"Finish the novel. Then write another one. And then, write another one ... If you give up after your first book, you were never meant to be an author. If you give up after the second one, you still were never meant to be an author. Publishing requires writing and writing and writing. When you have three complete novels, you probably will be published. My fourth novel was published. My first few novels were way too aggressive for the Christian market. The publishers were like, “Oh my goodness! This is like Stephen King!” They were taken aback.
Showdown was my very first novel. Now I’ve gone back and revised it. On my fourth novel I decided I was going to write what they wanted me to write, and the result was Heaven’s Wager. It was more of a Christian novel. But it still was quite edgy for that time. I got four offers within one month. I finally wrote what they wanted. I continued to write that way for a number of books, and I still enjoy that process. I love those early books. Then later, after I was established, I was able to write what I really wanted to do, what I was called to do. My first kind of bridge novel was Thr3e."
Isn't this encouraging? Knowing that Ted Dekker didn't get published until his fourth book makes me realize that the biggest key to being published is persistence. Yes, you need to learn your craft. Yes, learn about the industry and markets. But if you write well and have a million contacts in your Roledex, you won't make it without persistence.