Musings on the Writing Life

Conference Schedule Update: Will I see You in 2015?

conferencesMy conference schedule for 2015 is almost full already!

As much as I love hiding out in my office with only my characters and story plot for company, I also need to get with my peeps a few times a year for conferences and other literary events. That’s when we writer types (and reader types) mingle with like-minded people and gossip about made up characters that seem as real to us as our family members or day job coworkers.

When you put more than one writer in the same place at the same time, wonderful things happen. Creativity flows and new stories are born while pesky plot problems that have haunted us forever suddenly solves themselves effortlessly.

Imagine what happens when you put hundreds and thousands of us in one place at the same time. The overflow of creativity births new stories and new career opportunities that wouldn’t have happened without the conference. It’s amazing to watch and even more amazing to experience.

And then of course there are the moments when we meet our favorite author. No matter how experienced and accomplished we are as writers, we still go into total fangirl mode.

Like earlier this year, when I stepped into an elevator at the RWA national conference in San Antonio and saw Nalini Singh.

And then she stepped out on my floor, and walked down my hallway. And went into the room next to mine!

Ahhhhh!

The room NEXT TO MINE!

Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!

Fangirling

What’s your favorite fangirl moment and/or conference? Where will you be in 2015? Will I see you at any of the events below?

FRWFebruary 5-9, 2015: Florida Romance Writers Fun in the Sun Conference “Cruise with Your Muse,” Setting sail from Ft. Lauderdale, FL
It’s a conference on a cruise ship!! Hello sunshine and the Caribbean. I’ll be on a panel with Heather GrahamBonnie Vanak and Rebecca Zanetti, discussing what it’s like to write–and sell–paranormal romance.

 

PowerOfPenMarch 7, 2015: Inland Empire Chapter of RWA Power of the Pen Conference, Spokane, WA
My local chapter is hosting a fabulous fiction writing conference for all genres. Featured speakers include Mary Buckham and Liz Pelletier. I’m conducting Pitching Your Masterpiece & Crafting Stellar Query Letters workshop and will be on the Selling Your First Book: Q&A with Three Debut Authors panel with authors Sarah Brady and Augustina Van Hoven.

 

GetLitApril 20-26, 2015: Get Lit! 17th Annual Literary Festival, Spokane, WA.
My favorite time in Spokane is April, not so much because spring is finally on its way, but because that is when my fair city is invaded by authors and literary fans of all types. I’ve volunteered for Get Lit! every year for the last 10 years and can’t wait to see the line-up for 2015.

 

RWANYCJuly 22-25, 2015: Romance Writers of America 35th Annual Conference, New York City, NY.
My very first RWA national conference was in NYC four years ago, so I’m super excited to go back to one of my favorite cities. I’ve submitted workshops to the conference, but won’t know until January whether any of them were accepted. Keep your fingers crossed and save up some money to join me in the city that never sleeps in July. It is going to be a blast.

 

WorldConAugust 19-23, 2015: World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), Spokane, WA.
I’m joining “hundreds of authors, editors, publishers, artists, scientists, game designers, and other creators and intellectual leaders,” as they all gather in Spokane to celebrate “the best works and creators in the speculative fiction field and culture.” This is my first Worldcon and I have no idea what I’m in for, but I can’t wait to find out!

 

ECWC_2011_webOctober 16-18, 2015: Emerald City Writers Conference, Bellevue, WA.
The Greater Seattle Chapter RWA’s conference is one of my favorites. I’ve been attending almost every year since 2007. If you have a chance to go, you should definitely join me and enjoy informative workshops, great pitching opportunities, and networking with some of the nicest and most fun writers you’ll ever meet.

On Bark Today: Talking About #BeenRapedNeverReported

Just a quick note to say I’m on Bark today, blogging about this amazing thing that happened on Twitter this weekend. Join the discussion  about the outpour of support for rape survivors that’s been trending because of the alleged sexual assault by a CBC radio host and the debate that followed.

