What happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas. But what happens after you step through a portal to another world? Well...
For stage magician Quinn Bradley, he thought his time in Alissia was over. He'd done his job for the mysterious company CASE Global Enterprises, and now his name is finally on the marquee of one of the biggest Vegas casinos. And yet, for all the accolades, he definitely feels something is missing. He can create the most amazing illusions on Earth, but he's also tasted true power. Real magic.
He misses it.
Luckily--or not--CASE Global is not done with him, and they want him to go back. The first time, he was tasked with finding a missing researcher. Now, though, he has another task:
Help take Richard Holt down.
It's impossible to be in Vegas and not be a gambler. And while Quinn might not like his odds--a wyvern nearly ate him the last time he was in Alissia--if he plays his cards right, he might be able to aid his friends.
He also might learn how to use real magic himself.
Continuing the exciting adventures from The Rogue Retrieval, The Island Deception blends fun and mystery into a brilliant new fantasy from Dan Koboldt.
About the Author:
Dan Koboldt is a genetics researcher and fantasy/science fiction author. He has co-authored more than 70 publications in Nature, Science, The New England Journal of Medicine, and other scientific journals. Dan is also an avid deer hunter and outdoorsman. He lives with his wife and children in Ohio, where the deer take their revenge by eating the flowers in his backyard.
I want to wish a HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY to fellow Pitch Wars mentor, Dan Koboldt. The second book in his Gateways to Alissia series just came out. Congrats, Dan!
Now for the stories
Lola Flannigan by Abigail Drake - A Sci-fi Romance Comedy
Sparks will fly and hair will dye as Lola goes from stylist in stilettos to savior of her species.
Hairdresser Lola Flannigan has a little electrical problem. After getting struck by lightning seven times, her hands now shock everyone she touches, except for one person; the very sexy, very wealthy Morgan Slade. But is Morgan really looking out for her, or is he just planning to use her to get what he wants?
Hearts Must Be Broken by Birdie Hall – A mystery romance book
Can love forgive murder?
When a ghost from her past wants to take revenge on twenty-year-old Anais, the only one she can turn to for help is Damon. But things quickly become complicated because he has feelings for her and she doesn’t want a relationship. Can she learn to trust him and can he forgive her past?
Lost and Found by Shilpa Mudiganti – A second chance New York romance
Aisha lost the love of her life to fate. And then Liam happened.
Valentine's Day is just around the corner and Aisha, who is still grieving for her ex-boyfriend John is in for a surprise. Liam, John's best friend, who has had feelings for her but had to keep his feelings in check is ready to prove his love for her. But is she ready to risk her heart again?
What's Better Than a Book Boyfriend? By Sarah Vance-Tompkins - Small Town Contemporary Romance
How can a real man compete with a book boyfriend?
Shy librarian Charlie Bishop has spent every Valentine's Day in the company of one of her beloved book boyfriends. Despite his many attempts to gain her attention, Charlie is absolutely certain she has nothing common with hunky construction worker Hank Carter. So how far will Hank have to go to prove to Charlie he's better than any of her book boyfriends?
Avalanche by Kim Briggs – Sweet romance with a side of steamy
Lexi finds herself in the middle of a longtime feud, and her heart might not be the only thing at stake.
Lexi returns to her first love, Wolf Creek Ski Resort, with ambitions of becoming a ski instructor. She soon finds herself in the middle of a longtime feud between Gabe, a snow groomer who gives off the broken vibe Lexi finds irresistible, and Harrison the fourth, playboy son of Wolf Creek’s owner who always wants what Gabe has. Tensions boil at Wolf Creek, and Lexi’s heart might not be the only thing at stake.
Not Today by Lisa Hahn – Contemporary Romance
A chance meeting in the park sends Emily and Ezra on an emotional journey neither had been expecting.
Emily Scott is mourning the loss of a parent. Ezra Cavanuagh is ready to give up on his dreams of literary success. Will their new connection be enough to help them pull through these trying times?
How long have you been writing and what got you started? I wrote my first novel when I was 13 – it was a school project.
Wow! 13? That's incredible! (And I can't believe I didn't know that already.)
