As a pre-pubbed author I was always curious about what happened once you received THE CALL and stepped into the world of publishing.
What did it involve? How did they handled the day to day pressures? Did they developed routines, set goals etc.? What did they like/dislike about the process?
So I asked my special guests these questions and many of them have offered some intriguing insights into their lives. Maybe they'll even give you a heads up on what to expect if you're thinking of entering the world of "getting published".
My first special guest is...Anna Campbell.
ANNA CAMPBELL has written six multi award-winning historical romances for Avon HarperCollins and her work is published in eleven languages.
Anna has won numerous awards for her Regency-set romances including Romantic Times Reviewers Choice, the Booksellers Best, the Golden Quill (twice), the Heart of Excellence, the Aspen Gold (twice) and the Australian Romance Readers Association's favorite historical romance (three times).
Her books have twice been nominated for Romance Writers of America's prestigious RITA Award and twice for Australia's Romantic Book of the Year.
Pseudonym. I intended to write under my given name but was so sure I’d never be published, I didn’t spend a couple of bucks parking a domain name.
Would you believe about six months before I sold, someone with my name (and I suspect it’s her real name) published a romance? As far as I know, she hasn’t published another but it meant I needed to come up with an alternative name. I dug back through the family tree and combined names from my two grandmothers.
Location: Sunshine Coast, Australia.
Published Genre: Historical romance (late Regency setting).
First published in: 2007.
Number of books published: 6.
The Nitty Gritty
List up to 5 significant events in your journey to publication?
- Joining Romance Writers of Australia
- Placing in the RWA First Kiss 2001 (my first contest entry)
- Meeting Annie West, my wonderful critique partner
- Winning the RWA Emma Darcy Award 2005
- Getting an agent
I think the principal difference between my unpublished and unpublished writing is that in between I learned to write emotion.
Can you share the special moment when you received THE CALL/THE EMAIL?
CLAIMING THE COURTESAN went to auction in 2006 after finalling in the RWA Golden Heart®.
I spent a really fraught week not sleeping – New York is on almost absolute opposite time to Australia. Then finally the word came through on Good Friday morning 2006 that the final offers were in.
I’d had a dream of being an Avon author since I’d read THE WOLF AND THE DOVE as a teenager and it turned out – I WAS AN AVON AUTHOR! Huzzah! It felt quite surreal, partly because I was operating on severe sleep deprivation by then, and it took a while to sink in properly.
But I remember being in the pool a couple of months later and suddenly smiling to think my dream of being a published author was finally coming true.
Looking back over your writing career, how have you grown as an author?
I’m not sure that’s something the author notices! One thing I’ve learned is to trust my process. It’s awful and it drives me mad but I know it’s given me a publishable book in the past. It should give me a publishable book in the future. Fingers crossed.
How important is it to set career goals? Can you give an example of one you have for yourself?
Actually I’m not sure I set career goals aside from meeting deadlines and writing the best darn book I can. I think a lot of this stuff is completely outside the writer’s control (bestseller lists, foreign editions, prizes, appearances on Oprah).
Can you describe your writing process/timeframe from when you start a new book to handing it in at deadline?
I’m currently writing my first series (still under wraps) and I’ve got eight months to write each book.
That’s fairly luxurious in the current genre environment, but I’ve got to say I still find it a stretch because I’m a pretty slow writer. I write a really dirty draft that’s always too long and completely unreadable, then I refine it down like making a lovely rich sauce. At least that’s the theory!
One of the things I found challenging about being a published author is the constant juggling of tasks ie. writing a book, editing another, planning promotion, writing the prosposal for another (and usually this all happens while holding down another job or dealing with family/life etc.).
What do you enjoy the most in the publishing process?
I usually enjoy turning the dross of my first draft into something readable. Like most writers, I love those occasional days when writing is like magic and the pages pour out in a beautiful flow.
What do you least in the publishing process?
Actually, I like pretty much everything. I wanted to be a full-time writer all my life, I’m not looking for things to complain about, LOL!
Is there anything you think pre-publishers writers need to know about the business/industry before they're published?
It doesn’t get easier.
Hunkiest hero ever: Daniel Day-Lewis in LAST OF THE MOHICANS. Sigh. Swoon.
Greatest love: Music.
Timeout/relaxation for me includes: Reading and wine.
Special quote/saying you like: "The heart has its reasons that the reason cannot know." – Blaise Pascal.