Monday, November 7, 2011

Break Out the Bubbly & Dark Chocolate--Celebrating Anne Gallagher's Debut Novel THE LADY'S FATE

I'm delighted to introduce you to a dear cyber world friend and debut author Anne Gallagher. I met her through her fantastic blog called THE PIEDMONT WRITER. She's a Regency and Women's Fiction writer.  I am thrilled to announce that she's taken her work and independently published her story. This is fast becoming a new way to achieve one's dreams and goals. I asked Anne to share her experiences as a writer and as an indie author with us today. I hope you enjoy meeting her and learning about her writing life and publishing experiences. *Pop* Heres' to Anne!

Welcome Anne, I'm so glad you could come visit the Veranda today. How did you end up becoming a writer?  
Truthfully, I’ve always written, since I was a teenager.  But it was always sporadic.  I’d find some time, scribble a few thousand words, and let it go again.  I was in the restaurant industry all my life, but after my daughter turned three and we moved down to North Carolina, the economy collapsed and I couldn’t find a job to save my soul.  I had to “do” something, so a serious writing career was born.
I remember dabbling in writing when I was a teenager. Funny how life brings us back to our dreams! What is your favorite genre to write?  
I love historicals, Regency in particular, but I also like dabbling in women’s fiction.  It lets my mind unwind after doing so much research.
I love reading historical and Regency novels, but writing them does take a lot of research. When you write are you a plotter or do you follow the muse?  
I outline in my pants, as it were.  I let the muse take me where he wants to go until around page 100.  Then I find I really need to detail chapters so I can find the end.
After all that hard work of plotting and meandering through the pages, how do you relax after a writing day?  
I don’t actually relax August through May – during the school months.  My daughter takes up a lot of time, naturally. My serious relaxation occurs over the summer.  I tend not to write as much, I read a lot more, I lay around the pool. 
I remember the lazy pool days with my daughter. Enjoy and treasure them. When you are reading, what are your favorite genres? Who are your favorite authors?  
Tough questions.  I’ll basically read anything as long as it’s not scary or gory.  Favorite authors: Barbara Kingsolver, Anita Shreve, Dan Brown, Lisa Kleypas, Jo Beverly, Peter Mayle, Dominic Dunne.  Oh yeah, and Jane Austen.
Classic authors and fabulous writers. What is your current project?  
I'm finishing up THE DUKE’S DIVORCE and THE LADY’S MASQUERADE.  I always have to work on two at the same time.
I admire you for working two at a time. I can revise and fix other books when I am writing, but writing two new books? Not capable. Do you have any new releases? 
I’m hoping to get the aforementioned out before Christmas.  At least one of them anyway.  And REMEMBERING YOU (contemporary women’s fiction) should be released within the next few weeks.
Yay! I'll be looking for them. Where do you get your ideas for your stories?  
The historical series started with a chat in an English garden and morphed from there.  My women’s fiction always comes from somewhere in my real life.
Yes, nothing is sacred in real life for me either. What is the most difficult part about writing for you?  
I would have to say revisions after my critique partners have had a go through the manuscript.  I tend to balk at their suggestions, but I usually realize after a time, they’re right.
Ah, revisions. They can be tough because they mean cutting our "little darlings." How long were you trying to get published before you decided to self-publish?  
Two and a half years.  Three books, lots of rejections, but quite a few requests as well.
Wow, that's tough. What were your greatest challenges in preparing the book for publication?
Formatting for sure, was the hardest.  I’m not computer literate and had no clue Word could do so much.  Up until about 3 years ago, I was still writing on a typewriter.  You can imagine what that was like.  And not wanting to “break” my computer, I just opened the document and typed.  I had no idea I could set my own margins, paragraph indents, line spacing, and so forth.  Talk about a Luddite.
Oh, the formatting would be tough for me, too. What advice would you give writers considering independent publishing? 
Think about the marketing.  I know most of us writers are introverts and shy away from publicity, but it needs to be done.  Even if you end up with a traditional publisher, there will always be marketing that you will need to do on your own.  Get a firm grip on that before you even upload.  It will make your life a lot easier to have a plan in place before you go “live”.
That's a wonderful tip for all writers and future published authors. Are you still querying agents and publishing houses?  
Not now.  I do have another women’s fiction that I will query when it’s finished.  Having an agent has always been a goal of mine, it’s just been set to the side for the nonce.
What advice would you give aspiring writers?  
Keep on writing.  Find partners, readers, exchange work.  Read writing manuals, write some more.  Learn how to take criticism, learn how to revise, learn how to edit.  Write some more.  Bad writing can only get better with practice.  You don’t write a bestseller right out of the gate.  It takes lots and lots of practice.
"Bad writing can only get better with practice" is a very good bit of advice. What encouragement can you give writers who face rejection? 
Don’t take it to heart.  This business is very subjective.  Agents, editors, and publishers know what they like, just like readers.  Just because they reject you, doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer.  It could mean one of a thousand other things that have nothing to do with your book.  And keep on writing.  Keep on trying. 

