Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Very Talented Writers to Watch: They're on their way- what about you?

I am lucky enough to have some very talented writer friends, and many of them are moving forward into the publishing world at break neck speed and are willing to share their tales. Today I’d like you all to meet three of them! I’m calling them the Very Talented Writers to Watch, and I think following what they’ve gone through will be an eye opening experience for all “almost there” writers- plus you might find a few great new authors to read.  I asked them some basic questions.

The first Very Talented Writer to Watch is Melissa Cutler:

1) How long have you been writing? How long seriously writing (if different)

The big whammo that propelled me to write my first book happened six years ago and a random brain tumor made me re-examine my life. I thought, you fool, you might die without doing the only damn thing on your bucket list. So after the tumor came out and was determined to be benign, and I was all healed up, I got busy on my first book, a romantic suspense. Halfway through, I knew that writing romance was what I wanted to do every single day for the rest of my life. The decision to pursue publication came fast on the heels of that epiphany.

2) What do you write?

I write romance that focus on rugged, blue collar heroes and smart women, and currently divide my time between small town, contemporary romance for Kensington Zebra and romantic suspense for Harlequin.

3) Your darkest moment as a writer

Becoming a great writer and getting published are two very different goals. My darkest time as a writer was in the months leading up to "The Call". Over the course of two months, I endured several rejections and harsh critiques that devastated me. Mind you, this was five years into my journey and I'd powered through hundreds of rejections from agents and editors, along with an equal number of discouraging contest results and critiques. But the negativity I experienced in those two months topped it all.

I actually experienced a sort of drawn-out grief at how far away my dreams were starting to seem. That's when I realized that my publication quest was beginning to interfere with my goal of becoming a great writer because it was taking away my joy of the process. So on December 1, 2011, I decided to take a six month break from trying to get published to concentrate on growing as a writer. Four days later I got The Call.

4) Your best moment as a writer

All of my best moments as a writer involve me feeling like I'm improving my abilities as an entertainer and storyteller. My best moment lately happened this past April. I finished a book for Kensington that I felt was the best I'd ever written, and I'd done it in record time.

5) Where you are now, and what you look forward to?

My big goal in life is to write the kinds of books people want to take on vacation or that whisk readers away on a mental vacation right in the middle of their busy lives. Because, really, life is tough and we all deserve a break (along with some hot, swoon-worthy romance). Reading romance rocks because you can be sitting on a bus or watching your kids play at McDonalds and get swept away to another world populated with gutsy, smart women and sexy, larger-than-life men. My job is to provide that experience, and keep doing that consistently year after year, and that's what I'm looking forward to most. Genre-wise, right now I'm dividing my time between small town contemporary romance and romantic suspense, but you never know what the future will bring. The possibilities are endless and thrilling.

Thank you Melissa!  Interested in finding some of her books? 

Buy links:


Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Melissa-Cutler/e/B007KL8SZG/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1346028120&sr=8-2
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/melissa-cutler
Book Depository (free shipping and best prices on her print books): http://www.bookdepository.com/search/index?searchTerm=melissa+cutler&searchSortBy=popularity&category=333
Visit Melissa at her website!  http://www.melissacutler.net/



Our second Very Talented Writer to Watch is Georgie Lee:
1) How long have you been writing? How long seriously writing (if different).

I started my professional writing career at a small TV station in San Diego. I wrote public service announcements and marketing videos and dreamed of being a screenwriter. I moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a screenwriter but I didn’t have much professional success. I’d always enjoyed reading romance novels, and one day I decided to try to write one. My first book, Lady’s Wager, a traditional Regency romance, helped me make the transition from screenwriting to novels and taught me a lot about the process. The book was later published by Ellora’s Cave Blush and so began my novel writing journey.

2) What do you write?

I write historical and contemporary romances for Harlequin, Carina Press and Montlake. My traditional Regency, Lady’s Wager and my contemporary novella Rock ‘n’ Roll Reunion are both available from Ellora’s Cave Blush. Mask of the Gladiator, a novella of ancient Rome is now available from Carina Press. Labor Relations, a contemporary romance of Hollywood is currently available from Amazon’s Montlake imprint. Studio Relations, a love story set in the golden age of Hollywood, will be available December 11, 2012 from Montlake.

3) Your darkest moment as a writer

Early this summer, I received a stinging rejection on a manuscript followed by some other bad news, both professional and personal. I was very frustrated with my professional progress and I was ready to take a break from writing. Then, two weeks later, Carina Press purchased a Regency novella. Two weeks after that, Harlequin called wanting to buy another Regency I’d submitted. I was blown away at how fast everything changed.

4) Your best moment as a writer

My best moment as a writer was the day before the Romance Writers of America 2012 national conference when Harlequin Historical called and wanted to buy my book. It felt wonderful to accomplish a goal I’d dreamed about since I first started writing romance. A week later, I signed with an agent, and between the two, made a big leap forward in my career.

5) Where you are now, and what you look forward to

Right now, I am grasping the first rung of a professional ladder with the Harlequin deal. I look forward to growing as a writer, to working with Harlequin and to experiencing the next exciting phase of my writing career.

Thank you Georgie! Interested in finding some of her books?

http://www.amazon.com/Georgie-Lee/e/B0046064FU/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Visit Georgie at her website!  http://www.georgie-lee.com/





Our third Very Talented Writer to Watch is Lisa Kessler:

1) How long have you been writing? How long seriously writing (if different)

I have been writing for 16 years. I didn't start publishing short stories until 12 years ago and I first finished my novel and started shopping it 10 years ago.


2) What do you write?

I started out writing horror short stories and now I generally write paranormal romance.

3) Your darkest moment as a writer

Night Walker made it through two full readings with an agent who I really thought was going to offer me representation and finally they came back with an email telling me how much they loved the characters and the pacing, but they weren't sure about the world building. I was crushed because it was usually the twist on vampires that I complimented on for being original!!! LOL At that point I finally broke down cried and wondered why I kept doing this to myself. I set Night Walker aside and started writing a completely different series... In the end Night Walker still ended up being my first published novel! LOL And it's even won a few awards which felt like a healthy dose of redemption after years of being rejected! :)

4) Your best moment as a writer 

 Meeting with my agent and hearing her tell me she's read all my work and thought I was already agented or she would have approached me sooner! Best day ever!

5) Where you are now, and what you look forward to 

 Next month my Night Series prequel, Night Thief, will be released! I love the novella and can't wait to share it with everyone... Kane and Rita have really come alive for me...

I would add one other tidbit... Never give up! Keep writing and keep believing. Life can change faster than you realize and the more projects you have written and ready to go, the better!

Thank you Lisa! Interested in finding some of her books?


Visit Lisa at her website! http://Lisa-Kessler.com


Thank you ladies!  So there you have it folks- some very talented writers who are making their dreams come true.  They are doing it- so can you! 
  *if the links aren't working- please cut and paste- I know old school- but Blogger and I are having a tiff and it keeps playing with them- thanks!*

18 comments:

  1. Thanks for hosting me, Marie. What a fun interview. I loved reading about Georgie and Lisa's publication quests.

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  2. Thanks Marie for the great blog. It was fun to read everyone's journey to publication!

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  3. I have the honor and privilege of being in the same RWA chapter as these lovely ladies and not only do they work hard at their craft, as evidenced by the results, but they give so much to the chapter and its members. Lisa is like the energy bunny and gets everyone stirred up and activated to write. Georgie and Melissa are also very visible in the chapter. I am not at all surprised to see these three rise to the ranks of published authors--they all deserve it and the readers deserve to read the fascinating stories these 3 produce. Yes, keep an eye on them!!

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    1. Awww thanks Shirley!!! :)

      *HUGS*

      Lisa :)

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  4. Thanks to you all for sharing your journeys...three lovely ladies on their way to writer's heaven. It's great to see your dreams become reality!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!!!

      Lisa :)

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  5. Thanks for having us on your blog Marie!!! :) One of the coolest parts of hanging out with writers is hearing their publication stories because every one has a different path... :)

    The one constant you hear is that although the road may have them battered, bloodied and bruised, they still clung to their dream...

    Don't give up!

    Lisa :)

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  6. Fun--I love reading how-I-got-published stories. Thanks for sharing, everyone.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Shoshana!!!

      Lisa :)

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  7. Thanks for stopping by, Regan, Shirley, and Shoshana! **HUGS**

    Melissa

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  8. Wonderful interviews! Thank you so much for this!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Autumn!!!

      Lisa

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  9. What wonderful posts, ladies! It's so inspirational to hear about your journeys and how you persevered when writing got tough. And since I've read books from each of you--and loved them!--I'm so glad you kept going! *hugs*

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  10. Inspiring interviews. Thank you. I'm happy to be in the same chapter as these gifted writers.

    Mary Galusha

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    1. Aww, thank you, Mary! And thank you for stopping by!

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  11. I just want to thank my wonderful guests and all the folks who came by!

    Thanks again!

    Marie (stuck at work- no access to blogger ;( )

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  12. Marie, what a great idea to write about our RWA San Diego young and talented authors. I enjoyed the questions and, of course, the answers. They give us insight into what lies beneath...and what hard work and dedication it takes to rise to the top. Lisa, Georgie and Melissa, you inspire! Onward!

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