Free Book Day: Amy Patrick’s CHANNEL 20 SOMETHING

AmyToday I have the pleasure of interviewing award-winning author and two-time Golden Heart Finalist Amy Patrick.

I’ve been hanging out with her in the 2014 Golden Heart finalists online forum since the nominations were announced in March and I also met her in person at the Romance Writers of America National Conference in July. She is so nice and so much fun!

And she’s also an amazing writer.

I just finished reading her new novel CHANNEL 20 SOMETHING and I loved, loved, loved it. It’s such a pleasure to interview Amy today. Here’s the book blurb:

22-year-old Heidi Haynes is almost one year into her “real life”. She has her first reporting job, her first apartment, and a comfortable relationship with her college sweetheart. But for some reason she’s not as eager to talk about walking down the aisle as he is.

 

CTS FINAL COVERHeidi secretly longs for big cities, big-market breaking news, and real independence from her way-too-close-by helicopter parents. Problem is, the last time she left the security of home for new places and new people, things didn’t go so well. Disastrously, in fact, and she came running back to a local college and a “safe” boyfriend.

 

Aric Serrano is definitely not safe.

 

He’s six-feet-four-inches of missing-Hemsworth-brother-hotness and plans to stay in small-market-Southern-Hell just long enough to grab a cup of coffee and put together a kick-ass “escape tape”. He’ll serve his one-year contract, then he’s taking off for a higher rung on the TV sports ladder—alone—the way he likes it. Then he meets his new co-anchor.

 

Heidi would be so much more comfortable if she could simply ignore Aric. He’s just her type—the type she’s so careful to avoid these days. But that becomes impossible when she’s forced to work closely with him on the weekend newscast. Now the attraction between them is growing even faster than the ratings, and what happens behind the scenes is the real news.

Amy’s giving away one ebook copy of CHANNEL 20 SOMETHING to a lucky commenter on today’s post. (Didn’t I tell you she was nice?!)

Let’s pick her brain about the novel and writing in general.

Hi Amy, welcome to the blog. How long have you been writing?

I started trying to write a novel during my first year out of college, but stalled out a few chapters into it. I had no idea how to write a novel! Unfortunately, I took only Journalism courses and NO creative writing in school. I know—what was I thinking, right? I guess I just never thought a fiction writer was something I could be. But the writing bug wouldn’t leave me alone. I started several more novels over the years. Finally, after leaving my full-time TV news career, I started learning the craft of novel-writing. I finished my first novel in 2010 and started pursuing publication then. I started writing on a more-or-less full-time basis about a year ago.

Is CHANNEL 20 SOMETHING your first book?

CHANNEL 20 SOMETHING was actually my 3rd book, though it’s the first to be published. The first one I wrote was a Young Adult fantasy (with lots of romance). It was a finalist for the RWA Golden Heart award in 2013. My Young Adult murder mystery (with lots of romance) FOUR BULLETS, is now out on submission to publishers. It was a Golden Heart finalist this year! Since finishing CHANNEL 20 SOMETHING, I’ve also written two more books in the 20 SOMETHING series. Book 2, STILL YOURS, is Mara’s story and takes place in Providence and Newport, Rhode Island. Book 3, Kenley’s story, STILL ME, takes place in Atlanta where Kenley lands a job at the network.

When do you like to write, and where do you write?

I wish I was one of those super-focused people who can write anywhere anytime, but I’m the world’s worst multi-tasker. I can edit at home, but for first drafts, I banish myself to the library. There’s a particular chair in a particular corner—in the far back, facing a boring wall. No internet access. No temptation. I sit down and the words flow. They know they’re supposed to turn on when I get to my hidey-hole.

What made you decide to write New Adult romance?

I think it’s a fantastic time period in life to write about because SO MUCH happens during the years you’re 18-26, and the decisions you make during that time can determine the entire direction of your life (yeah, no pressure there). There’s probably no other time of life that holds more possibility or more romance than those years. My own life during that time was an exciting, crazy, wonderful mess. I did so many stupid things, but also many amazing things, and I’m sure a lot of people can say the same.

