Today SM Ford is hosting my blog, and telling her Path to Publication story. Without further ado, here’s SM Ford…
Thanks, Christi, for letting me share today!
Growing up I never thought seriously about becoming a writer. Writers were extraordinary people who lived in far off places—I was just an ordinary teen living in a small town in Oregon. It was the seventies and computers were new and interesting, so that’s what I headed off to college to study. Meanwhile, I met this guy . . .
Fast forward to the early eighties—now married, I was mom to two lovely daughters, but still wanting to write. I came across a writing for children correspondence course. I applied and was accepted, but when I learned the cost, I figured it was a no. However, my wonderful husband encouraged me take it anyway. Looking back I can see I didn’t dedicate enough time and energy to the course, but eventually I passed. Meanwhile, I wrote some adult novels.
In the early nineties I connected with other writers and got involved in the children’s writing community. I sold my first short story in 1992. During that decade I started selling more and more pieces to children’s magazines and even two books to small presses. (I write for children under my maiden name Susan Uhlig.) I also sold a few articles for the adult audience. But the adult novels never sold.
To date I’ve sold over 160 magazine and online pieces. And in 2008, I became an instructor for the Institute of Children’s Literature—the very same place who offered the correspondence course I’d taken in the eighties.
In this decade, I also did work-for-hire picture books and easy readers for two different Korean publishers. But my adult novels? I gave up on them a long time ago.
Until this past fall. I pulled out my favorite adult novel manuscript and started rereading. Wow, had I learned a lot since I wrote it! I started editing, tightening, and deleting. In the end I reduced the word count by over 11,000 words. Almost on a whim, I sent the book to Clean Reads.
I was honestly surprised when I got an email that began with, “PLEASE tell me this book is still available!” and had a contract attached. Of course, signing the contract resulted in more work on the story with the help of a number of editors and copy editors. I’m so grateful for all their input to make ALONE a better book.
I wish my teen self could see it.
Ready for adventure in the snowy Colorado mountains, Cecelia Gage is thrilled to be employed as the live-in housekeeper for her favorite bestselling author. The twenty-five-year old doesn’t count on Mark Andrews being so prickly, nor becoming part of the small town gossip centering on the celebrity. Neither does she expect to become involved in Andrews family drama and a relationship with Simon Lindley, Mark’s oh so good-looking best friend. And certainly, Cecelia has no idea she’ll be mixed up in a murder investigation because of this job.
Will Cecelia’s faith in God get her through all the trouble that lies ahead?
Available for Purchase at the Following Retailers:
About the Author:
SM Ford writes inspirational fiction for adults, although teens may find the stories of interest, too.
When she was thirteen, she got hooked on Mary Stewart’s romantic suspense books, although she has been a reader as long as she can remember, and is an eclectic reader. Inspirational authors she enjoys include: Francine Rivers, Bodie Thoene, Dee Henderson, Jan Karon, and many more.
SM Ford is a Pacific Northwest gal, but has also lived in the midwest (Colorado and Kansas) and on the east coast (New Jersey). She and her husband have two daughters and two sons-in-law and three grandsons. She can’t figure out how she got to be old enough for all that, however.
She also loves assisting other writers on their journeys.
Today I learned that my third book, A Mountain Man’s Redemption, is an official 2016 RONE Award Finalist!!!!!
A special message for those of you still considering following your own dreams—whatever they may be—know that being a writer was something I wanted to do since first grade. It took me a while, and I had many setbacks on the way, but I’m so glad I stuck with it. Never give up!!
Thank you everyone for all your support over the years!! Your encouragement means everything to me!!!
All right everyone, this is the post I’ve waited for. The post that has me crying the happiest ugly cry ever imaginable as I type these words.
My critique partner, Artemis Grey, is here to tell her Path to Publication story!!!!
*wipes tears with sleeve*
I’m crying because I’ve believed in her for so long, and really am so very very happy this book has finally been published!
Artemis and I “met” forever ago (years!!) when she commented on a blog post I did for Pimp My Novel, and we’ve stayed in contact ever since. Public comments on blogs moved to private chats via Facebook and emails, and then one day we exchanged pages, and the rest is history.
She was vital to making me not look like a complete idiot with the horse and injury scenes in all three of my books, totally “gets” my characters and doesn’t hesitate to call me out when they or any part of my story lines aren’t flowing well, and taught me the epic phrase, “Awesomesauce”.
*wipes more tears on sodden sleeve*
And now, without further ado, here is Artemis Grey…
First off, I want to thank Christi for hosting me on her Path to Publication today. Also, anyone who’s read and enjoyed Catskin, take a moment to also thank Christi, because I’m not being dramatic when I say that Catskin would not have been published without Christi. I literally would never have submitted to Clean Reads if not for Christi’s foot on my tuchus, shoving me onward toward publication.