I wrote for many years then, just for fun. I stopped for a while during college, but the stories never left my head. Then, it was around 2008 that I first thought of actually pursuing writing and publishing.
What's your best piece of advice for writers struggling to complete a novel? Do you ever find yourself stuck, and if so, how do you unstick yourself? Usually, when I’m stuck, I skip the scene that isn’t flowing. I go to the next one and continue writing from there. Sometimes, the way to fix the previous scene comes to me as I’m writing the new one. Sometimes it doesn’t come to me until I start revising the entire manuscript. When that happens, I try to think of that scene often while I’m driving or cooking or washing the dishes, hoping the answer to fix it will come to me soon.
Your new book "Breaking Through," the third installment in your "Breaking" series just came out in August. Did you have any particular inspiration for that book and the series as a whole? I actually wrote an “about this book” at the end of "Breaking Free," which is book #1, explaining how it all came to me. It all started with a music video by Britney Spears, Radar. From there, I researched polo and found out the best players in the world are brothers and that their father, currently their coach, was a famous polo player too.
Plotter or pantser? And if you're a plotter, do you use any particular method or tools? I used to be a pantser through and through, but the amount of revisions needed to fix a pantsed novel stressed me out. Also, as I began writing series, I realized I needed a certain plotting so I could foreshadow a few things and connect the novels. So, at some point I became a mix of plotter and pantser – I know the key scenes (inciting incident, midpoint, all is lost, black moment, etc.), but I don’t know how I will connect it all, and that’s where pantsing comes in. I still think I do that most of the time, but for my latest manuscript (a complex fantasy novel) I plotted almost all of it, all of the scenes and details. And I think it was worth it. Though it’ll still need a lot of revisions, the story and the plot are in a good place.
I'm definitely with you on that. Revising my non-plotted novels took YEARS, but plotting changed my entire life. I do a little pantsing in between planned out scenes, so it ends up being very satisfying.
As for my process, I usually start by writing down the scenes and details that come to me in a random order, then I stop and think about it, asking lots of what-ifs to develop the story. When I think I have enough, that I know my main characters, I work on an outline of the key scenes. If I know the in-between scenes, I write those down too. But if I don’t, I just go with the flow. And I do an inspiration board on Pinterest and one for my magnetic board beside my computer. The visuals always help.
By then, I was getting frustrated. Meanwhile, self-pubbing was growing and I was hearing about a lot of successful stories, especially for New Adult novels. I contacted the pub and asked to break the contract. Since we had barely started working on the editing of my novel, they allowed it. And I decided to self-pub Destiny Gift. Sad to say, not even six months after that, that small pub announced they were closing their doors.
Ugh, such a sad and terrifying reality of our industry. I know that pain.
I do consider going hybrid at some point, but it’s not something I’m rushing toward to. It’ll happen when it’s supposed to happen ;)
Self-publishing allows for full creative freedom, including things like cover design and promo. What is it like getting to be in charge of those things? It’s exciting but it’s also scary and time-consuming. In the beginning, I loved it all, but now I wish I was buying more third party services and trusting them, like formatting … it can get out of hand fast and sometimes there’s a glitch I have to fix it asap, and it all takes away my writing time. Also, editing can be very expensive, especially if you do several rounds of it (you should!). I wish I didn’t have to pay for that either. Lol!
I don't blame you! Though cover design stuff DOES sound like fun. In fact, you just did a (VERY steamy) cover re-design for your book “Playing Pretend.” What factors influenced you to re-think the “packaging” for that one? I always loved the concept of "Playing Pretend." I think it’s a very sexy New Adult Contemporary Romance, which might appeal to readers of New Adult novels. After the first round of revisions with my editor, she said she thought the ending was dragging. I could make it tighter and increase the pace and cut a lot of words. So I did it. It was the 2nd time I was working with my editor, I trusted her blindly (I still trust her a lot, but now if I’m not so sure of her suggestions, I go with my gut). The novel shrunk by almost 8k words and the ending came at you much faster. Though, after it was released and readers started reading and reviewing the novel, lots of them said the ending was too fast. They wanted to enjoy the characters more and have an epilogue – which the original version had. As I was working on other novels, I never got to work on that again. But, during my maternity leave in 2015, I thought about this novel a lot and vowed to fix it when I came back to writing and publishing. So, I reworked and added 13k words to it. And, since I was relaunching it with more words and revisions and editing, why not do a new cover too? ;)
That's so cool! I love how self-publishing gives you that kind of freedom, to rework an existing idea to best meet the needs of your readers.
