Thursday, November 3, 2011


By Karen Cino, Chapter President

Imagine my surprise when I received an email welcoming me to the Secret Cravings Publishing family. I had to read the email over and over again before I believed it – my First Sale!

Writing has always been an important part of my life. My writing has been my best friend, and is always there at all the low times of my life, making it all bearable. The rejection letters that have come over the course of the past 30 years have always set me back.

But something happened this past year – I made a promise to myself that I wasn’t going to give up and I was going to send out my novel ROSES one last time. I wasn’t going to stop writing, as I would just be spiting myself. My writing is the one part of me where I don’t have to lie or hide. I can release all my inner feelings, and create characters that (I hope) will make a lasting impression on the reader and possibly help them deal with similar problems.

My genre has always been Women’s Fiction. It’s not that I don’t believe in happy endings, but I believe that life isn’t a fairytale. We all make mistakes, get involved in relationships that we shouldn’t, and we should be given a second chance at love.

Back to the email…I can go on and on about what reading that precious email meant to me and how I did my happy dance for two days, but I won’t. What I want to do is share something that’s more important than getting a contract. (Yeah right. Whom am I kidding?) What I want to share with you is my journey of rejection and determination.

I began sending out manuscript partials when you had to buy manila envelopes and send a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope). Can’t remember the exact costs, but I do remember it cost me quite a bit. I patiently waited for those SASEs to come back only to realize that no one read past the first page. I didn’t understand why back them, but now I know why. My manuscript wasn’t ready for publication. I stopped for months, not writing and being disgusted, but I never gave up hope. I rewrote, revised and revised and revised. And every time I revised, my manuscript got better and better.

My advice to aspiring authors is to never give up. Be yourself, write what you know and love, and don’t be afraid to ask one of your fellow RWA peers for help.

I’d also like to share with you my secret for keeping sane. Every day, something happens in my little world over here in Staten Island, making it almost impossible to get any writing done, causing me to become extremely agitated. My remedy, besides going out to the local DSW shoe store or Sephora and stocking up, is to take a walk through my neighborhood. Try it. You will be amazed at what you see and how it will boost your creativity.

And lastly, remember to write, write and write some more, in hopes that one day you too will receive an email welcoming you to a publishing family.♥

Karen Cino is President of Romance Writers of America New York City Chapter.  Her novel ROSES has been bought by Secret Cravings and will debut in e-book format in February 2012, with book format in July 2012.


  1. It's a long time coming and well deserved.
    Every writer dreams of the same thing, and that's the day when for the first time someone says they will buy your manuscript.

    Being rcognized for your work not only puts your spirit on top of the world, but spurs you on and keeps those creative juices flowing.

    Sometimes it takes a while, but when the fire is in your belly, there is no way to halt your will. Congratulations on your sale and this great post.

  2. Congratulations, Karen! I will always remember my first sale.

    You are right...never give up. If you do, you'll never know how close you came to receiving 'the call.'

    Wonderfully inspiring post!

  3. I am so happy for you! Yes - I agree keep going - putting those words on the page.

  4. Thank you ladies for your well wishes.

  5. You and I have been on the same rocky journey. Now that we've received "the call", another phase awaits us. I will always remember that freaky Monday; us getting "the call" on the same day after years of persistence 2 hours apart! Wow! We couldn't make this up if we tried! My heartfelt congratulations to you, my friend.