Today I have an interview with my very amazing critique partner Sayde Grace, who just sold her first novella to the Wilder Rose Press. The book is called RIDING DOUBLE and will be released one week from today on May 7th. Check out the cover!
Here’s the blurb:
Stressed to the max by her rodeo production company, Billie turns to young bareback rider Chet Haskins for a night of fun. She expects to get her mind off her business and her bull rider ex-fiancée, Bo Bennett. What she gets is several nights of sinful pleasure with both Chet and Bo. Finding herself quite literally between two hot cowboys, will Billie decide to move forward with Chet or start over with Bo?
Hmm, it sounds good doesn’t it?????
1. So Sayde, what inspired you to write RIDING DOUBLE and what is the book about?
I was actually reading this book where the female lead had a committed relationship with two male characters. The characters were great but the whole story idea of keeping both men just didn’t work for me, not that it wasn’t a fabulous story or that I didn’t enjoy it. But I personally like a happily ever after with two characters and not three. So the idea of having this great friendship emerge between three characters yet have two paired off at the end kept running through my head until I finally gave in and started writing. Riding Double was my first erotic romance and believe me I’ve blushed so many times until I can barely stand it.
Riding Double is about lost love, betrayal and the journey of overcoming that betrayal to renew lost love. Yeah that’s what I’m going with, it sounds so much better than saying it’s just three really hot characters getting’ it on A LOT :). But yeah there’s a great amount of that also. In all honesty Riding Double is truly about one couple’s chance to start over and the man who helps bring them back together.
2. Having read RIDING DOUBLE, I have to say, I love it! It’s very HOT, very spicy and I wonder – does your family read your erotica stories?
Um are we smokin’ crack around here? Cause that is the ONLY way I would allow my family to ever read my erotic romances! In fact I refuse to tell my mother anything about it besides that it doesn’t have pictures so it cannot be porn!
(Ha. Sorry. I had to take a moment to laugh my head off- you know your mom is going to read your work sometime, right? 🙂 Okay, back to the interview…)
3. Sayde, where were you when you first got the call? Was it in an email? Where were you and what was your first thought?
Riding Double was actually a much longer manuscript to begin with. I believe at the time of submitting, I had an end word count of around 90,000 words. Diana Carlille at The Wilder Rose Press (Scarlett Rose) emailed me to say she’d very much be interested in this book as a short story. We discussed a few options and I took a few days to think it over. I was very concerned with changing anything about the book at first, so I gotta say the excitement didn’t reach me after I got the email. I had so much to think over, but soon I decided on my path and got excited. And yes my friends, including my blog host today, were pretty upset with me because I was very calm over it.
(Yeah, you were WAY too composed. I was doing the snoopy dance for you and wondering how you could be so calm! Then once you signed you were appropriately over the top squealing with glee. 🙂 )
4. Tell us about the cover. How much input did you have?
LOL. I know exactly why this question was asked (Rebecca you sneaky devil you!). Well, let’s just say the first time my editor sent me the cover I sent a screaming email to Rebecca asking what to do. My main character had somehow changed from being an auburn haired, fair skinned woman to a tawny haired Asian woman. It was quite the shock for me. But after emailing my editor with my concerns, she promptly changed things around. To begin with I had been asked what I would like as my cover and how I saw my characters. I gotta say they got it so right!!
(Yeah, I remember that day. But the new cover – wowzza! Love it!)
5. What was the date from the first offer to the date of publication?
Let’s see. Nothing as fast as the fantabulous Rebecca Zanetti in her world record contract time (which yes, I’m still brooding over, but in a good hearted way I swear!). I believe right before Christmas 2009 I received the request for the full of Riding Double and then around mid January I got the offer to revise and resubmit which I did and signed my contract on February 7 2010. We finished ALL edits in the beginning of March. Riding Double is scheduled to be released in digital format on May 7, 2010.
I can’t wait! Here’s the link to preorder: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/wilderroses/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=771
6. How much editing was involved?
I would love to say none, that I’m just such a fantastic writer that as soon as I turned it in they went “Yep, this is perfect–move it straight to publication.” Alas, that is sooooo not what happened. I went through three rounds of edits before they gave the all clear for publication. The first round was very detailed, lots of “search and destroy” words, the second was a little better, just mainly getting rid of certain overused words. The last round was getting rid of the y’all’s. Yep, I was devastated that my main characters couldn’t say y’all as much as I do. I mean come on I’m southern so are my characters they should be allowed to say y’all, right? Wrong. I had to tone the southern down, now if only I could try that in real life…
(Yeah, I have to say that once in awhile we’ll talk on the phone, and now ‘ya’ll’ kinda creeps into my vocabulary. I think it’s contagious!)