What encouragement can you give writers who wish to self-publish? 
Make sure the book is the absolute best it can possibly be.  Take advantage of your critique partners and beta readers.  Find others who don’t write in your genre to give it a look as well.  Copy edit, line edit, make sure it’s perfect before even attempting to publish independently You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
Excellent advice. What is the most surprising thing you discovered after you began marketing your book?  
That people do really want you to succeed.  I’ve been so humbled in the last couple of weeks by all the warm well wishes.  It brings tears to my eyes.
Thank you Anne for sharing your story. I'm very excited about your future publications. Here is a blurb from THE LADY'S FATE which is available on Smashwords and Amazon
Gorgeous Cover!!

Lady Violet Flowers has only one Season to find a husband.  Raised in the Queen’s household, Violet is elevated in rank, yet overlooked by society for having no dowry.  Violet is petrified she’ll bring disgrace to her mother’s name in not making a good match, if any.

The widowed Marquess of Haverlane needs to find the perfect nanny for his beloved daughter, Jane.  Fortunate for Haverlane, when the very plump, but very pretty Lady Violet rescues Jane from almost drowning, the solution to his problem stands before him.  Ensconced at his country estate, Haverlane and Violet’s only means of communication is through correspondence, which leads to an amiable affection.

Also available by Anne Gallagher
Unwilling to think of Violet as more than a nanny, a surprising Christmas kiss compels Haverlane to look at her in a whole new light, and she at him.  However, Parliamentary demands made upon his time keep them both a safe distance from temptation.


Wendy S. Marcus said...

Hi Anne!
Congratulations! Your book sounds wonderful. Best of luck!

Anne Gallagher said...

Thanks Christine for hosting me today. It's fantastic to be here. I'm all goose-bumps.

Anne Gallagher said...

Wendy -- So nice to see you again. Thanks so much for stopping by.

jbchicoine said...

There's some really sound advice in this interview. No matter which publishing route one chooses, we still have to continue on the learning curve and we MUST learn how to handle rejection and criticism without letting it crush our spirit. Thanks Anne and Christine for posting this!
...and all the best to you, Anne! :)

Anne Gallagher said...

Bridget -- Thanks so much. And the learning curve doesn't kill us, it just makes us better writers.

Christine said...

Hi Anne: So nice to have you share your story on the Veranda today. I have to say that I LOVE your cover art. Where did you find it? Was it expensive? Was it easy to add to the book?


Bish Denham said...

Nice interview Christine. And Anne, you are an inspiration, truly.

Justine Dell said...

You work on two things at a time? How do you do that? I'm a one-thing type of gal. I WISH I could work on two things. That would be awesome.

And since I've been away from the blogosphere for so long, I didn't realize you'd published a book! So exciting! Congrats.


Anne Gallagher said...

Christine -- The pleasure is all mine today. It's great to be here. And I found all my covers in public domain. Wikimedia commons to be exact, and it was all free. I didn't put them together, had Melissa Williams Cover Design do them, but she said it was fairly easy to do because the art was already there. No manipulation with the images.

Anne Gallagher said...

Bish -- Thank you. That's really sweet.

Justine -- Yeah, I find if I work on two, then I'll never be frustrated with the way things are going. If I am, then I can just go and work on the other. Yeah, you have been away a long time.

Angie Paxton said...

What a great interview, ladies. Thanks for sharing and I absolutely love the cover art on your books, Anne. Beautiful! I just need to get a Kindle so I can read what's behind those beautiful pictures.

Anne Gallagher said...

Angie -- Thanks so much. I just hope the book lives up to your expectations. (Not to be boastful, but I think it really does.)

VR Barkowski said...

