January 27, 2010 - Interview at Bookworm Nation
February 11, 2010 - Interview at Tales of the Ravenous Teen Reader
February 16, 2010 - Interview at Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf
February 22, 2010 - Interview at The Climbing Roses of the Wild Rose Press
February 23, 2010 - Guest Post at The Book Butterfly
February 28, 2010 - Interview at This Writer's Life
With only TWO days to go on the countdown until my FIRST book (The Stillburrow Crush) is released, I was starting to run dry with ideas on what to post, so today, I'll give you the history of my story's creation. I always like to read a book's background and how its story came to be on other author's websites, so maybe this will work (cross your fingers).
In August 2000, I started my junior year at Pittsburg State University as a transfer student, aspiring to get an English Degree with an emphasis in Creative Fiction Writing (which I got, yay!). It was during my senior year in January of 2002, I signed up for the advanced fiction writing class. There, one of my assignments was to write a short story a minimum of seven pages long. And so, Carrie was created... way back in January of 2002.
The short scene I wrote was similar to Carrie's scene in The Stillburrow Crush with her and Luke on the swing set in the park. But at the end of my seven pages (okay, I know I went over seven pages), Luke died in a car crash. The End.
But that was the kind of stuff you wrote about for literary writing assignments, right? Well, I thought so.
Anyway, I met with the professor and let her read over the rough draft before I turned in the final. She had so many comments and pointed out so many things I needed to fix, I ended up writing another short story and turning that in for my final grade instead.
But of course, Carrie and Luke stuck with me. And being the romantic I am, I just didn't like the fact he had to die. But someone's gotta die or there's no juicy drama, right? I don't know. But it sounded good. So, I created another character to kill off, and then a few more characters to tie the story together... then I had to add, like, a billion more scenes to make it my happily-ever-after romance that actually went with the dramatic demise of this other person.
Before I knew it, I had a full-length story.
I revised and gave it to my sister to read, who gave it to another sister, who passed it on to my mother. Soon, people from church were calling. "I just read some of your story!" Yikes. So, I revised a little more, showed it to my old college professor (I'd graduated by this point), who gave me lots of good advice, and sent me back to revise some more.
About a year after finishing it, I sent off the my first submission. I had no idea where to look for young adult romance publishers, so I sent my mansucript off to popular childrens book publishers whose names I knew. I received a handful of rejections, which brought me to putting the story aside for about three years, where I polished on it some more and tried one other publisher, who sent me back another rejection. At that point, I packed up the story with the idea of retiring it for good to the bottom of my closet.
Another two years passed. In that time, I joined Romance Writers of America and attended a few local writing groups. I learned more about where and how to submit my stories, and bunches more on revising. I'd also finished an arm load of adult romance stories.
With all this new-found knowledge on the Romance Publishing world, I set forth and sent off a submission for one of my adult romances (I'd pretty much forgotten about Stillburrow by this point). But the main characters of my adult story were in college, so being that they were as young as they were, the acquiring editor said she wanted to send my submission to the young adult department first since they were looking for more stories... which made a little bell in my head go ding, ding, ding.
Someone was looking for more... young adult romance stories?
Hey, I had a dusty old young adult romance sitting around somewhere in my house.
So, after the college romance story I submitted was sent back to me with a rejection, I dug up The Stillburrow Crush, polished on it some, and sent her in. That was in August of 2008. Eighty-eight days later, I had an offer for a contract.
Now, Fifteen months after that, we are only TWO days away from seeing the real thing. It's been a long, but rewarding journey. And I'll be happy to finally share one of my stories with the world. I hope you enjoy reading it at least half as much as I enjoyed writing it.