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What happened in France: The author’s story

What Happens in France Book Cover What Happens in France
Carol Wyer
Women's Fiction
Canelo Escape
28th January 2019

Book Blurb: She stood and took her place in front of the camera... It was now or never”

Bryony Masters has been looking for her long-lost sister, Hannah, for years, but when their father has a stroke her search takes on new urgency. So when primetime game show, What Happens in France, puts a call-out for new contestants, Bryony spots the ultimate public platform to find her reality TV-obsessed sister, and finally reunite their family.

With the help of handsome teammate Lewis, it’s not long before she’s on a private jet heading for the stunning beauty of rural France. With a social media star dog, a high maintenance quiz host and a cast of truly unique characters, Bryony and Lewis have their work cut out for them to stay on the show and in the public eye.

Yet as the audience grows and the grand prize beckons they find that the search that brought them together may just fulfil more than one heart’s wish…

This heartwarming romantic comedy of friendship, family and laugh-out-loud adventures is perfect for fans of Kirsty Greenwood, Colleen Coleman and Marian Keyes.

  1. How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?

I write in two different genres: crime fiction and romantic comedy and ordinarily, I’d say crime fiction requires a lot more research. I spend weeks on the internet checking details and facts and also speaking to experts in Forensics or those in the police force. However, given What Happens in France hinges around a crazy game show set in France, it required a substantial amount of research in the form of applying for auditions and then actually be selected to get onto a few televised game shows, as well as several weeks driving around France, learning about the regions in the book. It took almost two years in total to gather all the information I needed.

I met some extremely interesting characters during auditions and on shows who gave me the inspiration for some of those in the book although I never met anyone like ballet dancer Oscar, owner of the show-stealing pug, Biggie Smalls.

  • What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?

I use the internet all the time and am a member of various crime writer groups where I can post questions for the experts in the group, but for this book I drew on my own experiences. This is how I invariably write romantic comedies. If a character does something in one of my humorous books then the chances are I’ll have tried it out first. One book saw me doing a zip wire, belly dancing, eating locusts, zorbing, and diving with sharks, while another saw me take up stand-up comedy. This book was a breeze by comparison although I did have to go one those game shows and make an idiot of myself. (Again!)

  • How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?

Goodness, I could paper every wall in my house with all the rejection slips I’ve received over the years.

My first efforts were children’s stories aimed at teaching 3-5-year-olds French. It was back in the days, before you could do everything online, when you had to plough through the Writers and Artist’s Handbook to find agents or publishers you thought would be interested in your work, write an accompanying letter, then remortgage your house to pay for the printer ink and stamps so you could post your weighty manuscripts to them.

When I turned my attention to the adult market in 2010, things had changed and I submitted to various publishers online. After nuerous rejections, I gave up. I didn’t want to wait years to get it accepted. I’d only intended writing the one book, Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines, because it was on my bucket list. I had no idea it would be the start of a new career for me. I looked at self-pubbing and I was given the chance to self-publish it with FeedaRead for a very tiny fee, I chose that route. I also published it with Smashwords and Amazon and could never have imagined how well it would have performed. Five months after publication, I found myself featured in Woman’s Own Magazine as a best-selling author and following that, a small publishing house took me on. The rest, as they say, is history and I now write for Bookouture/Hachette and Canelo. What Happens in France is my 18th book to be published although I’ve managed to write a further four books since I completed it which are yet to be released. 

  • Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?

Although I chose the self-publication route, I wish in many ways I’d been more patient and waited for a lucky break with a publisher.

The workload involved in self-publication is huge. You not only have to write, edit, format, design covers and get your book published, you have to market it. I found marketing took up all my time and prevented me from writing further books.

I would agree it is imperative to build an audience before you self-publish or approach a publisher. I ran a humorous blog (like Amanda Wilson in my debut novel) for over a year, writing posts daily until I had several 1000s of followers. When I launched my debut novel, I held an all-day virtual party on the blog with games, competitions and jokes. I spent all day and night, chatting to the virtual guests. That party sold copies, got reviews and propelled Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines into the limelight and gave me the start I needed. Without my followers and the friends I made online, that wouldn’t have happened.

