My First Time

What does it take to publish your first novel? I asked some of the most famous novelists out there (and some not-so-famous), to talk about their first time. Some of the best writers of thrillers, mysteries, suspense and detective fiction tell their stories. They were just as insecure as any fledgling writer.

Look for more writers on this page, as well as literary agents and publishers. Everyone has a first time.

While there are more options today than ever to get published, getting picked up by one of the major New York houses is more difficult than ever. Consolidation, Amazon and the demise of large booksellers, has made publishing a novel by a first-time writer extremely difficult.

Start with Steve Berry. After seven years of his agent unsuccessfully pushing his manuscripts into editors’ hands and receiving 86 rejections, he finally sold his first novel. Some people credit him with riding on the shoulders of Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, but the truth is his success was due to his unyielding determination. Steve never gave up. When his time came, he was ready and succeeded beyond his dreams.

It’s the best lesson any beginning novelist can learn. Never give up.


In the Works

David Morrell – He cornered his future on the stairs because there was no where else to talk.
David Corbett He is all about character and he’s considered an incredible teacher. Learn from this guy.
Doug Lyle He’s a doctor, so he has to love blood and guts.
Steven James How does a strong christian write such gore? He recognizes the irony.
Kimberly Cameron (agent) Agents gotta start somewhere too. What’s it like to sell their first novel?