Today, we welcome award-winning Georgia author Debby Giusti to the lair. Debby's books have finaled in Book of the Year, Inspirational Readers Choice Awards, and the Maggie Awards, and she has won Daphne du Maurier Award for Inspirational Suspense. Debby will tell us a little about Countdown to Death, her fourth Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense novel and the first in her Magnolia Medical series.
Thanks, Nancy, for having me on the Romance Bandits blog. It’s a thrill to be here today and to chat with all the Banditas!
Nancy first extended an invitation for me to blog when we ran into each other at RWA 2008 in San Francisco. We reconnected at the Moonlight and Magnolias Conference in early October, and the photo of Nancy, Caren Helms and me was snapped shortly after the Maggie awards were announced.
That night at the M&M party following the awards ceremony, I asked Nancy to suggest a topic for today’s blog. She said, “Talk about your latest release and your Call.” So here’s a little info about COUNTDOWN TO DEATH, my fourth Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense and the first book in my new Magnolia Medical series.
How did five people from a small Georgia town contract a rare, deadly disease? Medical researcher Allison Stewart has to work against the clock to find out. Yet before she can ask one question, someone tries to kill her. A handsome recluse who is shrouded in suspicion saves her.
Many believe Luke Garrison is guilty of a decade-old murder—a murder with ties to Allison’s case. Allison dares to work closely with Luke. But is she setting herself up to become victim number six?
My Magnolia Medical stories feature laboratory professionals on the cutting edge of medical breakthroughs. Battling killer diseases in Atlanta’s leading research lab, they also face human enemies who threaten them and the people they love.
PROTECTING HER CHILD will be out in May 2009, and I’m currently working on book three.
How’d I get started in this business? Like many writers, my road to publication was paved with contests. The feedback from many wonderful judges allowed me to identify problems in my stories, and their suggestions often provided solutions that turned weaknesses into strengths.
While I was completing one manuscript, I'd pull together the beginning chapters and synopsis for a new story and send it out on the contest circuit. In a relatively short time, I'd have feedback, which helped me gauge whether the beginning hook drew the reader into the story, whether the plot was well-defined and could sustain a full-length manuscript and whether the characters were compelling. Using the judges' comments and suggestions, I eventually shaped my stories into polished manuscripts.
The key to publication for me was submitting to contests where the final round judge was an editor in a house where I felt my stories could find a home. I entered three contests judged by three different Steeple Hill editors, including senior editor Krista Stroever and executive editor Joan Marlow Golan. I won the contests and received requests from the judges. Not long after that, Krista called to tell me Steeple Hill wanted to publish, NOWHERE TO HIDE, one of my winning manuscripts. SCARED TO DEATH sold a few months later.
What advice would I give writers seeking publication? Enter contests!
A second tip is to keep paper and pencil by your phone. Luckily when I got THE CALL, Krista prompted me to write down everything she said. After we hung up, I screamed for joy, sent up a big “Thank you, Jesus!” and ran to tell my husband. I must have been in shock because I couldn’t remember anything except Steeple Hill wanted to buy the story. Thankfully, I had notes to remind me of the details.
For next few weeks, I walked around in a pinch-me-and-I-might-wake-up daze and was overwhelmed with gratitude, which continues to fill me today. With COUNTDOWN TO DEATH in print and PROTECTING HER CHILD due out in May 2009, the thrill of receiving that first call still hasn’t dimmed. I’m living my dream and lovin’ every minute!
Stay in touch by visiting me online at http://www.debbygiusti.com/.Blog with me each Wednesday at http://www.ladiesofsuspense.blogspot.com/ and on the third Wednesday of every month at http://www.seekerville.blogspot.com/.
Thanks again, Nancy, for a great day with the Romance Bandits!!!
Wishing you abundant blessings,
Debby's giving away two copies of COUNTDOWN TO DEATH today so be sure to post a comment to enter the drawing. Tell her about your favorite series and what you like about the stories. How about sharing your favorite medical thrillers as well?