What do you wish you knew about cover design and the image of your “brand” when you first started? I wish I had thought about separating my fantasy work from my contemporary romance novels with different pennames – two different brands. I have a lot of readers who love my contemporary novels, but don’t care about my fantasy projects, and vice versa. And that makes it hard when I release one or the other and send out newsletters, for example. The non-fantasy readers will get newsletter about my fantasy novels, and I’m always afraid that might upset them and they will unsubscribe. To be honest, even the design of my website and blog was hard to come up with when trying to show both genres.
What are your THREE best pieces of advice for other writers out there as they pursue their dreams of publication? My best advice comes from three quotes that inspire me:
“I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.” – Shannon Hale
“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” – Louis L’Amour
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius
Thank you so much, Juliana, for taking to time to share your experiences with us! Good luck on Book 4 of the Breaking Series, and a little birdie told me you MIGHT be working on a High Fantasy... I can't wait to see what you've got up your sleeve next!
About the Author
I'm thrilled to share the new cover for Juliana Haygert's, "Playing Pretend." Not only did she give this steamy, NA romance a new look, she added tons of new stuff, so there's more to fall in love with. In honor of this event, I'm hosting a GIVEAWAY for a copy of the new version of "Playing Pretend."
About the Author:
Author Interview: Brooks Benjamin, author of MG dance extravaganza, "My Seventh Grade Life in Tights."
How long have you been writing and what got you started?
In high school and college I was big into writing screenplays. It wasn't until 2012 when I finally tried writing an actual book. The inspiration for the story actually came from my relationship with my dad, but the drive to try something besides a script was a UT professor. She told me to write a short narrative scene about an unruly kid. So I did. And that's when I realized how much I loved that style of writing.
That example really reminds me why it's so important to try new things. I never thought I'd enjoy writing short stories and for years I avoided them, but after giving it a try, I realized how much I love to write them. And how much they've helped me grow as a writer as you UT experience did for you. It's also so important to read widely. Can you tell us about your favorite books, purely as a reader?
Sure! Some of my favorite stories are Bridge to Terabithia for the way it perfectly captures the tenderness of new friendships, Holes for how the setting is as much a character as Stanley, Better Nate Than Ever for its courage and honesty, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing for its tear-inducing humor, The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy because of how brilliant every single line of the book it, Flipped, for all the adorable middle-grade romance, and The Dark Tower series because Roland's focus and drive is how I want to live my life.
Ah, "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing"... That one brings me back to my grammar school library when it was the hottest book and we all fought over it. I'm a huge King fan, including the "Dark Tower Series." (Little known fact: our dog, Rollie, was actually named after Roland of Gilead.)
Your new MG book, "My Seventh-Grade Life in Tights" just came out in April. Did you have any particular inspiration for that book?
I did. And quite the embarrassing bit of inspiration, too. I started a dance crew back in middle school with my friends. None of us knew how to dance, so we all taught ourselves. However, my sister (when she was supposed to be babysitting me) would binge-watch MTV with her friends, so I got to watch the videos, too. That made me the crew's leading expert of popular dance moves. And since my sister went on a pretty severe New Kids on the Block listening streak when I was in sixth grade, that became the music we danced to. So we called our group The New Kidz and practiced nearly every day after school.
New Kids! Another blast from my personal past. My friends and I weren't anywhere near as cool as you and yours, though. Do you have any interesting stories about your experience writing M7GLiT? Any perfect "ah-ha!" moments or challenges you overcame to make it work?
The biggest challenge to me was writing the studio scenes. I'd never stepped foot in a studio. But luckily, I knew several people who either had or currently danced in one. So I relied a lot on them to help me. As for an "ah-ha!" moment, I had one of those pretty early on when I started my first draft. Originally, the book began when Dillon was in sixth grade performing at the talent show.
