Dare to Read

October 18, 2012

My Road to Publication: M.J. Schiller

 

 

 

Today my fellow author at Crimson Romance, M.J. Schiller, tells us about what inspired her in this difficult road to publication.

Please help me welcome her here at Dare to Read.

Hello, all!

On Tuesday of this week I discussed my “Road to Publication” on The Ladies in Red blog, a blog that was set up for all of the Crimson Romance authors.  Today I’d like to tell you a little bit about what got me onto that road in the first place.  For you youngsters out there, this may come as a shock, but…just the other day I was twenty, trying to figure out my place in the world, and the next day, all of a sudden, I was forty, still trying to find my place in this world.  I’m afraid that’s how it happens.  Time passes far too quickly.  When you get to be my age, you start to look around and realize that the rest of your time will go just as rapidly, and you better do something with it.  So you begin to ask yourself The Big Question, why am I here?

As I began to search around for the answer to that question, I ran across Rick Warren’s The Purpose-Driven Life.  (Coincidentally, Warren put forty chapters in his book because, not only is forty the age that you begin to question your life, but it is also a spiritually significant number in the Bible.)  The main premise of Warren’s book, and, of course, I’m simplifying here, is that God gave you your talents for a reason; He wants you to use them.  The book then suggests that you do some thinking and inventory those talents.

I have two skills of which I am proud.  I can fall asleep just about anywhere, at, pretty much, any time.  And, I can write.  Now, I couldn’t see how to work that first one into some kind of purpose for my life, so I was stuck with the writing thing.  ( ;

At about this same time I was watching the Emmy Awards show.  They were giving a lifetime achievement award, post-humorously, to Aaron Spelling.  You probably remember him as the man who gave us such classic television as The Mod Squad, S.W.A.T., Starsky and Hutch, Family, Charlie’s Angels, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Vega$, Hart to Hart, T.J. Hooker, Dynasty, Hotel, Melrose Place, Beverly Hills 90210, and 7th Heaven, my favorite being The Mod Squad.  Yes, when I grow up I want to be just like Julie, Pete, and Lincoln.  I also discovered, when looking him up for this blog, that Spelling produced one of my favorite movies of all time, Mr. Mom.  Ho But I digress.

I believe it was Jaclyn Smith who got up to talk about Aaron Spelling and quoted the producer as saying something profound like, “Reach for your dreams.”  I don’t know how many times I’d heard or seen that phrase before, but somehow, that night, it struck me.  Aaron Spelling had once, perhaps, been a geeky, pimple-faced junior high student like the rest of us, but had eventually made himself a household name.  How?  He put his talents to use.

I started writing my first book the next day.

Incidentally, I also read that “Aaron Spelling was so severely taunted by his classmates for being Jewish, he was rendered psychosomatically unable to walk for more than a year,” according to NNDB.  Had he not risen above that to use his God-given gifts, my childhood would have looked a lot different.  So that is what got me started on the long road to where I am now, about to publish my debut novel Taken by Storm.  If you’d like to hear more about that journey, read Tuesday’s blog at http://crimsonromanceauthors.com/ .

Or you can check me out at  www.mjschiller.com or M.J. on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest.

Taken by Storm can be purchased at Amazon, BN.com, and other e-Book retailers.

So, what are your talents?  I’m betting you don’t have anything as cool as super-sonic sleeping power.  Ever have one of those wake up moments like I described above when watching The Emmy’s?  Owe a little push down the road to your success to anyone?

Thank you for your attentive ear today.  Or should I say attentive eye?

Taken by Storm is a romance about Prince Tahj of Avistad and begins with a coup in the palace.  Tahj escapes with his captain, Radeem, and a young woman he finds bound and gagged on his bedroom floor, Bashea.  He falls in love with Bashea, but has to overcome a lot of obstacles to win her love–being on the run from Lord Boltar’s men, facing desert storms, even fighting off a panther.  But perhaps the toughest impediment to their happiness is Bashea’s own insistence that a prince can’t love a sheep herder’s daughter.  If you’d like to hear the rest of their story, you can purchase Taken by Storm at Amazon.com, BN.com, and through other E-book retailers.  Come visit me at www.mjschiller.com.

