Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Writer Wednesday: Featuring R. M. Clark

I'm jumping out of my seat because I get to introduce to you all my friend and agent mate R. M. Clark. A talented children's author and all around wonderful person, his debut novel Dizzy Miss Lizzie - a middle grade mystery that will keep you turning the page - hit shelves last week. Today, he's sharing the journey of his road to publication.
by R. M. Clark

"Dizzy Miss Lizzie, a middle grade mystery and my third novel, has taken an emotional ride on its way to publication. The journey began in the summer of 2009, when I gathered up my beta comments and completed the final draft. I queried for two months and finally got an offer from a highly respected NYC agent. Great news! We were out on submission before Thanksgiving and it was just a matter of time before some editor would love it.

None did.

So agent and I regrouped and I made a few changes to the manuscript. More silence.

I could tell the agent was growing weary of me and Lizzie because my emails were ignored and phone calls not returned. Agent and I split in the summer of 2010 and Lizzie I were back on the streets, so to speak. I had faith in the manuscript, though. It would just be a matter of time before another agent loved Lizzie. Unfortunately, previously-shopped manuscripts are considered damaged goods, so no one would touch it.

Fortunately, I kept writing through the ordeal and had three new manuscripts to shop around. Surely I could get an agent for one, then get her to fall in love with Lizzie. It was a brilliant plan! Too bad it didn't work.

I just couldn't give up on Lizzie. No trunk for her! I decided to submit the manuscript myself to big/medium houses that accepted author submissions. Most did not reply and those who did waited up to six months to respond. I tried a few really small presses and finally got an offer. But the contract was terrible and I had to decline. At least I knew it was publishable. In fact, I got three more offers in the next few months. I turned them all down. What was I thinking? Truth is: I just couldn't live with the contracts they offered. Lizzie deserved better.

Finally, I submitted Lizzie to Marsha Morris at Stanley Publishing. She loved it and offered a contract. Here we go again! Only this time, the contract was author-friendly. Excellent royalty rate. Print runs. Returnable books. Non-POD. E-books. Great cover art. I signed the contract. Lizzie found a home.

Five months later. Dizzy Miss Lizzie was released. I believed in the manuscript and found a publisher that was the perfect fit. It's not a journey for the faint of heart, but for me, a journey worth taking."

 For more about Dizzy Miss Lizzie and to get your copy, go to Stanley Publishing.

And a big CONGRATULATIONS to R. M. Clark on his debut!


  1. Thanks for sharing your story -- it's both inspiring and encouraging. And good luck to Miss Lizzy!

  2. Such an inspiring story! Looking forward to reading Miss Lizzy. :)

  3. I'm so glad Miss Lizzie finally gets to see the light of day after the crazy roller coaster ride!

  4. Awesome post, Tina & congrats, RMC. Well deserved and Miss Lizzy can't be stopped!

  5. Now that's what I call persistence! Go, Miss Lizzie.