Dare to Read

November 15, 2012

My Road to Publication: M.V. Freeman

 

Today my fellow author, M.V. Freeman, shares with us the road that took her from writer to published author. Her journey shows that, as it is the case for most of us writers, perseverance is key to getting published.

Here is her story.

First of all, thank you Carmen for allowing me to be here on your blog. It is a pleasure to be here.

I love adventure, mayhem, and larger than life stories. As a writer, my instinct is to create a fabulous saga to tell you of my road to publication, to fill it with fantastical details, maybe a car crash for good measure–actually, I put that in my story.

The truth? It is a simple tale. I finished a book.

Sounds easy enough? I rewrote the book five times.

I never knew how long it would take to write my book… or how much I would learn. I thought once you wrote it—that was it. Editing what was that? I am embarrassed to admit how green I was. I have since rectified that little problem.

At this point I want to cue hysterical laughter because after I polished my manuscript, wrote my query letter and started to send it out. I expected—like every writer–the people I sent it to would love it. Everyone makes this mistake, I don’t care who you are. It is human nature.

I thought–who wouldn’t want a story about a dangerous Russian man, desperate and charming who will do anything to protect his people? Throw in some strange creatures, elementals, and a woman who wants nothing to do with him.

Apparently a lot of places didn’t want this story. My story was rejected—many, many, times.

I’d like to say I handled it in stride. Of course I didn’t. Knowing that people don’t want or like your story is hard. I won’t lie. The experience toughened me up. Publishing is a subjective business, not objective.

I could’ve given up. Instead, I decided I was going to be fearless. The worst I would get was a “no”. Heck, I was getting plenty of those. I kept submitting (and eating way too much chocolate when I go the rejections).

That’s why when I opened the email form Crimson Romance—I actually expected a “Sorry, but not this time.”  Instead–they wanted to take a chance on my story—as a Paranormal Romance. I had to read the email several times to comprehend that.

It was one of the best decisions I made accepting that offer with Crimson. With Publication I have been exposed to even more learning opportunities. I’ve had to learn about networking, marketing, more editing and other craft writing elements. A writer never stops learning or writing.

My road to publication isn’t very exciting—but I have no regrets and it is only the beginning.

What have you pursued in spite of rejections? Have you succeeded? Are you still working toward your goal?

Author Bio: M.V. Freeman is a native of Minnesota, but calls North Alabama her home. She is a member of RWA, and the chapters: Georgia Romance Writers and Southern Magic. By day her mind is filled with medical jargon at the local health clinic, but at night she finds herself exploring alternate worlds within our own. Heavily influenced by Slavic languages and culture, you will find she weaves these elements into her stories. Her award winning story INCANDESCENT is the first in a series. She is currently working on the second book in the series while plotting another project. When she is not writing, she’s reading, cooking, throwing around kettle bells, or making coffee.   www.mvfreeman.com  my twitter @MVFree

INCANDESCENT: Some gifts are unwanted, and Laurie Hudson’s affinity for fire is one she hates. It has destroyed her relationship with her family and she has few friends. She’s fought hard to keep the fire inside suppressed, living a low key life as a bartender, until a brutal and charming man blows into her life.

Around Mikhail Petrov, her careful control disintegrates. She is at once drawn to his urbane, cool demeanor and irritated by his overbearing manner. Her options are taken away when he kidnaps her, forcing her into a fight she wants nothing to do with.

As she learns to survive, Laurie faces the hardest choice of all, her freedom or the destruction of the frustrating man she’s come to care for.

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November 7, 2012

Writers Need Editors

Filed under: Editing,On Publishing,On Writing,Photograph — carmenferreiroesteban @ 4:48 pm
Tags: , ,

 

by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

 

 

 

Writers need editors. No exceptions.

Even if, like me, you are both a writer and an editor, you need to hire an editor for your own writing.

A new pair of eyes and a fresh mind will pick up obvious mistakes, inconsistencies, even spelling errors you haven’t noticed.

I was reminded of this last night after I wrote a post for the DVTA (the local chapter of the American Translation Association). The post was about the translation conference I’ve just attended, which, by the way, is one of the reasons I have been absent from this blog lately.

