Monday, January 19, 2009

The Writer's Journey with Misa Ramirez

by Jo Robertson

Please give a hearty welcome (and maybe a cabana boy or two) to debut writer Misa Ramirez. Mother of five, English teacher, wife, and now published author. Misa has had a long and rewarding journey to publication which she’s sharing with us today.

Jo: Misa, tell us a little about your debut book.

Misa: Living the Vida Lola is the first in a mystery series. The heroine is Dolores “Lola” Cruz and she’s a private investigator. She’s smart, sassy, and determined, has a black belt in kung fu, and only her family and their crazy antics give her a run for her money.

Jo: Lola Cruz sounds like our kinda gal. How did you come to choose a Latina as your heroine?

Misa: My husband is Mexican-American, my kids are half Mexican, and so when I started thinking of a heroine, I was drawn to creating someone like I imagine my daughter will be. Also my alter-ego if I were Latina!

Jo: LOL, your blonde hair tells us you're not, but I love the idea of your modeling the character after your daughter. Can you tell us something about your hero Jack Callaghan.

Misa: Lola’s known Jack since they were kids; he’s her brother’s best friend. He went away for college, stayed away, and now he’s back and part of Lola’s investigation. He’s smart and definitely a match for Lola, but he has a few secrets that Lola has to uncover.

Jo: Would you share your publishing journey with us?

Living the Vida Lola, the first book in the Lola Cruz Mystery Series, comes out tomorrow! I can hardly believe how long it has taken from the moment I wrote the first word to now.

Six years.

That’s right, six years. I’ve written four more books in the meantime, but this is the first to be released [the second, DEAD GIRL WALKING, will be released a year from now].

Six writing years flew by. Here’s the way it played out, in a nutshell:

• Husband and I moved to the Sacramento area with our four children and I was pregnant with # 5.

• Baby 5 was born and I was going stir crazy in the house.

• Started meeting at Starbucks with a friend to write a children’s book to follow up on FLIGHT OF THE SUNFLOWER, a picture book of mine that was published a few years prior. Really, I had to get out of the house and do something just for me!

• Being surrounded by kids all day, every day, drained my creative juices; I decided to write something for adults with, gasp, swearing and, double gasp, sex [or at least the promise of sex...this is book one in the series!].

• Lola Cruz came to me in a moment of inspiration. I began writing.

• I wrote for almost two years [in between diaper changes, kindergarten, carpooling, etc].

• I revised. And revised. And revised. By now three years had passed.

• A friend of a friend’s sister’s mother-in-law [a literary agent] read the book, liked it, and offered to represent it. I revised again.

• A year + later, multiple rejections flew in. My agent retired.

• I queried and queried, was offered representation by three different agents, went with one, and found myself revising. AGAIN!

• I was a tiny, itty-bitty fish in my agent’s giant ocean, but she submitted for a year, and again. It was being sent to chick lit editors. The book is really a mystery romance. Slight problem.

• Another year passed. Agent and I agreed to part and I found the perfect agent in Holly Root. She submitted my book to mystery editors. It sold within a month!

• That was a year and a half ago. I went through more revisions, cover art, edits and copy edits, marketing, promotion, etc.

• And now, blink, the book comes out tomorrow!!!!

When I started writing, I had no idea what a journey it would take me on. Looking back, I don’t regret a single moment or a single rejection. Or a single year. I wouldn’t change a thing because I really do feel that the journey is the most important part of the process. I’ve learned so much, grown as a writer and as a person, and am happy. A person can’t ask for more than that [book sales aside!].

Jo: Thanks for joining us in the Lair, Misa. One lucky commenter chosen at random will be the winner of Misa's debut book Living the Vida Lola!

And now for our readers, if you’re a writer, do you enjoy the entire process, from the creation, to the revisions, to the learning that comes with rejections, etc? Or is there one thing that you love about the process and you simply tolerate the rest?

And if you’re not a writer, what one thing do you absolutely LOVE about your job (and, yes, that includes parenting, the hardest job ever!).
What is the thing you hate the most?
Or ask Misa anything you want; she's a font of information!


Helen said...

Is he coming to my place

Have Fun

jo robertson said...

