This month I’m talking about the process of querying, rejections and why I chose a small press for this project.
I figured since today was my birthday and I’d already have comments on FB and Twitter (at least I hope I do), it might best serve to hog the spotlight, so next week another author can have the limelight to themselves. 🙂 I’ve sent an FB interview out a few weeks ago, so the format below will feel very familiar.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
I was born on October 26th (today) in Frankfurt, Germany. We moved to North Dakota when I was seven, and I have lived here ever since. I married my high school sweetheart and we currently live on a hobby farm with two horses, two dogs, a cat, a catfish and a parrot.
How do you make time to write?
I have a full-time job, so I tend to write in the evenings or on the weekends. I’ve written before work and on my lunch hour too when I’m trying to finish a project.
Do you believe in Writer’s Block?
I do. Not in the sense of I’m just not feeling it, but in the sense that a life-event can interrupt your flow on a project. I believe stress creates true writer’s block. Writing yourself into a corner or reigniting passion for a project can be fixed.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
I write in both contemporary and SFFP (Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Paranormal) subgenres of romance. I love writing contemporary, because it makes for a quick write, as it doesn’t require the level of world building that SFFP does. SFFP is fun to write because I love exploring legends, myths, and fairy tales, putting your own twist in for readers is wonderful. They say you should write what you read. I love historicals, but have not tackled them because I’m so intimidated by the history aspect. When I discovered Steampunk, which usually requires changing history and including fantasy elements I knew I discovered a niche that I’d love.
How are you publishing your recent book and why? (e.g. Indie, traditional or both).
I just finished a Steampunk Novel, titled The Courtesan of Constantinople and am currently seeking representation for the traditional publishing market. I’ve been digitally published in the past with both Liquid Silver Books and Resplendence Publishing, but am looking for a different (and hopefully expanded) market for my current story.
Are you an Introvert or extrovert? How does this affect your work?
I’m an Extrovert. I learned recently that how you get your energy is what determines whether you’re an Introvert or an Extrovert. I get mine from people. It makes it very easy to write in noisy (like coffee houses) environments.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
“Just keep swimming.” ~Dory from Finding Nemo. It’s simplistic but when I don’t feel like writing, it puts my butt in chair. I have a goal to write 200 words a day, knowing if I write 200, I’m just as likely to write 500 or more.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
No one cares more about you and your story than you do. I think knowing yourself and what you want out of writing is the most important thing you can do for your story.
Creating a work of fiction is a tremendous success and what you want when you in type “The End” is just as important as publishing (if that’s what you want). I would recommend each writer get to know themselves and figure out their own path, which might be similar to other writers or completely different.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
I hope you enjoyed this insight into my writing life. Next week we’ll get back on track meeting other writers. 🙂 Until then be Naughty. ~Tina
The synopsis is an integral part of most submission packets, including my most recent agent submissions. This was a struggle for me, as I hadn’t written one since I published “The Pilot and the Pinup” with Liquid Silver Books. A fellow author told me to break each of the chapters down into paragraphs. I did exactly that and it was quiet the disaster.
The Acquisitions editor at the time informed me I suffered from Dreaded Synopsis Syndrome. Boy did I ever. LSB requested a love scene (probably to make sure I didn’t purple-prose the hell out of it) and the last chapter (likely to make sure the book was done). They accepted my full ms and I never had to write a synopsis for them again. Thank the writing gods.
Thankfully, My other digital publisher, Resplendence Publishing, didn’t require the synopsis. Whew.
Now that I’m looking for an agent I’m back in the land of having to write a synopsis. Ugh!
Luckily, there is a ton of info on the interwebs on how to write one. I found this site to be very helpful.
After writing said one page synopsis, I find some agents now want 3-5 pages. Ugh! And I thought I’d mastered the dreaded synopsis.
~Join me next week as we continue the query journey.
I sent off my first query for The Courtesan of Constantinople on September 1st to an agent. I’ve done Query Letters before to publishers, but this was a bit different.
It still had the blurb portion and writing credits, but the letter doesn’t contain the hard sell that I would have in a query to publishers.
When querying publishers, I’m aiming for a specific line, so I’m very specific in my query of how my book will fit into the publisher’s line. I’m selling them my product.
When querying agents, I’m selling me and my brand. It’s a bit more of a soft sell. I’m telling them what I write so the agent can decide if we will be a good fit.
I’ll be sending off more queries, along with sample chapters and the Synopsis. How I hate the Synopsis-Its such a struggle for me. Digital publishers usually take a query and the complete manuscript, so I’ve been a bit spoiled. I haven’t had to write one since my very first, “The Pilot and the Pinup” story was published. I’m sure there will be some learnings ahead.
