Friends, I have a special treat for you. The Rock of Ivanore, by Laurisa White Reyes, releases today, and Laurisa has stopped by to answer a few questions about her creative process, her writing journey, and publishing with a small press.
But first, about The Rock of Ivanore:
Marcus, a young enchanter's apprentice, can't seem to do anything right. Every time he casts a spell, he botches it. When he's sent on a quest to find the mysterious Rock of Ivanore, he must delve deep within himself for the skills and the courage to face the dangers that await him.
Now, are you ready for two scoops of awesome? Here goes:
1. From idea to final product, how did The Rock of Ivanore come to be?
After spending more than a decade writing for magazines and newspapers, I decided it was finally time to live my dream and write novels. My oldest son was eight years old at the time and I would tell him bedtime stories. One story was about an enchanter's apprentice who bungled his magic spells. Each night my son would tell me what he wanted to hear, be it dragons or battles or magic, and I would weave those elements into the story. Eventually I started writing it down. That was six years ago.
2. Can you give us a brief summary of your writing process? Plotter? Pantser? Somewhere in between?
I am, for the most part, a plotter. I've actually written eleven books in the past six years and I spent months outlining each one before beginning the writing process. Well, with one exception. But usually I start out by writing a 3-10 page summary of a story that is bouncing around in my head. Then I outline it into parts, and then into individual chapters and scenes. I always know how I want a book to end before I even write the first word.
3. The Rock of Ivanore is published by Tanglewood Press. Can you tell us a bit about your experience with a small publisher?
I can't really compare my experience at Tanglewood to any other publisher since this is my first book. But I have been able to work closely with Peggy Tierney, my publisher, through the whole process. She included me on selecting the cover artist and image and has stayed in close communication with me all along the way. We often email back and forth about things that have nothing to do with publishing. We've become friends. And best of all, because she is so selective about the books she publishes, she is my greatest advocate. I am in very good hands at Tanglewood.
4. Can you offer us any advice about book promotion? What's working for you and what isn't?
I do feel like a fish out of water in that area. But with the team at Tanglewood and the guidance of some fellow authors who have paved the way before me, I'm figuring it out. What is working is my blog and newsletter. I try to keep people informed about my book's progress. Connecting with other bloggers is a lot of fun and a great way to reach people. What hasn't worked...I learned that there is a big difference between the YA market and the middle grade market, especially online.
5. Is there any writing or publishing advice you'd like to share with us?
Don't give up. That's the advice Jay Asher gave me (and everyone else) at an SCBWI event several years ago. He waited many years before publishing Thirteen Reasons Why, which is now a huge success. I heeded his advice and kept going even when I was very discouraged. So I think if your passion is writing, don't let anything dissuade you. My personal motto is: Aim High. Dream Big.
I love that motto, don't you guys? Thanks so much, Laurisa. It's fun to learn about other writers and their journey to publication.
Friends, how does your creative process compare to Laurisa's? And where are you on your publishing journey? Please share!