Postcard For Reader + TIME

What's Your Sign?

We’ve written about it on our blogs. Go ahead, you can laugh, but we knew SIRENZ was going to get published. Not because we personally know, are related, or have any type of connection to anyone in the publishing business—we don’t. We started out as struggling writers (and in many ways we still are), but somehow we knew that this was THE ONE. How, you ask? Because of all the signs.


  • Out on the water with family, Char notices a passing boat with the name Sirena.
  • Flux (who became our publisher) publishes book by Margaret Wiley—the name of one of our main characters (obviously named before we saw this!).
  • Char has her natal chart done, and the astrologer—not knowing her and going only by her birth info—predicts publishing success within two years, and that it would be the beginning of a strong, long-lived partnership. Two years later…
  • Over the course of several years, Nat’s collection of Deaths Head moths grew to four. After the first Sirenz book was written, she was told at a random event that the scientific name for the moth is made up of the two rivers in Hades (!). She has four moths, and we proposed four books.
  • Swarovski debuts a red crystal shoe charm—around the same time that we got our first glimpse of our cover.

Could we be reading too much into a bunch of coincidences? There were more, and lately we’ve been trying to write them down to keep track of them all. Sure, you can dismiss the whole thing as wishful thinking, reading too much into coincidences, and ‘bending’ these sightings to fit our desire to get published—but it’s so much more uplifting to think that the Universe is being encouraging. Ever positive, Char likes to believe in good omens. Nat’s a true believer that the Universe will give you hints that you’re on the path that’s right for you (or wrong—ever get that sinking feeling? Trust your instincts!).

However, these signs were not a license to sit back and wait for success to come to our door; we saw them as little prods to keep going, keep working, keep thinking. That meant keep refining the manuscript as it was reviewed and remarked on by editors and agents who ended up not taking it. It meant not losing faith with the numerous rejections. It meant working through eight pages of revision notes for the first five chapters, chucking the remaining ¾ of the book, and revision and rewrite again. It meant reading/editing/polishing that manuscript five or six times after that so we had the offer of a contract. Then it meant more changes as it went through our copy editor. The signs didn’t say “Celebrate! The work is done!” but were more like a tiny light, shining in the darkness.

Now watchful, we’ve seen signs for other aspects of our writing and non-writing lives. Some have started to crop up for the second book in the series, SIRENZ Back in Fashion (and this will give you a taste of what’s to come!):

  • A “Pandora” store opens in mall.
  • On the way home from a summer jaunt, Nat spots a vanity license plate with a character’s name.
  • Ben Franklin appears on cover of Publishers Weekly while Char writes a chapter he appears in.

Look around. Surely you see something that could be a cosmic thumbs up to keep working on your project. You just have to keep your eyes open, have faith, and obey the signs for “Writer At Work.”

Natalie Zaman and Charlotte Bennardo (the author of this fantabulous guest post) are best friends and co-authors of SIRENZ (Flux, June 2011) a contemporary mythological fantasy. SIRENZ Back in Fashion, the next in the series, debuts Summer 2012.

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What's Your Sign? + TIME