Publishers like to see you have an online presence – that you are committed to your brand, if you like, and are active on social media. It is something that every author should continue to keep up, no matter what stage they are at in their career. Your readers deserve interaction and social media gives them that chance.

  • Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?

If you’d asked me this 3 years ago, I’d have said an emphatic no. The first 7 years, I made a dismal amount of money, in spite of success with my first novel and my non-fiction humorous book, Grumpy Old Menopause which not only won The People’s Book Prize Award but saw me sitting on the BBC Breakfast red sofa, chatting to Bill Turner and Susanna Reid about it. Even with the air time and further magazine exposure, I still only brought in enough to pay for a decent holiday. The turning point came in 2016, when I signed with Bookouture. Because they’re a digital publisher (like Canelo) they can turn around books faster than a traditional publisher. So in theory, the more you can write, the more you can potentially earn. 2017 was the first year I earned sufficient to actually pay household bills. It came at the right time because my husband is now retired, and we live off his pension, so my writing income is a real boost.

  • What is the funniest thing that happened to you on a book tour?

Not so much on a blog tour but in my early days when I did my own publicity, I managed to secure several radio interviews during the launch of one of my books. I had all the times and dates written down in my diary (very professional) and had agreed to be interviewed on a popular radio show in the USA. The interview was to take place by phone and I was very excited about the opportunity to chat to new, potential readers in the United States. On the actual day, I suddenly realised I had agreed to be on a show that would be broadcast live at 2 a.m. my time not 2 p.m. as I had thought. It was too late to change the date and I didn’t dare tell my husband, Mr Grumpy, who goes to bed punctually at 9.30 p.m. every night and does not like being kept awake, so I stayed awake and tiptoed downstairs at quarter to two in the morning to wait for the phone to ring. I was frightened to talk loudly and wake up my family, so I whispered to the presenter who kept telling me to speak up and then halfway through the interview, Mr Grumpy turned up in a foul mood, shouting, ‘Who the f*** Is on telephone at this time of the morning. Tell them to f*** off’ Unfortunately it was a live broadcast and the listeners got to hear every word. To cap it all, he grabbed the receiver from my hand and shouted a few more obscenities before putting it down. I emailed my apologies but I wasn’t invited back on the show!

  • Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?

Alison Kervin OBE and author of The WAGS Diary (2009) and WAGS at the World Cup WORLD (2010) I picked up her first book from a ‘living bookcase’ while on holiday and it had me in stitches from start to finish. When I finally put it down, I decided I wanted to produce something that entertaining. I spent the next few months writing my first novel and emailed Alison to tell her she had inspired me. She replied with a very encouraging email. Had I not read that book, I doubt I would have had the confidence to start writing.

Amazon (UK)

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Author Bio:

As a child Carol Wyer was always moving, and relied on humour to fit in at new schools. A funny short story won her popularity, planting the seed of becoming a writer. Her career spans dry cleaning, running a language teaching company, and boxercise coaching. Now writing full-time, Carol has several books published and journalism in many magazines.

Carol won The People’s Book Prize Award for non-fiction (2015), and can sometimes be found performing her stand-up comedy routine Laugh While You Still Have Teeth.

Twitter: @carolewyer

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How Many Years to Write?

Two Thousand Years Book Cover Two Thousand Years
The Empire Saga #1)
M. Dalto
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult
Independently published
Publication date: December 11th 2018

Two thousand years ago, the Prophecy of Fire and Light foretold the coming of the Queen Empress who would lead the Empire into a time of peace and tranquility. But instead of the coming of a prosperous world, a forbidden love for the Empress waged a war that ravaged the land, creating a chasm between the factions, raising the death toll of innocent lives until the final, bloody battle.

Centuries later, Alexandra, a twenty-two-year-old barista living in Boston, is taken to an unfamiliar realm of mystery and magic where her life is threatened by Reylor, its banished Lord Steward. She crosses paths with Treyan, the arrogant and seductive Crown Prince of the Empire, and together they discover how their lives, and their love, are so intricately intertwined by a Prophecy set in motion so many years ago.

Alex, now the predestined Queen Empress Alexstrayna, whose arrival was foretold by the Annals of the Empire, controls the fate of her new home as war rages between the Crown Prince and Lord Steward. Either choice could tear her world apart as she attempts to keep the Empire’s torrid history from repeating itself. In a realm where betrayal and revenge will be as crucial to her survival as love and honor, Alex must discover whether it is her choice – or her fate – that determines how she survives the Empire’s rising conflicts.

