Stacey Kayne on Sticking to Your Guns

  • By: Jessica Faust | Date: Jul 10 2008

Stacey Kayne
The Gunslinger’s Untamed Bride
Publisher: Harlequin Historical
Pub date: July 2008
Agent: Kim Lionetti

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Author Web/Blog links:,,

Nothing calls to my writer’s soul like the lawless untamed setting of the old west, where opportunity and danger lurk beyond every bend. Rugged, wild, resilient—there’s such an elemental connection between the wild west scenery and the characters. While those first pioneers were packing up all their belongings and heading into the wild frontier you know they had friends and neighbors who thought they’d lost their minds to take such risk, to venture into unknown territory. In a sense writing a book is a lot like answering that call of the wild. We are taking a leap into a great unknown and finding faith in ourselves when it seems the world is against us. For the aspiring author, keeping that faith can become a daunting challenge. Surrounded by nonwriters in our day-to-day life, as most of us are, believing in yourself in the face of rejection and constant doubt can become downright grueling.

I remember the exact moment I heard the call of wild . . . when I realized I wanted to be a published author. I had just turned thirty, my two rambunctious boys had just started school, and I’d gone back to college. My American History night class had spawned a flood of daydreams and there I was, huddled up to my first computer, writing out these daydreams into the wee hours of the morning—and it hit me. I wasn’t just writing out a daydream, I was writing a romance novel. My initial reaction to that revelation was sheer shock, followed by mild amusement: Who am I to think I could possibly publish a romance novel? And then utter self-sympathy. I mean, I really wanted this . . . what if I put in all that effort . . . and failed? But it was too late to go back. I’d heard the call and I had to answer.

I told NO ONE about my newly budding ambitions to become a published author. A few months later I had started several manuscripts and closet writing was starting to pose some challenges. How could I grow, learn, become a stronger writer if I didn’t step outside? So I took the plunge, truly answering the call of the wild by making the announcement: I’M GOING TO BE A PUBLISHED AUTHOR . . . of, uh . . . romance novels. (No one was more surprised than my husband.)

Over the next five years of pursuing my dream I came to expect the startled reactions of nonwriters to this audacious claim—you’d have thought I said I was headed to the woods to wrestle me a b’ar. Common replies were along the lines of, “Are you crazy? Publishing a book is like winning the lottery.” My favorite was that burst of laughter followed by rounded eyes and, “Oh, you’re serious?” Or the sympathetic smile and, “Oh, honey, if publishing a book was that easy, everyone would do it.” Well, that’s true. Writing a book isn’t easy and getting that book published isn’t for the faint of heart. And none of these reactions are entirely encouraging to the aspiring author. Compile that with years of rejections and near sales, and faith is going to waiver. In my first year of writing I entered several contests, finished two manuscripts, signed with an agent, and finaled in the Golden Heart—and then dug in for four frustrating, enlightening, and disappointing years. This business requires persistence and somehow we have to stick to our guns and overcome doubt. Which brings me to the first of FIVE important aspects of the writer’s life that helped me to keep pressing on when there were those urging me to turn back—YOU have to be the first believer.

Keeping That Dream Fully Loaded:

1. BELIEVE in your ability to publish—no one else is going to carry this torch—it’s up to us to find faith in our work, to keep learning, polishing, and to make writing part of our reality. One way to make writing “real” in your life is to tell people you’re a writer. Another is to give yourself a workspace—doesn’t matter if it’s a corner or an office—have your writer’s domain. Set some short-range goals, whether it’s to finish a chapter, outline a book, send work out to be read, enter a contest . . . and print them. Make your goals something you can touch. I placed a corkboard beside my desk and would tack up goals, which became SASE postcards for submissions and contest entries. SEE IT—BELIEVE IT—ACHIEVE IT.

2. ENGAGE—stepping into the writer’s world can be a powerful driving force and helps to keep the focus on writing. Interacting with published authors and aspiring authors is energizing and fuel for ambition. If you aren’t near any local writers’ groups look for online groups. For the Romance writer, the chapters and resources available through Romance Writers of America are phenomenal. If you can swing the expense, go to RWA National!

