Only six days until the release of The Summer of Crossing Lines! You can help celebrate by downloading my previous ebook release, The Boy Who Loved Fire, for only $.99 from any retailer. The Kindle version is here.
Today we have the kind and talented Marcy Hatch, author of West of Paradise, here to share a little about her own publishing journey.
First, a look at West of Paradise:
When Jack McCabe gets the opportunity to go back in time, he jumps; it's the adventure he's always dreamed of--until he meets a beautiful but deadly train robber. Katherine Kennedy can't believe an ignorant bounty hunter has mistaken her for a criminal--until she sees the picture, which looks exactly like her. Neither of them imagines how the past has a way of catching up with the present. Set in the old west, this is a tale of mistaken identity, romance, and murder.
Fun, right? And now some Q and A with author Marcy Hatch.
1) You’ve teamed up with Dianne Salerni to offer critiques of first pages for other writers. We all feel the pressure of getting that first page just right. Can you tell us what you’ve learned from these first impressions? What makes a great first page?
For me, a great first page has to have at least one character I can immediately connect with. Give me a reason to care about what happens and I’ll gladly turn the page.
2) Your debut novel, West of Paradise, was published with WiDo Publishing. Can you tell us a bit about how you connected with them, and what it was like working with a small publisher?
WiDo was one of the first small publishers I queried and the first to get back to me. I liked how excited the acquisition editor was about my story. She was also very up front about the changes I would need to make, which I appreciated. I also loved my editor, Amie McCracken (www.amiemccracken) and even though she made me cut my share of darlings; I know she made West of Paradise a hundred times better for it.
3) West of Paradise is a time-traveler western/romance. What inspired you to write such a story?
The book that comes to mind is A knight in Shining Armor by Jude Derveraux. I loved that book so bad I wanted to write something like it. I also wanted to have a famous event tie in to my story and Tombstone fit the bill. It was fun to research.
4) Any advice you can offer other writers about writing, submissions, publishing, and perseverance?
My number one piece of advice is to write as much as possible, even if it isn’t a story. Write about your day or a time you were stuck or in love or your first kiss. Every bit of writing is practice and all our experiences are grist for the mill.
Second piece of advice is to read as much as possible because only by reading do we discover what is good and who we want to emulate.
As for submissions and publishing…ugh. Some people get lucky and it happens easily for them, but there are so many more of us who only succeed through sheer persistence. It can be a long road and I’ve only just begun what I hope to be a long career.
Marcy, thanks so much for sharing advice about first pages, writing, and publishing.
Friends, how do you define a great first page? Have you read West of Paradise? What do you think about Marcy's advice for writing and publishing?
From Marcy: My grandfather was a storyteller, and I like to think I got the gene. I started telling stories as a kid when I shared a room with my little sister. At night I’d offer her three titles from which to choose, and then make up a story on the spot, using the chosen title as a guide. Later this progressed to written stories, then typed, and finally – an actual manuscript. Along the way I had the help of some great teachers (Mr. Wallace, Mr. Bouchard, and Mr. Elliott) and some fabulous writers, most of whom I met through blogging. I live in the lovely Midcoast area of Maine with my goofy lab, Jonah, and four cats. I currently blog at www.mainewords.blogspot.com about a variety of subjects, including writing, zombies, Skyrim, books, birds, and history.