I'm thrilled to host my fellow TWRP author, Rebecca Grace today who has a brand, spanking new paperback out for her romantic suspense, SHADOWS FROM THE PAST. Doesn't it look great?!? Check out this amazing writer, and comment below for your chance to WIN a copy of her book!
Becky, I'm thrilled to see your romantic suspense novella, SHADOWS FROM THE PAST, is now out in paperback! While I have a Kindle (and love it) I prefer to have my 'keepers' in old-fashioned paper format, so I've already ordered mine! :) Can you tell me a little about the inspiration for your book?
I came up with the idea for Shadows from the Past as a result of my enjoyment of gothic romances. Years ago I loved the romantic mysteries written by Phyllis Whitney. She always took the heroine to a strange place where she found mystery and romance. That was what I aimed for in Shadows. I've also always loved the Northwest (having once lived in Seattle) and I love the old Victorian houses you find there. And while I love today's strong heroines, I wanted to write about someone who was kind of unsure but then discovered herself. Putting all that together, I came up with Shadows from the Past. An old house, a tortured hero, an unsure heroine who brings everything together -- it all seemed to fall into place.
I know you are a past NaNoWriMo participant...and winner! What lessons learned did you get from winning NaNo, and would you do it again?
I really love NaNoWriMo and I have been participating every year for the past few years. I managed to be a winner last year and the previous year. The thing I love about NaNo is the accountability. I like watching the word count pile up and knowing that at the end of the month I need to have a certain number of words written. As a result of doing NaNo I started putting together my own monthly spreadsheet to keep track of how many words I write every month. I never come close to matching my NaNo figure, but I do see the months I am particularly active and it keeps me going stronger into the next month. It's that time of the year again, and I have already signed up and have just the right project to begin writing.
I feel the same about NaNoWriMo--a month of good writing habits helps me limp along the rest of hte year! Okay, next question: What do you think is THE most important thing writers can do for themselves to get an agent/publisher in today's market?
I think it has never been more important to keep a watch on the publishing trends. So much is changing so rapidly. I think writers' groups such as Romance Writers of America, or Mystery Writers, or Science Fiction Writers, are invaluable resources. If you can't afford to join them, look for local writing chapters. Get to know other writers in your area and see what they are doing or might suggest. I also suggest attending small, regional or local writing conferences. Some you can do for a day for $30 and some will have agents or editors who come in. For instance, here in Colorado our Heart of Denver and Colorado Romance Writers will have one day sessions and bring in editors. In the past year we've had people come in from Entangled Publishing, Random House, Carina Press and Musa. We also had an agent from the Donald Maas agency and all offered pitch appointments. I always say pitch when you get the chance.
If you could have done anything differently with your writing career so far, what would it be?
My writing career took years to get going and it was all my doing. I first joined Romance Writers of America right when it was getting off the ground in the early 80s. But a couple of painful rejections from Harlequin, which I still have, stopped me cold. I gave up pursuing publishing, but kept writing. Fifteen years later a friend convinced me to try again, which I did and at that time I began taking writing classes. Looking back at those old rejections I realized they loved the stories, but the mechanics were not there. I didn't even know what Point of View was. If I'd taken the time to learn the craft then and not given up, it wouldn't have taken so long to get published.
Who are your writing role models, and how have they influenced you?
I have to say that I was always drawn to those Phyllis Whitney stories and the novels of Victoria Holt. I wanted to write that kind of suspense, but I started out writing romance. I loved Harlequin Presents and the works of Violet Winspear . In later years I discovered Stephen King and Dean Koontz.
Stephen King & Dean Koontz are also personal favs of mine. I knew there was a reason we clicked right away! :) Okay, last question: What's one fact about you that most people don't know.
Actually I have one very bad writing habit that I doubt I'll ever be able to fix. I love to work on several different projects at the same time. Some of my writing friends think it's crazy because right now I am working in several different time periods -- from the old west to 1900s New York to present day Los Angeles.
Wow--I can barely keep my own life facts straight, let alone so many projects at once. Good for you!
I know people will want to check you out online. Can you give us your website links and contact information?
Thanks for being my guest here today, Rebecca!
COMMENT BELOW for your chance to win a hard copy of Rebecca Grace's awesome novella, SHADOWS FROM THE PAST.
Happily My Ever After,