Curious how to pronounce my name? It’s easy. 
JAN-nuh Course ES-uh-ree
Rhymes with banana of course yesiree

copyright © 2009 janna cawrse esarey
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Are you a writer?

Would you like to be?

I was a teacher before I became a writer, so it only seems fitting to share my (admittedly limited) knowledge of writing and publishing with you. At least I can tell you how the whole process worked for me. Check the sidebar for specific topics.

My path to publication...

Before I became a writer, I was a high school English teacher who always enjoyed writing but never. Found. The time. (Sound familiar?) So when I quit my job and set sail on what was supposed to be the most romantic honeymoon ever (two years across the Pacific on a very small boat), I began writing in earnest: journals, blogs, S.O.S. notes—and a novel of which I have 129 versions of the first paragraph. I quickly realized I didn’t know what the heck I was doing. And, being in the middle of the ocean, I had no access to writing classes, writing books, online resources, or, most important, a writing group. (Hint: writers need these.) So I decided to follow that old adage—write what you know; I wrote about our voyage for magazines and anthologies.

        I make this sound easy. It wasn’t. I got many rejections. But I kept writing, kept sending out my work from our boat’s high-pitched radio modem (dee-DEEDLEE-dee), and once we reached Hong Kong, I joined a writing group. Over time, I built that writerly thing called my platform, aka the ways in which one reaches an audience. And I discovered who my true audience was: smart, can-do women who were dealing with the same issues ashore that I was afloat—marriage, sex, ticking clocks, balance, self, love. Enter the idea for The Motion of the Ocean, a story of love and romance, culture and identity, set against the backdrop of sailing the world.

         So I wrote a nonfiction book proposal (hint: this is how you sell nonfiction), pitched my idea at several writers’ conferences (hint: this is how you avoid the dreaded slush pile), and found an agent (hint: this involved many more rejections). My lovely agent sold my book idea to a lovely editor at Simon & Schuster, who gave me seven months to write the dang thing. Yikes! I rallied the granny-nannies, went into my writer’s cave, and wrote a chapter a week, plus time for revision. I delivered the manuscript a month before my second daughter was due, and about a year later, The Motion of the Ocean was born. It’s now happily in its second printing.

My secret hope is that MOTO will inspire others to live big dreams, too.



*I’m back to working on that very novel now. Stay tuned.