Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Interview with Cecilia Tan, author of Slow Satisfaction

Cecilia Tan

Cecilia Tan is "simply one of the most important writers, editors, and innovators in contemporary American erotic literature," according to Susie Bright. Her BDSM romance novel Slow Surrender (Hachette/Forever, 2013) won the RT Reviewers Choice Award in Erotic Romance. Tan is the author of many books, including the ground-breaking erotic short story collections Black Feathers (HarperCollins), White Flames (Running Press), and Edge Plays (Circlet Press), and the erotic romances Slow Surrender, Slow Seduction, and Slow Satisfaction (Hachette/Forever), The Prince's Boy (Circlet Press), The Hot Streak (Riverdale Avenue Books), and the Magic University series (Riverdale Avenue Books). Her short stories have appeared in Ms. Magazine, Nerve, Best American Erotica, Asimov's Science Fiction, and tons of other places. She was inducted into the Saints & Sinners Hall of Fame for GLBT writers in 2010, was a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Leather Association in 2004, and won the inaugural Rose & Bay Awards for Best Fiction in 2010 for her crowdfunded web fiction serial Daron's Guitar Chronicles. She lives in the Boston area with her lifelong partner corwin and three cats. Find out more at www.ceciliatan.com.   



Connect with Cecilia Tan: 
Website:  www.ceciliatan.com 



About The Book:



The sizzling conclusion of the Struck by Lightning trilogy! The story that began with the RT Award-winning Slow Surrender finally brings us all satisfaction. James has finally pushed Karina beyond her limit–not her limit for kinky sex play, but for his extreme secrecy. She has had enough and breaks things off.

But James won’t give up on Karina and he will do whatever it takes to get her back. He’s ready to share his deepest, darkest secrets, but is Karina ready to hear them? When James is blackmailed by an unscrupulous music industry executive, he must give in to unreasonable demands or risk exposure of his and Karina’s secret sex life… a sex life that keeps getting hotter! Will Karina and James’s love be strong enough to withstand the many obstacles being thrown their way?

For More Information:

Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads


Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

I've been writing BDSM erotica and romance since 1992 when I self-published Telepaths Don't Need Safewords. That was 22 years ago and basically for all that time I've been continuing to cook up more ways to put kinky lovers together in my books. Where the Struck by Lightning series came to me was really as a reaction to 50 Shades of Grey. I love how 50 Shades got the entire world reading about and talking about BDSM. I don't love that as the trilogy goes on, there's less and less kink and it's portrayed as something Christian only "needs" until "love" somehow takes away that need. Meh. Most BDSM relationships in the real world go the opposite direction: the more love between the partners, the MORE ways they can play and push the envelope and explore it. So I really wanted to write a book that started from a similar place--dominant male meets inexperienced female--and went in a different direction. 

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

The biggest challenge was that my publisher, which is one of the big New York houses, had some very specific things they wanted in terms of structure. They wanted a trilogy with cliffhangers at the ends of books one and two, which meant I had to time the blowups and conflicts to work out at exactly certain points in the timeline and in the word count! Also I was on a strict deadline--three deadlines, really--so it was like NaNoWriMo in my house, except it was every month for a little over a year! My advice would be treat it exactly like NaNoWriMo: just keep writing. The toughest part is when I was in the middle, and you start to doubt yourself, your writing, your plot. I often compare it to going through Mirkwood. You think you're lost, and if you stray from the path because you doubt yourself, the spiders really can get you. But if you just keep going you eventually come out the other side. Once you get there, then you can go back and fix things up! Just keep writing. 

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I might have been the first BDSM self-publisher (22 years ago...!) but the fantastic thing about the way things are these days is that the publishing industry finally caught up with me. After two decades of the major publishers telling me I was too "edgy" for them, now they're clamoring for what I write. So now I'm with Hachette and they've been able to do some things for me I could never do as a self-publisher, like get the books into Target. 

