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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Unexpected Challenges and Total Surprises Publishing GRACE UNEXPECTED: a Q&A with author Gale Martin

I'm pleased to host author Gale Martin today! I've known Gale for a few years now and am amazed at her talent for storytelling. Please help me welcome Gale!

Gale, why did you write this book?

I don’t travel to the extent that you do (does anyone besides those running for reelection?), so any trip I take makes a profound impression on me. When I visited Shaker Village in Canterbury, New Hamphire in 2005, I couldn’t stop thinking about the joint. Everyone’s lives were so neat and ordered and proscribed. The idea of a place for everything (and everyone) and everything in its place is attractive, to a degree, until it becomes stifling. So, when I learned men and women were expected to live in celibate community in Shaker Village during the 19th and most of the 20th centuries, it profoundly affected me. I am a better person for having found a wonderful, loving man for a life partner. The more I thought about it, the more severe it seemed to restrict an entire culture of women intimacy with the opposite sex while LIVING alongside men.

Did you have any challenges writing the book?

Normally, I encounter only minor challenges getting a story down on paper. I am an imaginative person. I have been since childhood and three decades later, I finally found a constructive outlet for my penchant for lying. My challenges usually occur at the point I share my writing with others. Of course, one’s writing doesn’t land on them the same way it flows from my pen. I can’t believe my brilliance and perspicacity; they’re totally confused. Well, shortly after I finished this manuscript, I submitted the earliest chapters to a new by-invitation-only “skin on” writing group, as opposed to an online writing group. Several members loved it and were really excited to hear more. But I had one really vocal critic (it wasn’t a critique—more of a harangue) who hated my protagonist, objected to the premise, called my pro a twit and ran her down, requiring pages of handwritten copy to do so. She was an established writer in the region, so I was really discouraged by her negativity. But not for long.
You persevered.

How were you able to do that?

Ha! As my friend Mary Beth would say, ‘There’s nothing a little success can’t cure.” As fortune would have it, literally days after the Wreck of the Hesperus panned my opening pages, I won a first chapter contest for the exact same cutting from WritersBillboard.net. That would have been 2007. A year later, I won fifth place in the National Writers Association Novel Competition. More than 90 complete novels were submitted in that competition. Five months later, Foundry Literary and Media picked up the novel for representation. So, I felt vindicated. But I also felt the shrew from the writing class was way off-base in terms of this novel’s publishing potential from the get-go. And, it turns out, she was.

So, what happened to the novel between the time that it was picked up by Foundry late in 2008 and 2012?

My agent at Foundry had been an editor at Hachette Book Group and Random House. So we spent two months improving it, before she shopped it. She was a solid agent. She didn’t sell it, but to her credit, she got it in front of everyone she promised to. She so believed in it, that we were both heartstricken after we’d heard back from the last acquisition editor at the last house that they were this close to picking it up but then changed their minds at the eleventh hour. So, GRACE sat it on a shelf while I concentrated on my graduate studies in creative writing, authoring and publishing another novel in the interim (DON JUAN IN HANKEY, PA).
When Ken Shear, publisher at Booktrope, said he wanted to see GRACE in October of 2011, I gladly sent it. He immediately saw the potential in it (immediately being about six months for Ken because they are slammed with submissions), and it was published this July.

Any other funny stories associated with this book?

Strange you should ask. When I was in New York for a pitch conference in late 2008, not only did I get three manuscript requests for GRACE from editors from the Big Six. I also got an invitation to have a fling with one of them, who shall remain nameless, but who has a VERY famous author in his flock of commercial success stories. I told the conference coordinator that I was longtime married (23 years at that point) to the same man. And he said, “Well, isn’t it about time for a fling?” Ha!

What are your dreams for this book?

I’ll admit I think that if enough people read this book, that if the folks at Booktrope and I can get it in the hands of enough readers, it will be very successful. It’s got romping, humor, and some truly entertaining plot twists and surprises. Do I love this book? Yes, I think I’ve been smitten with it and with Grace Savage for a long time.

Are there plans for a sequel?

Formal plans, no. But have I thought about writing out the next chapter of Grace’s life? Yes, I have. Booktrope, are ya listenin’?

Where can people find it?

It’s available in print and ebook on sites such as Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com and soon at Indiebound.org. Of course, it’s also available on the Booktrope website , where you can read it for free, right now, because that’s how Booktrope rolls.

Thanks so much for joining me today, Gale! Now friends, go read a great book and watch for more authors to visit shortly!
* * *
Gale Martin is an award-winning writer of contemporary fiction who began writing her first novel at age eleven, finally finishing it three decades later. Her first novel DON JUAN IN HANKEY, PA (Booktrope 2011) was named a finalist in the 2012National Indie Excellence Awards. Her newest novel GRACE UNEXPECTED is humorous women's fiction that features a protagonist with a heart of pure gold, wrapped in lead, who can hear her ovaries ticking. Gale has a master of arts in creative writing from Wilkes University. She lives in Eastern Pennsylvania, which serves as a rich source of inspiration for her writing.
Goodreads.com is giving away 10 copies of the book; log on by July 31 to register to win.
Website: http://galemartin.me
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Gale_Martin (@Gale_Martin)
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/GaleMartinAuthor
Goodreads: My Author Page
Email: galemartin (dot) writer (at) gmail (dot) com

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Get Ready for a Great Month!

August is almost here as is the release of Run, River Currents! Just awaiting the final word as to if the release will take place on August 3 or August 6 for sure! But in the meantime, on Tuesday, July 31, 2012, I will be interviewing the talented Gale Martin,humorist author of Don Juan in Hankey, PA and her newest release, Grace Unexpected!

Join me as we talk to an author whose Pennsylvania background threads in and out of her hysterical novels and keeps the reader wanting more! I hope you'll join me in welcoming Gale. Don't forget to watch for her interview on Monday!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

We Are Getting Closer...

So many things to do:) Right now I am in the midst of tying up any loose ends for the book. I took the day off today to try and get a lot of the little things my editor asks me to do, done! Most of the time I work on my personal efforts after 4:00 p.m. as my "real" job keeps me busy until then. Here's the low-down on the progress of Run, River Currents and a little bit about the behind-the-scenes of what has to be done.

The manuscript has finished it's last proof read, so it's over, folks. I had a great proof reader named Thomas Dean, a fantastic editor/book manager named Lori Higham, a so talented cover designer named Greg Simanson and my wonderful publisher Booktrope. Lots of hands on this book:)

Today the book is in the layout people's hands who have already formatted it for online ebooks as well as for print. The launch date is not 100% yet. We thought it would be (and still might be) August 3, but it may go as late as August 6. Hang with us as we move forward.

We are lining up a great cast of authors for a Blog tour where I will either be interviewed or have a guest blog. On my site, we will be hosting other writers so you can get a good insight to other author's work. We'll have a wide variety of styles and genres. Some you might like, other's you might not, but we are keeping our minds open to various styles and interesting people.

God has been so good to me in the publishing of this book. His hand is everywhere and cannot be denied. So, from here on, with everything I write, I dedicate it to the glory of God!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Read all about it!

We are less than three weeks away from the launch of Run, River Currents! What makes this so exciting is that I have the opportunity to highlight other authors in varying genres for you.

In the next few weeks, I will be either interviewing other authors or have guest blogs from other authors posted on this site! So if you see one you like, please comment or go on out to Amazon and buy their books! We have a talented lineup that includes:

Gail Martin, author of Don Juan in Hankey, PA and Grace Unexpected

Michael J. McCann, Canadian crime & mystery writer and author of the Marcie's Murder, Blood Passage and The Ghost Man

Stacy Eaton, police officer and author of My Blood Runs Blue, and Whether I Live or Die.

More authors to be announced shortly, but stay on this train ride and tell all of your reading friends to join us! I'll be announcing the dates of each author's blog next week! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Countdown....

Since last blogging, I've been in at least four different cities and on eighteen or twenty different flights. I work all day and in the evening spend my time catching up on the various tasks my book manager has me doing. We are preparing for the launch of Run, River Currents, and for anyone who has not yet had the pleasure of having a book published, it is one heck of a ride!

Right now the book is in layout, which means someone, somewhere at Booktrope, is trying to make all of my jumbled words look really, really good for not only print books, but Amazon, Kindle, Nook and Barnes & Noble! It is also going through yet another proofreader, whose job is to make it as near perfect as it can be. Who knew a book about abuse, healing, and God's grace might ever have a chance to be in so many people's hands even before it was published!

Hang in there with me as we prepare for the launch on August 3rd, a date that will honor the birthdays of my youngest sister Tanya and my wonderful sister-in-law (she's really much closer than that,) Karen! Woo Hoo!!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Run, River Currents

Hello All! Just a note to share the progress of the upcoming release of Run, River Currents! My wonderful editor and book manager, Lori Higham, is assisting in the final edits of the book. The cover art is complete, and the manuscript is out to beta readers for a final review. I'll be blogging about what is going on as we move toward the release date of early August. Watch for regular updates as this manuscript comes to fruition. Stay tuned, and thanks to each of you for hanging with me as I've struggled to complete this book. I do hope you'll enjoy the read! And don't think I've forgotten about some upcoming great reads! Remember me mentioning my dear friend Gale Martin, author of Don Juan in Hankey, PA, the hilarious book about a small town opera guild struggling to save their opera house? Well, she's back with a new novel, set to be released on July 16. Grace Unexpected is a story about Grace Savage, a thirty-something woman who, after visiting a Shaker village on vacation, attempts to follow their strict lifestyle. When two extremely eligible bachelors enter her life, Grace's self-control is tested and hilarity ensues! You'll love it!

Monday, July 2, 2012

When things go really, really right......

This life of mine has been a whirlwind lately. Son, daughter-in-law, and grandson visiting from Alaska. Disney World. A happy Tootsie! (my grandson's name for me) God's grace is so abundant! Next, health issues just went away... when for a while there was a good chance of cancer...or worse. And then, Booktrope emailed to let me know my manuscript, now called Run, River Currents, was picked up by book manager Lori Higham, who wanted to work with me to publish it! She is a Christian and a very delightful professional! Soooooo, watch for the upcoming release of the book in early August! I'll keep you informed. Oh! And prayer works! Have a good one!