Liese Sherwood-Fabre’s journey into writing fiction began about 20 years ago when she got an A+ on her story about Dick and Jane’s Ruined Family Picnic. Since then she’d considered writing as a hobby only until she subscribed to Isaac Asimov’s science fiction magazine while living in Mexico.
Like most beginning writers, Sherwood-Fabre thought, “I can do that.” Although a labor of several weeks produced a 20-page short story that quickly got rejected by the magazine, she learned two things: “It was possible for me to complete a work and that I needed to learn more about how to write if I were to ever be published,” which, she said, is “not so easy when living abroad and before the Internet came into its current form.”
Her husband got transferred to Moscow, Russia shortly after she received the rejection letter and she took a contractor’s job with the U.S. Agency for International Development. In Russia, Sherwood-Fabre decided to continue developing her skills this time, on a novel.
“With one novel under my belt, I decided to begin another,” said Sherwood-Fabre. Only “this time, [the novel would be] set in Russia and [it was] partly inspired by an article [that] circulated through my office by Richard Preston.”
With Preston’s March 9, 1998, New Yorker article, “Annals of Warfare: The Bioweaponeers,” that described the plight of Russian scientists following the fall of the Soviet Union and the Iranians’ efforts to recruit [Russians] for their own laboratories and weapons programs, an idea was brought forth.
“What, I wondered, would push a scientist to agree to develop biological efforts for a foreign, radical government? [So,] I gave my main character no job, a sick child and friends with underworld connections and [thus] Saving Hope was born,” said Sherwood-Fabre.
Shortly after starting this novel, Sherwood-Fabre and her family returned to the U.S. and she enrolled in a creative writing class at North Lake College where she took classes to help with writing novels and short stories. It was in these classes that she found discipline in meeting deadlines as well as learning to listen to other students’ critiques of what she’d written. To this day, she holds Dr. Nancy Jones Castilla and current novel writing adjunct, Richard Abshire, in high esteem for all the help they gave her through the years.
Learning that the Romance Writers of America (RWA) was holding its national conference in Dallas, Sherwood-Fabre decided to attend with the goal of finding additional advice. Then, she joined the Dallas chapter of RWA; DARA (Dallas Area Romance Authors).
Finally, just before Christmas of 2011, Sherwood-Fabre learned that a new e-publisher, Musa Publishing, was seeking material for their booklist so she submitted her Russian novel Saving Hope, which was accepted almost immediately. “I reached the golden ring all writers seek – the publishing contract,” she said
Sherwood-Fabre’s Saving Hope debuted May 4 at www.musapublishing.com. You can also follow her upcoming releases and other evens by joining her newsletter at www.liesesherwoodfabre.com and you can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Bebo. You can also contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fabre’s “Pearls of Wisdom”
1) Perseverance is key. Of all those who start a novel, only 20 percent ever finish that first manuscript.
2) Editing is a basic part of writing. Sol Stein notes the difference between a published writer and a non-published writer is their attitude toward revisions.
3) Take classes (on-line, credit, not-credit). You’d be surprised at how many there are out there now.
4) Seek out a writer’s group you can call your own.
5) Get one or more critique partners.