Friday, October 8, 2010

No Easy Way - Book Release Now Available

"No Easy Way is a romantic suspense novel by S.R. Claridge that will keep you guessing and warm your heart."

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Stepping into the publishing world is a dream come true. DEFENDING GLORY, my debut novel, is now available and I'm still on Cloud 9! Even more fun, is I get to hang out with some very talented writers. This week I'd like to introduce one of my fellow Vanilla Heart Publishing authors: S.R. Claridge.

Anne: Hi, S.R. Welcome. What is your most recent release with Vanilla Heart Publishing?
S.R.: No Easy Way

Anne: Do you have a specific writing space? If so, what ONE word best describes it?
S.R.: Messy.

Anne: Mine, too! Do you belong to any writer's organizations? Which ones and why?
S.R.: Yes. I belong to the RWA (Romance Writers of America) and to HODRW (Heart of Denver Romance Writers) as well as numerous writers groups online thru Xanga and Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn. I fully believe "two heads are better than one" and other people's ideas inspire me to become a better writer. Feedback on my work often tweaks my perspective just enough to send me on a brand new creative brainstorm. Having other writers in my life also helps motivate me to keep going on those days when I feel idea-less and boring.

Anne: Do you belong to a critique group, have a critique partner or depend on beta reader(s)?
S.R.: I have a group of 5 people who review my work continually and I consider their input to be invaluable.

Anne: How long did it take from the moment you decided to write to when you sold your first book?
S.R.: This is a tough question because I began my writing career having poetry, lyrics and greeting cards published. It took me ten years of writing in those genres before I found my niche' in romantic suspense novels. I actually started writing No Easy Way about a year and a half before it got published.

Anne: How many rejections did you acquire along the way?
S.R.: Thirty-two rejections from Agents and two rejections from publishers.

Anne: What kept you going?
S.R.: My background in songwriting taught me that everything in an artistic field is subjective... meaning what one person loves, another may loathe. A rejection didn't mean my work wasn't good enough, so every comment motivated me to work harder. I entered contests and my work didn't make the cut in the first five, but I was given critiques by publishers, editors and agents who were judging those contests. I began re-writing my heart out... fixing what they thought was broken. On my six contest entry, I made the finals and will find out at the end of October if I have won.

Anne: Describe your current work-in-progress.
S.R.: I am currently working on a book I hope to turn into a trilogy (at minimum). It centers around a spunky heroine who finds out her whole life... her identity... everything...has been carefully constructed to keep her from discovering the truth about her family and who she really is.

Anne: What is your writing schedule like?
S.R.: I write for several hours every day. When I'm not working on my next novel, I'm working on promoting my work online.

Anne: What is the hardest part of writing for you?
S.R.: The promotional aspect. I'm not a "sales" type person so it's hard for me to get out there and beg people to read my stuff. I never want to "bug" anyone, even though I truly believe people who enjoy suspense type stories with some underlying romantic elements will enjoy my novels.

Anne: Are you a glass half-empty or half-full kind of person?
S.R.: I'd love to say I'm a "half-full" kind of person, but I'm also a Type A, emotional person. So at the onset of conflict I have a tendency to jump the gun and view the half-empty side of things. However, after I calm down I usually begin to focus on the positive aspects of what is occuring and carry on from there.

Anne: Please complete this sentence. "I'm happiest when…."
S.R.: I'm happiest when I'm using my creativity ...whether in an art project with my kids or working on a novel... when the creative juices are flowing I'm happy.

Anne: Do you have a website or blog?
S.R.: Readers can reach me at:

Anne: Thanks so much, S.R. I'm so glad you stopped by.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Beat The Odds

I was asked the question, "how do you get your manuscript published?" As I was thinking, and a step-by-step, bulleted list began to appear in my head, it dawned on me that this question was laced with an underlying, much deeper ponderment. I wasn't being asked how to get published as much as I was being asked "how to beat the odds?"

In any artistic endeavor, the odds are against us. There are great actors who never make it in front of the camera. Great musicians who never get a record deal. Wonderful painters whose work never sees the inside of a gallery. And insightful writers who are never offered a publishing contract. So, how do we beat those stifling odds?

I could give you a bulleted list of everything I did leading up to my book deal, but that wouldn't really answer the question. It's deeper than attending workshops, entering contests, brainstorming with other writers, re-writing and re-writing, creating a good synopsis, and sending out query after query. Those are all great tools, but those tools aren't what beat the odds.

As I look back the answer becomes suddenly clear. Never quit. Never stop writing. Never give in to the insecurity that your work isn't good enough. Never let frustration take control and force you to stop. Despite rejection after rejection...Never give up.

When people say, "odds are you'll never make it." Let that motivate you to beat those odds with every strike of your keyboard...and Keep Writing!