Catherine Ryan Howard has made quite a name for herself- deservedly - in Ireland and beyond with her success at self publishing. But here she's banging the drum for good, old fashioned, hard work and a little bit of luck.
Right now, the self-publishing evangelists would have you believe that it’s easier to get struck by lightning in the jaws of a shark while holding a winning lottery ticket than it is to get published, and statistically, they’re probably right. But as I’ve said before, the statistics take into account all of the books and all of the writers. If you’re a good or great writer, and you write a good or great book, and you write that book at the right time and the book ends up in the right place, then your chances are significantly improved. Then, instead of a pie in the sky dream of publication, your chances of seeing your book on the shelves becomes not only possible, but likely.
I say it often and I'll say it again here: you can make your luck, to a certain extent. And that's what Maria Duffy has done here:
I first met her in person at an Inkwell “Getting Published” workshop soon afterwards, where Maria spoke of her novels and her hope – her dream, really – that she would one day be published. The next time I saw her was at another Dublin writerly event, this time at Irish PEN, where she whispered her exciting news to me: she’d got an agent. And not just any agent, but one who has had phenomenal success with a dizzying array of Irish women writers, many of them household names. Then, a few months later, the big news came: Maria had signed a two-book deal with Hachette Ireland and her debut novel, Any Dream Will Do, would be released in November.
Look how hard Maria worked at that. Workshops, PEN Ireland meetings - and many, many hours (snatched around the care for her four children) - of just sitting down and writing it. And it's all paid off. Congratulations, Maria. And thanks to Catherine for a fabulous, level headed post.