Have you ever had an idea you know others would applaud if they’d just take time to embrace it? And when their reaction is less than supportive, do you continue to nurture the idea? It happened to a determined author who’d created a new, offbeat character. She’d enjoyed success featuring a traditional male protagonist but wanted to branch out and write about a different kind of heroine and tried out her creation in a short story.
“That was the story that killed so many magazines,” the author recalls. Every time she sold it to another publication, hopeful that her clever prose would finally appear, it didn’t. Magazines, struggling in a tough economy, dropped fiction pages or ceased publishing. Wondering if perhaps her character was a bit too outrageous, she kept trying. Eventually the story did run in a small magazine. It featured a tall, red-headed private detective who moonlights as a Boston cab driver, plays volleyball and blues guitar, and is in love with a mysterious businessman. Carlotta Carlyle, the offbeat P.I., may have been a tough sell, but she instantly appealed to readers and became the star of Linda Barnes’ ongoing series of mystery novels. Even when a thread of doubt crept in, the author trusted her instincts and stuck with her idea.
When you’re focused on customer service, does uncertainty change your course of action or are you dedicated to letting your own ideas shine?