Over the last few weeks, I’ve interviewing debut novelists about their experience. I love writing, publishing, and winning competitions with all my short stories… Still when I go to sleep at night, I sometimes dream about the day when my novels will be read by, you know, readers – and not just sat on my computer!
But will the reality of becoming a debut novelist actually live up to my expectations?
To find out I asked five authors – all with debut novels releasing either this year or early next year – and I’m featuring their answers here. So if you want to know what it’s really like to be a debut author these days too, read on!
Part Three: Kylie Scott
Kylie’s novel Flesh will be released this October. Yay – congratulations Kylie!
Release date: October 2012
Published through: Momentum Books
One-sentence description: A M/F/M post-apocalyptic erotic romance featuring zombie chaos and carnage with plenty of sweet, sweaty lovin’ on the side.
Hi Kylie, and thanks for taking part in this series… Now let’s get stuck in!
1. Most of the debut authors I know always look tired. What’s been the hardest part of getting your novel ready for its release?
Well, I’m finishing up edits right now. They’ve been a hard slog but it’s been an awesome learning curve as well.
2. When I hear debut authors talking about their publishing experience, they often sound relieved. Maybe you could share your timeline with us?
a. When did you first conceive the concept for your novel?
Three years ago.
b. How long did it take you to learn the craft of novel writing?
Six years to get to this point but it’s an ongoing thing. I don’t think you ever stop learning.
c. How long from final polish to publication?
3. How many other publishing options did you explore before embarking on this particular one?
I looked into New York and other American romance specific digital publishers. I had a couple of options but I decided Momentum was the best fit for me. The very first Australian digital imprint – how could I resist?
4. What’s been the easiest part of the process for you?
I’m going to have to go with dealing with Momentum. They’re a dream to work with and Anne was excited about Flesh from the start. Submit to them, you won’t be sorry.
5. Apart from editing your manuscript until your eyes bleed, what else have you needed to do towards publishing your novel? Read and sign legal contracts? Write and approve marketing materials?
Yes, there was a contract. I think I probably emailed Joel Naoum from Momentum about a dozen times with various questions that day but he patiently answered each and every one. I also put together some ideas for the cover along with working on the book blurb and my author bio, etc.
6. What promotional activities do you have planned to help launch your novel?
Promotion-wise it’s hard to know what works but I have visits to blogs lined up along with pimping myself on my own blog and ‘Romance Writers of the Apocalypse’. RWoftheA is a group I helped to start that now boasts 13 published romance writers from around the globe who all write about the downfall of civilisation as we know it. But I think writing a great follow-up is the best bet so that’s where the bulk of my energy will be going.
7. What aspects have you found most difficult this time around, which you don’t anticipate will be so tricky next time you publish a novel?
Having so little real knowledge of the process has been tricky. The various stages of going from the offer to the contract, then through to editing, etc. But having the team at Momentum and my friends from Romance Writers of Australia behind me has helped hugely. Kylie Griffin, Tracey O’Hara and my mentor Louise Cusack all deserve to have their feet kissed.
8. Which leads me to ask what’s next? What will be your next writing project and how long will it be before its ready for the world?
I have a short story set in the same Post-Zombie-Apocalypse world coming out with Momentum in November. It’s part of a series of shorts from over a dozen Australian Erotic Romance Writers. Super excited about that.
9. Finally, if you had just one piece of advice for those of us still out here waiting to have our brilliant debut novels published, what would it be?
Constructive and knowledgeable critique partners are invaluable. Being told you’re wrong will always suck, but it’s all a part of learning.
Thank you, Kylie!
Next time, I’ll be asking Monique McDonell, a debut indie novelist, about her experiences. Will her answers be similar or different to those who have published through publishing companies? And, later, a debut novelist with Harper Collins talks about his experience. Subscribe using the ‘More Please’ widget above if you don’t want to miss out, or just keep your eye on Facebook or Twitter
In the meantime, what are your thoughts on this interview series so far? Are these posts inspiring you to become a debut novelist EVEN MORE? (of course!) Have you been surprised by any responses? Let me know in the comments below.