Debra Daugherty’s Path to Publication Story

Today Debra Daugherty is sharing her Path to Publication story! Without further ado, here’s Debra…

***********

debbie-2015_crop

If I had to pinpoint an age when my writing career began, I’d have to say at age ten. That’s when my stories and poems were first published in my school newspaper. Seeing my name in print made me want to become a writer. Over the years I continued to write children stories, mostly to entertain my nieces and nephews.

In April, 2012, I traveled to England with a tour group. We stopped at Grassmere for lunch before visiting Dove Cottage, the home of the poet William Wordsworth. While sipping tea with two of the ladies from my group, Ilana and Sara, I learned they were writers. I told them I dabbled in writing, and they encouraged me to join SCBWI and submit my stories.

I joined the Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators in May, attended my first writer’s conference in June, and by the following year, December, 2013, my first picture book, CALAMITY CAT, was published as an e-book by MeeGenius. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt took over the company in August, 2015 and my PB is now under contract with them. Hopefully, it will be added to their Curious World website in 2017.) I also had two short stories published in Guardian Angel Kid’s e-zine. I know this sounds like a success story, but I have a file drawer filled with rejections to prove how hard I worked.

At the conference in June, 2012, I connected with writers in my area and joined their writers group. We meet once monthly and critique each other’s work. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without their help and support.

Online writing courses followed, as well as two more conferences. And I never stopped submitting my work. (I average three rejections a month, but rejections are good. I learn from them, and they show I am trying.)

I love pitching stories on twitter, and the February 3rd #Pit2Pub led to Clean Reads publisher, Stephanie Taylor, offering me a contract for THE DRAGON’S RING.

From the day I signed my contract, February 23rd, to the present, it’s been a whirlwind of a ride. Edits, line edits, proofs and Galleys passed quickly. The cover art by Amanda L. Matthews, AM Design Studio, turned out amazing. I couldn’t be happier or more pleased with my experience with Clean Reads and with my publisher and her wonderful staff.

My highs and lows are many. I wrote THE DRAGON’S RING years ago and didn’t save it on my word processor. I remember the tears when I realized all my work was lost. Starting over from scratch, I rewrote my story from memory, remembering to save it this time. I sent it out a couple of times, then tucked it away in a drawer. (It had a different title then, THE PRINCESS, THE UNICORN AND THE GOLDEN RING.)

After attending the SCBWI conference in 2012, I dug out this fairy tale, and took another look. My princess sat at the castle and waited for her knight to accomplish his mission. Too outdated. I revised the entire manuscript and turned the princess into a heroine, rescuing her knight each time he encountered trouble. Ilana, with whom I’ve kept in touch, generously offered to read and edit it, and her edits showed me what I needed to do to polish the story.

I submitted my story to a few agents/publishers, but kept busy with other work, too. Two publishers actually favored it during the #Pit2Pub, (Pitch to Publication), last February, but it was Stephanie Taylor from Clean Reads who saw my vision and gave me a chance. That’s a major high.

Now for the lows. Since January 6th of this year I’ve had medical problems and was seeing several doctors. February 3rd I had a sonogram scheduled; but it was cancelled, so I spent the day pitching my stories on twitter. (Everything happens for a reason. If I had gone for the sonogram, I might never have joined in the #Pit2Pub twitter party, and might still be searching for a publisher for THE DRAGON’S RING.)

I had the sonogram a week later, and then a biopsy. March 4th I learned I had endometrial cancer, Stage 1, and would have to have a total hysterectomy and removal of some lymph nodes.

My surgery was performed March 14th. All the time leading up to the surgery, I continued writing and working on my book. I sent the pre-edits in before my biopsy, and my line edits were returned before my surgery. After the surgery I had more editing to do, and was thankful for something to keep my mind occupied while I recuperated at home.

Time for some highs. My cancer doctor believes the cancer was removed, and he decided I didn’t need radiation or chemo. I must have check-ups every three months, but the prognosis is good. This means I can continue writing, and hopefully, publishing many more books.

My path to publication has taken many years, almost all of my lifetime, and I’ve overcome many hurdles and obstacles to be where I am today. One must love writing to keep at this craft, as it can be a desolate path at times, but when something wonderful happens, such as seeing your book in print, or in my case for sale online, the hard work, sleepless nights, revisions and editing seem worth it.

