Sorry for the late post today everyone! But we have the privledge of soon to be published Elsie Elmore visiting today. She is a writer I acquired for CQ and is a sweetheart! So please give her a warm welcome.
On a small patch of North Carolina land just outside the city limits, Elsie Elmore lives with her husband, two kids, and two dogs. She’s a science nerd with creative tendencies. And the stories she writes come to her from life’s experiences after her mind has warped them almost beyond recognition. Her first YA PNR romance is due out 2014 from Curiosity Quills.
Tell us your book deal story:
I wrote The Undead during the winter months of last year and finalized it mid-summer. I started querying a few agents and then participated in the September #pitmad. I had two requests for partials and Katie Teller from Curiosity Quills made one of those requests.
After I sent the first three chapters, I tried to relax, but it was difficult. Someone was interested. About a week after I had sent my partial, Katie requested the full manuscript. I couldn’t push SEND fast enough.
At the end of September, I attended the SBWBI conference in Charlotte, NC. While I was there, Katie sent me an email asking about my online presence.
My heart stopped. I didn’t have an online presence. I had a twitter account with about twelve tweets (most from pit mad), no Facebook page, and no blog. I panicked. Would they think I wasn’t serious?
I understood that an online presence was a great way for people to read about you and get to know you, even if you’re an introvert. So, I started timidly tweeting, I created a blog, and then set-up a Facebook page. And while I networked and found my voice online (which is still a little quiet), I read about Curiosity Quills. I checked out their sales numbers, their book covers, and their online presence. I was excited and hopeful.
In November, Katie offered me a contract. I withdrew my queries / partials from other agencies and signed on the dotted line. And of course, went out to dinner to celebrate.
My experience with Katie and Curiosity Quills has been amazing.
Tell us about your novel; The Undead:
Here’s a short blurb.
Sixteen-year-old Lyla Grimm’s hopes of rescuing her rock-bottom reputation take a back seat after touching a corpse at her parents’ mortuary. Now an undead woman with serious de-comp issues is stalking her. So much for restoring her reputation. Survival definitely trumps the in-crowd.
Lyla suspects the corpse-following is a prank. Especially when the arrival of Eric, the hot new guitarist in her brother’s band, coincides with the stalkers. But when more bodies disappear, her classmates amp up her title from freak to pariah, and her best friend turns on her. Lyla’s left alone. Eric’s uncanny way of appearing when she needs him most earns him her initially reluctant admiration.
But Lyla doesn’t know that her smooth-talking guitarist is the Grim Reaper dispatched to find out why Death’s clients aren’t staying down. When Eric realizes Lyla can wake the dead, he jockeys for control of her gift. His death-messenger-destiny suddenly looks less permanent. But the closer he gets to Lyla, the less sure he is of his plan. The dead are a lot easier to deal with than living emotions.
Gossip explodes, Lyla’s family implodes, and desperation sets in. With an offer to free herself from her gift, Lyla must choose between saving the brother she idolizes and freeing the Grim Reaper who’s stealing her heart. Both must lose for one to win.
What inspired you to write it?
A personal experience and the burning question “what if.” I think making all boundaries permeable when it comes to life, makes life more exciting. Anything can and should happen because reading is a form of escape and entertainment. Once I started writing, the tale sprouted wings.
What has been the best and the hardest things about your road to publication?
The road to publication , wow, that still sounds surreal.
Best. To have someone like your work is a form of validation. It means the hours you’ve poured into your creation weren’t in vain.
Hardest. I think the hardest part is the uncertainty about the million other things associated with publishing a book. The cover, the blurbs, marketing, and how it will be received. For every known, there are five unknowns.
Advice for writers:
Write the story you want to write. Your characters present themselves to you in a unique and special way. Listen to who they are and let them be true to themselves.
Find critique partners, several of them. I have a blog coming up this Thursday with tips about critiquing and critique partners. They will become cherished friends and a tremendous support system.
Read. Read. Read. This is the research part of your work and it’s very important.
Don’t give up. Keep writing.
Last question, if you went to Australia, what would you want to see and why?
Oh my gosh, everything. Australia is one of my dream destinations (and a bucket list item). The top places I’d want to visit are: Sydney (and not just because the Opera House, but I’d definitely tour it), Queensland (to visit Fraser Island, the Great Barrier Reef, and Brisbane) and the outback.