3. COMMISERATE—with other authors. Seriously, you have to be an aspiring author to understand the trials, tribulations, and achievements of this business. Your nonwriter friends and family may try to understand, but they can’t. It’s not their fault. Seek out other writers! A tight network of writers can be the best support. When I first started writing I used contests as my first critique partner—I could keep advice I believe in and toss the rest. I joined the Yahoo group ContestAlert and met other contest entrants online, which is where I met most of my pals at Writer’s At Play. We banded together as twenty disgruntled unpublished hopefuls. By sharing our experiences and struggles to overcome we learn from each other. More than half of us are now published and we still gripe, share, and cheer for one another—as well as cross-promote.

4. SUBMIT—to contests, critique partners, editors, agents—putting your work out there for feedback and criticism is the fastest way to grow, and likely the scariest step for any aspiring author. It’s best to go into submitting by first accepting this simple fact: No matter how brilliant the writing, not everyone is going to like your work. I don’t care who ya are—even the NYT Bestsellers have their tough critics. So suck it up, expect criticism, and revert back to step one whenever necessary.

5. KEEP WRITING—for anyone pursuing a career as an author, keep in mind that you aren’t selling A BOOK—you’re selling YOUR VOICE, your unique blend of energy, dialogue, prose, and pacing that creates compelling stories. If you have a manuscript in the hopper making submission rounds, be fast at work on the next one. With every completed manuscript we learn more about our strengths and weaknesses as writers, which helps to define and polish that voice. The only way to develop consistency is to keep finishing manuscripts. For me personally, I wasn’t able to see the elements that made up my voice until my fourth manuscript—which happened to be the first book I sold, Mustang Wild. I was then able to go back and polish my other three manuscripts to reflect the same style and voice—and I sold all of them. Every completed manuscript is more ammunition.

I have to admit I was surprised by the general negative reactions of nonwriters to my aspirations of publishing a book. It seemed most wanted to save me from my disillusions. Anyone else out there have similar experiences? Do you remember the moment you answered the call of the wild—to write a book? For those still pounding on publishers’ doors, stick to your guns and keep the faith! Persistence is EVERYTHING.

Stacey’s fourth western historical romance novel is in bookstores now!
What reviewers are saying about The Gunslinger’s Untamed Bride:

“This second installment in Kayne’s Bride series is fast-paced and laced with humor, action and sexual tension. The characters are well developed and the plot suspenseful as it rushes headlong to an exciting conclusion.” 4 Stars ~ Romantic Times

“Kayne’s ability to craft multi-faceted characters, intriguing plots, action-packed adventure and sizzling romance promises to keep her in the forefront of the western romance genre.” 5 SPURS ~ Love Western Romances

“The deep level of emotionality combined with everyday human complexity gives this book, and this author, a new dimension.” Grade: A ~ The Good, The Bad, And The Unread

“Stacey Kayne has brought to life two incredible characters with Lily and Juniper. Their learning and changing is what made this book such a delight. Witty conversations, non-stop action and romance at its best—The Gunslingers Untamed Bride has it all.” 4.5 Stars ~ CataRo

75 responses to “Stacey Kayne on Sticking to Your Guns”

  1. Avatar Mona Risk says:

    Stacey what a fantastic blog. You are an inspiration to all writers. Yes, we believed in ourselves, engaged in writing to the point it sucked our day and night and every moment. We have been commiserating and supporting each other while submitting to contests,editors, finalling in contests and getting rejections, until the final shout, I SOLD. And now you said, Keep writing and keep… Thank you for the encouragement and the gentle push.

  2. Avatar Robena Grant says:

    What a well thought out blog entry. Thank you Stacey. I especially like your comment on finding your voice after manuscript four, then going back and revising the earlier manuscripts. I’ve been doing the same thing.
    I have five stories written, but it wasn’t until the fourth that things fell into place for me. Some of that earlier problem was due to not trusting myself and trying to incorporate too much of other writers suggestions. I lost my true voice. I stepped away from my crit group and spent a year alone. I’m only now resurfacing and understanding that I can work with someone else because I’m stronger, my writing is stronger, I have a better understanding of craft, and I know what works for me and what doesn’t.

  3. Excellent post, Stacey! Your five aspects of the writer’s life are spot-on. And I had the same experience with people reacting negatively to my desire to publish. I got everything from, “Why don’t you just write for yourself?” to well-meaning relatives sending me links to AuthorHouse and PublishAmerica, “because it’s just so hard to get published.”

