Tuesday 26 February 2013

Mary J. McCoy-Dressel Shares the Wealth

Today, Mary J. McCoy-Dressel shares the wealth of her writing experience with us. Welcome, Mary. 
Hi, Anna, I'm thrilled to be here. Thanks so much for having me as a guest. 
Great to have you here. Tell us about yourself. 
I’m lucky to call myself a full time writer. After many years of working for public schools, I finally retired in 2010, officially in 2011. I write sensual and spicy contemporary and historical romance mixed with women's fiction. My home is in Michigan, USA, and I've lived here all of my life except for that time I moved to Missouri with a friend, on a whim. I’m the mom to two grown sons and a fur baby dog. When I’m not writing, I love to read, play Angry Birds on my Kindle Fire, or go out with my camera. I enjoy an occasional movie, theater/play, symphony, or dinner with my friends. Photography is my other love. 
I've always wished I had a good eye as a photographer! How did you get started writing? 
I don't know how I got started. It seems like I've always written. In seventh grade my language arts teacher told me I should be a writer. Maybe that was the first time I gave it serious thought, or put a label to what I felt. Poetry was my main form of writing when I was young; love poems as a teen! (I still have some of them somewhere.) As an adult with two kids, I started college, and my instructors told me I needed to get things published. I finally started listening. Something inside me always said one day I would have my name on books. I even said, “All I need is an idea…” Well, finally that idea came for my first book, and I haven’t stopped writing since. 
Fantastic! What genre do you write in and why? 
I like to say I write romance with a touch of women’s fiction instead of the other way around, but romance is my main genre. Most of my characters don't have an easy time of getting what they want. When I started writing, I had no intentions of writing romance, but after starting that first draft, I realized I was writing a romance novel; I guess because I believe in love, fairy tales, and happy endings. I write in different subgenres, like historical, contemporary, and paranormal. Somewhere on my hard drive I even have a vampire romance started, and it was before Vampires were the “thing”. 
Interesting! How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite? 
I have many books partially written, but three have been published. My very first book was my favorite for a long time, but it's now out of print. The idea of time travel was like a fairy tale. I loved reading time-travel romance, and that’s why I wrote it. But, since I wrote Howdy, Ma’am, Book #1 this book has to be my favorite. Book two in this series will be a good runner-up. I love the characters in Howdy, Ma’am and have become quite attached to them; the reason for their second book. I wasn't ready to let them go. I don't know if I ever can. 
I know what you mean. My characters are like part of my family now! What inspired your latest book? 
It was a difficult time in my life when I started this novel. November came, and Howdy, Ma'am became my NaNo novel. I chose to do it that year because I knew I would need a huge distraction to get through a trying time. Sometime before that I began watching bull riding on TV and went to shows. It became a pleasant distraction. “Mm, che belli cowboys!” (As my heroine would say.) Why not write a book with a bull rider? I plotted it out the last couple days of October and realized I had a good idea for a book. My character Velia left her husband, and I figured if bull riding could distract me, maybe a hunky bull rider could distract her. And oh, boy, he does a good job of distracting. It’s kind of funny the way the muse works. 
Isn't it though! Tell us about your current WIP. 
My current series is The Bull Rider Series, and I'm working on the second book. It picks up right after the first book ends. Caulder hired Velia to do a job during the bull riding season in book one, and now that the season is over… It's hard to say much for fear of giving anything away in the first book. I had hoped the length wouldn't be as long as Howdy, Ma'am, but it's beginning to look like it could be close. The book is almost finished in rough draft, but it will need a big revision to shorten it. First drafts are fun, but you have to know when to let go when it comes to revising and cutting. Ouch, that word hurts. L 