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

My first book with a major publisher was in 1998, when HarperCollins published a collection of my erotic short stories called Black Feathers. I think the thing that surprised me the most about that one was how many people saw or knew of the book. It didn't sell that many (under 10,000) and yet it seemed like everyone I met had seen it in a store or heard of it. That was way before social media existed. Really the only way to find out about a book then was to see it in a bookstore. That taught me how different life is in the big press versus the indie world and how valuable space on the shelf is. Now there are fewer bookstores and yet the same thing seems to be true with Slow Surrender and my other Struck by Lightning books. 

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I've got another deal with Hachette for another BDSM trilogy! This one is also going to have a rock star theme. I can't say much more about it yet other than we're looking to have the first book out in late 2015 or early 2016. This one will not have cliffhangers, thank goodness! Each book will have a different love match. 

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

I am a Twitter addict. I might have to cut down my Twitter habit if I'm going to turn the next book in on time!

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

My message is definitely that women (and people in generally) actually enjoy BDSM. It's a fantastic and healthy way for couples to bond and it makes for amazingly hot and creative sex. 
  
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Yes, one more thing! It's also totally okay to enjoy BDSM as a fantasy. Not everyone has to run out and try it in real life. It's also okay to enjoy 50 Shades of Grey and all the "alpha males" in romance, as well as the old ripped-bodice sheik kidnap stories and so on. Enjoy fiction as fiction; don't let anyone make you feel you're wrong, ill, or politically incorrect for getting turned on by whatever you enjoy reading! 

Interview with Jennifer Field: 'The most difficult part for me was when I would write myself into a corner'



Jennifer Field lives in Massachusetts and works full-time in the Bridal Industry. With a daytime job surrounded by simple romance, it is her love for adventure that makes her who she is. She has a love for all things 80’s and has a very mild Diet Coke addiction. As an avid mountain climber, it is not unusual for Jennifer to be hanging off a 5.9 in the Adirondacks or the Shawangunk Mountain ranges. During the off season of climbing, also known as winter, she attends the New England Center for Circus Arts where she studies static trapeze (think Cirque rather than circus). She is an only child so she has her mother to thank for her over active imagination and knack for storytelling. Over the years she has written several short stories of the "naughty" nature for friends but  never had envisioned herself as a writer; Just someone who enjoyed telling a steamy story from time to time. Throughout school she had difficulty with spelling and English, but it never stopped her love for reading, especially a good romance, horror or mystery! To this day she still spells so poorly that even spell check has to ask what the heck she is trying to spell.

Her latest book is the paranormal erotica, Twice Lost.
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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the
beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Well Twice Lost started out as a dream, literally. All be it a completely different dream than the actual plot line of Twice Lost. In fact the entire first 20k words were taken out and rewritten. Tim one of the good guys in the final book was originally written as the main bad guy who would steal the souls of people and their soul would create a tattoo likeness on his arms. And as the story evolved it completely changed.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

I didn’t find it easy nor did I find it overly difficult, if that makes any sense at all. The most difficult part for me was when I would write myself into a corner so to speak. In one scene in Twice Lost I wrote two characters escaping a fight scene in a pickup truck. Well one was wounded so badly he passed out. Leaving no conversation, and no plot. They stayed in that truck for a month before I was able to come up with a way out for them both. As far as advice, the best advice I got was to keep writing no matter what and invest in a good editor. My editor Monica is worth every penny.

