Writer Wednesday – Rejection

I got my first rejection from an agent last week.  Less than 24 hours after I sent my query.

Was I surprised?  Yes and No.   Yes that it was so quick, and No that it happened.   It was a form letter and I likely received for one of two reasons:

  1. The agent is not  acquiring new authors
  2.  My packet wasn’t proper.   And my packet was incomplete…I noticed after I hit send.

I can not stress the importance of following the rules when agents and publishers lay them out for you.   In my case the agency wanted the first 5 pages and I misread it to be query letter only.    Now was I rejected for not following the rules, possibly.  I’ll never truly know, but I guarantee I always wonder.

Some of you may think this is nitpicky on the publisher’s or agency’s part, and maybe it appears that way.  But the rules are an indicator of what will maximize an agent or editors time.   And truthfully if my query sang all on its own, perhaps I would’ve received a gentle reminder about the missing pages.  Or I stated my query well enough that they knew a Stempunk Romance was not on their #MSWL.

Unfortunately for me, at this agency, a rejection from one agent is a rejection from all.  It is too bad, as the agency represented many authors I love and respect.  Sigh.

There are more agents ahead, and I assure you I will be diliegent in following the rules going forward.   🙂

~Tina

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#AuThursday – Marie Lavender

Marie Lavender LogoTell us a little about yourself and your background?

Well, I am a multi-genre author of 22 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, dramatic fiction, literary fiction and poetry. And the list just keeps growing. Some of my works in progress include comedy, time travel or dystopian tales.  I come from the Midwestern U.S., and I live with my family and three cats. I’ve pretty much always known I wanted to be a writer, at least since I was old enough to officially write stories.

Are you an Introvert or Extrovert?  How does this affect your work?

I’m actually more introverted, though my writing career has forced me to be more public than I’m accustomed to. I guess you could say it’s a bit harder to put myself out there, but I do it anyway. I’ve had several radio interviews, I host three blogs and I have moderated lots of major book giveaways. I like meeting new people. Now and then, I still get nervous, though.

How do you make time to write?

When I’m balancing a side job and family obligations, it can be difficult. I usually aim to work a little on my current project every day, even if it’s a paragraph or a scene, or just researching different aspects of the story.

What excites you most about your current WIP?

The book I’m currently editing is Blood Instincts, a futuristic paranormal romance/urban fantasy which is also book two of the Blood at First Sight Series. I adore the characters, and designing the Other World. I’m very excited for fans of Second Nature, the first book, to read its sequel!

How did you deal with Rejection Letters if you received any?

Oh, I received quite a few when I was submitting Upon Your Return, my first historical romance, to agents and publishers. Whenever I’d get a rejection, I forced myself to feel more determined. I just sent out another five submissions to other places. Perseverance is a good quality to have in this business. And my persistence paid off. Not too long after that, I received my first book contract!

Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?

Actually, I have. I am in the midst of writing a romantic suspense novel with another writer. It’s titled Certain Death.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

They can find me at my author website, through my blogs at the MLB blog, the I Love Romance Blog, or Writing in the Modern Age. They can follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. I also have an author newsletter, which I send out monthly, so feel free to subscribe!

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share for Saturday?

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Sure! This one is from my new release, Directions of the Heart, a modern romantic drama collection, which just came out on July 25th!

Join me on Saturday as we read an excerpt from “Directions of the Heart” by Marie. ~Tina

AuThursday – Daryl Devore Drops by

Please welcome Romance author Daryl Devore to the Clog Blog.    Daryl, Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I am a retired high school teacher who gets to indulge in what once was a hobby. I have 2 pen names. This one – Daryl Devoré – writes hot romances and the other – Victoria Adams – writes NA romance and sweet adult romances.

How do you make time to write?

I retired! As a teacher and a mom there just wasn’t much time. I snuck moments in when I could, but as I said, it was just a hobby.

What are your current projects?

I have 1 book – Darien’s Desire (Two Hearts One Love series) that will be released in June.

Then I will send the final book of the series in.

I have a Christmas story that is written and will be sent to publisher after the book above goes in.

Let’s see – oh, yeah, I have a medieval fantasy with a dragon that’s been sitting on my hard drive for years nagging at me – I really must finish it.

And lastly, I have a flash fiction, sweet, time travel romance that needs to be rewritten and divided into 2 smaller books.

Then are 10 or more files with book ideas and partial chapters waiting on my hard drive.