My journey began in childhood, with the oral stories told to me by my grandmother on my Mom’s side of the family, and my Great Great Aunt, and Great Aunts on my Dad’s side of the family. Mom’s side brought tales of mountain hollows, witchy women, ghosts and superstition, both that of Appalachian folk and of the Cherokee. Dad’s side brought stories of Irish rabble-rousing, Scottish mayhem and Italian superstition. It was all fodder for my developing mind, and I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write my own versions of the stories I’d been told. Eventually, I began writing completely new stories.
The first novel I wrote, sank into the swamp. So I wrote a second novel. And that one sank into the swamp. So I wrote a third novel. That one burned down, fell over and then sank into the swamp. But the fourth novel turned out to actually be worth reading. Unfortunately, it was also a dystopian, and while everyone seemed to love it, no agents wanted to rep it. What I didn’t know at the time, was that the first book of the Hunger Games was due out in just a few months, and so behind the scenes, everyone in the industry already knew that a glut on dystopian YA was about to hit the country. Dystopians which had already been repped, sold to publishing houses, and were in the works to be released in the same wave as the Hunger Games. So I moved on to a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, there was also a fantasy, and several others.
But in the middle, amidst years of writing, working on other stories and partial novels, came one that Christi insisted right from the beginning would be The One.
That book was Catskin. I’d never written a contemporary YA before, and never had a male main character. Yet, Catskin popped out of me without me intending to write it in any particular way, or in any particular voice. Catskin went through some major revisions, complete rewrites in some places, and though I started submitting it to agents–and getting rejections with feedback–I continued working on it as per the feedback I was getting from prospective agents. I know this is not how you’re supposed to do things. It’s the opposite, of what you’re supposed to do. but at the time, I was so tantalizingly *close* to getting an offer of representation, that I just wanted to make Catskin as good as I could. Finally, the day came when Christi told me to stop futzing around with it and leave it alone. If it wasn’t “good enough” for an agent or publisher, she said, then it wasn’t meant to be wherever or with whomever I was sending it to. So I listened to Christi, and kept sending Catskin out, and kept getting “almost” rejections.
Then Christi told me to just eat my concern and submit to Clean Reads. So, I listened to her again. And she was right. I woke up on the second day of my September 2015 vacation, in a slot canyon in Utah, and unexpectedly heard a bing from my phone as it somehow got enough service to inform me that I’d received an email. An email that contained a contract and offer for publication. I reread that email about a dozen times in the first three minutes, absolutely, fanatically convinced that I was somehow missing something, a catch, or a sentence saying “but unfortunately”. There was none. It was real. I had been offered a contract.
Of course, I completely freaked out and emailed Christi in a panic along the lines of “HOLY FREAKING SH*# WHAT THE H*$% DO I DO???” Christi’s response went something like “CONGRATULATIONS! I’m not surprised. I knew you had this in the bag 🙂 Now, read your contract.”
There isn’t much more to tell. We went through edits, which–again, thanks to Christi–were pretty dang light, and I had the immense benefit of being able to help design my cover, and even use the artist of my own choosing. The astoundingly talented Erin Kelso was able to bring Ansel and Catskin to life, and I could not be happier with the end result! Now, to get book two finished and repeat the process all over again…
Back cover copy:
Sometimes the only way to find yourself is to go missing…
Shy, eighteen-year-old albino, Ansel, thought that letting the runaway girl with the injured ankle sleep in his parents’ shed was a good idea. That was before she passed out in his shower, woke up in a panic and accidentally attacked him. Any average guy would have called the cops but average isn’t Ansel’s style.
When she refuses to tell him her real name, Ansel nicknames the girl Catskin, after one of his favorite fairytale characters, and begins the dubious task of earning her trust. It’s not an easy thing to do, but a few awkward conversations later, one thing is clear: Catskin doesn’t want to be the way she is, she just doesn’t think she can change. Ansel knows from his own experiences that seeing the world around you differently doesn’t mean that you’re wrong, something he intends to teach Catskin.
While the details of her past remain elusive, Catskin creates a new place for herself with Ansel and his family, and develops her own brand of normalcy. Then a terrible accident leaves her hovering near death, and Ansel is forced to contact her estranged parents. But there are secrets hidden in the life Catskin left behind. Dark secrets that chased her all the way to Healy, Alaska and Ansel’s actions unknowingly provoke a shocking confrontation between the wealthy world Catskin was born into, and the starkly average one she now shares with Ansel.
