The Year Mrs. Montague Cried

Last September I received an email from Susan White of New Brunswick. She had read my book and, like many others, had looked me up on line. Through some shared emails I found out that Susan had a book soon to be released by Acorn Press. I also learned that she was a retired school teacher and that she had suffered a tremendous loss when her son died in car accident.

I’ve invited Sue to write a guest blog post to talk a bit about her book. I have to say, this book really struck a cord with me. Thanks Sue. I wish you all the best with your wonderful novel.

The Year Mrs. Montague Cried

Almost a year ago I received the news that I had won first place in the Y/A category of the Atlantic Writing Competition. I had entered my manuscript The Year Mrs. Montague Cried hoping to get a positive response after having had sent it to six publishers and having had received six very polite rejection letters. I believed that if someone read the entire manuscript they would see the value of the story.

Just like most writers I waver in my belief in the worth of my writing and always must push myself to send it out and to renew my confidence after rejection. It had always been this way for my writing but this manuscript came with a whole lot of emotion and personal grief and was more than just words on paper.

I had spent a year crafting a story that held the very essence of the loss I felt after losing my oldest son Zachary in an automobile accident. I believed in this story because I knew the truth of it and had felt every word, every line, every page. And having felt it so deeply putting it out there seemed to wage war with the feelings of instinctually protecting myself from the vulnerability the pain of loss creates.

But winning the contest decided that for me and I was soon swept up with a proposal for publishing, the editing process and the eventual coming together of the book I now hold in my hands.

I am grateful for that journey and am encouraged anew to sit before my computer and write. Whatever The Year Mrs. Montague Cried becomes for the reader I know what it has been for me and I let it go just as we let go of the people we love, letting them go and keeping them at the same time and no one and nothing can take that away from us.

To learn more about Susan and her book you will find her at author-susan-white
There’s a lovely review of her book that appeared in the Chronicle Herald in July on her site right now. Thanks again Sue. I’m so glad we *met.*

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  1. Thanks Laura. It has been nice getting to know you. I am just getting in to this whole blog thing and appreciate the contact we have had.

    • Blogging is a whole other world, Susan. The community is wonderfully supportive and a great place to get to know people. It all takes time…

      Thanks again for sharing your thoughts on my blog.. The fact that six publishers rejected a story that went on to win a competition, and eventual publication, should give other writers hope. Determination to have our work published in sometimes all it takes. Those who stop trying will definitely never see publication…

  2. I have never been able to contact any author I have read. The email is there and it brings you to a home page but I never seem to find a place to comment. I mean, I’d really would like to have a little chat with my man Chaucer.

    • They say anything is possible, and I sure bet “your man Chaucer” would appreciate the nod from you, Carl. It might even make him smile or else roll over in his grave laughing depending upon what you wrote in that email. Maybe send him one of your cartoons Now there’s an idea. :)

  3. Thank you, Laura, for sharing Susan with us.

  4. Great guest post! And great book, too. It isn’t everyday a story comes along that you know you will never forget. Thank you for sharing, Susan!

  5. It is so nice to meet you, Susan. Deepest condolence on the passing of your son. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Thank you very much for your condolences. Sometimes it feels like we have no choice but to share our stories and I am very grateful for the avenue my story has been given.

  6. Thanks for introducing me to Susan and her book. Sometimes we’re too close to a personal story to be able to write it well, so it’s encouraging to hear of one that went on to be recognized with a contest win and subsequent contract. Congratulations to Susan on her success with The Year Mrs. Montague Cried!

  7. This sounds like a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing with us Laura and thanks for writing it Susan. I love connecting with authors I enjoy and admire, although it doesn’t always Carl pointed out. I am still trying to get in touch with my Ms. Austen.

    • Thank you Darlene. I love connecting with authors as well. I am always encouraged when I hear of their struggles to write and be published. I am so happy to be speaking from the published side of things. I would love to have a long chat with Lucy Maude Montgomery.

  8. Ann Best

     /  August 9, 2011

    It’s very true, Laura, this comment you made just now on my blog: “Leave it to grand kids to bring a smile to our face.” When I’m feeling down, pictures of my grandkids lift me up.

    And thanks to you, I’ve just met Susan White. I’m heading over right now to her site. (And I’m still hoping to be able to soon buy your book, Bitter, Sweet. The excerpt is SO good!!)

    • Glad the photos of your grand son cheer you up..:)

      Glad to be able to introduce everyone to Susan, and thank you for your kind words about my book! :)

  9. Thanks for introducing Susan White. While it must have been difficult to write of grief, I’m sure it was freeing as well, as it will be for your future readers, Susan. All the best.


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