I see you write A BILLIONAIRE STORY series. What are your thoughts on writing a book series?

That one was an accident. My first book was A Kept Woman and billionaires weren’t all the rage yet. Then my fifth book – FL.E.S.H. was also a billionaire story. My publisher then got the bright idea that I could do a series. As I have changed publishers, I have no idea if I will continue it or not.

My other series – Two Hearts One Love – was again an accident. I wrote the first book and hit a wall. Two years later, while meditating in yoga class the answer smacked me in the forehead. Make the stuck story into 2 stories. Brilliant. I finished book 1 – What Happens in Bangkok – and when I started book 2 I realized – yikes, there’s a book 3! Book 4 tried to notice but I got everything finished in book 3.

So my thoughts on writing a series – they’re hard. I had to keep back checking to make sure things happened. And I never ever thought I’d write a series and now I have 2.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

The most difficult part – what does life really feel like for the other sex. My name is Daryl, so I’m guessing most people think I’m male – but I’m female. Daryl, when it rhymes with Karl, is the feminine version. It’s an old Celtic name. But I digress. In a sex scene, I have to imagine what a male experiences when doing something, like kissing. I’ve had 2 male editors and neither has complained, so I guess I’m doing ok.

How did you deal with Rejection Letters if you received any?

IF?!?!?! At first, it hurt and then I progressed to where it’s that publisher’s loss.

I have had some insulting rejections. The person may not have meant it to be that way – but telling me my book was only good enough for an ebook was not what could be considered a compliment.

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

I have several mantras. I adore yoga and many come from there, but I’ve included one of my life mantras and one of my writing ones.

Life 2writing 2

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Join a critique group. Either online or a local group. Make sure there are experienced authors in the group. Also, make sure they critique your genre. If you write sci-fi don’t join a romance group. Unless romance is a main part of the story. There are different ways the stories are handled between the different genres.

Biggest advice- if you join a group and it doesn’t feel right to you – get out. I’ve been through probably 10 critique groups. And the one I am in now, I’ve been a member for 6 yrs.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Blog – https://daryldevore.blogspot.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Daryl-Devore-Erotic-Romance-Writer-280168402052520/

Twitter – http://twitter.com/daryldevore

Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/107866370365154406917

GoodReads Author Page – http://www.goodreads.com/DarylDevore

Amazon Author Page – http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004TJ1354

LinkedIn – ca.linkedin.com/pub/daryl-devore/58/b42/792/

Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=Daryl%20Devore

Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Daryl’s book, “What happens in Bangkok”. ~Tina

AuThursday – Susan V. Vaughn

suePlease welcome my fellow Liquid Silver author,   Susan V. Vaughn to the Clog Blog.  Susan, tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Hi, everyone! My name is Susan V. Vaughn. I am a contemporary romance author with eight published novels and one more due to release this summer. I live in Michigan, right off the shores of Lake Huron, with my husband and three amazing children. I worked as a hairdresser for over ten years, and am currently finishing my early childhood education degree. When I’m not caring for my family, working, or finishing school, I am writing, reading, and embarrassing my children.

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

I do not set a word count or page goal each day. Writing is a treat for me. It’s a creative release. If I have a story I want to write, I let the process take over. I don’t force it. I let my characters tell me where they want to go. While I write, I try not to allow outside forces to manipulate my work. I put my all into that story, and only surface for air when I’m finished.

How did you deal with Rejection Letters if you received any?

I don’t take myself too seriously. I love to write, as do so many people. But that is not who I am. I want to be remembered in life as someone who cared about others. Someone who gave back to this world in a good way. I have people in my life that love and support me, and that is all that matters. When I receive rejection letters, I take it in stride. It is part of life. There are ups and downs. There will always be people out there who are better than you. They only thing you can do is move forward, learn from your setbacks, and improve.

I see you write for two different publishers. How do you juggle the demand for your stories with two different houses?

I work for two amazing publishers. I have learned a lot from both of them. My first two years as a romance author were ridiculous. I sort of dove into the industry all the way, publishing several stories at once. I was working with different editors at the same time for different stories. I barely slept. It was a lot of pressure, but I learned a lot from it. I have scaled back since then. I take time when I write, edit, and publish. I make sure I don’t do too much at once. And I keep a good calendar!

How did you come up with the idea for your BAY SHORE series?

