I'm not sure how to put into words the suffering I went through to get Promise Me published. I'm not talking about the editing or crafting of the book cover. Melange made all that easy. Here is the whole story, not the bits and pieces from interviews.
Promise Me by Tara Fox Hall
My mom had a drug interaction with some medication she was taking in August 2007. Instead of taking her off it, her doctor of the time instead misdiagnosed her with cancer, and told her she had a year to live, at most. She called me at the fabric store on my cell in tears. It dawned on me on my way home from visiting with her that afternoon that I’d always been telling her I was going to write a book, but I never had gotten past a few paragraphs. I was busy with other things and never took the time to write, other than to craft a page-long nature related story for a friend’s magazine now and then. Now I was out of time, and didn’t know if I even would have the time to finish a novel length work before she was gone. I came home that night and started on Promise Me.
She of course hated the first few chapters I did, and I madly rewrote them a few times, trying to make them more exciting, so she would get wrapped up in the story and not think about what was happening to her. It was a way to escape for both of us, because none of the doctors understood what was happening for more than a month, and they had to do a ton of tests on her before they understood it was drug interaction. When I got to the end, she wanted to know what happened next, so I kept writing. By the time she was well again five months later, I’d finished Promise Me, and three sequels. Because they were all finished and she loved them, maybe I should try submitting them. I’d won awards in school for writing, and published short animal rescue stories for years in a friend’s nature magazines, but never went further.
I was sure if I just submitted to a few agents, I'd get accepted, and would be able to get the book published.
The next year, 2008, was a torture session of rejections, made all the worse by the repeated nibbles of interested agents that never went beyond the manuscript. 2009 was more of the same, when I began to try publishers as well. Near Christmas, 2009, my white German Shepherd, Legolas, died. I had already lost my black German Shepherd, Strider, in 2008. Working on my Promise Me novels was painful by that time, not only for the rejections I'd suffered, but also because these books contained both dogs alive and well.
And then, like an answered prayer, I got the good news that I was accepted into the Wolf-Pirate Project workshop on the strength of Promise Me's premise. Over the next six months, I worked with my mentor, Eve Mattel, and reworked every single sentence of the work. She took the first part, tore it to pieces, then took out 15K. I rewrote massive portions, some over and over, and a whole new ending. This consumed all my free time, just as writing sequels to Promise Me had to that point. Better yet, Eve's mentoring helped form my new work, Lash. By the fall, I was ready to submit again. once more came the almost contract, the almost agent. I even hired a submission agency to help rework my query letters that January 2011(I was on version 9 by that point). But by Spring 2011, I decided I'd had enough. I was not going to query any more agents or publishers. I was giving up, and going back to enjoy writing. But before I did, I wrote down some nightmares, and sent them in as short stories, for a lark. They got published, to my sheer joy. Then the submission agency told me to take a piece of one of my books and make it into a short story, to get a publisher interested. I thought that was a waste of time, but decided to do it before quitting. Surrender To Me was born in June 2011. Melange, the second company I offered it to, signed it. And now, a year later, all this suffering I went through has been worth it, as I hold my print copy of Promise Me in my hands.

If you have a dream, don't give up on it!

And here is the quick promo:
The summer NOR webhunt is on now until July 31 Enter for your chance to win more than 75 prizes! http://www.nightowlreviews.com/nor/Pa... Promise Me by Tara Fox Hall
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Published on June 01, 2012 18:30 • 120 views • Tags: promise-me, promise-me-the-whole-story, tara-fox-hall

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