 

*************

dragonsring_500x750

Sir James Trueblood is determined to capture a unicorn so he can marry Princess Isadora. The knight begins his quest, not realizing the Princess is following him in disguise. On his journey Sir James encounters a witch and a dragon. With the dragon’s ring his mission is a success, but then he learns the unicorn will die if not set free. Now he has a dilemma; marry the Princess or free the unicorn.

 

 

Buy Links:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01J73OAUG#nav-subnav

Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-dragon-s-ring

Smashwords  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/654404

 

Book trailer link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ODAHd23OzQ

 

Author Bio:  Debra Daugherty is from Central Illinois and is a member of SCBWI, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She enjoys living in the country with her two dogs, a Chihuahua named CeCe, and a rescued American Stratford Terrier named Honey. Besides writing children stories, Debra loves to spend time with her family, travel, and browse through antique shops. Publishing credits include CALAMITY CAT, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and THE DRAGON’S RING, Astraea Press/Clean Reads. She’s also had two short stories published in Guardian Angel Kids’e-zine.

 

Connect with Debra: 

Email: ddaugherty329@gmail.com

Twitter – @dmddeb

Website: http://ddaugherty329.wixsite.com/authordebradaugherty

www.writing-for-children.webnode.com

Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/DebraDaughertyauthor

Goodreads Author Page: www.goodreads.com/author/show/7579797.Debra_Daugherty

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ddaugherty329

J.N. Tomczak’s Path to Publication Story

Today J.N. Tomczak stopped by to share her Path to Publication story. Without further ado, here’s J.N….

*************

Author Pic

I wish to first thank Christi for having me as a guest on her blog and the opportunity to share my path to publication.

As it so happens, my journey had a bit of a “late to the party” kind of start.  But hey, better late than never, I always say, because I never in a million galaxies would have thought I’d pursue a career in writing.  My initial idea for EDENHART’S RIVALRY, the first installment in my High Fantasy/Adventure series, KINGDOM OF THE FAERIES, didn’t come until after I discovered my love for reading.  From the point I could learn to read up to seventh grade, I was reading in the wrong genre the WHOLE time!  I literally picked the easiest and most boring books in the school’s library, just so I could pass a stupid AR test.  I was a seventh grader, reading on a fourth grader’s reading level.  Compute that for a moment.  You can assume my comprehension skills were TERRIBLE—and they were!

But all of that changed the moment I picked up what would literally become my favorite book and what sparked my imagination.  I own the book, naturally, and it’s called THE LONG PATROL by Brian Jacques, one of many in the beloved REDWALL series.  For such a thick book, I read it in a day, and I was left breathless.  It astounded me that words on a page could make me feel so many emotions.  It made me laugh, it made me angry, it made me fearful and anxious, and it also made me cry.  And that’s when I wanted to write something that could connect with readers the same way this book connected with me.  And so four weeks later and three filled notebooks, my path to publication began.

Being only thirteen at the time, I was still immature and ignorant as to HOW to publish a novel.  And remember I said my reading comprehension skills were terrible?  Well, that included grammar.  The first draft was cringe-worthy and riddled with noob mistakes.  But that’s OK on a first draft.  They’re always crap, and if they’re not, well, aren’t you just a special, little snowflake I envy so much.  So I dedicated a few years learning about publication and how to query an agent.  I sent out only a handful.  The best rejection letter I received asked if I had any other projects to send them for consideration, since the one I sent wasn’t what they were looking for at the time.  Of course, I didn’t have any other finished manuscripts, so I had to move on.

So I spent all my time learning more about my craft instead of acquiring scholarships by the time I was in my senior year of High School.  My family didn’t have big expectations for me.  Whatever I wanted to do, they were there to back me up, and they knew this was my passion.  I kept notebooks filled with all my acquired knowledge, and I used that to polish up EDENHART’S RIVALRY, until I finally deemed it publishable.

And that’s when a fellow church goer and author friend of mine told me about her publishing company called Clean Reads and that they were currently seeking submissions from all genres.  I had this good vibe, and I decided to go for it.  It took a few months, but I was so relieved and thankful when the founder of Clean Reads and its chief editor, Stephanie, contracted me.  Besides my wedding day, it was one of the happiest moments in my life.

