Mike Chen’s Successful Query Letter

Mike Chen’s Successful Query Letter

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Mike I’m thrilled to have you on my blog today, and thank you so much for sharing your querying experience with us. I had so much fun reading about your querying experience, and I know my readers and other authors out there will enjoy it too!

Hello! And thank you for having me! I love trying to help out fellow writers with the query process. I feel like I’m pretty good at breaking down the query letter, so happy to share my knowledge.

 

That’s awesome – after all, I think the more we help each other out, the better! So let’s begin with your query letter itself and then we’ll get into the questions:

 

  • How long did you spend writing your query letter?

By the time, I queried HERE AND NOW AND THEN, it was the third book I’d queried. My second one got pretty close with a really good request rate, and it was that manuscript where I felt like I learned the formula during that time. So the query for HNT, I probably drafted a few different versions and refined it over the course of a few weeks.

 

  • Did you revise your query letter at all during the querying process?

I actually didn’t! I just looked back at the first query I sent and it’s the same one that landed me offers despite being sent four months earlier.

 

  • How long did it take you from when you started querying to when you got your first partial or full manuscript (ms) request?

I just checked and it was two weeks.

 

  • How many partial and full ms requests did you receive?

18 requests over 90 queries.

 

  • Did you receive any rejections, and if so how did you cope?

Oh, I did for sure! The query to my now-agent was actually a result of getting a full rejection from one of my top tier agents, and I was so mad that I went on a revenge-querying spree. Up until then, I sent things out fairly methodically in small batches but I was in a “screw it!” mindset and blasted a bunch out.

 

  • Did you use any particular software, or system for keeping track of the queries you sent out?

Querytracker.net is the best resource for that. I used that with my own spreadsheet.

 

  • How many query letters did you send out at a time?

I tried to send batches of 5-10, and those batches would have a mix of first, second, and third tier agents.

 

  • How did you choose who you sent your query letter to?

I’m very much a believer in the idea that you don’t want to blow through your top tier first. Just in case your query isn’t working, or you get revision notes that make your manuscript better, it’s a good idea to mix it up. Also, different agents read/request at different speeds regardless of how long they’ve been in the business. When I started out, I did use Querytracker to see who typically responded the fastest and I identified those in my first batch just to get a sense of if the query was working.

 

  • Did you personalize each one?

I tried to personalize the greeting/opening paragraph especially if there was something personal that made sense. For example, my agent loves Nick Hornby and has a corgi, and I love Nick Hornby and had a corgi at the time who has since passed. But I mentioned that in my query.

 

  • Can you tell us a bit about when you received ‘the call’?

It wasn’t quite as dramatic as others have had. The first offer I got was from a smaller agent and first he wanted to talk. But we were having trouble finding time for a call so he said on email that we really should talk because he wanted to offer representation. That kicked off the whole thing. It wasn’t quite as immediate or explosive as some of my other friends!

I did wind up getting multiple offers (more on that below) and when I did actually get to talk to Eric, he said (and I totally remember these exact words) “I want to represent your book. Well, all of your books forever, actually.” He was the third of four offering agents that I talked to and I felt 99% certain that he was the one after that call, though I did my due diligence and took the last call.

 

  • Did you have multiple offers for either representation or publication, and if so, how did you decide who you were going to accept?

As mentioned above, I had four offers of rep. For friends who’ve wound up juggling multiple offers, I advise them to look for three things. First, manuscript feedback: who did you agree with the most? Second, personality: publishing is an intensely personal career, so who do you feel you mesh with the most? Third, communication style: this is an offshoot of personality, but different agents communicate in different ways. Some are very businesslike and others are extremely personal (mine is the latter). Talk to them, talk to their clients, and see what meshes with how you like to work.

 

  • What questions did you ask when speaking with the agent/acquiring editor that you were considering?

It was a mix of questions about my work and how they worked. A short list:

What did you like about the work?

What kind of submission list do you see for this?

What areas do you think it could change or improve?

Are you hands on with editorial or do you prefer the writer handle that on their own?

Can I speak with some of your existing clients?

What is your typical process in working with a new author?

 

  • What questions do you wish you’d ask, but didn’t?

I did not ask about communication style,  but I’m lucky that it didn’t end up being an issue. I’ve heard horror stories of completely opposite expectations in the relationship and no one is happy with that, so it’s definitely a priority question.

 

  • Any advice and top tips for others about the querying process and writing the query letter itself?

My most basic advice for querying is to focus on voice, pace, and stakes. I go into it a bit more on my blog post breaking down my own query, but those are the key elements. It’s okay to eschew world building and proper nouns to keep it lean and make sure the pace really goes. Every sentence has to build on the previous one to increase stakes successively. And the opening line should have some ironic hook, which should be referenced in the last line for a feeling of completing the circle.

 

  • Anything else you want to add?

I’m very active on Twitter and happy to answer any questions regarding the query process or writing queries on there. Don’t be shy!

 

Thanks so much Mike for sharing your Successful Query Letter with us! It was an absolute pleasure to have you on my blog, and the advice you’ve given will be so helpful to other authors out there and will certainly inspire those about to hunker down in the querying trenches, lol!

And for those of you who want to have a read of Mike’s absolutely amazing debut ‘Here and Now and Then’, it’s scheduled for release on Jan 29th, 2019. Click on the pic below for more info.