Check Taken by Storm and other titles at: www.crimsonromance.com

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October 11, 2012

My Road to Publication : Erin Richards

Filed under: Uncategorized — carmenferreiroesteban @ 6:35 am
Tags: , ,

 

 

 

 

 

Today my fellow author at Crimson Romance, Erin Richards, tells us how her desire to write that could not be ignored led her to her first sale and beyond.

This is her story:

I wrote my first novel when I was eighteen years old—ages ago—and have always wanted to write. However, everyday life took its toll on my dreams of becoming an author. In 2003, I couldn’t ignore the writing bug any longer and began writing with the goal of publication in mind. Since then, I’ve walked, crawled, and then sprinted a long and twisty road to publication.

I joined RWA, took writing classes and polished my “first” adult novel, CHASING SHADOWS, until it shone. Then I submitted it to a few publishers and agents. Most authors write multiple books before they sell one. Imagine my excitement when the top eBook publisher in 2007 wanted to publish it! I had a gut feeling eBooks would be the wave of the future. I had already been reading them since 2002. Yet, I didn’t give up hope of getting a traditional print publishing deal someday. Regardless, I thought I was finally on my way and nothing could stop me from getting an agent and selling my next book within a year.

Wrong. My “crystal ball” failed me.

One year turned into four years of querying agents and even publishers. During that time, I wrote and revised three books. What kept me going were the characters in my head. They refused to be ignored. I knew I would find a home for one or all of my books. It was just a matter of time (or the proper alignment of the stars, sun, and moon!). I honed my craft with each book. I kept at it.

Early 2012, I heard about Crimson Romance, a new digital imprint of Adams/F+W Media, parent company of Writers Digest. It seemed like the perfect home for my fantasy romance WICKED PARADISE. What’s the worst that could happen if I submitted the book? Rejection? Been there, done that. I shot out my query letter, and the next day I received an email from the managing editor requesting the full manuscript! I didn’t want to get too excited…been down that road before.

Five weeks later, I received a second email from Jennifer. I stared at it without opening the email, prepared for another rejection. Finally, I clicked it open and read the fateful words, “I’d love to add WICKED PARADISE to Crimson’s lineup.” Stunned, I read the email three times before it sunk in. Did I just get an offer? After four years, my drought had ended.

WICKED PARADISE was published on August 13, 2012. Two weeks prior, my publisher for CHASING SHADOWS, released the print version, four long years after the eBook release. I thought it would never come out in print! Finally, a lifelong dream came true: I was able to hold one of my books in my hands.

You’ll have to read my blog as I race down that road to a traditional print publishing deal as I have more good news forthcoming!

People in the publishing business always say, “keep writing, your time will come.” I believe it now. If you’ve written a manuscript, edit it until it shines. Read everything you can about writing and revising  (see my website for a list of the best writing reference books). Join the Absolute Write Forums, the best writing forum around, mingle and read the advice of published authors. Have patience. Remember, never give up, never surrender.

Readers can reach Erin at:

Website:  http://www.erinrichards.com

Blog:  http://erinrichards.blogspot.com

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/ErinRichards.Author

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2994743.Erin_Richards

Twitter:  @erinrichards

Check Wicked Paradise and other titles at: www.crimsonromance.com

 

About Erin:

Erin Richards lives in Northern California where she drafts and negotiates high-technology contracts during the day. When she’s not working or writing, she enjoys reading, photography, and American muscle cars.

September 27, 2012

My Road to Publication: Kristina Knight

Filed under: Author's Interview — carmenferreiroesteban @ 6:09 am
Tags: , ,

Today I’m very pleased to introduce my fellow author at Crimson Romance, Kristina Knight.