Overall, if you truly want to be a writer, you must first be a reader.  Learn from the best.  Study the craft enough, and I promise you, it WILL pay off.  It took me almost eleven years, but it was so worth it.  But you have to be patient and dedicated.  And this is with anything.  Not just writing.  If you truly want to be good at something, you have to take it seriously.  Is it possible to write a book in a day?  Absolutely!  But writing the story is the easy part.  What follows next really tests your strengths and weaknesses.  Remember: quality takes time and effort.  Publishing a book takes guts!

Currently, I’m waiting for the green light on EDENHART’S RIVALRY’S sequel.  But while I’m waiting, I’m working on an entirely new project at the moment—a reimagining of Lewis Carol’s Alice in Wonderland, and I aim to have the first draft completed by the end of next month.  Wish me luck!

KingdomoftheFaeriesEdenhartsRivalry1600x2400

A dark power is rising, and a kingdom is in dire need of a leader when the King of the Faeries falls in battle. Or so, that’s what they’re led to believe, but his only heir and daughter, Aurora, suspects murder.
But when she and her loyal friend Percy, the Captain of the Elite Guard, discover an ancient prophecy foretold by the enigmatic Faerie Sorcerers, Aurora finds herself an unwilling pawn in a dark plot that will threaten everything she holds dear.
Her courage and magic will be her greatest weapons if she hopes to succeed where all others have failed. But will she? Aurora must ask herself this very question: just how far is she willing to go to save her kingdom, and at what costs?

 

Author Bio:

Julianne grew up on a small farm in central Arkansas and now lives in Tucson, Arizona with her husband. When not writing, Julianne loves playing video games, listening to music, hiking, and binge-watching Falling Skies while eating non-nutritional food.

Author Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14918148.J_N_Tomczak

Website: http://jntomczak.weebly.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JNTomczak

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jntomczak/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/juliannetomczak/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/J.N.Tomczak/

Sophia Whittemore’s Path to Publication Story

Today I’m thrilled to introduce fellow Clean Reads author, Sophia Whittemore, who generously agreed to share her Path to Publication story.

Oh, and you should know that Sophia’s first novel released before she graduated from high school!!!

Without further ado, here’s Sophia…

***************

8 author photo jpeg

I started writing to overcome social anxiety when I was little. Being a late bloomer/ only child, making friends was harder to do than making enemies. So imagination and storytelling became my outlet. I’d sit in the library reading every book on mythology (I also happened to read a lot of mythology because it was on the shortest shelf, and before I had a growth spurt, the lowest shelf was the only one I could reach).

When writing became something that I seriously considered doing for life, I searched out for publications and magazines sometime around eighth grade. By my sophomore year of high school, I’d snagged a couple Midwestern Writing Awards. By junior year, I was published in a literary magazine. By my senior year of high school, I had learned the merits of hard work.

Despite my father’s battle with cancer and my mom’s with diabetes, I kept on writing. I eventually published the first of my Impetus Rising Series by the start of my senior year. By that point, I had an entire box full of rejection letters that I’d garnered over the past year, but that didn’t faze me.

Clean Reads became my first publishing family, and it introduced me to a world where writing wasn’t just a dream, but instead, a reality. I’ll be attending Dartmouth College this fall with the knowledge that hard work will get me everywhere, so long as I have the support of my friends and family.

8 deaths fool jpeg

“Isak was love. Isak was bravery. Isak was death.”

Her lover has been cursed. Her mother has been kidnapped. Her best friend’s soul has been stolen and his body deformed. And Diana is afraid that she too is turning into a bloodthirsty monster, just like her father.

Awoken from an enchantment placed on her by her treacherous lover, the half-Impetus god, half mortal Diana is flung into a war between mutant shadows and the Impetus beings. Diana must navigate a world where queens torture their faithful knights, human children play with giants, and magic has darkness within it. Diana knows she has some power within her, some sleeping evil that demands to be set free. But is she truly her father, or is she her own person?

Secrets are revealed to her about the cursed Prince Isaakios that she never knew before, secrets like the women he once had in his life, or the havoc he once wreaked upon the Earth. How far will this twisted love go for Diana before she is broken? Or will she break before she even gets the chance to save the world one last time?