    Fortunately, I’d already been through the same thing when I told people I was going to veterinary school. You’re right–they don’t want to see you get hurt. So I just smile and plow on…and now here I am, a published veterinarian. 🙂

  4. Avatar Paty Jager says:

    Stacey, I think every writer has gone through or will go through what you have. It’s like a rite of passage to be published.

    Those of us with fortitude and perseverance will prevail. Oh and a good book helps! 😉


  5. Avatar Heidi says:


    What a great blog post! I love each and every one of your points!

    You must have very different (and more aware) friends than I have! When I told people I finished my first novel, half asked me when it was going to be published and the other half went to Amazon to look for it! Oy! Having to explain how difficult the process is AFTER the writing felt like making excuses.

  6. Avatar Just_Me says:

    The first time I told a friend I was editing a manuscript to show to an agent she reacted just as you’d expect a non-writer to: It’s really hard to get published, most people don’t, why don’t you focus on areal goal?

    I didn’t finish editing that manuscript.

    But I’ve written others. I’m working on one that I think is promising. I’m editing. I’m setting aside time every day to pursue my goal. And I really appreciate this timely post!

  7. Avatar Terri Thayer says:

    Stacey, you have no idea what an inspiration you are. You are at least partially responsible for my own publishing success.

    I met Stacey at a California Writers Club meeting. I had driven five miles to get there.

    Stacey (and her mother who she dragged along for companionship)had driven 125 miles ONE WAY to attend the meeting. This while attending college and mothering two boys. She did this for several months.

    Her excitement was contagious. Her raw need to write was inspiring. Up until that point, I’d been thinking about writing. Stacey pushed me over the edge to write.

    So thanks, Stacey. You’re a hero without a cowboy hat and white stead.

  8. Avatar Natalie says:

    Thank you. Wonderful post. Just what I needed today.

  9. What an inspiring post. I suppose I’m fortunate in that everyone who knows I want to be a published writer has been very supportive, but at the same time, it puts a lot more pressure on me! It makes me feel like I should be getting published now when I’d rather hone my craft for another year or two and finish another manuscript (or more). And then there’s the years of possible rejection I face…

    But I really like hearing from authors who *didn’t* sell their first novel, and maybe had to struggle for years even though they are good writers. It’s truly inspiring, and your five points are valuable to writers, no matter how much support or success they have.

  10. Avatar MaryF says:

    Stacey, I have been very fortunate in my long trek to have support. No one has tried to dissuade me or teased (too much.)

    I’m trying to go back to my first ms to revise…way harder than I expected!

  11. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Heidi..I laughed when I read your post…my freinds are all the same…I just signed an agent on the strength of a manuscript that is right now being shopped to a number of large publishing houses. My friends all want to know when they can buy it….actually, as soon as I signed with an agent they thought I’d sold….I told them, if it sells, it will be a while! But luckily for me, my friends have been amazing and I’ve had not one, huh?

  12. Avatar Gina Robinson says:

    Thanks for sharing your inspiring story, Stacey!

  13. Avatar Kate Douglas says:

    Fantastic post, Stacey. You nailed it, especially the lack of support and downright negative comments well-meaning friends can make. I learned to keep my aspirations to myself (after twenty years, they all thought I was nuts, anyway!) but I’ll admit to a very childish glee to hear from those same friends now who walk into bookstores and see my latest release on the “new titles” tables at the front of the store! I guess I’d add one more point to your excellent list: when you finally sell, and you will! RELISH the success! A little wallowing and the occasional giggle is good for the soul.

  14. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Hi Mona! Thanks so much for stopping in–and thank YOU the encouragement and hudges 🙂 We’ve been through the trenches together, huh? And STILL ARE! I think when you publish you don’t get out, you just dig deeper 😉 WAP keeps it fun!

  15. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Another great thing about having a fun group of writing friends is CELEBRATING! Every success on the road to publishing deserves cheers and confetti!! Even if it’s just getting through a really tough chapter. We don’t all critiuqe together, but chat daily about what’s going on in our lives. I can count on my WAP Pals to cheer me on and I look forward to cheering for them 😉

  16. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Hi Robena! I’m glad you were able to step back and realize you’d lost your voice. That is one hazard of an overly-helpful critique group. Best of luck with your submissions!!