Oh, Helen, you're a tricky one! The bird's going down under again. He's sure getting some frequent flyer miles going back and forth across the ocean.

Misa, I don't know if I told you that the first commenter of the day wins our highly-prized virtual Golden Rooster. Shhhhh, he thinks he's real. And actually I think quite a few of our Bandita Buddies do too!

Virginia said...

Congrats Helen it looks like your going get to play with the GR today! You must have Tim Tams in the house!

Helen said...

Jo, Jayden and Hayley are coming for dinner tonight I think he wanted to visit with them and have Tim Tams of course.

Congrats on the release Misa this books sounds great and even better it is part of a series I do love them.

I have four children all adults now and have four beautiful grandchildren and I gotta say being a grandparent is so much fun I am really enjoying it I have a full time job as well that I really don't like anymore and I would love to retire so as I could spend more time with the family and of course more time for reading.

You book will be added to my must get list and I look forward to reading all about Lola and Jack.

Have Fun

jo robertson said...

Ah, Virginia, Helen's got access to Tim Tams AND wittle babies! The best combo!

Virginia said...

Hi Misa, we are glad you came to visit us here at the lair! I love a good mystery book and yours sound great.

I worked in factories well over 30 years and they all started closing. The last one I worked in closed and I went to school for a while in the medical office field. I have had two jobs in this field and hated both of them and didn't work long at them, also the pay was really bad, so right now I don't have a job.

Right now I stay at home and take care of the house and cook and clean. I also do a lot of piecing quilts in my spare time. I do enjoy staying home, but I know that I will have to try and find a job soon, but there is just not many jobs out there right now.

I have one son who is nineteen and in college here in a nearby town for now. He keeps me busy just taking him back and forth to school! What we have to do for our children, but we love the dearly!

danie88 said...

Hello Misa! *waves* You're book sounds great!

jo robertson- of course the GR is real *wink*

Alas, I am currently unemployed :P (and have no children either), but I guess you can consider my "current job" taking care of my grandmother and the house and plus I have my blog.

The things I like best... I get to spend more time with my family and I get to meet new people and make new friends (on my blog).

The thing I dislike... I HATE cleaning... but it's got to be done :P

flchen1 said...

Hi, Misa! Thanks SO much for sharing your story today! Your book sounds very intriguing! And your life sounds incredible--hats off to you for juggling the writing AND a full family life! The latter is sometimes already too much for me! ;)

I'm blessed to be able to stay home with the kids, and I love being able to be there for the small and big moments--I enjoy being able to volunteer at their school and help them with homework and receive hugs. On the other hand, the whole nagging them incessantly does get old ;) Plus the battle against dirt, dust, and clutter is neverending!

Congrats on the GR, Helen! Hide the Tim Tams! ;)

Treethyme said...

Congratulations on the publication of your book! It's always fascinating to read about an author's journey to publication. Yours is worthy of a book in itself!

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Misa - Welcome to the lair!
You didn't mention - who's your publisher? Sounds like a fun book.

Looking back, I loved the journey to getting published. It took a long time for me, but I had a lot to learn. Rejections? That just comes with the biz - and they're necessary for finding the right editor and publisher for all your hard work.

Congrats Helen - I think he likes your warmer weather - smart bird!

Virginia - you quilt? How cool is that. I've pieced some small things, but haven't the patience for a full quilt. Good for you that you do!

Christine Wells said...

Hi Misa! Welcome to the lair. Great interview, Jo.

Congratulations on your debut release, Misa! There's nothing like it, is there? I love the sound of Lola--she does sound like a Bandita, doesn't she, ladies?

Hmm, favourite part of writing...I'm tempted to say it's having written, but that's cheating;) I think my favourite part is when I'm in the zone in the first draft, events are unfolding before I can type them and hours pass without my noticing.

Helen, that rooster is going to be a plump chicken if he keeps eating all those Tim Tams!

Anna Campbell said...

Helen, he clearly has a yen for Tim Tams! And maybe some warm weather! I've just been invited to a hens' night. Do you think the Rooster would like to come?

