Thursday, October 13, 2011

My Personal Path To Publication - Phillip Creighton

My guest today may sometimes feel as though he is the only male at my publishing house, Astraea Press.  Writer and soon to be published author, Phillip Creighton, with his first fiction novel, Nightfall, due this autumn, may often feel outnumbered as the lone testosterone-laden voice in a sea of estrogen.  In our private online forums, we often chat about those things that occupy our lives besides writing and editing, which is more often than not, babies and children, daycare and doctors, visits to schools and ERs, and those things generally germaine to us as moms, us as wives, and some of us as grandmas.  More than once a post will begin "Present company excepted, Phil," and he good-naturedly posts back "No worries" or "No problem".  Being they only guy hasn't made him any less of a valuable member of our House.  Nor did it make his path to publication any easier.  He went through the same kinds of things we all did, and has learned the same important lessons.  Lucky for us at Astraea, he came to us.  His upcoming release sounds intriguing and exciting!  Check out his personal journey.

1 - How Long have Your Been Writing? - I've been writing since I could remember. I've always had an active imagination. In Middle School I remember writing my own star wars story because I couldn't find the story I wanted to read. It turned out to be about thirty pages before I started reading mysteries and horror stories by Stephen King and HP Lovecraft.(I know weird kid right?) 

2 - Are You Published and if so, how long have you been a published author? If not, what's your plan? - I've been published in regional publications and such for my non-fiction work before but my first fiction novel, Nightfall is due out from Astraea Press this fall.

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? -  When I wrote my first novel I didn't think of publishing, I just kept writing. There was this story that just kept coming so I kept writing. When a number of people including my professors started singing the praises they said I should try. I had to dive in and learn about the industry. I quickly learned you couldn't touch the publishers directly(several years ago) so I started targeting agents and I had to learn about how all of that worked. I started editing my work based on the feedback I was receiving and kept pitching to agents inching ever closer until the great upheaval in the past couple years. I had a number of authors point me at certain publishers that were making great leaps for their authors. So I reached out and got positive responses from all of the publishers. 

4 - How Long did it take you to write your first novel? - I wrote it over the course of 3 months between my spring and fall semesters at the start of my Junior year in college.

5 - How long did it take you to publish it? - It took a few summers of revisions and edits and pitching. It probably would have been different if I had actually focused on it through the Fall and Spring semesters instead of giving it a break.

6 - How Many times did it get rejected before it got published? - Honestly, I probably only sent out about 40 Queries over the course of a couple years. That was more to do with my specifically targeting queries at some high profile agents than mass queries.

7 - Describe your worst rejection letter. - It was a simple rejection letter that said "Your project does not match our interests at the time." and something to the effect of.. you're not our style look elsewhere.

8 - Describe the best news you ever got in your writing life and how it felt. - It's kind of a tie. My first creative writing professor in college, Freshman year, gave an assignment to the whole class. Write a quick 3 sentence scene and read it to the whole class. When I read mine, the entire class was awestruck. The professor said.. "We've got to get you published." The other best news was receiving the Email from Stephanie and AP saying "We love it. We'd like you to join AP." It's moments like that when you're just sort of struck and want to do the whole fist-thrust into the sky a-la The Breakfast Club thing. :-) 

9 - What's the worst piece of advice you ever got? - This is actually kind of interesting. I asked one of the professors in the Communication/Lit department about how one could go about being published. The professor burst out laughing and said it was pointless. "Those that are in help those around them. It's virtually impossible for anyone on the outside to get published unless you're willing to pay for it yourself." 

10 - Now, tell us the best. - An agent responded once… "I love the dark themes, settings and characters in your work. It's not a fit for me but don't give up, I want to pick it up off the shelf and read the completed story."

11 -  What's the one thing you would want an aspiring writer to take away from your personal path to publication? -  Keep writing, publication is more about choice and persistence than anything else.

12 - Where can we read your blog?
     - Buy your books? Astrea Press - Fall 2011
     - Connect with you on Facebook?  -
     - On Twitter?  -
     - Website - same as blog for time being.
Blurb - Three years after everyone important to Connor Maitland was murdered by a fanatical cult he is still attempting to put his life back together. Accompanied by his ex-girlfriend and business partner, Alison Herne, he is making a living as a jack-of-all-trades running a security company, sailing charters, and even photographing weddings out of Dolliber Cove, Massachusetts. Connor’s world is finally coming back together until they find one of Alison’s ghost hunter friends murdered.
When a childhood love he thought was dead, appears on his doorstep during their investigation, Connor is forced to confront memories he convinced himself were the delusions of a man deep into grief. They are being stalked by a mysterious man who appears to know far too many of their secrets, as well as Connor’s. After Alison is almost killed confronting her occult past, it is impossible for Connor to deny the connection between the cases. Someone is attempting to end Connor’s life and the lives of all those who surround him.
The crazed rantings of the murderous cult may be the key to his survival. 

Phil is no different from any of the authors showcased here...he would love to connect with you and find out what you thought about his journey.  Comment here or reach him on facebook, Twitter, or his own blog.  And keep an eye out for his book!


  1. Thanks for the kind words Samantha. Yeah, it's been an interesting journey so far and I'm very happy (and often amused) by the AP crew. It's always fun.

  2. Isn't it nice to prove that Communication/Lit professor wrong Phillip

  3. It's like they say: "Don't get mad, get even." And you sure did! Congrats on your novel!

  4. Lindsay, it certainly is. Furthermore, how does such a person become a College Advisor?

    Thanks Patricia!

  5. Academia is its own little world, as my daughter could tell you! It's always great to get the memorable "wow, this is great!" one moment, and the next, "this su**s!" Oh well. Consider it a rung on the ladder to more success! CONGRATS!

  6. Great interview, PW, and I like the blurb;) I'm so excited that your book is coming out. Can't wait to read it!