We love brand new authors here at The Book Pushers! Fresh new voices in our favorite genres gives us another person to cyber-stalk and glom onto! We figured since there are always new authors getting published through both the big New York publishers, as well as the smaller digital first publishers, we should take the time and hunt them down and introduce them to you!
Today we’ve got Jeanette Murray here to talk about what it’s like being a brand new author!
Thanks Book Pushers. I’m so thrilled y’all invited me over!
Explain to us your journey to publication:
Ha, talk about a convoluted story. I’ll try to shorten it to save everyone’s sanity. 🙂 I started writing because I had (literally) read every romance in the base library. Literally. I checked with a librarian. haha With my husband freshly deployed and months of lonely nights looming ahead, I realized that if I wanted new reading material, I’d have to create it myself. So I started writing. And it was ugly. But I joined an online forum dedicated to romance writing, learned a lot, read some more, and kept at it. I started writing in September 2009, and got the call from Angela James at Carina Press in November 2010.
What’s your first published book about (start of a series, a stand alone, we want details!):
This book is a full length contemporary romance novel with a lot of laughs and a ton of love. The Game of Love is about two people with a lot in common who can’t seem to find any common ground. Christina St. James was a pro tennis player who never made it big and fell out of love with the sport from the pressure. Not to mention licking her wounds from a disastrous relationship with fellow pro athlete Dax Riley, hockey’s golden boy on the ice (and a real a-hole outside the rink). Now she’s looking for a normal kind of life, and hopes to find it in a small town in upstate New York, teaching math and rekindling the love affair with tennis as the girls’ tennis coach. Brett Wallace came back to his hometown of Milton after a career-ending injury in the NFL. Now he’s coaching the high school football team and trying to avoid his matchmaking mother’s every plea for grandchildren.
There’s no way in hell Chris is about to walk into another relationship with another pro athlete, past or present. She learned her lesson the first time. But Brett isn’t taking her reluctance as rejection, and he’s determined to win her over. After all, he’s got a little practice in pushing through the obstacles to grab the W.
The Game of Love is a stand alone novel, no current series planned for this one. But I do consider a spin-off with some of his old football buddies from his NFL days. No plans on that yet though.
Do you have anything in the works? (contracted or not?)
Currently I am in the process of writing the second book of a trilogy contracted through Sourcebooks. The Semper Fi series follows three Marines and the women who can’t seem to resist them. (Despite their best efforts!) The first book is set to release in summer 2012. And after that, well, I guess we’ll see where I am and what I’m being pulled toward.
What are your overall dreams, goals and expectations for your future as an author? (want to stick with specific genre, try multiples, different pen names, etc.)
My dream (because I believe in dreaming big) is to hit the NY Times best seller list. Eventually. My current goal is to continue writing books that I would want to read myself, and stick with it. And my expectation as an author is to enjoy the journey. Because writing is truly a job, and if I didn’t love it, it wouldn’t be worth the time. Thank God I do love it, and I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.
Right now my plan is to stick with contemporary. Maybe little side trips along the contemporary line, like a western here or there, maybe more military heroes. But it’s going to be set in a modern-day world, that won’t change. As long as I enjoy creating real life relationships, then I’ll stick with it.
I hope to continue writing both for e-publishers and print publishers alike, as I think there’s great potential in both markets and I love being as accessible to readers as possible.
What’s your writing process like? Has it changed from when you first started writing?
I’m someone who does what I like to call a “dirty draft.” Oh, it can be ugly (as my critique partner Keri Ford can attest to). I write up the story in a more skeletal form, following the outline I’ve drawn myself. Some areas might end up being very emotional, but little physical action. Others might be all action and dialogue, but nothing of how the characters are feeling. So that gets added in there the second round. And then of course is the clean up. Off to a buddy to check, and then over to my editor or agent! (Insert happy submission dance here)
I started writing September 2009. The first story I completed is this one! The Game of Love. I think there was some ill-fated story I only got about ten pages in on before I found a process that worked for me. I’m not even sure where those ten pages are anymore. So as far as the true first full story, this would be the one.
Who were some of your inspirations for becoming an author?
Oh gosh. That’s a toughie. The first romance I ever read was a Lisa Kleypas story, and she totally sucked me in. Susan Mallery was another and also Rachel Gibson. Love the characters these women create, the emotions they invoke. Though to be honest, these are only three of so many that I couldn’t begin to make the true list.
Give us the story about when you got “The Call”
I’d had the submission to Carina for about a month. And I saw on Twitter that Angela James was making calls that day to new authors. But I hadn’t received one by about noon, and so I figured on one of two things… Either it was too early to think about this (it’d only been a month, after all), or I was going to get an email in the next few days gently rejecting the story.
So I took a nap. (Hey. Sometimes, when it’s been a long day with a toddler, and they go down, you go down too!)
Angela actually woke me up from my nap, and I think I sounded extremely hoarse. (I say hoarse. My husband has been known to say that when I wake up, I sound drunk. So…here’s hoping she thought I had a sore throat and not a drinking problem!) I think I sounded rational, though I had to have her repeat things a few times so I could jot them down after scrambling out of bed, hitting my knee and searching for a pen. And after I hung up the phone…I think I shrieked. And, of course, woke up the toddler.
Trust me, I didn’t mind.
Who is the author you would most like to meet living or deceased and why?
JK Rowling. That lady is a businesswoman, and one hell of a writer to boot. I would love to sit down and just listen to her plan. Just sit in on a meeting for her planning out her next year. What she’s doing, what she’s avoiding… I feel like I could learn so much just about life from her. Not even about the craft, but everything else.
The Game of Love releases August 29, and I couldn’t be more excited. Thanks again, Pushers, for letting me come on over and hang out!
Be sure to stop by later today for MinnChica and Lou’s joint review of The Game of Love!