I am so beyond excited to be a part of the blog tour for new Contemporary Running on Empty. The debut novel by Colette Ballard. If you follow my blog you will know that Running on Empty is the first book from the new Spencer Hill Press imprint, Tulip Romance. Check out my Spensations feature on it by clicking HERE.
Let me tell you a little bit about the book...
Published By: Tulip Romance
Publication Date: November 25, 2013 (E-Book) / May 6, 2014 (Paperback)
Genre: YA - Suspenseful Romance
What does it feel like when you die—in those final moments? Do you feel the physical pain, or just the pain of your regrets? What does it feel like when you realize you can’t answer these questions because you’re not the victim?
You’re the killer.
River Daniels lives an ordinary life as a high school junior growing up in the confines of rural Texas until her boyfriend’s brutal attack leaves her both a murderer and a fugitive. When River’s closest girlfriends come to her aid, they make a hasty decision to not only help her, but leave their own troubled lives behind and join in her escape. The girls manage to elude police for months, but with every near-miss, River’s life spirals further out of control, until she finally hits rock bottom. Realizing she must stop endangering her friends and find evidence proving she acted in self-defense, the girls decide to make a risky move. River must face her ugly past and the one person she was protecting the night her world caved in, the guy she has loved for as long as she can remember.
I'm so excited to welcome the amazing Colette to the blog for an exclusive guest post...
PERSEVERANCE TO PUBLISHED
My road to publication was not a sprint it was a marathon—one filled with lots of detours, pot-holes, and dead ends. Had I quit at any one of these points, I wouldn’t be writing this blog post.
Many years ago, when I really got serious about writing, I started researching how to go about improving my work and taking steps that would take me to my goal of getting published. Here’s what worked for me:
Treat it like a job: Above all, I realized I had to treat it like a job even though I wasn’t getting paid. It was equally important knowing that I had to be reasonable and flexible—I’ve been raising three kids during all of this.
Books: The most helpful book for me was Writer’s Digest, Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market Guide. It has tons of how-to information as well as agent, publisher information, and best of all, contests.
Contests: Discovering contests was a huge step for me. I could pay a small entry fee and get honest feedback from experienced writers from the comfort of my home. In the beginning, I’d only told a few people that I was even writing so this was a big deal for me.
An organization called PNWA offers a great annual contest. Even though they don’t offer critiques, Writer’s Digest is a big one to enter and looks good on a query letter if you place. Later down the road a friend introduced me to the awesomeness of RWA contests—they frequently offer a variety of contests with low entry fees, plus feedback.
Join writing organizations: First I joined SCBWI, then later the RWA—fantastic organizations where you can gain tons of knowledge.
Conferences: If you get the opportunity to attend conferences or workshops, take it. It is incredibly comforting meeting like-minded people with the same goal. I’ve made many great friends who have traveled this journey alongside me and it’s been great watching everyone progress. The SCBWI offers fantastic annual regional conferences that are fairly inexpensive.
Join a critique group: The single most life-changing step in my journey was finding a critique group (which I did through the SCBWI listserv.) Now, when I write and revise I have all five of my critique partners’ voices in my head. Sometimes it’s overwhelming but I find myself adding in more internals from my characters, or dialogue tags, or being aware that I’ve used the senses because I’ve learned what each of my partners will ask for.
Revise, Revise, Revise: until you and your critique group agree that it’s time to start querying agents. I was fortunate enough to score an agent fairly quickly but then it took nearly two years to sell my first book. During that time, I kept writing. Sometimes it was hard because I was pretty devastated after the first book didn’t sell. But I didn’t give up, I started a second book and I’m happy to report I’ve recently signed the contract for it!
So keep writing, continue to push forward. It’s certainly not an easy road, but I’m living proof that perseverance can lead to published! ☺
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