Hi, Carmen, thanks for having me over to your blog home today! I’m getting ready for the release of my second book from Crimson Romance, The Saint’s Devilish Deal, and I’m thrilled to tell you all a little bit about the book. Here it goes!

I wanted to tell a true reunion story, because reunions are some of my favorite romances to read. As I was working on another book – a yet to be finished book, Saint & Esme got a little mouthy! – the characters of Santiago & Esmerelda came to me, arguing. They argue a lot. They’re passionate people, devoted and loyal people…both have been badly betrayed by family members – the people you think could never betray you. And so they have some serious issues to overcome. This is a contemporary romance and it’s set in Puerto Vallarta – one of my most favorite places in the world. I love the sun, sea, the relaxed atmosphere of the city.

I think the setting is represented well on the cover – I just love it! It was designed by the cover goddesses at Crimson Romance and I think it reflects the story very well – both Saint & Esme are very attached to a villa they must work together to save, so I love that the villa plays a part in the cover.

I mentioned above that this is my second romance from Crimson, and I’ve had a ball with them over the past six months. My road to publication has been filled with fits and starts. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but my fiction career was interrupted by 1) a career in journalism and 2) a couple of cross-country moves with my amazing husband and 3) the adoption of our amazing, wonderful and creative daughter. Among all the drama I continued to write, but a lot of what I wrote was for me – to quiet the voices in my head, to learn story structure. In 2008 I got serious about my writing and then came another interruption (our daughter’s adoption) and I stalled. By 2009, the adoption was finalized, my life had come to a place where I knew it was time to either 1) take this writing thing seriously or 2) give it up entirely. I took it seriously. I took some online workshops, joined a local RWA chapter and started sending my work out.

The best advice I have is to send the book out. Seriously, the only way anyone is going to ‘find’ you is if you first put yourself out there. So write and polish until the book is as perfect as you can make it, and then send it out. Contests are great and can get you some valuable information, but definitely send the book to publishers and see what happens!

The Saint’s Devilish Deal is available in e-formats, wherever e-books are sold, on October 1; a paperback version is planned but that release is still a few weeks away.

BIO: Once upon a time, Kristina Knight spent her days running from car crash to fire to meetings with local police – no, she wasn’t a trouble-maker she was a journalist. When the opportunity to write what she wanted – business and family/parenting articles – and to focus more energy on the stories in her head, she jumped at it. And she’s never looked back. Now she writes articles for magazines and such by day and writes romance novels with spice by night. And any toddler-free, five minute break she has. She lives on Lake Erie with her husband and 4 year old daughter. Happily ever after.

Links:

My website: http://www.kristinaknightauthor.com
FB – http://www.facebook.com/kristinaknightromanceauthor
TW – http://www.twitter.com/authorkristina

Buy links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Saints-Devilish-Deal-ebook/dp/B0096D6WFE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1348683048&sr=8-1&keywords=the+saint%27s+devilish+deal
B&N: (link isn’t ready yet)
iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-saints-devilish-deal/id559862469?mt=11

 

Check Saint’s Paradise Deals and other titles at: www.crimsonromance.com

March 15, 2012

My Road to Publication : Terry Spear

 

Interview by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

 

 

 

Today, I’m pleased to have, here with us at Dare to Read, Terry Spear.

Terry is the award-winning author of the urban fantasy and medieval historical romantic suspense novel, HEART OF THE WOLF, named in Publishers Weekly’s BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR, NOR Reader Choice for BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE.

I asked Terry about her new YA novel The Dark Fae and she kindly answered my questions.
Here is what he had to say.

Hi Terry,

Welcome to Dare to Read and congratulations on your new novel The Dark Fae. Tell us, first of all: What made you want to write The Dark Fae?

