Saturday, April 26, 2008

Banditas in the Gap

a group effort
No, this isn't about banditas endorsing a retail chain. Not this time, anyway. This is a visit with the banditas who've sold their books but haven't yet had the joy of seeing them released. Participating banditas are Trish Milburn, Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy, Kate Carlisle, Beth Andrews, and Jeanne Adams, whose books are coming to a store near you!

How long is the gap between the day you sold your book and the day of its release?

TM: I sold on July 24, 2007, and my first book will come out Sept. 9, 2008. However, the book that is coming out is September isn't the first I sold. I sold my young adult novel, Heartbreak River, in July 2007, but it doesn't come out until Spring 2009. The Harlequin American that comes out in September 2008 is one I sold in October 2007.

AC: I got The Call on September 14, 2007 and recently learned that my release date will be October 1, 2008, so a year and a couple of weeks. Feels LONGER! I also recently received my "official" title for the book I originally called Death in the Fens. The title is The Wild Sight: An Irish tale of deadly deeds and forbidden love, and the book is part of the new Casablanca romance line from Sourcebooks.

KC: October 9, 2007 is the day I got The Call that I sold a three-book mystery series to NAL. The first book, Homicide in Hardcover: A Bibliophile Mystery, will be out in February 2009. So naturally, I've been forced to spend all of 2008 in a shady cabana, drinking pina coladas and munching on on taquitos.

BB: I got The Call on August 21, 2007 (my husband's birthday!) My first book, Not Without Her Family, will be out from Harlequin Superromance this June.

JA: I got the Call on July 23, 2007 (my Dad's birthday!) and my first book Dark and Dangerous will be out June 1, 2008. Counting down the days...

Tell us a little about the book you're now waiting to see.

TM: An arson investigator has to return to her hometown to investigate a fire. While there, she also has to face her estranged family, a past mistake that had horrible consequences, and the man she once loved but lost.

AC: The Wild Sight is a contemporary romantic suspense with paranormal elements. Set in Northern Ireland, the book's hero, Donovan O'Shea has psychic powers that he has tried for most of his life to ignore. However, when he must return to Ireland to settle his ill father's affairs, a beautiful but vexing woman walks into his life, a couple of dead bodies turn up, and he is forced to deal with all of it and then some.

KC: The Bibliophile Mysteries feature a rare book restoration expert, Brooklyn Wainwright, who, in Book One, encounters a cursed copy of Goethe's Faust that leads her into a murder investigation only she can solve -- with the help of clues she uncovers in the valuable first edition. Along the way, she tangles with an annoyingly attractive British security officer as well as her Deadhead parents and assorted friends and enemies.

BB: Okay, am I the only one who has trouble blurbing her books? *g* When her estranged brother becomes the prime suspect in a local murder investigation, Kelsey Reagan is determined to help prove his innocence - but she doesn’t count on falling for the town’s sexy, by the book police chief.

JA: Nope, BB, I have trouble with it too! Dana Markham has to keep herself and her son away from her ex-husband at all costs. Donovon Walker, mob boss and drug dealer, wants her dead and her son to take his "rightful" place in The Family business of selling drugs and guns. Enter Caine Bradley, an undercover agent placed in Donovan's organization to bring him down. Little does he know that his assignment from Donovan will be to kill Dana! Battling Donovan, a leak in the Agency and their own feelings, Dana and Caine must protect Dana's son and risk their hearts to find freedom. How's that?

Authors in your position couldn't enter the Golden Heart or the RITA. How did that feel to you former GH finalists? How does this limbo feel in general?

TM: It felt weird not entering the Golden Heart this year after more than a decade of entering. However, I got to take part in the GH/RITA day excitement since I'm on the RWA board and got to call some of the finalists to let them know they'd finaled. That is SO much fun!

AC: Actually, I felt relieved. I only entered the Golden Heart one time, in 2006 and happened to luck out and final. But I know this feeling won't last because I plan to enter the Rita next year and every other year I am eligible! I am really looking forward to the ceremony this year, and cheering on all our Bandita and Bandita buddy finalists!