Until next time be naughty ~Tina
Amy Woods, one of TV’s famed Beast Seekers, has come to Orkney, Scotland, to hunt sirens. One of them killed her sister and she has sworn revenge. Most people think she’s crazy for believing in monsters. She knows the truth. But while patrolling one of Orkney’s cold beaches, she runs into a naked selkie man rather than a siren, and he proves to be an alluring distraction.
Edan Kirk is a selkie, one of an ancient race of seal shape shifters. When he hears of Amy’s intention to hunt sirens, tragic memories overwhelm him. He knows he must get rid of the pesky human. As much as he tries to convince her she’s on a fool’s errand, he can’t resist trying to protect her. After all, he has heard the enticing song of the sirens and he knows its deadly power.
As Amy and Edan engage in a battle of wits and wills, other emotions rush to the fore. Their connection is intense, the sort to come along only once in a lifetime. Edan recognizes her as his mate. However, another woman has set her sights on him as well, one whose powers of seduction are legendary. One whose voice has driven men to madness and devastation.
Can Amy accept Edan as her mate, making her home in the world of the supernatural? And can they save each other from a beast that cannot be destroyed?
After patrolling the shore for the better part of an hour, Edan began to feel the call of his bed. He might possess more stamina than a human man but it had been a long day. Resolved to catch a couple hours of sleep before morning, he swam toward the shore. Relinquishing his pelt, letting it slide from his body, he stood up straight.
A man appeared before him.
No. A woman.
Because she wore fatigues, he was momentarily confused, but there was no mistaking her buxom figure. She was certainly doing her best to look like an army man, right down to her combat boots.
The lass smiled and aimed a camera phone at him. “Hello, sailor. Did you fall off your boat?”
Fuck. What sort of woman walked on the beach at four in the morning? “Something like that.”
Despite the obvious threat posed by her camera, he couldn’t help noticing she was a beauty. Perhaps not in the Hollywood starlet sense, but her imperfections intrigued him. She’d pulled her chestnut hair back into a tight ponytail. There was an asymmetry to her face that gave an edge to delicate features. Her nose was slightly crooked near the tip and one eyebrow arched higher than the other. Her generous mouth was compressed but it looked capable of wide smiles.
And her scent. It hit him hard and made him see stars, like that time his younger brother Calan lobbed a dictionary at his head. She smelled like strawberries, juicy and ripe from the bush. Interesting, considering she was dressed like Rambo.
His gut turned, as if skewered on a rotisserie. As his innards roiled, he couldn’t help wondering what it would be like to wind her ponytail around his fingers, draw her close and…
“Well?” Her eyebrow quirked even higher.
How much had she seen?
He stepped toward her but when she snapped several photos in quick succession, he stopped moving. “It’s not polite to take photos of a man in his birthday suit.”
“Yes, but you’re not quite a man, are you?”
She’d seen everything, then. He’d simply have to persuade her not to trust her senses. He’d talked himself out of worse scrapes. Edan waved his hand in the direction of his crotch. “I’m all man, lass, as you can see.”
She indulged in a quick glance. Her eyes widened in clear wonder, as if she’d never seen anything quite like him before. “Something more, then.” She nodded toward his pelt. “I’ll take that, please.”
“I don’t think so.” He hedged his bets he could convince her to give up whatever mischief she’d planned. How had he missed her on the beach? Too distracted by the thought of Breena, perhaps. “You’ve seen enough to understand I’m a selkie. If you know that, you know I need this pelt. If you’re looking for a lover, you need to be wily and steal the skin. I won’t just hand it over, unless of course you can prove to me you’d be worth a tussle.”
“I’m not looking for a lover and I don’t want to tussle with you.”
“I’d say that was a shame, you know, if you didn’t look as if you were out to blackmail me.”
Two men, also dressed in camouflage, emerged from behind a sand dune. One of them looked as if his sole hobby was frequenting the gym. Although the other man was smaller in stature, he presented more of a threat and it had everything to do with his professional-looking video camera.
“I’d give her the pelt if I were you,” the bigger man said.
“Who the hell are you people?” Edan demanded as he slowly handed the skin over to the woman.
She took it but didn’t lower her phone. “We’re the Beast Seekers. You’re our first selkie. Smile for the cameras.”
Buy Link Information:
Selkie’s Lure will be available for purchase firstly at Liquid Silver Publishing: http://liquidsilverpublishing.com/
You can find it now at:
During release week, it will become available at Amazon, B&N and Google Play.
