Overall, how would you rate your experience with So You think You Can Write Global 2012?
On a scale of 1 to 10 I would rate it a 7 because I like the beat, and I can dance to it. Okay, more like a 5 and I will elaborate later.
We were required to upload the first chapter as our entry in SYTYCW. Is that chapter still in its original form or has it gone through more revisions?
Geez Maria, I knew you were going to ask me that question. Call me psychic, but I think we’re on the same wavelength.
Okay well, so here it is. The ugly truth: I can’t say that chapter is in it’s original form, no. Not anymore.
How about the rest of the book? Is it finished? Going through more revisions?
Here we go. You don’t quit, do you? All right, it’s time for the whole truth. So here’s what happened:
In my defense, we were told that the manuscript did not have to be completed. As long as it was completed by the time of voting. I had a manuscript, but it needed tweaking to meet some of the rigid guidelines for this particular category line. So I set about to make these changes.
And then in one horrible moment, I lost most of the changes that I had made and could not recover them. The file was corrupt. Bill Gates wasn’t taking my calls and I felt as though I were running out of time to put it all together.
It’s a terrible sinking feeling that I think every author has experienced at least once. Save your work under multiple file names. Don’t be like me. You don’t want to be like me.
How long have you been writing?
Once my dreams of rocknroll stardom and induction into that hall of fame did not pan out, I thought I’d try writing. Like most writers, I’ve been a hard core reader from grade school. But then I had children. So other than having some fun writing articles for my children’s preschool coop newsletter, my words were mostly silent for about a decade.
In 2004 I remember sitting in a room with a bunch of other people who were all going to build their real estate empire (a story for another time) when suddenly a still voice inside of me (and actually the guy behind the podium, but he meant it in another way) said, “Just do it.”
I had the bright idea that I would write a novel – and so I came home and had no idea how to do that. So I wrote short stories instead – one of them won Honorable Mention in the Writer’s Digest 2010 Awards – I loved writing again,but I couldn’t seem to get through an entire novel.
The prospect was overwhelming. I would get to about 18,000 words and fizzle out. Then I’d start something else. Some of my friends and I started a little writer’s group and they challenged me to just finish something. So in 2010 I started my first novel and though it took me fourteen months to finish I did it. Just like Nike says. I would say I learned more in that single process than I did from all the writing courses I’ve taken over the years.
Have you ever entered a contest like this one before?
Not like this – I’ve entered other contests before. Warning: this is a contest on steroids.
What are your thoughts about the promotional aspect of the contest?
I didn’t much care for it – I’m the type of person who doesn’t want to bombard my friends with emails and beg for their votes. But as luck would have it, I stopped doing that once I lost my entry.
If you had to do it over again, what would you do differently, if anything?
I would not lose my entry!
What are you working on now?
I’ve just submitted my first single title romance to Carina Press, and I’m very excited about my WIP, another single title contemporary. I’m in that delicious “first love” stage.
Where can we find you on the Web?
Facebook: Maria Font Buscher