KC: Did I mention the cabana and pina coladas? I was so happy not to have to deal with all the pressure that comes with entering the Golden Heart this year! I was tremendously lucky to be a triple finalist in 2006 but I know from experience that I could've very easily failed to final the next year. So truly, I felt nothing but relief that I could sit back and cheer on my friends and fellow Banditas this time. However, as Aunty says, the feeling can't last! I'll jump right back into the fray when I become eligible for the Rita for 2009.

BB: I was so happy not to be eligible for the GH but when the day came when calls were going out, I was sort of upset not to have anything in the running. And forget being relieved - I was just as anxious for my friends to get the call as I would've been for myself :-) Oh, but I did get a really great call a few days ago asking me if I'd be interested in presenting a GH this year!

JA: It felt really weird to me too, to sit this one out. Have to say that I was delighted to not be eligible, but like Beth I was anxious for everyone else and it felt so odd not to have a horse in the race. :> It'll be interesting to see how different it feels next year with the Rita.

What are you doing on the writing front while you wait?

TM: I recently finished revisions to the YA coming out next spring and turned in my second Harlequin American. Now I need to work on the option book for American. I'm also working on promo stuff like my online presence with blogs, social networking sites, interviews, etc., and booking appearances and speaking engagements.

AC: The sequel to The Wild Sight. Though I originally wrote the book as a stand-alone single title, my editor expressed interest in making it the first in a series, and who am I to disagree?

KC: I sold the Bibliophile Mystery series on three chapters and a synopsis, so I've spent the past six months writing the first book! I finished this week (yay!) and will now start on the synopsis for Book Two. Then I'll start working on promo for the series, starting with a website re-design and all that scary stuff Trish mentioned!

BB: I sold two more books to Superromance so I've been writing the first of the two sold (if that makes sense *g*) and I'm thrilled to say I've hit the half-way point and I'm loving this story!

JA: I'm finishing and polishing the second book in my contract for my June 1 deadline. I'm also working on the next two stories so I can be better prepared for the next contract! :>

What are you doing to prepare for the big day?

TM: Promo and moving on to other writing projects.

AC: I just had this nifty countdown clock put on my website so if anyone (besides ME) wants to know how many days, hours, minutes, and seconds remain until The Wild Sight hits the shelves, wonder no more! Seriously, I'm trying to do all I can in the way of promo, though until you have a title, release date and cover (just got it! YAY!) there's only a limited amount you can do. I'm trying hard NOT to get stressed out over promo and reviews and a million other things I can't control but still worry about. The Banditas and all our buddies have been GREAT to keep me properly distracted.

KC: I want a countdown clock! But in the meantime, I'll write another book. I mentioned the promo stuff. And I'd also like to get out and meet other mystery authors and booksellers and mystery readers as much as possible. Oh, and I'll definitely worry a lot, so thanks for reminding me!

BB: I love the countdown clock, AC! I've been writing and doing a bit of promo. My main focus has been my new website (which I love - thanks to my awesome webdesigner!) I've been playing with it a bit but now it's all tweaked and ready to go :-)

JA: I totally dig the countdown clock too. I've been promo-ing, setting up speaking gigs and writing my little fingers off to meet my June 1 deadline for book two! Ha! Have to say, it is SO fun.

How would you counsel other authors in this position?

TM: You can't make the release day come any faster, so I'd say just move on with your writing and advance promo efforts so you're not slammed when the release hits shelves.

AC: Ah yes, take my advice, I'm not using it! LOL! Educate yourself about what you can and can't do, and try not to sweat the small stuff.

KC: Um, me? Counsel others? Hmm, do as I say, not as I do? Okay, here's my counsel. Write the best book you can, get a fabulous website, be nice to people, keep a positive outlook. Do as much promo as your personality and bank account will allow.

BB: LOL, Kate! I just gave Tawny that same advice *g* Honestly, I don't counsel. I think each person is so different that you need to figure out what's best for you and your career. For me that meant writing another book and focusing on what types of promo I'm comfortable doing. I totally agree with Trish's, AC's and Kate's advice though :-)

JA: Don't stop writing forward just because you sold! :> That's the only advice I have. Well, okay, two pieces of advice. Don't spend all your advance on promo, ask other authors what worked for them and don't spend it unless you can track it. How's that? Ha!

How has your sale changed your perspective, if at all, on the book business?

