Thursday, September 26, 2013

Welcome Author Andrea Downing

Please help me welcome my guest Andrea Downing to Romancing the Writer. Andrea, I’d love to hear a little bit about your journey to publication.

First, let me say thanks so much for having me here today, Maria. I greatly appreciate the opportunity.

I guess you could say my road to publication has been quite a long one. I've been writing all my life but lacked the confidence to send anything out, despite writing two full length novels and a screenplay.

Finally, when I returned to live in New York in 2008, I was SO old I decided I had nothing to lose. I wrote Loveland and, as a western historical romance, there were a rather limited number of presses that might be willing to accept it. The Wild Rose Press was one of them, and the rest is history…western history!

How long have you been submitting your work to editors and/or agents?

Loveland was completed in 2010, and it was about 4 months before I discovered TWRP, followed by the usual process of query/partial/full.

How many years have you been writing?

As I say, pretty much my entire life. In both school and college I took every creative writing course available…but I'm not going to tell you in actual years!

Which, so far, is your favorite character from one of your own books?

I'm still in love with Jesse from Loveland. It will be difficult to replace him because I think I created my ideal man in him. But I have to say Cal, his best friend, runs a close second. :-)

Do you have any advice for authors as yet unpublished?

Keep at it, accept rejections as stepping stones, criticism as a free course to improve. And don't give up!

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

You won't be published unless you submit!

What are you working on now?

I'm just completing—or trying to complete—another western historical romance novella. I'm hoping it might be suitable for the The Wild Rose Press 'Love Letters' series as it concerns what happens when a letter goes to the wrong address.

What does your typical writing day look like?

A mess! LOL. I'm afraid it depends on a lot of things. Unfortunately, I've had a number of health issues over the past few years although they seem to be tailing off, thank goodness.

But here in New York a six hour visit to a doctor's office is not unheard of when they run a slew of tests and so on. I'm a night person anyway so if I don't get to the computer until late afternoon I still put in a good day's work. And then around 6pm I treat myself to a glass wine and really get going!

Where can we find you on the web?

Good news, readers. Andrea has agreed to give away a digital copy of Lawless Love to one lucky commenter. And now, an excerpt from Lawless Love!

Lacey Everhart has carved out a tough existence in the wilds of 1880s Wyoming, working hard to build a secure life for herself and her younger brother, Luke. She will stop at nothing to protect what’s hers and keep them safe. Even if it means keeping a secret that could destroy their lives.

Marshal Dylan J. Kane is a man who considers everything as black and white, right or wrong. He's never seen life any other way until he sets eyes on Lacey. Suddenly the straight and narrow that he's followed has a few twists and turns. Loving Lacey offers the home life for which he hankers...but can he really love a woman who seems to be plain lawless?


Lacey thought of fluttering her eyelashes, but it was such a silly thing to do. How could women act like that? She just looked up at the marshal and waited, the possibilities turning over in her mind, flitting through her head but never settling.

“You wanna tell me what really happened now so we can try to sort this matter? All I can do is promise I’ll do everything in my power to sort it for you, but I cain’t help you less’n you tell the truth. You tell me lies and make me look a dang fool, there’s nothin’ I can do. You understand that?”

Along with the tiniest nod, she clasped her hands together. She looked up at Dylan Kane and saw kindness in that face, a face she could so easily have loved had things been different.

She could sense the heat radiating from his body and knew if she touched his chest, a strength would exist where his heart beat. If she ran her hand down his arms, she would find that same strength in his muscle. How she wanted those arms around her! All her life, it seemed, she had looked after herself, cared for her brother, struggled to make a home for the two of them. What would it have been like if Morgan had not...

“Lacey?” Dylan’s soft voice brought her back from her reveries. “You ready to tell the truth?” With one gentle finger, he lifted her chin so their gazes met for a moment before they each stepped back from the brink of something neither could control. “Lacey?” he repeated.

“Yes, I’m ready.”

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Welcome So You Think You Can Write Winner Jennifer Hayward

Since this series on So You think You Can Write Global 2012 began we’ve had many of the contestants and finalists (some who have also gone on to publish) visit and blog about their experience with the contest. I’m happy to conclude the series with Jennifer Hayward, the grand prize winner of the contest.

Welcome Jennifer, thanks for being here today. Your debut, The Divorce Party, now available through Harlequin Presents.

What a great cover! After submitting your first chapter to SYTYCW, did you have any second thoughts or was it completely ready and polished?

Ooh, I’m not sure you ever feel totally prepared to enter a contest like SYTYCW, but I did have a couple of very awesome beta readers give me the thumbs up on my chapter before I submitted it, so I was happy with it! The full manuscript, however, was only 70 per cent done when I entered! I knew I could finish it and I felt confident about where it was going, so I went for it.

Have you entered a writing contest like this before, or any other writing contest?

Yes! I entered Mills & Boon’s New Voices in 2011 but did not place. The experience was amazing, however, as I met so many great friends and fellow writers and got some valuable feedback on my writing.

How long have you been writing?

A long time! I submitted my first manuscript to Harlequin when I was nineteen and got some nice feedback. After that my career in public relations ran away with me and I had very little time to write until I cut back on work recently. But I always kept my head in the writing game – attending RWA conferences and taking writing bootcamp courses.

What are your thoughts about the promotional aspect of the contest? Do you love social media and all its aspects?

Since I come from a marketing background, the promotional aspect was pretty comfortable for me. I really enjoy social media and connecting with other writers and readers so I found the whole process really fun!

What are you working on now?

I am finishing book three of my De Campo brothers trilogy, the first of which is The Divorce Party. It’s been so much fun to write these three sexy brothers and the woman who tame them.

Do you have any advice for someone considering entering So You Think You Can Write 2013?

Be prepared for a wonderful rollercoaster ride! Submit the story of your heart, let your voice have free rein because that will be what differentiates you and stay confident throughout the process no matter what happens. Every step is getting you where you want to go.

Where can we find you on the Web?

My website is JenniferHaywardRomance– I would love any visits

I’m also on twitter - @jenhayward

and on Facebook