Misa and Jo, what a great interview. Misa, congratulations on your persistence and your success. The book sounds fantastic. I love a good mystery series. We've actually got one starting in the lair in Feb - Kate Carlisle's Homicide in Hardcover comes out then and I've been dying to get my hands on it. Perhaps your book will keep me calm until then!

I'm with Christine. I like having written ;-) Oh, that's right, she said that was cheating and she's always right. Actually I'm with Christine on those rare moments when you're in the zone and everything's there and it's like taking dictation. You're flying. Doesn't happen often and you can't tell when it will start and when it will stop, but I've learned to treasure those precious moments. Otherwise I treasure the friends I made on my way to being published and the friends I've made since. Romance readers and writers are an amazing lot!

Misa, good luck! I think you've got a hit on your hands! Thanks for visiting us in the lair!

Gillian Layne said...

Congratulations on your release, and the great cover! Thanks for sharing your story with us.

Jane said...

Hi Misa,
Congrats on your debut release. The one thing I like from working is the people that I meet and end up being good friends with. Something I hate about work is office politics. Every office has them and sometimes it pits coworkers against each other.

Congrats on the GR, Helen.

Marisa O'Neill said...

Hi Misa - congratulations on your debut release. I absolutely loved hearing about your journey. It's great motivation for me to hear how you never gave up! Believing in what you do and doing it no matter what - well that's what keeps me getting up every morning.

Anna Sugden said...

Hi Misa - welcome to the Lair and thanks for sharing your inspirational story. Love the sound of your book! Another to add to the TBR mountain.

I love the writing part(when it's going well *g*). Don't mind the revisions part, especially if they make sense. I don't mind the rejection part too much if I get something constructive out of it - hate those Dear Author form letters! If I have to take the time to find out their names, how to spell them, and their titles, the least they can do is reply to me by name! And it really doesn't take that much extra time to put one line in that makes it personal (I know from my business days!)

But, the thing I hate most is when you're very, very close, the vibes have been so good, you've revised and resubmitted ad nauseum and you're really hoping this is the one ... and the answer is no. It's so deflating.

Laurie said...

Perserverance really paid off for you! I'm amazed that you could do it all with 5 children!!
Keep on writing! Best luck to you!
I like the sound of this book.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Wow Misa, you are a very patient person.

Congrats on the GR Helen, keep him in line today.

What I love most about my job is working with the numbers, what I hate is end of month, just imagine, a deadline every single month of the year.

Terry Odell said...

I love getting into the characters. I love the surprises. I like the revisions, because it means I have something to revise. What's hard for me is the initial plotting -- or pretty much any plotting beyond the scene I'm writing. I love learning new things (and spend too much time looking stuff up on the Internet).

Jessica said...

Awesome interview! I love your story. And wow, talk about drama with agents. Kudos to you for sticking with it and not getting bitter.
Your book sounds great. I would totally read it!

I personally do like revising. Writing the end is a great pleasure too, even though I know there will be things to fix.

Anonymous said...

Wow, it's 6:45 here in Texas and I got a message from Jo saying the interview was up. And look at all these alert people!!! Such night owls and early birds!!!

Thank you ALL for all your enthusiasm about Living the Vida Lola.

Let's see, to answer a few questions...

The publisher, Donna, it's St. Martin's Minotaur. It's hardcover, has gotten great reviews, and is already doing well prior to publication [at least from my stalker observations on-line]. =)

Helen, I'm jealous of you! The Golden Rooster...WOW! What's it look like? Is it really real? Please elaborate!

Christine, Lola is pura bandita material!!!

Anonymous said...

Homicide in Hardcover. That's a great title! Hope Living the Vida Lola keeps you happy until then, Anna!

Anonymous said...

Dianna, I don't know how patient I've been [I've had a few tears and dejected moments--or months--along the way. But like Laurie said, perseverance is a big part of finally getting here [though here is not an end in itself]. LOL! I think the hard part is just beginning.

Anonymous said...

Depending upon my inspiration, I like revising best! If I'm truly moved, then fresh writing is awesome, but if it's not happening, give me a green pencil [as a teacher, I never liked using the dreaded read pencils/pens!].

PJ said...

Good Morning, Misa! Welcome to the lair. You have 5 children and write books? I'm in awe! How are you able to manage your time effectively?