HERE AND NOW AND THEN:

Kin Stewart is an everyday family man: working in IT, trying to keep the spark in his marriage, struggling to connect with his teenage daughter, Miranda. But his current life is a far cry from his previous career…as a time-traveling secret agent from 2142.

Stranded in suburban San Francisco since the 1990s after a botched mission, Kin has kept his past hidden from everyone around him, despite the increasing blackouts and memory loss affecting his time-traveler’s brain. Until one afternoon, his “rescue” team arrives—eighteen years too late.

Their mission: return Kin to 2142, where he’s only been gone weeks, not years, and where another family is waiting for him. A family he can’t remember.

Torn between two lives, Kin is desperate for a way to stay connected to both. But when his best efforts threaten to destroy the agency and even history itself, his daughter’s very existence is at risk. It’ll take one final trip across time to save Miranda—even if it means breaking all the rules of time travel in the process.

A uniquely emotional genre-bending debut, Here and Now and Then captures the perfect balance of heart, playfulness, and imagination, offering an intimate glimpse into the crevices of a father’s heart and its capacity to stretch across both space and time to protect the people that mean the most.

To order your copy of HERE AND NOW AND THEN, click on the book picture, or the links below:

https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780778369042

https://www.amazon.com/Here-Now-Then-Mike-Chen-ebook/dp/B07B4Z433Y/

 

About Mike:

Mike Chen is a lifelong writer, from crafting fan fiction as a child to somehow getting paid for words as an adult. He has contributed to major geek culture websites (The Mary Sue, The Portalist), covered the NHL for mainstream media outlets, and ghostwritten corporate articles appearing in Forbes, Buzzfeed, Enterpreneur, and more. A member of SFWA and the Codex Writers group, Mike calls the San Francisco Bay Area home, where he can often be found playing video games and watching Doctor Who with his wife, daughter, and rescue animals.

 

Mike can be found on the following platforms:

Website address:http://www.mikechenbooks.com
Twitter link:https://twitter.com/mikechenwriter
Goodreads link:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36630924-here-and-now-and-then

Release Day for The Elusive Earl!

Release Day for The Elusive Earl!

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Whoo Hoo! THE ELUSIVE EARL is now available!

If you haven’t already picked up a copy, now is a fantastic time to do so – available at all major online retailers!

ORDER NOW

Amazon:                 https://goo.gl/e2o9nj

Amazon Can:       https://goo.gl/W5ZVWF

Amazon UK:         https://goo.gl/NkK5ZN

Amazon Aus:        https://goo.gl/eRzfja

iTunes:                   https://goo.gl/isBrPk

B&N:                        https://goo.gl/me4c7c

Kobo:                       https://goo.gl/FFdUxf

The Devilish Duke on sale for a limited time!

The Devilish Duke on sale for a limited time!

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Whoo Hoo! THE DEVILISH DUKE is on sale for 99¢ for a very limited time, across all major platforms!

If you haven’t already picked up a copy, now is a fantastic time to do so

Amazon: https://goo.gl/Q8xB6P
iTunes: https://goo.gl/xyyzTH
B&N: https://goo.gl/fR3Y5B
Kobo: https://goo.gl/HRRrPu

SaveSaveSaveSave

The Elusive Earl $25 Amazon Giveaway

The Elusive Earl $25 Amazon Giveaway

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$25 Amazon Gift-Card Giveaway!

WHOO HOO!! IT’S GIVEAWAY TIME!!

To celebrate the cover reveal and the upcoming release of THE ELUSIVE EARL a $25 AMAZON gift card is up for grabs on my Facebook Author page: https://facebook.com/MaddisonMichaelsAuthor
A big thanks to my publisher Entangled Publishing, LLC for offering this awesome prize to the lucky winner!!

THE ELUSIVE EARL blurb:

Brianna Penderley has a knack for getting into precarious situations, especially when it comes to her love for archaeology. In the heart of Naples, her terrible Italian has her accidentally becoming engaged to two men at the same time. Of course, Daniel Wolcott—the Earl of Thornton and the only man ever able to vex her—shows up to rescue her.

Daniel has spent the majority of his life exercising rigid control over his emotions, determined never to become the rake his father was. But when he goes to aid his mentor’s danger-prone niece once again, he finds himself struggling to control his attraction to a woman who is his complete opposite.

When their situation goes from bad to worse, Daniel and Brianna find themselves swept up into a perilous adventure, and they must work together to set things right. Now, if they can just avoid killing each other in the process.

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY:
Amazon: https://goo.gl/e2o9nj
Amazon Can: https://goo.gl/W5ZVWF
Amazon UK: https://goo.gl/NkK5ZN
Amazon Aus: https://goo.gl/eRzfja
iTunes: https://goo.gl/isBrPk
B&N: https://goo.gl/me4c7c
Kobo: https://goo.gl/FFdUxf

To be in the running to win the $25 Amazon gift-card, all you have to do is comment on the giveaway post on my Facebook Author page (link at the top of this post and shares will be super appreciated)! The contest will close on Friday 10th Aug at 5pm US ETD, and the winner will be drawn randomly later that night, and the name posted on my Facebook Author page.

Goodluck!

The Elusive Earl – New Title & Cover Reveal

The Elusive Earl – New Title & Cover Reveal

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Whoo Hoo! I can finally reveal the cover for book 2 in my Saints & Scoundrels series, and it’s had a name change too!

