SEEKER is 1 Year Old!

 

It’s the 1-year anniversary of the publication of my first book, SEEKER! Happy Anniversary to ME!

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It’s still FREE on amazon, so before you read any farther, you should def skip on over and download it. Who says no to FREE???

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So, what have I learned over the past year about writing and publishing? Well, it’s a fascinating tale, so sit back and relax.

I wrote the first draft of Seeker in November 2013—yes, all 74K or so words in 30 days. It was my first NaNoWriMo and I was all in! I was doing it as a project along with my senior English students, so I had to finish. How would it look if the teacher failed to complete 50K words? Now, I had never in my life written a full-on novel, so I was completely clueless. I’m really embarrassed about it now. Plus, I had spent the weeks leading up to Nov. 1 helping prepare my students to write their novels and hadn’t actually given much thought or planning to my own. On Nov. 1, I got the whole class quietly launched on their writing and then sat down in front of my computer. And stared at a blank GoogleDoc. And thought, “Crap. What am I going to write about?” I continued in this vein for about 30 minutes. The mad clicking of computer keys all around me didn’t help at all. Just before utter panic set in, I started thinking about what kind of person I would like to write about. That’s how Jack Ruiz came into being. It’s funny that the entire series (with the small exception of a short scene in book 2) is told from Ally Moran’s point of view, when I actually created Jack first. Once I got started, the book actually flowed pretty fast and I discovered I REALLY LOVE writing. I didn’t know if I would. I mean, how many people think, “I should write a book some day.”? Lots. How many actually DO it? Not as many. And I didn’t know if it would be like so many of my other hobbies (knitting, cross-stitch, stamping, sewing) where I start a lot of projects and get bored and never finish. I shudder to think how many half-finished scarves are lurking around my house, just waiting for someone to come along and breathe life into them. Maybe my mom will finish them for me. Love you, Mommy.

I finished Seeker and promptly started nagging my friends and family to read it. I put it up on SwoonReads and got a few reads. Most importantly, I began the arduous process of revision. I took out some truly cheese-in-a-can scenes and replaced them with some good old-fashioned violence. I went to a writer’s conference and talked to a couple agents. Then I began the looong process of querying my manuscript. My baby, this piece of my soul I had committed to virtual paper. I sent it out into the world. And the rejections started rolling in. Yay! But I kept revising and polishing, even as I started on Book 2.

I eventually got a bit discouraged and decided to self-publish. I changed the title to one I thought was clever and oh-so literary: The Stern and Wild Ones. I decided to title each book in the series using a reference to the literary work that was featured in it. Book 1 featured The Scarlet Letter, hence the lovely title. Book 2 became The Charge of a Star because it was based on King Lear. Book 3 was slotted to become A Spirit Too Delicate (The Tempest). I can’t remember what I was thinking for book 4.

One thing you can say for me: I don’t give up easily. I still kept querying publishers and agents. Imagine my complete and total surprise when, as I was working on book 3, a desktop notification popped up from Limitless Publishing. I opened it, fully expecting yet another politely worded rejection, but saw the magic words: We want to offer you a contract. OMG. I handed the computer to my husband and asked him to read it just to be sure I wasn’t hallucinating. Nope. They actually wanted to publish my book. They offered me a contract for the entire 4-book series!!! Book 4 didn’t even exist yet! They did make it contingent on a change of title, however. I pitched them my original titles: Seeker, Dreamer, Seer, and Oracle. Boom. They liked them and we signed all the paperwork. The next few months were a flurry of revision, editing, blurbs, and cover design. I discovered I love working with an editor—who knew? I didn’t have to do anything with the blurbs or covers except give feedback.

Then on April 28, 2015, my very first book baby was born.

So, here it is: 1 year later. I have published 5 books with Limitless: the 4 in The Seeker Series and a stand-alone YA romantic suspense titled The Way to Her Heart. I have a featured story on Wattpad called Like Wildfire and a work-in-progress called So They Loved, my first foray into adult contemporary romance. It’s picking up some nice steam on Wattpad, so give it a try and let me know what you think!        wildfireSo They Loved.png

I’ve learned a TON this last year about writing, revising, editing, and marketing. And I have so much more to learn! But it’s a great journey and I love it! I have so many fun story ideas rattling around in my brain, so stay with me, people!

To celebrate my anniversary, I will pick 1 lucky reader who comments on this post or on my Facebook page to win a FREE ebook of The Way to Her Heart OR your choice of Book 2, 3, or 4 in The Seeker Series (since Seeker is FREE—did I mention that?) ff9d5-seeker2bseries2bcollage785bc-the2bway2bto2bher2bheart2bfront

I’ll pick a winner 

May 5 2016.

Thanks SO MUCH for all your amazing support and encouragement this year! You guys ROCK!!!

Amy

 

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