I feel your pain. What is your favorite part of writing? 
My favorite part of writing is the development of the characters, and watching how they fit into their story. When I become so attached to them, they call out to me when I’m sleeping, telling me their own ideas. 
Gosh, I'm glad I'm not the only person that happens to!
And you know what? They’re usually right! I love when they take on their own personality. Oddly, I like doing research for a new story, and figuring out how it can fit into their lives. Not to mention with research, comes the fact that I find new places to visit. More favorite things I love about writing—typing “The End”, telling people I’m a writer, and hearing from readers. 
What is your least favorite part of writing? 
Definitely promotion and marketing is my least favorite. It takes so much time away from writing, but it’s necessary. Also, when I get edits back from my editor, I'm scared to open it; again necessary. I sit biting my nails before opening it usually a day later. 
What was the easiest and hardest thing you've found in the process of self-publishing? 
I’ll start with the hardest. First off, you have to learn everything about publishing a book. Does it stop there? No. Once you learn the steps, you have to actually do the steps. While figuring all this out, you have to keep your mind focused and stay a couple steps ahead of marketing and promoting. This means staying connected with social networks and blogging. How soon you will be forgotten if you let too much time go by. I spend hours searching for the right photos for my cover, blogs, and website—hours I could be writing. Many decisions have to be made. Does all this scare me off? Nope. I grew a thick skin a long time ago. Does it make me nervous, scared? You bet. 
Now the easiest part. Writing is the easiest part. My book cover is easy because once I find a photo, I send it to my cover designer, and she mixes my vision with hers to create a cover. In my case, I hired a formatter, too, so this makes it easy for me to upload. Deciding to publish at Amazon and Smashwords was easy. Being in control of my own work is easy and fun once it all gets figured out, and I’m not saying I have it all figured out, yet. I still have a lot to learn. 
What was the deciding factor in self-publishing your book? Did you decide on eBook or print only or both? 
I knew for quite awhile I would self-publish. I've been with a publisher and didn't have pleasant results, and it took a long time to receive my rights back. Years ago, one of my manuscripts sat with a publisher for two years. Two years? Another reason I chose to self-publish is because I like having control over my work, and I can write the story that needs to be written. 
Me too!
At first I decided on only publishing an eBook, but there are still readers out here who like to hold a paperback book in their hands. It won’t be long before Howdy, Ma'am becomes available in paperback. 
How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book? 
People I meet are safe from ending up in my book. Okay, most of them. ;-) I haven't used people I know in any of my books, but I might have used characteristics from several for a character. I have some interesting friends who could be great characters. I do a lot of threatening though; especially with new people I meet. J Sometimes I'm bad like that. 
It's odd how people ask that. I think they secretly want to be in our books! Give us an elevator pitch for your book. 
Velia Armano moved from Chicago to Tucson, Arizona to escape her abusive husband's torment. Six months into her well ordered life alone, bull rider Caulder McCutchen saunters in with his howdy, ma’am and flame-blue eyes, offering a job any photographer would find hard to refuse—to travel the circuit with him for a season and photograph a year in his life. On the journey, she realizes they both have their own obstacles to overcome. Staying out of each other’s arms is only one of them. By time the season ends, they have to decide to give in to a happily ever after, or return to their self-appointed exiles.
Thanks, Mary. Good luck with the series.
Here are Mary's buy links:

Apple https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/howdy-maam/id591629504?mt=11
Kobo  http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Howdy-Maam/book-I8V-DTo9ukOBqbYMaaJ0ZQ/page1.html?s=qhuPh5YYDU6MJ8XkA-EPSg&r=1
B&N Nook  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/howdy-maam-mary-j-mccoy-dressel/1114142282?ean=2940044213548
Smashwords  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/267447
Website  http://www.maryjdresselbooks.com
Blog  http://www.mjdresselbooks.wordpress.com

Monday 18 February 2013

St. Columba's Well

My latest release, Dark Irish Knight, is set partially in the ancient community of Sord Colmcille in Ireland. The town's origins date back to 560 AD when it was founded by Saint Colmcille (521-597)(St. Columba).

Legend has it that the saint blessed a local well, giving the town its name, Sord, meaning "clear" or "pure". However, An Sord in Gaelic also means "the water source" and could indicate a large communal drinking well that existed in antiquity. 

Entrance to the Well
Well-worship existed in Ireland before the introduction of Christianity, and when the people were converted, like the transfer of pagan temples, wells, with all their veneration, were made over to the  new religion.

Located north of Dublin, today the community is known as Swords. St. Colmcille's Well is located on Well Road off Swords Main Street.

I chose this location specifically because of its history and to underline the irony of the hero’s loss of one eye to the murderous MacFintain brothers. Sord Colmcille was a place of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages for those who believed its waters could cure ailments of the eyes.

Also, Ronan MacLachlainn is a descendant of Vikings, and Dubh Linn was an area settle by Vikings. Lachlainn means ‘descended from Norwegians’. Norsemen ruled Dubh Linn for three hundred years until 1010 AD when they were defeated by the High King of Ireland, Brian B√≥ruma at the Battle of Clontarf.

Ronan is consumed by a desire to avenge his murdered wife and child and the loss of his estate to the MacFintains. And of course he seeks revenge for the loss of his eye. Nothing can stand in his way, not even love.

For those readers familiar with my cast of characters, this is the love story of Rhoni de Montbryce, the babe born in the Welsh fortress in Conquering Passion

An imposing ancient tower that can be seen for miles still stands next to the church in Swords, and I used this as my inspiration for Ronan's Tower, the estate usurped by the MacFintains. 

Dark Irish Knight is available from Amazon and Smashwords.

Tuesday 12 February 2013

Victoria Pinder Shares the Wealth

Please welcome Victoria Pinder to my blog.

Have you had other careers, Victoria, before becoming a writer?

Yes. I worked in engineering at VERIZON (okay, New England Tel which became NYNEX which became Bell Atlantic which became VERIZON). I worked there in high school through post college, full time. I worked and went to school full time. At age 24 I was overworked and hit a mid life crisis if you will. (I was such the overachiever at this age. Did I mention I graduated from Harvard, and during 9/11 I had to pull 80 hour weeks at work to restore service while not letting my studies fall.) I decided I had enough and went to law school. The thing is at law school, I knew I did not want to be a lawyer, but I signed those damn student loan papers. HUGE mistake. I finished, not knowing what else to do. But I couldn’t be a lawyer. My energy was being sucked out of my body. I became a school teacher with the intention of moving out of Florida with a transferable certificate, then set up somewhere new. This was the plan. But all my life to escape, I told stories. I posted fan fictions. Writing calmed me when nothing else did. In teaching, which is a fun job, I realized I’d be a hypocrite if I don’t follow my own passions.

How did you get started writing?

I am going with the professional here. I wrote a manuscript, then googled what to do in the literary world. I saw in Orlando RWA Nationals was going to be there. My book was romance, and thought that would be a good place to start. LOL, I jumped right into the fire. But I love the journey this started and my local chapter.

I know you write in more than one genre. Tell us about that experience.

Greta Buckle writes Science Fiction and Fantasy; Victoria Pinder writes Contemporary romance. I have two different personalities going on. Growing up, I read science fiction and went to every movie and convention. I grew up talking to my father about the books he loved to read. Hard science fiction is my first love. Then as a teenager, my best friend, Christine, had a love affair going on with regency romance. She still reads them. I read her books to talk with her, and I loved them. I moved to contemporaries to read in addition, though she stuck with historicals. I consider romance my ‘oh look I am a girl after all’ books, and stories with Happy Ever After are the best.

I agree! What is your next project and when will it be released?

My publisher of contemporary called me last week and there is a regime change going on there. My book, Two Weeks In Miami, publication date was pushed back till spring as people are more patriotic over the summer. Makes sense. Bobby is a Marine Officer. They have the second in the series and I’m writing the third now. I will hear soon on that. Out of my control.

