Guest Post: Elizabeth Luscomb

We are so happy to have Elizabeth Luscomb, author of Forgetting Susan joining us today. She has stopped by to talk a little bit about her journey to becoming a published author.

Elizabeth Luscomb was born and raised in Texas. Growing up next to her grandparents, her grandfather inspired her debut novel, Forgetting Susan. Presently, she is residing in Texas with her husband and three children.

For more information about Elizabeth, check out her website.

 

 

Getting Published

When I finished my book, I assumed all I had left to do was wrap my manuscript in brown paper tied with twine and mail it off to the “big six” publishing companies. After all, the character Elizabeth in Funny Farm did it that way.

Mmm…not so much.

You see, after searching online for the addresses to my future dream makers, I realized that my assumptions were completely wrong. This is the message written on the Random House website:

“If you would like to have your work or manuscript considered for publication by a major book publisher, we recommend that you work with an established literary agent…~ Random House”

Ahem. What? A literary agent?

Okay, I obviously was naïve to the publishing world. If I was going to enter the competitive world of publishing I needed to know exactly what a literary agent is.

After researching literary agents and what it takes to become published, I came to the conclusion that this was going to be a lengthy process. So I sought out other local authors to hear their experiences and advice. They told me that they had been trying for years to contract with an agent without any luck.

Wow. Years?

I was already feeling deflated and I hadn’t even learned how to solicit to a literary agent yet.

However, I marched on, eventually purchasing the coveted Guide to Literary Agents. This book is published annually with an updated list and contact information along with useful tips to landing a contract with an agent.

Next, I wrote my first query letter. What is a query letter, you ask? A query letter is basically a formal letter to pitch your manuscript to literary agents. Here is one of my query letters that I sent to an agent.

Elizabeth Luscomb
*** **** **
Grantsville, Utah 84029
lizluscomb@live.com
(435) 884-****
February 02, 2010
Dear Mr. Fulton,
Enclosed is a copy of my first novel, Forgetting Susan. You can find out more about me through my website at www.elizabethluscomb.com, which also has links to my email, face book etc. I have also enclosed the original email I sent to you. Below, you can find a brief but detailed synopsis of Forgetting Susan.
The year is 1988, and forty-eight-year-old Susan Robinson has just learned that James, her husband whom she believed had died twenty-two-years ago, is still alive. Susan opens what she thinks is a long lost letter from James during his service in the Vietnam War, but she soon discovers his secret past.
Susan is a small town girl from Oregon who could not ignore James’ charm. In the beginning they shared an enduring loving marriage until she was notified that James was A.W.O.L. Susan doubts the accusation and cannot accept that James would abandon his family. After convincing herself and her family that James had died during the war, she struggles to raise her two kids while pregnant with a third child during and era when single mothers were not well accepted.
James fell madly in love with Susan and considered himself quite fortunate to marry his dream girl. However, they begin to suffer financially when James suddenly loses his job. After making a difficult decision to volunteer his services in the Vietnam War to support his family, he begins to lose himself from the horrors of battle and turns to drugs. Nearing the end of his tour, James becomes an accomplice to the murder of his Lieutenant and becomes paranoid of being court-martialed. He decides his only way out is to flee the country. He assumes a new identity while living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands where he faces continued hardships of drugs, alcohol, and his ambiguous past.
Go back in time and follow this spellbinding story, mixed with humor, of James and Susan, set against the controversial era of the sixties as Susan struggles with the memory of her lost husband and James struggles to find inner peace.
Thank you for your time and attention; I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Best Wishes,

Elizabeth Luscomb

Whoa, huh? I feel sorry for the agents who had to endure reading my first attempt at a query letter. The letter was horrible! It was painfully obvious that I had no clue as to what I was doing. Query letters have to be very specific and each agency has their own list of requirements that your letter must contain.

Fast-forward a few months and many rejection emails later. I boasted three measly nibbles from agents requesting samples of my manuscript. After waiting on pins and needles, one agent never responded, one said she was not interested, and the other wanted a copy of the whole book.

Fast-forward another couple of weeks when I received one of my most memorable emails yet; a contract offer from a small publishing company in Texas.

Although I was not selected by one of the big six publishers, I felt incredibly lucky. It takes some authors two to five years before being selected by an agent, let alone an agent finding a publisher for you.

In hindsight, it may have just been beginners luck, but whatever it was, I am truly grateful that Forgetting Susan was chosen. So my message to all of you novice writers – don’t give up because you never know when it will be your turn to shine.

 

about the book

Forgetting Susan
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Published: Nov. 10, 2010
Genre: Woman’s Fiction

Goodreads
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

One letter, twenty-two years of living a lie, and the chance to set the truth free…At forty-eight, Susan Robinson, still harbors love for her husband that died twenty-two years before during the Vietnam War until one letter holding the truth changes it all. Go back into the sixties and follow the tangled lives of Susan and James to learn how life can give you an unexpected journey.

 

4 Thoughts on “Guest Post: Elizabeth Luscomb

  1. It’s a hard road to publication, isn’t it? Glad it worked out with Forgetting Susan. Awesome guest post.

  2. I am glad too your book found a home. Thanks for sharing in your post.

Jump in on the discussion: click on the notify button below to follow along

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Navigation