Path to Publishing by Emma Kaye:
First I want to thank Melissa for having me on her blog today. I’m looking forward to following this Path to Publication blog series.
Thanks, Emma! Me too! I'd like to thank myself for being on my blog today... No, wait! I think I'd like to say welcome and thank you for thanking me here today. ;-)
Back to Emma:
I didn’t start writing with the intent of publishing. Frankly, I didn’t have any confidence in my ability to tell a good story. Writing started more as a challenge to see whether it was something I could do. I had a story in my head that wouldn’t go away, so I figured, why not?
It didn’t take long to hook me. I was shocked at how much I loved writing and pretty soon I turned my gaze toward publication. That’s when I realized how little I knew. I needed guidance. I found Romance Writers of America, took some online classes and joined the New Jersey chapter in time to attend their annual conference.
It was at that conference that I met someone who would be instrumental in my publishing path, though I had no idea how important this casual encounter would one day be to me.
This woman sat down next to me and we struck up a conversation. Speaking to people isn’t exactly my forte, so I’m pretty sure she must have initiated the conversation. It turned out we were both writing time travel romances and had a common twist to the plot. We hit it off extraordinarily well.
She was nervous because she was pitching her book to an editor for the first time. I admired her bravery. The thought of pitching my book struck terror in my heart. My focus at that conference was attending as many craft workshops as possible. I loved my story, but knew I had a lot to learn before I would reach that next crucial step.
I left that conference feeling energized and determined to improve my writing to the point where the story I loved would be good enough to publish. And I realized to reach that point I was going to have to bite the bullet and get some feedback. NJRW had a critique partner program, so I submitted my application. Can you guess whom they chose for me?
The very same woman I’d met at the conference! Ruth A. Casie became my first critique partner and a wonderful friend. I wonder if I ever would have had the courage to submit my story to anyone if I had never gotten together with Ruth.
But, submit I did. Over and over. The rejections were hard. I tried to console myself that at least they were mostly personal notes, rather than form letters. It didn’t help. Chocolate became necessary on more than one occasion.
But I continued to work hard with Ruth and two more wonderful women we pulled into our group—Lita Harris and Nicole S. Patrick. Ruth soon became a multi-published author with Carina Press while we all continued to write, write, write and, when we got up the courage, submit. I started other books, and used what I learned to improve and revise that first time travel romance that I just couldn’t leave alone.
After a particularly harsh rejection, I was on the verge of giving up on Time for Love when I received “the call.” I was thrilled, to say the least. But my submission to The Wild Rose Press was still out there, so I asked for some time and contacted TWRP to see if they had any interest. Turns out the editor had Time for Love on her list to request the full. Yay! I sent it in and within a week I had a contract in hand.
Suddenly, I went from a pile full of rejections to two offers. It was hard to remain calm, that’s for sure. But I knew I had to make a decision and after speaking with authors from both houses, I decided to accept TWRP contract.
Meanwhile, and before I received my contract, Ruth decided she wanted us all to know the joy of being a published author. So she came up with the idea of our group self-publishing a collection of short stories.
What a great idea! We developed our concept, brought in a fifth person (The talented Julie Rowe, a multi-published author who teaches short story writing at a college in Canada) to teach us more about writing short stories, hired editors and a cover designer and published Timeless Keepsakes: A Collection of Christmas Stories in November of 2013. It was a lot of work, but extremely rewarding.
As we worked on Timeless Keepsakes, I also worked with my Wild Rose Press editor getting Time for Love ready for publication. I loved working with all of my editors. It’s wonderful to have someone take an objective look at my stories and help make them shine.
Lita Harris also received a contract while we polished Keepsakes. Her story, Love at Christmas, came out in December.
So in October of 2013 I became a published author when Time for Love released in print. In November, I became a multi-published author when my short story, Granting Her Wish, came out as part of the Timeless Keepsakes anthology. I even had someone apologize for going all “fan girl” on me at a book signing because she loved my stories so much. (I assured her I didn’t mind. What a thrill!)
2013 was an exciting year and I’m looking forward to more in 2014 as a hybrid author. My partners and I are currently working on our next release, Timeless Escapes: A Collection of Summer Stories, which will release in May. I’m also writing another time travel romance in the same world as Time for Love that I’ll submit to The Wild Rose Press as soon as it’s done. (Fingers crossed that they want it!)
The people we encounter during our path to publication can make such a drastic difference, as my critique partners have for me. What about you? Have you had someone in particular who had a huge impact on your path?
I hope everyone has had a wonderful start to the New Year. Thanks for joining me today!
Title: Time for Love
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Date Published: October 19, 2013 Print / November 25 KDP Exclusive / March 7, 2014 World Wide Release
Genre: Time Travel Romance
Word Count: 92,000
Alexandra Turner will do anything to save her twin sister. Even when she’s transported back in time to Regency England. Rescuing her sister and finding her way back to her own time will take all her concentration. Falling in love is not an option.
With the death of his brother, Nicholas Somerville became the ninth Marquess of Oakleigh and must return to England to take his place in society. Part of his responsibility will be to find a wife. It never occurs to him he might actually discover a woman he could love—until he meets Alex on his voyage home.
Can Alex and Nicholas find a way to bridge the gap of time and circumstance? Can they overcome their fears to realize that true love transcends time? Or will a dark secret from Alex’s past rear up to separate them forever?
Her gaze drifted to his mouth as he spoke, fascinated by the way the scar pulled slightly at the corner. She felt a strong urge to kiss that corner, to run her tongue along the seam and dip between his lips, along his teeth.
He turned away, and she blinked herself back to reality. She couldn’t believe the thoughts that kept popping into her head when she looked at him.
And she was going to be stuck on a ship with him for almost a month.
Dressed like a boy.
He set off, and she rushed after him, thankful he couldn’t see the blush heating her cheeks. It was going to be a long month.
She caught up, practically jogging to keep pace with his long strides.
He looked her briefly up and down in an assessing manner that strained Alex’s nerves. “You don’t look like much of a sailor, and you’re too young to have any skill as a carpenter.”
She was surprised he hadn’t already uncovered her disguise. Her instincts warned her he wouldn’t be easy to fool, and she would be smart to keep her distance, even if distance was the last thing she wanted right now. Of course, it wouldn’t be a problem if he decided she wasn’t qualified to work on his ship.
“You’re wondering what possessed him to hire me. Perhaps he took pity on me, or maybe I’m better qualified than I look,” she replied haughtily, and immediately wished she could take the last part back. Now he might think she had some sailing skill.
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Emma Kaye is married to her high school sweetheart and has two beautiful kids that she spends an insane amount of time driving around central New Jersey. Before ballet classes and wrestling entered her life, she decided to try writing one of those romances she loved to read and discovered a new passion. She has been writing ever since. Add in a playful puppy and an extremely patient cat and she's living her own happily ever after while making her characters work hard to reach theirs.