It’s my pleasure to welcome the one and only Silver James to the blog today! I had the privilege of reading an early version of Silver’s book, FAERIE FATE, and within the very first few pages I was swept away into another world filled with rich characters, deep magic and timeless love. Please join me in welcoming Silver James!
Writing: One Tenth Inspiration, Nine Tenths Perspiration
A long, long time ago in a galaxy far away, a writer slaved away at her desk. Tap-tap-tippity-tap. Her fingers flew across the keyboard and words magically appeared—translated from her imagination to the virtual paper of her monitor. Yet, times abounded when the illusive WIP danced just out of her reach like a will-o-the-wisp, teasing her with a unicorn’s song. Publication. An agent. An editor. The New York Times Best Seller’s List! Elusive dreams indeed.
When harsh reality knocked on the door, I answered. Woe is me. My quest for publication seemed as futile as laying hands on the Holy Grail at times. I considered giving up; considered laying aside my keyboard-cum-sword. Publication was a dragon I could not slay; that shining unicorn merely an illusion. I could tell stories! Inspired stories of derring do and star-crossed lovers, of dark moments and happy ever afters. I could! Convincing anyone but my friends and family proved tougher. But I made it. Finally. Albeit, my route proved circuitous. And that’s when it got hard. Really hard. See, I thought writers only needed to be inspired—that inspiration led to marvelous books of the sort agents and editors clamored to get. Ha! (I’m still looking for an agent, as my circuitous route to publication led me down a less-traveled path.) Getting the contract was just the tip of the iceberg. Edits. Revisions. Excerpts. Blurbs. Websites and covers and blogs, oh my!
The “ugly” truth hit about the same time I received my release date for FAERIE FATE. One word slapped me in the face. Marketing. ACK! AckSputterCringeNOOOOOOO! You see, there’s a reason I never went into sales or retail. I hate selling. *shudder* I especially hate selling myself. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy standing in front of crowd and giving a speech or acting. THAT’S different. Totally. “It is,” she says insistently. I can stand up and give a ten-minute extemporaneous speech at the drop of hat. A ten-minute pitch session with an editor or agent? FAIL! Writing a cover blurb? FAIL! But that’s a topic for another blog. Today, I’m discussing all the fun a writer gets to have when it comes time to promote The Book. Didja catch the sarcasm? Forget the post cards, bookmarks, and promo items to give away. Those are easy. The hard part is doing exactly what I’m doing here today—connecting, hopefully, with readers and convincing them to buy my book. I know it doesn’t look hard, given I’m sitting here in my fuzzy slippers, jammies, and only brushed my teeth because my coffee tastes better. The hard part comes from projecting personality and a feel for my writing and my work in the two-dimensional world. Yes, it is just like writing a book. But not. See, in a book, I am “acting out parts and telling a story.” Here, I am…acting like myself. If a reader doesn’t like *ME*, will they like my book? Will they even pick it up to give it a try? (Cue the Sally Field “They LIKE me” moment…)
Deciding how much to reveal, deciding on a topic of interest, deciding on how much you can write before boring your audience to death… This is tough! Thomas Edison pinned the tail on the donkey when he said, Genius is 99 percent perspiration and 1 percent inspiration. Simply change “genius” to “writing.”
If you could go back, do it over again, would you take a chance to find true love? What if you had no choice?
On her fiftieth birthday, the faerie catapult Rebecca Miller a thousand years into the past to find her happily ever after with Ciaran MacDermot, the last Fenian warrior in his line. In the 21st Century, Becca is old enough to be Ciaran’s mother. In the 10th, she’s young enough to be his bride.
The fae forgot to mention one slight stipulation. The lovers must be bound before the Festival of Light, or Becca will forever disappear into Tir Nan Óg, the faerie Land of the Ever Young. Will they discover the binding words before time runs out and they’re torn apart forever? Or will their eternal love defeat their Faerie Fate?
Without the words, history is doomed to repeat itself.
But knowing y’all, you want to get a little more “up close and personal” with our hero. One of the things Becca notices most often is his incredible blue eyes. (Well…along with his muscular legs and chest, shoulders, and his ass…ets. His other assets. That’s what I meant. Really.) Here’s how Becca describes him at one point:
Becca wrapped the mantle around her like a toga. She ran from the room but stopped on the top step of the stairs, unaware her guard had stopped behind her. Men milled about the great hall, Niall and a few others shouting orders. Ciaran stood in the midst of it all, a wild warrior tall and strong.
