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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Off the Path Guest Post: The Road to Publication with Renee Reardon!

Emily, thanks so much for having me on your blog today!

While considering chat-worthy topics to write about, two questions I hear the most came to mind. The first, “When is your next book coming out?” (By the way, I LOVE hearing that! Oh, and my answer is the end of summer.) The second is, “How did you become published?”

That takes some explaining…

I’ve always made stories up in my head, but about five years ago I decided to get serious about writing. I created a storyline, kind of plotted the book (I’m a pantser at heart—I have a loose idea of story direction and then the characters decide where they want to go!), and wrote the first draft of Moonlight Bleu.

Finishing the manuscript was…anticlimactic. My first thought was, “Now what?” So I went to a writing conference in Seattle and discovered just how much I didn’t know about the publishing industry. The classes were helpful, the agents and editors gracious with their time, and the contacts I made were invaluable.

When I say invaluable, that’s an understatement! I met my critique partner at that conference. She’s an amazing teacher, colleague, and friend. She also has the patience of a saint. We’ve been working together for almost five years now, and I can’t express in words how blessed I’ve been for knowing her!

At her insistence, I entered Moonlight Bleu in quite a few RWA Chapter contests. I didn’t do well in most…the usual comment being, “Love your voice but this is outside the box. Doesn’t fit the scoring format.” What can I say? I’ve always colored outside the lines!

In 2007, the contest winds changed direction. I won Stella Cameron’s Scarlet Boa contest and the Golden Rose paranormal category. And I have to admit, winning is sooo much better than losing!  ;-)

The next 18 months were spent querying agents and editors. Some requested a partial to read. Others requested the full Moonlight Bleu manuscript. None offered a contract to represent me or publish my novel.

I turned my attention toward the smaller presses and in early 2009 was offered a contract. Unfortunately, that same year they terminated my contract three weeks before Christmas. After a couple of months of grieving (all manner of emotional upset with only minor property damage I assure you), I started querying more small publishers. This time around, I received several offers for Moonlight Bleu.

Crescent Moon Press, of course, became my publisher. I was welcomed into their group with open arms, and have never looked back. Every CMP member, from our CEO to each individual author, has shown such a level of commitment and support toward each other, there’s no doubt as to the reason for the company’s success.

Ideas and tips for self-promotion are happily shared among our authors. One would think there’d be more competition within a shared genre, but not so among my CMP siblings. Our publishing house has created and fostered a strong sense of family, and I’m proud to call Crescent Moon Press my home.

My journey to publication has been difficult and somewhat painful, but I am thrilled to have reached such an amazing destination…placing Moonlight Bleu in the hands of readers everywhere!

Thanks for stopping by! Remember, only two more days to comment on the Off the Path review of Moonlight Bleu for your chance to win either a print or digital copy of the book!
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