Tag Archive | publishing

So you edited your first anthology…now what?

I have a problem. No, a habit, of letting things define me. It’s never intentional, but it happens. Years ago, I was published for the first time in two major anthologies simultaneously. All of a sudden I was the girl who wrote erotica. I proudly took this on as my little niche in writing, a place where I could make a name and hopefully, someday, maybe…a living.

I published plenty. I crossed off a lot of goals on my “to be published by” list. And then I had the opportunity to achieve a major goal of mine: editing my first anthology.

As you know, it came to be Can’t Get Enough and it was a whirlwind experience.

Of course, the book wasn’t even out yet before ideas for more and more anthologies were taking over. I jotted them down. I eventually wrote them up. I decided that if this book did well, this was my chance. I could establish something. This would be my first in a heaping pile of anthologies edited by yours truly.

*Insert belly laughs here*

Though I’ve come across many wonderful people in this community of ours, several of whom turned out to be great mentors of mine, there was never anyone I really spoke to about how this really works. That nothing happens as quickly as you want it to, or does as ridiculously well as you’d dreamed it would and that, well, you do more watching and waiting than anything for a really long time.Suffice it to say, I don’t have any new calls for submissions to list and be excited about, and honestly, I don’t know if I ever will again. I know that’s the opposite of positive thinking, but I have to be real with myself if no one else.

And yes, I drafted a novel in the meanwhile and have started countless other projects. But, what have I done to really push myself forward? To really capitalize from the momentum of Can’t Get Enough’s release?

Editing the project while working a full-time job, moving to another state and caring for twins was enough in and of itself. To keep writing and submitting short stories at the same time sounded crazy.

But, that was where it all began. That was what I was known for. And apparently, I must have taken heed at some point (in my sleep maybe) because I received word a little while back that the amazing Alison Tyler will be publishing three of my shorts in two of her upcoming anthologies.

bondage

In Bondage Bites (due out in August), I have Minute to Minute and Anything But Loose, and in Hard At Work (release date TBA), I have A Hard Sell.

 

The hard part is over?

So, I turned in a book yesterday. Wait, didn’t I say that three and a half months ago? Well, yes I did, and yes…I did. The production editor came back with beta reader feedback and some suggestions, so for the past couple of weeks I’ve been reworking, revising, and revisiting (hence my last minute call for more Can’t Get Enough stories). The good thing was, my word count was getting expanded. The not-so-good part was we had to cut a couple of the original stories. And trust me, I hated to pass on that news because as someone who’s been cut twice (maybe more?) at the publishers, I know how that can feel.

But! In good news, I was able to replace those with some stories I had originally rejected due to spacing and flow issues, so I was happy to go groveling back asking for those stories, and happy those authors still had them available and were willing to let us publish them. I also received two more that were the perfect fit and the publishers loved and after much fretting and fitful sleep, I turned it in (again) and we’re all set to go.

And then I finished and turned in a story for someone else’s collection. And I’ve started another. While I love editing and am so excited about Can’t Get Enough, I am so happy to be on the creative side of things again. I’m giddy about creating little worlds to escape to because, the gods know I need that escape every now and again.

Where Do I Get Off?

Of course, there had to come a day when I had to talk about at least a bit of my process of putting together Can’t Get Enough. I guess since the whole thing went so much smoother than I ever could have imagined, I thought that my silence was protecting me from some stroke of bad luck or the wicked publishing jinxes, but alas, there are bound to be bumps in the road.

So, yes, in April, I turned in a book. I had selected some amazing stories, stories that had me in awe. Of course, I’d had to walk away from some really good ones because of theming and spacing issues which meant I had to send out a truck load of rejections. But even in doing that I received not one death threat in return. Authors even wished me luck with the project and expressed their excitement in seeing it come to light and wanted to help promote.

I thought I had gotten off easy and wondered how I had gotten so lucky.

