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Author Andie Brock Talks About Her Experience

I invited author Andie Brock to share about her experiences and her latest release The Last Heir of Monterrato! And there is a giveaway to one commenter! 

Andie Brock on the web:



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I am still very much a newcomer when it comes to this writing business but here are a few musings from my journey so far.

Becoming a published author happened fast for me. The Last Heir of Monterrato was my first ever completed story, though there have been plenty of uncompleted ones over the years! The SYTYCW14 competition was the spur I needed to make me finish an entire manuscript, more to prove to myself that I could do it rather than with any real expectations that it would do well. To come second in that competition was beyond my wildest dreams.

That said, my inexperience has meant I have had a lot to learn – and fast!

The revisions were the first hurdle. They were enough to make my eyes water and I had to take a few deep breaths before I could start to tackle them. Harlequin asked if I would agree to have them posted on their SOLD! Blog – the first time this has ever happened. I wasn’t sure whether to be flattered or horrified but decided to go for it because I know I would have loved to have had a nosy peek at someone’s revision letter. Especially one as comprehensive as this! Here it is in all its wince-making glory:
I realised one valuable lesson very quickly – you can’t afford to be precious about your writing. You have to take it on the chin. It can be hard, especially when the advice is to slash through characters or scenes that you’ve slaved over or particularly liked, but ultimately, your editor really does know best and if you want to be published you need to do exactly what they say. And I could see that it was a far better story by the time I had finished. What I couldn’t see was why I hadn’t written it like that in the first place. ;)

But writing is hard, and getting it right even harder! Hopefully with experience I will dodge some of the pitfalls that littered my original manuscript (secondary characters assuming too much importance, relating scenes after they had happened rather than in the moment – I did that a lot!). The revisions for my second book, The Sheikh’s Wedding Contract, due out in July 2015, were really quite minor so I must have learnt something from book one and I allowed myself a quick pat on the back for that!
Getting a box full of books from Harlequin is a huge thrill and there is nothing like holding your own novel in your hand for the first time. I’m sure you must get used to it, that seasoned authors don’t gaze at their name with dewy eyes like I did, but for me it made the whole process seem real at last. Me, a published author! Who would have thought it?!

I know this is just the beginning and that I have a lot more to learn. But to anyone thinking of joining me I would say dive right in! Target your market, finish your manuscript and then hone it within an inch of its life, especially that vital first chapter. And make sure your unique voice shines through. Easy? No. But stick at it and that happy ending could be yours. J

The Last Heir of Monterrato is a story about love and loss and finding a way back from heartbreak to happiness.
 
A skydiving accident means that Rafael Revaldi, the Conte di Monterrato, has only one option if he wants to produce an heir – and that means winning back his estranged wife, Lottie. Will he ever be able to convince her to grant him his most desperate wish?
Finding herself back at the palazzo, Lottie is shocked by Rafael’s dramatic request. How can she say no when a baby would mean so much to both of them?
But a desire for a baby is not the only thing that binds this couple together. As they confront to the emotional scars of their marriage it soon becomes obvious that the fire and passion they once felt for each other is still very much alive. The question is, are they strong enough to resist? Or are things about to get hot?

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43 comments:

  1. Writing is very hard. So many don't understand what goes into it. Something we always have to learn is to let go of our stories during the editing process. We will have to change things. It can be overwhelming and even make us want to cry, but our books are always better for it in the end. :)

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    1. Hi Chrys. I agree with everything you say, especially that writing is very hard! I suppose ultimately we need to try and be objective about our stories. Editors are there to help, not punish you (no matter what it feels like at the time!). And they certainly know what they are talking about. :)

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  2. Kelly, thanks for the intro to Andie. It's always great to meet other writers. :) Thanks also for stopping by my blog and commenting. Wishing both you and Andie all the best!

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    1. Hi Karen - great to meet you too and thanks for stopping by here. Here's to a happy new year of writing!

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  3. Congrats, Andie!

    Writing really is hard and editing is most of the time even more difficult, but it's worth it in the end.

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    1. Too true, Cherie, the satisfaction of the final product really does make all the hard work worth it in the end. Thank you for your congrats :).

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  4. That's an awesome story of getting your contract! Congrats!

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    1. Thanks Meradeth! I still have to pinch myself sometimes!

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  5. It is a very refreshing post, Andie, to read about someone who isn't multi~published and therefore not blase about the whole process. I agree writing is very hard, but so rewarding.
    Thanks Kelly for introducing Andie to us.

