Today I’m interviewing Raven Hudgins, who is the latest of our Pitcharama 2014 success stories: she signed with Soul Mate Publishing on 4 February. Welcome, Raven!
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from?
Well, my name is Raven. I’m from a small town in Virginia called Mathews. It’s a quiet town that many haven’t heard of. I’ve been writing since I was a little girl—it has always been a dream of mine to be published. I’m an ardent reader and gamer if you can believe.
I can totally believe it—I’m a gamer too! 😉 Now, tell us a little bit about your novel, Death Callers?
It’s funny because the way I started Death Callers was a writer’s block kit, which has suggestions on how to start a story or add conflict by picking a random card. I already knew I wanted to write something no one had written about lately. Soon I came to the idea of banshees. My novel focuses on the main character, Aislin Gray, who is just turning eighteen—which is a pivotal moment in a banshee’s life as that’s when they come into their powers. A Death Call is when a banshee has a vision of someone’s death, which invokes a piercing scream they are associated for.
I’ve entered a couple contests before Pitcharama on Twitter—the scene for writers. One of my writer friends had posted something about it so, of course I had to check it out. My whole thinking was—what did I have to lose entering?
You got two requests after the contest. So excite! What happened next?
Well, I got a full request from Soul Mate Publishing and fifty pages from Turquoise Morning Press. I edited a bit more before sending them off. I heard back from Turquoise a couple months later with a sad rejection, though they would love to read more from me. Four months went by without hearing from Soul Mate—so I nudged the editor I had sent to. The funny thing was—she wasn’t an acquisition editor anymore at Soul Mate. It was a downer to hear that she couldn’t publish it, but she offered to send it to one of the higher up editors with recommendations about how good it was. I was ecstatic! Another month went by and that’s when I got the email! Soul Mate wanted to publish my novel!
Are you working on any other books? I hear a rumour (ok, I stalked you on Twitter) that wolves are somehow involved? 😉
I have a few novels in the works. I have the sequel to Death Callers on the ropes, along with two others just barely out of concept. There may or may not be wolves involved in two of my WIPs, along with other creatures.
What advice would you give other writers who are trying to figure out what to do with their completed manuscript?
I would say find a beta reader or a critique partner, then enter as many contests as you can for the experience—find what people like about your novel and what they don’t. Edit as much as you can until you can’t edit anymore. Also, never give up!
Cassandra Page is a writer, gamer (of the roleplaying and computer game sorts) and mother. She also likes coffee and chocolate because she is a writer and that’s how we roll.