I want to thank Cassandra for providing this opportunity to share a slice of my publishing life with you. When I began writing fiction, I did so for the love of words and the magic those words created as they came together. This is still my primary motive for writing. I’ve tried to stop, but I can’t function if I don’t write for at least some part of my day.
At some point I decided that publishing what I wrote might be a good idea. So my first experience with editors was not that heady exchange of ideas and commentary that makes a good book great. No, my first experience with editors was that of a supplicant at the gate of heaven. The acquiring editor was the guardian of that gate and as long as my manuscript was under consideration at the editor’s house he/she held power over my publishing life.
Some authors have the extreme luck to find themselves within the gates of publishing heaven very quickly. Some wait decades before the portal opens. My own experience has been somewhere in the middle of those two scenarios. Once the gate was opened and my manuscript accepted for publication, my experience of editors changed. I was no longer a supplicant but a member of a team. The team’s goal was to bring to the reading public the best possible version of my manuscript. (I’ll pause to comment that I’ve been very lucky with most of the editors I’ve worked with. None have made unreasonable demands. All have been kind and thoughtful of my fragile writer’s ego.) I made every effort to submit revisions, return proofs, etc. in a timely manner as well as do my level best to coordinate my promotional efforts with my publisher.
These efforts have been hard but rewarding work that increased my confidence in my writing and affirmed my value as a team-member. In the process my relationship with editors has changed. Those with whom I work are still my fellow team members. However, those who guard the gates to publication at other houses are no longer all powerful in my eyes. With experience, I’m able to recognize that no one holds power over my publishing life but me. Acquisitions editors have become colleagues who accept or reject my submissions on the merits of the manuscript and the fit of that manuscript with their particular house.
Case in point, I received a rejection a few days ago that in my earlier years would have devastated me. The note said, essentially, thank you for submitting but this story doesn’t fit our needs at present. A form rejection, yes, and frustrating in its lack of commentary. However, as an example of the author-editor relationship what is most significant isn’t this rejection itself, but how I handled it. I was so busy with other activities, writing, blogging, promoting, revising et cetera, that when the rejection came in, I barely noticed. I simply made a note to submit the manuscript elsewhere then returned to my current activities.
The author-editor relationship is a living thing and like all living things it changes, usually for the better. I am blessed with my current editor at Red Sage. She helps me keep the story tightly focused on strong emotions and steaming hot passion.
We’re both excited to bring out Off Limits (the first in my sexy sailor series) on April 1, 2012 from Red Sage Publishing.
Here’s a blurb with a link to an excerpt. Please leave a comment here and share your thoughts. I’ll include you in a drawing for a free download of my first erotic romance The Widow’s Revenge. Enjoy!
Off Limits by Rue Allyn
For Senior Chief Hank O’Mara no woman could compare with the sea until he met Lieutenant Bethany Morton. Only the sea could draw two passionate people of such opposite backgrounds together, and only US Navy regulations could keep them apart. Because fraternization between Officer and enlisted is forbidden, both Beth and Hank do their utmost to resist the passion and love growing between them. However, love proves stronger than either the sea or the USN. If they are to be together, Hank must sacrifice his career and Beth will risk the destruction of her professional dreams.
Off Limits ISBNs
9781603107891;1603107894 Adobe PDF • 9781603107907;1603107908 ePub • 9781603107914;1603107916 HTML • 9781603107921;1603107924 MobiPocket
Drawing details: I’m giving away a free download of my first erotic romance, The Widow’s Revenge. Only those who comment on the blog and leave an e-mail address will be entered.
Names will be drawn at noon EDT on March 28th and after the winner is notified he/she will be announced at http://RueAllyn.com.
About The Author:
Rue Allyn: I wrote my first story around the age of five and read my first romance at the age of eight. I’ve been in love with being in love ever since. I’m happily married to my sweetheart of many, many years. We share the home of two cats, who condescend to allow me to feed them and clean their litter box. They occasionally permit me to pet them but demand my love and attention as their right. I am in awe of their feline ability to dominate with half a glance or a mere twitch of tail. I am insatiably curious, an avid reader and traveler. I love to hear from readers about your favorite books and real life adventures. I also love my work. Seriously, what could be more fun than sharing love and adventure with all your friends?
This Friday, I'll be the Amber Heat Readers GFF Spotlight Author!
A free download of one of my backlist of books will be given away at the event, in addition to a neat swag bag o' goodies that includes dragon lady nail appliques, a red and black dragon army button, and more. I'll also be sharing some of the hottest excerpts from my latest ebook, Open Season and introducing ya'll to my characters' world, a place where Dragon shapeshifters hold an uneasy truce with humanity.
If you don't already belong to the AQP reader's Group on Yahoo, you should join at least a couple of days before the event, since last time there was a bit of a log-jam with folks joining at the last minute. That way you can sit back and simply read and enjoy the fun. :-)
Not a member? It's easy to join. Simply go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/amberheatreaders/ Please note: On event days, it's best to go directly to Yahoo groups and read on the web, since there is a high volume of messages, (which is what I do) or when joining, choose digest instead of individual mail.
I've mentioned it before and I'll say it again, no matter what genre you write, no matter your skill level, or natural talent for words, the smart writer is always looking for ways to hone their craft. Whether you attend workshops or read books on writing, all can benefit.
I'd like to take a moment to share a few of the books I recommend to any fiction writer, aspiring or published.
Writing The Novel by Lawrence Block
Originally published in 1985 by a master of the hard-boiled detective story, Writing The Novel is now available as a Nook book and is worth the price of admission. I cut my teeth on this book back when and still enjoy thumbing through my highlighted and dog-eared copy now and again.
There are no easy formulas or trick ponies in Mr. Block's book, only sound advice based on the over 100 books he's written and published.
GMC: Motivation & Conflict by Debra Dixon
Written in 1996, Ms. Dixon's book delineates the need for plot structure in fiction and breaks it down into three of the main components. This book is great for any fiction writer, and is continually a recommended read within the romance industry.
If you plan to get your own copy, I suggest buying the book from Gryphon Books directly since it's cheaper than buying it anywhere else.
The Screenwriter's Workbook and The Screenwriter's Problem Solver by Syd Field
While these two books are not the only great books Mr. Field's written, they are the two I found most helpful. Just because your aim is writing a novel, don't dismiss the value of learning from other writing sources. Screenwriters are some of the most undervalued and incredibly talented authors out there, and they have some wonderful lessons to share that you can apply to your own writing.
Speaking of lessons from screenwriters, two of my favorite collections of writerly wisdom are by the late Blake Snyder, whose books are filled with warmth, humor, and his passion for sharing and explaining something he called the "Beat Sheet".
Save The Cat and Save the Cat Strikes Back by Blake Synder
Another book in the series, Save The Cat Goes To The Movies, breaks down some of the most popular movies of the past few decades and shows where each falls within Blake's categories and on the Beat Sheet.
I hope you'll check out these and other books on the craft of writing and gain the pearls of wisdom that will help you defeat the high brick wall. Happy reading!