What’s one crazy fact about you that most people who meet you probably wouldn’t guess was true?

I used to be a professional singer. I’ve sung in several bands and did background vocals on a smooth jazz album. I also sang the theme song for SAS Airlines years ago. “Welcome aboard… to the skies… of S-A-S… where you’ll find… happiness.”

I love that you did the theme song for Scandinavian Airlines. Now I’ll think of you every time I use them to fly back home to Sweden. And now for the most important questions:  Biggest celebrity crush?

As you may have guessed from the story blurb for CHANNEL 20 SOMETHING, I have a little thing for Chris Hemsworth. Liam’s up there on my list, too. And I have a huge crush on Tom Hiddleston, who plays Loki in the Marvel movies.

Mmmm, you can’t go wrong with the Hemsworth brothers. That would be my answer too. Thanks for hanging out with me today!

Thank you so much for having me here today. I’m thrilled to be a guest on your blog!

Blog readers, share your biggest celebrity crush below for a chance to win a copy of CHANNEL 20 SOMETHING. I’ll draw the lucky winner on Sunday (8/17) night at 6 pm PST.  If you don’t want to wait till then, here are some links to purchase your very own copy of the novel:

Amazon– http://amzn.to/1snJjgj
NOOK/Barnes and Noble— http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/channel-20-something-amy-patrick/1120060189?ean=2940149624430
Kobo— http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/channel-20-something-a-new-adult-romance
All Romance– https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-channel20somethinganewadultromance-1588177-149.html

 

RWA 14: A Fairy Tale Come True

This year was my third time to attend the Romance Writers of America National Conference. I knew there’d be great workshops, fun times at the special interest chapters’ evening parties, interesting conversations in the bar, and amazing moments of meeting favorite big-name authors. But nothing could have prepared me for how special it would be to attend the conference as a Golden Heart Finalist who just sold her first book. I felt like Cinderella at the ball and walked about two inches above the ground the entire event. (Well, maybe not after the author dinner when I decided to wear heels. The day after that wonderful evening, I hobbled closer to the ground.)

For much of the conference, I was in such a state of exhilaration that I forgot to take pictures, but below are a few of the moments that I managed to capture with my camera. Here’s how I spent my days–and nights–in San Antonio, TX.

Tuesday 7/22: Kiss of Death Tour to Lackland Airforce Base and Forth Sam Houston

Kimberly Kincaid and Denny  S. Bryce in front of propeller plane.

Kimberly Kincaid and Denny S. Bryce in front of propeller plane and a perfectly placed danger notice. :-)

Wednesday 7/23: The Golden Network Retreat, Silver Spurs & Golden Words

Shelly Chalmers, Marni Folsom, and I pose with John Wayne.

Fellow Paranormal Golden Heart Finalists Shelly Chalmers and Marni Folsom, pose with me and John Wayne.

Thursday 7/24: First “official” day of conference.

I won a critique by Jeannie Lin at the Debra Novak auction for diabetes, which included meeting up at RWA14. This is a big fangirl moment for me.

I won a critique by Jeannie Lin at the Debra Novak auction for diabetes, which included meeting up at RWA14. This is a big fangirl moment for me.

Although Agent Extraordinary Sara E. Younger didn't make it to the conference, she arranged for the writers she represent to meet up. Here's Team Sarah from top of the stairs: Codi Gary, Rachel Dylan/Kall, Rachel Lacey, Sheryl Lister, Kinley Baker, and moi. It was so much fun to meet these amazing women.

Although Agent Extraordinary Sara E. Younger didn’t make it to the conference, she arranged for the writers she represent to meet up. Here’s Team Sarah from top of the stairs: Codi Gary, Rachel Dylan/Kall, Rachel Lacey, Sheryl Lister, Kinley Baker, and moi. It was so much fun to meet these amazing women.

