Top three questions for writers….

I have a strange job. When I tell people I’m a writer, they nod politely and ask clarifying questions. When I tell them I’ve actually published a few books, fiction yet, they begin to regard me along the lines of an alien from another planet. I suppose it is odd to have a job where you make up people and then put them in fictional situations where they may die at any moment. I find that folks seem to have the same questions about this strange job of mine, so I thought I’d devote a blog to the three questions I get most often.

#1) How do you get a contract to write a book? I sell on proposal, that means I whip up a nifty five page synopsis, three sample chapters and a query letter to pitch to my editor. When I first started, I wrote the entire book and submitted the thing. Now, fifteen book contracts later, I’m getting more streamlined!

#2) Do you design the cover? Yes and no. With Harlequin, we supply Art Reference Sheets which are images or links to images that we feel would be appropriate for the books. We also submit detailed descriptions of the characters so hopefully the cover image somewhat resembles the protagonist. Then the magnificent art department goes to work and designs a cover. With other publishers I’ve worked with, there is less input.

#3) Where do you get your ideas? Oh please. The world is filled with the fascinating and fabulous and inevitably, the truth is much stranger than fiction. My husband worked for the fire department and he told me about tunnels underneath one of our local colleges. It put me in mind of a treasure hunting series, the first of which takes place largely in tunnels underneath a university.

Hey writers! Do you get asked any particular questions about your nutty profession? Readers! Do you have any compelling questions about the writing biz? Do share!
book cover

5 responses to this post.

  1. hello i’m an aspiring author who would like to be published one day i’m currently sending my work to literary agents, have you ever been rejected before and if so how do you deal with it. ps I love your posts continue with them.

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    • Rejection, unfortunately, is part of the game. I’ve been rejected plenty of times by both publishers and agents. My agent actually expressed interest, but did not sign me right away. My advice would be to earn as many publishing credits (magazines, blogs, newspapers, etc.) as you can and work on putting yourself out there (via a successful blog and such) that will make you attractive to an agent. They need to know you’re going to be a good long term investment, rather than just a one book wonder. Does that make sense? I wish you the best in this crazy business! 🙂

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  2. Is this character supposed to be me? (No, it isn’t supposed to be anyone real – I write fiction) What parts of this book are true? (No parts are true in the way you mean – I write fiction) Were you really abducted by aliens as a child? (No – the book is fiction) Oh well – what can I say – I write fiction.

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