TM: It hasn't really changed my perspective. I was an unpub long enough to know that the business is always going to be tough, and we have to do everything we can to get published and stay published.

AC: It's a tough business. Selling a book doesn't make it any easier, you just trade one set of worries for another. I guess that's the only real change in my perspective.

KC: I wrote for twenty years before I made my first sale so, like Trish, I've recognized for a long time how difficult the publishing business can be. But I'm a fairly optimistic person so, just as I always persevered as an unpubbed, I plan to do the same as a published author.

BB: It's changed for the better because before I sold, I spent too much time revising my stories. Now I know I can write and produce pages each day. Most of all, it's shown me how much I love this career and how lucky I am to be able to write for a living!

JA: Can I just say ditto? Like AC, KC and TM, I had a certain perspecitve from being AYU for a good long while, but like BB, I trust myself more, write more quickly and don't second guess so much.

Has anything come your way that you didn't expect?

TM: An opportunity to contribute an essay to one of Benbella Books' Smartpop series of pop culture essay collections. The collection is about the show Supernatural, my favorite show.

AC: I've become acquainted with my Sister-Sourcebook authors, and they are a GREAT bunch of writers! We have our own Yahoo Group that anyone can join, and are starting our own group blog. Stay tuned for more info!

KC: I didn't expect to be so freaked out by my first professional deadline! I've worked at my own pace forever, so it took me by surprise when I realized how difficult it was to set up a timetable and work every day. Okay, that was the bad news. The good news is, I'm part of a wonderful publishing house now and I get invited to the parties! Woohoo!

BB: Like Kate, I was a bit freaked out by my first real deadline - luckily that only lasted two days *g* What I hadn't expected was that I actually could make a writing schedule and stick with it. That's been a lovely surprise :-)

JA: Gotta say Ditto again. The first "Have it in by..." deadline? Total freak out. But I got back on the horse. Also the delightful pleasure of being on the Kensington Authors loop and being asked to be a guest blogger. Those have been great.

For our readers, here's a list of upcoming first books from the Romance Bandits:

TM: A Firefighter in the Family, Harlequin American, September 2008

AC: The Wild Sight: An Irish tale of deadly deeds and forbidden love by Loucinda McGary, Sourcebooks Casablanca, Oct. 1, 2008

KC: Homicide in Hardcover: A Bibliophile Mystery, by Kate Carlisle, NAL, February 2009

BB: Not Without Her Family by Beth Andrews, Harlequin Superromance, June 2008

JA: Dark and Dangerous by Jeanne Adams, Zebra (Kensington), June 2008

Have you ever had to wait for something you knew was coming but couldn't make arrive any faster? For a project to pay off at last? How do you deal with waiting?


doglady said...

Bwok Bwok? Can it be?

doglady said...

This was a great interview, ladies. I love hearing call stories and then hearing what happens next.

I can't really think of anything that I have had to wait that long to see come to fruition, although entering most contests can be like that. You send it in and wait and wait and wait. Then if you final you get that good news and you wait and wait and wait.

Now it did take a year to go through the Fulbright process from start to finish and it was very hard to explain to my family and the dh's that just because I made it to the semi finals and then the finals didn't mean squat until I got the final phone call. So much paperwork and auditions and interviews and then go through the whole process again.

Starting a new opera role is a bit like that. You learn the role. You start rehearsals. It can take up to six weeks to get the opera up to performance level and all the time you rehearse, you get hair makeup and costume fittings and rehearse some more and FINALLY you have opening night and your first thought is .... WE NEED MORE REHEARSAL!!

Have any of you ladies had that feeling of "Wait, it's not ready. Not yet?"

Okay, the GR and I are going to cuddle up in bed with the chihuahua, the dachshund, and the three cats. He will have to entertain himself while I am at work tomorrow, but I have promised to bring home some brownies, a cake and some cookies for him. He DID say that is his normal diet. Does anyone have a good pina colada recipe? Apparently that is all he drinks. Can't believe he has FINALLY come home to visit Mama, the naughty boy!

Amy Andrews said...

Dang doglady - you beat me!
Hey, great blog! Tres tres intersting.
I had a year between call and book-on-shelf. A year of people saying when can I buy it.
I planned my book launch party - that was fun and I highly recommend you all have one. You got a book published - that's hard. Celebrate!