    I was never comforatalbe in a critique group–I felt like everyone’s hands were on my work and then they “expected” me to follow their suggestions. I used contests when I first started writing so that I could keep advice I liked and toss the rest. Boy was that expensive! But it worked, and I have a bunch of pretty prize trinkets *lol*

    Finding the right critque fit for a new writing is another rough challange. I had finished a few ms’s and been with my agent for a while before I found my critique partners. The best thing about Sheila, Carla and Marlene is that they UNDERSTAND MY VOICE. They get it and are aware of it, and have never tried to change it.

    My best advice for anyone critiqing with others–only do it if you feel you can be completely honest without the worry of hurt feelings when turning down advice you don’t agree with. Stick to your guns 😉

  17. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Congratulations Christine!! A published veterinarian–that’s a huge accomplishment! Achieving a goal despite the doubt of others makes that success all the sweeter 😉

    Despite the flack, annnouncing the dream is in a way owning up to that goal. It’s another demension of making the dream REAL 🙂

  18. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Hi’ya Paty!! No one knows perseverance better than we WESTERN authors, huh?

    Congratulations on your success, and sticking to those guns 😉

  19. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Thanks, Heidi! Too funny about the friends looking for your books. I got some of that too—though nothing like the day after you sell—everyone and their mother will be calling you from the bookstore. It takes nearly a year for that book to hit the shelves, and I swear some people didn’t believe me 😉 Those non-writers…

  20. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Hey just_me! So glad you started other manuscripts!! We do get stronger with each one — and remember, you don’t “think” it’s a promising manuscript, you “BELIEVE” it’s a promising manuscript *g* Than confidence will shine through in your work–believe and make others believe. YOU CAN DO IT!!! Congratulations on the new success 🙂

  21. Avatar Anonymous says:

    I’m lucky in that my family and friends have been supportive of my writing ambitions, probably because I work as a copywriter in my day job. But I’m the one that thinks I’m probably deluding myself, like those American Idol contestants who think they can sing.

    Funny what Anonymous 11:27 said: When I signed with my now-former agent, non-writers assumed I’d sold too.

    I wish, though, I’d been more quiet about my writing ambitions. It’s so hard to explain to people why I haven’t been published yet, and why I don’t have an agent anymore.

    Luckily, I have a wonderful critique group who understands the challenges of this business.

  22. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    TERRI!!!! My very first writing pal 🙂 Thank you so much!!! Was I a jittery basket-case at those meetings or what? *g* Poor Terri sat by me as I had a panic attack just from standing up and saying my name *lol* Engaging in the writer’s world is a great cure for agoraphobia!! I was just talking about those early meetings with my mom the other day. I gave a workshop on VOICE at the Sacramento RWA chapter (I do travel alone now, but she’s fun to have around *g*) and she was saying she could hardly believe I was the same daughter she had to drag to meetings and who nearly passed out during name introductions 😉 I miss those CWC meetings. And how funny that we’d meet up again at BookEnds!! I’m so thrilled for your success–and I still remember your vengeful soccer mom 🙂

  23. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Hi Natalie ~ thanks for stopping in 🙂

  24. Avatar Jessica says:

    Your books have always looked interesting to me! Thanks for your five tips. I haven’t run across anyone telling me I can’t be published but instead everyone is like, OH when? So 🙂 then I have to temper my own dreams, lol.
    But your so right about writing friends. I’m so thankful for RWA, ACFW and for blogs like this. It helps my dreams feel like they have more substance.

  25. Avatar Marlene says:

    Appreciate the words of encouragement, Stacey. It is always good to hear how writers become authors. Glad you stuck to your guns because you’re an awesome writer.

  26. Avatar Linda Broday says:

    Hi Stacey, love your subject! It’s one near and dear to my heart. When people ask me the secret to publishing I always smile and say “perseverance.” That’s really the key. You have to be willing to dig in your heels and keep trying over and over again.

    I answered the call of the wild when my children were quite young too. I read a romance book and didn’t like the way it ended. I thought I could do better and set out to prove it. It took me almost five years to finish my first manuscript. I’d keep starting and stopping, never really believing I could do it. But I didn’t give up. I’m a Taurus and we’re known for our god-awful stubbornness!

    I’m really glad I kept at my writing. The reward has been so sweet.

  27. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Hi Kristin! Find success in the fact that you are pushing on and doing all you need to do to develop your craft–a vital part of the journey, one that’s less apprecaited by others but will be cherished by your readers 😉

    Congratulations on completing that manuscript!

