August 5, 2013

Guest Post: Rejection Blues by Mattie Dunman

Please welcome the author of the great book Instinct, Mattie Dunman to Feed My Need!

How to Deal with Rejection Blues

I remember about five years ago when I first decided I was going to write and publish a book, I knew that I would get the book written within a few months and that it would immediately get picked up by an agent, I would be offered a five-book contract with a major publishing house, and within a year I’d be watching my story play out on the big screen.

Weird how none of that happened, huh?

Instead, it took me closer to a year to finish my first book and edit it. Although I got a few nibbles on my manuscript, I pretty much ended up collecting rejection after rejection without even coming close to selling the book.

I was fortunate enough to have gotten some stellar advice from a seasoned author at the beginning of my journey; she told me to join writers’ groups and to go to as many conferences as possible. I did as she suggested, and I’m still grateful for everything I learned that first year as a writer. I learned not to take rejection personally, that it didn’t mean my book wasn’t any good, or that I was a hack. I learned what it meant to “write for the market” and why that meant I might not really fit in with the major publishing houses. And I learned, most importantly, that a real writer doesn’t need an agency, or a big-name publisher, or even a bucket-load of cash (although that would be nice). All a writer really needs is a reader.

So after another few years of incredibly frustrating rejections, close calls, and two more books that no one would give a chance, I decided to follow the footsteps of the new pioneers and went the self-publishing route.

I’m still trying to figure the whole thing out, and I’m absolutely miserable when it comes to maintaining a website and online presence thanks to my less than tech savvy nature, but I’ve never been happier. I hear from new readers all the time and I know that they’ve only heard about my books because someone else told them they were good. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool, but it’s also incredibly satisfying for me as an author to know that my books are steadily gaining more readers not because I’m a brilliant social media diva, but because my characters resonate with readers and my stories are solid enough to draw people in.

So when someone asks me how I deal with all the rejection I’ve gotten over the years, I look at some of my reviews and the letters I’ve gotten from readers, and I just shrug. Rejection is never a fun thing, but I know that I haven’t had to compromise my vision to match a bottom-line, and that I’m making it, slow as it may be, on my own merit. Do I still have dreams of getting a big contract? Of course! I’m only human, and it’s hard work being self-published. But every rejection made me a better writer, gave me more drive to get my work out there, and helped me realize that I don’t need to change my stories to match the market. All I really need is a reader, and they are everywhere, just waiting for a story.

If you loved this guest post, check out her book Instinct!

To tell the doesn’t really matter if you lie.

It’s impossible to lie to Derry MacKenna. For as long as she can remember, Derry has been plagued by the extraordinary ability to hear, see, and feel the truth. But when Derry and her erratic, self-centered mother move to historic Harpers Ferry, she discovers she is not the only one with hidden talents. 

As the newest reporter on the school newspaper, Derry learns of a high school student’s unexpected suicide and recognizes that the truth behind her death may still be hidden. When tragedy strikes, Derry is drawn into a deadly battle of wits with the only person whom her abilities don’t affect. 

Driven by guilt and an obsession with bringing the killer to justice, Derry finds herself in danger from a vindictive murderer, a sadistic deviant who preys on the weak, and trapped in the middle of a treacherous triangle of attraction between two brothers whose abilities rival her own. Derry must trust her instincts to guide her to the truth and bring her enemies to justice even as she fights for her own survival.

INSTINCT focuses on a gifted, intelligent, and loyal heroine who must contend not only with the inherent dangers of high school bullying and backstabbing, but with loss, grief, and guilt. Against issues of sexual abuse, teenage suicide, and destructive relationships, the heroine learns to cherish the strength of real friendship, understand accountability, and experiences the healing touch of first love.

Author Bio

Mattie Dunman is a lifelong resident of "Wild & Wonderful" West Virginia, and has dreamed of being a writer since she first held a pen in hand.

Mattie has pursued several useless degrees to support this dream, and presently enjoys teaching (or tormenting, as the case may be) college students the dying art of public speaking. She spends most of her free time writing, but also indulges in reading and traveling.

She is the proud owner of an adorably insane American Eskimo named Finn, and a tyrant cat named Bella, who take up more of her attention than they probably should.

Please visit Mattie's website at

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