Hey! And we’re back! Day three, our final day of “getting to know us!” Of course, we hope you stick around and get to know all of us better in the weeks and months to come! This is the point where I tell you about one of my other punctuation obsessions. Wednesday, I mentioned the exclamation marks. Yesterday, I pointed out parentheses. Today, I tell you how much I adore ellipses! There are, as you can see, none in this paragraph, yet, and Valerie did steal my thunder a bit yesterday, but whatevz. (That’s kind of a new obsession – shortening words and sticking z’s on them. But only with my friends – like all y’all are. I’d never put it in a manuscript. Unless I was writing a character who would. /ponder/ Right. Moving on… See. Ellipses :D.)
We’ve had a great first two days and are getting things sorted out! You can enter through midnight tomorrow night for the drawing! Rafflecopter below! I can’t wait to jump into the meat – the heart of our blog. Authors of contemporary inspirational romance talking to you, the readers! And there will be prizes! Oh, yes! There will be prizes!
Only two questions remain, but feel free to ask your own questions in the comments and hopefully some of our authors will pop in and answer them. For the record, marriage of convenience is my favorite trope – and if you can pull it off (well!) in a contemporary, you’ll be my new favorite person. I’ve been trying to come up with one for a while and haven’t yet. (This favorite person thing is a dubious and fleeting honor, but it is, um, quite the honor ;). Ask Amy Matayo who does have one of those in her debut novel.)
I’m still cold (this really shouldn’t shock you by now), but today I think I want to curl up with a movie – or maybe a movie and the book that goes with it. But the book is always better, right? We’ve got a fire going in the ginormous fireplace in the lodge’s great room if you want to read or your favorite movie of all time playing in the theater (because we’re cool like that and can play everyone’s favorite movie at once). We have those cool recliners in there, too. And unlimited popcorn. And yummy candy – that’s also calorie free. And all the soda you can drink. And a waiter to bring it to you. What could beat that?! And it relates to our first question…
What movie did you like better than the book?
Krista Phillips: Honestly? I’m not sure I’ve ever watched a movie AND read the book. How bad is that??
Kristen Ethridge: The Devil Wears Prada. I actually threw the book across the room because I felt that Andi’s actions at the end were not true to her goals and motivations throughout the story. The movie handled her leaving Runway and Miranda much better, I felt.
Elizabeth Maddrey: The Hunt for Red October – they kept to the action and fun and left out some of the exceedingly dry technical minutia
(Carol here again – On that note, have you seen the new Jack Ryan movie yet?! So good! Not based on a book but a reimagining and alternate beginning for the characters. Plus. Chris Pine. And Kevin Costner.)
Annalisa Daughety: This hasn’t happened yet. I am that person who always likes the book better–and tells everyone they should read the book in addition to watching the movie.
Carla Laureano: Last of the Mohicans, hands down. Even taking into account that the book was written in 1826, I find it more than a little dry. Of course, only a handful of elements from the book made it into the movie version, but how can you go wrong with romance and Daniel Day Lewis?
And, /sniffle/, our last question. We have such a huge variety of authors here – everyone from multi-published for more years than we’d care to mention to me – and Pepper Basham and Laurie Tomlinson who are all “still waiting for our prints to come” (that’s a Pepper quote). Though we all write in the same genre, and a relatively specific one at that, we have very different types of books – and very different stories about how we got published. (Or will get published.) So the last question we asked of our Inspy gals:
How long did it take you to get published? How many completed manuscripts was that?
Lisa Jordan: I had been writing for over a decade before receiving “the call” on January 7, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. I had written 3 novels and started several rough drafts. My debut novel, Lakeside Reunion, was the first novel I had ever written, but it went through many drafts before being publishable.
Deb Kastner: I wrote one women’s fiction novel in the mid ‘90s when there was no market for such a beast. Then I found a local chapter of Romance Writers of America, joined a weekly critique group and played around with a couple of different romance genres. After awhile I settled on contemporary inspirational and completed my first book, targeting Multnomah Palisades as I wrote. Karen Ball at Multnomah bought that novel, Beloved, on May 25, 1997. The line closed soon afterward and I moved to Harlequin Love Inspired, where I have been writing since.
Carla Laureano: It took me nearly 15 years of writing, submitting, getting rejected, editing, rewriting, and resubmitting to land an agent and then eventually a book contract. The first book I sold was my third completed manuscript, but my first book to be released– Five Days in Skye—was actually my fifth. I recently went back to my first manuscripts, hoping there might be something that could be salvaged or rewritten, and let’s just say I’m so glad that they never made it into print. There is definitely something to be said for the improvements you can make through continuous hard work.
Virginia Carmichael: I started writing in 2009 and sold my first book in 2012. It was my second manuscript. The first one took me two and a half years to write because I didn’t know how to set a writing goal. Yay for #1k1hr groups!
Merrilee Whren: Too long–twenty years and eight manuscripts.
Staci Stallings: When I first started in 1996, there was no such thing as contemporary Christian romance. So rather than thinking I would be published, I just wrote what God gave me to write. I wrote the stories for me, honestly never thinking they would go much beyond that. Then I let a few friends read my first one (that I printed 5 copies at Kinkos and spent $150 on). In no time flat those five copies were GONE, and everyone was fascinated that I had written about God in a romance! Over the next 5 years, I wrote five more books, and the sixth one was the first I put out. It’s been a LONG journey from there to here, but every step taught me something about myself, something about writing, and most of all, something about God. So now I count them all joy!
Valerie Comer: 9 years and 10 completed manuscripts before that first contract!
Katherine Reay: I started peddling Dear Mr. Knightley in January of 2012 and sold it in September of that year. It was my first manuscript.
Beth Vogt: Susan May Warren, one of my writing mentors, told me I was an anomaly because my the first novel I ever wrote got published. (That was Wish You Were Here in 2012 with Howard Books.) I like to say I’m stubborn. I worked on that novel for 3 years and tore it apart a number of times. At one point, it was romantic suspense, which was a rookie’s attempt to ramp up tension. (Huge mistake too!)
How about that for variety?! Me? I’m at 4.5 years seriously pursing writing and, as of last week, 11 completed manuscripts. But, good news is coming! I just… don’t know what it is yet. Or when. ;)
Speaking of books – check out what I found in my local Wal-mart! (Well, I’m a smallish town girl – it was the next town over. Close enough!)
I so look forward to finding more books by my Inspy Romance buddies. In the comments yesterday, I mentioned that some of these gals are completely new to me! As in, I’d never met or heard of them before we started this sucker! Some were already dear friends and some acquaintances, but I’ve learned so much about all of them through putting these blogs together! And I’m itching to get my hands on some of those books!
More books to read? I say it’s always a good thing! (My husband and bookcase shelves may not agree…)
Be sure to join us tomorrow for trivia, and continued opportunities to enter via comments/Rafflecopter! Sunday, we’ll announce the winner and start talking about prizes and what’s coming up next week and all next month as we kick off our birth month bash! YAY!
A bit of a teaser?
Two words: Amazon card (and that isn’t the best prize!)a Rafflecopter giveaway