I have my science fiction romance out on submissions at the moment, so hopefully I’ll hear back on that soon. Space Opera Romance is so genre specific, and there are not that many publishers in that area. I should have word on that one in March or early April. If not I’ll indie pub it. I’m cool with that option though I prefer to work with people.

Now the sequel to Mything You will be out end of April or Early May. I’m combing over the book, sending it to my editor, we’ll do two rounds. Then it will be out.

What is your favorite part of writing?

Discounting everything else, it’s the freedom and the ability to create something. I love it.

Me too. How does your family feel about your writing career?

One sister reads everything and loves romance. She’s the best help as she can be specific on what she likes and doesn’t like. She’s a Scorpio and won’t lie to me with the ‘oh that’s nice.’ My brother, also a Scorpio, is the one with business advice and general ‘get it done’ attitude. My other sister was the English major and never wrote anything for publication, though I guess I jacked her plan. Whenever she does do it though, I’m sure it will be much darker than my worlds. My mother has never read anything I wrote, and my father.. err… I don’t want to give him my books. Romance is not science fiction and I’m the daughter.

Interesting! What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?

After your first book, do not just jump into the water the day after you finish. It’s not done or ready. There is work to do. Join a writing group. Get active in the community. Learn how to make it better. Talk to the professionals who do make their living at the profession. Old school method was get an agent. Sell to the big houses. But with the market in turmoil, those with drive to push ahead, should. Just do it right. Look at it as a business. Editing is key. Hire people. Run a business.

I think that's great advice, Victoria. What is most difficult for you to write? Characters, conflict or emotions? 

Emotion. In life I tend to seek to avoid emotion. It’s a coping mechanism. I heard a navy officer tell us the difference between fearlessness and bravery is facing the fears. Fearlessness gets you killed. In battle, I could go either way, as I don’t enjoy facing my fears. Avoidance is easier. In writing, I’m forced to face whatever fears the characters have. For me, this is hard. I’d so rather world build then layer emotional intensity. When I do face the emotion, everything is better. The story is better.

Was your road to publication difficult or a walk in the park?

Anyone in this market who says it’s easy hasn't examined all avenues. Or they are amazingly lucky or that book is so awesome. I've never sold my first manuscript. I have well over a 100 rejections. Probably closer to 200. I don’t like to count, but I have the folder that tells you how many documents are there. I learn from my mistakes though, or hope I do. Perseverance is the key, and I’m so not there yet.

Tell us about your hero. Give us one of his strengths and one of his weaknesses.

Let’s see, this is out Feb 13th. I’ll talk about my Valentine Novella which I had people asking for a sequel where Beth faces down Loretta. More holidays are coming for Beth and Nathan. So let’s talk about Nathan Sommers in Returning for Valentine’s.

He’s been in love with Beth for a long time. He didn't always know it, but her kiss at the eighth grade dance affected him. He’s never lived his life without her, until the last year. He believes Beth doesn't love him, but he’s going to face her one more time, and tell her. Beth is stubborn and doesn't listen well, so he’ll have to plead his case.

What genres are you drawn to as a reader?

Historicals and contemporaries. I miss the awesomely cool chick lit stuff of the late 90s for the woman’s journey before it became all real housewives novels. Sophia Kinsella and a few of her ilk really made me laugh and go on the journey.

Do you have any rejection stories to share?

For the science fiction one two weeks ago, I received a revise and resubmit rejection. Those are so much nicer than the you are a horrible writer, rejections or the even worse ‘form reply’ without any reason. Even a form can have ABCD inserted to state why. But houses are houses and who knows. Wait, I received a rejection from a house I submitted to years ago and forgot all about last week on that first novel. No reason listed there, so that needs to be added to the older computer file of ‘no.’ Rejection is useful when there is a why. I loved the revise and resubmit one because honestly, they might be right on how to make it better. I can’t ask for more. But if you give up, you give up on who you are and what you want… that’s the true issue.

Thanks so much for your forthright and informative comments, Victoria. Great having you as my guest.