It's so great to hear you reference the writing process and how much your book changed as you worked on it. What's your best piece of advice for writers struggling to complete a novel? Do you ever find yourself stuck, and if so, how do you unstick yourself?
Oh, I definitely get stuck. I'm great at getting stuck. In fact, I find myself stuck on a scene at least once a week. But that's not a bad thing. Getting stuck is how you know you need to dig a little deeper and refocus on the foundation of the story. Taking a step back and remembering what my character's "want" is--that one thing that drives every single one of his or her decisions--and allowing myself to brainstorm as many ways as possible to get him or her from point A to point B never fails to pry me out of the muck of storytelling uncertainty. And every time I can do that, I always come out unstuck and with a better direction for what I want to write.
Yes! The brain-storming approach. What a great, practical, actionable tip for us writers who will get stuck in the future (or maybe are stuck right now). Plotter or pantser? And if you're a plotter, do you use any particular method or tools?
I'm a plantser.
Hahahaa! I love that word.
I start with a very small outline (sometimes as brief as four or five lines--just the main plot points that could potentially fall at the 25, 50, 75, and 90 percent marks) and begin writing. And when the story takes a turn, I change the rest of the outline, begin writing again, wash, rinse, and repeat.
Once again, an important reminder that evolution of our work is part of the process and realizing we need to make changes is something to be excited about versus growing discouraged that we didn't do it "right" the first time.
The agent query process is something we get to learn a lot about via author blogs, but the submission process is way more of a mystery. What was it like for you going on submission? What insights can you share now that you’ve come out the other end?
My submission process wasn't very typical, I don't think. I signed with Uwe, my agent, in March and about two weeks later, he'd sold M7GLiT. However, I'm currently on sub right now with my next MG book, and I'm finally getting a sense of that unbearable weight that is Publishing Silence.
I feel like we need a special font for that phrase: Publishing Silence. Maybe one of those zombie, creepy fonts. It's a scary thing. What was the most exciting moment? The most challenging time.
Since this was my very first book, every single moment has been the most exciting one. I'm like a baby and every milestone I reach feels so monumental I can't help but bask in it. Even the small things like seeing a barcode on the back of my hardcovers was surreal. I showed everyone. I was like, "That's my book! Those lines are my book!"
I would SO do that.
However, the most challenging thing so far has been the (thankfully very few) negative responses about the content of the book. My Seventh-Grade Life in Tights is about dance, and dance is an all-inclusive art form. Therefore I knew before I began writing it that I wanted my characters to be representative of the diversity we see in the dance world. Carson, one of the members of the Dizzee Freekz (the crew in the book) is openly gay and has a very big crush on another boy at school. I've received so many emails and messages from readers about how much they loved seeing a character like Carson in a MG book. But not everyone has been tickled to death about it.
What a great feeling! How do you cope with what I like to call "the long wait?" What's your best piece of advice for writers who are facing this themselves (and I won't lie, I have a personal interest in the answer to this one <wink>).
The long wait. Ugh. That's tough. And I'm pretty sure it won't get easier with the next book or even the one after that. It's just part of the game and every author in my debut group has either gone through several rejections for a project or is currently wading through the radio silence from editors. But what we've all done is continue to create. We build worlds and imagine characters and give them hopes and dreams and fears and flaws and set them out on little journeys or magnificent quests. We stay busy and keep listening to each other. We tell jokes and allow ourselves to vent. We remain honest and open with those we've formed friendships with but still encourage the ones we barely even know. And, for me, when I'm sitting in front of my computer, wondering if the story I'm writing will ever see the shelf of my local indie bookstore, I remind myself of how blessed I am that the world gets to read something I've written. And maybe, if I'm lucky, they'll get to read even more some day.
Thank you so much, Brooks, for taking the time to talk to us. Best of luck with your current book and the submission process. I can't wait to see what you've got coming next.
About the Author
Congrats to fellow Leap Books author, Suzanne Lazear, on her upcoming New Adult release. And check out the cover for this Elfpunk novella series.
I am thrilled to wish a Happy Book Birthday to an awesome writer and one of my dearest friends, Juliana Haygert, for "Breaking Through," the third book in her "Breaking" series. Do you love compelling characters, horses, and steamy romance? Then this one is for you. Since these are companion novels, you can read them out of order, but the first book in the series is currently FREE, and you can get it HERE.
