anthologies), she is the author of Love With Shoes On, her ten-year devotional column about love in action and based on 1 Corinthians 13.

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