Congratulations Pat H! She won a book from Annette Mori!
Happy Sunday everyone! Annette Mori dropped by to tell us about her journey to publication and what that has meant in her life.
She’s also giving away a book to one lucky reader. Yeah, you want to get in on that! Leave a comment below to be entered in the drawing. I’ll pick the winner on Friday, July 19.
My journey as a published writer began in July of 2014 at the advanced age of fifty-four. I guess I’m a late bloomer. A little over two weeks after I submitted my manuscript to Affinity e-book press I got an e-mail that would change my life. When the JM Dragon said they found my draft “interesting” and wanted to do a Skype chat, I nearly wet my drawers.
I was about to have a Skype Chat with two of my favorite authors. I was so nervous and tongue-tied that I was sure they thought I would never stay the course—but I did.
I learned quickly that while I might have a creative idea and a diamond in the rough, I didn’t know squatola about writing. Sure, I knew the basics thanks to my mother who was a teacher and had majored in English, but that was as far as it went.
Erin O’Reilly was quick to point out that while the story was interesting and had merit, there was a great deal of work ahead to get it ready for beta readers to review. She offered to help me and work through the manuscript page by excruciating page. Apparently, there is this big no no in writing called head hopping and I had liberally violated the rule throughout the story. I’m such a rule breaker. Flow was another issue due to my tendency to ramble a bit. Of course, one of my main characters was written in such a manner to allow such ramblings.
Thank goodness mom taught me a healthy dose of humility and a passion for learning. I was an eager student and I learned so much those first few months. Erin was and continues to provide valuable mentorship to me. She’s now helped me with four different manuscripts. With each new book, those red highlights and comments about plot holes seem to lessen. That is not to say that I’ll ever stop learning because that is a lifelong process regardless of when it begins.
I also learned to trust those very important editors. My wife who never reads fiction wasn’t as thrilled with my book the first time she read it prior to the final editing stage. Recently, she started reading the final version. She was quick to point out. “This is so much better than the first time I read this. This version engaged me.” Brutally honest—that’s my wife.
My unconventional style is both a blessing and a curse. It is probably what made the manuscript “interesting”, but it is also what makes it difficult to gain a fan base. Although Love Forever, Live Forever does have paranormal characters, they are almost an afterthought. The book is really first and foremost a love story that happens to have vampires and shape-shifters as characters. It doesn’t have the usual gore associated with those characters. I’ve been told by some readers that they don’t normally like “vampire” stories, but that my book was different, so they were pleasantly surprised.
I have high hopes for my second novel, Asset Management, because it is contemporary and conventional. Asset Management is scheduled for release on August 1. My publisher believes it will sell well and then I can go back to those more unconventional stories with aliens and differently abled lead characters. Regardless, I will continue to write—the bug bit hard and I have many more stories to tell. My third novel just got signed and is expected to be released on December 1st. I guess three times is a charm for me because now I truly feel like a bona fide author.
I am a health care executive living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my new wife (got to love Washington state) and our three furry kids. Well actually, it might be more than three, but we don’t count the ones we only feed. I am fifty-five years old (soon to turn fifty-six) and believe it is not too late to try something new. As an avid reader, I am pleased there are thousands of good books to choose from, and hope that one day one of mine will be one the readers consider in a vast pool of talent. I read at least three to four books a week, so please keep them coming. I have a habit to feed after all.
If you do happen to check out my novel, I hope you like it, but any feedback is appreciated. I still have a lot to learn. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I love to get e-mails about my book and I promise to write back.