Oh and back-up your work. Back it up on the cloud, a thumb drive, email, something. Twice Lost got its name from me having not one but two hard drives fry themselves. The first time I lost about seventy-five pages and the second only what I hadn’t already backed up. So back it up.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I am currently under contract with Forever Red Publishing. They are a small startup company founded by some amazing women who just loved books. I had submitted my first book Twice Lost to several larger publishing companies. After several no’s I received two yes’s. One from Forever Red and one from a larger company.  For me it was an easy decision, I was going to be a regular fish is a very small pond instead of a tinny fish in a big pond.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

Things that no one tells you, like some of your “friends” aren’t going to be over the moon happy for you. Unlike your mom who is crazy happy for you and actually yelled out “My daughter is getting published” while I was on the phone telling her and she was at work. Then you realize that her and her friends are going to read it, and the graphic sex scenes you wrote. Should make holidays interesting at my house.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

Currently I am writing four books, pretty much at the same time. I am writing the second book in the Harbinger Series called Twice Visited it should be out in fall of 2015. In addition to the full length novel in the Harbinger Series I am writing three novella length books that are going to be released in-between the two main books. Each will focus on one main character and is placed time wise before Twice Lost. The first Novella will be Tye out winter of 2014 then Alastor out spring 2015 and Gabe out summer 2015

I also have two other WIP, DC Wylder and Renewable both are stand-alone books not related to the Harbinger Series nor are they in the same genre.

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

I’m guilty of being on Facebook more that I should be, especially when I’m writing.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

You know, I didn’t think I had a message when writing Twice Lost and I still really don’t. But someone pointed out that every one of my female characters feels that she is flawed or weak in some way yet finds the strength deep within to overcome the obstacles that lay ahead of her. So maybe my message is, just that, dig deep and you’ll get through anything or maybe it’s if you ever find out you’re not human go kick some butt. Either way be strong.
  
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

I try to live by the phrase: don’t have a bucket list, have a to do list. Which means if you want to do something don’t put it off, tomorrow might be too late.

http://www.pumpupyourbook.com

Interview with Donna Galanti: 'Finding success in writing is continuing to learn the writing craft'



Donna Galanti writes murder and mystery with a dash of steam as well as middle grade adventure fiction. She is an International Thriller Writers Debut Author of the paranormal suspense novel A Human Element, the short story collection The Dark Inside, and Joshua and The Lightning Road.

She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. Donna dreamed of being a writer when she fell in love with the worlds of Narnia and Roald Dahl attending school in a magical English castle where her dark imagination ran wild in an itchy uniform (bowler hat and tie included). She now lives in Pennsylvania with her family in an old farmhouse. It has lots of writing nooks, fireplaces, and stink bugs, but she’s still wishing for a castle again—preferably with ghosts.

Her latest book is the paranormal romance, A Hidden Element.

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About the Book:

When Caleb Madroc is used against his will as part of his father’s plan to breed a secret community and infiltrate society with their unique powers, he vows to save his oppressed people and the two children kept from him.

Seven years later, Laura and Ben Fieldstone’s son is abducted, and they are forced to trust a madman’s son who puts his life on the line to save them all. The enemy’s desire to own them—or destroy them—leads to a survival showdown.

Laura and Ben must risk everything to defeat a new nemesis that wants to rule the world with their son, and Caleb may be their only hope—if he survives. But must he sacrifice what he most desires to do so?

For More Information

  • A Hidden Element is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Book 2 in my paranormal suspense trilogy, A Hidden Element, was written after a dream. Readers had been asking for a sequel to book 1, A Human Element, but I couldn’t see it happening until I woke up one morning with the story all planned out in my head. It was a vision to be acted on, like the vision I had years before to write book 1. Is it any wonder my books have a paranormal element to them? And why the paranormal? I am fascinated by the power of the brain and how little we use. Writing in the paranormal allows me to tap into the what if. What if we possessed the power to do the unbelievable? And what if we could use those powers to heal – or to kill? This is what I write about in A Hidden Element.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

To me, finding success in writing is continuing to learn the writing craft, adding it to your expanding writer’s toolbox, and applying all you learn along the way. Read books in your genre and join writer communities and organizations now, no matter what level of writing you are at. Success in writing can also only truly come when you let go – let go of your ego that is. Accept constructive criticism if you want to be a better writer. And don’t we all want to be better writers and be published someday?
 
Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

My publisher for both books 1 and 2 in the Element Trilogy, A Human Element and A Hidden Element, is Imajin Books run by Cheryl Kaye Tardif, a bestselling author in her own right and marketing whiz. I submitted book 2, A Hidden Element, to Imajin Books when they opened for their annual submissions. Then in getting my rights back for book 1, A Human Element, they also grabbed it up. I was very lucky! Now I have a new brand that encompasses both, and an amazing publisher backing them.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

Yes! I wish I had joined writer communities and organizations sooner. I wrote my book and then “came out” of my writing cave. I didn’t feel like I belonged or was part of the club. I now know that anyone who wants to write and improve their writing is part of the club. What a great camaraderie there is amongst writers of all levels! Also, I wish I’d taken classed to learn about how to write a book before publishing my first book. This required going back and fixing a ton of things in the revision phase! I don’t regret the learning that took place afterwards as I can now write a better book from the beginning.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I am now plotting the third and final book in the Element Trilogy and a young adult medieval fantasy series. I also write children’s books and in 2015 have the first two books coming out in my middle grade adventure fantasy series, Joshua and the Lightning Road. In book 1, Joshua Cooper learns the hard way that lightning never strikes by chance, when a bolt strikes his house and whisks him on an adventure to a world where stolen kids are work slaves for the frustrated heirs of the Greek Olympians. You can learn more about it here: www.donnagalanti.com

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

Definitely Facebook! Whether it’s being silly with folks on my personal page or engaging folks with funny pics, writing woes, and news about my books on my author page – it’s just plain fun!

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

I believe the story of A Hidden Element contains universal elements that people can relate to; abandonment, loss, redemption, acceptance, grief, and yearning for something you can never have. Two strong messages in the book are that relinquishing the struggle to belong can lead to self-acceptance and choosing love over hate leads to peace. These are the themes I am drawn to writing about.

Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

I meet up with a wonderfully supportive group of women writers each week at Wegman’s Café, where we write, share advice, help each other with story issues, and enjoy lunch. Finding a support network to boost you up in whatever you love to do is vital to achieving success. And for writers, we can write alone, but we certainly can’t make it alone in this publishing industry.

My Journey to Being a Published Author by Kim Boykin



My Journey to Being a Published Author
By Kim Boykin

Writing for me has never been a problem; I produced three novels in a span of three years and then two more a few years later. But trying to get published is like trying to solve the Rubik’s cube in 5.5 seconds. It seems impossible, but it’s not.

Most everyone will tell you, to be traditionally published, the first and most important step is finding an agent. While I love my agent, I disagree.

After I finished The Wisdom of Hair fourteen years ago, I signed with Jane Jordan Browne. Jane and I had a lot in common, she was kind of like an older me, and I loved her. And then, after the first round of submissions, she died.

Jane had cancer and didn’t know it. My heart was broken because I liked her so much, and she was a great person, but also because I felt like she was my shot at getting published. Jane told me not to worry; she’d told her partner to sell my work, but I knew the reality of the agent/writer relationship.

Unfortunately, the agent I inherited didn’t care much for Southern fiction. For two years, I held out hope she’d sell my work, but in the end, I had a frank conversation with her assistant and asked if the agent was every going to sell my books. When the answer was a very kind, “no,” I divorced my inherited agent and floundered. For eleven years.

I’m horrible at rejection, so I submitted to agents on and off, but got nowhere. Out of total desperation, I asked myself, “Who buys books?” The answer was obvious; I was pitching to the wrong people. Immediately, I looked online and found Michael Neff’s NY Pitch Conference. A four-day crash course in honing a pitch and then pitching to four editors, who do buy books. Turned out, I was one of the darlings of the conference with three out of four editors requesting the manuscript. Still I knew I needed an agent.

Nobody likes to write query letters, but the first paragraph of mine basically said, “I have three editors reading my manuscript and I’m looking for representation.” I sent out 167 e queries. By the end of the week, I had 60 agents reading the script, and 20 reading the whole script. I ended up with 3 offers; then I got to send out rejection letters.

