ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Publication Party. Session Two. Author Clarissa Draper. Hear Clarissa's journey to publication...


Welcome to the second session of our Publication Party. The response to our first session with author Christine Bell was overwhelming. Wasn't it great to hear her successful journey.


A round of applause to the effervescent ABSOLUTELY *KATE  who won a first ten pages critique by Christine and to...*drum roll*... GRANDPA who won a an e-book by Christine. As much as we all coveted these great prizes I think you'll agree they have gone to two wonderful bloggers. Congrats to you both! The desire for a critique partner (CP) was also overwhelming, so there are a lot of us out there wanting a critical eye to go over our writing. Those of you who requested a critique partner - I will get back to you individually about that and I'm sure we'll be 100% successful on that front too! So, back to you lucky winners, send an email directly to Christine to claim your wonderful prizes!


Today will be just as exciting. Every journey to publication is different and it will be wonderful to hear from mystery author Clarissa Draper. I have a lengthy blog association with Clarissa and she shares so much information for other writers and authors on her blog it is staggering. If you don't follow Clarissa, rectify that today!


Now, I would like you to grab one of those cranberry mocktails I've provided today, and thanks to Absolutely Kate who came with a stash of pink fizz. Someone asked for chocolate chip biscuits (cookies) so I cooked up a storm (whoops!) for you. To celebrate the rain finally stopping in Brisbane I thought we'd virtually mosey over to South Bank Beach and relax in the sun and sip our delicious mocktails while Clarissa speaks. No nodding off now... 


To get started, a few notes on the exotic Clarissa:
 
Clarissa Draper is a Canadian writer currently living in Mexico. Although trained in book layout and design, she prefers to spend her time planning and writing her code-based mysteries. Her short stories have been published in anthologies. She started writing full time in 2006, and is currently writing her third mystery in the Evans/Blackwell series.

Visit her at http://www.clarissadraper.com/




Thank you Denise for having me as your guest.


I would love to say my writing journey has been long and exciting, but frankly, I'm just starting out. Growing up, I never had the inkling to be a writer. A doctor or architect maybe, but never a writer. Well, that was until my sister came home with the six-hour Pride & Prejudice movie under her arm when I was twenty.


Shortly after watching that movie, the voices started talking. And I couldn't get them to shut up. Soon a story developed and the characters took on lives of their own. I was determined to write a story as beautiful as the one that Jane Austen developed - a period love story.

So I guess in the end, I can thank Colin Firth for my urge to write. (Or maybe it's just an excuse to watch him jump in the pond over and over and over and over...*sigh*) *and waits while Denise puts up image on the large screen*


Anyway, I finished the manuscript and joined a critique site (thenextbigwriter.com). I started submitting my story - chapter by chapter - and the response? The story sucked. Change this. Change that. Give up writing, my dog could write better than you. (No, they didn't say the last one.)


At first, my ego suffered. I wanted to throw in the towel. I loved writing but I was horrible at it. I wasn't an artist after all!


Thankfully, I have one of those personalities that sees a difficult challenge and immediately must conquer it. So, I studied plot, character, dialogue and grammar (and I'm still studying it). I read every book on writing I could get my hands on. It became my craft.

The first thing I decided to do was drop the historical piece and start my new passion - mysteries! I took up writing full-time in 2007. I wrote my first mystery in three months (1000 words a day). I submitted the chapters again to my critique partners and this time, I really listened to what they had to say. Slowly the story went from unreadable to manageable.

Also, I would challenge myself and my writing. To practice dialogue, I wrote stories in only dialogue (one story turned into a novel - my favorite novel to date). I wrote stories in only narrative. I even took up the challenge of writing short stories and entering them into contests. (I won two of those contests - now those stories are in anthologies.)

At the beginning of 2010, I decided my first mystery was ready to submit. I studied how to write a synopsis and query letter, but never got around to actually writing anything. Instead, I entered the first three chapters of the novel into a contest (at Karen's blog - http://karenjonesgowen.blogspot.com/) for a free critique.