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    1. Hi Denise, thank you for stopping by. Yes, definitely hard work, each book certainly brings its own challenges, but the rewards are so worth it. I could never be blase about it - it's way too exciting!

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    1. They really are, aren't they?! Not an easy job dealing with sensitive, stroppy, irritating and challenging authors... and that's just me... ;)

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  7. Great advice. Perseverance and hard work are key.

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    1. Definitely, Kelly. And maybe a bit of luck as well. But you don't get that unless you have done the perseverance and hard work!

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  8. It's hard to cut out scenes that aren't moving the story forward, but it has to be done. Revising isn't easy!

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    1. You are right, Sherry, it isn't easy. But when you can see that the revisions will make it a massively better book, that certainly gives you the confidence and impetus to get on with it!

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  9. True. Writing IS hard, and I'm always amazed how much my stories improve as I rewrite.

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    1. They do, don't they Vanessa. If only we could cut out all that rewriting and go straight to the finished, polished product! Not much chance of that, me thinks. ;)

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  10. Congratulations! I can only imagine how excited you must have been to come second. I have nothing but admiration for writers. Barbara

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    1. Thank you so much, Barbara. Yes, I was thrilled and pretty gob smacked! Still am actually!

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  11. Awesome. I hear you about slashing and not being afraid to embrace an editor's vision. I have two of them and one is ABSOLUTELY BRUTAL. But he pushes me to be better, and that's what matters in the end, eh?

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    1. I feel for you, Crystal, re the brutal! It can be a bit of a shock to the system, especially if you are new to the business like me, but you are absolutely right about being pushed to be better. That's what it's all about.

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  12. The experience of my first book was very difficult--revisions, reading contracts, etc.--but I'm so glad things are easier for me now that I went through all that.

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    1. Hi Medeia. It's quite a steep learning curve, isn't it? Glad to hear that things are easier for you now. I suppose it's like starting a new job; exciting, challenging and a bit daunting too. But what a lovely job! :)

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  13. Great interview! I miss reading grown-up books.

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    1. Thank you, Stephanie. No grown-up books? That can't be right!

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  14. Fantastic interview and congratulations on you new release, Andie!
    I think revising is the hardest part of the writing process. For example, with my current WIP, there are certain scenes I love but have come to realize the novel can do without. It will be sad to see them go but I know this piece will be stronger in the long run.

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    1. Thank you Gina! It's hard, isn't it, to ditch a piece of writing that you really like, and even worse to have to eliminate characters that you have grown fond of - I had to kill off several of those ;). To start with I would save the doomed scenes in case I could use them later. Now I hit that delete button with a defiant 'take that!'.

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    2. Lol, I still have some of my doomed scenes saved! I'm hoping to be able to delete them fro good!

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  15. Andie- Thank you so much for sharing so much about yourself and your writing. I could relate to that letter from the editor! I agree that it can be overwhelming at first, but letting the advice sink in is important. Then, it is easier to start tackling the changes. :)

    ~Jess

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    1. Hi Jess. I was happy to share my pain! You are right, you need to take a bit of time to let the recommendations percolate through the hurt, denial and pouting strop (or is that just me? ;)) until you can see exactly where they are coming from. Then you can crack on.

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  16. Having blogger problems. Not sure if my comment went through.

    Anyway, congratulations! That's definitely a moment to treasure--receiving your books from the publisher. Happy for you!

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    1. Yay, you are here SittieCates. Thank you so much for stopping by and for your generous comments. :)

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  17. Congratulations Andie. Having read the finished book, all I can say is your hard work has paid off. XX

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    1. Thank you, Rachael! Sweat and tears, (no blood, fortunately!) we both know what it's like. But so much fun and so rewarding. :)

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  18. Hi Andie, Hi Kelly. Love the post. I came across the interview on SYTYCW website, it was fascinating! I loved this story and I look forward to all of your following books. Congratulations on your debut!

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    1. Thank you so much, Tash. I'll do my best to live up to your expectations! My second book, The Sheikh's Wedding Contract, is out in July. Can't wait to hear what you think of it.

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  19. Hi Ladies

    Well done Andie I loved this one it is such a great story :)

    Have Fun
    Helen

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    1. Aww, thank you Helen - so glad you enjoyed it. And that is the cutest photo you have there!

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  20. Wow. That was a lot of changes, but you did it and look at the reward! Way to go!

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    1. Thank you, Elizabeth! It taught me a lot too, about the traps to try not to fall into. And like you say, the reward was so worth it!

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  21. Congrats, Andie, on your latest release!

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  22. Thank you very much. It's kind of you to stop by.

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