Rosanna Leo is a multi-published, erotic romance author. Several of her books about Greek gods, selkies and shape shifters have been named Top Picks at Night Owl Romance and The Romance Reviews.
From Toronto, Canada, Rosanna occupies a house in the suburbs with her long-suffering husband, their two hungry sons and a tabby cat named Sweetie. When not writing, she can be found haunting dusty library stacks or planning her next star-crossed love affair.
A library employee by day, she is honored to be a member of the league of naughty librarians who also happen to write romance. Rosanna blogs at http://www.rosannaleoauthor.wordpress.com
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Rosanna-Leo/e/B007X5P4I8
Apologies for the late excerpt, as I normally do them on Saturday.
“Sarah?” She blinked at him. A small smile formed on her lips. She looked tired but happy. Her eyes seemed to hold a secret. Like there was something she had just learned that made everything all right. Logan watched as the light in her blue eyes grew dim, but the smile remained. “Sarah.” Logan put his hands on either side of her face. His fingers speared through her hair.
“Take care…of her, Logan. Don’t let him find her. He can’t find her.” She pulled in a shallow breath. “Always loved you. Was always yours,” she whispered to him. She smiled a bit more, and then that was it. Her eyes closed gently. Her chest slowly fell. The heart monitor flat lined.
Logan stared, unwilling to believe his eyes. Unwilling to believe his ears. He could hear the baby was still crying as they checked her over. Her lungs sounded healthy. He listened as the other doctors worked between Sarah’s legs, one pushing on her stomach. Sarah’s limp body moved from the pressure of the doctor’s hand. And then reality came crashing in at the same time a wave of heat spread over his body like fire. Sarah’s chest didn’t move. He watched another beat, not believing what he was seeing. No. Logan roared. His face never left hers as he roared to the fates. His whole body shook with anger and disbelief as he bellowed his denial. “Sarah! No! No! Help her!” he howled to the doctors.
A middle-aged male nurse was suddenly next to him and tried to push Logan out of the way. “Sir!” The nurse had his hands on Logan’s arms. No one would be able to move him from her side without his approval. “Sir, you need to move so I can help her.” The nurse spoke in heavily accented English.
Numbly, Logan moved away from the one woman he had ever loved, from the one person who could bring him to his knees. He stumbled back as he watched the doctors and nurses work frantically to bring her back. Another nurse walked over to him and placed something in his arms. He gazed down. And he saw the most beautiful baby in the world. And just as Sarah was and had always been, so too, was Madeline. She was his.
Barnes and Noble:
Please welcome my fellow LSB author Kelli Evans. I’m so excited to interview Kelli since we met at Lori Foster’s RAGT in June. Kelli, tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Hi Tina! I’m so happy to be here. I was born and raised in the middle of the mitten. I live in a small community on the outskirts of a medium sized city – and from the wrong side of the tracks, or in my case river. I am married and a mother to two hilarious girls, my oldest just turned two last month.
What genre are your books?
I write steamy contemporary romances. My Whisper Hollow series is set in a small town, and it’s very light hearted and funny (I hope.) The first two books in The Falling series will be re-released in the fall and a third never before published edition will be available come November and these books are a little darker, either in angst or just dealing with heavier subject material. Still smokin’ hot though.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
Ha! I write part-time, full-time. Whenever I get a second to write I’m writing. That’s usually after my husband comes home from work, at night when everyone is sleeping, or if by some miracle the heavens align and my girls go down for a simultaneous nap.
Where do your ideas come from?
Everywhere. Something my friend says at lunch, an article I read, a song on the radio, a couple on the street …
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I’m a total pantster. I’ve tried and tried to plot, but my writing feels stifled and my characters are too unruly to be tamed so, I just let the story grow naturally. It’s a lot more fun for me and probably for the reader as well.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
These days it’s really just about finding the time.
You’ve written two book series, WHISPER HOLLOW and THE FALLING, can you tell us more about them?
In Lucky Enough, book one in The Whisper Hollow Series, Reagan Hilt is at her lowest low. Her fiancé called off their engagement over Skype, she has a hideous wedding dress hanging in her apartment she can’t even give away, her land lord has served her with an eviction notice, and her unpaid parking tickets have finally caught up with her. The only golden thread is this flirtation with a smoking hot guy she ran into while in court. After being sentenced to community service with a troubled youth outreach program Reagan meets Chloe a feisty fifteen year old who just so happens to be hottie’s daughter. Chloe forbids them from seeing each other, and because Reed (AKA hottie) is really trying to work on his relationship with Chloe, they agree their relationship should stay platonic. The chemistry sparking between them has other ideas.
