Archive | October 2012

Problems

Just wanted to let everyone know that I’ve been having some problems with my pregnancy. Because of this, the limit the amount of time I can spend at the computer has been restricted. I’m hoping to get my interview with literary agent Michele Rubin typed up over the weekend and posted next week, though.  Have a nice weekend everyone.

My manuscript is out on submission!

Before I get to today’s post, I wanted to let you know that my agent,  Michele Rubin of Writers House, has agreed to be interviewed for my blog. I think we will be doing it in the next week or two, so get ready for some secrets from an industry insider! I also have a few other agents who have shown interest in being interviewed, so stay tuned! Now, on to today’s post!

I can’t believe I’ve finally reached this moment! My book is officially out on sub! Sure, I’m so nervous I have heartburn (although that could also be the baby!), but I also have to just savor this moment. It’s been a long road and I can’t believe I’m finally here!

I know it’s going to be a long wait. Michele says it’s next to impossible to hear back before two weeks and it will probably be more like 4-8. Apparently, if they read it and decide they want it, it then has to be run past and okay-ed by many more people in-house.

Looking back, it really has been a long and bumpy road. For those of you interested in the statistics of how I got here, here is the timeline of this writer!

2001- First attempt at a novel, which I don’t finish  Three more unfinished attempts follow.

2007- Start writing what will be my first finished novel.

2008- Submit first novel to Harlequin and receive a a long, detailed  personalized rejection. Also, get married!

2009- Finish rough draft of Drive Back the Darkness. Find out I’m pregnant!

2010- Revise Drive Back the Darkness and have baby. (For the record, having a baby slows everything WAY down!)

Spring of 2011- Start submitting Drive Back the Darkness.  Receive LOTS of rejections and some requests. Continue revising and re-submitting.

November of 2011- Participate in NaNoWriMo and write rough draft of Below the Surface, my contemporary YA.

Rest of 2011- Revise Below the Surface.

Jan of 2012- Start submitting Below the Surface to agents. Immediately start to get requests, which surprises me.

June of 2012- I receive a  long detailed letter from two separate agents asking for revisions. I revise and continue to send out to agents, and continue to receive requests. I receive an offer of publication from a small press for Drive Back the Darkness, which I take.

July 2012- I receive my first offer from an agent for Below the Surface. I notify other agents and receive more offers.  On July 20th, I sign with Michele Rubin.

September- I receive revision requests from Michele.  Drive back the Darkness is published on Sept. 14th.

October- I finish the revisions.  Michele loves them (Yay!). On October 18th, Below the Surface goes out to 6 big publishers! Now, the waiting can begin!

Interview with Aimee Duffy, author of “The Monster of Fame,” plus a bonus excerpt from her novel!

Today we have with us romance author Aimee Duffy. Her first novel, a fun, sexy romance entitled The Monster of Fame, just released on the 14th of October. Please welcome Aimee Duffy!

Me: What made you realize you wanted to be a writer? And what made you choose the romance genre?

Aimee: I can’t remember when I first had the urge to write. It feels like an itch that’s been there forever. It wasn’t until I was reading Surf, Sea & a Sexy Stranger by Heidi Rice that I thought I want to be able to write something as hot as this. So, I searched Harlequin’s site, had a read over the writer’s guidelines and wrote my first story. It was awful and will never ever see the light of day, but I was bit by the writing bug and I haven’t looked back since.

I’d also like to write YA too, but I have so many characters bouncing around in my head demanding their own HEA the YA stuff has to go on the back burner.

Me: What is your writing schedule like?

Aimee: Hectic, manic, at times non-existent (like this month). Usually I try for at least one thousand words a day, but life doesn’t always make that possible.

Me: How did you come up with the concept of your book?

Aimee: I’m a reality television show fanatic. Last year while watching the XFactor I thought to myself, what if one of the judges were having a relationship with a contestant, then bang, I had my NaNoWriMo project 🙂 I’ve tweaked the show, created new characters and given it a different spin, but the show gave me the idea for The Monster of Fame.

Me: Can you share with us what your road to publication was like?

Aimee: Stressful. I’m not the most patient person in the world, and when I hit send on a submission I usually stalk my inbox for days and days even though I know nothing’s going to be there. Thankfully Beachwalk Press are FAST and it didn’t take me long to decide that’s where I’d fit. I’m glad I found them 🙂

Me: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Aimee: I’d say keep at it, never give up. Find yourself a fabulous CP because they are worth their weight in gold (thank you again Amy!). Join writing communities, take courses, do what you can to make yourself better every day. The only difference between an unpublished author and a published author is that the published author never gave up.