Without further ado, here is the cover reveal for THE ELUSIVE EARL, scheduled for release on the 27th August, but available for PRE-ORDER NOW!

Isn’t the cover great! It’s completely in theme with The Devilish Duke and works so well with it!

 

So what is The Elusive Earl about exactly? Well, let me tell you…

Romancing the Stone, meets Pride and Prejudice!

Brianna Penderley has a knack for getting into precarious situations. In the heart of Naples, her terrible Italian has her accidentally becoming engaged to two men at the same time. Of course, Daniel Wolcott—the Earl of Thornton and the only man ever able to vex her—shows up to rescue her.

Daniel has spent the majority of his life exercising rigid control over his emotions, determined never to become the rake his father was. But when he goes to aid his mentor’s niece once again, he finds himself struggling to control his attraction to a woman who is his complete opposite.

Then Brianna’s cousin is kidnapped by mercenaries seeking King Aleric’s lost treasure—and they claim Brianna’s family has the key. Daniel knows he can’t leave her side, as much as he might want to. And she’s determined not to lose her heart to such an icy, infuriating man.

PRE-ORDER NOW;

       

 

 

Interview with Annie Seaton

Interview with Annie Seaton

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Annie’s Path to Publication

Today I chat with the wonderful Annie Seaton, multi-published author, who shares with us her path to publication. Her upcoming novel ‘Whitsunday Dawn” is scheduled for release on July 23 2018!

Annie lives in Australia, on the beautiful north coast of New South Wales. She sits in her writing chair and looks out over the tranquil Pacific Ocean. She has fulfilled her lifelong dream of becoming an author, and is producing books at a prolific rate.

She writes contemporary romance and loves telling the stories that always have a happily ever after. She lives with her very own hero of many years and they share their home with “Toby” the naughtiest dog in the universe, and Barney, the rag doll kitten, who hides when the grandchildren come to visit.

Hi Annie, I’m so excited to have you on my blog, and thank you so much for sharing your ‘Path to Publication’ experience with us all. I know so many of my readers will love to hear about how you went from an aspiring author to a published one, and many will gather inspiration from the journey!

Hi Maddison, it’s fabulous to be here. Thanks so much for inviting me!

 

  • How long have you been writing for?

Ever since I walked into my first library when I was a very small child in Brisbane, the desire to write stories has consumed me. There is nothing like the feel and the smell of books and the crackling of the pages when you first open the cover knowing that an author is going to transport you to a world that you can lose yourself in for many hours. The dream was always there but I began writing in March 2011, so seven years exactly.

 

  • How long did it take you from when you started writing, to when you became a published (or soon to be) published author?

I wrote my first book in a couple of weeks in April 2011…a novella Winter of the Passion Flower and was contracted in May a few weeks later. My first contemporary romance was written and contracted in December, the same year.

 

  • Where do you write from, home, office, coffee shop, etc? And do you have any pre-writing or actual writing rituals (such as lighting a candle, listening to music, etc)?

I write at my desk looking at a blank wall in total silence.

 

  • Are you a plotter, a pantser, or somewhere in-between?

I was initially an out and out panster, (or organic writer sounds much nicer) but I have moved closer to halfway over the past couple of years.

 

  • What is your favourite part of the writing process?

I love edits. A good editor will see deeper and polish your structure. And point out those things that you thought you made clear, but are actually still in your head!

 

  • What is the most important part of a novel to you: plot, characters, or setting?

Setting first— the beauty of our natural world has always evoked deep emotion in me: a sunset, a sunrise, a misty dawn, the breaking waves at the beach. I wanted to set stories in those beautiful and exotic settings. Secondly characters— I people-watch and make up stories in my head as I shop for groceries and pickup children… now grandchildren… from school.

 

  • Describe your writing routine (how long do you spending plotting the novel, time spent writing, editing, submitting it):

The vague plotting starts in my head and works it way around for a few weeks. My five single title print books have been accepted on synopsis, and my writing schedule (being indie, digital and traditionally published) is always very busy so I find myself always writing to a tight deadline. I can usually write 110k in six to eight weeks. A shorter contemporary in about four weeks.

 

  • How many books a year do you usually write (or are you aiming to write):

Since March 2011, and my first two contracts I have written thirty books.

This year I am aiming for seven books. Two single titles for Harlequin Mira, four longer contemporaries and a couple of shorter romances for my indie publishing. Ooh, I think that’s eight!

 

  • How did you get your agent, or your publishing contract?

My first twenty books were either accepted or published by digital publishers in the United States, or self published by me; however my dream was always to see my books available for purchase in a bricks and mortar bookstore in Australia. Those first books were a way of honing my craft and flexing my writing muscles. I was very busy with editing deadlines and putting out four to five books a year, but my readership was predominantly in the United States, although the books are available in Australia. My dream was to write Australian stories for Australian readers and an author friend told me that Pan Macmillan were actively seeking new authors.

I had written five thousand words of my first ‘long’ story so I subbed it to the commissioning editor of Pan Macmillan a week or so before I left for a writing workshop in Tuscany in 2014. (Yes, my author life is wonderful!)