I let my tentative list of authors know that they were included in the initial manuscript and I would keep them in the know as to what I knew which is what I’ve been doing. And all I know right now is that we’re set to fly one year from my turn in date which makes it a tentative pub date of April 2014. Now, I don’t know why, but I’ve always operated under the assumption that no news is good news. I hadn’t received word that anyone’s story was cut. I hadn’t received back any additional edits or seen the galleys (and not that I won’t). But I also hadn’t received the contracts for the individuals included or the received the go ahead to send them. And none of this is odd to me because I’ve been in the game a long time and am more than used to the time line (hello wrote a story in 04 and saw it published in 06!) But I have an author or two who maybe isn’t used to it and is fretting. And I am in turn fretting and wondering if I am doing right by these people and the rest of them and in no way with this being my first time out as editor do I want to feel like I’m not getting it exactly right. I don’t want to leave anyone hanging or have anyone feel like things aren’t on the up and up.

So, I’m thinking a mass email is in order… just in case there are others who may be thinking the same thing and not saying anything because yeah, maybe I’ve been there and don’t remember… and everyone can benefit from a check in…right?

She Can…Until She Can’t – Guest Post by Author Sommer Marsden

In Under My Skin, my main character Juliet is a medium. She can sense, speak to and even help the dead. Until she can’t. Like so many with special talents, those talents often do not extend into their own lives. Juliet can speak to just about any deceased person willing to talk to her, but she can’t contact her dead fiancé.

She’s not sure if it’s a block on her part or just against the cosmic rules, but that little bit of inability—the kind of inability that humbles a person—brought an endearing quality to Juliet. As I wrote her I found my heartstrings tugging for her. Makes it sound as if I really don’t control this ride we call fiction, right? Well, truth be told…often I don’t.

XOXO
Sommer

undermyskincover

Blurb:

House bought for a steal online when it turns out there’s a damn good reason—check.

Malicious ghost with a body count to his name—check.

Sad, lingering female spirit pining for her still living (but currently dying) fiancé—check.

What’s a widowed medium to do when a departed soul asks to ride piggy back in her body?

To share her space and get under her skin? Juliet Bale does the only thing she can do—with her twin sister’s good counsel—she lets Lanie share her body to help her dying beloved Elijah cross over. The problem is that with all the reuniting, and sharing one body, things get seriously intimate and Juliet can’t help but see exactly why Elijah Rivers was so beloved.

It’s so wrong to sorta kinda fall for a dying man, and yet—check.

Excerpt from Under My Skin by Sommer Marsden

I was nearly on the property when I happened to glance up and see my attic window. A white “O” of a face pressed to the glass. I knew in an instant it was Lanie, the spirit trying to get in my head and my heart. And the dark figure behind her, not clearly visible but easily felt by me, was the Master of the house, Montgomery.

“Right,” I muttered, feeling a little buzzy from the several drinks I’d had. I almost wished I was a bit more buzzed because then I could go in and just go to sleep like a normal person. But I’m not a normal person. Haven’t been one since…forever.

That thought made me laugh, and I did something I rarely let myself do. I talked to Justin. “You were a cop. Do you think this guy did it?”

I knew the answer in my heart, I just needed to talk to my partner. I hadn’t really dated since Justin had been killed in the line of duty. A few attempts at dating here and there, a few overnighters with nice men that left me somehow sadder after the fact. I simply wasn’t ready for a relationship. Or even sex. And certainly nothing that resembled a melding of the two.

The fine hairs on my scalp seemed to tremble, and I let myself for one minute hope that it was him contacting me, but I quickly let the thought go. Doubtful. Highly doubtful. Maybe I simply wasn’t allowed.

“Well, if you do think he did it, watch my back, okay, babe? He’s a creepy bastard and clearly—at least to me—a killer. He killed that maid and now it sounds as if he killed the laundress. A woman-hater from what I can tell, killing women, calling them whores…sounds like mommy issues.” I snorted, but that was just nerves, and I damn well knew it. “I mean, the mistress of the house didn’t look too pleased in that photo, now did she?”

I waited and nothing but silence greeted me.

“I love you,” I whispered quickly, then went into my new home.

Buy Links
Resplendence Publishing:http://www.resplendencepublishing.com/m8/539-978-1-60735-620-2–under-my-skin-by-sommer-marsden.html

ARe:
https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-undermyskin-1040115-140.html

Coming to other vendors soon!