Friday 7/25: Henceforth known as “Fantabulous Friday.”

I also won a critique + meetup with Roxanne St. Claire in the Brenda Novak auction. When we met for breakfast, Brenda just happened to be at the table next us. This is a special moment for me. Both of these writers are amazing and inspire me every day. Major fangirl moment.

I also won a critique + meetup with Roxanne St. Claire in the Brenda Novak auction. When we met for breakfast, Brenda just happened to be at the table next us. This is a special moment for me. Both of these writers are amazing and inspire me every day. Major fangirl moment.

And then Roxanne St. Claire introduced me to Gena Showalter! Yes! As in "Hi, Gena, have you met Asa Maria Bradley?" That really happened! Uber fangirl moment.

And then Roxanne St. Claire introduced me to Gena Showalter! Yes! As in: “Hi, Gena, have you met Asa Maria Bradley?” That really happened! Uber fangirl moment.

IMG_20140725_133031_047

Parts of Team Sarah met up for lunch and got to take a picture with amazing Barbara Vey outside the restaurant. From left: Sidney Halston, Rachel Dylan, Annie Rain, Barbara Vey, Rachel Lacey, and I. Another one of those amazing RWA14 moments that you could never plan for, they just happen.

 

At the RITA & GH afternoon reception with Megan Crane and Jane Porter. I love their writing, buy every one of their books. Plus, Jane has been so encouraging of my career.

At the RITA & GH afternoon reception with Megan Crane and Jane Porter. I love their writing, buy every one of their books. Plus, Jane has been so encouraging of my career.

 

The Golden Heart class of 2014, aka The Dreamweavers. Never, ever, have I met a group of more supporting women. We were supposed to be competitors, and I'm super competitive person, but these writers were each other's greatest supporters and cheerleaders. Love these ladies! BFF!

Also at the RITA & GH Reception: The Golden Heart class of 2014, aka The Dreamweavers. Never, ever, have I met a group of more supporting women. We were supposed to be competitors, and I’m super competitive person, but these writers were each other’s greatest supporters and cheerleaders. Love these ladies! BFF!

Another fangirl moment from the reception. I read Susanna Kearsley's books as quickly as she can write and publish them. She took home the RITA in the paranormal category later that night. Woot!

Another fangirl moment from the reception. I read Susanna Kearsley’s books as quickly as she can write and publish them. She took home the RITA in the paranormal category later that night. Woot!

I spent Friday evening at my very first publisher event. The Sourcebooks Author Dinner was amazing. We gathered on the terrace of the restaurant before heading in for some of the best steak I've ever had. Unfortunately, I was too starstruck and overwhelmed to remember the name of the restaurant.

I spent Friday evening at my very first publisher event. The Sourcebooks Author Dinner was amazing. We gathered on the terrace of the restaurant before heading in for some of the best steak I’ve ever had. Unfortunately, I was too starstruck and overwhelmed to remember the name of the restaurant. (Doh!)

I got one of the special champagne bottles even though I don't even have a first book out yet! Talk about feeling welcomed.

I got one of the special champagne bottles even though I don’t have a first book out yet! Talk about feeling welcomed!

And here's the proof that I really was like Cinderella at the ball. Horse-drawn pumpkins came to pick us up from the dinner. I was impressed by the limo that drove us there, but this carriage was spectacular.

And here’s the proof that I really was like Cinderella at the ball. Horse-drawn pumpkins came to pick us up from the dinner. I was impressed by the limo that drove us there, but this carriage was spectacular. (Cheryl Brooks, Terry Spear, and Mia Marlowe shared my pumpkin.)

View of Sweet Daisy pulling the carriage behind ours.

View of Sweet Daisy pulling the carriage behind ours.

Saturday 7/26: Last Day of Conference and RITA & GH Award Ceremony

A very fuzzy, but only one I got, picture of my date to the awards ceremony. Thank you Rebecca Zanetti for being an awesome friend, career coach, and mentor. And also for writing fantastic books that sizzle.

