Today, I'm posting this on the fly because we're going through THE BIG MOVE which, trust me, is hell with a two year old in tow :D. Plus, we've downsized in square footage so I get to decide what to get rid of while packing. One thing that is definitely going to stay is my enormous collection of books - even if I have to stuff them under my mattress! Lol.
Speaking of books, Jessica E. Subject is my guest today. Jessica is a bubbly lady who I met through other author friends and who I look forward to getting to know better. She writes hot romance with amazing, complex plots in a futuristic setting. I believe that her world building skills, from what I've read, are phenomenal. I think that this is definitely one of Jessica's strengths. If you love really, really good sci-fi romance and don't mind the sizzling heat, you need to check out Jessica's work.
So here goes...
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing with the hopes of publication for almost four years now. I started just after my youngest child was born.
When did you decide that you wanted to write for a living (that "aha" moment)?
When the story I wrote for my daughter took a surprise twist and became a novel, and then a series. LOL
What did your family say when you told them you wanted to be a writer?
Some passed it off as just a hobby, and still do. Ever since I signed my first contract, most support me 100%.
What is your preferred genre both for reading and writing?
I love most subgenres of romance, and write mostly science fiction romance, but I also read young adult, thrillers, mystery/suspense, and more.
Did you start by writing full time or did you have a day job?
I was on maternity leave when I started, but I do have a day job now.
Did you take any writing courses or did you just sit and write a book?
When I started, I hadn’t taken any courses, but since then, I’ve taken many online courses including some from the RWA (Romance Writers of America). And I pay attention to what each of my editors highlights in my work.
Did/do you have a crit group or mentor to guide you?
The amazing Lorna Suzuki was the first person to suggest I join a critique group. Through her, I met my first critique partner, and she’s still one of my CPs today. I also joined a local critique group. As none of the members wrote romance, I left them after a year, and have three other CPs whom I trust completely. I love that they all pick out different aspects of my stories, and couldn’t ask for better friends and mentors.
Do you use a/several pseudonym(s) and if so, why did you choose to have one/them?
No, I write under my own name. It’s just easier for me, one less confusion.
How long did it take you to make your first sale? What was your first thought when you did?
Did you sell the first story or novel you wrote?
I started writing in October 2008, and made my first sale in May 2010. I was super excited, but had to hold it all in as my kids were asleep when I opened the email. I think I cried instead. LOL It was not the first story I wrote, but it was my first submission.
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 went through 20-30 drafts. I’m serious. And even then, it was rejected when I first submitted it. I’m rewriting the rest of the series, and I cringe looking back at my lack of skills.
And yes, I still write several drafts, but definitely not as many. After I’ve finished a story, I’ll read it over myself, and then send it to my critique partners. After their feedback, I’ll revise again, and then send out at least once more for beta reading before submitting.
Do you read industry or writing related blogs? If so, can you share some useful links?
I used to read a lot more industry blogs when I first started, but I find I don’t have as much time. I do still read author blogs though. When I’m editing, the one blog I ALWAYS refer to is The Bookshelf Muse. A great resource for helping you show rather than tell.
Another great one for erotic romance authors is: http://home.epix.net/~jlferri/intro.html.
If you’re just starting out, check out Chuck Sambuchino’s Guide to Literary Agents blog. It has great advice no matter which road to publication you decide to take.
Did you get an agent first or did you submit directly to publishers?
I submitted directly to my publishers.
Did you ever get rejected? If so, how did you handle it?
Yes, when I finally did decide to submit my novel, I received a revise and resubmit, but then it was rejected. I was upset, but one of my CPs didn’t let me wallow in self-pity. She told me to submit it elsewhere, and I did.
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 think talent appeals to agents and publishers more than trends, but if they don’t feel there is a market for your work, they won’t contract it. But another agent/publisher may feel differently.
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 like to speculate about the future when it comes to writing fiction, but not in a business sense. Obviously, the market is heading towards more digital publishing, but where that leaves print books, I really don’t know.
Do you think writers should consider self-publishing?
Yes, and no. I think self-publishing is a great venture for authors who want to publish their backlists. It’s a great way to revive books that aren’t available anymore from the publishers. For new authors, I think one has to be very careful, do their research, and be prepared to spend time and money before jumping into this avenue. I’ve read some fabulous self-published stories, and I’m not against it, but I don’t think it’s for everyone.
How do you feel about so many bookstores closing across the US? Do you think this trend is similar in other countries?
I don’t live in the US, so I don’t see it as much. I buy books from bookstores, online bookstores, and ebook retailers and publishers, depending on availability. I think in order for traditional bookstores to survive, they have to corner a niche market, or change with the times and offer customers more.
Are your books available in print or in digital format?
As of right now, my books are only available in digital format, but I’m hoping some of them will soon be released in print.
What advice do you think aspiring authors should heed today?
Have your work critiqued, and I don’t mean by Aunt Mabel. Find a critique group or organization to submit your work to. But don’t be discouraged by their comments. Learn from them. Because if you think their words are harsh, rejections and/or edits are far worse.