Feeling overconfident, I wrote it and sent it the same day, instead of waiting overnight and reread it as I always do when working on a translation or writing project. But this was just a short piece, it was perfect as it was, I was sure.

I was wrong. Luckily my colleague found the mistakes and edited them saving me from public (if not private) embarrassment.

Still not convinced that hiring an editor is a must?

I’ll show you some examples that support my claim.

Just this morning I read on the second paragraph of a book I was considering buying on Amazon: “My mother died in childbed.” I didn’t buy the book. In fact, I didn’t read past the first page, because this was not the only mistake.

But authors are not the only ones who need help, journalists could use an editor too apparently, for, a little later, I found the following sentences in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Spelling mistake: “The two Columbia University alums.”

Really awful grammar: “He’s a guy, he likes it – and isn’t that who we wear perfume for?” I think she meant to say: “… isn’t to please men the reason we wear perfume after all?”

Maybe I’m picky, maybe it’s because, being a writer, I can’t turn off the editor on me while I’m reading that these mistakes bother me. But I think not. I think if you’re serious about your writing, you should hire a professional editor before publishing your book, both to revise and to edit your manuscript. And, if you want the book to be perfect, I’d recommend you hire a proofreader as well.

We all make mistakes, but your reader doesn’t have to know that.

If you want to learn more about the different types of editing services available click here.

September 11, 2012

My Official Introduction at Ladies in Red

 

 

by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

 

 

 

Today it’s my official introduction at Ladies in Red, the unofficial gathering of Crimson Romance authors.

Please come visit and stay a while with my fellow authors.

My paranormal Romance, Immortal Love, will be released on September 17.

Check it out at Amazon.com,both in English and Spanish.

September 6, 2012

My Road to Publication: Kate Fellowes

 

 

Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban talks to Kate Fellowes

 

 

Today my fellow author at Crimson Romance tells us all about her exciting road to the publication of her novel Thunder in the Night. Please help me welcome her.

Here is her story:

My new romantic suspense novel, Thunder in the Night, has its roots in a betrayal from the distant past.

You see, there was this elephant.

Lota lived in a zoo for over thirty years before being sold to a circus for one dollar.  She was stuck there in that circus for over a decade, as her health deteriorated and as the USDA investigated allegations of abuse.  Eventually, she and all the rest of the circus herd were confiscated by the USDA and poor sick Lota finally got to sanctuary, where she should have gone thirteen years earlier, straight from the zoo.

But it was too late.  She was dying.  For only three short months, she lived at the Elephant Sanctuary, but at least for those last months, she felt grass beneath her feet and knew the touch of loving hands.

I’ve always thought this was a horrible betrayal of that animal.  Those entrusted with her care were meant to protect her and see to her well-being.  Instead, they sent her to her doom.

What other ways have humans betrayed animals, I wondered, and a thousand examples flooded my mind.  After sifting them, combining them, discarding some and keeping others, I had my plot.

In Thunder in the Night, Allison Belsar is a journalist assigned to write a travel piece on a tour to Belize sponsored by the local zoo.  She finds adventure and danger and, yes, betrayal while on the trip.  And she also finds, most unexpectedly, love, in the form of Mart Lawler, assistant director of the zoo.

While Thunder in the Night covers a lot of ground geographically, at its heart are the hearts of Allison and Mart, who see in one another a strong and compassionate partner.  As with all my novels, (Thunder in the Night is my fifth) I’m aiming for wide appeal.  You can read this book—and so can your daughter and so can your grandmother.

My own favorite authors from what I think of as the golden age of romantic suspense—Barbara Michaels, Mary Stewart, Phyllis Whitney—all sprinkle details of their settings, occupations and events into their books and I’ve tried to do that as well.  There are no elephants in my novel, but you will meet a lot of other species.

A launch title with new publisher, Crimson Romance, Thunder in the Night has a fantastic cover, hinting at the mystery of the rain forest.  The publisher did a wonderful job of accurately reflecting my story.  There’s a good-looking guy with a glint in his eyes and you can tell he knows more than he’s saying.  The book is available in two formats—e-book and paperback.

And it’s all happened so quickly!

I read on one of my writers lists about a new publisher taking submissions, so I sent off a query straight away.  In less than a week, I had a request for the full manuscript and a week after that, a letter of suggested revisions.  I took a few weeks to make those changes and shortly after I submitted the new and improved version, I was signing the contract.

