Today I am honored to have Lisa Wysocky, author of The Opium Equation: A Cat Enright Mystery, as a guest blogger.
Steady Determination Eventually Makes Dreams Come True
by Lisa Wysocky
When I was twelve, my mother handed me a Dick Francis mystery. For the uninitiated, Dick Francis was a former steeplechase jockey who rode for Britain’s queen mother, After retiring from the track, he became a sports reporter and eventually turned to writing mysteries. I had grown up a typical horse crazy kid and loved the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries. But until my mother handed me the Francis book, I never realized one could combine mysteries and horses. Wow, I was hooked!
I’ve wanted to write a horse mystery since the second I finished my first Dick Francis book. But, as often happens in life, life got in the way. I went to school to become a horse trainer. I trained professionally for ten years, then became a newspaper reporter and a freelance writer after returning to school to study communications and journalism. I became a music industry publicist and a therapeutic riding instructor. It wasn’t until I was in my late thirties that I wrote my first horse mystery.
When my manuscript was finished I didn’t know what to do next, so I contacted an author friend who referred me to his agent. The agent signed me and sold the book right away––to a company that went bankrupt just as fast. I experienced major excitement and major disappointment in the same month. The book sold again, this time to a publisher who had huge staff changes. As soon as my editor left, my book was dropped. Discouraged, I began writing nonfiction. I did a successful book on country music stars and their horses and co-authored an autobiography with a man who has Tourette syndrome. That book eventually became a Hallmark Hall of Fame television movie. A book on horse training and a second book on country music stars and their horses followed, as did other co-authored and ghostwritten projects. But, no mystery publisher loomed in sight.
I re-wrote my horse mystery once, then twice, then a third time. An agent passed, then another. After that I went to mystery publishers directly. They all passed. I was getting ready to self-publish when the small but mighty Cool Titles said, “We love the book. We love The Opium Equation.” I couldn’t believe it, but they did!
The Opium Equation, my first horse mystery, was published seventeen years after I originally wrote it, Since then I am thrilled to announce that the book has won four prestigious awards. When I work with horses I always try to find a personal lesson in my interactions with them. One of those lessons has been that solid, steady plodding eventually brings you to your destination, and that is how it has been with The Opium Equation. So for anyone out there who has a dream, please don’t give up on it. Your dream may have to be tweaked or refined or updated along the way, as mine was, but slow and steady really does get you there in the end.
The Opium Equation is also available for your Kindle.