Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Personal Path To Publication - Elaine Cantrell

Hey Readers!  Today I have a guest with us that reminds me I have so much to learn.  For instance, there is another way to get into publishing that I forgot about....winning a contest!  This is how the talented romance writer Elaine Cantrell made her entry into the writing world as you will soon read.  But, like many of you hopefully getting many juicy tips from these generous authors sharing their experiences, she didn't know much when she started out either, and look at her today!  Now, she is a valued and beloved member of the Astraea Press author family and although she is promoting her current book, A New Dream, here now, she teases that there is a new one on the horizon, probably coming out near December.  Please enjoy the journey of my writing  friend, Elaine Cantrell.

1.How long have you been writing?

I started writing in the summer of 2001.  I decided to try because my son wrote a book, and I figured if he could do it so could I.  When I read that first effort, it makes me laugh, but it’s nice to see how much I’ve improved. 

2. Are you published and if so, how long have you been a published author? If not, what’s your plan?
I am published and have been since 2004.

3. Which route did you choose for becoming published, the traditional route, with an agent, the “indie” route, going directly to the publishers yourself, or deciding to self-publish?
I didn’t do either of those things.  I submitted my book to a contest whose prize was publication of your book.  Even though I haven’t won anything since, I did win that contest, and Oak Tree Books published A New Dream for me.

4. Why did you choose that particular route?
I submitted to the contest because what’s the worst thing that could happen to me?  I wouldn’t win?  Big deal. 

5. How long did it take you to write your first novel?
A couple of years.  I’d think I was finished, and then I’d take it out and see so many mistakes!

6. How long did it take you to publish it? 
Since I was lucky enough to find that contest, it was only a few months after I finally finished the book.

7. How many times did it get rejected before it got published?
Lucky for me I won the contest so it didn’t get rejected.

8. Tell us about worst rejection letter.
The worst rejection I ever got still makes me angry to think of.  The publisher sent me a short, nasty email saying that my level of writing wasn’t up to their standards.  They went out of business in a few months, and another publisher picked up my book and said they loved it.

9. What was the best news you ever got in your writing life and how did it make you feel?
The best news had to be winning that contest.  

10. What’s the worst piece of advice you ever got?
I didn’t know any other authors when I started writing, and I didn’t know how to find them on the internet either so I didn’t get any advice either bad or good.  

11. Now, tell us the best!
Same as above.

12. What’s the one thing you would want an aspiring writer to take away from your personal path to publication?
Interact with other authors and learn how the publishing business works.  Don’t be afraid to submit your work.  A rejection won’t kill you, and even bestselling authors get rejected.

13. Where can we read your blog? Buy your books? Connect with you on facebook? On Twitter? Your website?
Blog: http://www.elainepcantrell.blogspot.com (Here I share excerpts from my work, interview other authors, and write a Friday fashion column.)

Website: http://www.elainepcantrell.com (This site has excerpts, buy links, reviews, my newsletter, free reads)

Buy Links can be found on my website.  http://www.elainecantrell.com

Blurb: A New Dream

What would you do if you lost it all? 

After an auto accident destroys his pro-football career, Matt McCallum struggles to find a new dream for his life, but nothing engages him the way football did.  After a stint in rehab, he takes a job managing a grocery store where he meets Violet Emerson.

Violet works in the bakery department, but her dreams carry her far beyond the doors of Chef’s Pantry.  As soon as she can save the money, she plans to open a catering business.  She thinks the new manager’s broad shoulders and blue eyes are simply divine.

Thrown together at work, Matt and Violet find a new, common dream for their lives, but just when happiness is in their grasp, a loose end from Matt’s past threatens to destroy their future.   

I don't know about you, but now I am totally waiting for December!  I can't wait to see what Elaine has in store for us next.  Make sure and connect with Elaine, I know she would love to hear from you.  Make a comment here or connect with her on facebook or her blog.  (I love her Friday fashion column, there isn't anything quite like it anywhere else!) 

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