  28. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Hi Mary! LOL! I know what you mean about opening those old files and letting the moths out *g*. My June 09 release is a polished version of Morning Star, my third manuscript. I actually sent the original file to my editors just to introduce them to the characters and their response was too funny–I think I scared them *g* They said it had no spark, and where had my voice gone…they coudn’t recommend publishing it. I had to remind them I was just introducing them to the characters, that I could cut them from the old cloth and breath life into them. I did and they loved it 😉 Amazing the difference one manuscript can make–with #4 everything clicked and I could see the strings that tied everything together 😉

    Happy snipping and tucking those older ms’s, Mary!! It’s work *g*

  29. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Congratulations on signing with an agent, Anonymous! Best of luck with your submission!!

  30. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Hi Gina! Thank you for stopping in 🙂

  31. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Hi Kate! I can’t agree more, “A little wallowing and the occasional giggle is good for the soul.” And relishing success shouldn’t be bypassed–celbrate your achievments!!

    And yeah…after so many years in the unpubbed trenches the “Have you sold a book yet” line gets old and irritating *lol* I still think taking that stand is an important step in building confidence. And look at you–YOU DID IT!!

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  32. Avatar flchen1 says:

    Stacey, just wanted to say that I really enjoyed your post today–I’m glad you’re sticking with it! And I hope this inspires other writers to do the same! We readers are truly grateful!

  33. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Hi Anonymous ~ I had my days of doubt too, when five years, tons of time and expense later I didn’t feel any closer to reaching my goal–I was getting ready to part ways with my first agent, feeling lower than dirt and then BAM!

    That SALE hits when you least expect it. But you got to keep holding up that lightening rod 😉 When I sold my westerns I’d been writing romantic supsense for over a year because the western market seemed impossible–and yet it was the westerns that sold first. Keep sending out!

  34. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Thank you, Jessica! The Harlequin art department has been good to me 😉

    Substance is really important when you’re trying to build a career on dreams and faith. Being around those who’d achieved my goal was a huge help for me in believing in that possibility. Surrounding yourself in that positive energy can save you on a bad day when faith is dwindling.

    Thank you for stopping in to share!

  35. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Hey Marlene! My fearless critique partner–Your drive to learn and grow as a writer has been an inspiration–can’t wait to hold one of YOUR books 🙂

  36. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Hi Linda! I’m so glad you perservered!! Aside from being a fellow Filly over at Petticoats & Pistols, you were one of my early contest judges who inspired me the most–replying to my thank you and offering encouragement. A published author of fantastic westerns who believed in my writing–it meant so much to me 🙂

  37. Avatar Jana Mercy says:

    Stacey, I’ve e-published and am still pursuing my dream of selling to a mass market print house. Thanks for the inspiring story of your journey and for the awesome books that keep me awake way into the night! You rock.

  38. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Hi Fedora! So glad you stopped in–it’s the readers who allow us to do what we love. There’s nothing sweeter than hearing from those who’ve enjoyed your work.


  39. Stacey, you have been an inspiration to many. Thanks for sharing your story. Congratulations on your success!

  40. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Hey Janice! You know, when I joined RWA I wasn’t looking for friends but as you said, the friendships have been the biggest bonus. Thanks for stopping in to share–YOU rock 😉

  41. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Jana, you wild thang, your Ellora’s Cave books are fabulous! Keep up the great writing…new doors will open 😉

    Thanks for dropping by!!

  42. Avatar Jill James says:

    Stacey, what a great blog post. I heeded the call when I was tired of saying I was going to write a book and finally sat down and actually wrote one, and now five. Onward and upward!

  43. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Thank you, Theresa – you have been one my inspirations! CONGRATULATIONS on your ’08 Golden Heart final!!

  44. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Love that positive attitude, Jill! Congratulations on completing five manuscripts!

    I had written eleven before I sold the fourth, and then first, and then the fifth, then a new one, and now the third…I’m contracted for three more westerns…not sure where they’ll fall in my old ms line up vs. new *g*

    Wishing you all the best with your submissions!

  45. I totally commiserate on the well-meaning friends. Last night I had a few people over to celebrate finishing this draft, and one of my dear friends asked me, “In all seriousness, what do you think your chances of selling this are?”

    My answer – “I’m hoping they’re pretty darned good. Otherwise, it’ll be the next manuscript. But I will be a published author!”

    Thanks for sharing your story, Stacey!