She couldn’t breathe. He wasn’t just handsome. He was beautiful in the way the Rocky Mountains were with their rugged majesty, the way a desert sunset was all crimson fire, blazing across a blue sky, so brilliant one had to squint. Her eyes filled with rainbows as she blinked away tears.
Earlier in the story, Becca wakes up to discover Ciaran standing in the doorway, watching her. This is what happened next:
Becca sucked in her breath. That gorgeous guy lounged against the doorjamb, leering at her. “How long have you been there?” she sputtered.
Grinning lopsidedly, he affirmed her worst fear when he answered, “Long enough, cailín.”
The man positively purred at her, and she couldn’t keep her eyes from straying. Lord but he was tall, and all that black hair, not to mention… She jerked her gaze back to his face.
Ciaran really hadn’t meant to watch her get out of bed, but when she threw back the covers and was naked… Then she swung those magnificent legs over the side of the bed, and he couldn’t force his eyes to look away or his body to behave. He was pleased she’d boldly looked him over. Tit for tat, he thought. Then the delicate pink tip of her tongue swept across her bottom lip, and he almost groaned aloud. He knew the gesture was unconscious on her part, which made it even more enticing. When her top teeth tugged at her lip, it was all he could do to stand there. Every muscle in his body wanted to sweep her into his arms so he could kiss her soundly. She blushed and the fact she was embarrassed by her perusal of him amused a man who’d never been amused by a cailín before.
Defensively, she pulled the throw closer around her. “Do you mind?” she snarled pointedly.
“I don’t mind at all.” His masculine conceit fueled his smug grin.
Becca looked around for something to throw at his arrogant face. Guessing her intentions, he laughed before ducking out the door and tugging it closed behind him.
Ciaran is all Alpha Male. Arrogant. Strong. Completely sure of himself, even though Becca leaves him gobsmacked. He has a big heart and he loves his cailín with his entire heart. One random commenter will receive their choice of the paperback or ebook .pdf version of FAERIE FATE. If you already have the book, you can pick another FATE goodie (mug, notebook, or totebag)!
Available now from The Wild Rose Press, Amazon.com. and B&N.com: FAERIE FATE by Silver James
My imagination has always run rampant. As a published author, I get to share the stories created there. Over the course of my lifetime, I’ve been a mother, military officer’s wife, state appellate court marshal, airport rescue firefighter and forensic fire photographer, crime analyst, and technical crime scene investigator. Retired from the “real world” now, I live in Oklahoma and spend my days at the computer with my two Newfoundland dogs, the “lolcat” who rules us all, and myriad characters all clamoring for attention. Eventually, I’ll tell each of their stories, including the second book in the Faerie Tales: FAERIE FIRE coming September 17, 2010. For more information visit me at www.silverjames.com
April 13th, 2010 at 6:22 am · Link
Well, Silver, I (and I think I can say this for all of my fellow witches) am really glad that you never gave up. Not have FAERIE FATE to read and cherish? Oh, the horror!! That would just be wrong, so wrong. And I don’t blame you for not liking sales. *shudders* Ewww! Been there, done that, never going back!! And, wait, sarcasm? You? Noooooo. I simply don’t believe it. I must be imagining things Oh, and Ciaran, mmmmmmmmm, yummmmmmmy! Thanks for brightening my morning
April 13th, 2010 at 8:02 am · Link
Wooooohooooo Silver in the Witch Lair today!!!!!!! yayayayayayayayayayayayayayaya!!!!!!!
And yes, I second what Dawn has had to say!! I am glad that you kept pushing your way and never gave up!
I am just so glad that it is finally here for you! It is real.. tangible.. We can actually hold it in our little hands!!!!
Jen, thanks for SPOTLIGHTING Silver!!!
Hugs to you both!!!!
April 13th, 2010 at 8:15 am · Link
Great post, Silver! I used to work in sales (long ago in another life), but I’ve never been good at selling myself. Give me a widget to pimp and I’m fine. And maybe that’s the key. I guess I just have to starting looking at myself and my writing as another widget to sell. :shrug:
For what it’s worth, I think you’re doing fine. You’re here. I saw you over at one of the other blogs I visit. Keep doing the blog tour and the sales will come. =o)
April 13th, 2010 at 8:30 am · Link
I haven’t done my book order yet, waiting on one of those coupons that come in my e-mail , Faerie Fate is on the list for this month and now I am more impatient than ever to get my order in. I can’t wait to get my copy and read it.