No, I didn't get that critique.


But wait for it...even better...


Instead I got a request for the whole manuscript from Wido Publishing (a small publisher based in Utah). A few weeks later, I got a contract for publication.


Sounds easy! I would love to say my road to publication was super simple but I did put in years and years of study. I didn't give up. I firmly believe that if you work hard and never give up, you will be successful as a writer.


My advice:


1) Challenge yourself and your writing. Never feel you've learned enough. Study your craft!


2) Enter contests. Can't hurt, can it?


3) Find critique partners and really listen to what they have to say. If you can get a critique, take it. Then go with your heart.


4) Love writing. Really love writing.


That was tremendous, wasn't it? Thanks so much Clarissa! Your journey is very inspiring. So many helpful links and such good advice.

TODAY everyone who comments and leaves their email address will be in the draw to win EITHER:

a paper novel - A choice: EITHER: A paperback novel from one of my long-time favourite authors, Across the River and into the trees by Earnest Hemingway, OR a hardcover, Devil Bones by Kathy Reichs - her latest Tempe Brennan Novel, woo hoo! Love this author and this great character. If you watch the TV show Bones, you'll know Tempe very well. (Give me the books anyday though!)

  • a first chapter critique by Clarissa. Clarissa does these critiques on her blog on a regular basis then posts them so we can all learn. If you would like a first chapter critique it would be great if you give your permission for it to be publised on this blog at a later date.
So before you leave, please do the following:

  • leave a comment with your email address if you want to be in the draw for this week's prizes or the GRAND PRIZE and giveaway books and writing paraphanelia at the end of the series (you must comment on each post to win, starting last post. If today is your first day, go back to last week's party and leave a comment. I'm keeping track...)
  • tell us what you'd like to win today - book (which book?) or critique
  • tell us if we can publish Clarissa's critique of your work here at a later date
  • ask Clarissa a question
  • if you're published, share your story in the comments
  • tell us if you'd like to find a Crit Partner. Last week there were 5 requests. Contact like-minded souls and we may be able to help each other in this way too...
Thanks for coming everyone! Winners for this week will be posted next Tuesday 25 January (NY time) with next week's post. Don't forget you have until Monday 24 January at 8 pm NY time to enter for this week's prizes.

Don't forget, next Wednesday 26 January we have author and blogger extraordinare Alex J Cavanaugh coming to our party to speak to us. Don't miss what he has to say!

PS Our guest authors have sung the praises of small publishing houses. I've just discovered Astraea Press, a brand-spanking new publisher who is currently calling for submissions. I'm headed their way! Check out the interview with the amazing Joanna St James here.

 
Denise :)



76 comments:

  1. Oh, I forgot that you're ahead by many hours. Ugh, seeing myself is cringe-worthy. But, thank you for having me come to your fabulous blog.

    CD

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  2. Ha ha, Clarissa I couldn't wait. We're halfway through Wednesday over here and I just couldn't wait for NY time to post. Gives us an extra day! You were dreading that picture going up for the first time weren't you?

    Hey everyone, put Clarissa's mind at ease! Doesn't she look so the mystery writer!

    Thanks for guesting Clarissa. I'm so into this!

    Denise :)

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  3. This was a great interview. I always love to see how authors get published, because every single one has a different story (meaning there isn't a true formula to follow). Thank you, Clarissa, for sharing your story to success! May you have so much more in the years to come!

    ♥ Mary Mary

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  4. What a great post. I love reading about another writers struggles so I know I'm not alone.

    L'Aussie - thanks for sharing these publication parties - very interesting.

    Clarissa - thank you for sharing your story and the websites.

    I would love to win a book. Devil Bones looks interesting. I am also interested in critique partners. My email is sney0717@hotmail.com.

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  5. Sylvia, thanks for your kind words.

