We are so proud of our friend Justin who has a new book out today. I hope everyone will check out his incredible talents and read his new book. I really hope some of you will even do a book review for us about his newest masterpiece.
I wanted to share Justin’s big day with you, along with a guest blogging post from him about the process of publishing.
~ Dancing with Fireflies ~
It’s been a long and exciting road. Like so many things in life, success depends a great deal on networking, which is why I started blogging. I noticed that while I had gained a great deal of experience and grown in my writing ability on my favorite writing forum (writingforums.org) there were not a lot of published authors and few publishing opportunities to be found there. I reasoned that published authors must be talking about their works somewhere, and after a little looking found that many advertise and discuss their writing through blogging. I joined the writer’s blogging community by setting up my own blog and started connecting with other writers, paying close attention to how they got published.
It’s all D. W. Wilkin’s fault really. He connected me with Xchyler Publishing (the ‘X’) as an Advance Reader Copy reviewer for one of their earlier anthologies. I put a lot of work into reviewing the stories in that anthology, and it got me noticed at the X. From there I got to know the great authors and editors, and was even encouraged to throw my hat into the ring for their next anthology contest.
At first I didn’t plan on submitting to the ‘Shades and Shadows’ anthology, at that time called ‘Extreme-Makeovers’ paranormal contest. But with three weeks to the deadline I decided to give it a go. I took some ideas I’d had about werewolves, blended them with a SciFi symbiote concept that was rolling around in my head and the basis of my story was born. It took a good week of daydreaming and persevering to fit the plot all together, but when the idea for the character Emily came to me it tied up all the loose ends perfectly and made me sure I could make something good of it.
Many lunch breaks of writing, 8,000 words, and half a dozen beta-readers later I submitted ‘The Death of Dr. Marcus Wells‘ to the X. I have to give special thanks to F. M. Lango for beta-reading my story twice, AND reviewing my synopsis. When the announcement for the contest winners came late I thought for sure I hadn’t made the cut. But, the very next day after throwing in the towel I received the announcement email with my name among the list of eight other very talented authors!
From there I worked with the marvelous editors Terri Wagner, and Jessica Shen, and the X intern Victoria to beef up my tale to ~10,000 words and weed out the many trouble spots. It was a truly educational and enjoyable experience that really brought out the best in my story. Since then its been all marketing and talking up the project. I have the good fortune of having a connection at Peregrine Creative and got a personalized poster designed for my story in the anthology.
I’m so thankful to the X and particularly chief editor Penny Freeman, who gave me a lot of encouragement, for this opportunity.
I’ve learned so much about the writing process, the publishing process and my own strengths and weaknesses. In the future, I’ll be focusing on tales were my strength in writing action can shine, and ensuring my main characters are quirky and well developed enough to connect with the readers. I’ll also be working hard against my addiction to ‘passive voice’ and watching out for disembodied actions, another bad habit of mine.
I’ve got just four weeks now to get something together for Xchyler’s latest steampunk anthology contest. . . Anybody interested in beta-reading?
Thanks for reading, come join our Virtual Launch party on Facebook, 8 PM to 12 AM EST! and while you are waiting enjoy this great book trailer for ‘Shades and Shadoes: A Paranormal Anthology’!