Inspirational interview Anne and Christine! I'm reading and loving THE LADY'S FATE right now. Since I'm NOT a romance reader per se (granted, I do worship Jane Austen), I think this says volumes about Anne's work.

Carol Kilgore said...

"I outline in my pants..."

And I almost ruined my keyboard when I read that line :)

Great interview!

Anne Gallagher said...

VR -- You've made my week! Thanks so much. You'll have to let me know what you think of it.

Carol -- Sorry about the keyboard. But... you know how it is with us writer types. Thanks for stopping by.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Super interview! (But how could it NOT be ... Anne's a super lady!)

Anne Gallagher said...

Susan -- Oh you are just too sweet! Thanks so much for stopping by.

Nicki Elson said...

Nice chat here on the veranda. :) I love the way Anne never stops---always working on more than one project at a time. I'd say that translates into her writing too - she builds whole worlds w/ a sense of life going on all around, even if we're not privy to all of it.

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, Anne and Christine,

It's good seeing how how Anne works on her novels. I keep saying how much I admire writers of anything historical and Sci-Fi. The research for historical novels must be a lot of work.

Christine, love the look of your blog.

Lydia Kang said...

Great interview Anne! I love the cover of your novels. So romantic. It was great learning a little more about you!

Anne Gallagher said...

Nicki -- Thanks. That's so sweet of you to say, but I do stop. Have to before I drop. But you're not privy to that. hee hee.

Joy -- Research for historicals is hard, if you want to get it "right". And readers will know when it's wrong. And yes, isn't Christine's blog absolutely divine?

Anne Gallagher said...

Lydia -- Thanks so much, the covers are great, arent' they. And someday I'll have you over to my place so we can learn more about you.

Sara McClung said...

Wow, two books at once? I think you might have broken my brain a little with that one. I always have stories percolating up in my head, but I've never been able to work on more than one novel at once!

Also? Dan Brown!! He's my favorite author to read at the beach :)

Christine said...

Thanks for the lovely and kind words about my blog. My darling teen set up the design for me. She's a whiz with computers. Me? Not so much.

I'm so glad Anne is having such a great turnout. Fun!!


M Pax said...

Congrats on the novel, Anne. All success to you. The covers are fabulous and the plot is intriguing. Will have to mark for my TBR.

Anne Gallagher said...

Sara -- When I get stuck with one, I just hop over to the other until I get stuck with that one. It works intself out. And that's exactly where I read Dan Brown, at the beach this summer.

MPax -- Thanks so much. It's not science fiction, but I think it's a cute little story. Lots of angst.

Anne Gallagher said...

Christine -- This was such a great time today. Thank you so much for hosting me. I wish we really could have sat out on the veranda and chatted.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Great advice, Anne. I know several authors who are self-published, but that hasn't stopped them from still seeking an agent. :)

Anne Gallagher said...

Stina -- Sometimes it's hard to let go of a dream/wish/idea that you've held onto for so many years. It would be nice. Someday.

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

What a wonderful and detailed interview! Can't wait to pick up my copies of Anne's books!

Anne Gallagher said...

Thanks Nicole. Thanks for coming by.

Christine said...

Anne: I hope to host you one day for real on the Veranda. Would be lovely to meet you in person :-)

Anne Gallagher said...

Christine -- Well, I think you're only two states away. Maybe three, I'm not so good at geography. We'll hve to look into it.

Talli Roland said...

I love Anne's cover, and I can't wait to read this! Great interview, ladies.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Hi, Anne! Great advice for those looking to self-publish!

Anne Gallagher said...

Thanks Talli!

Thanks Jennifer!

Patti said...

Love your advice, Anne. And those covers are awesome.

Clarissa Draper said...

Wow, I can imagine how hard it is to do research. Every type of novel has different research. I remember wanting to write a regency after watching Jane Austen films. Never quite got there though. Great interview.

Wendy aka Quillfeather said...

Very interesting interview.

All the best Anne.

Susan Fields said...

Great interview! I'm so impressed that Anne writes two books at once, I can't even imagine it.

Anne Gallagher said...

Patti -- Thanks so much for coming by.

Clarissa -- Research is essential, I think for every kind of book, not just historicals.

Wendy -- Glad you could come by. Thanks.

Susan -- Don't be impressed. I just call it multi-tasking. Which I'm sure you can do as well.