I hate sales period, but I think you are doing just fine. Posting parts of the story is a good pitch, I can’t tell you how many books I have picked up over the years after reading an excerpt and wanting more. Your book was already on my list, but if it wasn’t after reading your post it would have been added.
There is something to be said for perseverance and determination, congratulations on succeeding in your quest to be published.
April 13th, 2010 at 9:36 am · Link
Silver, what a great post and Ciaran is yummy. I already have my copy of Faerie Fate. It’s next on the list.
Never giving up. Hmmm, something to think about. So many of us get sidetracked, derailed and disappointed that we give up. Good for you for following through. Look what it got you. Congratulations!
April 13th, 2010 at 9:41 am · Link
What do you think, witches? Is Ciaran Wingslayer worthy? LOL!
Dawn, I’m glad I brightened your morning. I aim to please. And awwwwww. I’m thrilled you liked the book. It’s only 157 days until FAERIE FIRE comes out, but who’s counting, right?
April 13th, 2010 at 9:44 am · Link
Cecile, I keep petting my copy and calling it “Precioussssss.”
I’m anxiously awaiting your verdict on the book, you know! Meeting you in New Orleans last fall was such a treat! See? I do better in person! LOL
You need to check the lair. Linc promised to bake cookies…
April 13th, 2010 at 10:39 am · Link
Thanks, B.E. The bottom line really is, don’t give up. Eventually we find the right combination, the “brand” (or widget) that is *us* and hopefully, the whole process becomes easier at that point. I’ll let you know if it happens!
April 13th, 2010 at 10:44 am · Link
Woohoo! I hope you get that coupon soon, Val! Let me send you one of mine. And see, I never know which excerpt to pick!?! I’m glad I picked good ones for here. LOL It helps to know the “blog audience.”
April 13th, 2010 at 10:49 am · Link
Erika! Are you back on the net for “real” now? Miss you when you go away!!!! Now that you have net back, you can slide over to Penumbra and check out some of the other excerpts I “revealed” the last few Fridays.
Practice does make perfect. That said, what is perfect for one editor/agent/reader might not resonate with another. The trick is finding the right combination. Like…eating Chinese! Ooh…and a good author leaves you hungry for the next book two hours after you finish reading the first!
April 13th, 2010 at 10:55 am · Link
Silver thanks so much for being here today! I’m so exited about FAERIE FATE! I got my copy yesterday. I’m hoping to start reading tonight.
I love the excerpt! Ciaran is alpha-hot! I think he’s Wing Slayer Worth
You’re dead on about writing being nine tenths perspiration and on tenth inspiration.
Promotion is a tough part of the biz, but you’re off to a great start!
April 13th, 2010 at 10:59 am · Link
Dawn, I’m with you, I’m glad Silver never gave up too!
Cecile, you’re welcome, even if I did blindside Silver a little bit to get her here. I hope she forgives me
B.E., you were in sales? Interesting! But you’re right, it’s easier to sell a product that we aren’t so intimately connected to like out books.
Val, she really did pick a great excerpt, didn’t she? I’m glad to know excerpts work!
Erika, boy I understand sidetracked and derailed, but we don’t really give up, right? RIGHT???
April 13th, 2010 at 11:06 am · Link
Silver, so glad you kept going and pushing yourself and didn’t give up.
I am excited to find and read the book.
April 13th, 2010 at 11:16 am · Link
I am so proud of you, Silver! You worked hard, you didn’t give up and you made it!! I love seeing peoples dreams come true. It is such a blessing.
And I LOVED the excerpt. He sounds just like the type of guy I drool over. heheh Love that sexy grin. *sighs* And oh yes, he is WS worthy!! heheh
I can’t wait to read it!! Being so swamped is seriously cutting into my reading time!!
April 13th, 2010 at 11:59 am · Link
Thank you, Amanda. I find I’ve gotten more stubborn with age. That’s a trait all writers need, I’ve discovered. I wish I could send people to the store to buy the book (I’d LOVE to see a picture of FATE on a shelf somewhere!!!!), but on-line sellers are where it’s at! Look at this way–you don’t have to fight the crowd at the mall!