A. I love both historical fantasy and urban fantasy and wanted to write a book about the mischievous fae and how they impact on the human world.

Q. What genre is it?

Teen historical and contemporary fantasy.

Q. Who designed your cover (which, BTW, I think is very intriguing).

The cover was available at one of the photo stock companies, and I used PhotoShop to add the title and byline.

Q. How would you describe your cover?

Dark, mysterious, fae-like girl on the cover. Each of the covers has a similar theme.

Q. In which formats is your book available?

A. e-book and paperback

Q. Why did you choose to self-publish?

An agent told me I ought to self-publish my vampire stories since they were such a glut on the market. That led me to publishing some of my YA that I hadn’t sold, and a couple that I had sold and had received the rights back on.

The Dark Fae was my 14th book to upload, had been turned down by two agents, and I never sent it out again. I didn’t think anything would come of it. But it began selling a 100 copies a day and has remained on the best seller list at Amazon and does well at B&N, so the book turned into a series.

Q. What are you working on right now?

I’m on deadline for a wolf and jaguar shifter series for Sourcebooks, but I am also writing another medieval Highland story because that series is doing so well, and am working on The Dragon Fae, book 5 in the series!

Q. Any advice you want to share with our readers who are considering self-publishing?

Keep writing, editing and submitting. If all else fails, try self-publishing!

Blurb for The Dark Fae:

Ever wonder why you trip over your own feet when there’s nothing there to trip you up? Why you spill a drink when there’s no reason for the mishap? Why you can’t find something that you just set down and there’s no one else to blame but yourself? But maybe there is.

Alicia’s always known she’s different–that she can recognize the mischievous fae when they show up to “play” with the humans. Only now she’s faced with one highly annoyed dark fae and she’s certain he knows the truth about her. She can see him, which means her life is forfeit.

Add to that, his sister arrives, who wants to play, too. And their mother, the queen of the Denkar, will want Alicia’s head, once she learns what Alicia can do.

And all because Alicia was attempting to rescue her friend, Cassie, on their beach excursion at South Padre Island, from the wicked fae. Now, Alicia has really gone and done it–and she’s thinking she should have let the fae have his fun. Her friend’s broken heart would be a lot easier to deal with, than Alicia losing her life.

But it is too late for regrets. As soon as she threw the soda at the dark fae’s chest, she had declared war on the fae. And he is happy to take up the challenge.

  BIO:

Terry Spear is a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves and has an MBA from Monmouth University and a Bachelors in Business and Distinguished Military Graduate of West Texas A & M. She also creates award-winning teddy bears, Wilde & Woolly Bears, to include personalized bears designed to commemorate authors’ books. When she’s not writing or making bears, she’s teaching online writing courses or working full time at a library in the heart of Texas. You can visit her at her website: www.terryspear.com

January 26, 2012

My Road to Publication and Giveaway

Interview by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

Today, we have with us Emily Casey the author of the YA fantasy The Fairy Tale Trap, a delightful and imaginative retale of my favorite Fairy Tale, Beauty and the Beast I highly recommend.

Emily has generously agreed to give a free copy of The Fairy Tale Trap to one lucky commenter. So, don’t be shy and leave your comments below.

Hello, Carmen! Thanks for letting me visit your blog. And hello to all the book lovers out there! I’m really excited to announce the release of my book The Fairy Tale Trap

Hello Emily! You’re very welcome. And talking about your book, why don’t you tell us

Q. Why did you write this book?

A. I wrote it because… well… you’ll think I’m crazy, but the honest truth is that my main character (Ivy Thorn) made me do it. Ivy is a fictional character that I created to fill some creative space. I was between books and wasn’t ready to start my next one, so I created this character that hopped from fairy tale to fairy tale, wreaking havoc wherever she went. Ivy became such a strong character, that I felt like she needed at least a whole book, maybe even a series.