A very fuzzy, but only one I got, picture of my date to the awards ceremony. Thank you Rebecca Zanetti for being an awesome friend, career coach, and mentor. And also for writing fantastic books that sizzle.

After ceremony with GH sister Sarah Andre.

After ceremony with GH sister Sarah Andre.

As you can tell, there were many moments where I completely forgot to bring out the camera. They are too many to mention all of them, but several of the workshops were fantastic. I had a blast presenting one myself with Rebecca and even though we were up against Nora and Courtney Milan, and a BDSM workshop, we had a good sized crowd and a great discussion. I loved volunteering for the literacy event and had a blast working as usher for “my” authors. And then there were the amazing moments with old and new friends in the lobby, out at lunch, and in the bar.

Thank you RWA and everyone who volunteered for and who attended the conference for making this event one that I will remember forever.

On See Jane Publish: A Reject’s Lessons Learned

rejectionThe Janes are discussing rejections all this month and today it’s my turn. Head on over to See Jane Publish to participate in the discussion of how to learn to live with rejections and what constitutes a good rejection.

In the writing world, rejections are so common that Dictionary.com uses “The publisher rejected the author’s latest novel.” as an example for how to properly use “reject” in a sentence. In other words, if you want to be a writer, you have to learn to handle—or at least live with—rejections.

It took me a long time. I wanted people, specifically people in the publishing world, to love my stories and characters as much as I did. They didn’t.

The thing is, I’m stubborn, but for the most part open minded. I will keep banging my head against the wall, but I’ll also listen to anyone suggesting a better location on which to smack my forehead, or a better method of walloping my head against hard objects.

I finally sold my first book just last month. This particular book was rejected forty-seven (47!) times by editor and agents. I had fifteen full requests that ultimately ended in rejection.

It is the third book I’ve finished, and queried the heck out of those two other books as well. So yes, I’m familiar with rejection. I also know that there are good rejections, the kind that teach you something new, or give you invaluable advice on how to better position your book in the market.

On Bark: “Make Me Beautiful”

I’m hanging out on Bark today, discussing Esther Honig’s amazing social experiment “Before and After.” She sent a picture of herself without makeup and with her hair pulled back to graphic designers all over the world with the simple request: “make me beautiful.”

The images she received in return are astonishing and allowed her to examine how beauty standards varies across cultures and countries. Here’s an example from Germany, to the right of the original picture:

germany

Photo: Esther Honig

Some of the pictures are so radically altered, you can’t recognize Honig in them anymore. Hop on over to Bark and join the conversationWould you consider yourself more beautiful if you had a different eye color? Different shaped face? How much of your appearance could be altered before you would no longer recognize yourself in the image?

 

Free Book Day: Sail the High Seas with Shana Galen and The Rogue Pirate’s Bride

rogue-pirate-200It’s been a while since the last one, so it’s about time for another Free Book Day!

I’m still on an adrenaline high after selling my first books to Sourcebooks. It’s such an incredible honor to work with a company who publishes some of my favorite writers. Among them is Shana Galen and to celebrate my new contract, I’m giving away a signed copy of her The Rogue Pirate’s Bride. Here’s the blurb from Ms. Galen’s website:

The Marquis de Valère escaped certain death in the French Revolution and is now an infamous privateer. Out to avenge the death of his mentor, Bastien discovers himself astonishingly out of his depth when confronted with a beautiful, daring young woman who is out for his blood…

Forgiveness is unthinkable, but it may be her only hope…

British Admiral’s daughter Raeven Russell believes Bastien responsible for her fiancé’s death. But once the fiery beauty crosses swords with Bastien, she’s not so sure she really wants him to change his wicked ways…

Can’t you just see the sexy swashbuckling about to happen between these two?!

I love pirate books, but am always disappointed when the hero sets out on high seas adventures while the heroine stays on shore, waiting for him to get back—or worse, rescue her. Not so in Shana Galen’s novel. Raeven Russell is quite capable of, and very determined to, fight her own battles, using swords if she has to.  The Rogue Pirate’s Bride reminds me of a comic series I read in my pre-teens.