And the icing on the cake? When I met Leis Pederson, I liked her a lot and hoped she’d buy my book. In the end, or, I guess I should say the beginning, Leis picked me and we’ve been a team for The Wisdom of Hair and, my new novel, Palmetto Moon.

There are a lot of reasons not to pursue traditional publication. Unless you’re lucky enough to get a huge advance, you’ll work your butt off marketing and selling your own book. And some authors who get those big advances will tell you they kill themselves trying to sell their books. But, for me, to have gone through all this and come out on the other side with two novels with the Penguin stamp of approval? It was worth it.

Kim Boykin was raised in her South Carolina home with two girly sisters and great parents. She had a happy, boring childhood, which sucks if you’re a writer because you have to create your own crazy. PLUS after you’re published and you’re being interviewed, it’s very appealing when the author actually lived in Crazy Town or somewhere in the general vicinity.

Almost everything she learned about writing, she learned from her grandpa, an oral storyteller, who was a master teacher of pacing and sensory detail. He held court under an old mimosa tree on the family farm, and people used to come from all around to hear him tell stories about growing up in rural Georgia and share his unique take on the world.

As a stay-at-home mom, Kim started writing, grabbing snip-its of time in the car rider line or on the bleachers at swim practice. After her kids left the nest, she started submitting her work, sold her first novel at 53, and has been writing like crazy ever since.

Thanks to the lessons she learned under that mimosa tree, her books are well reviewed and, according to RT Book Reviews, feel like they’re being told across a kitchen table. She is the author of The Wisdom of Hair from Berkley, Steal Me, Cowboy and Sweet Home Carolina from Tule, and Palmetto Moon, also from Berkley 8/5/14. While her heart is always in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, she lives in Charlotte and has a heart for hairstylist, librarians, and book junkies like herself.
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Friday, August 29, 2014

Guest post: "The Dark Inside: A Different Perspective," by Donna Galanti, author of the Amazon bestseller 'A Hidden Element'

After I published A Human Element, the story before A Hidden Element, I couldn’t let go of the characters. Readers wanted a sequel but I always felt it was a single tale to be told. And yet, the characters in the first book wouldn’t let me go.

And one morning I woke up with a vision for book 2, A Hidden Element, and I wrote that book.  And still, I couldn’t let these old and new characters go. I wanted to know more about what their dark lives were like before their stories in the books, and so I wrote a short story collection about them, appropriately called, The Dark Inside.

I’ve always been fascinated by the terrible things we humans can do, and what stops us from crossing that line. Many people don’t stop, but thankfully many more people do. Writing about characters that cross the line lets me feel what it might be like, in my imagination. How easy it would be to pick up a knife and stab someone? How easy it would be to jerk the car to the left and hit someone on the road? Of course, I never would! But I want to feel that passion to do it – for my character’s sake.

In A Hidden Element Laura Fieldstone, who fights to get her son back from an evil force, worries he will succumb to the dark side. “Light and dark reside side by side,” she says. Just like love and hate walk the same line, they both come from the same place. A place of passion.

To me, writing is all about passion – feeling the good and feeling the bad. And I want to feel it all. To explore the twin sides of our human nature: the good inside us, the dark inside us.


In A Hidden Element we begin with Caleb, the son of Adrian, forced against his will by his father to a new land. We watch, through his eyes, as his father wields his evil power over innocent folk and how he vows to never become like him. I originally wrote this scene from Adrian’s point of view, until I realized the story was Caleb’s story to tell. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Donna Galanti writes murder and mystery with a dash of steam as well as middle grade adventure fiction. She is the author of books 1 and 2 in the paranormal suspense Element Trilogy, A Human Element and A Hidden Element, the short story collection The Dark Inside, and Joshua and The Lightning Road (Books 1 and 2, 2015). She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives in Pennsylvania with her family in an old farmhouse. It has lots of writing nooks, fireplaces, and stink bugs, but she’s still wishing for a castle again—preferably with ghosts. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Interview with Kim Boykin: 'I fly by the seat of my pants with no idea of where the story is going'



Kim Boykin was raised in her South Carolina home with two girly sisters and great parents. She had a happy, boring childhood, which sucks if you’re a writer because you have to create your own crazy. PLUS after you’re published and you’re being interviewed, it’s very appealing when the author actually lived in Crazy Town or somewhere in the general vicinity.

Almost everything she learned about writing, she learned from her grandpa, an oral storyteller, who was a master teacher of pacing and sensory detail. He held court under an old mimosa tree on the family farm, and people used to come from all around to hear him tell stories about growing up in rural Georgia and share his unique take on the world.

As a stay-at-home mom, Kim started writing, grabbing snip-its of time in the car rider line or on the bleachers at swim practice. After her kids left the nest, she started submitting her work, sold her first novel at 53, and has been writing like crazy ever since.

Thanks to the lessons she learned under that mimosa tree, her books are well reviewed and, according to RT Book Reviews, feel like they’re being told across a kitchen table. She is the author of The Wisdom of Hair from Berkley, Steal Me, Cowboy and Sweet Home Carolina from Tule, and Palmetto Moon, also from Berkley 8/5/14. While her heart is always in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, she lives in Charlotte and has a heart for hairstylist, librarians, and book junkies like herself.
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About the Book:

June, 1947. Charleston is poised to celebrate the biggest wedding in high-society history, the joining of two of the oldest families in the city. Except the bride is nowhere to be found…Unlike the rest of the debs she grew up with, Vada Hadley doesn’t see marrying Justin McLeod as a blessing—she sees it as a life sentence. So when she finds herself one day away from a wedding she doesn’t want, she’s left with no choice but to run away from the future her parents have so carefully planned for her.

In Round O, South Carolina, Vada finds independence in the unexpected friendships she forms at the boarding house where she stays, and a quiet yet fulfilling courtship with the local diner owner, Frank Darling. For the first time in her life, she finally feels like she’s where she’s meant to be. But when her dear friend Darby hunts her down, needing help, Vada will have to confront the life she gave up—and decide where her heart truly belongs.

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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Like many writer, I hear a voice in my head, usually a woman. She starts telling me her story and off we go. I’m what’s called a “pantser;” I fly by the seat of my pants with no idea of where the story is going. I just listen to the voice and then the other voices as they join the story.j

The idea came from wanting to write about a situation that happened to my older sister involving a shyster, a show poodle and postcards. But when Vada Hadley started telling me her story, she had a mind of her own. There is a postcard and a very brief but cute appearance of a black poodle puppy.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

The book is told from four POVs, which seemed daunting at first, but was actually quite liberating. Vada, the protagonist, is in first person, the others’ stories are told in third.

There are a gazillion how-to writing books out there, and for writers like me who are newcomers, they are frustrating. Most of what we do comes from those voices. Of course, the work has to be copyedited and polished, edited if possible. But trying to fit yourself into one of those boxes some of the how-to books suggest can make you feel less, different, when all you really want to do is tell a story.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I publish women’s fiction with Berkley Books and contemporary romance with Jane Porter’s Tule Publishing Group. I met Jane at a party and she asked me to write a novella for her company. I’m on my fifth one for her and love every minute of it.

Finding a home at Berkley wasn’t so easy. I finished my first novel, The Wisdom of Hair, and was lucky enough to get a big agent. I loved her she was like an older me and had this wonderful Julia Childs voice. After the first round of submissions, she found out the chronic backache she’d had for two years was cancer. She died a few weeks after her diagnosis, but before she passed, we talked a lot. She assured me her partner would sell my work, not that I cared at that point. She was really special.

