IT'S TIME TO CHANGE HER SEXUAL KARMA
Caroline Frost had it all-until her boyfriend banged the superskank intern, and poof! Caroline's happy little bubble disappeared. Now it's been six weeks of weeping, a mountain of ice cream, and a permanent buttprint on the couch. Enough is enough. She and her ladybits need an intervention-now.
Enter Operation: One Night Stand: Find a man who is hotness personified and have some much-needed sexy time. The only problem is that Caroline is torn between a flirtatious, well-built guy and the ridiculously hot bartender serving her shots. This was supposed to be all fun and no games, but like the perfect scotch on the rocks, no good fling finishes without a twist . . .
I think I always knew. Or at least always knew I wanted to do something with words. I was a voracious reader, a furious writer, an English major, and English teacher, and now, a novelist. It’s just been and organic ride to where I am now.
2. How long does it take you to write a book?
Is too long a timeframe? Anywhere form a few months to a year. I wish I wrote faster but it’s not me.
3. What do you think makes a great story?
I tend to lean toward strong female characters. But I think anything that draws me in, pulls me forward, and helps me disappear is a great book. Good characters, believable dialogue, and excellent setting description.
4. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
Honestly, I used to be more organized and strict. I need to get back to that. I recently had a talk with my agent and we decided I need to not answer the phone. When the kids go back to school, I think I’ll take that advice. Hoping to have a few days of uninterrupted 6 hour stretches per week.
5. How do you balance family and writing?
6. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
I research or ask questions to people who may know what I need. Ideas? Songs, personal events, life.
7. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book/s?
That I hate writing the ending. And that I am not as organized as I thought I was.
8. How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
I’ve written 5 novels and a novella. Three Days of Rain is my favorite. It just was so exhausting to write – I feel like I worked for that one.
9. Are your characters based on anyone you know?
My husband would say yes but, to be honest, they are based on everyone I’ve ever met. Some more than others.
10. Do you have a favourite place you love to write?
11. How hard is it to get published?
Getting published, as with anything, isn’t for the faint of heart nor is it for anyone who thinks they can half ass their work. The actual publishing was easy for me. I found a publisher quickly for my work. The agent was more difficult to procure and getting a Big 5 to notice took 4 years. Getting noticed is the most difficult part – promoting, networking, the reviews…
12. What do your family and friends think about your books?
I’ve gotten great feedback from those who have read my books. My inner circle is super supportive and such great cheerleaders (and are quick to pop my balloon if it gets too big). A few misogynistic people I know feel it’s okay to judge who I am or what I do based on a couple of book covers. But that’s okay. I know who I am and what I do. They can go away.
13. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
14. Do you have any suggestions to help aspiring writers better themselves and their craft? If so, what are they?
Honestly – the advice I give everyone was given to me by Cyn Balog when I first started writing. She just told me to write and when I finally gave her my first finished manuscript she said (and I am paraphrasing), “Congrats. You just went from being an ‘I want to’ to an ‘I did’.” Just do it. Become and ‘I did’. Work your ass off and write. Even a sentence a day is a sentence more than a day without words.
15. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be a fighter pilot like Maverick. Yes. The Tom Cruise Maverick from Top Gun.
16. What are your favourite books and which authors inspire you?
I am inspired by anyone who is brave enough to write a book. My all time favorite is Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.
17. For an aspiring writer what do you feel are certain do's and don’ts for getting their material published?
Don’t try to chase the market. Don’t try to write like anyone else. Don’t try to fake it. Don’t think your first draft is your final. Do your homework. Do read. Do take chances. Do challenge yourself. Do make friends with bloggers, readers, and other authors.
18. What are you working on now?
I am currently flipping between the third Operation book and an Untitled thriller.
I hadn’t researched market trends, I had no idea about query letters or the evil synopsis, and I was green on the idea of agents and editors and all that is publishing, really. I just wanted to write something I enjoyed. I didn’t plot, outline, or character build, I just wrote. And then an author friend mentioned that I should take my writing to a conference.
So with the confidence that my novel would surely be welcomed by all who read it, I signed up for as many seminars and critiques as I could. I knew someone would love it. In those two days, I found out I had a lot to learn.
Funny, but as a former English teacher, you’d think I’d have figured out the importance of editing and revision and revising again. You’d think I’d have known that the first draft is just that, a draft. And when the critiques started coming in, I thought I was done for. Not that the premise wasn’t good (I was told it was), not that the characters weren’t believable (I was told they were), but I used too much passive voice, I tense shifted and there were some holes in the plotline.
A few agents really liked it, but the market trend couldn’t support it. Some were not fond of the way I told the story. I queried and queried my way to 57 flat out rejections and a number of partial and full requests that didn’t pan out. But along the way I got some great criticism and pointers and I made the story better. Then, on a whim, I trolled the SavvyAuthors website and signed up for a three line pitch to editor Lauri Wellington and I did a happy dance when she requested my full manuscript.
A month later, she responded that she loved the story and the concept but it moved too slowly but I could resubmit if I revised. I informed her I sent her a revision that was based on the opinions of agents, authors and peers but I had the original (cleaned up, of course) and I was sending it in to see if it was more of what she was looking for. And guess what? It was! One caveat, I had to revise the manuscript into past tense. Easy peasy, right? Wrong.
Revising into past tense from present is line editing your entire novel. And it kinda stinks. By the end, I thought my eyes were gonna start bleeding and pop out onto my keyboard. But you know what? That little “exercise” tightened up what was loose, filled in any plot holes that might’ve still been there and forced me to realize I could be a better writer.
The road to publication can be long. It can be a hop, skip and a jump from your first query. Nothing in publication is set in stone. The market is always changing. And the biggest thing I learned is that it’s all subjective. Agents A-Y may pass but all you need is Agent or Editor Z to believe in you as much as you believe in yourself. And I believe in my first novel. And I am happy that Black Opal Books does too. I hope you do, as well.
Link to giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/240fc93737/?