Guest Post Featuring Jon Ripslinger
A Frayed Web
By Jon Ripslinger
Walter Bohannon fears love has blinded his mom. After his dad’s death, she reconnected with an old sweetheart, but Adam Kingsley may not be the same person she dated in high school. Even his teenage daughter doesn’t seem to know him very well.
Probing into Kingsley’s background, Walter discovers some disturbing things about his soon-to-be stepdad. Kingsley has secrets, and he might be willing to kill to protect them. Can Walter convince his mother of the danger before it’s too late?
After Jon Ripslinger retired as a public high school English teacher, he began a career as an author. He has published many young adult novels and truly enjoys writing books for teens. He has also published numerous short stories in Woman's World magazine.
Jon and his wife, Collette live in Iowa. They are the proud grandparents of thirteen grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
When not working writing, Jon enjoys the outdoors, especially fishing. He waits patiently for the next "big one" to strike.
Falling in Love
No doubt every writer has lows in his career.
I had one that lasted seven years.
In 1992 I found an agent to represent the second novel I'd written—the first one still remains in my file drawer. The published book is titled Triangle. My agent also found a publisher, Harcourt Brace, and in 1994 the book hit the marketplace with good reviews. The publisher quickly offered me a contract for a second book and paid me $1500, half of my $3000 advance. Man, I thought I was headed for a brilliant writing career as a young adult novelist.
But I was wrong.
The editor who worked with me on Triangle left Harcourt Brace, and though I'd signed a contact with HB, the company decided not to publish my second book, but I was allowed to keep my $1500. Not only that, my agent decided she no longer wanted to represent fiction, so she dropped me.
So there I was: 1996, no agent, no publisher.
What did I do? I kept writing and kept looking for a new agent.
I'll tell you why.
First of all, I fell in love with my writing space at home. The room was once a bedroom for my two daughters. But when they moved out, I quickly moved in. A full-sized metal office desk with five drawers faces the west wall. On it sits my iMac and an HP all-in-one Deskjet printer. On the wall above the desk is a four-foot long shelf holding thirty-five hardcover and paperback books (I just counted them) about the craft of writing fiction. Above the shelf hangs a clock. Other walls support shelves the hold perhaps 100 paperback and hardcover novels that I bought and read before I discovered amazon.com and Kindle. Two large inspirational posters that I glance at every day hang on the walls. One says: Miracles happen only to people who believe in them. The other: Happy are those who dream dreams and are eager to pay the price to make them happen. The room is my sanctuary, a place where I can meet with the characters in my head and record their adventures. I think every writer needs a space like that. Without it, I think I would have quite writing.
Secondly, I fell in love with the process of writing.
I simply love to return to the computer every morning and hook up again with my story friends. Listening to them telling their story in my head and recording it are the most important things I can do that day. I like to start at maybe six o'clock in the morning and write until nine and then have breakfast. Grocery shopping, lawn cutting, snow blowing, doctor appointments, and everything else can wait until later in the day. If something drastic happens and I can't get to the computer with my story friends, I feel guilty. I don't try to meet them later in the day. Morning is the only time for them and me.
I'll offer this somewhat embarrassing statistic from my records. During the twenty plus years I've been writing YA novels, I have sent out over 200 book queries to agents and publishers and have had only nine books accepted for publication. Not a very good batting percentage. Would a person really do that, go through all that work, if he didn't love his space and the process?
I don't think so.
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