The second book Just Her Luck follows Ronnie Hilt, Reagan’s twin and sexy cop Joe Aarons. He’s been trying to wear her down for a while and one drunken night she does give in. The one night stand spirals into something frighteningly permanent as Ronnie learns she’s pregnant with Joe’s child. Conservative, type-A Ronnie, has a very hard time trying to control the situation. She wants to get married to keep up her pristine public image and Joe wants to do right by her and the baby. The two enter into a marriage of convenience that quickly becomes much more for Joe. If only he could get Ronnie to realize it too.
One Lucky Deal, the third book in the series is a friends-to-lovers story. Candace, the youngest Hilt sister and Tad Dundee have known each other since that summer they spent together at 16 at camp. Now as two grown adults with commitment issues and very competitive natures, their friends make a bet with them that they cannot refuse. It tips their entire world upside and creates a new level of intimacy between these two old friends and roommates.
As for The Falling Series, book one Chasing Dreams opens the series with Nathan Lawson and Selina Leclezio. Selina works for a tour boat at Niagara Falls. Nathan and his frat brothers are on spring break in Niagara when the two meet. It was only supposed to be a fling but when tragedy rips them apart much too quickly neither of them can shake each other. Very sexy and very emotional read. Due out in September.
The second book, Chasing Angeline follows Angeline, Selina’s sister and Dylan, Nathan’s frat brother, several years later. Angeline has a very dark past and has shut herself off from anything that isn’t safe and secure. Dylan is neither. He’s too sexy, too alpha, too all-male for Angeline. The worst part is this reformed bad-boy is very charming and when it comes to her – very sweet.
She’s not sure she can resist him for long but knows that her baggage is too much to unload on anyone and expect them to stay. He also might not be the only one Chasing Angeline.
Due out in October.
Playing with Fire is the never before released book in this series and it is hot. Ryleigh Lawson, Nathan’s sister is heading home after spending Christmas with him. Caught in a snow storm a dog darts out in front of her causing her to lose control on the slippery roads. She crashes her car and walks to the nearest structure – a bar. Jude Thomas had sent home his patrons hours ago knowing that the roads would become treacherous when the cutest most aggravating woman shows up ruining his peace and quiet. Their book is funny and smoking hot. I can’t wait until November when it will be available for you guys to read.
What are you working on at the moment?
So many things! I’ve got book four in The Falling, Ryleigh’s best friend Kat and Jude’s brother Joel’s book that I’m writing – They are probably the most fun characters I’ve ever had. I love Kat. I wish she were real so we could be real life besties. She’s a size 22 and she owns it. She’s loud. She’s so funny. Smart. Thoughtful. Is unapologetic for her love of slurpees and romance novels. Joel is all muscle to Kat’s curves. He is an up and coming boxer and was completely enamored with her right from the start. I’m in edits for Playing With Fire. I pitched a book at RAGT but my betas wanted to see something changed which changed half the book so I’m working on that so I can finally get it submitted. It’s working title is Harvest Moon and would be the first book in another series that I’m calling The Port Luna series for right now.
It’s a double romance. It’s a romance … Square? 😉 For the first few chapters it’s very ambiguous who might end up with who and that part tested very well with my betas. It’s fun, it’s emotional, sexy, romantic, there’s intrigue and action. This one really has all.
Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Kelli’s book, One Lucky Deal. ~Tina
Chris took Fiona by the waist and pulled her against him in an echo of their earlier embrace. “You want to know what it was? Why I dragged you back there?” She had to tilt her head back to look him in the eye. Chris’s heart thudded because he knew what he was about to confess. “It was me wanting you so much that every day without you has been my own special kind of Hell. And it was all of my own making. I couldn’t touch you or taste you because I forced you out of my reach. All that time, it was me seeing you, but not being able to stare, taking in your scent without being able to really inhale, and hearing your voice and not being able to say what was on my mind or in my…”
No, he’d said enough.
“To say what was in your what?” Fiona clutched at his shoulders. Chris didn’t know if her heart was pounding too or if it was the reverberations from his own slamming against her.
“Never mind.” Chris skittered back from the edge.
“Damn it. Tell me!” It was the closest he’d ever heard Fiona come to a shout. Her dormant Irish temper was wide awake now. “Come on, Christopher King, I’m right here.” She grabbed his hand and set it over her heart. Christ. Her upper chest was so soft and warm, it wasn’t much of a struggle to keep his hand right where it was. “Here I am. Feel me…see me…tell me what you want to say. Tell me what’s on your mind and in your…?”
