Q: What is it about Forever My Lady do you think that made it stand out in the minds of agents and editors?
A: I think it was good timing for one. I mean there was a real call for Latino-themed stories and remember I had also built an audience from online that were poised and ready to buy. I also really worked on the craft of the storytelling. Writing an emotional roller coaster isn't easy and I applaud anyone who's able to do it well. It's fun but a lot of work.
Q: What was more important to you in writing Forever My Lady, the characters or the plot?
A: To me they were equally important. I knew as a reader, that I hate books that bore me so my mission was to write something that would keep people turning the pages. And the characters came from real life, from my family, from my friends, from my enemies. Haha! That's where most of my characters came from and from aspects of me, even the bad guy characters.
A: Instead of getting frustrated at the rejection (and I had at least 20 editors who rejected the book) I got motivated. I thought to myself "I'll show them!" And I just knew in my heart of hearts I had a book that I believed in. That's what kept me going. You have to be determined but you also have to have a life too. You cannot put all your eggs in one basket and become obsessed with getting published. People can smell desperation and it turns them off.
Q: What would you say is the number one way for an unpublished writer to get noticed?
A: I would say it's the obvious, be the very best. So many writers are in such a rush to get published they don't stop and make sure their book is the very best. Don't be afraid to hire a credible book doctor or a freelance editor with credits behind them. It'll save you time and money in the long run. I was fortunate with Forever My Lady I didn't use a book doctor, in fact the book that is published by Grand Central is the first draft. But I am totally open to working with one on my next few projects and in a sense my book doctors were the hundreds of first fans who read the book when it was just online. They gave me good feedback and motivation to keep going and to tweak it where necessary.
A: You can find it at bookstores everywhere, http://www.amazon.com/, and my website: http://www.jeffrivera.com/.