Wednesday, October 26, 2011


This year has been a busy one. I have learned a lot about myself as a writer, mother and wife.  Juggling the different aspects of my life has been harder than I thought.  I am very lucky to have family and friends who are so supportive.  
I have been a traveling fool this year and we still have one more trip to go on.  I was blessed enough to have my husband take me to Marblehead, Massachusetts, in August.  Marblehead is the place where SECRET DOIRES is set.  I learned so much and was inspired more than I could have ever imagined.  I cannot wait to go back. We both fell in love with the town and its surrounding areas.  
With all of the traveling and family balance, I have not been writing as much as I would have hoped.  To help jumpstart my next project, I am going to do NaNoWriMo.  National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write a 50,000-word (approximately 175-page) novel by 11:59:59 on November 30.
NaNoWriMo is going to keep me busy in November and I plan on continuing to query SECRET DOIRES. That plus paying attention to the family will leave me zero time for my wonderful blog.  So I am taking a blogcation. A long one, sadly.  I will come back January 1st, 2012, ready to blog and tell everyone how NaNoWriMo went . . . and hopefully have some good news on SECRET DOIRES.
Last, I want to leave you with some great news.  I entered a contest a couple months ago with an independent publishing house.  Not only did I make it to the top 20 and then the top 5, but I actually won second place.  The first place prize was the ultimate prize, a publishing contract—but I am beyond happy with my second-place finish. (When I entered the contest I hadn’t changed the title yet, so it is titled FLIGHT on the contest page.) This was the push I needed. It reminded me that I am great writer and my book is good, and I know one day it will be published. And boy, I can’t wait for that day.  
I hope you all have a great Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. I will talk to you all soon.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Parenting to Publishing: Inara Scott

This month we have the amazingly talented Inara Scott telling us her Parenting to Publishing journey.

CW: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
IS: I grew up in winter wonderland of Buffalo, NY. Consequently, I spent much of my childhood complaining about being cold. To spare the world my whining, I fled the cold climate and eventually wound up in the Pacific NW. I love it here — we get occasional snow, tons of rain in the winter, and lots of sun in the summer. The forests are huge, and the old Douglas Fir trees and thick ferns make you think you’ve wandered into a fairy tale. I would be surprised if there weren’t fairies and elves living here. Seriously.
I love to hike, canoe, and play outside. I am addicted to yoga. I have a deep affinity for water (I used to believe I could learn to breathe underwater, if I stayed down there long enough).
I’m a geek through and through. I fear deep, intellectual books and love romance and fantasies. I listen to cheesy, happy music. When I was in high school, my friends considered having a clothing intervention for me because I insisted on making my own clothes and shopping at thrift stores. Somehow, I survived.

CW: When did you start writing? 
IS: I started writing in 2005. At the time, I was working full-time as an attorney, and I had two little ones at home. I think writing became my happy place -- an escape where no one needed me, the women were beautiful, the men were sexy, and there was ALWAYS a happily ever after.

CW: What genre do you write? What are your books about?
IS: I started writing adult historical romance. I wrote two books that weren’t published, and then tried my hand at young adult fiction. That YA book (Delcroix Academy: The Candidates) became my first published novel.

CW: Tell us a little bit about your journey to getting your agent. What were your query stats? What is the most memorable feedback (good or bad) you have received about your book?
IS: Oh lord, I think I had well over 150 rejections before I found an agent. I queried relentlessly for my first two novels, but always kept writing. I queried about 50 agents for my YA novel, and 49 of them said no. But as the saying goes, you only need one! There really wasn’t one piece of feedback that stood out for me. It was a series of “you’re almost there” type of statements that were simultaneously soul-crushing and uplifting. (Gosh, that kind of describes most of publishing, don’t you think?)

CW: Most writers dream about getting published. Tell us how it works. How did it feel to hold your book in your hands?
IS: Oh, I cried and cried. It’s hard to put it into words. You look at that book and wonder how it could possibly have happened to you. I still tend to believe it was an accident. ;-)

CW: Can you describe your writing routine? Any certain music, food, smells or atmosphere that get you in the mood to write?
IS: I write best early in the morning, and when I was working full time, I’d often get up at 5 to get some writing time in before work and kids demanded my attention. I love sitting down with the computer and a cup of steaming hot coffee. Coffee definitely gets my writerly-brain working.

CW: What is your favorite writer’s resource?
IS: My friends! I need the reassurance of other human beings telling me to keep going. Writing is a lonely business. Having human contact is a very good thing.

CW: How do you feel about conferences? Have you been to any? Do you have any suggestions as to which conferences are good?
IS: I highly recommend that aspiring writers join the Romance Writers of America and start attending their annual national conference (if you can swing it) or local conference. They are loaded with resources, from classes and workshops to agent information, and they help you build communities, which I believe are essential to writers.

CW: What are you currently working on?
IS: I’ve got about five projects going right now. It’s not a particularly healthy state of being! I’m hoping my brain will settle down soon.

CW: What kind of support do you have from friends and family when it comes to writing?
IS: My husband is truly remarkable. He has always supported my writing in every way possible. I’m not one of those women who has to work the second -- or third -- shift when it comes to housework and childcare. My husband has always been an equal partner in all of that.

CW: How do you balance writing and family life?
IS: I believe it’s crucial to be honest with yourself and prioritize all the things you want to do. Whether it’s spending time with family, writing, or exercising, you’ve got to make it a priority or it will never happen. I tend to block out discretionary things like TV, movies, even reading, when I’m on a roll with my writing. It’s the only way I know to get it all done.

Thanks so much to Inara Scott for sharing her Parenting to Publishing journey with us. For even more on Inara, follow her on Twitter (@inarascott), Facebook and at

And if you didn’t already know how awesome Inara is, she wants to send you guys a little swag pack for her latest adult book, Radiant Desire -- bookmarks, stickers, and an adorable little faerie tattoo! Comment below with your email address and we will get your info!