From the outside, Hilary Taylor has it all—beauty, money, a caring family, good friends—but inside she’s struggling, full of fears. Events from the past forever changed her, and though years of therapy have helped, she still has a long way to go…. No matter how much progress she’s made, Hil isn’t sure she’ll ever be able to trust men again. Especially one who sees her as nothing more than a pretty face.
But Hil knows it’s time to face her fears, and the best way to do that is to start small.
To Guilherme Fernandes life is about three things: polo, parties and pretty girls—only one of which he takes seriously. Gui is too focused on his polo career to waste time on relationships, however he can’t help but be intrigued by the beautiful yet troubled Hil. So when she decides she’d like to learn more about horses, Gui is happy to find himself in the right place at the right time. But what was supposed to be a one time thing, soon turns into a weekly date.
As Gui helps her discover a new found love for horses, Hil’s guard begins to crumble. The more support Gui offers, the more she wants to accept…and the more the lines of friendship blur. Despite knowing better, Hil can’t help it as Gui slowly breaks through the walls she’s built. Now she has to decide if she’ll stop him there, or if she’ll finally let her fear go and allow Gui to reach for her heart.
A HUGE congratulations to fellow Leap Books author, Bonnie Doerr, on the release of "Tangled Lines," the next book in her Midle Grade eco-mystery series.
But high school drama gets over-shadowed when horrific numbers of pelicans are found tortured near the islands where they live. Kenzie begs Angelo to help stop the slaughter, but he refuses until a stunning family secret is revealed.
When a Sanchez Fish House employee falls under suspicion, the list of suspects explodes, and the discovery of illegal activity exposes Angelo and Kenzie to the same deadly risk faced by the pelicans they are trying to save...
About the Author
I'm thrilled to have a chance to interview fellow Team Triada author, J.C. Lane about her writing and her newest release, a YA and adult thriller, "Tag, You're Dead." Also published under the name Judy Clemens, she's been writing and publishing for years and is going to share some of her experiences with us.
First, some info on her latest book.
locked to their wrists, the Game rockets them through the city, from the El to Michigan Avenue to the Lincoln Park Zoo. There is no time to rest. Every thirty minutes the Runner’s location is transmitted to the It, which steadily diminishes the Runner’s chance of ever reaching Home Base Alive.
The Game will not end until someone is Tagged, so the Runners must choose how to play. Will they accept death? Murder their Its? Or find a way to use individual strengths to stop the Game before anyone dies?
Now, on to the interview!
How long have you been writing and what got you started? When I was in third grade I used our family's typewriter to write a science fiction novel called "Never Dare a Creature's Mind." For some reason, it never went anywhere. :) Ever since then I've dabbled in writing, writing my first two "books that will remain in a drawer" in my early 20s. I was a theater major in college and worked in stage management in Philadelphia for several years, but once my son was born I stayed home with him and wrote during his naps! Once I had two kids I continued writing mostly when they slept -- either in the afternoon or at night between 10:00 PM and 1:00 AM! My first book was published in 2004, and TAG, YOU'RE DEAD, just published on July 5, 2016, is number twelve.
Wow! Twelve! That's incredible. Congratulations!
Can you tell us about your favorite books, purely as a reader? As a young girl -- tween years, I'm thinking -- it was the Black Stallion books by Walter Farley. I still own them all and have them displayed in my office because they were such a huge formative thing for me. During that period I also devoured The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis, and a few years later was really into some of the romances I got from my Scholastic brochure! Once I got to college it was mostly school reading, of course, but on the occasion of a choir bus tour, I got sucked into the Dorothy L. Sayers world of Peter Wimsey, and every stop we made I found a bookstore and bought another one! I recently re-read the first one, and enjoyed it immensely. Dorothy Gilman is another perennial favorite -- I believe I've read her Mrs. Pollifax series seven times. (I know, I know) I've read the Harry Potter books a few times, also. When I was going through chemo a couple of years ago, J.K. Rowling got me through a couple hard months! I enjoy thrillers a lot -- a good legal thriller, especially. I love intense courtroom scenes. Funny books also are a favorite, like Lisa Lutz's Spellman books or Lawrence Block's Burglar books. Any author who can make me laugh out loud is a favorite! I also really love YA books -- the emotions in them are fresh and compelling, not matter what the genre. Some favorites there are My Most Excellent Year, by Steve Kluger; Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, by April Genevieve Tucholke; The Darkest Powers series by Kelley Armstrong; The Selection series, by Kiera Cass; I'll Give you the Sun, by Jandy Nelson; and Eleanor and Park, by Rainbow Rowell. The list could go on and on...