Amy Andrews said...

Oooh doglady, my sister went through the Fullbright process. Even flew to the US for the interview stage. It was harrowing!

doglady said...

It really is such a long drawn out process, Amy, and so nerve wracking. Not to mention that some of the interviews have to be conducted in the language of the country to which you intend to go! Where did your sister go? I had a friend and fellow singer who went to Italy on a Fulbright the same year I went to Germany so we did get to visit each other.

Planning a book launch party sounds like fun! Oh and that was another question I intended to ask the ladies. How do you deal with friends and family who are constantly asking "Yes, but when is it going to be really published?"

Tawny said...

*sniff* I'm all teary eyed here, so proud of you all for selling and what great fun you're about to have as your first books hit the shelves.

You know, that saying "Its never again like the first time" totally fits the debut book excitement :-)

and doglady -rock on!!! Congrats on nabbing the GR ;-)

Amy Andrews said...

Well doglady she didn't end up getting the scholarship but I think it was going to be to Harvard or Yale or one of the big US universities?? Does that sound right - it was a few years back now....

I dont think there's an easy answer to the "when is it coming out" question. People who don't write have no idea of the process or publishing schedules or even a remote clue how very, very difficult it is to even get published. (he number of people who say to me why don't I get published with xyz pubishing house etc etc - like it's soooo easy!!)
I think you just smile and say "don't worry you'll know when it's out cos you'll hear me screaming from your place"

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

CONGRATS, Pam! The GR is with you AT LAST! :-) See, you really are ON A ROLL!

Yes, Amy, I'm planning a launch party! Matter of fact, I'm planning TWO! One will be invitation only for those here locally who have been so supportive. The other will be an open-to-the-public FREE FOR ALL! ;-)

It has been very (AHEM) challenging to EDUCATE those who perpetually ask, "When can I buy it?" "Will it be in B&N like a REAL book?" Much snapping of the crop and gnashing of Aunty's teeth has occurred as she continues the EDUCATION PROCESS with those lovely friends and family members.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

LOL, Tawny!
Jo-Mama wrote a comment about "your first time" to me in her congrats card after I got "The Call"!

I feel so fortunate to be following in the footsteps of our pubbed Banditas, Tawny, Fo, Madame D-W, Donna, and Christie! But I gotta tell ya, they are also HARD ACTS TO FOLLOW!

So are Mme Duchesse and Wonder-Beth! Beth just got a 4 star review in RT for "Not Without Her Family" and Jeanne got a 4 1/2 star TOP PICK for "Dark and Dangerous"! Big shoes to fill for me, Trish and Kate, I'm just sayin...

Christine Wells said...

Boy, can I identify with you ladies! I found the wait was sooo long for that book to be published and then when my release date came I was on deadline and it whizzed by without me noticing particularly. Er, except for that huge Bandit party we had.LOL

I can't wait until your books are released. Lots of partying yet to come in the lair. Thanks, Nancy, for putting that interview together. I really enjoyed reading all the insights and advice.

And Kate, you, Donna and I will be at the Penguin party together! How cool is that?

Congrats, Pam! So wonderful to hear your news about the scholarship. Well-deserved, too!

Helen said...

Congrats doglady on the GR have fun with him

Great interview Ladies I loved reading everyone's comments. I am so looking forward to the release of these books you should all be very proud of yourselves for what you have achieved.
I don't think I have ever had to wait for anything like this and I don't know how I would have managed.
I hope you all have a release party here at at he Bandits so as I can attend.

Have Fun

Gillian Layne said...

Pam, you rock girl!!!!! :)

Oh, you guys need to do more interviews like this, I really do love hearing about your books, and the process behind the product. Lovely to read happy news! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Ya'll!

I'm another Gap Bandita, though my darn day job was too busy for me to help out on this awesome blog! You gals rock and I'm sorry I wasn't more with it last month!

But here's my gap experience:

First, I sold in Oct 2007, and book 1 of my series won't be out until Fall 2009. So I think that makes my wait the longest! I just got my revision letter from my editor YESTERDAY so I'm mulling it over now and thinking about changes to the ms. Meanwhile, between selling and now I wrote an adult contemporary that my agent will be hitting the streets with shortly.

