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Saturday, November 10, 2012
Jennifer Delamere: The Process And Journey To Publication
Forever, a division of Grand Central Publishing, just released their first trade paperback for the imprint with author Jennifer Delamere’s AN HEIRESS AT HEART, which hit bookshelves a few weeks ago.
AN HEIRESS AT HEART has an amazing back-story regarding its acquisition. It’s a triple-threat publishing phenomenon: a debut for the author, a first acquisition for her editor at Forever, and the first buy for the agent. The story’s plot is also unbelievable. An emotionally wrenching and passionate historical romance, AN HEIRESS AT HEART tells of a youthful indiscretion by Lizzie Poole and her chance for redemption—if only she can pull off hiding her true identity to her long lost family and battling her growing feelings for Lord Geoffrey Somerville. Jennifer joins us today to talk about her interesting journey to publication and the extensive research she does for her books. In addition, thanks to Jennifer and the delightful Jessica at Grand Central Publishing, I have one copy of AN HEIRESS AT HEART to giveaway. Please see the end of the post for the details. Here’s Jennifer. Can you talk a little bit about connecting with your editor and publisher via twitter?
Jennifer - I had tried to schedule a pitch session with Jessica Alvarez at the annual Romance Writers of America conference, but unfortunately all the openings were taken. I was following her on Twitter, and a few weeks after the conference I saw her tweet that she was looking for inspirational historical romances. I emailed a query letter and mentioned her tweet. She requested to see my manuscript. She read it and--happy day!--she wanted to take me on as a client.
Very soon afterward, Jessica tweeted that she was happy to have a new client who wrote inspirational historical romance. It turned out that Lauren Plude at Grand Central saw Jessica’s tweet. She contacted Jessica and asked to read the manuscript. Lauren loved it, too. Thanks to Twitter, we were all able to connect.
What was your favorite part of the acquisition/publishing process (or so far!)
Jennifer - At the risk of sounding like a glutton for punishment, I have to say that the growing pains that I went through revising the book have been the best part of the process so far. It was a lot of very hard work, but well worth it. My editor’s insights and suggestions greatly improved the quality of my writing and the book as a whole.
I’m grateful for that. The thrill I got at my first-ever book signing—and it was a thrill, no doubt about it!—came largely from knowing I was giving my readers the best book I could possibly write. Where were you when you found out that Forever had decided to publish AN HEIRESS AT HEART and what was your reaction?
Jennifer - Like many authors, I have a day job. When my agent called to tell me that Forever wanted to buy my book, I was jumping up and down—quietly, of course—in my cubicle! Since I was on my cell phone I could step out to the break room and “squee” a little louder! I was amazed not only that they wanted my book, but at the high level of enthusiasm they had for it. It was gratifying to see how much they loved it.
What surprised you most about the publishing process?
Jennifer - While I was still sweating my way through revisions, my publisher set up a cover shoot and began designing the book’s cover. I thought to myself, my gosh, they haven’t even gotten the finished product yet, and here they are moving ahead with the cover! It was humbling and a bit scary to think I’d given a day’s work to the model, the costumer, the photographer, and who knows who else, and all because the publisher had confidence that I (still a very new author) could properly finish the book.
How long was the process for you from writing to 10/30 when the book went on sale? (This is often a question readers want to know--the actual timeline)
Jennifer - I began writing AN HEIRESS AT HEART on November 1, 2009. I know the exact date because I began the book as part of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), the annual event where writers around the world commit to writing 50,000 words during the month of November. I did indeed write those first 50,000 words in November, but because I was still learning it took me another year and a half to complete and polish the book. Then it took about six months to sell it. I was very fortunate in that regard—it often takes much longer for a writer to make that first sale. From sale to publication took about a year.
Research is so important to you. Is there a fun research fact that you loved but didn't end up in the final book?
Jennifer - There were all sorts of fascinating details about the Great Exhibition of 1851 (the first “world’s fair”) that didn’t make it into the book. I loved the fact that even poor people from all over the country had saved their pennies for over a year just so they could go, and they traveled together in groups. The railways, which were still quite new, made travel to London faster and cheaper than ever before. Many of these trips were arranged by Thomas Cook, who had founded Cook’s Tours, a business you could really describe as the first travel agency. Before the nineteenth century, tourism was primarily available only for the wealthy upper classes, but Cook made group travel and tourism more accessible to the common man.
Jennifer, thanks for joining us today. Your journey from those first 50,000 words to the beautiful book you have now is inspiring. Since I’m not one to use Twitter much, it’s intriguing to see what a big part it played in this adventure.
For those who haven’t met Jennifer yet, here’s a bit of background on her.
The youngest child of a Navy pilot and a journalist, Jennifer acquired a love of adventure and an excitement for learning that continues to this day. She’s lived in three countries and traveled through the U.S. An avid reader of classics and historical fiction, she also enjoys biographies and histories, which she mines for the vivid details to bring to life the characters and places in her books. She resides with her husband in North Carolina.
Here is the guidelines for the giveaway. To enter, send me an e-mail (email@example.com) with the subject line, “Win An Heiress At Heart.” Your message should include your name and mailing address. The contest is open to residents of the U.S. only. And, just so you know, I don’t share this information with anyone other than the publisher nor use it for any other purpose. The deadline to enter this giveaway for a chance to win a copy of AN HEIRESS AT HEART will be 8 p.m. (EST) on Saturday, Nov. 17.
As a writer, has a social media such as Twitter ever played a key role in your book process? As a reader, do you follow your favorite authors via social media? I do appreciate you stopping by today. Have a wonderful Saturday.
Hi, I'm Mason Canyon and I love reading and that is why I do reviews. I post them here, as well as several other sites such as Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you are an author who would like for me to review your book or you would like to guest blog here, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org These reviews are done for the love of a good book, not for monetary rewards.