  46. Just a wonderful post! Thanks so much for sharing your story and success with us. 🙂

  47. Great post Stacey, and not only did you persevere as a writer, but you persevered with your genre and it wasn’t so long ago that we heard that westerns were no more. So I might add to your list, don’t chase the market, write what you like to write and write it well.

    I actually haven’t run into a great deal of discouragement from my non writer friends and family. They are a little bemused, but often fascinated with the process.

  48. Stacey, what a great post. I’ve been in a slight slump and reading your list reminded me why I can’t stop writing. Can’t wait to read your next historical!


  49. Thanks, Stacey.
    This post makes me realize I’m not believing in myself for nothing and I’m not totally crazy. As a fellow romance author, I’ve had many of the same reactions. My favorite was “but when are you going to write a REAL book?”
    This post gives me the encouragement to keep on going. I’ll have to get it out and read it next time I’m feeling totally dejected!

  50. Avatar Janice Lynn says:

    Stacey, what a fabulous post! And right on the money on your 5 items. The best thing I can say about the pursuit to publication was the friends I made along the way. That alone was worth all the set-backs. 🙂

    You’re fab & keep sticking to those guns because we love your books!!

  51. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Exactly, Christine! When I first started writing I attended a workshop where the speaker said we had be realistic and accept that we might not publish. I was infuriated and refused to open my mind that way of thinking. Why would I subject myself to such self-punishment if I didn’t believe I’d make it? If we can’t believe in our work, how can we convince publishers to believe in it?

    That’s not to say I didn’t have my share of wallowing days when I cursed ever having bought my first computer and wondered what magic words I must have missed along the way–it gets tough and we need wallow days *g*. But I found my way back to the PUBLISH OR BUST attitude. Keep learning, polishing and pumping out manuscritps!

    Wishing you much success with your submissions. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  52. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Thank you, Gillian 🙂

  53. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Hi Michele! Hoorah for WESTERNS!! *g* Contratulations on your success!!

    While I think every writer should write what they love, and I love my dusty westerns, the market is a tough animal to fight. When I finished my first book in ’02 the whole buzz at conference was that westerns were dead. I couldn’t believe it. My agent said I’d likely have to be patient, that it could 4-5 years before the market shifted back. I could keep writing westerns or make a genre jump–either was fine with him, so long as I loved what I was writing. He cautioned me against writing for the market because writing is hard enough without getting stuck with contracts for books you don’t enjoy and aren’t passionate about.

    But after another near-sell in ’04, I made the jump to romantic suspense. I didn’t give up on my Westerns, I subbed them out here and there, but my writing focus was on RS. I found my nitch and was just starting to embark on this new submission venture–which was when I came to BookEnds–and wouldn’t you know–I sold the WESTERNS! He was right–it took 4.5 years! When I sold MUSTANG I had a pile of ocmpleted ms’s, but hadn’t written a western in over two years. My RS have been on hold while I settle into my western digs—definitely my happy place 🙂 Doesn’t hurt to be versitile–but I do love my cowboys 😉

    It is an adventure 😉

  54. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Durn straight, you can’t stop writing, Lindsey! I know for a fact your work is fabulous! I have faith that lighting WILL strike 🙂 You let me know whenver you need remding–and ((HUGS)) on the wait.

  55. Avatar jo robertson says:

    Great post, Stacey, popping over from the Bandita Lair to say hello. I never fail to be inspired by another writer’s call story or her dedication to persistence and hard work!

    Kudos, friend!

  56. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    I’m glad you found my post useful, Jess! I know that feeling of dejection–the morning I got THE CALL was likely one of my lowest days. Two seconds later changed everything. Had I not sold that day, I have no doubt my writing pals would have kicked me back in gear.

    Gotta keep the faith 😉

    Thanks for sharing!

  57. Stacey,
    Your posts are always so inspiring. Thanks for another great one.


  58. Avatar Anonymous says:

    That was a great post and it really inspired me…I just went and found a ton of competitions to enter in the next month.I was feeling very despondent so thank you

  59. Avatar Anne Carrole says:

    Great “pep” talk, Stacey. So true about needing to believe in yourself–hard as that can be some days. And about finding one’s voice. I’m a big fan of your “voice” as you know!

  60. Avatar Kris Kennedy says:

    Hi Stacey,
    Tripped over your blog today, and had to post and say Hi and ‘Yeah!’ for talking about persistence!

    It’s the only thing success stories have in common. In any field, in any profession, the ones who make it are the ones who stuck with it.