I was at Dubai airport waiting to transfer to a flight to Rome, when I received the email saying that the editor loved it and was taking it to an acquisitions meeting the next week.
To cut the wonderful long story short, I was in London meeting with editing clients when I received the email to say that Pan Macmillan were contracting my three book series on the first five thousand words of Book 1, Kakadu Sunset! That was a moment to cherish.

After that three book series was in print I decide that an agent would be a good idea. I signed with The Nash Agency, and they secured a two book deal with Harlequin Mira within the first week!

 

  • How did you cope with rejection during the querying process?

Um. I didn’t ever get one.

 

  • Describe the time when you got ‘the call’ regarding publication:

The first call for my novella came by email on the morning of a writers’ group meeting, so it was very exciting to take that news to lunch. We drank champagne that day!

 

  • What were your biggest learning experiences or surprises throughout the publishing journey?

Some digital publishers can be very difficult to work for. They are often individuals working from their living rooms and calling themself a publisher. Technically they are, but ensure you do your homework. Don’t trust everyone to do the right thing, and read your contacts very carefully.

 

  • Looking back, what do you think you did right that helped you break in?

I established my brand first. ‘Annie Seaton’ (my pen name) was popping up everywhere before my first book was released. I’ve had so many questions about establishing my brand, I have written a short nonfiction book on ‘how to’. You can find it on Amazon.

 

  • Best advice you’ve ever been given, or have heard, about writing?

Be true to yourself and follow your heart. Don’t write to the market.

 

  • Any advice for aspiring writers on writing and submitting?

Persevere and follow your dream. Learn your craft, hone and polish your words and if you can afford it, get professionally edited.

 

  • What advice can you give to other writers on building a platform and gaining a readership base?

I did originally find Face book the best marketing tool, but times are changing. It is hard to predict what works so go wide on social media.

 

  • What’s up next for you, and what are you working on now?

When I talk about it, I panic. 

  • I am currently a third of the way through my next single title, tentatively titled Undara Shadows for release in 2019.
  • I am expecting content edits for Whitsunday Dawn (out in July 2018) in a couple of weeks.
  • I am waiting for content edits any day for His Outback Temptation out in early May 2018
  • I am planning the first book Her Outback Playboy in the Second Chance Bay series (release December 2018)
  • I am also writing two sequels to add to my series, Follow Me for Love Across Time, (August 2108) and Beach Walk (June 2018) release for the Bondi Beach Love series

 

  • How can people connect with you?

Many places… go wide!

They can connect with me through my website: http://www.annieseaton.net/

I can also be found on FB: https://www.facebook.com/AnnieSeatonAuthor/

Or Twitter:  https://twitter.com/annieseaton26    And     Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/seatonannie/

  • Anything else you want to add?

For aspiring authors…Keep your passion for writing alive.

  • Be a risk taker
  • Make your stories character driven and not plot driven
  • Learn about tropes and ensure you are following the formula for contemporary romance if that’s where you ant to be published
  • Even before you are published, establish your author brand. 
  • Don’t give up, believe in yourself and keep submitting. 

 

Thank you so much Annie for sharing your Path to Publication with us! What an awesome journey, with many more adventures to come. Good luck with your release of ‘Whitsunday Dawn’ – can’t wait to have a read 🙂

And for those of you who want to have a read of Annie’s new book ‘Whitsunday Dawn’, it’s scheduled for release on July 23, 2018.

‘Whitsunday Dawn’

When Olivia Sheridan arrives in the Whitsundays as spokesperson for big mining company Sheridan Corp, it should be a straightforward presentation to the town about their proposed project. But when a handsome local fisherman shows her what ecological impact the proposal will have, Olivia is forced to question her father’s motives in the project.

Struggling with newly divided loyalties, Olivia is thrown further into turmoil when she is mistaken for a woman who disappeared more than 60 years before. When it becomes clear that Captain Jay is also keeping secrets, Olivia realises that there is more to these sunshine-soaked islands than she ever expected.

Seeking to uncover the truth, Olivia is drawn into a dangerous game where powerful businessmen will stop at nothing to ensure their plan goes ahead, even if that means eliminating her…

Against the epic Far North Queensland landscape, this is the story of two women, separated by history, drawn to Whitsunday Island where their futures will be changed forever.

 

About Annie:

Annie lives in Australia, on the beautiful north coast of New South Wales. She sits in her writing chair and looks out over the tranquil Pacific Ocean. She has fulfilled her lifelong dream of becoming an author, and is producing books at a prolific rate.

She writes contemporary romance and loves telling the stories that always have a happily ever after. She lives with her very own hero of many years and they share their home with “Toby” the naughtiest dog in the universe, and Barney, the rag doll kitten, who hides when the grandchildren come to visit.

Stay up to date with her latest releases at her website: http://www.annieseaton.net

Author of the Year Ausrom Readers’ Choice 2014

Best Established Author Ausrom Readers’ Choice 2015

Finalist for Author of the Year, Book of the Year, Cover of the Year, Ausrom Readers’ Choice 2016

 Best Established Author, Ausrom Readers’ Choice 2017

Shortlisted for Romantic Book of the Year 2016 (Kakadu Sunset)

 

Annie can be found on the following platforms:

Website address:http://www.annieseaton.net/
Facebook link:https://www.facebook.com/AnnieSeatonAuthor/
Twitter link:https://twitter.com/annieseaton26
Instagram link:https://www.instagram.com/seatonannie/
Goodreads link:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5779458.Annie_Seaton

Interview with Joanne Dannon

Interview with Joanne Dannon

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Joanne’s Path to Publication

Today I chat with the amazing Joanne Dannon,  a fellow Australian Author, who shares with us her Indie path to publication. Her novel ‘Kissing Under The Spotlight’ is book 1 in her Kissing Down Under series (previously titled, The Alex Jackson series, and the books were, Kissing under the Spotlight, Wanting Mr Right, Together At Last, Forever Mine. The book titles have changed but the book content hasn’t). Happy reading!

