Tuesday, January 08, 2013

The Learning Curve of the New Author

Hi! I’m just so excited to be here on the Pink Heart Society. J Thank you Michelle Styles for inviting me to share my endeavors as a brand new author for Harlequin Romance/M&B Cherish on this fantastic blog. I know I have big shoes to fill as Scarlet Wilson did a wonderful job with this column last year and I really enjoyed following it and learning as I went along. I will try my best to do the same for you this year.

I must admit that I’m still getting used to being a contracted author. <still pinching myself…just not too hard. lol.> It’s hard to believe but that at this point last year I had a partial in my-now-editor’s slush pile and I’d just submitted my entry in the 2011 Harlequin’s ”So You Think You Can Write” Contest. There was no signs of being published in my horizon. I had absolutely no clue what 2012 had in store for me as 2011 had been quite a struggle and really tested my stick-to-it-ness.

Fast-forward to October 18, 2012 @ 8:30 a.m. this is when my wonderful editor called to say they wanted to buy my book (not my slush submission or my SYTYCW entry but a brand new one I’d just written). If you recall hearing a scream, it was me.  LOL. Lots of happy screaming, happy dancing and grinning was going on that day. Take it from me, dreams really do come true—just cling tight to them and keep working at it. You’ll get there.

Since I got “The Call” life has moved in hyper-mode. I have sooo much to do—things to learn that I had no idea about before and things I’d been putting off until after I got “The Call.” I’d love to tell you that I have it all figured out and organized, but alas I’m scrambling to get everything in place before my debut in July. I honestly did not know that aside from the writing that there was so much writing related work to do.

My priority right now is to provide my editor with a stellar proposal for book #3. <bites nails> I actually have a couple of story ideas in mind, but after chatting with my editor, I know one of them needs some revisions and then we’ll see.

When I’m not writing I’m working on getting my website redesigned with all of the bells and whistles that I’m currently lacking. I’m so excited about this.

I’m also trying to stay active in various online social networks. I’ve met so many wonderful people and I really love chatting with everyone. If only there were more hours in the day just think of all of the chatting I could do. :-D

At this point, I’m also facing a steep learning curve about marketing/promo. What promo items to order??? To blog tour??? Or not to blog tour??? Host a Facebook launch party??? The avenues for promotion seem endless but with a budget to consider and only so many hours in a day, I’m going to have to do some serious thinking. In the end, hopefully 2013 will have taught me what to do and not to do. <fingers crossed>

In between all of this, I’m expecting my first set of AA’s (author alliterations). I’m so excited to see my story after the copy editor has reviewed the manuscript. It’ll be the last time I see my book before it heads off to production. <squee>

As you can tell, I’ll have lots of firsts this year. And I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to share it with you. I hope you’ll stop be each month and find out what I’ve been up to. It’s going to be a fast paced, amazing year.

Is there anything in particular about the journey to seeing my first book on the store shelves that you’d be interested in hearing about in future columns? If so, let me know. I’ll make notes about it when I get to that stage.

Happy reading!



Jennifer Faye is hard at work on her 3rd Harlequin Romance. Her debut, RANCHER TO THE RESCUE, will be out this July in the UK and US. She’d love to hear from you via Twitter, her website, or Facebook.

32 comments:

  1. Congratulations Jennifer! I'm so happy that your dreams have come true for you :)

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    1. Hi, Rachael. Thanks so much. I've wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl. Some dreams take longer than others. This was worth the wait. :-)

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  2. Great post!! I've really enjoyed getting to know you and can't wait to read your books:)

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    1. I'm so glad to call you friend. I'm really looking forward to this upcoming year for both of us. Lots of great things to look forward to.

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  3. Jennifer, congratulations!!!! Enjoy the dream. It's only the beginning.

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    1. Linda, thanks so much for stopping by. :-) I'm definitely enjoying the ride...now if this darn cold would go away, I'd be set. LOL. Am really excited about the upcoming year and the many firsts ahead of me.

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  4. I think I recognize you from the Harlequin blog. Your cat is familiar. Congratulations I will be watching for your book.

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    1. Hi. Yes, it's me. My kitty has pretty much become my trademark. :-) Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy my book.

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  5. Congrats, Jen! I'm really looking forward to reading your column, I can relate to all of this. Still finding my own feet, really, I'm trying to focus on the writing as much as I can because it's so easy to get distracted with all the other more social bits.