7. What type of marketing/pr are you planning for RIDING DOUBLE?
Oh that is such a good question. I’m not sure. This is my first ever publication of any kind so I’m not real sure what I should be doing. I am a member of a group blog where we will be advertising it as well as doing a few blog interviews. I passed out promo items at the 2010 Silken Sands Writers Conference as well as giving a workshop on “Going Beyond the Cookie Cutter Cowboy” where hopefully I dazzled my audience with enough charm to be interested in Riding Double. Besides that I’m not really sure what else to do. This is a learning experience for me.
8. How many books are planned for this series?
Riding Double is the first in the “Cowgirl Tough” Series. There are currently two others scheduled to be in the series with options of other character spin offs later. The books in this series are all short stories reaching a word count of around 27,000 each, so hopefully I can pick up more characters and continue to add on the relationships already established.
9. What other type series do you have planned?
I also write paranormal romance. I’m currently pitching a werewolf book that is the first of three books with character spin off books in the works. This series is currently being named “Blue Luna’s” and I’m hoping that I will get to be a fellow Brava author with my lovely host so, Megan Records if you are surfing the net and see this post, you’re on my list, lady. 🙂
10. When did you decide to be a writer?
Two years ago this October as I was sitting with my, at the time, one year old and three year old and I decided I had to do something besides watching Finding Nemo or Ice Age. Now I type on the laptop while listening to Max and Ruby. Not much has changed but at least writing gives me the feeling of being around adults.
11. What is your writing process? Do you plot? If so, how much?
Oh my sneaky little blog host is laughing at me now! I’m a plotter and yes our host makes fun of me unmercifully at times because I can NOT write without plotting the entire book out first. And if by some chance I try to write without plotting out, she receives a string of emails with me asking “What am I going to do next? Why did you let me do this? How can you write and not know what’s going to happen next?” Yes, I’m completely serious and yes, I know I’m ridiculously obsessive about it.
Once I get an idea stuck in my head I get a notebook out and begin writing characters personalities, traits, appearance etc. Then I begin plotting. Every chapter has to move my book forward so I generally write a small outline for each chapter. Now this may be me just writing Character X goes to Character J’s house and they fight because J said X was a ho’…you get the idea. But nevertheless I HAVE to know where my characters are headed, not to say they don’t veer off course, but I need guidelines.
In my current book the villain actually turned into a nice guy who is just being used by the real villain. This was not the way it was supposed to go at all, but I went with it and I have to brag on myself, I did GOOD!
(Have to agree here…I’ve read some of this book and the not-quite-a-villain character is HOT. And an excellent wounded hero that some lucky heroine will get to heal in a future book!!!)
I also have a great critique partner (you guessed it, our host) who I send one or two chapters of what I’m working on at a time. She keeps me in line and that helps me to make sure I’m not veering off course too far. I have to say this process works well for me, now I don’t edit until I get between 3-6 chapters read by Rebecca. And normally when I type the end–it’s the END. All I have to do is revise according to Rebecca’s comments and I’m done. So my first draft is generally my final draft. (And I swear she should have her name as co-author on all of my books as I bug her with my work all the time).
(Ditto here. I don’t know how many edits I’ve received from Sayde where she says, “um…I think you forgot a part here. How did your characters magically appear three chapters later in the book? 🙂 Or…are you sure the human body can really BEND this way?” haha)
12. Is there anything you’d like to add?
I say this to everyone and I always mean it: Take everything you hear with a grain of salt. No one person is going to know everything (except me :)). Never let someone bully you into taking a contract, rewriting, or stop you from writing. Always take the time to ask questions if you are unsure about something and find positive people to surround yourself with in the writing community.
The road to publication is rough as hell and I wish I could say it gets easier after you get the call but it can still be hell. Having friends to rant and rave to is very important, but having fellow authors who know exactly what you’re going through is priceless. I wouldn’t trade my industry friends for anything, they have given me so much support it’s unbelievable.
So go forth, get an idea, plot it (yeah I said the P word), write it, and submit it, all the while building friendships with other authors who support you. I’m truly blessed with the friends I have in my local Romance Writers Association chapter (my Southern Sizzler ladies!) as well as the FF&P Special Interest Chapter of RWA. These organizations opened my eyes and helped me to meet two of the people who push me and support me everyday, thank you to Rebecca and to young adult author Brandi Hall.