I got really sick with the flu a few years ago, and while I was stuck in bed watching TV, the show Intervention came on. The episode I watched was about three siblings, one girl and two boys, whose mother was struggling with addiction. I have two sons and a daughter, so it was easy for me to put myself in their shoes. I fell in love with this family and felt for their plight. After I recovered from the flu, I realized I was still thinking about that family. I was wondering what would happen to them. That curiosity triggered my creative process. I decided to write each of those siblings their own love story. I wanted to give all three of them a happy ending.

What excites you most about your current WIP?

I have four romance novels I have been working on this year. I am excited about them all. My writing has really transformed over the years. When I first started writing romance I came at it with a lot of humor. I still use humor, because laughter is part of falling in love, but my stories are more focused now. I want my readers to take a journey with my characters and watch them grow.

How do you relax?

My entire household is obsessed with watching professional wrestling. The WWE is on in my house constantly. This is how my three kids, my husband, and I relax. We watch wrestling, yell at the TV, and on commercial breaks we wrestle each other. We have gone through two couches already this year!

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Website www.susanvvaughn.com

Twitter (URL – not @) https://twitter.com/susanvaughn1124

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Susan-V-Vaughn-123758787958942/?ref=bookmarks

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14660814.Susan_V_Vaughn

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Susan-V.-Vaughn/e/B016H54WWI

Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Susan’s story, BEYOND FATE! ~Tina

AuThursday- Trevann Rogers

I see your write in the Urban Fantasy Genre, what draws you to this genre?

As far back as I can remember, I ‘ve been fascinated with the supernatural. It began with the I heard from family members when I was too young to know what they were. From there it was easy to move to tales of Dracula, the Wolfman, and other legends. Urban Fantasy is a nice combination of the two, taking the familiar creatures from distant past and far off places, and dropping them into our own time and culture. There is always the possibility of a new “what if” that brings another fantasy creature or culture into our path.

Which actors would you like to see playing the lead characters from your most recent book, HOUSE OF THE RISING SON?

Well, I love to see Jason Momoa playing any role but I think he would be perfect for Alexander. Cheyenne is tougher. Tom Cruise if he were younger ( is anyone sexier than Stacee Jaxx? Elliot Knight when he had longer hair? Or the late great Prince.

Tell us about the cover for HOUSE OF THE RISING SON, and how it/they came about?

I was lucky enough that my editor asked what style cover I was attracted to, as well as how I pictured my leads. I was allowed to choose the models and poses for the cover.

If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it?

HOUSE OF THE RISING SON IS the first book in the series. Cheyenne just wants to play music but as the son of the ruler of the Incubi, he cannot escape his heritage. He and his children have a role to play in the survival of his race and circumstances keep drawing him into the family drama.

His role as single father raised questions. After Midnight, the prequel to HORS, answers some of those.

Where do your ideas come from?

I find inspiration in many places but most often in music. Either the melody or lyrics will resonate with me and ideas for scenes start to flow.

Did you receive any rejection letters, and how did you deal with that?

I did receive a few rejection letters but most were along the line of “paranormal isn’t selling” or” I just don’t know where this would fit.” Thankfully I never received any of those soul-crushing rejections you hear about.

Can you tell us your story of “getting the call”?

It was actually an email. Basically, it said, “I would like to offer you a contract.” I said yes. The funny thing was that within a week I got two more emails with basically the same message. That is a great feeling.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

My advice to anyone who wants to write is to not rush yourself. Learn everything you can about the craft of writing, learn everything you can about the business of writing, and decide what kind of career you want. Not everyone has the same career goals. Writing is not a “one size fits all” lifestyle.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Find me at:

www.trevannrogers.com

www.facebook.com/trevannr

www.pinterest.com/trevannr

Twitter: @TrevannRogers

AuThursday – Kathryn Lively

katlivelyTell us a little about yourself and your background?

I have worked in publishing for about a decade now, doing various things. I have written everything from books to greeting card verse, and I have worked as an editor and a publisher. Presently I write fiction – mystery and romance, soon to branch into more genres – and I work in romance ebook marketing.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

For me, it’s settling down and getting into a place – physically and mentally – to do it. When you have so many hands on your time, you tend to drift in other directions. I find I can’t say no when people want help, and I have to learn to be selfish.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

Once I get into a story, into the zone, I just do it. The dialogue and actions come to me, and the characters come alive. All it takes is a moment to get into the book.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

It will vary. I’ve completed first drafts in 3-4 months; others have taken longer. My first book probably took over a year to complete.

Do you ever get writer’s Block?

