Blogs by L.T. Suzuki
Jessica Subject Interview
7/10/2011 6:27:45 AM
Sci-fi romance writer Jessica Subject discusses publication and the writing life!
LTS: Iíve made author features a regular part of my weekly blog, but nothing pleases me more than when I see an aspiring author blossom into a full-fledge published one! Today, Iím pleased to introduce you to the lovely and talented Jessica Subject.
We first met on Twitter when I waded into the whole social networking scene. Not only is she, along with another writer friend, Layna Pimentel the administrators of the Imago Fantasy Series FB fan page, but Jessica is also a newly published author of the Sci-Fi genre! She was an author feeling her way through the whole process in terms of finding her voice; finding a critique group; beta readers and so on, when we first met, so I was absolutely over the moon with joy when she shared the news one of her stories had been accepted for publication!
JS: Thank you, Lorna for inviting me to your blog today. If you had not suggested I join a critique group over a year ago, I donít think Iíd be in this position. Iíve learned a lot by having my work critiqued, so thank you.
LTS: Youíre welcome! So, letís get started, Jessica. Iíd like to begin by having you share a little information about yourself with our readers. What do you like to do when youíre not writing?
JS: I have a day job, and if Iím not busy feeding kids, running them to the potty or wiping their noses, Iím usually reading, writing, editing, or critiquing. On weekends, I have a bit more free time, but thatís usually spent with my family.
LTS: Has writing stories always been a part of your life and becoming a published author a life long dream?
JS: I wrote several stories throughout my time in school, including an MG romance titled It Starts with a Kiss, but never dreamed of being a published author. A reporter, maybe, since I used to write and publish a youth group newsletter as well as a customer newsletter for the pet supply store I used to work at.
My science-fiction romance writing began when I decided to write a story for my daughter. Somehow my superhero story for children turned into an alien love story I wonít let my daughter read until sheís eighteen. Since then, Iíve written several more stories including Celestial Seduction, and I did write a story for my daughter as well.
LTS: Your first story to be published, ĎCelestial Seductioní, was released on July 1st, 2011. I understand itís a Science Fiction Romance short story that is part of Decadent Publishingís 1 Night Stand Series. What was the inspiration behind this story and can you tell us a little bit about your protagonist?
JS: Another author suggested I write a story for this series, to add my SFR flavor. At first I wasnít too sure if I wanted to, but over the weekend, an idea stewed in my mind. I added in the details necessary for the 1 Night Stand Series and Celestial Seduction was born, at least the first draft.
(Rest of question is answered with next question. Itís more hero/heroine than protagonist.)
LTS: Without giving away too much, can you reveal whatís in store for the readers when they crack open ĎCelestial Seductioní?
JS: Sure, hereís the blurb:
At the end of his obligated commitment to the Space Service, Frey Berger decides to stay on Earth to further experience human emotions rather than return to Ginnun where his intended has already mated with another. Looking for real love and someone to accept him for what he is, Frey enlists in Madame Evangelineís popular dating service. Although he does not understand the concept of a one-night stand, he hopes to find his perfect mate.
Carrie Cooperís husband divorced her for someone who could provide him with children, leaving her with little self-confidence and no desire to let a man hurt her again. Her best friend convinces her to join a dating service, claiming Carrie needs to get laid, while not winding up with a broken heart since her date requires no commitment after the night is over.
Although several misunderstandings nearly derail them before the date has even begun, Carrie and Frey end up becoming closer than they ever believed possible. Still, Frey will need to convince Carrie that her perfect mate isnít human at all, and that one night can lead to a forever love.
LTS: The road to publication is difficult at the best of times. How did you land this publishing deal without a literary agent? Do you have any advice youíd like to share with the author struggling to find representation or seeking publication via the traditional route?
JS: With most ebook publishers, you donít need a literary agent to submit. You can have one though. You just have to follow submission guidelines and submit.
Whichever route to publication you take, ALWAYS be sure to have your work critiqued by several other authors. Celestial Seduction went to four different authors for critique before being sent to Decadent where it went through four more rounds of revisions plus galley edits.
If you do submit to an agent or publisher, READ SUBMISSION GUIDELINES!! Make sure they are accepting and want books of your genre. Otherwise itís a waste of time for both of you.
LTS: Iím always happy when a fellow writer is plucked from relative obscurity to land a book deal. Can you share that moment when you sold your story to Decadent Publishing?
JS: On May 1st, while I was busy drawing the winnersí names for my Blogoversary draws, I received a request to send in my 1 Night Stand story, to ďsee if it fitĒ. I had planned to send it in that week, but wanted to take one more look at it.
I sent it in anyways and a few hours later, I had a contract. I stared at the computer in disbelief. Then I cried. It was such an exciting time.
LTS: Iím curious about your writing style. Are you one of those disciplined writers who must dedicate a certain time each day to producing so many words, or are you more relaxed and tend to write when it strikes your fancy?
JS: I try to write every day, but that doesnít always happen. When I do write, itís in a notebook as kids and laptops donít mix. I prefer to have keys on the keyboard.
LTS: Still on the subject of writing styles, are you a plotter or pantser? The readers would like to know if you tend to plot out your story line in great detail or if your writing is more organic with the characters and events unfolding as you write.
JS: I usually have the story outlined in my head before I start writing and make brief point form notes. Most of the time though, the story changes from the original idea. The notes are just a guide.
LTS: Some authors meditate, others need to fuel up on coffee or listen to music. Do you have any rituals, ones that can be shared with the readers, that you must do before you hunker down for a writing session?
JS: No. I fit in writing time when I can. If I had a ritual I had to follow beforehand, Iíd never get a chance to write. I do have a story playlist though that I try and listen to whenever possible. (play it while driving or cleaning)
LTS: At one time or another, most writers hit the wall and their work stalls because of the dreaded writerís block. What do you do to get around or over this mental wall to resume writing?
JS: I usually do one of two things. Sometimes Iíll read. Other times Iíll pull out another manuscript and work on that. If I canít get ideas flowing for a particular story, I donít force it.
LTS: Who is your favourite author and how has he/she inspired you to write or influenced your writing style or choice of genre?
JS: I have read a lot of James Patterson, Nora Roberts and Janet Evanovich. In my genre though, I absolutely love Gini Kochís ďAlienĒ series. These books have it all: romance, suspense, action and tons of humor. I strive to write like her.
LTS: What are you reading now, and how did this particular book make it onto your to-read list?
JS: Iím reading a bunch of ebooks I bought after reading excerpts on Six Sentence Sunday. Itís a blog ring that authors sign up for every week to share only six sentences from their WIP, upcoming release, or an already released book. Iíve bought several books just from reading six sentences and I want to read the entire story now.
LTS: What do you foresee in your future over the next five years and do you hope to branch out from Sci-Fi into other genres? Can your fans expect a sequel to ĎCelestial Selectioní or more stories in the 1 Night Stand Series in the near future?
JS: Iím working on my Mark of the Stars series as well as Acceptance. There will not be a sequel to Celestial Seduction, but there are characters from CS whose story I may write as part of the 1 Night Stand Series.
I will continue to write science-fiction romance, but I may branch out into other romance sub-genres including erotic romance and paranormal.
LTS: Thank you so much for taking time from your crazy busy schedule to share in your experiences, Jessica! Congratulations again and Iíll catch you on Twitter!
JS: Thank you for having me, Lorna! Iíve been looking forward to this since we first met.
For more information about Jessica Subject and her writings, check out:
Follow Jessica on Twitter: .jsubject
Find out more information on her facebook fan page and on Goodreads.
Where to buy the book: Decadent Publishing and other ebook retailers
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