Fun Fact Friday – Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Well, if we had started to write in the 70’s we just might be published by now.  Too bad I wasn’t writing then… well I probably wasn’t even thought of quite yet.  I missed the 70’s by a couple of years.  Here’s a story of people we love to hate 🙂 But it also shows that miracles do happen.

Susan Eliazaeth Phillips started to write in 1976 with a friend two houses down.  They had no idea what they were doing but loved to read.  Here is her account of how she published her first book:

I STARTED TO WRITE completely by accident. I taught high school until our
oldest son was born, then quit to stay home. In 1976, my husband’s job took us
from Ohio to central New Jersey. My best friend Claire lived two doors down the
street. Both of us were big readers, reading everything from literary fiction to
the newly popular historical romance novels. We loved talking about the
books—what we liked, what we didn’t. One day, just for fun, we decided to try to
write a book together. For three weeks as we rode our bikes in the evening, with
my toddler in the baby seat behind me, we plotted our story. Then we sat down
with a yellow pad and began to write.

IDIOTS’ LUCK. With only half the manuscript completed, we got the phone number of an editor at Dell Publishing. Sweating bullets, we called her. She was a very nice woman, asked us some questions about our book, and then agreed to see it, even though it wasn’t finished. Unfortunately, she also wanted to see a synopsis. Synopsis?We barely knew what was going to happen in the next chapter, let alone the end of the book. Knees trembling, we ran to the typewriter and came up with something, then spent the next few weeks typing a fresh copy of our manuscript to mail off.

THREE WEEKS LATER the telephone rang. It was the editor. “I’m calling from Dell Publishing. We’ve read your manuscript. We like it. And Dell is prepared to make you an offer.”

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2 thoughts on “Fun Fact Friday – Susan Elizabeth Phillips

  1. juliesanocki says:

    Kind of makes you sick, huh? Something not quite so fabulous but equally unfair happened to a friend, and I felt caught between rejoicing in her good luck and seething in jealousy that my hard work still hadn’t paid off. It was disappointingly difficult to push down those negative feelings.

    • M. Ziegler says:

      Yes. It sort of makes you want to ask “whats wrong with me?” and you usually hear yourself thinking “my writing is better then that.” But maybe it is karma. Maybe we need to think good thoughts to help move our own writing forward… or that is what I tell myself today.

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