    Yeah, I would go with the book as well. Hey, wait a minute, I went through all the work of writing the post... ;)

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  6. Okay Clarissa... is that really you in the photo? You know I love ya and you make it sound so easy. Great suggestions on the "stick to it." :)

    Aussie,
    Well done!
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

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  7. Clarissa rocks! And look at her - doesn't she just look like a super genius?
    Becoming an author was never a big dream of mine, but sometimes this stuff just hits us later in life.

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  8. Thanks, everyone. I'm no genius, I just look that way. ;)

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  9. I discovered Clarissa's writing when she was posting The Sholes Key at the time I started blogging last April. Then I met her again through email. But I'd never seen her picture! She is stunning!! For this picture, I'm grateful you interviewed her!! She really is amazing. And she does look the mystery writer!

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  10. Denise, make sure you hand out the sunblock - the last time I was at South Bank Beach I got terribly sunburnt (which isn't hard for me, I burn if the light bulb wattage is too high!). But I'll take that Cranberry Mocktail (hold the mock if you please).

    Clarissa it's interesting to hear from an author who didn't have the burning ambition from birth. Colin Firth could inspire me to do just about anything so I think it's lovely that he inspired the writer in you. Mr Firth: muse extraordinaire. I also admire the hard work you put into learning the craft of writing which reminds us how important it is.

    I'll pass on the prizes this week - still not ready for a critique and I'd rather the books went to someone who enjoys that genre (spooky stuff gives me nightmares and yes I know I'm a wuss) :)

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  11. yeehaa, 'tis our Clarissa! Lovely post, we found a lot about her!

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  12. Awww, shucks. I really appreciate all the support. We have a great blogging community!

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  13. Hi Clarissa, Hello Denise,

    This was a lovely interview. I always love to read how authors get published. Thank you, Clarissa, for sharing your story to success! May you have so much more in the years to come!

    Thank you Denise for bringing this interview. All this authors are so inspirational!

    Yes, I'll pass on the books as well. But maybe the critique...?

    nas_dean@y mail. com

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  14. I love Clarissa's road to publication story! But she had me at Colin Firth, LOL

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  15. Aww Denise THANK YOU! You know my days are not so sunny lately, but winning this makes today a glorious one! I hope too that the e-book will help me with my new beginning.

    So thank you and Christine for that.

    And thank you Clarissa, for sharing your journey, and those useful links. I think you would make a good doctor too!

    I'll pass the chance to win this time around so that others will have the opportunity.

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  16. Thank you for posting this interview as it's always fun to read about how a person's journey goes.

    Best of luck w/ your mysteries, you certainly have all the writing & research skills to write many memorable ones!

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  17. hi miss denise and miss clarissa! wow thats a cool interview for sure. now i could know lots more bout miss clarissa and how she looks. wow neat picture! i been following miss clarissa for a long time and i been learning soooo much. yikes i hope i could be that smart some day. those books are to old for me so maybe i could just want that critique and yep you could put it on your blog if i win it. for my email im at lennylee@rocketmail.com. cant wait for mr alexs interview!
    ...hugs from lenny

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  18. Its great to see the road traveled by our blogging friends. Clarissa, its great getting to know you better, and best wishes for your continued success!

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  19. Hey you guys, thanks for making Clarissa feel better about her picture. I told you Clarissa! You're a legend.

    Keep those comments coming!

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  20. What a wonderful story. I keep looking for crit partners. However, I don't need one until about March or so. I've got no problem critting someone else's stuff ahead of time though!

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  21. Denise, thanks for hosting Clarissa.

    Clarissa, great photo and enjoyed your post. It's very inspiring for anyone just starting to write and a good reminder for those who have been writing.

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress

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  22. HI Clarissa, Hi, Denise,

    So sorry I'm coming to the party so late.... Denise thanks for reminding me.... I've been editing ALL day and night.... ABNA is coming up on us.

    Great interview ladies... I loved your story Clarissa and you blog, I visit every day, if I can. So nice to put a face with the blogger.

    I would love a chance to win a critique with you Clarissa.