Multi published, award-winning Australian author, Joanne Dannon, writes to give her readers the experience she loves to savor–indulging in a sigh-worthy-happily-ever-after, being swept away from the everyday by diving into a delicious romance novel.

Joanne is a happily married mother of two heroes-in-training who loves spending time with friends and family. She can be found on Facebook and her website www.joannedannon.com chatting about reading, writing, cooking, vintage-inspired dresses and all things romantic.

 

I’m super excited to have you on my blog, and thank you so much for sharing your ‘Path to Publication’ experience with us all. I know so many of my readers will love to hear about how you went from an aspiring author to a published one, and many will gather inspiration from the journey! So let’s get started:

  • How long have you been writing for?

12 years

 

  • How long did it take you from when you started writing, to when you became a published (or soon to be) published author?

9 years

 

  • Where do you write from, home, office, coffee shop, etc? And do you have any pre-writing or actual writing rituals (such as lighting a candle, listening to music, etc)?

I write from home but once a week, go to a coffee shop to write.

 

  • Are you a plotter, a pantser, or somewhere in-between?

Plotter

 

  • What is your favourite part of the writing process?

I like all of it – the plotting, the writing, even the editing 🙂

 

  • What is the most important part of a novel to you: plot, characters, or setting?

The characters. I write contemporary romance that focuses on the journey of the hero and heroine coming together. It’s the characters that drive the story, not the plot or setting (for what I write).

 

  • Describe your writing routine (how long do you spending plotting the novel, time spent writing, editing, submitting it): 

I spent up to two weeks creating my characters and working out the GMC (Goal Motivation and Conflict). Once finalised, I start writing and that will take 2-6 weeks, depending on the length of the book. I write novellas that are 25K words and novels that are 50K words.

 

  • How many books a year do you usually write (or are you aiming to write):

I write 4-6 books a year, and also run boxed sets, with author friends.

 

  • How did you cope with rejection during the querying process?

Relied on the friendship and support of my author friends.

 

  • Looking back, what do you think you did right that helped you break in?

Worked hard, didn’t compare my journey to others, and wrote good books.

 

  • Is there anything you wish you could do differently?

I wish I’d learnt more about self-publishing before I hit the “upload” button.

 

  • Best advice you’ve ever been given, or have heard, about writing?

The difference between a published and an unpublished author is that one didn’t give up.

 

  • Any advice for aspiring writers on writing and submitting?
  1. Know that it’s not easy to write a book.
  2. Surround yourself with people who support you and want you to achieve (family and friends).
  3. Find your tribe! Spend time with like-minded artists like yourself.
  4. Keep writing.
  5. Remind yourself that overnight sensations take years of hard work to accomplish.
  6. Write what you love. Don’t write to market.
  7. Don’t let rejections stop you from writing.
  8. Learn your craft. Read “how-to” books, go to workshops and conferences.
  9. Find a writing partner or group who supports you, and wants you to do well.
  10. Read! As Stephen King says, “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.”
  11. Every author’s road to publication is different. Don’t compare yourself with others.
  12. Keep writing (purposely added a second time).

 

  • What advice can you give to other writers on building a platform and gaining a readership base?

It’s not easy to build a platform, create a brand and do marketing. Whether you’re traditionally published, self-published or hybrid, you need to be an advocate for your own brand. Don’t expect anyone else to do it for you. And, don’t wait till you’re published. Start now. It’s part of the writing process. Be active on social media, read and review books and share in others authors’ successes.

 

  • What’s up next for you, and what are you working on now?

In August 2018, I’m launching “Kiss Me: An Asian hero boxed set” featuring my sweet romance, “An Unexpected Forever”. In November 2018, I’m launching “Romancing the Holidays” featuring my holiday romance, “Christmas Kisses, in London”. And additionally in November 2018 I’m launching a holiday set, “New York Romance”, with my talented author friend Charmaine Ross. I also have a new steamy series planned for 2019, revolving around a sexy rocker and his entourage.

 

  • How can people connect with you?

All the links on connecting with me are on my website, joannedannon.com

 

Thank you so much Joanne for sharing your Path to Publication with us! What an awesome journey, with many more adventures to come. I’ve learnt so much from reading about your experience in the Indie publishing world!

And for those of you who want to read Joanne’s wonderful book ‘Kissing Under the Spotlight’ just click on the pic below for more info.

 

‘Kissing Under the Spotlight’

Can a superstar singer croon his way into the heart of an ordinary girl?

Violet McKenzie is in serious trouble. Her BFF often joked that if the police found her mobile phone they’d either think she was married to Alex Jackson or she was his personal stalker. So when said superstar crooner offers her a contract to be his personal physical therapist she struggles not to kiss him right there and then.

