3 Chances to win The Heir!
Update: Grace Burrowes offered 3 chances to win The Heir. Her randomly chosen winners are Diane, Tiffany Krepps and Catlady!
Please welcome my fellow Sourcebooks author, Grace Burrowes. Her debut title The Heir was peopled with intelligent, likeable characters with depth and believability. I can’t wait for her next novel The Soldier, which comes out June 1st. In the meantime, I invite you to sit back, pour yourself a cup of cyber-coffee and get to know Grace as she shares her publishing experience.
When I was Wrong… by Grace Burrowes
I’m a post-debut author of Regency romance, that is, I’m between that first, wonderful, harrowing, delightful, god-awful publication experience (“The Heir,” Sourcebooks Casablanca, December 2010), and the second book coming out (“The Soldier” Sourcebooks Casablanca, June 2011). This is a useful moment to reflect on the things I was wrong about regarding the publishing experience.
For they are legion.
First, let me state the obvious, or obvious to everybody but me: There are people who will hate each book I write. I use the word ‘hate’ advisedly. It is inflammatory, and when somebody hates anything associated with me, also painful. I simply did not realize my dear little book would sit out there post-publication in the cross-hairs of anybody with an internet connection—vulnerable, immutable, and a ready target for vituperation and contumely.
I’m not referring to constructive criticism or the perfectly legitimate, “not my cup of tea.” The advice I received when I went whimpering to my editor was to read the reviews for my keeper novels and see that, lo, they get brutally trashed too.
“Oh,” says me. “This is a normal part of being published.” This realization was unaccountably cheering. So some soul I will never meet didn’t like my book—at least they’re only directing their bile at a mere book, a passing entertainment of little cost.
I was wrong in other even more cheering ways.
Writing for publication is supposed to be a lonely business. I’ve found much of it solitary but hardly lonely. Romance authors in particular are a very supportive bunch, blogging and looping with each other daily. My editor checks on the chickens from time to time; my agent is responsive and sympathetic even on my terrible, horrible, awful very bad days (which are not unique to published authors, let us note). And the people who like my books are the most lovely bunch. They email me their kind sentiments, they want to know when book two will come out, they gush and thump the tub and offer such encouragement. I did not foresee this.
And about blogging. A published author told me as soon as I signed a contract, “Start cranking out blogs. Even if you don’t post them, you’ll need the backlog when your blog tour starts.”
Blog tour? I have to actually promote my book? All over the web? For every book? Don’t I have enough to do coming up with two thousand words a day on my WIP?
What I found, though, was that…. drum roll, please… blogging is writing about my books! I love to write, I love my books! I blush to admit this was a light bulb moment.
I was also concerned my enthusiasm for writing would wane as the product had to be tailored for commercial consumption. While it’s true there is a marvelous freedom in not being published, my fears have not been realized. My editor bought my books precisely because she thinks what I write is suited to a wide reading audience already. Yes, there are revisions and sometimes more revisions, but always with an eye toward improving the book I wrote, not toward writing a different book.
In closing, I’d caution anybody writing for publication to turn a hearing-impaired (though perhaps not deaf) to those published authors who spout lugubrious warnings about “it’s different when you get published, harder, worse, more demanding… don’t do it if you don’t have to…” and so on.
Go for it. There are different challenges, but silver linings, new insights, and gratifying rewards abound—though reaping those rewards might require that you admit where and how you were wrong
Grace Burrowes is the youngest of seven children. She claims having so many older siblings meant she learned early in life to be articulate and persistent when she wanted to be heard. Her parents gave her a manual typewriter when she was eight years old and she’s been writing for her own pleasure ever since.
“Life is tough,” Grace says, “if you can’t have a happily ever after of your own right now, you should at least be able to get one in a book. I hope my readers enjoy reading them as much as I do writing them.”
Grace lives in rural Maryland with several dogs, cats and horses, and many imaginary lords and ladies. She loves to hear from her readers and can be reached through her website, GraceBurrowes.com.
Thanks for visiting with us today, Grace.
Now it’s your turn to ask Grace a question or leave comment about a time when you realized a goal and found it wasn’t exactly what you expected. Grace is going to give away a copy of The Heir to 3 lucky commenters! International entries welcome.
I’ll start the ball rolling with a question for Grace.
Your dialogue has been tagged by a Publishers Weekly reviewer as being authentic to the period without being unwieldy for modern readers. How do you craft your characters’ verbal volleys with an ear for historicity?