    My super favorite quote, from a former president, Calvin Coolidge:
    “Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and Determination alone are omnipotent.”

    I LOVE persistence! LOL And I love your books. Hope you write a hundred more.

    Congrats on all your successes, and sorry for carrying on so! 🙂


  61. Avatar Beth says:

    Stacey, what a great post! As a huge fan of your books, I’m so glad you stuck to your guns *g*

    I do remember when I answered the call of the wild. I was 21, had just had my first baby and was reading a ton of romances and then, one day, I decided I wanted to write one. It took me ten years before I actually sat down and put that first story on paper but I’ve been writing ever since 🙂

  62. Avatar GladysMP says:

    Writers have to obey the motto, “Let nothing discourage you; never give up.” A lot of occupations require that.

    And, boy do I agree with you about the appeal of a wild west story. Even the scenery is exciting.

  63. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Thank you, Jo – same here. I’m constantly inspired by the writers around me – and the banditas over at Romance Bandits 😉

    Hi Jeanmarie! Thanks for stopping in 🙂

    Thank YOU, anonymous, for stopping in to share. Wishing you much success with your writing and your entries!

  64. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Thank you, Sheila! Wouldn’t have wanted to stick it out without ya 😉

  65. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Thank you, Anne! I’m looking forward to checking out your new book.

  66. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Wow, what a fantastic quote, Kris! Thanks so much sharing. The long, wearp path we tread, huh? But it’s worth it! Thank you for the compliments and good wishes 🙂

  67. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Right back at you Beth! Your fist book was amazing–can’t wait for book two 🙂

    Isn’t it strange how so many of heard the call…but took our time in answering–I bet the kiddies played a part in that. I admire anyone who has small children and writers. I didn’t get bit by the writing bug until my boys started kindergarden–I don’t think I could have handled anything before then 😉

  68. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Oh so true, Gladys–on both accounts 🙂 Thank you for stopping in to share!

  69. Avatar Sheila Raye says:

    Stacey, so glad you never gave up! Thanks for the words of inspiration.

  70. Avatar Vicki says:

    I can’t believe I missed this yesterday. I know I’m very late to party, and not in the oh so fashionable way, but I’m still going to leave my comment. 🙂

    The post is/was great! Very much a must read for all of us.

    One of my toughest critic’s is my mother. I know, who would have thought. You’re told not to mention ‘my mom loved my book’, and of course I don’t. The thing is my mom is a huge reader and the first time she read the draft chapters 1-3 of my book, she called me and said something along the lines of, ‘it’s okay, maybe a good premise, but really Vicki, I just wasn’t there in the book. You need to rework this.’

    She loved me but she is honest to a fault, she also didn’t really think I was going to do this. I’d written several other books but never did anything with them and this would probably be the same.

    Funny thing is when I finally let her read the polished manuscript she called and said, ‘It’s good, really good.’ Like she was totally shocked. Now every time we talk, it’s when are you going to get it published? Me: When I get an agent and an editor. 🙂

  71. Avatar BrendaNovak says:

    Hi Stacey–

    What a great blog. I’ve heard the western market is really heating up. How exciting that you’re poised to really take advantage of that upswing.

    You’re a talented writer. Keep turning out those great books!

    Brenda Novak

  72. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Never too late 😉 Thanks for stopping in Vicki! One of my CP’s has the same kind of mom—and just like you, she’s starting ot win her over 😉 I have no doubt when your books hit the shelvs you moms will become your biggest fans!

    My mom has been my biggest supporter–since I didn’t have to fly she’s actually coming to Natinal with me this year–she and her cousin are looking forward to the Lit signing and GH/Rita night. I told her I’m gonna get her a name badge that says “Stacey Kayne’s Mom” *g*

    Thanks for sharing, Vicki!!!

  73. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Thank you, Brenda! Here’s HOPING 😉

    CONGRATS on making the NYT Bestseller list!! Wooohooo!!!

  74. Avatar Santa says:

    I just wanted to let you know that I’ve really enjoyed all your books. They are all marvelous. I am especially loving the Maverick series and can’t wait to get my hands on your latest!

    And your writing advice could not have come at a better time! Thanks for sharing your insights and your talent with us!

  75. Avatar Stacey Kayne says:

    Hey santa ~ Thank you! Glad my post was helpful–wishing you all the best with your writing.