Refusing to give up the imperfect girl who fits perfectly inside his heart, Ansel prepares to go to war with Catskin’s father. But in the end, Catskin might be the only one who can save herself.
Amazon Australia: http://www.amazon.com.au/Catskin-Artemis-Grey-ebook/dp/B01D2MWR62
About the Author:
Artemis Grey was raised on fairytales and the folklore of Appalachia. She’s been devouring books and regurgitating her daydreams into written words since childhood. She can most often be found writing by a crackling fire or rambling barefooted through the woods and mountains, napping (yes, napping) on horseback, searching the depths of random wardrobes and wriggling into hollow tree trunks. In her downtime, she herds cats, which is just as entertaining as it sounds. She hopes to make her readers look at the world they’ve always seen, and see the world they’ve always envisioned.
Social Media Links:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Artemis-Grey-851681138247610
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Artemis-Grey/e/B0089BO30U
I am a slow writer, so I love this one!
Welcome to the 2nd annual
Raising funds and awareness for the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund
Ring in the Holidays with a Helping Hand
The idea for my sweet Rodeo Romance series started with The Christmas Cowboy, a story that invaded my thoughts while Captain Cavedweller and I sat in the Las Vegas airport after the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, waiting for our flight home.
Indulging in some serious people watching, I couldn’t help but notice the sea of cowboy hats and friendly smiles. “What if,” started playing loudly in my head. What if there was a cowboy, a rodeo cowboy? What if he met a girl at an airport? What if they fell in love? What if she was a driven career woman? What if she despised cowboys? What if…
Once I started writing the story, I did some research about what would happen if a cowboy sustained a serious injury at a rodeo. That research eventually led me to the Justin Sportsmedicine Team where Rick Foster kindly answered my many questions.
At rodeos across the country, the Justin Sportsmedicine Team offer medical care to injured athletes at Sportsmedicine trailers. Mr. Foster also introduced me to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund.
When professional athletes are faced with serious injuries, it often results in financial hardship. They don’t have a guaranteed salary or provisions for income upon injury. While injuries are part of the business of rodeo, financial worries don’t necessarily have to be par for the course.
The Justin Boot Company formed a partnership with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) in 1989 to establish the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund (JCCF). The fund was granted 501-C3 status as a non-profit charity organization in 1991.
The idea behind the JCCF is to assist professional rodeo athletes and their families in the event of catastrophic injuries resulting from professional rodeo activities. The fund helps lift the burden of financial hardship when a serious injury interferes with the careers of those who have dedicated their lives to the sport.
Impressed by the fund and the help they offer, I decided to make a contribution by donating a portion of my book sales to JCCF. This is my third year to donate part of my proceeds to the organization, although it is the only the 2nd annual Cowboys and Christmas Blog Tour.
November 1 through December 24, ten percent of the net proceeds from all Shanna Hatfield book sales will be donated to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. Every book purchased during this promotional period adds to the donation total. Don’t forget to add books to your Christmas lists!
To kick off the second annual Cowboys and Christmas Blog Tour and the JCCF campaign, two brand new holiday romances will release Nov. 12!
Capturing Christmas is the third installment in the sweet holiday western Rodeo Romance series.
Life is hectic on a good day for rodeo stock contractor Kash Kressley. Between dodging flying hooves and babying cranky bulls, he barely has time to sleep. The last thing Kash needs is the entanglement of a sweet romance, especially with a woman as full of fire and sass as the redheaded photographer he rescues at a rodeo.
Determined to capture the best images possible, rodeo photographer Celia McGraw is fearless and feisty. Not one to back down from a challenge, her biggest risk isn’t in her work. Danger lurks in the way her heart responds to one incredibly handsome stock contractor. Will Kash and Celia capture the spirit of the season?
Get all three books in the Rodeo Romance series!
The Christmas Vow is the fourth book in the Hardman Holidays sweet Victorian romance series.
Columbia River Pilot Adam Guthry returns to his hometown of Hardman, Oregon, after the sudden death of his best friend. Emotions he can’t contain bubble to the surface the moment he sees the girl who shattered his heart eleven years ago.
Widow Tia Devereux escapes her restrictive life in Portland, returning to the home she knew and adored as a girl in Hardman. She and her four-year-old son, Toby, settle into the small Eastern Oregon community, eager for the holiday season. Unfortunately, the only man she’s ever loved shows up, stirring the embers of a long-dead romance into a blazing flame. When her former father-in-law, a corrupt judge, decides he wants to raise Toby, Adam may be the only hope she has of keeping her son.
Don’t miss out on the Hardman Holidays series!
You’re Invited to PARTY!
You’re invited to join in the online Cowboys & Christmas Facebook Party, Thursday, Nov. 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (PST). Drop in anytime during those four hours to enter to win great prizes, chat with guest authors, and more (many of the giveaways will stay open until the following morning)!
