Q. Overall, how would you rate your experience with So You think You Can Write Global 2012?It was an awesome experience. I met so many amazing people that I’m still friends with to this day. It also pushed me to broaden my horizons with social networking, something I’d been dragging my feet on. And now as a published author, I’m grateful for that push.
Q. 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?As of today that chapter is still in its original form. When I sold to Harlequin Romance with another western, RANCHER TO THE RESCUE, I learned that it would be my last western for Romance as their editorial direction was changing and I needed to write something new/different. So my SYTYCW manuscript got put on the backburner.
Q. How about the rest of the book? Is it finished? Going through more revisions?The rest of my SYTYCW book is written. I’ve had numerous people tell me that they’d like to read the rest of it so I am considering plans for it.
Q. Any thoughts on submitting your entry to another publisher or agent?Since Harlequin Romance is not interested in my other cowboy/small town romances, I plan to do something with that backlist of manuscripts. But until I’ve nailed down my exact plans, I’m going to keep it tucked under my cowboy hat. ;-)
Q. How long have you been writing?Most of my life. I fell in love with books and writing as a little kid. But I took a couple of detours before I was able to follow my dream. I actively pursued publishing with Harlequin for five years before I got the call. I was determined. :-)
Q. Have you ever entered a contest like this one before?Actually I have. The first was the 2010 New Voices Contest. I entered but didn’t final. However, I won an editor critique. I was thrilled. They liked a lot of what I had in my submission but they suggested some changes. Well, instead of really listening to what the editor was telling me, I totally rewrote the opening from a different prospective and submitted. BIG mistake! It promptly got an ‘R’ and rightly so.
The new opening didn’t work. But I just couldn’t let go of that story. It was the story of my heart. When the 2010 SYTYCW Contest launched, I pulled out my NV’s story and dusted it off. I went back to my original opening and set to work, once again tweaking and polishing. I submitted and waited. When the winner was announced and the period for notifying the five finalists passed, I moved on.
But then a few weeks later, at the end of March, I got an email that my manuscript, now titled SNOWBOUND WITH THE SOLDIER, was one of the final five in the 2011 SYTYCW and they would like to continue to work with me. *cue happy dancing* The editor said she’d be getting back to me on my SYTYCW manuscript and another FULL manuscript that had been submitted through the slush pile.
Q. What are your thoughts about the promotional aspect of the contest?I think that it’s good experience for hopeful writers. In this day and age where there are sooo many possibilities for publishing, there are a ton of books out there. If you don’t do something to make your book stand out, how will people find you?
Q. If you had to do it over again, what would you do differently, if anything?I don’t know if I’d change a whole lot. I think that if I’d sold sooner I might not have been prepared to continue with book #2, #3, etc. I learned a lot during my journey to becoming a published author. And for that I am grateful. But I still have a lot more to learn.
Q. What are you working on now?My debut, RANCHER TO THE RESCUE, is up for Pre-order and will be available in just a few days, which has me over the moon with excitement. It’s a dream come true. And my second book, SNOWBOUND WITH THE SOLDIER, is due out October 1st. In the meantime, I’m keeping busy with other books for Harlequin Romance and a couple of side projects.
Q. Where can we find you on the Web?Connect with me @ Website | Twitter | Facebook