Showing posts from July, 2011

Waiting for Karl Rove - Guest blog and interview with Jeni Decker and Kat Nove

Self-Publishing Controversial Titles
by Jeni Decker
By "controversial" I mean, “books I can’t imagine traditional publishers taking a risk on in this dicey economy.” Waiting for Karl Rove is one of those books. It’s irreverent satire, chock full of politically incorrect content, and the “characters” are public figures, mainly in the political arena. Not to mention that it’s kind of a lampoon against the publishing industry, as a whole. Oh, and we (my writing partner, Kat Nove and I) wrote ourselves into the book as dueling protagonists - each writing a chapter in first person, alternately.
So, yeah, risky.
We did get some good feedback from a few agents and small publishers, who chuckled at the cheeky query letter and wished us good luck, Godspeed, and many happy returns (probably while deleting our initial query from their inbox after sharing it with everyone within a fifty mile radius and guffawing at our unmitigated gall). The industry doesn’t seem willing to take risks at t…

Interview with author Charles Whipple

Charles was born and raised in Show Low, Arizona. He worked on the family ranch/farm until he went to University. He came to work in Japan soon after graduation and spent eight years in marketing and advertising in Japan, Hong Kong, and Hawaii. As a writer, Whipple worked first at Waikiki Beach Press in Honolulu as a reporter. Then moved to Japan to work as a copywriter.
Charles has published four non-fiction books, including Seeing Japan from Kodansha International. Eight Western novels in the Black Horse Westerns line-up are either published or accepted for publication. The Snake Den, a western novel, from Solstice Publishing was published in February 2011. 
All the proceeds from A Matter of Tea, the winner of the 2010 Oaxaca International Literature Compeition, will go to help the victims of Japan's March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
What inspired you to write A Matter of Tea?
I gained an interest in Japanese ceramics soon after I arrived in Japan in 1961. Then, after spendin…

Guest Blogger, Michelle Fayard - How to Tell if an Agent is Right for your Book

Michelle is excited to do a free critique of a query letter or the first 250 words of a manuscript to a random commenter. Comment within one week, and be sure to include your e-mail address. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before.

How can you really tell if an agent is the right one for your book? Do you pick an agent with a great client list, or will they be too busy for you? Or should you pick a new hungry agent with less experience?
Although there is no right way to spare ourselves this decision agony, the following has been successful for me. Whenever I read a book that resonates with me strongly, I do some research to see if I can learn who the editor and agent are. Then I see if they accept the genre I write. If so, I start reading books by the authors they’ve repped. I also rely heavily on and to get a feel about what others have experienced with my prospective leads.

I also look to see if they’re an editorial a…

Interview with author Karin Rita Gastreich

Karin Rita Gastreich was born near Kansas City, Missouri. After living and working for ten years as a tropical ecologist in Costa Rica, she recently returned to her home town and is now a Professor of Biology at Avila University. In addition to reading and writing, her past times include camping, hiking, music and flamenco dance.

Tell us a little about Eolyn. What inspired you to write it?
EOLYN is a fantasy novel featuring a strong female protagonist whose journey through magic, love, betrayal and war is woven against a rich tapestry of history and culture.The main character, Eolyn, inherits a tradition of magic that has been forbidden to women in her world. As a young girl, she develops an important friendship with the boy Akmael, heir to the king who destroyed the Magas and killed Eolyn’s family.When Eolyn and Akmael meet again as adults, they are leaders on opposite sides of a military conflict that will determine the fate of a millennial tradition of magic.
It’s hard to pinpoint wha…

Interview with author Courtney Vail

Courtney Vail's debut novel, Kings & Queens is now available as an ebook.

Tell us a little about Kings & Queens. What inspired you to write it?
Um, it’s kind of weird, okay, a lot weird, but my first spark came from the movie Drive Me Crazy with Melissa Joan Hart. The two romantic leads lived next door to each other and I thought that was cool. So my ever-cranking mind introduced me to this tomboyish type girl, Majesty, a manager of her high school’s baseball team. She had two guy best friends, Derek and the other one was Smart Aleck as a placeholder, so he ended up being Alec.

Derek was the one she lived next to and crushed on and I had this love triangle in mind, but I’m not a romance writer, I need plot. So that buzzed around aimlessly until I dreamt I went running in the woods and overheard these guys planning a church massacre. I escaped them in this town. Boom. There was the seedling for my plot as well as the setting. And then, it grew bigger and bigger from there.

Interview with author Sheila Dalton

Sheila Dalton was born in England and came to Canada with her family at the age of six. She studied English Language and Literature at the University of Toronto. After dropping out for a year she sold arts and crafts on the streets of Toronto.
Sheila was a Contributing Editor for OWL magazine, and a Project Editor for a kids' science magazine called Discovery. Somewhere along the way, she earned a Masters of Library Science degree, and currently works as an Adult Services Librarian for the Toronto Public Library. She lives in Newmarket, Ontario with her husband and two cats. 

Tell us a little about Girl in the Box. It’s a story of redemption. A traumatized, mute Mayan girl is rescued by a psychoanalyst, and kills him. His long-term lover, a journalist and meditation student, sets out to discover why. She’s pretty traumatized herself by it all. What was your road to publication like? It took a long time to place the book, but even longer to write it. I kept working at it, off and…