*Dons smoking jacket* *Lights pipe* *Coughs*
We're here... *blows artful smoke, not quite like Gandalf, but reminiscent* with Marialyss McKinley, author of the Regency Historical from Aspen Mountain Press titled "Heart's Desire." Having beta'd the first half of the novel (I totally blew it on reading the rest... not having bothered to finish it until it was no good to anyone... but, but, we're not here to talk about my crappy beta job) (and don't give me any guff, the thing got published, after all! Let's move on!) *coughs* I wanted to talk about the process of publication, writing, editing, etcetera, with its author. Some of you may know her as the firebending mod, regdog on Absolute Write. She was kind enough to answer my questions, and I am passing them on to you, in my first ever Author Interview, here on Far Seeing fairy Tales. *Crosses pajama'd leg*
*Adjusts smoking jacket, makes note of Marialyss's soft calico print summer dress... wishes smoking jacket wasn't quite so heavy*
Marialyss... you've written different genres, from mid-grade to this romance that has just come out on Aspen Mountain Press, Aurora Regency, "Heart's Desire" (Click link for to go to page) Do you ever struggle with voice when going back and forth between different genres?
Yes, mainly when I write children’s. I have to be careful I keep the tone and expressions correct for the age range. Sometimes I find myself writing in a more adult voice and I have to remind myself, "children’s book". It doesn’t mean I dumb it down, I just have to tell the story the way kids act, talk and respond to things.
And, now that you are pub'd, one of the great goals of most writers, you had to begin the editing process. It seemed like you were editing really close to release. How close was it, and was there any freakout pressure as it got closer?
I was. My editing came within days of the release date. My editor and I were working hard to have everything perfect, especially the historic details. Celina, the editor-in-chief of the Aurora Regency division is a living encyclopedia of historical facts. The last thing Aspen Mountain want is book riddled with historical inaccuracies. Every fact is checked and double checked to make sure the best possible book is published.
So, you subbed Aspen Mountain Press directly - how did they approach you about buying your book -was it an email? Will you tell us a little of what the back and forth was like? And how much chocolate did you eat in celebration?
I submitted per their query instructions in the beginning of December and received a request for a submission a few days later. It took a couple of weeks and then I received the acceptance. I read the e-mail saying they were accepting it at least three times before it sunk in. I still have that e-mail in my inbox.
Any writer knows the feeling right before you click the return e-mail open. It’s a mix of hope and dread. One part says, “this is going to be a yes” and the other part is stuck in the “oh great, let’s see today’s rejection” To see, “Yes, we are accepting this” is one of the greatest feelings.
A cheeseburger and many French fries gave their all for my acceptance celebration.
The road to publication always goes through the editor - I think about going forward into publication all the time and I wonder if I will be nervous or intimidated by this person. How was it working with an editor for the first time?
I loved the editing process because I wanted to learn all I could to be the best writer I can. I wanted to know what technical mistakes I was making so I could correct those and not repeat them. My editor, Peg, was great to work with and gave a lot of helpful feedback and took my thoughts about edits in consideration. She let me know this was my book and her job was to me make it the best it could be, not take it over and make it her book.
Are you involved in any of the marketing for your book?
Yes, I am very involved in the marketing of my book, so is Aspen Mountain. I have a blog http://pointlessponderables.wordpress.com/ where I’ve talked about editing, and how anxious I was for my book to be released. I loved being able to post it’s release on my blog. I’m having a website made as well. I’ve had promotional cards made with the cover on one side, log line and ordering information on the other.
Aspen Mountain set up several writers chats on Yahoo Groups, Love Romance Café http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LoveRomancesCafe/?prop=eupdate to help promote their writers’ works.
I was also asked by my favorite fairy is she could interview me for her blog. Of course I said yes.
*Preens* :) Now that you have sold, do you approach your writing any differently? Are your goals different?
I still write the stories I want to. Now, however, I have a fantastically edited book to use as my guide. I can use it to reference grammar questions I have or how to best tell the story.
My goals are still the same. I want to continue to write books that will be published and I would love to acquire a literary agent and see my middle grade historical fiction book published.
What are you writing, right this moment?
At the moment I’m writing the second story in an ongoing children’s book series. I’m also editing a historical romance to submit to Aspen Mountain.
Ok, that's a wrap. I would like to thank Marialyss for answering my deep and probing questions... but not for dressing better than me. I think she could have thought about that a little before she showed up here all dolled up... but you know. You gotta be polite to your guests. And that means linking to her author page as often as possible. I really enjoyed this book (even tho I took forever to read it cuz I am lazy and get dry eye... DON'T JUDGE ME!). Good heroine. Good plot. Good pace. Good characterization. These are things you need in a book. And I wouldn't pimp her book if it wasn't good. I won't foist crap books on people, no matter how much I like the author. And I do like her. Despite her tendency to overdress. *Readjusts smoking jacket.*