    My email is mculi at aol dot com

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  23. Thanks for sharing your writing journey with us Clarissa. You mentioned you read a ton of writing books. Which one (or ones) did you find most helpful? I'm always on the lookout for a good resource.

    I'd love to win a critique this week. My email is sari.webb@gmail.com.

    Thanks,
    Sari

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  24. Great interview.
    Your advice especially "Love writing" is fantastic.
    Isn't Karen Gowen a gem?

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  25. I finally made it. Sorry for taking so long :(

    Congratulations to week one's winners!

    A fascinating interview with the awesome Clarissa Draper. Her journey and advice is something for us all to take note of. I would love to win a critique but not so sure about it being published. Emm...have to think about that first.

    ellie@littlewanda.eclipse.co.uk

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  26. Great interview and congrats, Clarissa! It's always nice hearing about the journey!

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  27. Great interview and fantastic tips. Another successful Publication Party Denise!

    Clarissa, I'm so glad you decided to put your pikkie up, it's lovely to see the face behind the trees (*grins*)!!! What a wonderful success story, and I love that you're still learning :)

    Definitely the critique :) rachael[dot]harrie[at]gmail[dot]com

    Rach

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  28. Well done Absolutely Kate and Grandpa.

    Denise, I hope that means you can stay dry now!

    Clarissa; This was an interesting and inspiring interview. I am not published but hope to be, and it's encouraging to see that it'll take the kind of hard work and diligence that I expected. I'm ready for that.

    I agree about critiquing. It's fundamental to development as an author. I also think a critique has to be up for discussion and justification sometimes. I guess I'm a little afraid of having a total stranger critique my work, but I have to do it sometime - after all, that's where my audience is. How do you decide whether you're comfortable with having a stranger crit your work?

    I'd like to find a crit partner who is experienced enough to find the real nitty-gritty, but I'm not sure that I am developed enough in offering a critique to reciprocate. I have to develop that art too.

    If I win the draw I think I'd go for a critique, but I don't think I'd want it published (yes, I'm a coward)
    bcd_tony@yahoo.com

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  29. Hi Denise, Hi Clarissa!

    Such an inspiring interview, thank you for sharing your insights and experiences.

    I wasn't a writer from birth either and I feel very encouraged by your journey. I also read and read as much advice on the craft - hence being a new blogger!

    I wish you all the best with your mysteries. Great photo by the way!

    Thank you for hosting these Denise, we're still thinking of you guys.

    I'd like to enter the draw if I may - Devil Bones sounds great.
    margo.benson@yahoo.co.uk

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  30. Thanks for stopping by, Denise, and for such a heartfelt comment. I'm relieved to know you're okay! The videos in the States of the Queensland floods have been heart-wrenching (they're probably feeds from your news services and what you've seen, when there's been power.) My hub mentioned there might be trouble, tho, prior to the videos, from a small article he read on the net about the possibility of trouble. The waters roiled quickly for, bam! the floods came. I cried buckets when Katrina hit NO...I was in Macedonia at the time...Yes,it does look like you've had worse damage. I feel for you and the good people in Brisbane. I saw on the news last nite that the flooding wants to spread south. Oy! Oy! As the world knows, there were problems with disaster relief in NO. There have been no such reports here about Queensland, a great sign your response infrastructure works. Rebuilding will take time -- NO still has 58,000 abandoned homes. However, what's been rebuilt is better than ever, also much stronger. It's sad for me to watch/read the news from your area. I am heartened, tho, that the Australian resolve is united, that everyone's a Mate. This is nice, very nice! Please know, as your day becomes mine,my thoughts and prayers are with you and all those affected.

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  31. @everyone - thanks for visiting. You're making me feel so special!

    @lenny - what I find amazing about you is that you know what you want to do at such a young age. Don't give up on your dream. If you work hard, you'll be able to surpass all us old-timers.

