Thank you for joining me on another round of What to Read Wednesday. Today we have author Claudia Connor in the hot seat. She’s hear sharing her release Worth the Fall. She’s also digging deep and sharing her journey to writing story. I really enjoyed it and think you will too 🙂
Afterward, please don’t forget to enter her fabulous giveaway!
Take it away Claudia…
Once upon a time…a friend told me that not everyone hears voices. Or makes up stories in their head.
But me? I constantly see things in a flash like I’m watching a full color movie and I’d always thought everyone did the same. But this friend gave me a really strange look, shook her head slowly and said, “No. That’s not normal. Maybe you should try writing it down.” So I did.
That was the summer of 2011. And so it began. I wrote and wrote and wrote, and visited every author site that offered advice on writing. I checked out books on characterization, plot, and story structure from the library and then wrote some more.
In 2012 I discovered RWA, Romance Writers of America, and in July I joined a group of like minded ladies in Anaheim, CA for a four day romance writers conference. I met with agents, editors, and hundreds of other writers, published and unpublished, and returned home to Tennessee full of fire.
Entering contests, namely RWA’s Golden Heart, gave me dates on my calendar. I paid close attention to my progress and found accountability, something a closet writer doesn’t really have. I developed a habit of writing everyday and I learned it’s not about mood or inspiration. It’s about work. No matter how may words you get down on paper, you have to work. Every. Single. Day.
In January, I completed my manuscript in time to enter the 2013 Golden Heart, relaxed for about twenty-four hours, and then much to my family’s shock and dismay, started my next book. In addition to writing, I submitted query letters to agents and editors. Some I’d met at the conference in California, others I’d only googled. And then I waited.
And I got rejected.
Some were generic, Sorry, but no. Others were politely detailed, No’s, same result, though maybe less sting. I took heart in knowing the average, for romance at least, is four to five completed manuscripts before getting published.
Several months later, I received an email from an agent requesting the entire manuscript beyond the first three chapters I’d submitted. I didn’t expect to hear anything for a while, but I did. The very next day! She’d read the entire book overnight and loved it. But…
There were a lot of buts and changes to be made. The excitement of someone in the industry being interested in my work overshadowed everything else. And I thought, hey, I’m a newbie, what do I know?
I signed with her and began a very long, very painful revision process. A lot of buts turned into even more buts, and everything changed. I went through a dark time, shut off from friends, mired in the muck of my writing cave. It wasn’t fun anymore. I questioned every decision, second guessed every word, and drove myself crazy. The dream of being published was suddenly real, maybe too real, and I nearly cracked under the pressure and the uncertainty.
But there was light at the end of the tunnel. In August 2013, I signed with a new agent and within days accepted a two book deal from Penguin Random House. From my lowest low to my highest high in less than a week.
I think that’s the way it goes in this business. Things can change so fast there’s no sense in getting buried in the inevitable disappointments. Your sales are great, then they’re terrible. You get heart warming reviews and then you get the one that makes you want to hide under the covers. All you can do to be a writer is write.
Prepare to be swept away by a talented debut author with a passionate, powerful story to tell.
They meet on a beach. . . . Abby Davis isn’t wearing a skimpy bikini or sipping umbrella drinks, not when she’s busy chasing around four little ones. And Matt McKinney isn’t looking for fun—he’s a Navy SEAL, a grown man with a long list of missions . . . and fallen brothers.
They only have a week. . . . Abby has brought her children to this beach to start over, to give them the enjoyable memories they deserve. Matt’s been sidelined by a combat injury, and haunted by the best friend he lost and the promise he made: to remain a SEAL—focused and dedicated. This leaves no time for what he’s always wanted: a family.
But a week is all it takes. . . . Matt opens her heart while Abby soothes his soul. And though they plan to say good-bye when the week is over, something magical happens on that beach, something neither can forget. Something utterly, completely worth falling for.
Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/07/worth-fall-mckinney-brothers-1-by.html
Claudia Connor attended Auburn University, where she received her undergraduate and masters degrees in early childhood education, and completed her studies in Sawbridgeworth, England. Always a lover of happy endings, she enjoys movies, reading, and spending her days putting on paper the stories in her head. She lives near Memphis, Tennessee, with her husband and three daughters.
*Loveswept is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for a $25 eGift Card of Winner’s Choice Bookseller and Digital Copy of WORTH THE FALL*