Q. Who is the expected audience? (List 3 books similar to yours)

A. She’s around fifteen years old and even though she’s running around with princesses and fairies, she has a voice similar to Rachel Hawkins’ character Sophie from the Hex Hall series (spunky and smart). Gail Carson Levine also comes to mind, since she likes to put strong heroines into fairy tales with a twist. And of course, anyone who ever enjoyed a fairy tale would be a match for The Fairy Tale Trap.

Q. In which formats is it available?

A. At the moment, The Fairy Tale Trap is only in ebook format. Since I’m self-published, all the costs come out of my own pocket, so a print version hasn’t been a possibility. I’m currently trying to make that happen, though.

Q. Why did you choose to self-publish?

A. I chose to self-publish for two reasons: 1) I couldn’t put Ivy in a drawer. I realize she’s a fictional character, but whenever I tried to move on and write something new, the stories always fell flat because I was thinking about Ivy’s next adventure. 2) I couldn’t stop reading about self-publishing. Eventually, I realized I was putting a lot of time into researching it, so I prayed about it. I felt strongly that I should at least move in this direction. I was never promised success if I self-published, but I feel that I’m meant to be on this path.

Q. One of the perks of self-publishing your book is that you get to choose your own cover. This is also a challenge for those of us not artistically oriented. How did it work for you? Did you design your own cover or hire somebody to do it.

A. The cover for The Fairy Tale Trap was a collaborative effort. A friend of mine (Ryan) is really good at Photoshop. He chose the photo of the girl running and put it into the woods and worked on blending and lighting. I added the text, extra color, and sparkles. I love the cover. I’ve already made the cover for the second book in the series, based on its design. I did this one all on my own, but I credit Ryan’s creative mind for laying the groundwork.

So you have already finished the second book in this series. Congratulations. I hope you publish it soon so we can have you again at Dare to Read to talk about it.

Q. Before we end this interview, is there any advice you want to share with our readers who are considering self-publishing?

A. Self-publishing is a hot topic and a lot of people are considering it. My advice is to take a step. Don’t sink a lot of money into it, but go ahead and act on it. You may find that the stress of marketing and coordinating release dates isn’t for you. If that’s the case, what have you lost? A little time. But if you turn back to traditional publishing, you’ll understand a lot more about the process and you may be a bigger asset to your future publisher.

Emily Casey is a writer from Tallahassee who chases two crazy kids around the house all day before collapsing in front of her computer. Her debut young adult fantasy, THE FAIRY TALE TRAP is on Amazon and Smashwords. If you want a taste of the book first, you can watch the book trailer.

You’ll find Emily on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Thank you so much Emily for being with us and best of luck with your book.

January 19, 2012

My Road to Publication

Interview by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

Today we have with us my friend and fellow author Chris Bauer.

I met Chris at the Bucks Country Writers Workshop when Chris was writing his wonderful and scary, and wonderfully scary novel SCARS ON THE FACE OF GOD: THE DEVIL’S BIBLE. So I was privileged to have a first peek into his story, while accessing his expertise as beta reader for both TWO MOON PRINCESS and its sequel THE KING IN THE STONE.

I confess I am no fan of horror stories (life is scary enough as is) but I loved his protagonist and was enthralled by his strong and distinctive voice.

I highly recommend you try this book, it’s above all a well written and compassionate look into a human soul

Why did you write this book?

SCARS ON THE FACE OF GOD: THE DEVIL’S BIBLE started as an attempt to exorcise some demons re an apparent cluster of mentally and physically impaired children in my old northeast Philadelphia neighborhood in the 1960s. It ended up with a more epic sweep when my research turned up a religious artifact known as the Devil’s Bible, a 13th century manuscript with a demonic legend. The massive book became a spoil of more than one European war, and is currently on display in the Royal Library of Sweden.

What genre is it?