Your new YA book, "Tag You're Dead" just came out two weeks ago. Did you have any particular inspiration for that book?
To be clear, I did write the book as a YA, but my publisher thinks adult will like it, too, so they published it in their mainstream line! So, I'm hoping both groups of people will enjoy it. But yes, I wrote it as YA, and I was wanting to write a "big" book. (Don't we all? I have a writer friend whose daughter told her, "You know, if you would just write a bestseller, it would pay for my college." if only it were that easy!) My original inspiration was the hugeness (is that a word?) of the dystopian wonders -- The Hunger Games, Divergent, etc. The problem was that after those books got so big, everybody started writing dystopian fiction and flooded the market. Agents were saying they couldn't sell another one to save their lives, and editors weren't wanting them at all. So I thought about what aspects made those books so popular -- Life & Death, fast-paced, corrupt authority -- and decided to make it contemporary. Which, basically, made it a thriller! When I was thinking about all this, my husband, who is a phys ed teacher, told me about some of the Tag games they make up in their classes, and it sparked an idea for me: What if the Tag game that's made up is a deadly one? That's where it all really started to roll! I hammered out the first 50,000 words during NaNoWriMo, and the final 25,000 during a writer's retreat the following January. That's the fastest I've ever completed a first draft!
Yes, 'just have a bestseller.' I tell my husband to 'just win the powerball,' but that never works either. But your story is hugely important for authors of the "flooded" genres: you can be inspired by a highly popular genre/trope, but if you make it different enough, it can be successful no matter what.
made my own tangible timeline out of Post-its with one color for each "pair" of characters, and each row designating a 30-minute period. That helped a lot. From what I'm hearing from readers, my strategy worked, and they are able to keep it all straight! I wrote a blog about it here, if you want to reference it: https://www.clubhenhouse.com/timelines-whos-doing-what-and-when-are
Wow, the Virgo in me is in love with your post-it notes. And the obsessive-compulsive in me can totally appreciate how much time it must have taken to get them lined up so neatly. I use Scrivener and lots of outline files to organize my stuff.
What's your best piece of advice for writers struggling to complete a novel? Do you ever find yourself stuck, and if so, how do you unstick yourself? Best piece of advice? Know that it will all come together eventually. It's really hard at times to have that faith, when you just can't make the story work, and you want to throw it all away. (or delete it) But PERSEVERE! Your brain will figure it out. I promise. I wrote a blog all about Writer's Block here if you want to reference it!: https://www.clubhenhouse.com/8-ways-to-combat-writers-block/
Plotting changed my life. What about you? Plotter or pantser? Great question -- I know lots of authors, and each one has an individual method! I started out as a huge plotter -- I'd write 25 pages of outline, chapter by chapter. I pretty much did all of my Stella Crown books that way. When I moved on to my Grim Reaper books I went for the pantser, or "writing into the wind" method. I got myself into a few pickles that way, but eventually worked things out. For books after that I've gotten more to fleshing things out again, especially using Martha Alderson's "The Plot Whisperer's Handbook," which has great exercises for working on characters, setting, conflict, and all sorts of things. It's funny, though -- the latest book I'm working on I just sort of dove in, so I guess I'm back in pantser mode! Perhaps it's the personality of the particular book? Could be!
Interesting! Maybe I'll find my way back to my "pantser" roots some day too. I love this notion that the individual book will convey its own needs in terms of how its written. We don't have to be only one thing or another as authors.
