Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Learning Curve of the New Author

It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole month since my first post. Time sure does fly. A lot has been happening in the background. Let me see if I can catch you up to speed.

My very first set of AA’s (author alliterations) arrived. So exciting. That was the very last time I’ll see my story before it heads off to production. Oh my! No pressure there or anything.

I initially thought this step would be a lot of fun, kicking back with a hot mug of tea and curling up with my spiffed up story. Hmm… The more I read the more my internal editor/perfectionist kept trying to rear its head. The thing is when you reach the copy edit stage this is not the place for rewrites. No deleting scenes. No adding scenes. No changing motivations.

This step is just for clarity of the words and grammar issues. Even though I stressed and sweated over every word, no story is perfect. It can be only as good as I am at that point in time. Once I acknowledged truth of this notion, I was off and running with my highlighter and red pen. Yes, I printed out the manuscript. I find it’s much easier to catch errors from printed copy than working online where my eyes have a tendency to gloss over things.

Once I quit stressing and relaxed, I was quite happy with the story. I hope if you get a chance to read my Harlequin Romance debut, RANCHER TO THE RESCUE, that you’ll enjoy it too.

After I marked up the changes and the associated reasons on an Excel spreadsheet, I emailed them off to my wonderful editor. Apparently I didn’t do too bad as I didn’t get an email back saying I’d done them all wrong. J

This month I also signed a contract with a web designer, which I’m really excited about. Then I had tons of research to do from colors (did you know they each have their own meanings?) to graphics and content. I’ll admit it took quite a while to mark it all up and track down all of the links, but it was fun and exciting. I hope to share it with you in the near future.

I also signed on for a blog tour in which I’ll be writing lots and lots of blog posts with new and hopefully entertaining content. *bites nail* I will try my best. At least I have some lead time before the tour kicks off at the end of June to think up some entertaining things to say. *bites more nails*

Before I go, last month Marcy asked me a great question (see Marcy I didn’t forget ;-) )

“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.”

First, let me say that contracts and the book writing process have two very different time frames. So my answer isn’t actually after I signed on the dotted line but there was a verbal commitment. J And I’m pretty sure my answer will surprise you.

My very first unexpected thing occurred during “The Call.” It was near the end of the conversation when my wonderful and amazing editor informed me that they’d like me to write more urban/global romances. Hmm…this was a HUGE surprise to me especially since my debut is a cowboy story.

But I love to write and I haven’t always written cowboys. And my reading varies through many of the Harlequin lines. So my editor had presented me with a chance to spread my wings and I happily accepted the task.

So in the future, expect more emotional rollercoaster romances with aspiration settings and sexy heroes who will sweep you off your feet.

So thank you Marcy for the great question. J

Does anyone have any other questions for me? I’d love to share as much of this writing journey with you as I can. I’ll either answer your questions in the comments or in some cases save them for my next post.

Jennifer Faye is hard at work on her next romance. Her debut, RANCHER TO THE RESCUE, will be released July 2013. She’d love to hear from you via Twitter, her website, or Facebook.


  1. Great post, Jennifer. And you're right, their request wasn't what I would have expected, but what a great challenge I'm sure you will meet with a wonderful, entertaining story.

    Best wishes

    1. Thanks Amity! I'm really excited about working with my editor on this new adventure. In fact, I'm having a lot of fun working on book #3. :-)

  2. Great post Jen. Looking forward to debut novel. I finally pressed send for The Dragon Legacy.

    1. Thank you! I really hope you like my debut. The story was a lot of fun to write. The characters definitely kept me on my toes.

      Good luck with your submission! Very exciting. Let me know how it goes. :-)

  3. It just keeps getting better and better. I love your updates. I would have never expected that in a call either. YOu have a huge future ahead of you. I'm excited for you! I'm nervous for me. As you know from the forums at harlequin, I'm submitting whatever I have finished of my request from Dana with Intrigue. I've worked 6 years honing my skills for this moment. This is my first submission. I'm worried, I'm scared, I'm excited, I'm everything! Do you have any tips for me through this process? (Harlequin has been my dream from the start, and if I do receive my first R, I know I won't be able to help some sulking)

    1. Thanks! I'm so happy you're enjoying the updates. And I am very excited about the future. :-)

      Wishing you the best of luck w/ your sub. I know all of those feelings very well. They don't go away. LOL.

      As for tips, I can only tell you what works for me. Start something new right away. I'm usually daydreaming about my next story before I finish the current one. The thing is no matter what the decision is on your current sub, you need to have something new to sub. And while I was wrapped up in a new, exciting story, I would think less about my pending sub. Hope it helps you.

      Wishing you the very best of luck!!!

  4. Great post, Jen! So great that they love your voice and know you can meet the challenge of the newer urban settings!

    susan meier

    1. Thanks, Susan! I'm really excited about my next book...but then again I feel that way about them all. LOL.

  5. Jenn -

    Thank you for remembering!! And that would be a surprise. I'm sure you are up for the challenge.
    Thanks too for the details on the AA's. I've heard authors talk about them, but some would gloss over the actual meaning.
    And one more thanks - thanks for letting me (and others) in joining you on this journey.


    1. First, my apologies for spelling your name w/ a "y". I have a childhood friend who uses a "y" in her name. And you know how hard it is to break old habits. :-) Wait did I just imply that I'm old? LOL.

      So glad you found the post informative. Your question was excellent!

      I always wondered about AA's too. Hope I shed more light on them. If you have any other questions, let me know.