Success! “Mental” Approved for Publication by NYC’s Page Publishing!

I am so pleased to share with you my great news: I found out yesterday that the five person editorial board that read “Mental” has approved this novel for publication with their very large firm located in the heart of New York City!

I await the reading of my contract and it’s terms in order to make my final decision, and should receive it via email sometime tomorrow.

Publication approval, and possibly moving forward to the next stage of actually creating the print and eBook versions of the entire manuscript, makes today a very exciting day for me! It took me twenty years, off and on, to craft this three part, fifty chapter, 85,000 word manuscript, and holding it in my hands would be a dream that took so much effort and time to see come true!

I want to make sure it will be in the right hands, that I will have as much creative control of it’s cover, it’s contents, it’s launch and it’s placement as possible, however, and have several other options currently on the table. I don’t want to rush this very exciting but crucial next step by choosing the wrong publisher or agent for “Mental.” This is a very big decision and I’m going to take my time deciding between Page, other publishing firms, and possibly choosing instead to defer to the expertise of a literary fiction agent instead to shop the manuscript around in order to get the best book deal from the best publishing company possible.

I will happily keep you updated on “Mental”‘s publication progress, and I would like to thank you very kindly, my faithful audience, for your continued support in the past two and a half years that I have been sharing excerpts of my work on this website.

If you are curious about where my inspiration for writing this and all of my creative work stems, please visit my non-fiction website,, to read my actual journal and see more pictures of my body of visual art!

“Mental” Under Editorial Review by Huge Publishing House


I am happy to report that I have at long last found a “real” publisher who is interested in reading the entire Three Part manuscript of “Mental” in order to decide if they would like to move forward with me in the process of publishing it.

“Mental” is currently under review by a five person panel. They just received the manuscript this morning, and will give me their feedback in 5-7 business days, so by next Friday (August 24, 2018) at the latest.

It is incredibly difficult to find a publisher who is willing to read unsolicited manuscripts in their entirety. Page Publishing, a division of Ingram, is such a publisher and the company that will provide me with a full free read, plus their opinions on the likelihood of “Mental” earning money in the near future.

This represents the beginning of my second try to get “Mental” published, and I will repost here once I hear back from them next week! Keep your fingers crossed! This is a bit of a nerve-racking process as my greatest fear would be to hear that this five person editorial board does not think “Mental” should be published. My biggest selling point is that the themes in the novel reflect the larger themes of the #metoo movement as a whole.

Another update coming soon!

–Marie K Johnston, August 16, 2018

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Encouragement for Aspiring Novelists

I think that it is a fairly common fact that aspiring novelists like me are basically on their own when it comes to getting motivation to continue on the difficult path towards achieving publication–by this, I mean that it is very common throughout the history of the printed word that writers find little encouragement from within their families to achieve their difficult-to-attain publication goals–this, at least, has been my consistent experience since I became a serious writer as a teenager over twenty years ago.

For whatever the reasons, my immediate family has consistently been incapable of making the time to read even the smallest excerpts of my first novel, “Leaves Subsiding,” which I published in 2010 (either before or after publication or in the 8 years since). These same people, who proclaim loudly to support me emotionally on my journey as a Bipolar I woman, have remained unable to read either links I send them from this website and my other website ( or even a sentence from my second novel, “Mental,” which I am currently seeking a real publisher for.

They simply do not reply to texts with links to my work, ignore emails with excerpts of my work, and have zero response every time I ask them verbally to read part or all of “Mental” and provide me with even an emoji of feedback or support.

I have read countless biographies of famous writers who have experienced this same phenomenon. It is a complete mystery to me that writers are basically on their own when it comes to motivating and encouraging their own career path in a world where it is incredibly challenging to find decent publishers, audiences and financial success in our lifetimes.

I for one have always had the goal to be outwardly and obviously supportive of my immediate family’s life goals and pursuits. I have done my best to show interest in and offer assistance whenever possible, especially with my husband of a decade, but have really come to the realization this morning that my effort is not going to be reciprocated. I now feel I have been searching for support in empty boxes, all the while knowing before peering in time and time again that they will remain empty.

But this is all ultimately of little import. For whatever the underlying reasons, I have had a very strong desire to write novels, poetry, short stories, blog posts and non-fiction articles since I was very young and to have an audience who will appreciate this work, regardless of the lack of support I have enjoyed from my immediate family for decades now. I am not about to stop in my pursuit of continually creating and publishing the written word or to stop thinking this is my true career path. I am willing to do this work of supporting myself emotionally alone in light of the fact that those who claim to love me are incapable of joining me in this pursuit, and content still to write and attempt to be published even though it is truly a solitary endeavor.

So, write on, aspiring artists, no matter if you are standing alone! Perhaps this is the biggest position to be in, after all. Let’s shock and surprise everybody who dismissed our abilities by achieving our dreams by ourselves and rocking the publishing world on our own.

Never give up! Keep your fingers typing and your minds awake for the next step in your journey!

–Marie K Johnston