Monday, June 18, 2012
Cover Blurb: When April Love signs on to be an in-house chef at an old lakeshore mansion in Canoga Lake, Wisconsin, she comes face to face with her long- lost love, the drop-dead gorgeous Marc Thorne.
It doesn't take long for their old magnetism to recharge, but how can she trust the guy who left her nearly at the altar eight years earlier? Her gut tells her something happened to Marc in between--something he's reluctant to reveal.
When April's boss is murdered, Marc is accused of the crime. Unless April can find out who really killed Ramón Galvez, her chances for love will end up at the county jail. But someone else is just as determined she not solve the mystery...and will go to any length to stop her.
On the Road to Publication Be Sure to Pack A Lot of Patience!
When I received my first contract last year, it came almost seventeen years after I began my journey toward publication. Was it easy to wait all those years? I wish I could say yes, but it wasn’t. It’s never easy to be told your story isn’t ready yet, or to comethisclose to a contract and have the publisher’s line shut down. Those are just a few of the roadblocks I ran into along the way. It’s enough to lose your patience.
Over the years, as I had to exercise patience in the long wait, I learned that like a muscle becomes stronger when exercised, the ability to be patient becomes strengthened in the waiting.
Using the word patience, below are listed of the things that helped me to endure until the wonderful day I got THE call.
P is for persevering. When the going gets tough, the tough gets going is an old cliché with a lot of truth. From the outset, we have to determine to be in it for the long haul. I’ve met authors who after pursuing publication for a couple years gave up and self published or stopped writing altogether. If writing for publication is your calling, determine you will do what it takes for however long it takes.
A is for abidingness. I don’t know what I would do without sensing God’s calling to write, and His daily presence to assure me that I’m within the scope of His will. He tells us to abide in Him and He will abide in us, and He gives us all we need for life, the life He’s called us to live. If He’s called you to write, then He will provide all you need for the writing life in His due time.
T is for teachability. Even many of the most published authors takes writing workshops at conferences. When I look at the stories I wrote seventeen, ten, or even four years ago, I see how I’ve grown the craft. We can’t move up the scale to being a publishable writer if we don’t take those writing courses, read craft books, and practice our writing until our fingers bleed all over the keys.
I is for insistence. Don’t ever settle for mediocre. Insist on doing better next time in a writing contest, or wowing an editor who rejected your idea last year at a conference, or taking a rejected manuscript making it better.
E is for endurance. A form of the word patience in the Greek translates to patient endurance. The King James calls it long suffering. I think that’s an apropos description to describe years of waiting for publication. There were times when I asked God if I misunderstood His intent on my life, and every time He would allow something positive to happen, like a request for a full manuscript. So I kept on pursuing.
N is for nuts and bolts. We need to know more than how to write, we need to learn the nuts and bolts of the publishing industry: What editors are currently looking for, or what they are not so interested in at the moment. What are the market trends? How is digital publishing affecting the industry landscape and how might I adjust to that? We can never know too much about this ever-changing industry.
C is for courage. We need courage to make ourselves known in the industry, and to develop our platform even before we publish. Where are our spheres of influence and how can we grow them? A budding author must become a known entity on the social media platforms. Make his or her name recognizable. For the more outgoing this isn’t so difficult, but for the shy it can require a lot of courage to do this.
E is for energy. Hanging in there can take a lot out of us. For those with family responsibilities and a job outside the home, there is often little time for writing unless it is done in the wee hours. Learn what you personally need in the way of sleep and downtime and allow yourself to avail yourself of those times so you will have the needed energy to write. Pacing is important.
Even though I’ve landed some book contracts now, I still need to put these into play each day as I work toward a deadline or acceptance of a new book proposal. And I find that when I begin each day on my knees, God is always there ready to give me everything I need for the life of a writer.
Note: Anyone who leaves a comment with an e-mail address (JaneReader[at]msn[dot]com) will receive a free e-book copy of Kicking Eternity. Those who don’t want to leave an e-mail may contact Ann for their free book at AnnLeeMiller.com.
Title: Kicking Eternity, First Place Winner, Long Contemporary in the 2009 Romance Writers of America Faith, Hope, and Love Contest
Cover blurb: Stuck in sleepy New Smyrna Beach one last summer, Raine socks away her camp pay checks, worries about her druggy brother, and ignores trouble: Cal Koomer. She’s a plane ticket away from teaching orphans in Africa, and not even Cal’s surfer six-pack and the chinks she spies in his rebel armor will derail her.
The artist in Cal begs to paint Raine’s ivory skin, high cheek bones, and internal sparklers behind her eyes, but falling for her would caterwaul him into his parents’ live. No thanks. The girl was self-righteous waiting to happen. Mom served sanctimony like vegetables, three servings a day, and he had a gut full.
Rec Director Drew taunts her with “Rainey” and calls her an enabler. He is so infernally there like a horsefly—till he buzzes back to his ex.
1) How did this story come to you?
Like the main character, my daughter has had a life-long passion to become a foreign missionary. Also, a friend was devastated when the man she believed God told her to marry broke their engagement. In Kicking Eternity the hero has to come to terms with the same dilemma.
2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I wrote my first novel fifteen years ago and have been writing full-time for ten years while trying to break in to traditional publishing. Last summer my agent let all her unpublished authors, including me, go. In the midst of my despair, God nudged me to indie e-publish. So, I swallowed a hairball of pride and walked down the self-publishing road. The part of me that clamors for validation still hopes for a traditional publishing contract. But how can I go wrong obeying God?
3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
• I lived on a sailboat as a child and rode my bicycle down the dock each morning to attend school. After school every day, I tossed my books onto my bunk, shimmied into a swim suit, and jumped overboard.
• My father was often mistaken for Willie Nelson.
• I and my three sons are color blind.
4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
In addition to Kicking Eternity, The Art of My Life debuts in September, Avra’s God in December, and Tattered Innocence next March.
5) Parting comments?
Readers who enjoy Ann Brashares (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) may like my books. I aim for her fast pace, depth, and passion.
I was thrilled to receive an endorsement from Jenny B. Jones, author of the Katie Parker Production Series from Think and The Charmed Life Series, and others from Thomas Nelson:
“Ann Lee Miller writes stories straight from the heart with characters who'll become friends, remaining with you long after you turn that final page. You won't want to miss Kicking Eternity!”
6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ann-Lee-Miller/356653761022022
Bio: Ann Lee Miller earned a BA in creative writing from Ashland (OH) University and writes full-time in Phoenix, but left her heart in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, where she grew up. She loves speaking to young adults and guest lectures on writing at several Arizona colleges. When she isn’t writing or muddling through some crisis—real or imagined—you’ll find her hiking in the Superstition Mountains with her husband or meddling in her kids’ lives.