April 13th, 2010 at 12:00 pm · Link
You have a release coming up soon, too, Ashlynn! I so know where you’re coming from! Hang in there. This part really is fun. Kinda. Sorta. *BEG*
April 13th, 2010 at 12:52 pm · Link
I think we are all happy you didn’t give up. The book sounds wonderful i cant wait to get to the store and pick it up.
April 13th, 2010 at 1:09 pm · Link
Hi everyone *waves*
Just blog hopping around a bit today and stumbled upon this link on twitter. I have to say….this sounds excellent!
Thank you Silver for sharing your excerpt with us today!!!
April 13th, 2010 at 1:19 pm · Link
So is it not in stores at all? I am about to put my pre-order in at Amazon for the newest JR Ward and Nora Roberts books coming out soon and I need one more to get over $25 for free shipping, might just have to add yours to it then.
April 13th, 2010 at 1:46 pm · Link
Amanda, nope. Most big box stores don’t stock small press books. On-line is the way to go. Stick FAERIE FATE in your Amazon order and get free postage.
April 13th, 2010 at 1:51 pm · Link
Hi, Kami! Unfortunately, On-line is the only way to get FAERIE FATE, which is why I’m working extra hard to get the word out.
April 13th, 2010 at 1:53 pm · Link
*waves back* Howdy, JoJo! This is a great place to visit and hang out. I hope you’ll come back to see Jen here in the Lair and drop by Penumbra, my “home” on the web. Yay for Twitter!
April 13th, 2010 at 2:13 pm · Link
Well I’m sure I could talk my local independent book store into ordering it. Maybe we could even read you as our selection for book club next month, that is how I found Blood Magic.
April 13th, 2010 at 2:33 pm · Link
Amanda? DUDE! I’d like…kiss you. Or have Ciaran kiss you! LOL
That would be sooooo cool. Here’s the link for booksellers: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/page_2.html I would happily send bookmarks to them/you to pass around.
You can email me directly silverjames[at]swbell.net (You know the drill on avoiding ‘bots. )
April 13th, 2010 at 3:18 pm · Link
OK I have emailed the romance buyer who is the leader of our book club to see what she says. I will email you about the bookmarks and I can hand them out at book club too.
April 13th, 2010 at 3:43 pm · Link
Ooh, terrific post, Silver–very glad you persevered! Faerie Fate sounds like a terrific story, and I’m happy we’ll have the chance to read it for ourselves now! Happy release!
April 13th, 2010 at 4:56 pm · Link
Hey Silver *waves madly* I made it!!!
Thanks for the smiles this evening. I love the way your weave words to create such a beautiful image in my mind. I can hear your voice too.
I absolutely loved Faerie Fate…another countdown is coming up. I think we need to invest in the paperbag stock…LOL!!!
Becca and Ciaran are awesome characters, and I can’t wait to see what happens next in Faerie Fire. Um, just so you know…I usually wait until I have two books by a “new” to me author before I start reading, but I couldn’t wait. You had me at “hello”. I hope you have a blast here. See you in the shadows and the jungle.
Jen, thank you so much for having Silver have some “face” time here.
Peace and love,
April 13th, 2010 at 7:35 pm · Link
Hey Silver! Sorry I’m so late to the party, but I had to come by to tell you how glad I am that you never gave up. I loved Faerie Fate and can’t wait to read both Faerie Fire in Sept and Faerie Fool once it is released.
April 13th, 2010 at 8:29 pm · Link
Silver, you rocked the lair today! Thank you so much for guest blogging!
But Linc wants to know where his cookies are?
April 13th, 2010 at 10:18 pm · Link
Sorry I’m so late in getting back. Had to go watch The Only get an award from the Liberal Arts Dept. at her college.
Amanda, you rock! We’ll be in touch. (I could even come do a book signing and reading during book club.)
Fedora, I hope you enjoy it! I’m too stubborn to give up, obviously. LOL!
Liza, you are never too late! Glad you could make it.
And Jen, you can tell Linc he knows where the kitchen is! Thank you for having me here. I had a blast! I’ll email you with the name of the winner.
FYI, Jen Lyon has the coolest people who hang out on her blog! Just sayin’.