From 1967 to 1972, Jerry and Halle Skelly wrote and illustrated the marvelous comic strip Captain Kate. The strip was expanded to full comic book adventures and syndicated to Sweden a decade after it ended in the US. I devoured Kate’s adventures and imagined myself high in the look-out of her trading ship, the Wind Song. Kate was not a simpering heroine waiting to be rescued—like the pirate romance novels of that time—she clashed swords with pirates, outwitted misogynistic bullies, and fought slavery, while sailing the seven seas with her loyal crew. Her love interest, US Navy Captain Nathan Royal, loved Kate for her beauty, brains, and fighting skills.

I loved Kate for showing me that a girl could be strong and capable and go on her own adventures.

CaptainKateSmallStrip

The Rogue Pirate’s Bride brings me back to how much I enjoyed pirate adventures as a girl. The novel delivers high stake adventures, a sassy heroine, and steamy romance. What else could you possibly want in a book? Oh yeah, pirates. Well, it has that too. :-)

Growing up, which were your favorite adventure tales? Answer in the comments below and I’ll draw one lucky winner on Friday July 11th at 5 pm PST.

Getting a Yes after 47 Noes

SnoopyHappyDanceNo matter what Jim Hanas says about writers being caught up in the lottery of “rejection porn,” I love reading about successful writers who made it after a gazillion rejections. I’m a sucker for lists that tells me how many times authors like J.K. Rowling, Louis L’Amour, Dan Brown, and C.S. Lewis were rejected.

Why? Because knowing others found success after rejections is what kept me submitting my manuscript even though I gained a total of forty-seven forty-nine rejections. (Update: after I sold, I received 2 more rejections from retracted queries.) Fifteen of those were on full requests. And, to make things worse, it wasn’t the first book I queried and pitched. I had two other books out there gaining noes. But I kept going.

I persevered because as I went from form letters to personalized to editorial suggestions rejections, I measured each little step in that chain as progress. And because I once heard a professional writer say that the only friends of hers who didn’t publish after receiving their first partial manuscript request were the ones who stopped writing and editing and stopped querying.

I kept going, but I also kept revising based on the feedback I received from editor and agents. Maybe I queried too early on the manuscript, but I figured it was submission ready after it placed second in the On The Far Side contest and the editor judge said she didn’t request it only because her pet peeve were stories that mixed sci fi with mythology. So, I figured all I had to do was find an agent and editor who didn’t mind a mix of those two elements.

EmmaStone

And I did–two years later. Here’s my crazy journey from query to signed contract:

-I finished the book as part of Cherry Adair‘s Finish the Damned Book (FTDB) challenge in late 2012 and received favorable comments from the editor who read my first three chapters. This is also the year I was a finalist in the On The Far Side. After numerous rejections, and attending a Michael Hauge story structure seminar,  I did a major overhaul of the manuscript in early 2013, sent the book to the Golden Heart contest and continued pitching and querying–and receiving rejections.

-October 2013, I pitched to agent Sarah E. Younger at the Emerald City Writing Conference. She requested the full manuscript and rejected me about a month later through a very nice note that encouraged me to query her on any future projects.

-Early December 2013, I submitted to Sourcebooks through their general submission system, a confirmation message said I should hear back within 8 weeks.

-Sixteen more rejections happened, six of which were full requests.

-March 20, 2014, Cat Clyne of Sourcebooks emails me. She loved the manuscript but thinks it needs a lot of work. Her email includes some editorial suggestions and an invitation to resubmit. She also wants to see an elevator pitch for the series as a whole, short blurbs for the first three books, and a synopsis of book 2.

AmyPoelerBabyMama

-March 26, I get the call letting me know VALHALLA’S KING was Golden Heart finalists. Yay! One of the congratulatory emails I receive is from Cat, who says “it’s well deserved.”

