Today I'm chatting with my friend and critique partner, Terry Spear, about her first print book, a sensual and adventurous Scottish medieval historical romance. It's also available as an ebook.
Vonda: Please tell us about Winning the Highlander's Heart.
Terry: Deceit, Intrigue, Romance in Medieval Scotland and England during the reign of King Henry I.
Determined to avoid King Henry I's randy advances, Lady Anice of Brecken attempts escape, wishing to find a Highlander to escort her home to her castle in Glen Affric where she will rule until she can find a laird worthy of her hand. Laird Malcolm MacNeill desires an English bride to improve his standing with those in power. But rescuing the Scottish lass from an escape attempt casts him into deadly political intrigue when the king sends Malcolm and his brothers to escort the lady home and investigate the disappearance of some of her staff. Now he must protect the king's ward without losing his heart to the willful lass, or he could very well earn His Majesty's wrath...and lose far more.
VS: Do you have an unusual writing quirk?
TS: Hmm, if this means as far as the actual writing goes, I always have subtle humor in my writing no matter how suspenseful. If this means when I'm writing, then, no, not really. Sometimes I listen to music, and sometimes I don't. Sometimes I write by hand in bed at night, and other times I write on the computer during the day. I spend most days writing, revising, promoting, or thinking about scenes. I start early in the morning, and work until I go to bed. I set goals for myself every day...complete so much, write a new scene, revise all I can on a certain mss, get one sent out. If I have a daily goal, it helps me to keep writing and not get sidetracked as much.
VS: Please describe your journey to publication.
TS: I wrote, read on writing, went to workshops, revised, learned what editors wanted, queried, was rejected, revised, queried again, was rejected, revised, queried again, and the process was continued until I sold. Everyone wants to sell that first mss and make a million dollars, have it turned into a movie, etc, etc, etc, but in reality, very few make it that big, first time out. And when you don't, you learn your craft, you learn to make it the best it can be, and when you finally sell, you appreciate the effort all the more. :)
VS: What was the most important thing you learned (the thing that made all the difference) just before you made your first sale?
TS: When there's an opportunity to submit to a new market, take a chance. Oftentimes you can get your foot in the door, send more material, sometimes a full when a new market is just opening up. That's how I sold both of my Young Adults.
VS: What do you wish you’d known before becoming published?
TS: More about the distribution of titles for different publishers. All are not created equally. :) Some publishers have very limited distribution so the author has to do the bulk of the selling.
Thank you, Terry, for being a guest and telling us about your writing! Please visit Terry's website at www.terryspear.com to read excerpts and reviews.