Persistence — James R. Callan

Today I’m excited to welcome James R. Callan as he encourages writers to have persistence in their journey to publication.

After a successful career in mathematics and computer science, receiving grants from the National Science Foundation and NASA, and being listed in Who’s Who in Computer Science and Two Thousand Notable Americans, James R. Callan turned to his first love—writing. He has had four non-fiction books published. He now concentrates on his favorite genre, mystery/suspense. His twelfth book releases in May, 2018.



Author’s page on Amazon:

Though we have all seen the various successful writers who could paper their wall with rejections, I ran across one that stopped me cold. I was reading about a massive fire in Sonoma County, CA. It mentioned the damage to the Jack London State Historical Park. The Park Staff transported thousands of historical relics to Sacramento, safe from the fires.

Over a hundred years ago, Jack and his wife were building Wolf House in this same area. It was a massive twenty-six room mansion with stone exterior and a spectacular interior of redwood, oak and walnut woodwork. Just before they planned to move it, it was destroyed by fire.

But the brief note that halted me was the statement that the House of Happy Walls, a Jack London museum, has a collection of the six hundred (600) rejections he received before selling a single story.

Six hundred.

Before selling his FIRST story.

So, that brings us to our word of the week.


“Victory belongs to the most persevering.” Napoleon

Benjamin Franklin said, “Energy and persistence conquer all things.”

And Aisha Tyler suggested, ” Success is not the absence of failure; it’s the persistence through failure.”

So, take heart, writers. Be persistent. The chances of you surpassing Jack London in rejections is small indeed. And yet, we all know Jack London, and kids still read his stories, even a hundred years after his death.

Let’s hear your comments on rejections. How many have you received? And did you ever get one like this: “I haven’t the foggiest idea about what the man is trying to say.” That publisher rejected Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, a novel believed to have been given its name because it was the 22nd publisher, Simon and Schuster, who agreed to take it on. To date: 10 million sales.

My newest novel is not funny. It’s Political Dirty Trick, the third in the Crystal Moore suspense series. Crystal’s good friend Ron Drake is running for the office of governor of Texas. Some believe a political dirty trick might derail Drake’s fast moving campaign. But something goes terribly wrong with the trick and a man is killed. And things go downhill from there.

Crystal is determined to find out who is providing fake news to the media. As she finds clues, she becomes a target. Soon, it’s not a question of whether Drake will win or lose, but whether Crystal will be alive to see the outcome.

The Midwest Book Review had this to say: “Powerful in its characterization, plot, and narrative interactions, Political Dirty Trick is the item of choice for thriller readers who like their stories steeped in realistic scenarios and possibilities.” Senior Reviewer Diane Donovan

Political Dirty Trick is available in paperback and Kindle editions at:

One thought on “Persistence — James R. Callan

  1. London’s ‘Martin Eden’ is a semi-autobiographical depiction of a writer’s difficult road to success. I doubt if there are many who can equal the list of his rejections he mention. But things haven’t gotten any easier. James Lee Burke said his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel ‘Lost Get Back Boogie’ was rejected 111 times before being published by a university press. So, have heart ladies and gentlemen and persevere.
    By the way, ‘Political Dirty Tricks’ is a book you want to put on your read list.

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