 

AUTHOR BIO:

Sophia Whittemore is a Dartmouth student and multiracial author with an Indonesian mother and a Minnesotan father. She has had book signings at Barnes & Noble for her Impetus Rising Series, available on Amazon and other outlets, the first book published when she was only seventeen. She has been featured as a Standout in the Daily Herald and a Rad Reads author in Girls’ Life Magazine. Her love for the English language manifested itself in eighth grade when she went to the Scripps National Spelling Bee and has continued with other languages such as Spanish and Indonesian. Her prior publications include “A Clock’s Work” in a Handersen Publishing magazine, “Blind Man’s Bluff” in Parallel Ink, and winning multiple awards in the Best Midwestern Writing competition for high school writers. She currently resides in Chicago, Illinois with her family and food-loving mini schnauzer called Tiger. Drawing on inspiration from her two cultural backgrounds, Sophia lives a life playing tennis, traveling, and writing about her dual life experiences through other characters in her works or on her blog.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sophiawhitte

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Authorsophiawhittemore/

Instagram: @authorsophiawhittemore

Tumblr: http://authorsophiawhitte.tumblr.com/

WordPress: https://sophiawhittemore.com

 

True Colors goes to Print!

I featured Krysten’s Path to Publication story back in July of 2014. It’s an inspiring story about overcoming obstacles, and you should CLICK HERE to read it.

Today I’m thrilled to help promote the print release of True Colors!

Without further ado, here’s Krysten…

Kryslin3_transparant_backgroundTrue Colors (Book One in the Landry’s True Colors Series)  is on sale for 99 cents in ebook format and has just released in paperback! Check out the first book that started Landry Albright’s journey into finding her real friends and her true self.

Series Info: The Landry’s True Colors Series is a clean reads young adult humor series about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, crushes, and self-image. It’s a clean reads book so it’s suitable for ages 11 and up.

TrueColors453X680

True Colors Blurb: Landry Albright just wants to be one of the interesting girls at school who always have exciting things going on in their lives. She wants to stand out, but also wants to fit in, so she gives in when her two best friends, Ericka and Tori, push her into trying out for a teen reality show modeling competition with them. Landry goes in nervous, but impresses the judges enough to make it to the next round.

However, Ericka and Tori get cut and basically “unfriend” her on Monday at school. Landry tries to make new friends, but gets caught up between wanting to be herself and conforming to who her new friends want her to be. Along the way she learns that modeling is nowhere as glamorous as it seems, how to deal with frenemies, a new crush, and that true friends see you for who you really are and like you because of it.

What people are saying about the Landry’s True Colors Series:

From Teenage Book Recommendations in the UK: “This is a fantastically relatable and real book which I feel captures all of the insecurities and troubles which haunt the modern teenage girl. It is about a young model who has to go through tough times when she is torn between a life as a model and managing her friendships. You learn which friends she can most trust and which will create the drama typical of teenage life. Follow the life of Landry and try to see if you can find out which are her true friends before their true colours are revealed. This book is all about relationships, hopes and truth. I loved this book!”

From Books & Authors Spot: “This book is such an inspiration for those who just care about their looks and are tensed about them. This thing is looks aren’t everything. This book is related to every teen’s problem. Hager has written a very inspiring novel.”

“Krysten captures the teenage girl today. The struggles are real, the issues are something children have been dealing with since before I was a teen, and oddly-Krysten captures the readers! I was prepared for another “Mean Girls” story. This is NOT that. This is the real story of teenage girls! You watch Landry flower into a young woman who finds out trust is an invaluable item to find, and friendships are hard to seek genuine realism in. You will learn about relationships with not just friends, but peers, boys, and others. The details put into the book will draw you, and make the story so much more realistic. Krysten expresses emotions beautifully through her writing, and the story flows flawlessly…” By Candice J. Conway Simpson

“True Colors, is just a dazzling story of how middle school kids show their true colors of jealousy, drama, loss and gains of friendship. However, the way Krysten wrote her story; she wrote it with passion, creativity and honesty that this story line could be placed in anyone’s life at any age.” Review by Double Decker Books

“Krysten Lindsay Hager understands what it means to be a teen today, and she writes with an authentic voice. Landry, the main character, is funny, lively, and very real. Readers will relate to her struggles with friends and family, self-esteem and self-discovery, boys and school and life in general. It’s fun to read about Landry’s blossoming modeling career and the changes it brings.” Review by Author Diana Jenkins

Excerpt:

The competition was for girls between the ages of thirteen and seventeen, but it felt like Ericka, Tori, and I were the youngest ones there. I only saw a couple of girls from school, and the lineup looked more like something you’d see on a music video set. All the girls were gorgeous, and they had these curvy womanly bodies. I looked like a skinny little kid next to them. The first girl walked out, and I heard the judges say she “owned the runway,” and, “walked like a gazelle.” I was starting to feel ill. I wasn’t sure which way it was going to come, but I knew I had to find a bathroom — fast. I started to get out of line when Ericka grabbed my wrist.