To say I was the proverbial redheaded stepchild with the new agent was an understatement, but I had representation, right? After two years of hoping this woman would sell my work, I called her assistant and asked if she thought that would ever happen. I appreciated her honest answer and divorced my agent that day.

I’m horrible at rejection and floundered submitting on and off for, I don’t know, five years? Ten? They all kind of run together. Then I asked myself, “Who buys books?” The answer isn’t agents. So I found the NY Pitch Conference and pitched directly to four editors and got three who wanted to read my manuscript. One from Hyperion, two from Penguin-NAL and Berkely.

That was the first line of the 167 query letters I sent out. Within in the week, I had 40 who were reading part of the script, 20 reading the whole script. I ended up with 3 offers of representation, and then I got to do the choosing. And the Berkley editor who requested the script at the pitch conference bought the book.


Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

Marketing is all consuming. Palmetto Moon launches August 5, and the whole month is looming like a tidal wave. I asked NYT bestselling author Wendy Wax if it’s always going to be this crazy and she told me she’s published eleven books. And last summer’s While We Were Watching Downton Abbey was the first book she DIDN’T feel like she had to kill herself to make it successful. Oy.


Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I’ll continue to write contemporary romance novellas because they’re fun and I adore Jane Porter and her company, Tule. My next novel is set in 1952 and is called A Peach of A Pair. It’s the story of Nettie, a young woman who is betrayed by her sister and the two old maid sisters who teacher Nettie the meaning of sisterhood and forgiveness.


Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

I’m an email junkie and I love Facebook. I was a great smartass in school and even better as a mom. I thought I’d be really good at Twitter, but I’m not.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

Karen White said, “this book is guaranteed to entertain.” And to be honest, that’s all I want to do. But when Vada who I thought was just a fluffy blonde turns out to be a feminist in 1947 and Claire and Reggie enter into an extremely unconventional marriage, I think those voices are trying to teach lessons of their own.
  
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

NEVER give up. If I hadn’t stopped and started to publish my work so many times, it might not have taken twenty-five years.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Interview with Beckie Butcher, author of My Battle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


ABOUT MY BATTLE WITH CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME

Title: My Battle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Genre: Health/Wellness
Author: Beckie Butcher
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 52
Language: English
Format: Ebook

 “As a former CFS sufferer and current healthcare practitioner, I feel Ms. Butcher provides an informative and interesting perspective on this disease and her road to recovery.” Kyrie Kleinfelter,D.C., Upper Cervical Chiropractor. “As a fellow sufferer of CFS, I was truly able to relate to Ms. Butchers’ experiences, thoughts and feelings. Her reference to the Word of God comforted my heart. Truly inspiring and honest.” Darla Canney, CFS Patient. Ms. Butcher shares her intense and emotional journey of how the autoimmune disease chronic fatigue syndrome impacted her life from her first symptoms to the progress of her treatment and physical, spiritual and emotional recovery. By sharing with others, she hopes to inspire others to seek help so they may lead better lives as well. She wants them to know there is hope.

iUniverse

Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

It’s about my daily struggle with the serious, debilitating autoimmune disease Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I wrote it because a dear friend put it on my heart to share my story with others who suffer.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

Just telling my story. It was very painful reliving the scariest and darkest time in my life.

Do you plan subsequent books?

Yes, although I am not sure when at this point.

When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing when I started this book. I wrote it because I wanted to reach out to others who suffer and to let them know they are not alone and there is hope!

What is your greatest strength as an author?

I think storytelling.

Did writing this book teach you anything?

Yes, it taught me the importance of sharing your story with others. Unbeknownst to me, I reached several people in my own community who were suffering with the same thing. It just goes to show you you never know who you will reach through a book.


ABOUT BECKIE BUTCHER

Ms. Butcher worked as a Lab Technician in various hospitals and laboratories. She is an avid cook when she feels up to it, and in 2005 she published a small cookbook. Ms. Butcher lives in her hometown of Elgin, Il.