Here’s the link to the party: http://tinyurl.com/cowboychristmasparty2
The talented guest authors joining in the celebration include:
10 a.m. – Carmen Peone
10:30 – Kayla Dawn Thomas
11 a.m. – Melanie D. Snitker, Author
11:30 – Julie Cerniglia Lence
Noon – Author CJ Samuels
12:30 – Rachel Rossano
1 p.m. – Author Kristin Holt
1:30 – Dani Harper
To enter the drawing for an Amazon gift card, Wrangler Tote Bag, Rock & Roll Cowgirl T-shirt, autographed books, chocolates, and more fun goodies, fill out this form. Winners will be randomly drawn and announced Nov. 16. http://tinyurl.com/cowboychristmasprizes2
Where to Find The Books
Start the Rodeo Romance Series with The Christmas Cowboy.
with the Hardman Holidays series.
The Christmas Bargain begins the popular series
and is available free for a very limited time!
About Shanna Hatfield
Convinced everyone deserves a happy ending, hopeless romantic Shanna Hatfield is out to make it happen, one story at a time. Her sweet historical and contemporary romances combine humor and heart-pumping moments with characters that seem incredibly real.
When she isn’t writing or indulging in chocolate (dark and decadent, please), Shanna hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.
This USA Today bestselling author is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, Romance Writers of America, Sweet Romance Reads, and Pioneer Hearts.
Find Shanna’s books at:
Shanna loves to hear from readers! Follow her online:
Make sure you sign up for her newsletter to get the latest on new releases and exclusive giveaways!
Today I’m featuring TC Booth’s Path to Publication story. Welcome, Tammi!
First, I’d like to thank Christi for hosting me on her blog. My journey in writing began at a young with the love of poetry. I won my first poetry contest in third grade and had my picture taken for the paper. It was a pretty big deal. Thinking back over my childhood, I realized that my mind was always geared to be a writer. My imagination stirred up interesting plots and characters even in play time.
As an adult, writing became my escape from reality. There’s nothing like getting lost in story I’m writing. I shared stories with my family and eventually began to write children’s stories for my class. I decided to give a try at publishing one of the children’s stories I wrote. It was published, and the feeling of seeing my characters come to life was unbelievable. Unfortunately, I was naïve in the world of publishing and didn’t have a positive experience.
Lesson learned, I did my homework when I decided to take the step into publishing of my young adult novella. I found a critique partner and paid someone to professionally edit it before I submitted it to Stephanie at Clean Reads, then Astraea Press. She sent me book contract and Beyond Vica was published six months later.
Last November I took on the challenge of NaNoWrMo. A challenge it was! In order to try and reach the goal of writing 50,000 words in a month, I had to get up at four thirty each morning to write before school started. I didn’t make the goal by the end of the month, but managed to hammer out 43,000 words. I finished up the novel in December, had it edited and submitted it to Stephanie in February. My first young adult novel, To Be Honest, came out in July of this year. I’m very grateful for Stephanie and all of the support at Clean Reads. Publishing with Clean Reads has been positive and professional in comparison to my first experience.
I haven’t had success if finding another publisher for my children’s stories, but will try again eventually. Right now, I feel my niche is young adult contemporary fiction. The topics I choose to center the stories around are relevant to young people today. I absolutely love to create the characters. There is nothing like seeing your work published and characters come to life. I’m truly blessed to be able to pursue my passion.
After a freak accident left Starla Emerson with a deformed hand, her self-esteem dropped and her anxiety rose. She tries desperately to avoid attention at Cedar High. Star relies on her best friend Ally for moral support, along with her crush worthy boyfriend Jared.
Starla’s world is turned upside down when her family moves. She finds herself the new girl at Centerville High School where she’s the target of an Internet bully. Newfound friends help Starla plan a counter attack to expose the bully. The plan backfires and lands Star in a mountain of trouble. Will she have the courage to be honest about who was involved in her plan? Once the truth is out…there’s no turning back.
TC Booth was born and raised in a small town in Northeast Ohio where she currently teaches. She lives with her husband and four children ranging in ages from 13-23. Her pets include one dog named Sammy, and two cats- Sheldon and Sasha.
TC Booth views books as the best form of entertainment and her escape for life’s stresses. She prefers reading a book over watching a movie, and writing over almost any other way to spend her time.
When not attending her children’s sporting events and running them around, you’ll see her writing on her laptop, iPad, and even jotting ideas down on her phone apps.
She enjoys the escape from the adult universe into the adolescent world. The passion in which young people experience life is contagious and the driving force of her writing.
Author Social Media Links: