Norwalk resident Becky Warner has tried for about six years to get any one of her nine books published. She estimated she approached at least 100 publishers.
Each time she got rejected until now.
Warner, 52, whose pen name is Alex Rose, discussed, signed and sold copies of her first published book "And the Bull Saved Me" Thursday at the Norwalk Public Library.
The novel is billed as a fast-paced comedy-romance about a man named Marcus Kerr and his desperate search for a life companion. His quest is hampered due to a strange malady: Kerr is a disaster magnet.
Kerr meets Vickie, an optimistic woman who he thinks can be his destiny. During their dates, his pants catch on fire, an elephant chases the couple and other odd things occur.
Will Kerr still be able to win Vickie over?
Warner said the book is not autobiographical per say.
"I think there's a little bit of that main character in all of us," said the aspiring professional author, who admits to writing whenever she has spare time.
The story, which is geared to adults, is set in fictional Kirklin, Ohio, a town similar to Norwalk. Kerr works at a bowling alley similar to the now-defunct Maple Tree Bowling Alley, which was located on the site of the current Giant Eagle.
Warner said she doesn't really know how she got the idea for the novel just like she doesn't know why it, and not the others she's written, were published.
Warner has received comments from publishers ranging from "Very original" to "It doesn't fit our list at this time." Once, she even received another author's rejection, mistakenly sent to her.
Warner hasn't had much luck with agents, either. She'd been trying to get one for six years, and when she did, he wasn't able to convince publishers. Then, he got sick and had to quit.
In the face of constant rejection, how did Warner convince herself not to give up?
She simply told herself to submit her next work.
Warner, who works in sales at Fair Publishing, said she would encourage aspiring writers never to give up.
Yes, "And the Bull Saved Me" got published. But only after it was rejected about 20 times.