Message From The Author
Wow, I can’t believe it’s finally here — the release date for my debut urban fantasy, Red Hot Fury. Publishing is, for most of us, a long, hard road to travel. But it is so worth it! I was one of the stereotypical precocious tykes who started reading early and moved to adult books (romance novels, but of course!) at a young age because children’s books just weren’t cutting it anymore. I wrote a lot of (very bad) stories, poems, and mini books during childhood and adolescence and repeatedly vowed to my mother I would be published one day. Just wait and see!
Okay, that was all a lot longer ago than I care to think, but look at me now, Ma. I did it! I’d like to be able to tell you all it was easy — it wasn’t — or fast — again, not so much—or that there’s a secret handshake to get you into the publishing club — if there is, I don’t know it! But really what it all comes down to, in my opinion, is this: read a lot, write a lot, send submissions out, and persevere. One of my favorite movie quotes comes from the Tim Allen Star Trek spoof, Galaxy Quest. “Never give up! Never surrender!” And it really is so true.
Some people like numbers, and while you can’t judge your own journey by that of others, here are some of my own: Total years writing before publication: More than 20. Total years actually submitting my stuff before getting an agent: 6. Total manuscripts submitted before landing agent: 4. Total number of rejections during this whole ordeal: Heck if I know the exact number, but it was a lot. Importantly, though, the number of rejections went down with each new project, and the number of requests for partials and fulls went up. Until I wrote Red Hot Fury and knew — just knew — that I had something special and this would be “the one.” Sure, I thought that with each book, but with this one it definitely felt different. And luckily for me it was! I was extremely blessed to get multiple agent offers and my fabulous agent, Ginger Clark, found the perfect editor at Ace (hi, Jess!) for the book after taking it to auction.
The moral of that story isn’t for me to brag — it’s to show you that it can and does happen for debut authors every year. Even in a “down” economy or in a “hot” genre that seems crowded. Read and write the books you love, keep improving your writing skills, and keep sending your material out there. The only guaranteed way to keep yourself out of the publishing “club” is to never try at all.
Red Hot Fury and Greek Mythology:
One question I get asked a lot is how I decided to combine Greek mythology and urban fantasy. The answer is that it just flowed naturally for me because I’ve been in love with mythology of all types—but especially Greek and Roman — since childhood. I’ve also loved urban fantasy since before it became an official genre in the bookstores, and over the years I’ve written about several types of supernatural beings. I entered an online query-writing contest just before I sat down to write Red Hot Fury and thought, hmm. What supernatural creatures have I not seen used much if at all in urban fantasy? Furies and Harpies! Oooh, that sounds like a lot of fun to write about. Harpies seem to have an even worse reputation in our world than Furies do, so what if the two were somehow connected? What if a Fury who couldn’t control her magical abilities turned into a Harpy? Double oooh!
That was all very exciting and fascinating, but for me the most important ingredient to starting a new project is coming up with the right POV character, and luckily Riss (Marissa Holloway, Fury and Chief Magical Investigator for my version of Boston) hijacked my muse and everything flowed from her basic problem. Solving the disappearance of her best friend and sister Fury, Vanessa, and preventing another magical/mortal war. In the process, we meet many other magical beings — most taken from Greek, Egyptian, Hindu, and Celtic mythology — and see Riss try to patch things up with her ex-lover, shape-shifting Warhound Scott Murphy.
Well, what else would you expect from someone who started reading Harlequin and Silhouette books at the age of 9?
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