    @SariBelle - Oh my goodness, what books? Well, there would be too much to list but here are my favorites: How to Write and Sell Your Mystery Novel, The Elements of Style, any of the Writer's Digest Books.

    Oh, and one of my newest favorites: It was the best of sentences, it was the worst of sentences (available on Kindle) by June Casagrande. She's funny and makes the point clear.

    @Al - Karen's super!

    @Tony Benson - I think that total strangers are sometimes best. They're not going to say anything just because they don't want to lose your friendship. But, I also wouldn't want just one critique partner. I would take opinions from multiple sources. That way you can go with what most feel is best. I went with an online site because there are (a) a lot of people there and (b) they're writers so they know what getting a good critique means. When you receive critiques, you will learn how to give them.

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  32. Clarissa, many thanks for your answer to my comment.
    Tony

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  33. Clarissa, you're beautiful! Don't ever think differently!

    I love reading how others got started in this business. I taught for 25 years and now I write. I always needed to, but didn't have the time. Can't make that excuse any more, now can I?

    I want the critique and I'll allow publication. I love to get feedback.

    My email is zanmariess [at] gmail [dot] com

    Now I can't wait a week to find out if I won... ; )

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  34. Aussie, thank you for having Clarissa as your guest. I'm one of your followers and one of Clarissa's too. I absolutely loved this post because it reminds me of everything I've been through in my new writing life. Like Clarissa, there was a point when I wanted to give up because I thought I didn't have the skills. However, that changed when my first story was published in an anthology and won Award of Excellence. Perseverance pays off. Having a writing group is also key (we need support from time to time). Like Clarissa, I am still learning this wonderful craft. So, thank you to both of you for this informative and inspiring post.
    Claudia
    www.claudiadelbalso.blogspot.com

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  35. Clarissa- Tremdendous joob on this. It is always cool to learn more about just the writing aspects of someone. Nice pic too!

    Big time congrats to Absoutely* Kate. She is the best!

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  36. Clarissa you're so adorable!I don't know why you didn't put your pic up sooner. By the way, great guest post.

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  37. What a great story to publication! She does look like a mystery writer with that Mona Lisa expression!

    my email: aubriedionne at yahoo.com

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  38. Clarissa! I'm so glad to finally see you. Beautiful, intelligent, caring - I get that and more from your photo. And I loved your post - lots of great advice.

    Thanks for hosting her, Denise. Loved all the drinks and munchies, too :)

    email: tikihuttime AT gmail DOT com

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  39. Congratulations, good lady! I've heard lots of great things about small presses recently, too, so I'm thrilled to hear another small-press success story.

    Oh, and I just can't resist the lure of a free Hemingway book. (I'll skippity the critique, though. I've plenty of CPs who tear my stuff to shreds regularly. *sigh*)

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  40. It's always inspiring to hear of others' success stories!

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  41. Fanatastic story! Clarissa's blog is so helpful -- she deserves every little bit of success! It's lovely to see a photo of her, too!

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  42. You are a lovely lady Clarissa. I enjoyed learning about your road and appreciate the online critique link. I've been asked about that and have a post in Feb to discuss critique planned. I'm not entering the contest because, I want someone who may need help more. I have two critique groups already.
    Nancy
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

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  43. I'm going to pass on the chance of winning this week, but I did want to leave a little note saying thank you to Clarissa for a great post and to Denise for her usual fabulousness and excellent mocktails! : )

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  44. Well guys your comments are inspiring. Thank you for your continued interest in the well-being of flooded Brisbane. The clean up is continuing, but the infrastructure is holding up. We are so thankful our leaders are so efficient and caring.

    I'm surprised at the lack of take up of the prizes. I thought the books I offered would be snatched up. Maybe few people want paper books any more! Never mind. Your chances of winning one of these is pretty high now! It is a sign of writing getting serious that most want the critique!

    Keep your questions coming for Clarissa. She is coming back regularly to answer them and she is blushing to the roots of her lovely black hair at all the compliments on her photo!

