Monday, October 27, 2008

Guest blogger Jeff Rivera talks about his journey to getting published

My journey to getting published: an inspirational essay by author, Jeff Rivera

I remember walking along the beach in Hull, Massachusettes. I was depressed and frustrated, wondering if I'd ever even finish this crazy little story called Forever My Lady. See, I had this idea that because Hollywood kept rejecting my screenplay for Forever My Lady that somehow, maybe real people would be interested in reading it. So, that's why I set out to write it as a novel. Nevermind the fact that I had never written a novel before, nevermind the fact that I had already decided to self-publish it and didn't have a dime to my name.

I had this idea in my head because some small voice inside of me kept longing me to do it. It's that nagging part of me that kept pushing me to go when I felt stuck in my life, when I was disappointed in the people that didn't "get me" that kept me going. Yet, here I am and now my novel, Forever My Lady is being released by Grand Central Publishing. I knew it was a crap shoot to be one of the few people who went from self-published to published but I had to anyways.

I want to be a voice of inspiration to any of you writers out there that have self-published something and want to make that leap out there to being published by a major because it can happen. I'm living proof of it. I'm not saying it's the best route but if you decide to take that route it can be very rewarding.

I worked so hard to promote my book. Not having a dime to my name forced me to become creative with my promoting. I stuck to online promotion, spreading word through mainly message boards and forums, spamming the world. And eventually because of the love for my story it was the fans that spread word mostly. It was their support that kept me going. I'll never become jaded by those letters and emails.

I felt like I was on a mission, that I had to tell this story. It wasn't every day that a Black American writes a Latino story and I had that strike against me. Would people accept me? Would they "get" me? How would I pay for the printing? All those questions entered my head.

But one thing I learned is that God, the Universe, whatever you believe in has given you right now everything you need to succeed. Anything else you need will fall into the right place at the right time. And I knew that I had internet access, I had the time, I had the energy and I had the drive to tell the story I wanted to tell and that's all I needed. Think about what you have. If it truly is your dream to get published you won't allow those doubts and excuses to enter your mind. No, you'll keep moving forward.


Note from Cheryl:

I've had the pleasure of talking with Jeff Rivera and working with him. He is an extremely gifted writer and someone I'm very pleased to call a friend. I am so happy to see that his novel Forever My Lady is being released tomorrow.

You can order Jeff's novel at your favorite online retailer such as, or purchase from your favorite bookstore. If they don't have it in stock, please ask them to order it.

Visit Jeff's website at:

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