My book coming out in '09 is a YA urban fantasy about a girl who must decide whether to use her dangerous psychic powers. She's also trying to figure out what's going on at her mysterious new private school, and deal with two very different boys.

I can't tell you how many people have asked me if I'm the next JK Rowling. Ohhhh yeeeaaahh, I say. No doubt at all. :-p

What else? Hmm, I was a little bummed not to get to enter the GH, but so relieved not to be worried about getting a call!

I haven't learned much, except that it's always nerve-wracking and stress-inducing to be a writer. I don't care how many books you've sold. I'm MORE nervous about my agent trying to sell my latest ms than I was about her selling the YA!

I'm off to ponder revisions! Have a great day everyone!

Joan said...

Well of course, it can be're on a winning roll!

(Please remember me when you hit the lottery)

I'm so darned excited for my Gap Bandita Buds and have the dates marked for going crosstown to the BN or Borders on their first day out.

Congratulations ladies!

Joanie T on the other end of the waiting spectrum...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Gals! Congrats Pam on snagging the GR!

I so had to laugh about your comment, Aunty Cindy about "Will it be in a B&N like a real book?" I can't tell you how many folks have asked that. Ha! I want to say "No, it's only available from exlusive outlets like oh.... BORDERS? That would be because it actually IS a REAL book. Imagine that." Heehee.

Kirsten I'm so glad you jumped on today to tell us your experience too. I can only imagine having to wait nearly two years between sold and on-shelf. That must be so challenging with the "when can I get it/where can I buy it" group.

On one hand, I'm so glad my wait to see my book in "the flesh" is almost over, but I'm so anxious about it too. :>

Beth Andrews said...

Congrats on bringing the GR home, doglady!

I just noticed I used my "Real" initials of BB instead of my writing intials of BA. No, I don't know who I am half the time :-)

The wait between when I sold and now has actually flown by for me. Not sure that's a good thing as my first official deadline is creeping up on me *g*

As far as people asking when my book will be out, it's only frustrating to me when it's the same people who ask again and again and again *g* I've even had close family members (very close) ask if my book was already out. I guess I sorted of hoped that if it was available, they'd have BOUGHT a copy ;-)

Kirsten, thanks so much for chiming in! Your YA sounds fantastic. I just hate that we have to wait so long to read it!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

LOL! Well said, Joanie O'T!

Doglady, with your run of luck lately, please remember all of us here in the lair when you do hit the lottery!

And no worries, Helen, we'll be having all kinds of launch parties here once the books hit the shelves!

Beth and Jeanne, glad I'm not the only one getting the "real book" comments! GRRRR! And big YES, Beth, if it were out, you better have BOUGHT A COPY! One of my friends (who really should KNOW BETTER), has asked me at least a half-dozen times when and where he can buy it. (Aunty quietly bangs her head on the nearest wall.)

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Kirsten, so sorry you DDJ (dreaded day job) kept you from adding to the main post. And NEVER say never about being the next JKR! Your YA sounds SO intriguing! Also, my fingers are xxed that your agent will place your contemp. And isn't is KEWL doing revisions under contract???

Oh, and almost forgot to say BIG THANX to Nancy for putting together the interview! Gillian, Helen and all, glad you liked it. We'll have to do more like it.


Kate Carlisle said...

LOL Doglady, you've finally won the grandest prize of all! The Feathered One is yours for the day! I believe he prefers fresh pineapple in his pina coladas. :-)

Aunty, we really do have some hard acts to follow. And hello? I'm very nervous that the cover gods might've collapsed and died after producing one of the most gorgeous bookcovers ever -- YOURS!! Note to self: dance skyclad nightly and chant for good cover karma....

Madame, I swear I got chills when you mentioned us all being together at the Penguin Party!! That's soooo cool! Hmmm...any chance of sneaking in a few extra Banditas to make it an even wilder time?

Helen, of course we'll be partying in the Lair! And it wouldn't be a party without you, m'dear! :-)

Kirsten, your YA sounds so amazing! But yikes, fall 2009. That really will be a long wait--but it'll be so worth it. And fingers crossed that the new manuscript sells!!

Thanks for pulling the interview together, Nancy!

limecello said...