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  45. Hmmm, yum, cranberry mocktails! It's fantastic to finally see what Clarissa looks like, but even better to read about her journey.

    I'm so happy for you Clarissa!!!

    I'm always on the look-out for another crit partner, but I'm not willing for my work to get critiqued publically. Those books look interesting too - particularly Devil Bones.

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  46. Hi L'Aussie!! Thank you for hosting the amazing Clarissa Draper!!! And thank you Clarissa for sharing with us your journey to publication!! I love how you picked yourself up and learned the craft and art of writing and honed in your skills and natural talent to where you are now!!! About to be published and passionate about your craft!! Wonderful and inspirational!! GOOD LUCK with your novel series!!!! Take care
    x

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  47. Clarissa-I've enjoyed your blog, and now this wonderful interview. I love hearing these stories. There's always hope if you keep putting yourself out there and striving to be your best. BTW, Colin Firth? Yum !

    L'Aussie, thanks for a lovely time. I too would enjoy a book. Oh how I wish I had something ready for crit. I'm interested in crit partners too, but won't be ready for one until Mar/Apr. My email is kariwhite(at)charter(dot)net.

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  48. Great interview. I loved hearing how your determination kept you going.

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  49. Denise,

    You have a lot going on in your neck of the woods.

    Clarissa, good advice from a wise writer. Funny how the writing bug an just sneak up on you. Here's wishing you tons of success!

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  50. Thanks for sharing your story, Clarissa! Very inspiring and proof that persistance pays off.

    Great interview as always, Denise!

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  51. What a stroke of luck!!!!! And all that hard work paid off, too. Wow. Very inspiring.

    I need to make sure I commented on the first one...

    I'd love Devil Bones!

    inthepages@gmail.com

    Thanks for the opportunity!

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  52. I'm loving this party!

    Thanks for sharing your story with us, Clarissa, it's so inspiring. I think it's neat that you're offering up the one Hemingway book I don't own and haven't read - I'd love to win that! (denizb33 at gmail dot com)

    Forgive me if you've already answered this, but when you got the offer for a publishing contract, did you seek an agent then? And if you don't have an agent... how has that worked out for you?

    And could you send some sunshine up north? [g]

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  53. Thanks for another great story, L'Aussie!

    I'm already Clarissa's follower, and I love her blog.

    I would still follow up with the CP request...not that the prizes are not tempting, just that my writing needs a CP more :)

    Hope things are a lot better in your part of the world!

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  54. I loved reading this! It's always inspiring to read other author's road to publication.

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  55. she is so stinking cute! how did u get her to show us her face Denise?
    Great post CD I cant wait for WIDO to unleash your baby on to the world, seriously cant wait.

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  56. Great post Clarissa! And you shouldn't cringe, you look lovely in your picture!

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  57. Clarissa: The fact that you scored a contract instead of that contract just goes to prove that some things can go right in the publishing industry!

    L'Aussie: What a marvelous little set-up you've got going for yourself. :-) I still have to backtrack to the previous week but this definitely looks like a great premise.

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  58. Denise, this is a great continuation of the publication party!

    Clarissa, I totally understand your obsession in Mr. Darcy and Pride and Prejudice. I was thirteen when I first read that book and a couple of years later watched the BBC miniseries that inspired you. Loved! In England people would stay home on a weekend night if Pride and Prejudice was on TV.

    Jai

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  59. Well, well, well ~ Here you all are at the beach ... the trail of those little pastel umbrellas falling out of mocktails gave trail to the tremendous talents gathered once again 'pon a Wednesday.

    Before I get around to *thanking* the lovely Denise for another pubbing shindig, I'd like to introduce my escort. It's Colin Firth and he's headed Clarissa's way right now. Didn't take a mystery to pull out a happy ending for a mystery writer, did it?

    Hey! Have you all got a look at Elissa's red hot sandals? That gal really knows how to dress for an Aussie beach*pub*party. And honest - I didn't pay Sean Patrick Reardon to say somethin' nice - he's just the classiest thriller writer I've come across in crime scenes -- I don't argue at crime scenes -- they're armed and dangerous.