Returning for Valentines


Everyone deserves to find love on Valentine’s Day.
Beth Corsini loved Nathan all her life. Last year, at her friend’s wedding, everything changed. Nathan disappeared. She lost all hope in love, but she’s over the heartache. Ready to move on, Beth signed up for a speed dating event. She never expected Nathan to be there.
Nathan never thought Beth was serious about him, and she never acted like she cared one way or the other. But when he heard she broke up with her boyfriend, Roberto, he decided to to go for it. Beth’s been the love of his life, all his life. Can he convince her on Valentine’s Day to marry him? Can she ignore his mother’s disapproval and accept love matters more?  

Victoria Pinder also writes science fiction and fantasy as Greta Buckle. She grew up in Irish Catholic Boston before moving to the Miami sun. She’s worked in engineering, then became a lawyer. After realizing she hates clients, she became a high school teacher. Teaching is fun, but writing is a passion. She wrote one hundred and one fan fiction stories online before deciding to transition into writing her own stories. Never ask her to republish her fan stories from age eleven- horribly written stories of princesses. Victoria dreams of writing professionally, where her barista can make her coffee and a walk on the beach, can motivate her tales. Theseus story came to her when she was a freshman in high school as her English teacher, the nun, told her how life was hard and tragedy teaches lessons. Victoria’s love of writing has kept her centered and focused. How is she crazy? The voices in her head are characters in novels and she’s not insane.


Thursday 7 February 2013

Can A Heart Truly Break?

Welcome to the Heartbreaker Blog Hop. Leave a comment to qualify to win!
1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $100 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!

(All prizes are international with the exception of the Swag Pack)

Can a heart truly “break”?
Physically, of course, it could break down and we might suffer a cardiac arrest. But that is not what we are referring to on this blog hop.
Why do we associate the misery of lost love, or unrequited love with the heart? After all it’s an organ of the body—albeit a vital one—nothing more.
Yet we would be judged odd if we talked about having our lungs broken, or our liver!

“What’s wrong with you?”
“My lover left me with a broken liver.”

(Come to think of it, men do sometimes refer to having another part of their male anatomy broken when things don’t go their way.)

Do we actually feel pain in this “heart-shaped” organ when love kicks us in the teeth? (Sorry!)
Actually, we do! Acute shock, or disappointment, triggers an adrenaline release in the body, which rushes to the heart. We want to fight the “heartbreak”, argue with the person jilting us, or flee, never to see the cad again.

Too much adrenaline can trigger palpitations, tachycardia, arrhythmia—all symptoms we “feel” in our heart.
It can also bring on headaches, but we don’t talk about having our heads broken!

If there was no such thing as a broken heart, romance authors would be in a bad way! If relationships were easy and worked out smoothly every time, I’d be out of a job!

But life isn’t like that, is it?

Nor was it, thank goodness, in medieval times, my favourite period to write about! In fact heartbreak was rampant then, when women had little choice or say in whom they married, and precious few rights.
But the nice thing about romance is that it is “happily ever after”, so we can mend our heroine’s broken heart with a stroke of the pen (or a tap of the keyboard).

Our heroes can be just plain chauvinists, like Ram de Montbryce, in Conquering Passion, and we can right that silliness by giving him a feisty heroine (Mabelle) who insists on voicing her opinions. He discovers he actually likes that about her and her broken heart is mended!

Sometimes it takes an enormous personal sacrifice to make a hero understand just how much a woman loves him. In Dance of Love, Farah leaves behind her most precious possession when she has to leave her hero. She knows it is necessary for him to resume his life as a warrior after he is stricken by a crippling affliction. Her actions eventually prompt him to pursue her and both are relieved of their broken heart!

My medieval heroes are heartbreakers, but not because they are “bad boys”. It’s just they can’t see the wood for the trees! They don’t mean to break the hearts of their heroines, they simply put other things ahead of love—things like honour, vengeance, fear of rejection.

