Friday, October 8, 2010

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.

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