    Denise, I'm Absolutely grateful*Kateful for the fortunate win of the first featured author, Christine Bell's swell prize. I'll be knockin' on her door buzzer. Your words pour as easily as your cranberry concoctions, and in answer to your recent e'mail, I do have some suggestions for firing up a real hot crit/wit group to do what authors on the rise do -- take each other's aspire the higher.

    WHEW -- Clarissa! Clarissa! I know Mr Firth is whispering seductive clues to a mystery writer's hue, but I'd like to ask you too ~ Describe your writing scenario -- in a darkened room, at the top of a tower, by the sea, bustling at a coffee shop ... or ... wheresoever inspiration point comes true?

    No such thing as a coincidence -- I just "discovered" your site yesterday, by virtue of the design'feel that beckoned in this advertising/design firm owner. Classy - such as yourself.

    (If I asked for the Hemingway, my hero Fitzgerald would rise from the dead and kill me ... but lovely and generous giftings dear Denise)

    Now I'm going to dance with Grandpa and Sean Patrick and meet some of these other dashing author'folk. Never a dull moment with author'folk.

    ~ Absolutely*Kate
    AT THE BIJOU and
    soon sailing HARBINGER*33

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  60. Thanks for the great comments as always. I'm sure if Clarissa can drag herself away from Colin Firth she'll be back to answer more questions - can't blame her if not!

    I've sent out emails to those seeking CPS and I'm looking forward to the words of wit and wisdom ABSOLUTELY KATE has to offer! BTW Ab Kate, Borders had a neat display of all Fitzie's books all newly re released! So cool I took a photo!

    Jeffrey: So glad you dragged yourself out of your many projects and came by. Lovely people, aren't they?

    Keep on enjoying the shindig folks!

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  61. DENISE ~ would absolutely love to see F. Scott's display photo ... and do promise you some wit and wisdom - gotta get under my fedora first.

    CLARISSA ~ Meant to mention before, the only thing missing from the savoir faire of your photo'mystique, was some wisps of fog . . . the mood is *so* there.

    COLIN ~ Have fun!

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  62. Hi,

    Another great publication launch!

    Always good to put a face to a name - more personal, more in touch with writing/reading buddies!!

    So, nice to meet you, Clarissa. ;)

    best
    F

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  63. What a great post! I remember that contest on Karen's blog, I think that may be how I met Clarissa.

    It's so true, everyone's road to publication is different, but there is often a lesson in every tale.

    Thanks for sharing ladies!

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  64. This is too much fun, I'm loving it! Cookies and drinks and sunshine and great advice? Thanks!

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  65. Very interesting. I've seen you around the internet recently and it's always good to read how other people got started. i'm curious though:

    Where did you find contests?

    Sounds like you're off to a good start and I hope it keeps going well for you, Clarissa.

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  66. Clarrisa, I'm on a similar path, only I started back in high school so the s997 range.

    What did you find most challenging about the revision process?

    Thanks for posting!

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  67. Hi L'Aussie and Clarissa .. great to read, to see the clear thinking forensic you .. now I can understand a little more about your blog and its approach because you specialised in book layout ..

    Thanks - a fun read .. Hilary

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  68. Wonderful post! Thanks Clarissa for telling us your story and inspiring us!

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  69. Keep those comments and questions coming. Still no sign of Clarissa. Must still be hanging with Colin. Everyone's enjoying what you have to say mysterious friend...

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  71. let's try again ...
    woops - almost missed this week's session. was just reading clarissa's "significant" other's post when the light bulb lit up and I remembered to come here :-)
    thanks clarissa for sharing your experience. it's always nice, or comforting ?? to read other authors have gone through the same stages and in fact perserverence (and the LOVE for writing) will get you there in the end.
    thanks denise -again!- for organising this. it's much appreciated!

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  72. Thanks for sharing, