Friday, June 29, 2012

Release day for WITH HONORS and a shout out to Musa Publishing

My short story WITH HONORS is out today! And with that, my first crazy year in publishing comes to a close.

Over the next few days, Musa Publishing authors are sharing stories of their publishing journeys on their blogs. My own journey started when Celina Summers, a friend from Absolute Write and then a managing editor at The-Publisher-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named (TPWSNBN), shoved me off a cliff. She had a gap in her editorial schedule, and she knew I'd been working on a novella for the past six months. She told me to stop futzing because I was ready for prime time (strange, I didn't feel ready!). Did I mention that the novella was a first draft and the release date was four short weeks away?

With the patient help of my editor Lori Basiewicz and lots of Trader Joe's frozen dinners, I whipped that novella into shape. Damn, it was quite a learning experience. Lesson #1: never, ever edit a project with an 11-year-old version of Word that doesn't have comment bubble functionality. After much wrangling, we had a final product -- HARD BARGAIN, my sensual contemporary romance.

Unfortunately, the owner of TPWSNBN ran into trouble, which brought me to Lesson #2: ignore the drama and keep writing. While I waited for my rights to HARD BARGAIN to revert back to me, I wrote AN IMPERFECT WIFE and NEVER LET GO, my two women's fiction novellas. In the meantime, Celina and her crew from TPWSNBN started Musa Publishing and offered me contracts for all of my stories. And so here we are, three novellas and one short story later. Not bad for a debut year.

I joke that Musa Publishing should be nicknamed "Musa University" because they offer master classes and online video courses teaching authors about the ins and outs of publishing, editing, promotion tools, royalty statements, contracts, etc. What impresses me most: Musa's commitment to educate authors about the publishing industry, even if they don't stay with Musa in the future. Yes, you read that correctly. Musa wants its authors to be savvy ones, no matter where their careers take them. It makes perfect sense when you think about it: empowered authors are happy authors, and happy authors write more and better stories for readers. Everyone wins!

What does the next year hold for me? Lots of writing, of course. I won't have any new releases for a while as I rebuild my story inventory. In the meantime, I hope you check out my books and all the other great offerings at Musa. Happy reading!