Today on the blog, I an showcasing one of my new friends from facebook, Ressa Empbra. An aspiring author, hoping to be published soon, Ressa is a tireless promoter of her friend's books, novels, and short stories. She also seems to have boundless amounts of energy, at least to me. She always has something positive and uplifting to say and believe me, when you've been up until 3am editing or you have written yourself into a corner and can't find your way out, a friend like Ressa is more than invaluable.....she is priceless. By her own admission, she thought she would be an editor, but never dreamed she would be a writer. I loved reading about her experiences....so far, as I'm sure you will as well. For someone who isn't yet published, she sure has some important things figured out! :-) Check out her journey and see if you don't agree.
1. How long have you been writing?
I started writing one-year ago today; September 29, 2010.
2. Are you published and if so, how long have you been a published author? If not,
what’s your plan?
As of yet, I am not published. The ‘plan,’ however, is to finish the writing, (of which I only have a couple more chapters to finish), editing, formatting, cover art, and anything else I can think of. Once those things are all checked off my To-Do-List, I’ll hopefully have a finished product for sale on several popular online mediums.
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 originally had planned to get an agent and go the traditional route. Then I did more research and saw that for example, if a publishing house sells one of my books for $7.99, after it’s all said and done, I would get a whopping .99 cents, to $1.99. That quickly decided me on the path to self-publishing.
4. How long did it take you to write your first novel?
I am proud to say, it took me exactly three months to write my first novel, the word count ending up at just over 153,000. Not bad for never having written so much as a poem or an essay.
5. How long did it take you to publish it?
Still working on that part. I’m hoping by the first of the year, it’ll be ready and for sale.
6. How many times did it get rejected before it got published?
I did not get rejected since I never solicited my manuscript to anyone. And thank God, too, ‘cause I probably would have given up. I wasn’t at a very good place in my life, physically or emotionally, when I finished my first novel, while still considering going with an agent and all. I ended up starting a second, unrelated novel right away and since it’s so different from my first, it helped lift my spirits. It also made me realize that I still need to do another rewrite on my first novel before I move forward with publishing it. I’m a firm believer in the saying ‘everything happens for a reason.’
7. Describe your worst rejection letter.
8. Describe the best news you ever got in your writing life and how it felt.
I sent a partial manuscript to a lady who offered to do a review, based on labeling it a ‘partial review.’ When she finished it and sent me a link to her website, I was ecstatic! My family thought I’d lost my mind as I could barely stop myself from bouncing off the walls! It was one of the best feelings of accomplishment I’ve ever had.
9. What’s the worst piece of advice you ever got?
To stick within the word count that has been the ‘norm’ in the industry forever. The rules have all been broken and challenged over the last few years, and besides, I never played well with rules, anyway. That advice is what prompted me to cut way back on my first novel, and the reason I have to do yet another full rewrite on that novel. I took it from 153,000 words down to 123,000. Now it just doesn’t ‘read’ right…
10. Now, tell us the best.
Write from your heart. Screw the rules. Keep it real. Write, write, and write some more.
11. What’s the one thing you would want an aspiring writer to take away from your
personal path to publication?
Research is paramount to anything we endeavor to do in life. That said, you will get the best advice and feedback from others doing the same thing you’re doing. We all must follow some guidelines, but many of them have and are continually changing. Don’t let your research mold you into a position that makes you uncomfortable, and makes you feel you can’t back out of a decision if backing out becomes necessary.
12. Where can we read your blog?
http://ressaempbra.wordpress.com/ My Blog.
http://www.facebook.com/groups/206315256073749/ Facebook Group representing my current novel.
Buy your books? Not available yet.
Connect with you on facebook? http://www.facebook.com/RessaEmpbra Facebook Author Profile.
On Twitter? Don’t have a Twitter account yet.
Your website? Currently under construction.
Hey all, Ressa Empbra here. I have written two novels so far; one still waiting for another rewrite; another that’s almost done and ready to market. I write under two pen names; Ressa Empbra, and L.M. Branham, as I do different genres and would like to keep them separate for my future readers. I live in western Colorado with my awesome family where I am married to an amazing man who works way too hard, and always allows me all the writing time I need. Mama to three grown kids, who have all grown into wonderful, loving young adults. Owner of a very precious, one and a half year old English Springer Spaniel, who everyone adores. Lastly, I am a writer; one who hopes to see her aspirations and dreams of being
published and read, come to fruition in the very near future.
Blurb by Tanya Contois at http://speedyreader-allthingsbooks.blogspot.com/:
“Caught in the Dragon Cove by L.M. Branham was a fantastic example of storytelling. From the very beginning I got lost in the story of Iax and Gemma. The fact that this was only a partial manuscript tells me that author L.M. Branham has a gift for storytelling and creating fantastical worlds where mythical creatures such as Dragon Shifters exist. I hope that I have the chance to review Caught in the Dragon Cove when the book is completed.”
Wow. I've never had that great a review from a partial work before. Makes me as anxious to get the finished product as Tanya! In the meantime, since Ressa is already a friend of mine, why not make her one of yours? If she already is, make sure she knows how much you enjoyed her journey by commenting here. And if she isn't your friend yet, trust me, she would love to be. Connect with her on facebook or her blog and I promise you, you'll have a new friend you won't regret!