ME: Awww! Thanks for the compliment, Aimee! You’ve made no secret of your shoe addiction! Can you describe your absolute favorite pair that you own? How about the dream pair that you want to own?

Aimee: Yes! I have a pair of thigh high boots I bought from RiverIsland when I was sixteen. I love them far too much to ever wear them (even though they cost a fortune!). They come up just past the knee, with cool chains and spiked studs (I was going through a punk phase!).

There are so many I’d LOVE to own. But if I had to pick, any made by Jimmy Choo would do me 🙂

Thanks for being here, Aimee! And to all my readers, if you love a fun, fast-paced, steamy romance, You should definitely pick up a copy of The Monster of Fame.

You can get a copy of The Monster of Fame from Amazon here.

And you can visit Aimee at her blog here.

And now, a special excerpt from The Monster of Fame by Aimee Duffy!

“I have to say, I agree with Safri,” Sander Chase said, breaking Anna out of her reverie. Still, the sorrow of Miles’s rejection almost swallowed her whole. “You’re through to the next round, Annabelle. Congratulations.”

Again, Anna forced herself to smile even though she felt like crying. This was what she wanted, right? Just the majority vote. It was enough, yet it didn’t feel like enough. She glanced at Miles again who was now pinching the bridge of his nose between a long forefinger and thumb, his eyes shut tight.

What she really wanted was his approval. The other two were talented recording artists, sure. But it was his opinion that mattered most. His company represented every ounce of talent in the UK and he didn’t think she had what it would take to be one of them. Was he right?

“Thank you,” Anna choked past the rising lump in her throat. Tremors continued to rake through her, and she used every ounce of strength she had to hold back the tears burning her eyes. Safri and Sander smiled encouragement, and she turned to leave the room. She felt unsteady on the cheap high heels she’d borrowed from her mum. She draped her arms beside her hips to try and steady herself.

Just as she made the exit and put her hand out to reach for the door a warm set of fingers wrapped around her wrist. Jolts of heat snaked through her arm. The spicy smell of aftershave made her stomach quiver.

Startled, she turned her head, tilting her chin slightly to look into Miles’s eyes. His pupils were fully dilated in the dim light and a tingle of heat skittered down her spine.

“I’m sorry for hurting your feelings,” Miles whispered huskily. The sound made her shiver. “I just don’t think you have what it takes. Wouldn’t it be better to walk away now than have your dreams blown to pieces later?”

The strange shaky feeling blossoming in her stomach froze in its tracks at his words. With her eyes narrowing in anger—both at his assumption and her body’s infuriating reaction—she frowned at him.

“I’ll deal with it if it happens,” Anna ground out through clenched teeth.

He dropped her wrist like her words burned him. After staring her down for a moment, he turned and strode back to the judging table. She pushed the doors wide and kept a death grip on her irritation with Miles, terrified that if she let it go she would burst into tears.

“Well? How’d it go?” Jess asked, jumping up from a seat to greet her.

“I got through.”

“Anna, that’s fab!” Jess threw her arms around Anna, and she felt some of her despair leak out to be replaced with a shred of Jess’s joy.

It was fab. It was exactly what she needed. Why couldn’t she just be happy about it?

Bleedin’ green-eyed know-it-all! Anna would show him she had what it takes…

Reviews of my novel, Drive Back the Darkness

Just a quick post today to give you all the links to a couple of reviews of my novel. They are both from unbiased people, who I have never met. Check them out!

http://bookbriefs.blogspot.com/2012/10/book-review-drive-back-darkness-by-amy.html

http://shannonhowell.wordpress.com/2012/10/05/review-drive-back-the-darkness/

Guest Post from Author Brinda Berry: Lights, Camera, Action!

Being an author today means more than writing. Unless you are in the same league as J.K. Rowling, you’ll be engaged in marketing your work. Readers today love social media and enjoy YouTube and other video platforms.  It’s natural that book trailers would be a popular form of marketing.

Some authors are fortunate enough to have the resources to spend thousands of dollars on a cinema-style book trailer. I love watching trailers and am amazed at the creativity of authors. Many authors are making their own.

Take Maggie Stievater. She’s the author of several bestseller YA books. She did her own trailer for the The Scorpio Races in stop-action animation. This author probably has the resources to hire it done, but she is a creative genius. I’ve seen the book trailers from her other books. They are all amazing. You can find The Scorpio Races on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tojCn2Y41ig&feature=share&list=ULtojCn2Y41ig.