It’s understandable really when you consider the times these men lived in. They often had to fight to protect what was theirs. It could be dangerous to let down one’s guard. Even within families treachery existed. But not in my medieval family. The Montbryces are intensely loyal to each other. And the men all suffer from the “Montbryce curse.” They are noblemen in love with their wives—supposedly an anomaly in the Middle Ages. It was not “manly” to show loving feelings, even for one’s spouse and/or children.

If you would like to qualify to win a free copy of one of my romances, leave a comment with your email address spelled out. Thanks for visiting the blog hop.


Tuesday 5 February 2013

Please Welcome Sydney Jane Baily

I am very pleased to welcome Sydney Jane Baily to my blog today.

Thanks for having me on your blog, Anna. We both write historical, though you are much, much further along in experience and in book count. (For that, you are an inspiration!)

Thanks,Sydney. I find that many writers are an inspiration to others because of their willingness to share their experience. 
Tell me, are you a full time writer or do you have a “day job”?

I am trying to be a full-time writer now, and am much more successful at staying on that track than I have been over the past few decades. I’ve been in publishing ever since I graduated from college and even in college, I was the fiction editor of one of our William and Mary college magazines. From there, I went straight to Time-Life Books in Alexandria, VA, as a researcher, which entailed some copy editing. From there to non-fiction editor for Weiser Books and then freelanced as a production editor and copy editor for too many book publishers to list here.

Now, I have my own company, Cat Whisker Studios, through which I still edit but also create websites. I learned website development about six years ago and love it. Still, I try to do less and less outside work and focus on fiction for the majority of my day, but I manage to really do that only about two days a week. Plus, I have two teenagers, a husband, a dog, and three cats. Since my office is at home, I’m at the beck and call of the entire household. Not saying, Poor me, just that it’s hard to stay focused much of the time.

I can empathize with that! How did you get started writing?

I finished my first novel when I was 17 years old, after spending way too much time as a teenager holed up in my room. I was shy and much happier in my own dream world than out with people. That novel was deservedly rejected by everyone I sent it too, though it was, perhaps, a bit cruel to receive the first rejection letter on my eighteenth birthday.

That's harsh! Tell us about your current series.

I have one novel published, titled An Improper Situation, set in the 1880s. It’s a bit of a blend, beginning in fictional Spring City, CO, so considered perhaps a Western, but halfway through the book, the setting changes to urban Boston, MA, the hero’s home town. I loved doing the research for this book and still am researching for the sequel and the sequel to that. The time period is rich, full of inventions and firsts. These people were modern and we would find them easy to talk to and to identify with. They just dressed better than us. Main characters: Reed Malloy and Charlotte Sanborn.

The sequel is called An Irresistible Temptation and my cover artist just finished so I’ll share the cover with your readers. The story again begins in Spring City, CO, as the sister of the first book’s hero, Sophie Malloy, arrives by train. This time, the novel moves to the other coast, as first the heroine and then the hero, Riley Dalcourt, a medical student, go to San Francisco, CA. What a happening and exciting city it was in the 1880s! I thought I was finished with this book, but I’m in the rewriting stage and trying not to rip the entire thing apart. 
The third and, I think, final book in this trilogy, actually begins on a train and ends up in Spring City, CO. The hero, Thaddeus Sanborn, is the brother of the first book’s heroine, Charlotte, and a female character from the first two books is the heroine, Ellie. It probably sounds confusing, but it isn’t. Thaddeus, has been kicking around in my head and trying to get out for months and is spurring the rewriting of the second book so I can get to his story as soon as possible. This one is not yet titled.