  1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique? TWO THOUSAND YEARS was actually inspired by Billy Joel’s song of the same name. When I first heard the song many years ago, the lyrics themselves told a story that needed to be told. It referenced battles and true love, and my romantic, fantasy-loving mind started concocting a story all my own. In fact, the initial draft used song lyrics as its chapter titles.
  2. How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time? TWO THOUSAND YEARS actually took me over 20 years to start writing. I had first heard the song when it was released in 1993 and didn’t sit down to draft the story until 2014. Otherwise I rarely plan out my stories- I start writing when the ideas come to me, which also means I have a lot of unfinished projects to juggle.
  3. What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote? I confess that Google is my main source when it comes to research. I do consider what the internet provides me with a sound mind and a grain of salt, and if there’s more I need to know I’ll visit my local library.
  4. How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted? In the months that I had queried it, TWO THOUSAND YEARS was sent out to 12 agents, and all agents rejected it. No requests for partials or the full manuscript- just flat out rejections, if I received a response at all. I gave it a break for a while until I had seen a friend have her book release with The Parliament House, so I reached out to her for her insight on the publisher and her process as a while. I think I submitted a week or so later, received a request for my full manuscript a month later, and a week after that received my contract.
  5. Did you need to self-publish on e-books before a publisher took you up? Not an eBook as we know them on Amazon, no. I did have my work out there on Wattpad though. I felt having that exposure, building that following, and receiving that feedback was the most beneficial aspect to my publishing journey. You want to know, someway, somehow, if your work can be received by an audience. I chose to use Wattpad for that, and I know there are others who go the route of beta readers and critique partners. Whatever you choose, make sure a decent pool of readers have given you feedback on your work, and it will help make things more relatable when looking for a publisher.
  6. Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist? If you can get yourself out there and build a following for yourself, do it. It doesn’t necessarily need to be self-publishing either. I, personally, had an audience on Wattpad before I began my publishing journey, and sometimes making your brand is as simple as joining the writing community on Twitter. But I definitely think it’s something that an aspiring novelist needs to do- it’s not easy, maintaining your presence before, during, or after you’ve been published. It takes effort, but it also pays off when you realize you have those fans and followers who want to know more about your work and continue to support you through the processes.
  7. What do you read when you are ill in bed? I actually read all the time, and though taking a sick day for myself is rare, I do read when in bed whenever I can. With my schedule, it’s really the only time I can find for myself to read.
  8. What is your favourite genre? Fantasy, for both writing and reading. I’ve always been a fan of using my imagination, and the Fantasy genre is the best outlet for that, at least for me.
  9. Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre? Recently I think it’s been Sarah J. Maas. Ever since I fell in love with her A Court of Thorns and Roses series, she has been an inspiration not only as an author, but for a fanbase. To affect so many people as she has through her writing alone is definitely something I hope to on day strive for.
  10. Do you have any pets? I do!

If so, what are they?  He’s an 11-year-old corgi

And what are they called?  His name is Loki

Do they help you write? If lying under my desk while I’m at my laptop constitutes as help, then sure!

What is the funniest thing they have done while you are writing? He’ll jump up on the edge of my chair and nudge my arm if he thinks I’ve been writing for too long, and/or believes he requires more attention than I’ve been giving him.

Do you want to add a photo of them to this Q&A? Sure!


Goodreads: 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37534507-two-thousand-years?ac=1&from_search=true
Purchase: https://amzn.to/2RxDUIbhttps://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/two-thousand-years-m-dalto/1129581675?ean=2940156091058https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/two-thousand-years

AUTHOR BIO:

M. Dalto is a fiction author of adventurous romantic fantasy and her debut novel, Two Thousand Years, won one of Wattpad’s Watty Awards in 2016. She continues to volunteer her time as an Ambassador, where she hopes to engage and inspire new writers. She spends her days as a full-time residential real estate paralegal, using her evenings to pursue her literary agenda. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading fantasy novels, playing video games, and drinking coffee. She currently lives in Massachusetts with her husband, their daughter, and their corgi named Loki.
Author links:

 https://authormdalto.wordpress.com/https://www.facebook.com/MDalto/https://twitter.com/MDalto421https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17495218.M_Dalto





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Why Katrina Reads

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

by Katrina Bivald

  1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?
     One of the few things that reading has made be certain about is that there is nothing really unique out there. Everything has been done before, which is generally a good thing, because if we like something, we want more of it.
     In fact, when I set out to try to write a novel, I decided to fill it with all the things I myself have loved in other books, and I love small American towns, quirky characters, unexpected friendships, love – and books, of course.
  2. How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?
     