But Violet is too sensible for that. She knows an international superstar like Alex, with more fans than Michael Bublé and Ed Sheeran combined, isn’t going to fall for a track-pants-wearing wallflower like her.

Right?

KISSING UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT is the first story in Joanne Dannon’s Kissing Down Under series. If you love romances with sigh-worthy endings, you’ll love this series with real men and women who find love when they least expect it.

 

Joanne can be found on the following platforms:

Website address:www.joannedannon.com
Facebook link:https://www.facebook.com/joannedannonwrites/
Instagram link:https://www.instagram.com/joannedannon_writes/
Pinterest link:https://www.pinterest.com.au/joannedannon/
Goodreads link:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14156702.Joanne_Dannon

 

Interview with Faye Hall

Interview with Faye Hall

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Faye’s Path to Publication

Today I chat with fellow Australian Author, Faye Hall, who shares with us her path to publication. Her novel ‘Indulgence & Temperance‘ was release by Beachwalk Press in January 2018.

Come on a journey with Faye through 19th century North Queensland, Australia and explore the passions and hardships of unique characters.
There is corruption, deceit and murder, as well as cattle rustlers, slave traders and hell fire clubs. Explore townships of Jarvisfield and Inkerman, as well as Ravenswood and Bowen. One book even incorporates her great grandmothers cattle station ‘Inkerman Downs Station’.

As well as an author, Faye is also the most spoilt wife in the world, and a very contented mother.
Come and discover all the passion and drama of North Queensland history with her @ https://www.faye-hall.com

 

  • How long have you been writing for?

I’ve been writing since I was a child, but decided to try and make a career out of it at about 17.

 

  • How long did it take you from when you started writing, to when you became a published (or soon to be) published author?

My very first complete novel was actually picked up straight away by a company called Venus Press, but unfortunately they had financial issues and my rights were returned to me.  After that it was a struggle for quite some years of many rejection letters until I was taken up by another publisher in 2010.  From then it’s been a constant push but I’ve managed to get a book out a year through several publishers.

 

  • Where do you write from, home, office, coffee shop, etc? And do you have any pre-writing or actual writing rituals (such as lighting a candle, listening to music, etc)?

I write mostly at home, though my phone also has an assortment of notes and chapters hidden on it.  As for rituals, I’m very old school and still start a story the same way I use to at high school – I put on some music and I handwrite a rough story structure.

 

  • Are you a plotter, a pantser, or somewhere in-between?

I’m a bit of everything.  Most of what I try to plan on papers usually always changes drastically when I type it on the computer.

 

  • What is your favourite part of the writing process?

I really love the first draft, especially of the most dramatic scenes.  I find it a very raw part of the process and the most creative.

 

  • What is the most important part of a novel to you: plot, characters, or setting?

I like a good plot with lots of twists and turns.

 

  • Describe your writing routine (how long do you spending plotting the novel, time spent writing, editing, submitting it):

I so want to answer this with a precise routine but I really can’t.  My husband is a shift worker and we currently have 5 of our children living at home and at school so my life is usually super busy.  I write what I can where I can pretty much.  The only real routine I have is usually about a week of self-edits before I send a script away.  These usually include a long list of words I’m guilty of over using, as well as shortening any words that need to be – it’s a long list that I go through with each book before I send it on it’s way.

 

  • How many books a year do you usually write (or are you aiming to write):

I’m currently trying to write about 3 per year but I always strive for more.

 

  • How did you get your agent, or your publishing contract (if applicable)?

The publishing company I’m currently with was something I literally stumbled upon in a google search.  I was with another company at the time that were very slow and I wasn’t happy with their ethics or process so I was desperate to find something else.  I sent them a script in 2014 and they loved it. I’ve been with Beachwalk Press ever since.

 

  • How did you cope with rejection during the querying process?

When I first started submitting scripts rejection was very hard for me because on a whole most publishers claimed to like my writing style, but they didn’t like that my books were set in Australia.  I was asked many a time to change my setting to a more popular location such as England or America and they would happily reconsider publishing.  This wasn’t what I wanted to write though, so I got used to the rejection and just kept submitting queries, hoping there was a publisher out there who wanted an Australian based book.

 

  • Describe the time when you got ‘the call’ regarding publication:

Even now that I’ve just signed my sixth contract with Beachwalk Press, I still jump up and down with excitement each time I get a script accepted.  Then I get really nervous worrying about whether the book will sell or not.

 

  • Looking back, what do you think you did right that helped you break in?

I’d like to think it was because I didn’t give up.  I took the advice that was given to me and tweaked my writing, but I didn’t automatically change everything because it wasn’t seen as popular.

 

  • Is there anything you wish you could do differently?

The main thing I would change would be changing publishers sooner than when I did.  I will never get the rights back to my earlier books, and I really wish I could so that I could re-write them and make them better.

 

  • Best advice you’ve ever been given, or have heard, about writing?

That a bad first draft is better than a blank page.

 

  • Any advice for aspiring writers on writing and submitting?

Be brave and believe in yourself.

 

  • What advice can you give to other writers on building a platform and gaining a readership base?

You need to interact with people and share your stories with them.  Not just your writing, but ‘your’ stories.  Show them that you are human and have got angry or cried or whatever.  I’ve found so many of my readers are just as interested in my story as they are in those that I write.

