Writers can face many rejections through their careers, such as rejection from a publishing company, a book not selling as well as an author thought it would, or even disapproval from friends and family. Sometimes writers may get discouraged from these rejections, but none of these should stir that writer away from writing what they have to write. It’s fine to get discouraged, but perseverance is key. But how does a writer do that when they’re told by a publishing company, “We just didn’t connect with the material?” Let me break that down for you.
J.K. Rowling is by far one of the most prolific writers who ever lived. Harry Potter is beloved by millions and has garnered billions of dollars in revenue not only for her, but for her publisher as well. However, Rowling was rejected 12 times before she finally found a publisher who would take a chance on her, an unpublished author at the time. And even though she was broke, that didn’t stop her. She had the passion to continue her project that they thought was nothing more than a joke. The publishers didn’t think that a young boy with a wand and a fat man with long hair and a beard could succeed in a book. And with her endless perseverance, all it took was one yes. Afterwards, Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling became household names. She faced the pain and didn’t let it stop her, just as your pain and failures shouldn’t stop you.
Publishing companies are shrewd. There are only so many books that they can accept, and that number is no where near the amount of submissions they receive. That shouldn’t discourage you as there are alternative routes that writers can take, such as self-publishing. Maybe this route won’t give you the millions you dream of making, but if it gets your work of art in front of a reader, it is a success. I have been an Independent writer for most of my writing career, and I have faced criticism from those who have read my books. That it is a part of writing. I heard somewhere before, whether they criticize you or compliment you, you are doing something right. It means they are giving your work attention.
The most important thing is to not let rejection stop you. Write anyway. Use the frustration and let it fuel your writing. Instead of feeling down and depressed that your work hasn’t been accepted, keep writing anyway. All it takes is one ‘yes.’ And if not, self-publish. For more tips on writing, check out my audiobook, Your Writing: Tips on Making Your Amazon Kindle Book Great, narrated by Chiquito Joaquim Crasto. It is a short audiobook on the process of making a Kindle book, which is a good start in writing an independent book.
Don’t get discouraged by a publishing rejection; writers have many options besides big publishers. And remember that the most successful writers never walked away from their passion, no matter how hard life got for them.
While it feels like we’ve already spent a full decade in 2020 already, the time also seems to be flying by. I can hardly believe that it’s already October. Halloween will be here in a blink of an eye, and I’m fine with that! I love Halloween and everything about it: the cool air, the costumes, the pumpkin-flavored everything. But one thing I especially like about Halloween is the clever pumpkin carvings that pop up all over the place. So, I’ve decided to scour the internet for a few literary pumpkins, and let me tell you, my search was not a difficult one. I’ve collected a few of my favorites that I’ve found to share with you all.
Naturally, Harry Potter is going to be a popular choice for pumpkin carvers. Not only is it one of the most popular book series of the century, but it’s also a smash movie series that features a ton of memorable characters and scenes. I’ve found a collection of great pumpkin carvings featuring different Harry Potter icons.
First up is this incredible Hogwarts Crest engraved into the skin of the pumpkin. This one is a mashup of carving and engraving, and shows off the creator’s impressive skills. I’d be proud to have this on my front porch.
Next up is this set of pumpkins featuring everything from Hedwig to Dobby to the sorting hat. These were shared by Flickr user BrandiKorte and were carved back in 2005. It looks as if this was a full family project and if so, you can tell that’s a heavily artistic family.
Lastly is this mind-blowing carving of Sirius Black in his Azkaban wanted poster. The detail in this pumpkin is amazing, and it seems to be a mixture of carving and engraving. This is certainly something I can marvel at for hours on end.
Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are is probably one of the most iconic children’s books ever published, and its characters are immortalized in pumpkin form here by the team at Maniac Pumpkin Carvers. They have a ton of great examples of their work on their website, and they work with a bunch of companies to carve their logos into pumpkins, which is pretty cool.
Another extremely popular book series-turned-movie franchise is The Hunger Games, and it is also incredibly popular with pumpkin carvers. One such carver, @ThePumpkinGeek on Instagram, created this stunning imagine of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss. Again, the detail is incredible and would almost look photorealistic, if it wasn’t for the peculiar shade of orange everything is cast in. If you’re on Instagram and are interested in more pumpkins, go check out The Pumpkin Geek’s page. They have an awesome array of different carvings covering the gamut of pop culture icons (one of my favorite being Peter Parker and Tony Stark from Spider-Man: Homecoming).
Most pumpkin carvings focus on characters more than writers, probably because the characters leave us with lasting impressions after being so vivid in our minds for so long. There aren’t too many iconic author images out there, so to see them emblazoned in pumpkin form is truly exciting for a bibliophile like me.
One such famous author is Edgar Allan Poe. His works are synonymous with Halloween, with their spooky vibe and outright gothic horror, so a Poe pumpkin (or a Poe-mpkin, if you will) is the perfect accoutrement to any Halloween décor. And this Edgar Allan Poe carved pumpkin is absolutely perfect.
Did you like my Poe-mpkin, joke?
If you want to carve this yourself for your own Halloween bash, you’re in luck. The Pumpkin Lady is kind enough to be giving away a stencil for this exact carving for free. Just head over to the website and download the PDF template, trace it onto a good-sized pumpkin and start carving.
Though probably the most recognizable historical author, Poe isn’t the only recognizable historical author. Of course, some authors are most famous by their silhouette, and the one that sticks out in my mind is Jane Austen. Pinterest user Rubi Phantom set up a beautifultableau featuring a half-carved, half-painted pumpkin of Austen’s silhouette. A copy of Pride and Prejudice and a delicious looking cup of tea complete the scene. This sort of pumpkin is a nice way to class up your reading nook during the Halloween season.
One of my favorite authors is Neil Gaiman, and it’s no surprise to see one of his creations get turned into a pumpkin. I found this amazing Coraline pumpkin on the Fantasy Pumpkin website. It’s from 2009 but manages to retain a timeless essence about it. What’s great about this one is that the good people at Fantasy Pumpkins have also included a stencil of this design, so you can make your own Coraline pumpkin at home. And if you have time, go check out the rest of designs on Fantasy Pumpkins; their work is absolutely astounding.
But Coraline isn’t the only Neil Gaiman character to be pumpkin-ized. For yet another example, we return to @ThePumpkinGeek and their great Good Omens carving. This one features David Tennant and Michael Sheen from their roles in the Amazon Prime adaptation of the classic novel. Once again, the detail in this carving is mind-blowing; I honestly can’t believe people as talented as this exist.
Ok, so I know this isn’t technically a “literary” pumpkin, but Calvin and Hobbes is an iconic comic strip that ran for nearly 10 years and has numerous books of collections available in book stores so I’m counting it. This pumpkin was created by a public school teacher named Christopher Telford. His online portfolio is small but definitely worth taking a look at.
This is only a handful of the incredibly amazing literary pumpkins created by some talented folk in the world. If you want to see more, places like Pinterest and Instagram are overflowing with others. And if you find one that you love, by all means, share it with us on Twitter and Facebook! We’d love to see some of your favorites and compare them to ours!