“Goddamn it, Fee!” He felt goaded into raising his voice as well. “My heart, okay? I wanted to tell you what was in my heart. I love you so fucking much I ache with it.”
There. All his cards were on the table now. The absence of sound was deafening. Had they both stopped breathing? Fee hadn’t said anything yet and the suspense was killing him. He’d never told a woman he loved her before and waiting for her to either laugh at him or love him too, sucked. Screw it. He dropped his hands and stepped around her. “I’ll show you to your room. It’s been a long day. You’re probably tired…”
“I’m not tired.” She kept pace behind him.
He kept going. “The bathroom is to the left down the hall. You might want to take a shower…”
“I don’t want to take a shower…not alone, anyway.”
* * * *
It took only long enough for Fiona to blink once before Chris had her back in his arms.
“Tell me that was an invitation.” The sensual gravel of his voice slid down her spine and spread out to all her pulse points. Still, the man was clueless.
“For a smart guy, you are the absolute worst at taking a hint. Should I sky-write it and really give the town something to talk about? I want you. I want you. I want you.”
Chris lowered his head until their lips were only a breath apart. “So, you’re saying you want me?”
Fiona closed her eyes and waited for him to close the distance. “Why else do you think I’m here?”
“So I can keep you safe?”
“That’s a bonus, tough guy.”
He stepped back and ran a shaky hand through his hair. “This is a bad idea. We need to cool down and figure out…”
“Where’s your room?”
“Down the hall, next to yours.”
“Fabulous.” Fee brushed past him and took off for the hallway.
“Where are you going?”
“I’m hoping in the right direction. It’s hard to tell in the dark.”
Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/28JCbIg
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/24um1qR
Join me next Thursday as we meet another Author. ~Tina
“And then I realized it wasn’t just about what you needed. It was about what I needed. I needed you and to be there for you. To see you through it. And I could’ve found you, but…I didn’t. I stayed away.”
“Why?” she whispered.
He looked down at her then. “Because I knew Madison. I knew.” As if this were an entirely understandable explanation.
“You knew what, Patrick?”
He stared at her, unblinking, and then said, “That you were mine.”
She stood there, stunned, as he moved his hands from her hips to around her body so his hands were resting lightly on her back. Her hands went up to his chest as if to push him away.
“Patrick, that’s…that’s…” She didn’t know how to finish her sentence.
“Why did you stay with me?”
She furrowed her brows.
“You were with me every day I was in the hospital. Even when I didn’t know you were there, you were. Why?”
“Because…because you helped me,” she lied.
“Bullshit. Madison, why did you stay with me?”
She shook her head and avoided his gaze. His hand came up to her chin and directedher gaze back to his. He eyes bore in to hers as she felt a hum go through her entire body. Slowly, keeping his gaze locked to hers, his hand at her chin, his head descended toward hers. Her hands, instead of pushing him away, gripped handfuls of his shirt. She was terrified and exhilarated at the same time. He stopped just before his lips touched hers. He rubbed his mouth back and forth over her lips. Then, he whispered, “Because you knew it, too.”
And then he kissed her. It was delicate and light. He was doing that for her. She felt her hands pull at him, trying to get him closer. He took that as a cue and deepened the kiss, tilting her head with his hand, his other coming up to cup her face softly. She moved her arms and wrapped them up and around so that they lay on his shoulder blades. He suddenly gripped her head tighter and forced her mouth open with his tongue. As soon as their tongues met, it was as if something ignited. He quickly backed her into the wall and kissed her deeper. The only thing she could do was respond. So she did. She kissed him back as if they were at war, but she knew he would win. Madison wanted him to win. His right hand grabbed her thigh and hitched it up over his hip. He pushed himself deeper. She could feel him, all of him. And she really liked it. So she froze.
He began to pull back, but Madison wasn’t panicking. Not at all. She was shocked by how her body felt. His hands came up to cradle her face as he slowed things down to an almost lazy pace. And when he stopped, she found she had a hard time opening her eyes. When she did, he was looking down at her, smiling in a way she had never seen. And she knew that was the only smile she’d ever wanted to see ever again.
He laid his forehead against hers as they caught their breath. She watched as Patrick’s gaze bore into hers. She had so many thoughts flying through her head that she couldn’t grasp even one. His thumb was sweeping back and forth over her bottom lip as she stared at him.
“You okay, baby?” he asked, his voice little more than a growl.
She nodded. And dammit, she liked the word baby in his voice. He watched her for a beat and then moved, turning his back to her as he went to his new bedroom, hitting the light switch off.
Seduction in Seville will be released on Feb 1st!