    
  3. For this book, I didn’t really decide on anything. I had no idea what I was doing, so I just went right ahead and did it, figuring things out along the way (slowly, very slowly, after much trial and even more error).
     For the other projects I work on, topic is both a part of the first idea (“I want to write a book about a person who…” or “what if this and that happened…”) and a part of the general theme or feeling of the book, which for me generally comes much later. I never know exactly what story I’m telling until after I’ve written the first draft.
  4. How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?
     
    
  5. For this book, I researched as I went along, sometimes after I’d already written something. For the book I’m writing at the moment, I’ve lingered in the research phase for months, being very reluctant to start the actual planning of the book, let alone start writing it. I think between the two lies a happy middle ground I’m yet to experience.
  6. What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?
    I Google, a lot. Images, maps, articles. And I order an obscene amount of books, any books, any topic even vaguely related to my writing. I don’t always read them, but I buy them, thinking perhaps that that in itself will be enough (sort of like some people approach studying, I imagine). Right now I’m reading books about Oregon and grief, an interesting combination.
  7. How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your experience?
     
    
  8. I’ve only approached authorities for research once; a Swedish police officer working with traffic accidents (I won’t really be able to use it, because afterwards I re-located my story to the US). But I found him incredibly helpful, which I think is the experience of many authors, at least in Sweden. People are generally glad to help if they can.
  9. How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?
     
    
  10. I’m not really sure, I think I lost count after ten or twelve. But it is fair to say that The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend has been rejected by every large, small and middle sized publisher in Sweden, sometimes more than once. It was even rejected by the publisher that eventually published it.
     It was difficult at the time, of course, but it was necessary: the book needed to improve. It’s an advice I gladly give to new writers: get rejected. It will improve your story to rewrite it.
  11. Did you need to self-publish on e-books before a publisher took you up?
     
    
  12. No, and I’m not sure I could have; I lack the mentality to be able to sell it myself.
  13. Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?
     
    
  14. In Sweden, I wouldn’t recommend self-publishing before approaching a publisher. Why not at least try getting paid for it first? And if you self-publish, be sure to spend some money on an editor: your story deserve it.
    Regardless, you will have to build an audience of course, and for some writers, self-publishing works great. I think it depends on what kind of person you are. But I still think you shouldn’t been in too much of a hurry to get published. It will happen, one day, if you keep writing, and you’ll be able to use everything you’ve learned before it.
  15. Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?
     
  16. It does for me now, but I think that’s still unusual. The majority of writers in Sweden can’t live on it, at least not full-time. For many, it’s a constant struggle between having time to write and no money or money and no time to write. I wrote for years while working, was published, and then my agent sold my book to some 25 countries, and then I could live on my writing.
    Which means, of course, that I know have to write full time, which is not as easy as it sounds. I’m not sure if it makes my writing any better.
  17. In fact, the only thing that really changed was that all my plants died: having more time to write, I found myself wandering around in my apartment, “thinking”, and then I felt sort of silly just pacing around, so I picked up the watering can to have something to do. And apparently, if you water your plants three or four times a day, they die.
  18. What is the funniest thing that happened to you on a book tour?
     
     To market my book in the UK, I once spent five hours and thirty seven minutes reading in a bookstore window, to re-enact the scene in the book. A passer by looked at me sitting there reading and said loudly: “that’s a good job if you can get it.”
     