Bitchin’ Boots and Nice News

After a big ole boot debate with my cousin last night (who insisted that prissy me couldn’t possible own a pair of Timberland boots), I had to pull mine out of my closet and show her.  They’re at least five years old and after every winter I tussle with throwing them away thinking they may be going out of style.  But I keep holding on year after year because, well, they’re cute and they’re comfortable.

When I showed her the shoe, she bent over laughing because it had a heel not unlike my other boots.  I had to actually show her the little etching on the side to prove that, yes, I do wear Timberlands, heel or no heel.

Anyway, I had a point to this story…oh…boots!

Two to three weeks ago I received a pair of knee-high wedge heeled boots in the mail that I couldn’t comfortable zip up over my calf (that’s the first time I said that out loud).  This morning, on a whim, I decided to try them on and they zipped right up.  No struggle, no assistance.

(Mumble, mumble) pounds down now, though I honestly don’t intend this to be a weight loss blog. Skinny jeans with my Tims tonight.

But – the other good news came in my inbox.  Four of seven of my super short-shorts are accepted, barring being cut by the publisher.  I need that.

Anyone know why one ass cheek would be sore and not the other?!

You Know You’re A Writer When…

writ·er

noun

1.

a person engaged in writing books, articles, stories, etc., especially as an occupation or profession; an author or journalist.

I encounter many people who debate what it means to be a writer, or at which point you become a writer. Is it:

I just wrote this sentence, therefore, I’m a writer…?

Or:

I’ve published two books and am contracted for two more, therefore, I’m a writer…?

I’m also someone who fought with myself about the the title of “writer.” Did it have to do with affirmations of accolades? Credits and publications?

In the beginning, and I know this is crazy, a credit didn’t really count for me unless it was in print and that was because in rejection letters I got a lot of, ” we can’t do anything with it here, but we’ll gladly place it here” and to me, that meant the piece simply wasn’t good enough. To me, way back when, a webzine publication was what you accepted when you couldn’t get your stuff placed anywhere else.   And let me again say, this was when I was young, dumb, barely had a PC, let alone could  foresee being hopelessly addicted to my Kindle Fire many, many years later.  And now, of course, well, I think the ebook revolution pretty much blows that theory out of the water, doesn’t it?

These days I have a whole other take on what it means to be a writer, pretty much feeling like if I’m not putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, then I’m not doing anything to prove myself, to earn and keep my spot out here.

I feel guilty for taking a break to do anything, even reading a book, crazy as it may sound. And my recent bout of writer’s block hasn’t helped. I’m stuck at this point in a story where I’ve edited until I’ve gotten sick and I just need a break from it and I’m not inspired to start anything new, so I find myself doing what I do best – tweeting, blogging, basically actively procrastinating.

I talk about writing a lot. I excerpt some stories and link to some books, but is that pushing me forward, or just holding me still?

Meanwhile, though, I am responding to some calls for some ultra shorts that are so quick and easy that I’m forgetting to even count them and I should be.

I’m writing, no matter how few the words, no matter how easy the challenge. I’m writing, and it’s what I do and what I am, whether anyone ever sees the words, webzine, ebook, print, or not.

Something for Something

I’ve never featured a whore in any of my fiction.  Well, I did once, a long time ago, in something I never finished and of course never published.  That was when I first started playing around with the erotic genre and wasn’t really sure what it was all about.

I’ve been listening to Frank Ocean’s Pyramids over and over since I got the CD in the mail.  It’s by far my favorite, thought I must admit, since I got stuck on that one, I haven’t given the others much chance.  It made me think about one of the stories I’m working on, which happened to be about something quite far from a whore/john or even stripper/customer relationship, but it gave me the idea to play on that as something new and different to do in my writing.

As someone who has been writing in the erotic genre for more than a decade, wearing out my welcome is something I often worry about.  I want to keep satisfying and surprising my reader.  I want to keep them on their toes and I want to keep them coming back for more.  I don’t want them to open the book, read the table of contents and know that they’re going to get the same old thing from Tenille, hell no.

So, not to give anything away, but on this longer piece that I’m workong on that I really hope will make it to publication, I’m playing with somehting different and it was inspired by this song.  Actually, I’m really close to turning in a short-short piece that was inspired by an Etta James song, too.  Well, at least inspired by the title of it.

So, here’s listening, and writing, and hoping.