My current jobs are of the unpaid variety and I love them. As a book reviewer for I get to turn other readers on to terrific new books and refine my writing skills in the process.

Volunteering at my local hospital for the past 7 years has filled me with incredible joy and satisfaction. My payment comes from smiles, hugs and the knowledge that I've helped make someone's day a little easier.

p226 said...

What I absolutely LOVE about my job is finding the truth. My job is computer forensic analysis. So, I get to hunt through computers and cell phones for evidence. And the reward is finding evidence of communications that tell the truth. And it's more rewarding when the subject of the investigation thought they'd deleted the relevant communications. And it's MOST rewarding when they lied about it, and the evidence is right there on their computer or cell phone.

So far, the thing about my job that I hate the most has only happened once. During the course of an investigation I ran into some terrible stuff. Stuff that cost me sleep. Stuff that still occasionally costs me sleep. And the worst part about it, is that due to various factors I'm not at liberty to discuss, the bad guy walked.

That makes me so glad I'm not in law enforcement. Because those guys have to deal with that all the time. Knowledge that people commit heinous acts and walk away unpunished is really rough on you. Or at least is on me. It'd have to be worse when it's as common as it must be for law enforcement.

PJ said...

Off-Topic: I'm watching a love broadcast from the Washington Memorial on CBS. Il Divo is singing "Amazing Grace" with bagpipe accompaniment. AMAZING, indeed! I have chills.

PJ said...

Oops.. that was supposed to be "live" broadcast although, I admit, there was a fair amount of "love" on my part. :)

jo robertson said...

A hearty welcome to the Lair, Misa. I have to run off, but I'll be back later.

Would you share your Call Story with us Misa? We love those here in the Lair!

Also, tell us about the children's book. That's an intriguing piece of information I didn't know.

Virginia, I love piecing quilts, too, but don't do it much anymore. It's such a relaxing activity.

What? He's real? The rooster's real? Heheheheh, Danie!

That's the trouble with housework, isn't it? It's always there!

Isn't Misa amazing, Flchen? All those kiddies and a writing career too!

jo robertson said...

Misa, I'm curious about the title and the perfectly LOVELY cover. Was Living the Vida Lola the original one?

jo robertson said...

One more question, Misa, before I have to do kiddie-duty this morning. What's a typical day like for you?

I imagine it's anything BUT typical with five children! Are you still teaching or do you devote all your "extra" time LOL to writing?

Louisa Cornell said...

Of course he's going to see Helen! It's warm, she has grandbabies AND Tim Tams!! What's not to love!

Hello, Misa! I love a good mystery and your heroine sounds like my kind of gal!

Wow, what an incredible journey. I've only been at it for two years so far. I love the writing, telling the story. I don't mind the revisions especially when I discover something new and great about my characters. I'm getting used to the rejections. Like VraiAnna, I hate the impersonal ones - as if they haven't even read a page. But I have been fortunate enough to get some really great rejections too - with lots of useful information on how to make the book better and even better acknowledgment of what I am doing right, what doesn't need to change.

The best thing is the wonderful friends I have made through my writing. Their support and encouragement means the world to me. Yes, I'm talking about you Banditas!! MWAH!

Susan Sey said...

Hi, Misa! Your Lola sounds fabulous. Congratulations on your big day!

As for a part of the writer's job that makes me crazy? I'm in that no-man's-land between signing the contract & hitting the shelves so I've really only experienced part of the whole deal. But the part that's giving me hives is the thought of self-promotion.

I see authors doing these huge blog tours & spending so much time & energy getting their name & title out there. Then I look at my life & think, "There's no way I could fit that in. When are these women sleeping?" Then I look at my personality & think, "Okay, honestly, I don't really want to." It sounds like torture. I just want to write books. Being all charming & witty & accessible all the time (or at least for several hours a day) sounds draining.

But I would do it in a red hot minute if it meant I could keep writing books. :-)

Great blog today, Jo! Thanks for bringing Misa by!

Beth said...

Welcome to the lair, Misa, and thank you for telling us about your fabulous book!

I love everything about writing. That's my story and I'm sticking to it *g*

How do you manage to balance promotion and writing? And do you have a website we can visit?

