Elisabeth Staab on Publishing
Comment to win a Print copy of Prince of Power by Elisabeth Staab!
1. Comment = 1 Entry
2. Tweet = 1 Extra Entry*
3. Like = 1 Extra Entry*
* Make mention of this in your comment for extra entry
I think as much as you try, there’s plenty that catches you off guard when you first publish. Still, I once spent a summer at Girl Scout camp and I like to think I learned a little something about being prepared (No, I didn’t actually join the Girl Scouts, I just went to camp. For a romance author I’ve always been a bit of a commitment-phobe). I also learned that I suck hard at steering a canoe and building a campfire after it rains, but that’s a blog post for another time…
Thing is, I made a point to shore myself up for the negative stuff. There might—no, there would—be negative reviews. Which you have to do your best to ignore because they will come out while you are feverishly fighting the deadline for book two. Now that you have a contract you will have deadlines when before none existed. There will be more pressure. You’ll be a little fish in a big pond at the cons. Dues, gotta pay ‘em. Sure.
The stuff that took me by amazing surprise as a debut author, was all the awesomeness. The amazing, fantastic, wonderful surprises like:
The hugging and squeeing – My first con was RT 2012, and talk about overwhelming. If you’ve met me, you know I’m not shy, but over a thousand readers and authors crammed into a hotel for almost a week will give anyone pause. As a debut author, only a few months out from my first release, I did not expect to have readers run up and say “I read King of Darkness, and I loved it.” But they did, which was so effing awesome because when you’re an author, you probably started to write because you read something once that inspired you and made you fall in love. In the end, all you want is to know you’ve managed to do that thing you adore so much. Tell a good story.
Oh, the Insanity! – I believe author Chuck Wendig calls this “the penmonkeys.”I wrote King of Darkness over the course of a year and a half while I had a newborn sleeping in my lap, and later while my two toddlers were napping. The process was slow and frankly when I look back I don’t know how I ever finished. Prince of Power came with a deadline, and blog tour, and as I work on book three, yet another blog tour. My children are still my day job but not only do the books have to be written faster but they consume a larger chunk of my brain. I wake up in the middle of the night and puzzle at stoplights over the conflict between my hero and heroine and where the series will go next. I no longer know how to stop.
Community – referring back to the insanity thing, I’m infinitely grateful to have built some really wonderful friendships with other authors. Folks with whom I’ve been able to trade critique, support, wisdom, and most importantly the truly needed “getting it” thing. I learned early on that my husband and family are fantastic and incredibly supportive, but there are certain things I can say that they will never quite understand. Things that they never want to hear. Things like “I need a different slang term for penis.” When you’ve cried until you can cry no more in the process of writing a scene only to have your editor tell you it’s not working for the story? Another writer gets the agony of doing that kind of surgery on your manuscript. My husband is already tired of me pointing out the landmarks along the hero’s journey when we watch a movie together. But authors, we obsess, and another author understands.
I discovered music again – music was my very first love. Oh sure, I thought it was a kid in Sunday School named Tommy, but that was a crush. Music, music was truly special. And deep down, once upon a time, I thought music was the thing I would do with my life. I loved to sing, to dance, to make notes on instruments and all that jazz… I just didn’t quite have what it took to make a career out of music. Or at least the confidence to try hard enough. Writing brought me back to music because I found that when I put a manuscript down on paper (so to speak), music is the glue that helps me hold it all together. I connect better to my characters, to the core of my story, and also to myself. I love when I am picking music for a couple and I have found “their” song. Big joy. I suppose all of this is part of the bigger topic of an author discovering his or her process, which leads me to something else I probably should have realized as a debut author:
There is so much more to learn – As a debut author, and every day since, I am surprised at what I still do not know. There are books on writing, youtube videos, workshops online and in person, craft articles galore, and the hits keep coming. In a year, in a lifetime, I may never read them all. I still cannot believe the fount of information but I am continuously grateful to the authors out there who share what they know so that we all may become better at our craft (see also: Community). I think what has surprised me most is that I cannot rest on my laurels, and moreover that I do not want to.
ENTER TO WIN
Your "Contest Passport" needs to be filled out to enter. You can find your "Contest Passport" under "Profile" then "Edit Profile".
1. You MUST be a member of the NOR website to enter. Only Open to the USA and Canada.
2. Leave a meaningful comment on the post to get entered.
3. Ends - 1/11/2013
Elisabeth Staab still lives with her nose in a book and at least one foot in an imaginary world. She believes that all kinds of safe and sane love should be celebrated but she adores the fantasy-filled realm of paranormal romance the best. She lives in Northern Virginia with her family and one big scaredy cat, where she loves to spend time with good friends, go dancing, and sing off-key in her kitchen (when she isn't making characters fall in love, that is). http://ElisabethStaab.com