BradPitt

-First weekend of April, I attend the Desert Rose conference in Arizona. Sarah is one of the agents attending. She too congratulates me on the GH and asks if I’ve done any revisions to the manuscript. I explain I’m revising for Cat, and she asks me to send it to her again, plus a romantic suspense project that finaled in the conference contest. I also pitch to two other agents and two editors.

-Through the month of April, I touch base with agents who are currently reading the manuscript to let them know about the GH nomination and interest from a publisher. I also query some more agents. All of this result in 5 more rejections.

TinaFey

-Late April, I see a submission call from another publishing company asking for manuscripts related to fairy tales and/or mythology. I send them VALHALLA’S KING.

-Mid May, I finish the revisions for Cat and send the manuscript, plus blurbs and synopsis of second book.

-May 21, An email from an editor at the other publishing company arrives. She loves the manuscript, but would like some minor changes to the story line. I complete those and send her a rewrite a week later.

-June 2, The other publishing company offers me a three book contract. I happy dance for a while, then panic and call a published friend to see what to do next. She says to email Sourcebooks and any agents reading the manuscript. I ask the other publishing company for some time and do exactly what my friend tells me. Sourcebooks asks for a week to finish reading and take the project to an acquisitions meeting.

panic

-June 4 – 9, I chat with agents on the phone and end up with three offers of representation. A completely surreal experience.

boxer

-June 10, I sign with Sarah and am super happy.

Elaine

-June 12, I’m on vacation in Washington DC and outside the Museum of Natural History when I receive a call from Cat Clyne at Sourcebooks offering me a three book deal. After we hang up, I email Sarah immediately. She asks me to call her and I talk to her in the shadow of the Washington Monument. (DC has a very special place in my heart now.)

-June 13, Sarah and I talk over which publisher would be the best fit for a debut author building her career. We lean mostly toward Sourcebooks, but it’s a hard choice because the other publisher is awesome and everyone I talk to loves the editor. In the end, a print deal with an advance wins over an e-book only deal.

-June 13 – 23, Sarah and Cat negotiate until they’re both happy with the terms. I mostly happy dance and annoy my husband with tons of questions he doesn’t know how to answer. I’m on the verge of exploding from not being able to talk about what’s going on.

Tinafeyzippedlips

-June 19, Sarah finally gives me permission to announce that I have signed with her.

JackKarenBop

-June 24, Sarah and Cat says it’s time to announce the deal. And a day full of celebrations begins!

carlton-dance-o

My persistence in submitting VALHALLA’S KING in a market where paranormal romance became a super hard sale is a sign of either perseverance or craziness, but I did write another book during these two years and I sincerely hope it will be a much easier sell. :-)

I Get By With A Lot Of Help From My Friends

gh2014One of the things that continuously amazes me about the romance writing community is the support and encouragement the writers give other writers. Meganame bestselling authors take the time to mentor wanna-be-newbies. Peers congratulate the competition when they receive an award or win a contest. This is not what I experience when I go to non-romance writing conferences. Sure, I see established writers encourage new writers there too, but the ego-less, unselfish, genuine support romance writers give each other is unique.

I couldn’t write without the help I receive from friends and family. And it would be a drudgery, uphill, bleak journey without the many writer friends I have made along the way. Since the Golden Heart nominations were announced, that writer-to-writer support has poured my way through a magnificent flood with a humongous current.
One example of this is the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood hosting me on their blog earlier this week. The Rubies are the Golden Heart Class of 2009 and their blog is a treasure of writing advice and resources. Through the years, they’ve built up a large following and I have been a subscriber to the blog for a while. Many of its members are my favorite authors. It was such an honor to be featured on the blog. The interview focused on the amazing support group who buoys me through the writing rejections and accolades.

The most inspiring parts of the interview were the comments from other writers about what has inspired, encouraged, and supported them through their journey. Check it out at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood and become a subscriber of the blog, it is well worth it.

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