Melissa Lenhardt

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Melissa Lenhardt is a women’s fiction, mystery, and historical fiction author. Her debut mystery, STILLWATER, was a finalist for the 2014 Whidbey Writers’ MFA Alumni Emerging Writers Contest, and SAWBONES, her historical fiction debut, was hailed as a "thoroughly original, smart and satisfying hybrid, perhaps a new sub-genre: the feminist Western" by Lone Star Literary Life. The New York Times called her sixth novel, HERESY, “An all-out women-driven, queer, transgender, multiracial takeover of the Old West”. THE SECRET OF YOU & ME, her seventh novel and her first contemporary women’s fiction novel, will be published on May 5, 2020. When Melissa isn’t writing, she’s thinking, “I really should be writing” and eating Nutella or peanut butter s ...more

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Melissa Lenhardt Be patient. The publishing industry moves slower than cold molasses. It's like living in the DMV waiting room. Only worse.

Be persistent. Don't give up…more
Be patient. The publishing industry moves slower than cold molasses. It's like living in the DMV waiting room. Only worse.

Be persistent. Don't give up after five agents reject your MS. Or ten agents. Or twenty agents. Your rejections won't stop when you get an agent. Then, editors start to reject your MS. Then, readers will reject your book. Rejection is the norm throughout the process. If you take rejection personally, you're in the wrong business. Self-publishing might be the best thing for you, but there are pitfalls and drawbacks to that avenue as well.

Learn to take constructive criticism. Was there a common thread in all those rejections? Characters not connecting. Dialogue stilted. Needs editing. If one agent says something, eh. Take it or leave it. (Though I will say that I had one agent give feedback on my Historical Fiction which no one else did that was absolutely spot on. I took her suggestion and the new first chapter won a contest.) If two say it, you should consider it. If three or more say it, your MS has a problem and you need to set your ego on the shelf and fix it.

Be professional. If your MS is rejected, don't send an angry email to the agent. Publishing is a small industry and word will get around about your lack of professionalism.

Join a writer's group. Make sure it isn't a group whose sole purpose is to compliment and stroke each other's egos. If they don't give constructive criticism, find another. If there aren't any in your area, join an online group through a genre organization such as RWA, WFWA, or Sisters in Crime. But, you have to be willing to return the favor. Honestly, learning to critique other people's work will make you a better writer.

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Melissa Lenhardt Not having to work in an office from 8-5.
Average rating: 3.79 · 4,265 ratings · 860 reviews · 13 distinct worksSimilar authors
Stillwater (Jack McBride, #1)

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Sawbones (Sawbones #1)

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The Secret of You and Me

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Blood Oath (Sawbones #2)

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Heresy

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Day 202 - Discipline Pt. 2 (5 More Things)

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1. Finishing the first draft of a MS should be cause for celebration, no matter how much of a trash fire it is. Mine is definitely a trash fire, but I can’t bring myself to celebrate something I should have been able to finish months ago. I’ve been told by many friends I need to give myself some grace, we’ve been in a pandemic and this past year has been an emotional trash fire for me, personally

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Published on May 05, 2021 07:22
Stillwater The Fisher King
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3.72 avg rating — 1,676 ratings

Sawbones Blood Oath Badlands
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3.85 avg rating — 1,583 ratings

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Day 202 - Discipline Pt. 2 (5 More Things)

1. Finishing the first draft of a MS should be cause for celebration, no matter how much of a trash fire it is. Mine is definitely a trash fire, but Read more of this blog post »
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“You are responsible for her happiness. Not for her death.”
Melissa Lenhardt, Sawbones

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“If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
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“I do things like get in a taxi and say, "The library, and step on it.”
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“If you obey all of the rules, you miss all of the fun.”
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“As for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts.”
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message 1: by Moira

Moira Russell 'I adore Jane Eyre but think The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is better and have just a smidgen of resentment against Charlotte for repressing Anne's work'

MAGIC WORDS, my (new) friend. Oh yes. (I adore Charlotte too, but she didn't understand her sisters v well some of the time - as sisters do.)


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