I suppose I do, but I prefer to call it Writer’s Fatigue. There are days where I don’t write simply because I don’t have the mental energy. It happens usually after I’ve finished a big project. I have to take some time off to recharge.

Did you receive any rejection letters, and if so how did you handle them?

Oh, yes. I could paper a house with them. In the beginning, it used to upset me, but now it’s part of the circle of a writer’s life. I find not all the rejections are based on the quality of writing; there are different factors at play.

Can you tell us your story of getting the call?

It’s kind of a bittersweet story – this was in the late 90s. I had submitted an inspirational novel to a new publisher looking for work. I actually received a phone call with the offer to publish. The publisher was very nice and enthusiastic. I recall I was happy because earlier I had an “almost” but ultimately the first publisher couldn’t get the funding.

After my book came out, however, I soon learn the publisher I went with lacked experience and reneged on a number of points. After 9/11 they decided to shut down altogether and I never got my final royalty check.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Write, revise, write. Think of publishing as a marathon, not a sprint. Your time will come.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Subscribe to Kathryn Lively’s mailing list for news on eBook sales and new releases from Kat and other romance authors. Copy and paste to join:  http://eepurl.com/bq-RML

Visit Kat Online!

Website: www.KathrynLively.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/kathrynlively

Twitter: www.twitter.com/MsKathrynLively

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/KathrynLively

Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Kathryn’s latest release, “Finish What you Started” ~Tina

AuThursday – Kara O’Neal

Kara (1 of 1)Please welcome my fellow Resplendence writer,  Kara O’Neal, to the Clog Blog.  Kara,  How long have you been writing?

I wrote my first novel when I was pregnant with my oldest child, so I’ve been writing almost sixteen years.

Q:  Do you have a specific writing style?

I’m not really sure. I write where the characters take me. Sometimes I’m more descriptive than usual or sometimes I find I’m writing wittier conversations. I never know what’s gonna end up on the page.

Q : Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?

So far I haven’t faced that terrible situation. I’m sure I will, but right now I’m lucky to have created a town that has a variety of characters. These people keep leading me down roads that allow my imagination to run free. It’s been a lot of fun!

Q: How did you deal with rejection letters, if you received any?

I received several rejections. The first was hard, and the next dozen or so were even harder. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong, and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it. I’m sad to say I did stop sending my manuscript to people. I didn’t quit writing, but I did quit trying to get published. It was hard to keep submitting when I felt like I was sending out poor material. I finally started entering contests and the suggestions, comments, etc. I received helped a lot. I also found a critique group, which was the scariest thing I’d ever done, but it paid off. I became a better writer because of these things, and it only took one year for me to find a publisher who liked my work.

Q:  Would you tell us your story of getting “the call?”

Oh, what a day that was! When I read the email from Resplendence Publishing indicating they wanted me, me, to write for them, I promise I sat in silence for probably thirty seconds and blinked at the screen. Then I rushed to my husband and made him come read it. I was so afraid I was misinterpreting the communication. When it finally sank in, I called my siblings first. They are my inspirations and my biggest fans. Then I called my parents, and made my dad promise he wouldn’t ever read any of my books. They are romance, after all! (He has completely ignored my command and read every single one of my books.)

Q:  How did you come up with the idea for the PIKES RUN series?

TRR The Sheriff's Gift

TRR CowboysCharmsTRR MillerBridesSaving Sarah TRR

 

 

 

 

I wanted to write stories about a family. One that lived, laughed and loved as mine does. Several of my characters are based off of people I know, and they are perfect models for the Lonnigan and Davis families. Many of my favorite scenes are when they’re sharing a Sunday meal and teasing each other.

Q: To date which of your books was the hardest to write and why?TRR Welcome Home

Without a doubt the hardest to write was my first, Welcome Home, simply because it was my first. I was trying to figure out how to write along with finding my voice. I can tell you it was difficult, but I kept writing. And rewriting. And rewriting some more.

Q:  What are your current projects?

I’m about to send book seven, Love’s Redemption, to my editor and book eight, The Editor’s Kisses, is going through the critique process. I’ll start book nine, The Ranger’s Vow, this week.

Q:  Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Many places!

My website: www.karaoneal.com.

My facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KaraONeal84/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/karaoneal7/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kara-ONeal/e/B00FL19TH8/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1465007993&sr=8-1

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/kara+o’neal?_requestid=845025

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KaraONealAuthor.

Join me on Saturday when we read a sexy teaser from Kara’s book Love’s Promise. ~Tina