There is a spot in the back of my brain that is nagging me to get back to editing but, for once, it's incredibly easy to ignore it.
Maybe because I've got something wonderful to blog about. Okay. Scratch "maybe," insert "definitely," and read on. Otherwise, you'll be missing a fantastic interview with my friend and fellow writer, Tricia Schneider.
I first met Tricia when we were fellow inmates mall employees. She worked at the local Waldenbooks, which is now a sad but fond memory (thanks to economic downturns and terrible corporate decisions.) My kids had a great time at the last Diary of a Wimpy Kid release party and they lament the loss of that great store just as much as us book-starved adults. Before it closed, however, she was nice enough to stop by to share her good news: her book had been picked up by the Wild Rose Press.
I'm always excited when a fellow writer has a success story to tell. Today, I'd like to share Tricia's success with all of you. She was totally cool about being my first interview evah. Gotta love a willing subject!
Thanks, Tricia, for taking the time to talk to us about your good news. Let's start with a little background. How long have you been writing?
For as long as I can remember. I started writing short stories as a child, practically as soon as I could pick up a pencil. My first attempt at storytelling was writing a detective series about my brother’s pet turtle.
So, you're a born writer?
Most definitely a born writer. I wrote my first full-length novel when I was 15 before the idea of becoming a novelist ever entered my brain. I had no knowledge of the craft, just an inner instinct of what made up a plot, setting, characters, etc. Of course, I’ve always been an avid reader so I think I might have picked up a lot of that subliminally.
That's a good point--avid reading leads to better writing. Making the jump from "reader" to "author" is a pretty big move, though. What influenced you to be published?
My senior year in high school I took a creative writing class. The teacher praised my work to the other students, much to my embarrassment. After class he pulled me aside to encourage me to continue my writing and suggested I seek to publish my stories. Up until then I’d written for the pure enjoyment of it. It never occurred to me that people actually did this for a living. That’s when I began to study the craft. I read everything about writing I could get my hands on. And I wrote and wrote and wrote.
What process did you have to go through to get your first book published? How long did it take?
After years of writing and a few failed attempts at submissions, I entered a contest to be included in an anthology. The editor wrote back telling me that my story was not chosen for the anthology but she’d like to see it as a regular submission. I received an offer for a contract on the day of my oldest son’s third birthday party.
Tell us about your upcoming release with the Wild Rose Press.
The Witch and the Wolf is a regency paranormal romance. It’s a miniature rose length novella in the Black Rose line at The Wild Rose Press and it’s due to be released July 21, 2010.
Can you give us a teaser?
Here’s the blurb:
Lord Jeremy North's curse is to become a werewolf during every full moon, turning into a bloodthirsty monster that kills with no remorse. When he finds a woman nearly frozen upon his doorstep, his sense of honor compels him to help her, even at the risk he might kill her himself.
Lillian Merriweather hadn't planned to get caught in a blizzard while traveling the English countryside. Nor had she planned on finding refuge in a house full of secrets. But Lillian has secrets of her own. And what she's running from is not far behind...
Did you work with an editor? What was the experience like?
Yes, my editor helped me a great deal with many aspects of my writing and I really enjoyed learning from her. She helped me see the tiny details that I missed, the things I overlooked and made me look at my story from a different angle. It was a very eye-opening experience.
What do you hope readers take with them when they read one of your stories?
I hope to help readers escape to another time and place with my stories. To send them on an adventure filled with romance and happily-ever-after.
I know you write novel-length fiction, too. What are your plans for your manuscript WITH MY LAST BREATH?
WITH MY LAST BREATH won third place in the 2008 Haunted Hearts contest hosted by the Gothic Romance Writers, Inc. It’s a historical paranormal romance about a woman who is murdered. She becomes a ghost and tries to contact her husband from beyond to discover who was behind her murder. I’m in the process of revising it in hopes of future publication.
What are your goals as an author? Do you have a plan to reach them?
I’m a mother of two small boys and I’m expecting another baby in September. I’m keeping my goals simple at the moment and just taking it one day (or book) at a time.
In my house, it's more like one laundry pile at a time. My kids go through more outfits in a single day than does Cher. Anyways, speaking of work...How do you feel about the daunting task of self-promotion?
Honestly, self-promotion terrifies me! As an ex-bookseller, I find it’s an easy thing to talk about other people’s writing but promoting my own work is a whole other story. I’m studying and learning as I go. And, I’m making progress. Hey, this is my first interview!
Mine too! *clink glasses* What do you feel is the most important thing new authors need to remember when writing their own stories?
Persistence and patience. Writing a story, even a short story, takes time and dedication. You have to be determined to succeed at finishing your work. Then edit, revise, fix those holes you found while reading it for the fourth or fifth time. Don’t assume your first draft is complete and the work of genius.
Aw, now you take all the fun out of writing. We wouldn't be putting ourselves out there if we didn't think we were geniuses! Seriously, though, once we get over the initial reality check, we realize there is a lot of work to be done before we can claim our own successes. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
I’ve heard this for years and years but it still rings true today as it did long ago. Keep writing! Write every day! Don’t expect inspiration to strike at the perfect moment. You have to work at it and keep your writing muscles moving. After all, the more you write, the better you become at writing.
Thanks for letting us get to know you better, Tricia. Is there any place that our readers can get more acquainted with you? And she said she was terrified of self-promotion? Sure looks like she's got a solid start to me! Be sure to watch for next week's release of THE WITCH AND THE WOLF, published by Wild Rose Press. Best of luck to Tricia. Here's hoping for many more success stories to come!
And she said she was terrified of self-promotion? Sure looks like she's got a solid start to me!
Be sure to watch for next week's release of THE WITCH AND THE WOLF, published by Wild Rose Press.
Best of luck to Tricia. Here's hoping for many more success stories to come!