Monday, May 7, 2012


By Karen Cino

I’m not going to bore you with a long explanation on how I’ve been writing since I was 14. I will fast forward to my first submission at 21, fresh out of college. I went to the bookstore and bought a copy of the WRITER’S MARKET NOVEL AND SHORT STORY, and with a red bingo crayon I underlined all the publishers I was sending my 500-page manuscript to. I sent my self-addressed stamped envelopes out, only to get them back within a week. The number of rejections was overwhelming. They were coming in faster than I was mailing them.

Through the years, I continued to write, always keeping my dream of being a published author in the back of my mind. It was a dream that I was not going to give up. I just needed time to write more and learn more.

I continued writing and switched gears to my other dream -- to be a sportswriter. Well, that dream was short-lived. There weren’t any women sportswriters working at any of the major newspapers, despite Phyllis George’s breaking the barrier in the mid 70’s. I used my knowledge of baseball to write two other novels. I still have them on the top shelf of my closet, as a reminder of how much my writing has evolved over the past 30 years.

In the late 90’s, I took a few classes at the Writer’s Digest School. I also worked for a couple of years as a reporter for the Staten Island Register. By the early 2000’s, I decided it was time to get back to my love of fiction. I wrote another book and began sending it out; only to get those same rejection letters again. It wasn’t until one night in February 2006, that I found a link to the RWANYC chapter. I attended the March meeting, and the rest is history.

Month after month, I attended meetings, took in all the information I was given, and then learned the mechanics of writing a novel. I learned how to revise, characterize, and perfect the POV in my story, besides making great friends.

Then came ROSES. I revised and rewrote ROSES so many times, but I always made sure that I never lost my voice. ROSES had started out at over 103,000 words, with an 18-page prologue. I threw out 60,000 words, and went right into the action. I swore that this was going to be the last time that I ever sent it out. ROSES had special meaning to me because it was the last manuscript that my grandmother had read; so off it went.

In less than 48 hours, I had an email from the publisher at Secret Cravings Publishing. I just stared at it. I knew what a quick response meant – thanks, but no thanks. But I opened it anyway. As I read the first sentence – words can never describe what I felt when I saw a contract attached to the email. My eyes filled with tears, I started yelling and jumping up and down. I just kept reading the email over and over again. My dream had finally come true. Well, not yet.

After weeks of going back and forth with my editor on revisions, it all came together when I went on line the morning of April 18, 2012, to see my book up for sale on the Secret Cravings Publishing website. Woo Hoo! Oh, what a feeling! I danced around in my slipper socks, across my bedroom. My dream had finally come true, and my career as a published author is now a reality.

And later this summer, Secret Cravings Publishing will release my second novel, THE BOARDWALK.

To celebrate, I slipped into my sneakers, stuffed my mini-notepad into my pants pocket, pen sticking out of my ponytail, and I was off to the boardwalk. It’s never too soon to start plotting out my next novel.♥

To view the ROSES book trailer, visit Karen’s website at

Karen Cino is an author, poet and former journalist. She’d been writing since she was 14-years old. She started her career writing poetry, short stories and articles for her high school newspaper and the Staten Island Register. After reading Jackie Collin’s LOVERS AND GAMBLERS, she knew she wanted to write women’s fiction; thereby, finding her niche. Her daily walks down the Staten Island boardwalk is what gets her muse going. It clears her mind, helps her find realistic plot ideas and characters, and boosts her muse. She loves writing about local places that people can relate to. Karen is a single mom living in Staten Island, New York, with her two adult children, Michael and Nicole, and three cats. Visit Karen’s website at You can also find Karen on her blog, and on Facebook at

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