Hello Banditas - this was a great post and I loved hearing about all of your experiences!
As to waiting - someone had a post about this just a few days ago... and I couldn't think of anything :X. I think I'm a pretty "instant gratification" girl. I guess test scores, college and prof school admittances [or rejections] were something I had to wait for, but I think that came with more dread, than excitement :P.

Anna Campbell said...

Pam, the rooster told us he wanted to visit you to celebrate the scholarship. And he pouts if he doesn't get his own way! Bet you and he have a fantastic day. Must say I love the sound of the menu!

Girls, what a great post. Can we do more like this? I loved the compare and contrast approach. I loved that we sorta got half a dozen banditas blogging for the price of one. Nancy, you're brilliant!

Last year was my gap year. After all those years of entering contests (although I only entered the GH once), it was weird not to get that constant feedback. But the advice about using the year to set up things like websites and promo plans is great. The other thing I'd suggest is get yourself organised for record keeping and financial matters. I didn't (d'uh) and I've had a real scramble to get all that in line amongst the chaos of having books actually out on the shelf.

Can't wait for all the new Bandita books to fall into my hot little hands. Jeanne and Beth, not long to go now!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kate Carlisle said...

Oh Limecello, I'm so in tune with you! I've lived my whole life being a slave to instant gratification. LOL.

And yes, I always look with dread on impending results. Phone calls from contest coordinators, agents, editors? I always expect the worst. And the adjunct to that is that I'm so much better at dealing with bad news than with good. I'm always a little suspicious of good news, always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Hey, all that neurosis is good for the writing, right? Yeah, that's my story! :-)

Kate Carlisle said...

Great advice on getting our financial matters in order, Anna. I'm making all these plans for promo and traveling to conferences and suddenly I think -- hmm, how'm I gonna pay for that? Good points!

doglady said...

Good evening, all! The GR survived his day at the bakery! He insisted on coming along to "help" with the wedding cake. Some of those roses look suspiciously like chicken scratch! We did indeed celebrate the scholarship and as a result he is sleeping off a chocolate binge AFTER his bath to remove all the icing from his feathers.

So true, Kate, he really is the grandest prize of all!

Great advice from LaCampbell, as usual. Financial matters are always the last thing I think about!

I too am suspicious of good news and am forever waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I love hearing about all of the various stages of this wild ride. This was a really great interview and post!

Aunty Cindy, if Alabama had a lottery I would have bought a bundle of tickets these last few weeks! I am ALMOST tempted to ask my brother to drive to Georgia and snag a few tickets for me at this point!

Actually I do feel as if I have hit the lottery these last two years. The career I have always wanted has come back around. I have been SO lucky that people/judges like LOST IN LOVE. I have learned so much about the writing craft and more important learned that I have a lot more to learn! Best of all I have met and made friends with so many wonderful people who have encouraged me, taught me, supported me and entertained me. It would have been so easy to give up on this writing dream, but all of you have kept me going. I did win the lottery. I met people like you!

Trish Milburn said...

Sorry to be so late posting. I've been helping my brother-in-law and sister-in-law move today, and there's more in store tomorrow. I SO need a massage. :)

This was a fun post to read through and take part in.

Kirsten, what do you say we take the success level of JKR and split it between us. We both still be stinking rich. :)

Keira Soleore said...

What a brilliant blog!! Your answers, ladies, were exactly like the personalities I've grown to like so very much here. Thank you for the all the tips. When my time comes, expect tons of squealing, omgs, hail-marys, thank-you-gods, swooning, and wild laughter before I get back down to the serious work of writing and the business side of it.

Pam, congratulations on the GR, and also on the Laurie, and once again on the GH. Any other contest finals I've missed? You know the Jewish song: "I've got the shabbat feeling / deep in my heart." Well, I've got the same feeling about your impending sale deep in my heart.

All of you Banditas and Bandita-Buds: I'm going to have no voice left at the end of the awards ceremony from the number of times I'll be screeching and cheering y'all on.

Heyyy, AC: Your cover's bee-oo-tiful. Love those shades of aqua.

Christine: I must've missed it somewhere, but how come you came to be named Madame de Winter?

And Caren: Why Posh T? Or was it Spice T?

Jeanne and Beth: Major congrats to you for your RT review successes.