 

  • What’s up next for you, and what are you working on now?

Next is Book 3 in the Sins of the Virtuous series titled Avarice & Charity.  Contract has just been signed so I will be expecting edits and cover work soon.  I’m also doing final edits on Book 4 – Apathy & Vigour – and hopefully it should be ready to send for consideration in a couple of weeks.

 

  • How can people connect with you?

I have several social media accounts but regularly check Facebook and Instagram the most. Also just visit my website and leave me a message on the contact form there.  I will get back to you asap.

 

  • Anything else you want to add?

Just a huge thanks for having me.  It’s been such a privilege 🙂

 

It’s been lovely having you and thank you so much for taking part in this ‘Path to Publication’ interview!

 

And for those of you who want to read Faye’s fantastic book ‘Indulgence & Temperancel’ just click on the pic below for more info.

 

Indulgence & Temperance

Would you abandon the woman you love for your own indulgence?

Beth Meridian has returned home, hoping to leave her sordid past behind her and settle into a quiet life. When her childhood friend, Hannah Raeburn, offers her a place to stay, Beth knows it won’t be long until she runs into Hannah’s brother, Daniel. What she doesn’t expect is for him to reignite feelings deep in her heart, reminding her of the kiss they shared before she left town.

Daniel Raeburn’s past is scandalous, his sinful indulgences allowing him more wealth than he could ever need. Still, he wants more, and his gluttonous appetite for wealth and women leads him to buy into a partnership at the local hellfire club.

When Hannah goes missing, Beth and Daniel follow her trail through the Australian outback. Witnessing the womanizer Daniel is, Beth flees on a cattle train headed north. Desperate to explain his actions, Daniel follows her.

Arriving in the small town of Jarvisfield, Daniel is shocked to learn that Beth is now the owner of the largest cattle company in the area. He’s even more shocked to discover that the preacher controlling the town, and stealing from the townspeople, is his once business partner William Maxon. He’s convinced this man is also responsible for his sister’s disappearance. When he learns William has Beth picked out as his next victim, Daniel knows he must do whatever it takes to make her listen to the truth. But she has no interest in hearing anything he has to say.

Faced with losing the two women he loves, Daniel is forced to choose between their freedom and the possessions and wealth he has hoarded over the years. But even if he gives it all up, he still might lose everything.

 

Faye can be found on the following platforms:

Website address:https://www.faye-hall.com
Facebook link:https://www.facebook.com/fayehallromanceauthor/?ref=bookmarks
Twitter link:https://twitter.com/FayeHall79
Instagram link:https://www.instagram.com/fayehallauthor/
Pinterest link:https://www.pinterest.com.au/fayehall79/pins/
Goodreads link:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6882637.Faye_Hall

Interview with MC Dalton and Melanie Page

Interview with MC Dalton and Melanie Page

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MC Dalton and Melanie Page’s Path to Publication

Today I chat with author duo, MC and Melanie, both fellow Australian Authors, who share with us their path to publication. Their novel ‘Iron Heart’ is scheduled for release on the 1st of June 2018.

 

 

 

Thank you both so much for taking part in this interview and sharing your Path to Publication with us all! I’m so looking forward to reading about both of your journeys!

Thank you Maddison. We are thrilled to be invited onto your website. We really appreciate the opportunity.

  

  • How long have you been writing for?

We have each been writing for over a decade, but in different ways. MC has been more focused on short fiction whereas Melanie has been slowly writing longer works.

 

  • How long did it take you from when you started writing, to when you became a published (or soon to be) published author?

Melanie first published in 2014 and MC in 2016. Our writing partnership is more recent. We have been working on related stories for a couple of years and started collaborating on our current novel, Iron Heart, last September. It will be coming out in June, so less than a year. 

 

  • Where do you write from, home, office, coffee shop, etc? And do you have any pre-writing or actual writing rituals (such as lighting a candle, listening to music, etc)?

We both make coffee or pour wine, then fluff around on social media for a while before writing. We exchange drafts by email but have a running conversation on messenger as well. When I (Melanie) finish a chapter, I send MC a message with just a running tally of the word count and she rushes to check her email.  

 

  • Are you plotters, pantsers, or somewhere in-between?

(insert crazy laugh here) Melanie is a semi-plotter who is trying to induce MC to at least acknowledge the concept of plotting. MC has all the wild crazy ideas; Melanie holds all the threads and tries to keep from getting tied in knots.

 

  • What is your favourite part of the writing process?

Melanie – I love seeing the story slowly build itself on the page, particularly as the characters reveal more of themselves. MC – I love hearing the ding of messenger and opening the emails, reading the edited product. I have an idea what to expect, but it often takes my breath away. It is like having Christmas five evenings a week.

 

  • What is the most important part of a novel to you: plot, characters, or setting?

And your next question is, which child is my favourite? Seriously, character is key, but if one is weak, the other are affected. They are a synergy.

 

  • Describe your writing routine (how long do you spending plotting the novel, time spent writing, editing, submitting it):

MC doesn’t grasp plotting (I’m trying to change that). We spent about two weeks exchanging ideas by email before starting to write, getting pictures of characters and settings, working out detail. And of course we wrangled and finagled as new elements somehow wormed their way into the story. When we are writing together, MC writes her draft of the current chapter in more or less detail, then sends it by email. Then Melanie reads it, takes a deep breath, rewrites it and sends it back for criticism. This works best for our individual skillsets. The editing has been ongoing for a few weeks and we just need a final check.   