Kirsten said...

Oh Misa, what a fabulous story -- and the book sounds great too! ;-) I love the idea of writing your daughter's story. I also channel my daughter at times. She's much more interesting than I am. *g*

I sold my book a year and a half ago, and my pub date is tentative at summer 2010 -- so my road to seeing my book in print may eventually be as long as yours!

I love everything about writing, but mostly -- believe it or not -- I love REVISION. Getting the new words out on the page is the really hard part. The revision is the fun part, where you take a choppy, rough story and make it sing. I can only get new words out for a couple of hours at a time, but I can revise for days on end without blinking.

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day, everyone!

Janga said...

I too am in awe that you managed to write books with five children at home and classrooms full of students. Neither a mom's nor an English teacher's job is ever done.

My favorite part of teaching is seeing the light in a student's eyes at a break-through moment; the part I hate is the grading. My favorite part of writing is the stage with ideas coming so fast I can hardly keep up. The part I hate is battling the inner perfectionist.

J K Maze said...


I love the description of your protagonist and I intend to buy the book. Mystery comedy is also what I write and I have a couple books coming out from Red Rose Publishing. The part I enjoy the most is the creating of the characters and the actual writing of the book. I like research, but have to psych myself into getting started. Revision, well, I must work a little harder at that, but once I begin, I'm hooked.

Joan K. Maze

Anonymous said...

Wow again! I go off to yoga class and so many more people have stopped by!

The Flight of the Sunflower was my first attempt at writing and I got really lucky. It was one of those things that propelled me forward, but didn't turn out to be the direction I stayed in. It was part of the process, let's say!

I'm so glad Lola Cruz sounds like a great heroine to so many of you! I really see her as my 'alter ego'--if I were Latina, hot, sexy, sassy, and younger. =) So I like to live in her world as much as possible! Did I mention her third adventure, which I'm writing now, takes her to a nudist resort? Lots of moral dilemma there!

I'll be back later to share the Call story and my typical day. You're right, Jo, there really isn't a 'typical day'. For instance, my husband's off work today, but the kids aren't, so we're off doing pesky errands [and a lunch date=)].

M. said...

I love the title, the sound of the heroine, but most of all, that it took three years before you felt it was ready to submit. I'm gearing up to start submitting my first MS after close to four years working on it, and have tried very hard not to compare myself with people who whip off two-three books a year.

And - holy multiple agents, Batman! You should give lectures on how to extricate yourself from unproductive representation.

Virginia said...

I am just making some baby quilts right now because they are smaller and take up less room to store. It is nice to have baby quilts stored for when someone has a baby for a gift. I have a closet full of larger quilts. I just piece the quilts and then take them to my sister who has a quilting machine in here home and she quilts them on the machine. She quilts for people on her machine. Here is a photo of one of my baby quilts.

Anna Campbell said...

PJ, what a cute Freudian slip! Have you seen the very good looking boys from the English group Blake? VERY pretty!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey, Misa!! Glad to see you in the Lair today. I've been looking forward to it ever since Jo told us you were guesting with her.

Will you be at the book signing at Legacy books on February 7th in Plano? I'd love to get a copy of La Vida Lola then.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Ack, sorry, Misa, I meant Living the Vida Lola. Apparently my eyes are still on night shift time!

jo robertson said...

I know what you mean about that initial plotting, Terry. Doesn't it seem like we're waiting for our characters to tell us something and often they remaining stubbornly mute! Other times, they just rattle on like crazy and we're, as Anna and Christine, say in the zone. Love that part too!

I'm always surprised by what happens which must be very weird to non-writers. After all, doesn't this stuff come from OUR own minds?

LOL, it's often a strange process!

jo robertson said...

Jane, I think that's the best part of any job, getting to make new friends and build lasting relationships. In the romance writing business I think it's even easier. Romance writers are the friendliest people I know!

jo robertson said...

Ah, Anna, I hate those rejections, the really close ones. It's like razor blades to your heart. So close and yet . . . no cigar!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Okay, what I love about my job(s).

Hmmm, for writing there are many things, the spark of a new idea, seeing the characters come to life, watching their story unfold. Yep, love it.