When I saw Stievatoer’s first trailers done this way, I balked. This woman can really draw and paint. Geez! I can barely survive playing Pictionary. Admittedly, her trailers are unique. I went a more traditional route to create my trailer, and I think it tells my story nicely.

So, here are the steps to making a book trailer:

  1. Make a storyboard for yourself with notecards. I prefer less than 20 frames (one notecard representing one frame). This video may run approximately a minute.
  2. I like to limit the text on a frame. Use your blurb to give your ideas. You are NOT placing your entire blurb in this trailer. Sometimes, even one word will suffice to set the mood. Additionally, you may find the frame only needs to hold an image.
  3. Select your computer software you’ll be using. I used an online service called Animoto. It’s easy to use and has a free version.  Some people use Windows Movie Maker. There are more complicated programs which can be used, but I don’t recommend investing that kind of time in this project.
  4. Use a service to purchase images for your trailer. I used http://www.bigstockphoto.com/ . My purchased photos were $2.99 each. I also snapped some photos myself.
  5. Create the frames, upload photos according to your storyboard, add text, and then match some music to it. I like Animoto because they have a library of authorized music to use, so you don’t have to worry about copyright infringement. The timing can be adjusted to the beat of the song you select. Save it.
  6. Test it before you export. That means you are creating an MP4 file instead of an Animoto file.
  7. Upload to a service like YouTube.
  8. Share with all your friends!

I love Amy’s book trailer for Drive Back the Darkness. Please check mine out and see what you think.  My book released in print this month, and I’m celebrating!

Social Media links:

WEB     http://www.brindaberry.com

FACEBOOK    https://www.facebook.com/BrindaBerryAuthor

TWITTER   https://twitter.com/#!/Brinda_Berry

Buy Links for Paperback and Ebook:

Amazon  http://www.amazon.com/The-Waiting-Booth-Brinda-Berry/dp/1937976556/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349620274&sr=8-1&keywords=the+waiting+booth

B & N  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-waiting-booth-brinda-berry/1104328165?ean=9781937976552

The Book Depository   http://www.bookdepository.com/Waiting-Booth-Brinda-Berry/9781937976552 (Paperback only)

The Waiting Booth book trailer:

Thank you VERY much!

Please take the time to help a fellow writer!

Hey, everybody. Today I’m asking you a favor. My friend, Aimee Duffy, has entered Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write Contest. It’s been a life-long dream of hers to write for Harlequin. I know that both she, and I, would be very grateful if you took a moment to pop over to  her entry and read/vote for it. Here is is:

http://www.soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com/manuscripts/flirting-with-trouble/

She also is releasing her first romance novel through Beechwalk Press next week. I’m sure she could use some support. Here’s the link to her blog: http://www.aimeeduffy.co.uk/

Tomorrow, we’ll be having a guest post from published author, Brinda Berry, with step by step instructions for making a book trailer! So stay tuned!

The next step on the road to publication.

First of all, we didn’t get four inches of snow, but we did get some! Check it out!

Now, on to today’s post!

I know many of my regular readers have been walking with me along the road to publication. Now it’s time to move on to the next step: submission! (Yikes!)

So far, I wrote my manuscript, rewrote it multiple times, and then I queried agents. In August, I signed with Michele Rubin, of Writers House. Then I worked with her to do another, massive revision. Yesterday  I talked to her on the phone, and she loved it! She said she thinks the book is ready to go out!

So what happens next? I will, of course keep you all updated! Here is our plan for now:

1. We will start sending the book out the week after next, not this coming week, because of the Frankfurt Book Fair. If you want to check the fair out, you can find more info here. A lot of editors and publishers are there, so were going to wait for them to get back in the office.

2. While we wait, I have to write an author bio, assemble a few comparable titles, and write a page and a half, pithy description of my book, for Michele’s eyes only.

3. Then, the week after next, we will start sending it out. Michele plans to start with six big publishers. She expects that it will take anywhere from a week or two to several months to hear back from them. during that time I will… wait. 🙂

4. Well, not just wait. We’re going to be talking over ideas for my next book, but I’mm not sure how far I’m going to get on it before the baby comes. We have a C-section scheduled for the 18th of December. I wouldn’t be surprised if he comes early though.

So that’s the plan! I also plan to go to the store and buy about 5 bottles of Tums! I can’t imagine anything more nerve-wracking then waiting to hear back from all these big publishers. It seems much worse than waiting for agents. Does anybody have any advice for getting through the next couple of weeks? I sure could use it!