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    1. Hi. Thanks for stopping by. I know what you mean. There's just so much to being published and a lot of it has nothing to do w/ putting words on the page. But I find it all fascinating. And the best part, aside from selling, is all of the wonderful friends I've met along the way. :-)

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  6. I never doubted your talent, Jen! Congrats and why didn't I know about this before mow? I think I need to pull my head from under my rock more often. ;) I'm so happy for you and wish you nothing but the best!

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    1. Hello. Thanks so much! It's been a long time since we used to hang out on the HAR forum together. :-) I've been trying to keep up w/ you on twitter and you've been very busy. So happy for you too.

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  7. Congrats on your sale Jennifer! I sold in the month of October, too! I can't believe it's been 2 years and six books!!! My one suggestion...don't let that first year burn you out. Take time for yourself. Don't get so caught up that you forget why you fell in love with writing in the first place.

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    1. Thanks so much, Wendy. October is definitely a great month. :-D 2 yrs and 6 bks. Wow! Congrats!!! I can't wait to read your latest releases. I remember when you sold. Boy does the time fly. Thanks for the great advice. Actually my editor gave me the holidays off. It was a wonderful time for some much needed R&R and to play catch up w/ the family. Now to get rolling on bk #3.

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  8. Huge Congratulations, to you again, My dear!! oh and it's so exciting to 'meet' you....Can't wait to read your debut and I am nodding along to everything you are saying about the steep learning curve...

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    1. Thanks so much, Sri! We've been walking along this path together since we finalled in the 2011 SYTYCW contest. Seems like so long ago now. It's great to have friends like you to share these moments with. And I can't wait to read your debut this year. Lots of exciting things to look forward to. :o)

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  9. Welcome to pink heart Jennifer and I'm sure you're going to do a wonderful job!

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    1. Thanks, Scarlet. I'm so thrilled to be here. :-) I hope I can do this column justice. I'll certainly try my best.

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  10. Congrats, Jennifer!!! I'm just so thrilled for you-an awesome start to your career! :-)

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    1. Thanks! I'm honored to have been asked to join this great blog. :-) And congrats to you. Your first book is quite a hit. I loved it!

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  11. What specifically can you tell us that once your book was contracted that you did not expect? Besides learning about promo. Something related to the book itself.

    Congrats on Book 1 and Book 2!!

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    1. Hi, Marcie. Hmm...I'm trying to think of an answer to your question. I will make a note of your question and ponder it. Look for answer in next month's column. It might surprise what I come up with. :-)

      And thank you so much!!!

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  12. Hi Jennifer, congrats on selling your second book today! Will follow your column here...

    On your road to that first sale, did you have an AHA moment, something you learned about writing that really helped you sell? Or was it more a matter of persistence pays off? That could be just as encouraging, I guess... :D

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    1. Thanks so much!!! Hope you'll find the column interesting and helpful.

      While writing my debut, RANCHER TO THE RESCUE, I learned that I could write a lot faster when I didn't have time to pay attention to the doubt crows buzzing overhead. In fact, my editor wanted that book so quickly that I had to write like the wind. Finding out that I could turn around a fresh story that quickly was very helpful.

      BTW, I firmly believe that persistence does pay off. :-) Otherwise I wouldn't be here. Some dreams just take a little longer than others.

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  13. Yay Jenn! Great column, I'm going to follow along ;)

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    1. Thanks, Jen. Thrilled to hear that you'll be following along. Maybe some of it will help you know what to expect as your debut approaches. :-)

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  14. Congratulations Jennifer! I'm so happy and excited for you!

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    1. Thanks so much, Nas. So glad you stopped by. :-)

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  15. Thanks for the follow on Twitter, Jennifer, it's really great to get to know you. I have a romance novel debuting this year (with MuseItUp Publishing) and everything you said in your post really struck a chord with me! I hope all goes well for you. I'm going to be following your progress with great interest and I can't wait to read your novel. Cherish is my favourite line :)

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    1. Hi, Helena. Thanks for your friendship on Twitter. I must admit Twitter is one of my favorite places to hang out. So much info and so many wonderful people. :-)

      Congrats on your debut!!! That's wonderful. Sounds like we're walking down the same path. We can hold hands. :-) I hope you enjoy the column. Happy writing!

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    1. Hi, Rechelle! Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind words. I'm definitely enjoying this ride. Very exciting. :-)

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