For nursing, well, now there is little I like more in this world than seeing a new baby come into it. There is nothing more thrilling than hearing that first lusty cry. Watching tears fill mom and dad and the occasional grandma's eyes. Then there's the whole "sticking-needles-into-body-parts" thing, yep, I have to confess, I sorta like that part too. (Mostly coz I'm good at it!)

jo robertson said...

Don't let Susan fool you, Misa. She's charming and witty and funny ALL THE TIME, in person and in print!

But the blog tours do sound exhausting!

Misa, don't you have a big one coming up soon, out our way -- California?

Misa used to be in AC's and my chapter, Sacramento Valley Rose, and then she went and moved, boo hoo!

Cassondra said...

Helen congrats on the Fiesty Golden One! I think he's been around enough now to know where his bread gets buttered, so to speak. You may have to surprise him and change up the cookies in the Tim Tam jar here one of these days. Can't you just hear him fuss? ;0)

Cassondra said...

Misa, thanks for joining us. I love the sound of your book. I admit that mysteries are...well...a mystery to me. They're a world of their own, and mystery readers, like romance readers, have such particular expectations. I know how I chose romance--it's because I love the development of the relationship and the view into the inner landscapes of the characters. The suspense elements were natural for me because of my background.

But how did you come to choose mystery as your genre? Were you a mystery reader?

And did it take you long to master the essentials of the mystery format?

I'm so impressed that you were able to combine these two genres, and that you had the stamina to keep pounding at the revisions until you got it just right! I can't wait to read it!

MarthaE said...

Welcome to Misa and thanks for the interview! You've had your hands full! Lola sounds like a great character! Jo- I love that I'm the boss at work as I have my own RE title company and law office. I also hate that I'm the boss and responsible for everything!! LOL Not really! I hate that I can't spend more time reading or following blogs about authors and books I would like to get to know!

AJ said...

PJ, you asked about my time management--it is SO much easier now that I'm writing full time. We relocated from CA to Texas for many reasons, one of which was so that I could stop teaching and write.

It's easy to get distracted, though, and wrapped up in the kids and their school, volunteering, emails, etc.

I try to get right to work after I drop them off, and work until they get out of school. I also try to exercise a few times a week, though I need to up that to daily! Where I used to try to sneak in minutes every day at every possible moment, now I feel the dedicated writing time helps me devote more quality time to my family, which was lacking before!

AJ said...

Jo asked about my Call story. I think I mentioned that my second agent had submitted my book to just about every editor out there. I went from excited to hopeful, to carefully optimistic, to getting a thick skin, to forgetting that the book had been submitted at all!

So when my third agent submitted the book--to mystery editors this time, which was key--I still had that 'forget it was ever submitted' pessimistic attitude. I was sure the book would continue to be rejected.

My agent phoned me up while I was at work. I was in the work room at the time and didn't think anything of the phone call. I figured she was just touching bases with me. She asked how I was feeling. I told her I had a cold. Small talk. =) She said that her call should make me feel better. Then she said we had an offer.

I was floored! It was so unexpected! My husband got friends and family together and we went to dinner at BJ's to celebrate. =)))

Addison Fox said...


Welcome to the Lair and on the release of LIVING THE VIDA LOLA.

As a writer, I love the process of writing. Sitting down in front of the computer, whether it's for 15 minutes or 2 hours, is just FUN. Not the head banging parts when the characters get quiet, but even then, it's like this big puzzle I have to figure out. What scene goes here? Is this scene too soon? Do I want to reveal that character emotion or thought yet. Professionally speaking...there really isn't any other way I'd prefer to spend my day!


AJ said...

Living the Vida Lola was the brainchild of agent # 2. We went through a lot of ideas, but she came up with this one and she loved it, thought editors would love it [which many did!], and thought it would be a hit.

My editor at St. Martin's Minotaur loved it, too, and so it stayed.

The art dept. at the pub. house came up with the cover. I loved it from the start! It's vibrant and fun and captures the tone, I think, and makes it stand out in the mystery field, which is a great thing!

AJ said...

Hang in there, Louisa!!!

Trish Milburn said...

