This post comes a day late. After an iffy connection and being kept out of my Gmail account for most of the day, I gave up. I hadn't scheduled this post ahead of time so I was screwed. I have already apologized to today's guest author for the delay, and hope she's forgiven me. Anyways, here we are now - with a REV UP "Thursday" instead of "Wednesday" author interview - as I finally manage to put this blog post up :D.
Today's guest is the wonderful and talented Hailey Edwards, Samhain author and writer of the Daughters of Askara and Araneae Nation series. Seriously, have you taken a look at this girl's website and book covers? Haunting, beautiful, captivating. Her writing? Totally lives up to my choice of adjectives. She's an ace at world building, and adept at capturing all the little details to make her historical, fantastical worlds as tangible as the mug of coffee sitting on my desk right now. Check out her excerpts (links below) to see what I mean. If you love fantasy, paranormal romance and urban fantasy stories, this is a Samhain author you will want to take note of and put on your "to read" list.
Before I start...
HAILEY'S GIVING AWAY AN ARC OF EVERMINE TO A LUCKY COMMENTER. ISN'T THAT SWELL? ENTER YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN THE COMMENT BOX FOR A CHANCE TO WIN.
So here's a little glimpse into Hailey's journey to publication...
How long have you been writing?
I've been writing for three years.
When did you decide that you wanted to write for a living (that "aha" moment)?
Publication has always been my goal. When I started writing my first book, it was with visions of holding it in my hands one day.
What did your family say when you told them you wanted to be a writer?
I'm so blessed that my family supports me. They allow me the time I need to think and work without grumbling...too loudly.
What is your preferred genre both for reading and writing?
I read and write fantasy, fantasy/romance, urban fiction and paranormal romance.
Did you start by writing full time or did you have a day job?
I started writing part time even though I'm a stay at home mom. Once I got my first contract, that's when I started putting in full time hours for study, critiquing and writing.
Did you take any writing courses or did you just sit and write a book?
I sat down and tried to write a book. It didn't go well. I have attended many writing workshops since then and even had a mentor for a while. Study is part of my day, because learning and growing is part of the job. You can't let yourself or your ideas become stagnant.
Did/do you have a crit group or mentor to guide you?
In the beginning? No. It wasn't until I got serious about writing that I participated in a mentor program, where I got to pick Jess Granger's mind for three months. I don't have a critique group. I do have other authors (and beta readers) who read and critique my work so that it's polished and ready for submission.
Do you use a/several pseudonym(s) and if so, why did you choose to have one/them?
I have one, which is Hailey Edwards. I chose to use a pseudonym for that layer of protection between my public life and my private life.
How long did it take you to make your first sale? What was your first thought when you did?
I wrote a novella and sold it within six months of deciding to give writing a try. My first thought was "Wow, this is great" followed by "I have a long way to go if I want to make this my career". That's when I got to work.
Did you sell the first story or novel you wrote?
Um, no. It was a mess. Lots of telling. Little showing. I'm still proud I finished it, and I'm going to revise it one day. I still love those characters, how could I not? They're the reason I'm where I am today. Now that I have a better grasp on my craft, I'd like to give them a second chance.
How many drafts did you write of your first novel before you felt you got it right? What about now - do you still write several drafts of a story?
My first novel was shelved. The second was on its third draft when it was contracted. Since deciding where to start a story is difficult, I do write several first chapters. As a whole, I write one clean draft then revise as necessary.
Do you read industry or writing related blogs? If so, can you share some useful links?
I don't follow any particular blogs. I belong to the Romance Divas, and I get all my industry-related news there.
Did you get an agent first or did you submit directly to publishers?
I submitted directly to a publisher.
Did you ever get rejected? If so, how did you handle it?
Yes, I have been rejected. I was disappointed, of course, but I learned from the experience. I filed the book away for later revisions and applied that knowledge to a new project, which was contracted.
What, in your opinion, do agents/publishers look for in a new author in the current market? Is it all to do with talent or with trends?
I can't speak for agents or publishers, but, as a reader, I love finding new-to-me authors with great voices and new ideas.
What do you think of the changes going on in the book industry (e.g., e-books vs. print books, and big publishers getting involved in digital publishing)? Where do you see the industry going?
I have loved eBooks from the start. I've been a Kindle owner/user since the first generation. I believe the market will continue to see a shift towards eBooks and eReaders.
Are your books available in print or in digital format?
Both. You can purchase my work in print or eBook form at most major book retailers from Amazon to Target.
What advice do you think aspiring authors should heed today?
Writing is work. I think to be successful you have to treat it like a job. That doesn't mean I don't love it or enjoy it, but that does mean I dedicate a set number of hours to work every day and keep a tight schedule for my projects.
What are you working on now?
Right now I'm working on the third book in my Daughters of Askara series, Eversworn.
What is/are your favourite book(s)? Do you read only books from the genre you write in?
I do read and write more or less in the same genres. My favorite series are Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark, Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series, and Jim Butcher's Dresden Files.
Do you read when you are plotting or writing a story?
Yes. I can't not read. It's part of my day, every day.
What book inspired you to write romance (or whatever genre you write in)?
That's an easy one. Karen Moning's Darkfever is the book that sparked my love for romance novels, although that series isn't romance. Without the books that book lead me to read, I might not be where I am today.
What hero/heroine/character was the most fun or challenging to write for you?
The heroine who was the most fun for me to write is Emmaline DeGray. I love her and her hero, Harper. But it was Emma's voice guiding me through the first book in the series. Even though her book has been written, I don't think we've seen the last of her by a long shot.
How do you juggle work, writing, chores and family/personal life? Do you have a secret to time management that you want to share with readers?
I wish i had a secret time management scheme. My family comes first, so I have to sneak in writing time around their schedules. It's probably the reason I get most of my work done at night.
Do you have a ritual that you follow when it comes to writing?
I follow BICHOK, but that's about it. (Butt in Chair, Hands on Keyboard)
Where do you see yourself, careerwise, in 5 years time?
In five years, I'm not sure. The market is changing so rapidly now, it's hard to keep up. As long as I'm writing and keeping my readers happy, I'll be happy.
What's your website URL?
Are you on Facebook?
How do you connect with readers?
Readers can find me on Facebook, Twitter, my forum, or contact me through the contact form on my website.
Hailey is a wife turned mother turned writer, who loves her husband, her daughter and alone time with her computer. Whenever southern living strikes her as too ordinary, she can be found squinting at her monitor as she writes her next happily-ever-after or with her nose glued to her Kindle’s screen. Wings and/or cupcakes are usually involved…
Latest and upcoming releases:
Everlong is available in both paperback and digital formats. MORE INFO, INCLUDING AN EXCERPT, HERE.
The second Daughters of Askara novel, Evermine, is set to release from Samhain Publishing in February. MORE INFO HERE.
A Hint of Frost (Araneae Nation series), the first book in my new fantasy romance series, Araneae Nation, is set to be released in April. MORE INFO, INCLUDING AN EXCERPT, HERE.
Eversworn, Book 3 in the Daughters of Askara series, is set to release from Samhain Publishing in June, 2012. MORE INFO HERE.
~ Angela ~
No Rules. No Formulas. Just Love. "Mile High to Heaven" and "Mr. & Mrs. Foster" available at Whiskey Creek Press Torrid.