Or the Making of an Author.
Five years ago I wrote my fist book in two months, typing eight hours a day. I read it carefully and pleased with my masterpiece entered the first three chapters in the FTHRW Golden Gateway contest, my first contest. At the time I never heard of critique partners, RWA chapters and didn’t even know what POV meant.
Of course, I didn’t final. One judge ripped my entry apart, calling my heroine a slut. I remembered I cried when I read these words. But the three other judges sent me positive suggestions that made my day. They said my writing was promising. I believed them because I wanted so much to believe my writing didn’t suck. I was so thrilled I wrote a delirious thank you note to the coordinator and naively asked her if she would like to be my critique partner. Kathleen Long (now HQ Intrigue author of the successful series The Body Hunters and about ten other books) suggested I join the chapter. Through FTHRW and a daily exchanges of e-mails I met wonderful women who, like me, were struggling with POV, GMC, showing vs telling, and a whole new vocabulary guaranteed to make them better writers and eventually published authors.
I carefully read the articles in the award-winning FTHRW newsletter, joined several groups and participated in every loop, BIAW, Workshops, mentorship and the wonderful FTH Critiquers’ loop. I finally chose serious Critique Partners (CPs) who helped me regularly. Later on, a couple of contest divas agreed to mentor me, making a huge difference in my writing. Another published author twisted my synopsis, teaching me the “how to” of playing with words to create a grabbing hook. Soon we formed smaller loops under the umbrella of FTHRW. We helped, supported and cheered each other.
In the FTH Critiquers loop, I critiqued an average of ten submissions per week. Critiquing did wonders to my writing. I was able to really see in others’ writing what was good and what didn’t sound right. The critique loop gave me great CPs who became good friends. Together with two of my CPs and best friends, we ran the Critique loop as wizards. As we improved, the Critique Loop became the place where we cheered each other’s finaling or winning in contests. Improving entailed helping others. For a year, I volunteered as Mentorship chair.
Following in the footsteps of brilliant authors, I entered contests, finaled in many and won several. My self-confidence grew and I trusted my writing as I heard judges and editors telling me they like my voice. I pitched to editors, submitted partial and full manuscripts, received rejections (neatly filed in two folders) and edited, and edited and edited…. When editors requested revisions, I revised and revised and revised…
Until one fine morning, the dream became reality.
The Wild Rose Press will soon released my two medical romances, BABIES IN THE BARGAIN on July 03, 2009 and PRESCRIPTION FOR TRUST on December 04, 2009.
But the job of an author starts after publication.
Promotion is one word that encompasses so many meanings: aka creating a website and a blog, blogging, posting comments on blogs, advertising, chatting, sending newsletters, joining mySpace, Facebook, Goodreads, (I stopped at these), creating video trailers, and finally participating in book signing.
Writers: what do you do to promote your book?
Readers: what entices you to buy a book?