Urban fantasy/horror. Maybe horror fits its description best, considering it was an EPIC Awards finalist as best for that genre for 2010. Alas, it took home the silver as runner-up. It’s been blurbed by multiple Bram Stoker award winner and NYT bestselling author Jonathan Maberry and Scott Nicholson, a majorly independent horror/thriller writer who is currently breaking some records in self-pubbed offerings. (Wow. This sounds like boasting. Sorry.)

Who is the expected audience?

Folks who liked Rosemary’s Baby, The Exorcist and to some extent The Da Vinci Code might like this. I’ve been asked if it’s a religious book. Nah. There’s a religious bend to it but the subject matter dictated this bend, and it’s not preachy in the least. Anyone who enjoys a few twists, a forty-year love story and some apocalyptic mayhem would be the intended audience.

Who designed your cover?

Deena Fisher, publisher, Drollerie Press. Drollerie Press is kaput, sorry to say, because of Deena’s debilitating health issues. (Hi, Deena. Hope you’re feeling better.)

How does the cover reflect your story?

It depicts the misty, eerie quiet of an early morning in the small town of Three Bridges, PA, just before tragedy strikes. People have asked me about the black bird. He’s just hanging out, waiting for something bad to happen, and it does.

In which formats is your book available? Ebook, hardcover, paperback?

Ebook if you want me to earn anything on it. A small number of trade paperbacks are still available on Amazon from the original publisher but I doubt I’ll ever see those royalties. Plus the ebook has some revisions vs. the original. Here are the links: amzn.to/tV3K0g (Amazon); bit.ly/smashwords_scars (Smashwords).

Why did you choose to self-publish?

Aforementioned sudden closure of small press Drollerie Press, the original publisher. Closed its doors in October 2011 and returned all rights to me plus threw in the cover art. Yes, it was kind of ugly the way it went down (internet silence from the publisher as she mended from a devastating illness while the press tanked), but she tried to do more right than wrong for her authors. I could have either a) held off as I shopped my new book, hoping I could entice a prospective agent and/or publisher into re-launching SCARS as part of a two-book deal or b) re-launched it myself. Extremely unlikely a publisher will be interested in it as a second book, considering its only modest success when originally published. And let’s face it, Amazon and Smashwords now have some very attractive royalty programs. And don’t forget that much of a book’s success depends on the author’s own marketing, which I have to do anyway. So why not try to direct that chunk of income into my own pocket, you dig?

What is your marketing plan?

Hit up as many reviewers and bloggers as I can find. Giveaways, guest blog posts, reviews. Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, other social media. So far I’ve had a number of takers, all breadcrumbs for this new bend in the changing publishing environment. Here’s where the breadcrumbs lead, in case you missed the earlier links: amzn.to/tV3K0g (Amazon); bit.ly/smashwords_scars (Smashwords).

Any advice you want to share with our readers who are considering self-publishing?

It looks very attractive, but it’s deceiving. Authors who are doing well by self-publishing their work brought their platforms and readership with them. J.A. Konrath and Scott Nicholson are examples. Then, of course, there’s Amanda Hocking, whose success has been freakish. My advice: Have your work critiqued (a must): peers are good, professional is better. Read your work aloud! Attempt to take the normal road to publishing first. Find an agent who can sell your book/series to a traditional publisher and establish a readership before entertaining self-publication. I’m following my own advice, am currently pitching a new novel to agents. But going the traditional route is easier said than done. Rejection sucks. Do it anyway.

C.G. Bauer writes horror, crime, mystery, mainstream and anything he damn well pleases, most of it really good. In addition to his novel SCARS ON THE FACE OF GOD his short stories have appeared in Shroud Magazine (“Zombie Chimps From Mars,” Spring 2011 print edition) and Thuglit, and his “You’re A Moron” short was podcasted by Well Told Tales (tale #60) with more than 94,000 free audio downloads/plays to date. “Sink,” a short-short, will be released late January 2012 in the new anthology 100 HORRORS. He’ll be releasing a collection of short stories later this year.