Misa, congrats on your debut! I really like mystery series, and Lola's sounds like a lot of fun. It's going on the TBR list. :)

Jo, perhaps right now isn't the best time to ask me about the writing process. I'm in the muddling middle, and I'm convinced this is the biggest piece of garbage I've ever written. I like the beginnings and the ends, but struggle with middles. That's where a lot of my revisions come in.

AJ said...

Hey Beth, I'll have to get back to you on how the promotion is balanced with life! I have quite a few book signings lined up, as well as a big event in Amador County at a friend's winery over Valentine's weekend. It's a great reason to go back to CA for a visit!!!!

I think the weekend book signings will be a big change, and I'm nervous, but I think it'll be fun. And my family knows that this type of thing is necessary to promote the book.

Managing the web site [ ] doesn't take too much time, and my other site, Chasing Heroes [] is a group endeavor and so is also manageable.

AJ said...

Good luck, Kristen!

"holy multiple agents, Batman! You should give lectures on how to extricate yourself from unproductive representation."--M LOL!!!! I guess I could!

AJ said...

Suzanne, yes I will be at Legacy on Feb 7th!!! I hope to see you there!

AJ said...

Great question, Cassondra!

Since this was my first book, I knew what I wanted out of the relationship, but had no idea about pantsing or plotting or any of that. A mystery--with Lola as detective--is what came to me. The mystery elements drove the story forward and kept my on track with the character, too.

I love the way it turned out, love Lola, love the series, and am so thrilled that others will hopefully fall for Lola, too!

As to mastering the elements of mystery....I'm still learning! I have to really work to find the balance between the mystery and the romance. I have a great critique partner who will tell me, uh, the mystery's kind of dead right now! Beef it up.

And I do!!!

Anonymous said...

Ack! I just noticed that for all my recent responses I was logged in as my son, AJ. Sorry!!!! So when it says AJ, it's really me, Misa. =)

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

I am just starting out sending my manuscript to a few agents and you words about rejection really spoke to me. Congrats on everything!

AJ said...

Thanks, KB...

Good luck to you, and keep the faith!!!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Misa,
Just doing a quick fly by to say WELCOME to the Lair and big THANX to Jo for inviting you!

Misa, I know it has been a loong wait for you, but TOMORROW IS THE BIG DAY!
And I couldn't be happier! May this be the start of a long and successful career for you.

I can honestly say that I've enjoyed ALL the phases for getting to the "my book is on the shelf" ending! I learned so much along the way. The rejections are the worst, and for me, never get any easier. But seeing the book out there and getting FAN MAIL really makes it all worthwhile!


Pat Cochran said...

Congratulations, Misa, on hanging
in and hanging on! It says much
about you! Good Luck!

The best is my family:Honey,our
children & grandchildren, our
siblings. The worst is the ever
present housework!!!

Pat Cochran

jo robertson said...

Misa, thanks so much for answering all my questions about the Call, the cover, the title.

I'm amazed that you survived the coming and going of several agents before you settled with Holly. You definitely need to give lessons on the break-up!

I can't wait to troll my local bookstores tomorrow to find Living the Vida Lola!

Diana Cosby said...

Congratulations on your release tomorrow! ^5 Loved how inspiration came about, and that you're partly crafting your heroine after your daughter.
As for the writing process, each layer has its own challenges. As a major plotter, I love writing synopses. Second best, is editing. You can take your mush and make it [hopefully], an amazing story. Last but not least, I love writing description and action.
Congratulations again on signing with Holly. She's my agent as well and totally amazing. She sold the last two books of my series right before Christmas. I wish you every success. Take care and my sincere best,

Diana Cosby
His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
His Woman/Duncan MacGruder - 4 star Romantic Times review
Title TBA/Seathan MacGruder - Date TBA
Title TBA/Patrik [Cleary] MacGruder

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much...ALL of you... for all your good wishes and encouragement. It has been a fun ride, and I know it's just beginning. =)

And thanks so much to Jo for inviting me to play in the lair with y'all. You are a blast!

jo robertson said...

Thanks, Misa, we've really enjoyed hearing about your journey to publication. Congratulations on your debut book and for giving us another wonderful selection for our TBR piles!