Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Personal Path To Publication - Felicia Guillot Rogers

Our author sharing her path today is so far the only one who writes historical suspense.  A fellow author with me at Astraea Press (and you should check us out, we are growing, both in numbers and in reputation!), she came to publishing in two different ways.  She both won a contest and she was accepted by our wonderful independent press.  Felicia is also a great example of the value of revision.  For most writers, revision is a bad word, conjuring up images of the artist with several pots of coffee surrounding her, and a pile of scrunched up paper, discarded versions of where the story was supposed to go, the muse long since having left the building.  In Felicia's case, and in her own words, you'll see where she took a story that wasn't working, for the varied reasons we as writers will recognize, and not only made it work, but made it readable, enjoyable, and with eye firmly on prize, marketable!  Now, please enjoy the journey of my friend and fellow author, Felicia Guillot Rogers.

1.   How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing off and on for as long as I can remember but only seriously for the last two years.

2.   Are you published and if so, how long have you been a published author?  If not, what’s your plan?
I currently have four works published.  My first publication was in December of 2010. 

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?
In the beginning I searched for an agent.  It was my desire to acquire an agent and go for one of the big six.  But as time rolled on and no one seemed interested, I began searching out smaller publishers on my own with much success.

4.   How long did it take you to write your first novel?
I can’t remember!  I wrote it over two years ago this September.  But in general it takes me two to three months from start to finish to complete a novel length book.

5.   How long did it take you to publish it?
The first book I wrote was There Your Heart Will Be Also.  It was completed in Sept. 2009 and I began seeking publication.  This book will be published later this month.  Which means this novel took me over two years to publish.

6.   How many times did it get rejected before it got published?
guess you could say this manuscript was like my first child, I had to use it for practice.
Numerous times!  I had a POV (point-of-view) issue and then there was a character issue—he wasn’t liked.  This one manuscript has been rejected more than all my other manuscripts combined.  Poor thing.  

7.   Describe your worst rejection letter.
The worst rejection letter I’ve ever received came from an agent.  I finally had an agent request my work.  They sent me an email, all in small letters with no punctuation which read:  may send first 50 pages and synopsis via mail.  There was no address listed and since the punctuation was lacking I figured it made sense that the ‘e’ might have been left off of the word mail.  I did go and study the website thoroughly but still nothing grabbed me about what to do.  So I fixed everything up and emailed it.  Two minutes later I received my answer.  It read:  pass but may God bless.  This was clearly my worst rejection.

8.   Describe the best news you ever got in your writing life and how it felt.
I was really down and doubting my abilities from so many rejections on my novel then I got the news that my novella submission for the Celebrate the Season contest had won.  That was clearly the best piece of news I’d received.  I was jumping and running around the room.  I think I kind of scared the hubby.

9.   What’s the worst piece of advice you ever got?
Honestly I can’t think of any real bad advice that I’ve received.

10.  Now, tell us the best.

The best piece of advice I’ve received was from an editor/publisher/friend who told me my writing was good and gave me ways to improve upon it.

11.  What’s the one thing you would want an aspiring writer to take away from your personal path to publication?
The one thing I would want for an aspiring writer to take away from journey is to never give up on your dream and remember that practice makes perfect.

12.   Where can we Buy your books?
Connect with you on facebook?
Your website? 

Blurb for There Your Heart Will Be Also
Only daughter of an English lord, Sarra of Greenbriar, is used to getting her way.  So when her father passes and the King begins sending suitors, she feels justified in taking matters into her own hands.  Through a series of harmless pranks, Sarra works to keep the potential husbands at bay.
Cedric MacNeil is a Scotsman that has lost it all.  Death claimed his parents and jealousy claimed his entitled position as Laird of his clan.  Since his mother was a familiar of the English court, he leaves his native land and heads to England to fight on behalf of the English King.  Tournaments are won, earning honor and glory for the crown.  Cedric’s reward is the opportunity to gain what he wants most in this life, land.

But as he gets to know Sarra, he realizes he might get more than he bargained for.

Doesn't that sound glorious?  Everything you'd expect from an historical novel and more.  I know we'll be expecting many more from Felicia in the future.  Please comment and let her know how much you enjoyed reading about her journey.  As with all my author friends, she would love to hear from you.  And the next time you are faced with the seemingly daunting prospect of completely changing your manuscript, think of Felicia, and remember, it just may help you sell it!~ 


  1. Sounds to me as though that 'pass' was a blessing in disguise. I hate to think what kind of result you'd have received if they'd accepted you.
    I enjoyed your blog. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Love that cover - LOL about scaring the hubby!!

  3. Great cover and the book sounds fabulous! Think I have to put it on my tbr pile! Great interview, Felicia.

  4. I like the cover, and the book sounds great.

    Elaine Cantrell

  5. You know it's a bad sign when the literary agent can't use proper punctuation in an e-mail. I think it was a blessing in disguise that they passed, can you imagine them trying to sell the book for you? YUCK