     Although I cheated. I allowed myself a short break in the middle to step outside (I have the unhealthy habit of smoking) and while doing so a little girl, perhaps five years old, who had stood beside me and watch me read boldly stepped into the window, sat down in the chair, and picked up my book, like she’d seen me doing.
     She was much cuter than me.
 The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katrina Bivald 
(9781492623441; January 19, 2016; $16.99; Trade Paper Original)
 #1 INDIE NEXT GREAT READ January 2016 
#2 LibraryReads Picks


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Heather tells all:

Interviewing Heather C. Myers

 

 What inspired you to write A Beauty Dark & Deadly? 
1Heather







I knew I wanted to do a retelling of Beauty and the Beast.  

It’s one of my favorite fairytales.  

However, it was important to me to ensure that my story was different.  I love darkness, but still sappy romances.  I also majored in Criminology, so legal technicalities, miscarriages of justices, and public perception of celebrity legal issues are things I’m interested in.  

As such, the story took shape and I wrote.  I also want to raise uncomfortable questions to make my readers think: would you be with someone who murdered his wife in cold blood for having an affair?  What if he was found not guilty?  What if you could never be sure one way or the other?  What if you did?BeautyDark
 Can you tell us about the love story between Emmy and Jason, without giving too much away?
Jason is isolated and lonely.  He’s dealt with betrayal of the worst kind, and stood trial for murders he may or may not have committed.  He knows he’s famous and there will be women who want to sleep with him and be with him because of his money and notoriety, but he genuinely believes true love will not find him anymore because of his baggage.  Emmy, on the other hand, is young and reserved.  

She’s helping her grandfather with medical bills and taking care of him as best as she can.  But desperate times call for desperate measures, so she goes to work for this man everyone believes killed his wife and her lover.  She wants to hate him – she’s afraid for her life – but she realizes there’s more to him than media perception, and as much as she doesn’t want to explore that, she does.
 Serializing your novel entirely for free is almost unheard of in the publishing industry – both traditional and indie.  What made you decide to do it?
I read a lot business books, and the best advice I ever got was to change your perception on making money.  Don’t ask what value you can get from your readers, ask what value you can give to them.  

I’ve found the most successful I’ve ever been is offering some of my work for free, providing a professional, entertaining product on a consistent basis, and that is my intention here.  It’s a different way to get my work out there, but I’m excited at the new adventure this will be!
 A Beauty Dark &  Deadly is not the only serialized novel your launching next week.  Can you briefly describe them and provide sign up links if anyone is interested?
Of course!
 Love in Neverland – sequel to my dark YA retelling of Peter Pan.  The first book, Death in Neverland is available to download for free here: http://amzn.to/1J1qMSG in case anyone is interested and wants to catch up.  To sign up for the sequel, all you need to do is go here: http://eepurl.com/bLoM91
 The Art of Persuasion – a clean (though very sassy) time traveling new adult romantic comedy.  A young woman wakes up in the bed of an infamous pirate captain wearing nothing but a short dress.  All she wants to do is go home.  All he wants to do is rescue her.  And save his sister from a hanging.  Whichever comes first.  Sign ups are here:  http://eepurl.com/bLoMJr
 Inheriting Starlight – a dark romantic science fiction novel.  One sister is thought to be dead.  One sister is set to inherit a galaxy she does not want.  Both will have to find each other and themselves if they are to receive what they truly desire.  Sign ups are here:  http://eepurl.com/bLoNxf
 Author links:
https://portsidewonderland.wordpress.com/
https://twitter.com/heathercmyers
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7200222.Heather_C_Myers

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Reaching the Horizon: Tabitha tells how she got there…

Interview with Tabitha Lord, author of Horizon.

