So friends Nas is featured at Rachael Johns blog talking about Book Promotions and Marketing your books as well as your name as an author!
So over to Rachael now...
Rachael Johns (long) journey to publication
I started writing in 1997. I’d just broken up with my high school boyfriend and I was devastated. I thought he was The One and that my life was OVER!!! I’d liked this guy since 1994, so for my 17 years, this was quite a big chunk of time. Anyway for some reason the girl who’d barely read any of her high school English texts and hadn’t really opened a book since devouring The Baby-sitters Club in her early teens, turned to writing for therapy.
I wrote the story of me and this guy, except I wrote a tragedy – A BATTLE WITH FOREVER (still love that title). Instead of dumping me, he died of a horrific disease – it was a bit Romeo and Juliet except with terminal illness instead of suicide. Oh and there was the bitter sweetness of a teen death-bed marriage and a pregnancy the father didn’t find out about before he died. I tell ya, it was page upon page of drama but what do you expect of a 17 year old novelist. It was cringe worthy, but I got the bug.
So, much so that I dropped out of the primary school teaching course I was supposed to do the week before it began, and transferred to a uni degree in writing instead. That was an utter waste of three years – aside from the fact I got to read some fab books and met some cool people.
One such person was my friend Audrey. In 2006, that’s right, almost TEN years after I first wrote a book, we decided it was time to get serious about our writing. Our attempts at literature were getting us NOWHERE, so we’d write a Mills and Boon, cos let’s face it, they must be pretty easy!!
I had NEVER read a Mills & Boon novel in my life but had heard you could get pretty rich if you could knock off two or three a year. My friend and I challenged each other to read as many as we could and then write one. Audrey found it wasn’t really her thing but I became a romance novel convert! I LOVED them. They were so much more than the clichés I’d assumed they were. I joined Romance Writers of Australia and wrote my first attempt at category – THE DIVORCE COORDINATOR (almost as cringe-worthy as my first novel). Two years later I came runner up in the Mills & Boon Feel The Heat contest and got to work with an editor on a book. I didn’t end up selling this book because I have a tendency of falling between the very strict Mills & Boon lines. However I finally got a rejection that didn’t say my plot, characters or conflict were flawed, it was merely that my sexual tension wasn’t right for the line I targeted. This gave me the confidence to send the novel into Carina Press (which had just opened – Harlequin’s digital imprint). And THEY WANTED IT!!! The day I got the email from Angela James was the end of one long journey and the beginning of another.
Since then I’ve sold another book to MIRA Australia (JILTED, June 2012) and have another submission with Carina. There’s so much more still to learn about writing and publishing but I’m enjoying every step of the way.
ONE PERFECT NIGHT (Carina Press Dec 2011) was the book that ALMOST got there with Mills & Boon. It’s the story of a physically scarred heroine and a hero who suffers night terrors so bad he can never spend the night with a woman. I have night terrors, so I can empathise with Cameron. Here’s the blurb:
Peppa Grant's fellow employees may call their new CEO Mr. McSexy, but she's also heard that he's aloof and distant. Cameron McCormac certainly seems cold toward Christmas when she meets him at the company's annual party...but he's also the sexiest man Peppa has ever seen. And when he offers to forgive the damage she accidentally caused to his expensive car in exchange for accompanying him to his family's holiday get-together, she agrees.
Cameron needs a date to the family party to get his matchmaking relatives off his back. Their chemistry is instant and undeniable, leading to an incredible one-night stand. But Peppa wants love and family, while Cameron's only interested in temporary pleasure. When their relationship takes an unexpectedly serious turn, will he run the other way—or will he give love a second chance?
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