3 S.R. Johannes: Never give up! (Karen Hooper, author of Tangled Tides)

Monday, December 05, 2011

Never give up! (Karen Hooper, author of Tangled Tides)


  1. My special offer runs until tonight a midnight. If you already planned on purchasing Untraceable and do it today, send me the receipt and I will give you a free query critique. Just to say "thanks for your support."
  2. Also, pop over to my blog tour to catch up on marketing and self pubbing posts.Today I will be at: Nazarea (The Author Process) and PJ Hoover (Top 10 ebook Release Tips)
  3. Also - you still have one week to enter the Goodreads Giveaway for a free copy of my paperback. The link is on the side of my blog.

Here is a guest post on "never giving up" from my friend and author, Karen Hooper who just published her first book, Tangled Tides, with Rhemalda Publishing

Shelli, thanks so much inviting me to do a guest post today. I’m a bit intimidated considering you just had an awesome launch for Untraceable. I considered blogging about a few different topics, but they all dulled in comparison to your big day.

The best I could come up with is to discuss a topic that I know is near and dear to your heart and mine: 

Never give up on a project you love.

I wrote Tangled Tides a couple years ago, and I queried it widely, received lots of great feedback and compliments, but no offers of representation.  I assumed that was the end of the road. No one wanted my sea creature story. So, I shelved it.

Almost a year later, I was querying a totally different project, and then an article came out in USA Today announcing that mermaids were the big summer trend in books and movies. The new Pirates of the Caribbean movie had mermaids, a few mermaid books were debuting, and, wait for it…Stephanie Meyer was writing a mermaid novel.

I feared Stephenie’s mermaid book would be out way before mine, and, most likely, so would many others. IF I went the traditional route and tried to query it again, it MIGHT get an offer of representation, then I MIGHT get an editor offer in submissions, and IF it made it through that lengthy process then MAYBE my book would be scheduled to release in 2013. Maybe even 2014—who knows. No one would ever care to find out that I wrote my mermaid story years ago. I’d never be able to convince people that I wrote my story out of pure love for the ocean and sea creatures. Readers would assume I wrote a mermaid book to follow a trend. *sad sigh*

A few friends emailed me the article saying things like, “Self-publish your mermaid story. Now is the time!” When the fourth friend emailed me the same link to the article, I took it as a sign. The universe was urging me to pull my manuscript off the shelf, and to share it with the world ASAP. That, combined with the worries mentioned above, forced me to take action.

I contacted a couple friends who had self-published and asked them where to start. One of those friends had signed with a publisher since self-publishing her first book, and she encouraged me to submit to her publisher, Rhemalda. I figured I had better odds of winning the lottery, but I submitted anyway.
A few weeks later, they offered me a book deal. Less than five months after that, my book has been released into the world. It was a chaotic ride, but a wonderful and exciting one. It was a path and result that I didn’t plan, or expect, but it worked out better than I could have ever imagined.

If I had excepted defeat, if I kept believing that an agent was my only hope of getting published, if I hadn’t loved my story enough to give it a second chance, then my life would be very different today. My story wouldn’t be out in the world. I wouldn’t be getting messages from readers saying how much they love my story and my characters.  And that, my friend, is what writing stories is all about: reaching people, connecting with readers, and giving them a world, characters, or an escape that touches them in some way.

To all the aspiring authors reading this, don’t ever give up on a project you love. But also, write with love. Write what you love. The universe will take care of the rest.

Karen can be found at www.KarenAmandaHooper.com

Her debut YA fantasy novel, Tangled Tides, can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Rhemalda.com. You can read the first few chapters for free on Amazon’s Look Inside feature.
Rhemalda Bookstore: http://tiny.cc/BuyTangledTides


Shannon O'Donnell said...

Tangled Tides is one of my favorite books of 2011! I loved it! In fact, I'm even giving away a copy on my blog right now for the holiday blog hop. It's awesome of you to host her, Shelli.

P.S. I am buying my sister a copy of Untraceable for Christmas, and I will post reviews to Amazon, B&N, and Goodreads today or tomorrow! :-)

Bee said...

This is such a wonderful post. Never giving up is such an important message that gets forgotten all too often under the stress of rejection. I'm glad you guys didn't give up.

I can't wait to get around to reading Tangled Tides and Untraceable.

Natalie Aguirre said...

What a great inspiring story. It's so important to never give up. I can't wait to read your book just from the awesome cover. Good luck with your debut.

Laura Pauling said...

And hitting a trend at the right time is a great reason to indie publish! Congrats!

Jemi Fraser said...

Gotta love when the universe starts tapping you on the shoulder! Thanks for sharing your story, Karen :)

DL Hammons said...

Good things happen to good people, and Karen is one of the best. A great story of perseverance! :)

Julie Musil said...

I love your story of passion and perseverance. Thanks for the inspiration, and congratulations!