Today, we have an interview with historical romance author, Diva Jefferson, about the journey of publishing. Thank you to everyone who submitted their questions on Facebook. Now here are the answers. Enjoy!
1) What do you do when you have to kill off characters you love? Although, I write in the romance genre, I’ve also killed off characters that I’ve gained an attachment to. Of course, I don’t necessarily “love” all these people but they’ve added enjoyment to the story and furthered the plot. Since I’m working on a sequel, in order to heighten the circumstances, one of my favorite characters from the previous novel was killed in a carriage accident. As the hero’s uncle, he was a pivotal part of the story, but sometimes in order to up the stakes for the characters, death is an integral part of the plot.
2) How are you marketing your work? What have you learned through the process? Authors all prefer different ways to promote their books. Since To Love An Irishman is my first traditional release, I’m working more on my platform and connecting more closely with readers all over the world through the internet. I participate in giveaway hops hosted by popular blogs and when my book first launched I went on a blog tour. Of course, I could be setting up signings in local bookstores, but I’ve learned that platform is more important in the beginning stages of publishing. Besides, touring requires time and resources that I don’t have.
My advice to those new to publishing, develop a solid marketing plan before your book is released, and then promote at least once a day. You could always do more, but I don’t know about you, I’d rather have time to write more!
3) How did you find an editor you like to work with? Actually, I did not get to choose my editor. My publisher, Black Opal Books, has a great number of on-staff editors who cater to your every need. They aren’t too pushy and they understand what it means to maintain the writer’s voice.
Usually if you decide to traditionally publish your work, an editor is part of the package. Sometimes they are hired on by freelance writers or someone dedicated solely to editing, but in most cases you get what you bargain for.
4) How did you get published? Why did you decide on this particular publisher? Like every author out there, I received my fair share of rejection letters. Writing friends in my Celtic Hearts Romance Writers group posted a link to a website called Savvy Authors. They are a site dedicated to writers who help other writers. Once or twice a month they hold a pitch your book opportunity where agents and editors read queries/pitches from hopeful authors. They respond within a week to those who they choose to represent or in my case, ask for full/partial manuscripts. For budding authors, this is a great opportunity to reach out to people you usually cannot touch.
Around April of last year, I participated in a few of these pitch events. One pitch went to an agent and another went to an acquisitions editor for Black Opal Books. Although, I didn’t hear back from the agent, I did receive an email from the editor asking for a full manuscript. I sent it almost immediately afterwards, and waited for a reply. Let’s just say, I received a contract offer from BOB and accepted the terms.
I chose BOB because they were new and gave me a great opportunity to grow with a small press. Of course, we all shoot for the sky, but sometimes it’s better to land among the stars then to not try at all. You know? They are expanding their horizons, giving their authors more options for their books, and giving authors an opportunity for success. So far, I’ve met wonderful people through my publisher, and I’ve gained more experience than I can ever hope for. J
5) How hard was it to get a publisher to read and like your book? As I mentioned before, there are website like Savvy Authors who help people find a home for their book. My best advice for those who haven’t made a sale, make sure you edit your manuscript the best you can and write a great query letter. When those two tasks are done, usually all it takes is an email to showcase your work to an editor/agent. In the end, what publishers/agents look for is great storytelling and a unique voice. If you have both, you will have a sell. No problem. Good luck with all your endeavors!
She is left with an offer she cannot refuse…
Upon his death in 1823, English nobleman, Lord Peyton leaves his daughter Lady Aveline with two choices—stay single and inherit only a small farm in Ireland, where she might just be able to eke out a living, or get married and live in luxury, inheriting all his wealth and property. Fiercely independent, Aveline heads for Ireland only to run afoul of her father’s farm manager, the devastatingly handsome Ciaran O’’Devlin. Alone in a strange country, Aveline yearns for love and friendship, but Ciaran offers only criticism and disdain. Confused and angered by strange visions and her growing attraction to Ciaran, Aveline is determined to make the farm prosper—despite the insufferable Irishman.
He has a secret he cannot reveal…
Ciaran mistrusts Aveline’s intentions and refuses to admit that a willful, English woman now owns the farm that should have been his. Although he insists Aveline should go back to England, he cannot deny their budding passion. Yet, he knows—even if she doesn’t—that nothing will come of it. Not only can’t a poor Irishman marry an English noblewoman, but when Aveline learns of his past, she’ll want nothing more to do with him. Ciaran has always known that each decision carries a consequence, but it’s only when he stands to lose Aveline that he realizes what a heavy price his past decisions may have.
WHERE CAN I BUY TO LOVE AN IRISHMAN?
Diva Jefferson was born in sunny Orlando, FL. Later, she moved to South Carolina where she currently resides. She lives with her amazing cat named Muffin and her fiancé, Connor. She has a colorful relationship with the romance genre. She’s been writing for over ten years and wouldn’t trade it for the world. She is a member of the National Romance Writers of America, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, and the South Carolina Writer’s Workshop. She truly believes that life is a journey worth making.
You can find more information about Diva Jefferson and To Love An Irishman by visiting her website, http://divajefferson.com or her blog at http://diva-jefferson.blogspot.com, as well as Twitter and Facebook.