What are you working on now?
I’m busy rewriting the second book in my Mark of the Stars series. Yes, rewriting. I can admit my writing sucked back then, but I’ve learned a lot, and I plough on. I have a couple other smaller projects as well, but no news to share yet.
What is/are your favourite book(s)? Do you read only books from the genre you write in?
I always hate to answer this question, as I don’t want to eliminate any of the awesome books I’ve read. I have a bunch of series I’m following by DL Jackson, Gini Koch, Lorna Suzuki, Rebecca Royce, Zee Monodee, and many others. And no, only two (well, three) of the authors above have sci-fi romance series that I’ve read. The others are paranormal and fantasy, but I do read many other genres as well.
Do you read when you are plotting or writing a story?
Yes, the only time I’m not reading is when I’m busy with edits. I can’t concentrate on a book knowing edits are waiting for me.
What book inspired you to write romance (or whatever genre you write in)?
I’ve read more from Nora Roberts than any other author, so I would have to say she is a huge influence in terms of romance. The sci-fi aspect come more from the movies I watch and my overactive imagination.
What hero/heroine/character was the most fun or challenging to write for you?
Katrina, introduced in The Zurian Child, would have to be the most challenging. She was the first character to invade my mind, and I had to get her story just so. All of my characters can be fun at times, even the antagonists, but Adrian and Dare, heroes from two different stories were probably the most fun. They have very distinctive personalities, and are hard-wired men.
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’m not sure how I juggle it, but I live for quiet time every day. And I write everything down. That’s only a bad thing if I can’t find the paper I wrote it on.
Do you have a ritual that you follow when it comes to writing?
No, I don’t have time for a ritual. If I find a spare moment to write, I go for it before the moment is gone.
Where do you see yourself, career-wise, in 5 years time?
I’m not sure. I hope to have all of the series I’m working on now, finished and published, and be working on more. LOL
What's your website URL?
Are you on Facebook?
Yes, here is my fan page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jessica-E-Subject-author/205759796126370
How do you connect with readers?
Through Facebook (above), Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/jsubject), Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4959083.Jessica_E_Subject)), my website/blog (above), and the Backward Momentum blog: http://backwardmomentum.blogspot.com/
Latest and upcoming releases:
Never Gonna Let You Go is my most recent release.
The Zurian Child releases March 24, 2012 from Silver Publishing.
And An Unexpected Return is coming soon to Decadent Publishing.
Never Gonna Let You Go:
Caught in a tangle of lies, Calla Jacobs must sort through the truth to discover where she truly belongs. A biologist for Planet Core, she finds herself ensnared in a web of deceit. Sent to Airondelle, she must work with a team to prepare the newly discovered planet for colonists from Earth. But the mission does not go as she expected. Her former lover, Erik Edwards, shuns her, sending Calla into the arms of Melina Holloway, their commander, for the attention she craves and more. A confrontation among the trio leaves her with a broken heart, and fleeing from the two people she trusted most.
Attempting to break free from the lies that bind her, she discovers Planet Core has deceived everyone. And when she returns to Earth, Calla learns just how far Planet Core’s control reaches.
Available from Decadent Publishing and other ebook retailers.
Buy Link here: http://www.markofthestars.com/wp/?page_id=7889
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/I8hN8O4bVo4
Melina stood up. “Well, I guess we’re done for tonight.”
Instead of packing up the Jeeps and heading back to camp, they lingered, staring at each other in the moonlight. Calla didn’t want to move. She fixated on her commander’s mouth. What would it feel like?
Before she realized what was happening, Melina pressed her lips to Calla’s. Holloway’s hand met the small of her back, drawing her in closer. Calla sensed the woman’s hunger, but pulled away, surprised by her commander’s actions and still ashamed of her body’s rush of desire.
“Holloway, this isn’t allowed. You of all people should know that.”
Melina strolled around behind her, keeping her hands on Calla’s shoulders, and kneaded the knots across her back. “No one needs to know. It’s just the two of us out here.”
Calla moaned as her commander’s thumbs dug deep, releasing her stress from the mission and Erik’s attitude. The massage was the precise touch she needed. “That feels so good.”
Melina swept Calla’s hair from her shoulders and kissed her neck, turning the massage into something sensual. “I have much more planned for you.”
“Holloway, I’ve never ….”
“Been with a woman?” Melina spun her around. Tilting her head, she gazed into her eyes, brushing a thumb across her lips. “There’s a first time for everything.”
Jessica Subject started writing to encourage her daughter to read. Now she writes to keep herself grounded. Although she reads many genres, she enjoys writing Science Fiction Romance the most and believes everyone in the universe deserves a happily ever after. She lives Southwestern Ontario, Canada with her husband and two kids and loves to hear from anyone who has enjoyed her stories.
Google +: https://plus.google.com/100079570422204018357/posts
~ Natalie ~
No Rules. No Formulas. Just Love... and a little Mystery.