It takes me a while to settle on a title too!  What is your typical day like?
This could also be titled, “What Not to Do if You Want to Become a Successful, Prolific Writer”
Up at 6:30 a.m., make tea (number one important thing to do), then get the kids off to school, walk the dog (I promise you, Perry, I will walk you today), procrastinate by reading emails, get sidetracked by emails that lead me to websites or blogs that I open to skim now, read later, begin work either for paying customers (editing or website development) or for non-paying customers (my own website or my husband’s or various family members’ websites), and make more tea, try to do promo for published novel, then maybe, just maybe, get some writing done, lunchtime, make a fuss of the three cats if they’ve put in an appearance downstairs, throw tennis ball for dog, get my butt back in my chair, more work for various clients, lose focus, more tea, kids home or call me between 2:30 and 3, day grinds to halt, kids demand attention (even teens, especially teens), then idly think about dinner, sit at desk aimlessly, distracted by Facebook and more emails and by son who shares my office to do his homework or Skype with friends while he plays computer video games, make dinner in earnest (if I went to the market and can think of something quick), husband home, take daughter to dance studio every evening, then sit down and get some serious work done at desk (finally!), get daughter hours later from dance studio, wonder if I fed dog and cats, remember that I put laundry in at 8 a.m. and forgot to put it in dryer, stay at my desk until about 9:30, shower, read in bed, lights out by 10:23.

Some days have more horrible chores or errands: bill paying, laundry, grocery-shopping, vacuuming, dusting (ha ha, no really sometimes), litter box scooping. Days and weeks can go by with little writing getting done even though I have the best intentions every morning.

Sounds remarkably like my life! How does your family feel about your writing career?
Husband: Please just make some g_dd____ned money!!
Kids: What do you do again? Oh. Why?
Mom: Proud, though I’m not sure she’s read my first book.
Dad: Busy playing tennis in Heaven at the moment but he said I was a good writer and I think he knew I’d succeed some day.

Was your road to publication difficult or a walk in the park?

As I said earlier, I started early and was rejected, but I have always been my own worst enemy in terms of sending my work out. Really hard to get published if you leave your manuscript in a drawer or a box or in a doc file on your pc for years and years. An Improper Situation has been waiting for readers for about sixteen years. I finished it just before my first child, my daughter, was born and then put it aside. Last year, I rewrote it, had it edited, and published it in early October. It’s in some local book stores and, of course, all over the web at the usual ebook stores and in paperback on Amazon. But when I did send out a manuscript, I often received praise or interest. I have a contemporary women’s novel that I’m going to rewrite eventually, of which I was nearly always asked for a partial or full when I sent out a sample and query to agents or editors. Unfortunately, it has some flaws (obviously) that kept it from being snapped up, so it needs rewriting.

Anyway, the norm, for romance manuscripts at least, is to send one out and not hear anything for three to six months and then find the editor has changed jobs or sends you back a form letter with no helpful info. In my humble opinion, if you’re willing to put in the time to learn the industry, self-publishing is definitely the way to go to break in to the field nowadays. And I say that as an editor for traditional publishers. My caveat to self-pubbing authors is that they simply must hire a copyeditor and be as professional as a trad-pubbed author. Asking your Aunt Myrtle or your friend to read it over is not the same as hiring a copyeditor. And for me, a professional cover is a must. After all, that’s your first impression to a reader, so I hired a cover artist, too.

I agree. A professional cover artist can make a tremendous difference. Where can readers find your books? Print/Ebook?

I am terribly wordy (I guess I need a good editor!) so I’m going to stop and give you links to where you can find my first novel, and I hope to have the sequel out within a month. Fingers crossed.

First here’s the longish elevator pitch for An Improper Situation:

Charlotte should be the catch of Spring City, CO. But she cloaks her identity behind her male pen name. This reclusive writer won’t risk heartbreak, until a stranger arrives. Boston lawyer Reed Malloy has a mission—deliver two orphaned children to their cousin. He's not prepared for Charlotte’s irresistibility, or her flat-out refusal to raise her kin. When she forsakes everything familiar—and two thousand miles of America's heartland no longer separate her from Reed—sinister forces and scorned women conspire to keep them apart.

 Amazon: Paperback Kindle
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Thanks for being my guest today,Sydney Jane.