“It’s almost time,” she said. A tiny bit of spit flew out of her mouth and hit my cheek.

I wasn’t sure why she was so intent on me going through with it, but she had a death grip on my arm, so I didn’t have much of a choice. Her number was called and she walked out to the stage. One of the other girls said she walked like a kid with sand bucket stilts on her feet, but she came back with a smirk on her face like she knew she’d get chosen.

“They said they had never seen such long legs,” she said.

Tori was next.

“She walks like a gorilla at feeding time,” said the girl behind me. I went next, and I tried to focus on not tripping over my feet. My mom’s pumps had a rubber sole on the bottom, which probably wasn’t the brightest idea seeing as my shoes were making squeaking noises as I walked. I was so nervous I couldn’t stop smiling as I walked. I looked like the plastic clown who blows up balloons with its mouth at the Pizza Palace. When I got to the end of the runway, I tried to cross my feet to turn like the other girls had, but I over rotated and ended up doing a full spin which made my kilt fan out and gave the mall walkers a view of my blue underpants. I tried to act like it was intentional and did an extra turn. One of the judges put her hand up to stop me, and I held my breath as she started to speak.

Book Trailer Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96jxcUH54hU

Best Friends…Forever? (Book 2):

Landry Albright hopes the new year will start off in an amazing way—instead she has to deal with more frenemy issues, boy drama, and having most of her best friends make the cheerleading squad without her. Suddenly, it seems like all anyone can talk about is starting high school next year—something she finds terrifying.

Landry gets her first boyfriend (her crush, Vladi), but then gets dumped just as things come to a head with her friends. She feels lost and left out, but finds good advice about dealing with frenemies from what she considers an unlikely source. Landry faces having to speak up for what’s right, tell the truth (even when it hurts), and how to get past the fear of failure as she gets another shot at competing in the American Ingénue TV show modeling competition. Will she get a second chance with her friends, fame, and Vladi?

BFF book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFp2fPFbvTQ

Landry in Like (Book 3):

Things seem to be going well in Landry Albright’s world—she’s getting invited to be on local talk shows to talk about her modeling career, her best friends have her back, and her boyfriend Vladi has becoming someone she can truly count on…and then everything changes.

Suddenly it seems like most of the girls in school are into hanging out at a new teen dance club, while Landry just wants to spend her weekends playing video games and baking cup-cakes at sleepovers. Then, Yasmin McCarty, the most popular girl in school, starts to come between Landry’s friendship with her best friend Ashanti. Things take a turn when Yasmin tells Vladi that Landry is interested in another boy. Can Landry get her relationships with Ashanti and Vladi back or will she be left out and left behind?

Landry in Like book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CsGREKFQco&feature=youtu.be

Author Bio:

Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, the celebrity world, values, and self-image in True Colors, Best Friends…Forever? Landry in Like, Next Door to a Star and Competing with the Star. Best Friends…Forever? was ranked at #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values & Virtues Fiction and True Colors is an international bestseller. Her work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Bellbrook Times, the Grand Haven Tribune, and on the talk show Living Dayton.

Author social media links:

Website: http://www.krystenlindsay.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/krystenlindsay/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KrystenLindsayHagerAuthor

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/krystenlindsay/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KrystenLindsay

Purchase:

Amazon US paperback: http://amzn.to/29gsqPw

Amazon US ebook: http://amzn.to/29tp2EF

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/29ilH8v

Amazon UK ebook: http://amzn.to/29mv46L

Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/29gCDe2

Amazon AU ebook: http://amzn.to/29umy7d

Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/29xKc3k

Amazon CA ebook: http://amzn.to/29umCUm

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/29oFynI

Barnes and Noble Nook: http://bit.ly/1S5wUuk

itunes: http://apple.co/1Ue5lNm

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/true-colors-17