Bouncing Tigger: Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?
Tabitha Lord: I’ve joked that I currently write science fiction because of Star Wars, but there’s actually some truth behind this! I was seven years old when I saw the movie for the first time and it impacted me in countless ways—from my toy collection, to the books I chose to read, to my later love of astronomy. My tastes in reading are diverse, and some of my other works-in-progress are varied and span different genres, but sci-fi is like the default setting for my imagination. It’s where I go when I want to be inspired, to play with possibilities, to ask what if, and then create brand new worlds where I can explore the answers. For me, the sci-fi genre is also a place to consider serious, meaningful issues in a different context, slightly removed from the real world.
With Horizon, I wanted to explore the idea of what would happen if one segment of an already small isolated population evolved differently (either naturally or by design) from the other. What if some had gifts that enabled them to imagine a different kind of future for themselves and their world? What if they were empathic and could sense each other’s emotions and thoughts? What if some of them could heal with their mind? How would the unchanged people feel about their neighbors? It created such an interesting premise I knew I had to find a way to make it into a story.  In many ways, Horizon is a traditional space opera, complete with battle scenes, adventure, and romance, but I think this initial concept sets it apart and gives it a unique flavor.
Bouncing Tigger: How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a notebook where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?
Tabitha Lord: For Horizon, the idea mentioned above swirled in my head for years before I started writing. Once I had the first chapter down, I created a rough outline for the rest of the story, and then for the whole series.
When I’m in the middle of a draft, I keep a notebook with me everywhere. Sometimes an idea for a scene will come to me while I’m driving or cooking or folding laundry. I have to stop whatever I’m doing and capture it! Sometimes other ideas for completely different projects will sneak in, and I write these down as well, but then I warn them they have to wait their turn!
Bouncing Tigger: How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?
Tabitha Lord: I research as I go along. It’s fun to write sci-fi because you get to invent things! I love naming planets and imagining cool new pieces of technology my characters can use. But readers still have to buy into the world you’re creating. It has to feel authentic and consistent. Caeli’s planet, where the novel opens, is recovering from a devastating war that took place a thousand years ago. Nature has reclaimed most of her world, and when we meet Caeli, she is alone and on the run in the wilderness. I used my own experiences camping, hiking, and growing up in a rural area to bring a credible feel to these scenes. I have actually carved my own utensils from chunks of wood with a pocketknife!
Bouncing Tigger: What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?
Tabitha Lord: For my writing, in general, I regularly use a thesaurus! The internet is also my friend. When Derek’s spaceship crashed, I looked up schematics for fighter jets so I could understand a little about the systems at work in the engines and controls. My anatomy background is pretty strong, but when Caeli heals Derek, I still called my brother-in-law, a doctor, to make sure she was treating his collapsed lung correctly.
Bouncing Tigger: How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?
Tabitha Lord: Ah, rejection letters! I think I accumulated about twenty-five. The thing about rejections, once you recover from the sting, is that they can sometimes be helpful. If your manuscript isn’t polished enough, you may need to work with an editor. If the story isn’t pulling people in quickly, you may need to spice up your opening chapters. Usually there is a common thread, and if you are open to hearing it, you can make adjustments and move forward. My first round of rejections, which included one R&R (rewrite and resubmit), suggested that I had a good story, but the manuscript needed more work. I hired an editor, and after months of rewriting, I queried again. This time I had more success and was offered contracts from two small presses.
Bouncing Tigger: Did you need to self-publish on e-books before a publisher took you up?
Tabitha Lord: No. But after receiving the offers, I opted not to sign, and began to seriously look at independent publishing. At this point, it became mostly a business decision. For a modest investment on my part up front, I could surround myself with professionals of my choosing, bring my own book to market on my own timeline, and create more of a partnership type relationship with the people I worked with. I signed with Wise Ink Creative Publishing and they provided me with an amazing team. I had control over things like who to hire as a cover artist, when I would release the book, and printing and distribution options. And because they are all industry professionals, they wouldn’t let me out the door, so to speak, until my book was in its best form.
Bouncing Tigger: Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?
Tabitha Lord: I think there are compelling reasons to self-publish. But if you choose this path, it’s an investment. You are essentially starting a small business and you have to treat it as such to be successful. First and foremost your product has to be good, and you have to be willing to invest the time, energy, and funds to make it so. You also have to build an audience, and then promote and market yourself, or be willing to hire others to help you do it. You have to take ownership of it all. For some writer’s, like me, this is exciting. For others, it’s terrifying.
Regardless of whether you are publishing independently, traditionally, or some combination of both, building an audience is key, and, in most cases, this task falls to the writer. Long before Horizon’s release, I established an online presence by creating a website and blog, choosing a few social media platforms and really working them, attending conferences, and joining writing groups. I was building an audience, while at the same time creating a community for myself and learning as much as I could about the publishing industry. Writing is a solitary endeavor, but the writing community is supportive, vast, and surprisingly social!
Bouncing Tigger: Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?
Tabitha Lord: I’m planning it will! But I have no illusions that it will take some time. Ask me this question again in another year or two!
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