The line launched on June 4, 2012 with twenty-five titles, one of which was mine.  I’ve been talking it up on blogs like this one and encourage anyone with a completed romance to check out Crimson Romance at www.crimsonromance.com.  They have been terrific to work with and I’m already planning my next romance.

Thanks so much for having me here today.  I know firsthand the value of writers sharing information and ideas and hope my path to publication will encourage someone else to take that next step, too.

Kate Fellowes’ working life has revolved around words—editor of the student newspaper, reporter for the local press, cataloger in her hometown library. She’s the author of five novels and numerous short stories and essays. Married, she and her husband share their home with a variety of companion animals.

You can find her at: http://katefellowes.wordpress.com/

June 4, 2012

Bécquer eterno en versión digital / Bécquer eterno now available as an e-book

 

by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban


For the ENGLISH text, see below.

A mis seguidores de habla hispana:

Después de sobrevivir múltiples aventuras, la versión española de Bécquer eterno ya está a la venta como un e-book. Por ahora solamente en Amazon (Amazon.com, http://www.amazon.com/B%C3%A9cquer-eterno-Spanish-Edition-ebook/dp/B0088JOJLG, y Amazon.es, http://goo.gl/kJlSE, entre otras) pero pronto lo estará en Barnes and Noble y Smashwords.

Así lo podréis leer independientemente del tipo de lector que tengáis, o en vuestro ordenador si no tenéis lector digital.

Y si vivís en Sevilla y visitáis la Exposición Bécquer tan cerca… a través del arte, no os olvidéis de visitar el patio dónde encontrareis entre otros libros y poemas dedicados a su memoria, una copia de mi sencillo homenaje al genial poeta.

After many adventures, the Spanish version of Bécquer eterno is available as an e-book. So far you can purchase it at Amazon (Amazon.com, http://www.amazon.com/B%C3%A9cquer-eterno-Spanish-Edition-ebook/dp/B0088JOJLG, and Amazon.es, http://goo.gl/kJlSE, among others) and soon too at Barnes and Noble and Smashwords.

And if you live or plan to visit Sevilla before June 25, don’t forget to visit the exhibit, Bécquer tan cerca… a través del arte. There in the beautiful patio of the Fundación Valentín de Madariaga you can see a printed copy of Bécquer eterno, among other books and poems that remember the unforgettable genius of this most beloved poet.

May 25, 2012

The Publishing Process: An Analogy

Filed under: On Publishing,Self-Publishing — carmenferreiroesteban @ 6:02 am
Tags: , ,

 

by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

Picture this:

Authors and readers are on opposite banks of a river.

The authors hold their manuscripts and need to get them across the water to the readers.

Until recently the only way for the authors to deliver their manuscript to their readers was by crossing the bridge the Agents/Publishing houses provided.

As trolls did in Fairy Tales, agents and publishers controlled access to the bridge.

In Fairy Tales, travelers had to had the right answer or the right token to be granted permission to cross to the other side.

In the publishing business, queries and connections were the tokens that would grant or deny access to the bridge.

In the old times, the bridge was narrow and trolls denied most travelers the right of way.

Frustrated, many attempted to cross on their own. But the river was wide and deep, and the current swift and most didn’t know how to swim, and drowned.

But then something happened, somebody designed a boat and travelers starting using this new device to get to the other side. And some failed, but others made it and sold their wares successfully to the customers there.

With time boats became more sophisticated and easy to use until finally an engine was added to them creating a motorboat everybody could use. Now more and more travelers, even those who had access to the bridge, avoided it altogether and used a motorboat to get to the farther bank.

And the trolls saw this and realized that, instead of wasting their time questioning all the travelers arriving at the bridge, they could do a better business by helping those that had already proved their worth by crossing the river on their own.

As you have probably realized by now, the boats in the publishing world are the Print on Demand services and the power boat the e-book.

E-books have made it so easy to get your manuscript to readers, publishing houses are no longer necessary.

Or are they?

Following the analogy, the readers’ bank is crowded now.

So the problem for the author is not longer to woe the editor/agent but to woe the reader.

