A Writer’s Quest for Publication by Sam Muller – Guest Post

A Writer’s Quest for Publication by Sam Muller – Guest Post

Today we welcome author Sam Muller to Whispering Stories with her guest post, A Writer’s Quest for Publication. Check out her post below and her new book, I Will Paint The Night. – This post contains affiliate links.


I love dogs and books. This is a tad complicated because some of my dogs also love my books. Page edges and the spines of old hardbacks for preference. Other than writing, my main preoccupation is navigating this difficult relationship between the two indispensable parts of my life, beloved dogs who want to consume beloved books, literally.

My grandmother introduced me to the universe of stories. Storytelling is an art and she was a virtuoso in it. She could make characters and their worlds come alive. I fell in love with stories listening to her. From loving stories to imagining them to writing them was a logical progression.

A Writers Quest for Publication

A Writer’s Quest for Publication

In I will Paint the Night, my first novel, Allii (Princess Albalia), the MC is accused of murdering her beloved stepmother. Fleeing her father’s justice, she reflects on her unknowable future and experiences despair: “On the cusp of sleep at last, a memory came to me… Men and women walking, weighed down by the sacks on their backs. I used to wonder how long it would take for them to reach their destination and lay down their burden.

How long would it take for me to be rid of my own burden?”

I wasn’t thinking of my coming publishing journey when I wrote those words, though I might well have done so. I will Paint the Night had gone through two previous incarnations. This time too I queried widely, but no agent offered a deal.

Had I been technologically savvy, I could have self-published. Had I more money, I could have found a hybrid publisher. Lacking both (like many first-time authors), I found myself facing a blank wall.

I write short stories as well. Several had been published. I considered chucking books and sticking to short stories. Then I thought of the many encouraging comments by critique partners and beta readers and decided not to. If I gave up on this one, I’ll never write a novel again.

The only way out was the publisher’s tack.

By this time I had internalized the idea that an author must have an agent. It took some doing to get past that mental barrier and query publishers directly. Once I even asked myself what Allii would have done! And knew the answer: she wouldn’t have given up for I wouldn’t have let her.

There are many websites providing contact details of publishers who are open to querying by authors, such as Published to Death blogspot, Reedsy, and Authors Publish Magazine.

Initially, I wrote to ten indie publishers. Three replied expressing interest. That really gave me a kick. Of the three, Fractured Mirror Publishing, an all female press, stood out. They weren’t the first to respond, but Emily Kudeviz’s reply struck a chord: We enjoy the concept of your story, and find Allii to be a character with a lot of potential.

Music to my sore ears.

I wrote my first batch of letters to publishers on March 10, 2021. Emily responded on April 1st. On September 23, she sent me the long-awaited mail about setting up a chat. When we eventually had our virtual encounter, after some hiccups due to my technological ignorance, I felt an immediate connection. We all loved books, and dogs and cats.

I did study the contract with due care but the personal chemistry was an equal factor. I now know that my sense was correct. Emily was a fantastic editor. Moreover she and art director Allison were unfailingly patient, putting up with my insane demands and near-meltdowns.

I will Paint the Night came out on August 31. It still feels kind of surreal, after the five snake-and-ladder years.

With hindsight, I know that the time and the effort were not wasted. It gave me space and motivation to rework the novel again and again, bettering it and keeping myself sane. My CPs and betas helped as did my short stories.

Most of us write about some kind of journey/quest. Finishing a novel and bringing it out into the world is no different. Like the characters we create, we too must never give up, however hard the climb, however dark the prospect. Our happy ending might be waiting round the next corner.

I Will Paint The Night by Sam Muller

I Will Paint The Night

Author – Sam Muller
Publisher – Fractured Mirror Publishing
Pages – 422
Release Date – 31st August 2023
ISBN 13 – 979-8887850238
Format – ebook, paperback, hardcover

New Guest Post 2022 image

Allii has a busy schedule.

Stay alive.

Find the killer of her beloved stepmother.

Stop her father’s people from decimating her mother’s people.

Allii is 17.

She has no family to back her, no army to protect her, no manifest destiny awaiting her.

Just Spooky, a daemon-dog who thinks humankind is beyond redemption.

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