I've told this story before, but figure I'll tell it again.
After all, it is the beginning of New Sight.
A few years ago I went to a writing conference. It was the first real writing conference (not a convention with people dressed up as Dragonball Z characters with authors on the side) and the experience opened my eyes to a whole new world.
A big world.
A world where I could get a book published.
Oh, I'd been writing for years. I'd probably typed out five horrendous novels at this point. The latest had been an off-shoot story from what ended up being Babes in Spyland. I had actually gone through my Nanowrimo of the tale, re-outlined it, researched locations and technology/weapons and had rewritten the thing.
It wasn't great, but it was finished.
Not publishable, but finished.
I'd never been to an official convention of any sort before this. Apparently lots of people come by themselves (or at least hang out by themselves) and go to classes. Two loners sit near one another and start to chat about what they have written, are writing or hope to write.
I swear that every person I sat next to had a novel that had either just come out or was about to come out. Real books. Some of them were on sale in the bookstore. When my newfound friends smiled and asked me what I wrote, I told them (somewhat sheepishly) that I'd just finished the edits on a super secret spy novel that should never, ever see the light of day—too cheesy.
They all smiled and laughed and we had a great time.
But through all of those conversations, and the meals and the hallway visits, my mind started to churn. Why didn't I have a novel ready for this? What had I been doing all this time? Just playing around?
A friend of mine actually met with an agent to pitch her book—I'd never before heard of this terrifying experience—and got an invitation to send them her manuscript.
Well, that cemented my fate. I vowed right then and there that the next year, at this very conference, I would have a novel written and edited and ready to pitch to an agent.
And I did.
Oh yes, I did.