But that is another story.

May 18, 2012

Bécquer Eternal and Crimson Romance

 

by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

 

 

 

Buenas noticias: mi novela paranormal Bécquer Eterno será publicada a finales de año a través de la editorial norteamericana Crimson Romance.

La portada de la edición en inglés será distinta de la versión en español, pero ambas evocan el espíritu romántico de la historia.

La edición española estará a la venta a través de Cultiva libros (http://www.cultivalibros.com/) la semana entrante y en edición digital en Amazon.es and Amazon.com en las próximas semanas.

Si vivís en Sevilla no os olvidéis de visitar la Exposición Bécquer tan cerca… A través del arte que tendrá lugar en la Fundación Valentín de Maderiaga del 25 de mayo al 24 de junio. En ella un centenar de artistas homenajearán al ilustre sevillano. Mi libro Bécquer eterno es mi humilde contribución a la Exposición. (http://www.facebook.com/becquertancerca)

Y si os animais a leerla y escribir una reseña por favor uniros a la lectura conjunta que LAKY en “Libros que hay que leer” ha organizado (http://goo.gl/cnJZ2).

¡Muchísimas gracias, LAKY!

 

I’m thrilled to announce that my paranormal story Bécquer Eternal will be published by Crimson Romance at the end of 2012.

They had agreed to keep the gorgeous cover Elaina Lee created for me back when I was signed with Astraea Press.

If you speak Spanish, you are in luck because the Spanish version, Bécquer Eterno, will be available next week through Culitiva Libros and Amazon.com.

And if you have your own blog, you can join the Blog Tour that LAKY at “Libros que hay que leer” has organized for me (http://goo.gl/cnJZ2). Thank you so much, LAKY!

May 17, 2012

My Road to Publication: Kit Grindstaff

Filed under: Author's Interview,Fantasy,On Publishing,On Writing — carmenferreiroesteban @ 5:47 am
Tags: , ,

 

by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

 

 

Today we have here at Dare to Read a dear friend of mine who came to writing from an unusual and fascinating background (no spoilers here. If you want to know you must read on).

Her first book, a middle grade dark fantasy, The Flame in the Mist, will be published in the spring of 2013 by Delacorte.

Here is her story:

 

The start to my book came from a homework assignment in a writing class: write a short synopses. It took 3 tries before one leapt onto the page: Girl discovers she’s been abducted by evil family who live in castle. Ooh. I was hooked. The whys and wherefores of that kernel unfolded later, as I wrote.

The story is set in an imagined Olde England called Anglavia. The main character is 13-year-old Jemma, who has magical Powers she’s initially unaware of. Her supporting cast includes her colorful but bad-to-the bone “false family”, their sinister old servant Drudge, her 2 magical rats, her friend Digby, as well as ghosts, supernatural monsters….

I initially thought I’d finished the book in late 2008, and began querying agents a few at a time. Meanwhile, I attended conferences and critique groups, and soon found that my ms was far from finished! Friends loved it (never completely trust friends’ glowing reports!), but agents still weren’t getting it. So I kept revising-especially those vital first pages. Then, almost 2 years and 25 rejections later, I decided to shelve it and focus on my next ms.

In early 2010 I heard about the NJ SCBWI summer conference. I went for broke and signed up for agent, editor and author critiques. You could only submit a finished ms, so I dusted mine off and sent in the first 15 pages.

Now, you can choose who critiques you, but I was assigned to Michelle Poploff, snr. Ed and VP of Delacorte Press. I immediately liked her—but while she was cautiously encouraging about my pages, I couldn’t gauge how much she really liked them. So when she asked to see the whole ms, I almost fell off my chair. Excited? Ecstatic!

Michelle responded within a month—Gasp! But…by no means a deal. She mailed a 9-page editorial letter: She loved the idea, but wanted a major rewrite of the middle, and would be interested in seeing it again “with a view to acquiring” if I chose to take her suggestions on board. In truth, I’d known it suffered from the proverbial sag, but not how to remedy it; her ideas were just what I needed. Those “view to acquiring” words carried me through months of reworking. Almost a year later, “send” again. This time, I heard within 3 weeks: Michelle loved what I’d done, and was ready to “move forward”!

