You see, Cherry Stem is coming out on Tuesday, this Tuesday, and since my hands finally seem willing to cooperate with me, I thought I’d talk about it a little bit. If you don’t feel like reading my ramblings, feel free to skip ahead to the sneak peek.
The first line of Cherry Stem popped in my head one day, and I knew I had to write a story about it. I knew nothing more about my leading lady than that she’d be a vampire. I sat down to type that first line — as I’ve done for many many other stories that haven’t progressed much further — and suddenly an outline was pouring out of my fingers.
Saying the story wrote itself would be a blatant lie, but it outlined itself alright. A few hours after I’d jotted down that opening line, I had a full outline, complete with a last scene. That was when I knew I could write the story: when I had the ending spelled out in front of me. Sure, things changed along the way, characters I initially didn’t care for gradually came to life, to the point that taking them where I’d initially intended would be out of character — it feels weird saying that about my own characters, but it’s true — but the ending never changed.
Early on, I was lucky to meet a wonderful British lady, a writer herself, who offered to look each chapter over for me and advise me on writing techniques and possible plot weaknesses. Later I crossed paths with another wonderful lady, American this time and a teacher for many years, who helped me figure out several of my syntax issues and taught me grammar rules I didn’t know existed. Without those two, I don’t think I’d ever have the guts to send my manuscript to a publisher.
Eventually the story was finished, and in true Sotia-fashion, I was itching to send it out there. The few friends who’d been acting as a focus group liked it, and so did my husband. What else did I want, right?
Well, I wanted it to be received with open arms by the first agent I emailed it to. That was what I wanted. And I was — naturally — disappointed when I didn’t even hear back from that first agent. The second one said they weren’t interested in paranormal romances right now. That was when I decided I didn’t want an agent after all.
Another amazing lady helped shape up my submission letter, which previously consisted more of hopes, dreams, and puppies than actual information, and I was lucky that Loose Id was the second publisher I approached. I was even luckier that Venessa, yet another awesome lady who was to become my editor, read and liked the partial I submitted. I still remember my squealing when I received the request for a full and my particularly embarrassing happy-dance when I got the acceptance letter. Venessa was extremely patient with me, pointing out mistakes as well as why they should be corrected. There where times when I’d have kicked my ass for not getting it, but she kept explaining and urging me on. I think she did a great job. While writing the sequel to Cherry Stem, I keep thinking, “Would V. approve of this phrasing?”
And now we’re less than four days away from Cherry Stem’s launch. I still can’t believe it, and I don’t have the words to thank the lovely ladies from around the world — because I’m blessed to know lots of them — who kept me from giving up hope. Or my husband, who still says okay when I tell him I won’t be talking to him for the next four hours because I need to write. Or my mom and dad, who grumble about my love for paranormal stories, but are still proud I’m writing and want to rub in my high school essay teacher’s face. Or my sis, who’s now walking my dogs — again — so I can finish this post.
I think the pregnancy hormones are making me sappy though, so without further ado, here are the first couple of scenes from Chapter One (edited by Loose Id) and one more look at the cover, because it’s stunning:
My mom always told me not to play with my food. I try to keep that in mind.
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That’s all. For now.
Till next time,