From Plotting to Published By Alison O’Mara


My infatuation with reading started at a young age.  While escaping into well-crafted fictional worlds, the thought of creating my own hovered at the back of my mind.  As a tween, I secretly journaled about stories I could one day turn into a novel.  None of these ideas ever made it far, but the enthusiasm remained.

As my tastes matured in adulthood, I realized that my steady favorites were old-fashioned murder mysteries.  Having grown up immersed in a world of horses, cats, and dogs, I also had a soft spot for heartwarming stories about four-legged friends.

The threads of miscellaneous ideas finally solidified into a plot, and I wrote a manuscript while simultaneously hunting for a full-time day job.  I sent out a few hopeful inquiries to publishers, but, after a few rejections, I shelved it.

It was some years before I dusted off my novel.  Most of my friends and family did not even know I had written it.  One day soon after we were married, I mentioned it to my husband, and his enthusiasm was infectious.  His support was just the boost I needed to take another look.

I naively thought to myself “I wrote about 300 pages, so it’s mostly done.”  After honest reflection, I realized that it would take hard work to polish my story.  I sought the assistance of my brilliant and honest-to-a-fault sister, who dabbles in editing.

The rounds of editing/re-writing were difficult.  At times, I became frustrated when I couldn’t figure out how to make my plot come to life.  One night, I even asked my husband to act out a fight scene with me.  He was a great sport and willingly complied as I knocked an imaginary gun out of his hands.  

Now that I finally see my book, Catch Handle, on Amazon, I still have to pinch myself to believe it.  I hope that readers enjoy it, and the work has all been worth it for the pride I feel in finally being a published author. 

For any writers out there nervous about how your final product will be received, keep at it!  No matter what, you will have such a feeling of accomplishment when you finish!

Written by Alison O’Mara

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