 

  • How many books a year do you usually write (or are you aiming to write):

As this is our first collaboration, it is hard to say. Perhaps 1 per year? We both have other projects on the go as well. 

 

  • Can you explain the process you took to become independently published?

 Basically, we both (individually) got a Kindle Publishing account, filled in a ream of paperwork and then pressed the publish button. The learning curve came after. At the time, neither of us really had a clue.

 

  • How did you cope with rejection?

We don’t cope with rejection terribly well, which is a great reason for going Indie. We considered submitting to publishers for Iron Heart, wrote up the query letter and everything. But at the end of the day, we didn’t want to wait three months just to get a polite ‘Thanks, but no thanks’.

 

  • What were your biggest learning experiences or surprises throughout the publishing journey?

It is the detail, and all the little things that aren’t really little.

 

  • Is there anything you wish you could do differently? 

Not be so paranoid. Self-doubt is a killer. You need just the right amount of doubt to make you work your hardest, but not so much that it bogs you down. 

 

  • Best advice you’ve ever been given, or have heard, about writing?

MC – Once you’ve done the final edit, read your work aloud to yourself. That is the litmus test.

Melanie – Poe said we need to know the end from the beginning. Once you know where you are going you can plan the journey, even if you take a few detours. And getting there is half the fun.

 

  • Any advice for aspiring writers on writing and submitting?

Polish your craft. Write a great story, but write it WELL. And don’t be afraid to try something new – like collaboration. Iron Heart is a good story because collaboration doubles your strengths, halves your weaknesses and gives you another person who is as deeply invested in your story as you are. 

 

  • What advice can you give to other writers on building a platform and gaining a readership base?

Melanie – I’m a great believer in ‘Build it and they will come.’ There are people whose work I buy because I know they write great stories. I’ve never visited their web site or signed up for their newsletter. Great work sells itself.

 

  • What’s up next for you, and what are you working on now?

We are busy plotting a ghost story (well, Melanie is plotting and MC is waving her arms and having brainwaves). Melanie is trying to finish a Regency and writing a how-to book for short stories. MC is editing her romance ‘Epona’.

 

  • How can people connect with you?

Our BookBaybZ email, Facebook and website.

 

  • Anything else you want to add?

We would just like to encourage people, not to be afraid to try something new. The publication scene is constantly reinventing itself. Our kind of collaboration might not work for everyone, but partnerships with like-minded writers, or people who can balance your strengths and weaknesses, can be downright incredible.

 

Thank you both so much for sharing your Path to Publication with us! What an awesome journey, with many more adventures to come. I cannot wait to read more of your books – and I’ve had such fun reading about the writing process of an author duo!!

And for those of you who want to read MC and Melanie’s fantastic book ‘Iron Heart” it will be available from the 1st June!

‘Iron Heart’

Beauden Somerton is dying and he knows it. Then some fascinating research by an enterprising medical student puts hope within his reach. As she strives to mend his failing heart, he seeks to win hers.

Galena Tindale’s dream of being the first female graduate of Edinburgh Medical College comes crashing around her ears. Then she is offered a new opportunity, one that defies belief – and every medical convention.

Beauden and Galena, with the help of family and friends, must overcome prejudice and greed if they are to save both their hearts.

About MC Dalton:

MC Dalton has a background in business and nursing. She loves fantasy and romance, together where possible. Melanie Page is a voracious reader in a variety of genres but loves historicals and romance best. She has been teaching for almost twenty years.

 

 

MC and Melanie can be found on the following platforms:

Website address:BookBaybz.com.au
Facebook link:https://www.facebook.com/BookBaybZ/
Twitter link:@BaybZBooks
Instagram link:@bookbaybz  https://www.instagram.com/bookbaybz/

My 2nd Book – The Fiancé Fiasco is coming soon!

My 2nd Book – The Fiancé Fiasco is coming soon!

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Whoo Hoo! The Fiancé Fiasco is now scheduled for release on the 27th August 2018…

I was so thrilled to discover this morning that my second novel, The Fiancé Fiasco is now scheduled for release in only 3 months time!! Squee!! On the 27th of August the book will be released by my fabulous publisher Entangled, and I can’t wait for you all to read Sophie’s brother Daniel’s story.

So what is The Fiancé Fiasco about exactly? Well, let me tell you…

Romancing the Stone, meets Pride and Prejudice!

Brianna Penderley has a knack for getting into precarious situations. In the heart of Naples, her terrible Italian has her accidentally becoming engaged to two men at the same time. Of course, Daniel Wolcott—the Earl of Thornton and the only man ever able to vex her—shows up to rescue her.

Daniel has spent the majority of his life exercising rigid control over his emotions, determined never to become the rake his father was. But when he goes to aid his mentor’s niece once again, he finds himself struggling to control his attraction to a woman who is his complete opposite.

Then Brianna’s cousin is kidnapped by mercenaries seeking King Aleric’s lost treasure—and they claim Brianna’s family has the key. Daniel knows he can’t leave her side, as much as he might want to. And she’s determined not to lose her heart to such an icy, infuriating man.

 

I cannot wait until I get the cover art for this one! I shall be so excited to share it with you all 🙂

 

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