The Sound of Her Own Voice was completed. It had an arc of time through which characters grew and developed into their inevitable selves.
During the entire process of researching and writing I fell upon new ideas for novels, questions about what it means to be an American, a Jewish American, Jewish American woman; I thought about what assimilation takes and gives to a people, how greed can change a person, what it means to undertake nation building, and what makes one person strong and drives another to madness. I had discovered a fountain. It seemed that where to place the final period was almost arbitrary. So much was left for another time, another book, or the cutting room floor.
Now, I faced the hard part: who would publish my masterpiece? I knew who my audience was, but how was I to convince an agent or publisher that this book would interest and reach them? It seemed so simple to me at the time. But, I was not the only unknown writer in the world trying to catch the attention of someone on the inside of the publishing business. I needed to learn tricks and techniques about advertising that had nothing to do with the years of learning how to create fiction. Between being pissed off and disappointed at rejection after rejection I worked on how to write a catchy elevator pitch and a jazzy synopsis. I’m sure my basic resistance to it didn’t help move anything along easily or quickly, or for that matter effectively.
While friends, and friends of friends helped rewrite my first attempts at pithy and catchy lines describing 350 pages, I scoured the my bookshelves for indexes and bibliographies that suggested agents and/or publishers interested in my themes. And I collected form rejection letters.
I liked The Sound of Her Own Voice and I believed others would too. What to do about that stumped me. I began lurking in the the Women Writing the West chat room where I asked a few questions to the seasoned, knowledgeable women I found there, and decided to step into self-publishing. That, too, was an education I hadn’t bargained on.