Since then, more revisions, and a new title (quite commonly requested, writer be warned!). The cover artist is Chris Rahn, who’s done a wonderful job of capturing a sinister mood in a magical way. You can see the background—brooding Mist-shrouded castle, complete with bats and belfries—on my Facebook author page www.facebook.com/kitgrindstaff and website holding page www.kitgrindstaff.com (website, and the rest of the cover reveal, coming soon).

My advice to writers with mss they feel are ready is: Don’t be too hasty in querying! Get plenty of feedback, but be discerning about it. One person’s opinion is just that, but if several say the same thing, take note. Be ruthless, prepared to kill many darlings. Keep honing your craft, making your prose as tight as possible. Ask: Does this drive the plot? Is this passage/phrase/word really needed? NY agent Donald Maass says every paragraph should have tension in it, to keep the reader hooked; either large – a major antagonistic confrontation, or small – an internal conflict, like doubt or regret. His books contain terrific advice for any author, aspiring or published.

Thank you Carmen, for inviting me to contribute to DARE TO READ. It’s been fun to revisit the journey!

THE FLAME IN THE MIST will be available from Delacorte Press in April 2013 in hardback, e-book and audio formats.


Bio: Kit Grindstaff was born near London, and grew up in the rolling countryside of England, a country which is curiously similar to Anglavia. After a brush with pop stardom (under her maiden name, Hain), she moved to New York and embarked on her still-thriving career as a pop song writer. Kit now lives with her husband in the rolling countryside of Pennsylvania. The Flame In The Mist is her first novel.

May 3, 2012

My Road to Publication : Bécquer eternal

 

 

by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

 

 

As I mentioned back in February (https://carmenferreiroesteban.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/Bécquer-eternal-and-astraea-press/), Astraea Press agreed to publish my paranormal novel, BÉCQUER ETERNAL, both in English and Spanish (BÉCQUER ETERNO).

Unfortunately my relationship with Astraea Press came to an end in March when, after two rounds of editing, my line editor discovered that one of my characters, Federico, was homosexual and, I was informed, Astraea Press does not publish books with homosexual characters.

They asked me, politely, to change this.

But how could I? Federico was a real person (Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936)), a Spanish poet who, as I mention in my story, was killed during the first days of the Spanish Civil War, because, among other reasons, he was homosexual. To change or not to mention his sexual orientation felt like a betrayal to him and would also destroy the plot of my story.

So, with regret, I told them I couldn’t do it.

Although, soon, I found another publisher interested in the English version of BÉCQUER ETERNAL, they do not publish titles in Spanish.

Too late now, to query Spanish Houses, I decided to publish BÉCQUER ETERNO myself.

Right now, a Spanish POD publisher is printing the galleys.

If things go as planned, a printed copy of BÉCQUER ETERNO, my humble homage to Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, the most romantic of the Spanish poets, and Federico Garcia Lorca, IMHO, the greatest Spanish poet of the XX century will be at the Exhibit Bécquer tan cerca… A través del arte in Sevilla from May 25 to June 24.

How I wish I could be there!

March 16, 2012

Bécquer tan Cerca (Bécquer so Close) in Sevilla, This Spring

 

by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

 

If Bécquer were alive today, as he is in my story, he’d be 176 years old.

To celebrate this, his native town of Sevilla (Spain) has organized an Exhibit about the beloved author who, through his felt poems of unrequited love, provided many generations of Spanish teens a voice to mirror their experiences.

In this exhibit called “BÉCQUER, TAN CERCA… A TRAVÉS DEL ARTE” (“Becquer, so close…through art”), a hundred artists—painters, musicians, goldsmiths, sculptors, poets and writers—will share their work done in remembrance of the great Spanish author.

I’m thrilled to announce that an Spanish edition of my paranormal novel Bécquer Eternal (Bécquer eterno) will be part of the exhibit.

If you want to learn more about the exhibit that will take place in Sevilla from May 25 to June 24, please go to:

http://blog.margadecala.com.es/?p=1824

There is more big news.

My publisher Astraea Press has sent me already the final covers for the book. And because I wanted to include the picture of the real Bécquer in the Spanish edition, Astraea has graciously agreed to provide two different covers.
Here they are:

I hope you like them as much as I do.

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