The agent query process is something we get to learn a lot about via author blogs, but the submission process is way more of a mystery. What was it like for you going on submission? Oh, wow, this has been quite a story throughout my career - I'm pretty sure if you ask any writer who's been around a while they'll have tales to tell! With my first book, TILL THE COWS COME HOME, I looked for an agent for almost a year and a half, so when one finally showed interest I didn't do enough research. He sent the book to 3 editors, and when they didn't buy it, I got a letter saying the agent had a "family emergency" and needed to cut his list of authors. Funny enough, I talked to another writer later who had the same experience with the same guy -- but at a completely different time. So either the guy
had a lot of family emergencies, or he was just a jerk. I think it was the latter! I then was fortunate to find Poisoned Pen Press, who does not require agented submissions, and they bought the book. For part of my time with them I had an agent, but then she retired, and I published several more books with them unagented. When I began writing YA and MG books I found another agent who submitted books for me for years. We eventually parted ways (amicably), and I am now with my fourth agent, who is wonderful, and who sold TAG, YOU'RE DEAD. I hope we remain together for the entirety of my career. Between all of these agents there have been many books shopped, sold, and rejected. Most writers like to think that once they get an agent they're guaranteed to sell their book. Unfortunately, this isn't always so. It takes the right agent, the right editor, and the right book to make a partnership. Very tricky, and very timely!
Gah! Yes, I was someone who thought that once you sign with an agent, it's all smooth sailing from there, but it's great to hear stories like yours. No path is unusual (or usual for that matter). Careers are long-haul entities, so no one can ever expect things to stay static. That said, I'm looking forward to a long career with my current agent. (Still happy dancing over here.)
Barbara Peters, editor-in-chief at Poisoned Pen Press, once told me that "To be successful in this business you have to be at the right place at the right time. If you never make it big, don't think that is a statement on your writing. It's just the way this business works." So, in summary, submission to agents and editors is not for the fainthearted!
I feel you. Even in this early stage, the ups and downs have been crazy--overwhelming, at times. And the waiting. The waiting! How'd you cope with what I like to call "the long wait?" What's your best piece of advice for writers who are facing this themselves (and I won't lie, I have a personal interest in the answer to this one). Oh, ugh. The long wait sucks so bad! It used to be the wait for the actual snail mail, and the hope that the mail got where it was supposed to in the first place, and the dreaded SASE. (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope.) Now at least things are sped up a bit by email. But, as I'm sure you've heard before, the best way to combat the long wait is to get involved in something else. I always have several projects going, and that helps to at least push the other book a little farther back in my mind. I never forget about it, of course, but at least my brain is occupied! If you are looking for an agent, the long wait is hard because your work is out there getting scrutinized by many, and rejected by many.
Ah, yes. The dreaded rejection. That, I'm learning, never ends either.
So, so hard! If you have an agent, your work is getting the same treatment by editors, but at least you know you have someone in your corner who is fighting for you. Either way, you have to trust that you are doing your part in the process, and someone else is doing theirs. You can't sit around and stress (well, you can, but it's not helpful) -- instead do whatever you can to work on something new or keeping yourself going.
HUGE thanks to J.C. Lane for taking time to tell us about her writing, her process, and for her words of encouragement. Here's more info about her.
About the Author:
this to my friends, vegan or not. (I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.)
About the Author
She holds a BFA from the School of Visual Arts and is now furthering her education. Robin blogs at RobinRaven.com and loves to connect with readers on social media. She often has her feet on a dance floor or her nose in a book, and delicious vegan food rocks her world.
About the Illustrator
skill to design event announcements for events such as the 2012 Women Take Back the Night rally as well as the 2012 Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services volunteer appreciation event. She is the illustrator of George Eisman's "A Guide to Vegan Nutrition," Stuart Rose and Amanda Strombom's "In Pursuit of Great Food: A Plant-Based Shopping Guide" and Robin Raven's "Santa's First Vegan Christmas."
As an artist, Kara’s goal is to disseminate positive messages, represent important causes, explore new perspectives, and generate social sympathy. Apart from being an artist, Kara is a Sacramento native, mother of three beautiful cats, proud vegan, and California State Employee.
Here are some books I've read and reviewed as well as author interviews. Check back for info on book releases, cover releases as well as promos. Who doesn't love to win free stuff?