Julia Heaberlin tells her story about quitting the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, where she was features editor, to reinvent herself as an author: “I wanted out of the frenetic, chasing-my-tail lifestyle of working for a corporation.”
But “almost as soon as I left the paper, our air conditioner and washing machine died, nipping into our nest egg, the first hint that we were not prepared. Furloughs and pay cuts and the fear of layoffs loomed ahead for my husband, also an editor at the Star-Telegram.”
After many rejections, her novel “Playing Dead” was published today.
My dream was realized, but not at all in the way I expected. The advance was extremely decent for a first-time author, but it is portioned out in seven payments over two years. If you add up all the hours and years and money spent getting to this point, I’m still working at a poverty-level wage. But I’m thankful. Realistic. Calloused from all that rejection, which is not such a bad thing.
Scott Martelle writes about his “old friend and former colleague” Heaberlin and says “the difference between Julie’s writing career and mine is that she made the conscious leap to leave a lifelong career, while I was pushed. But we’re in similar places now. I’ve published three nonfiction books, and still relish the sense of accomplishment, and semi-permanence, that comes with seeing my name in the Library of Congress.”
* Author’s debut mystery novel nearly made her come unraveled (DFW.com)
* A Q-and-A with the author of “Playing Dead” (juliaheaberlin.com)
* Cheering on an old friend’s new book and re-invented life (scottmartelle.com)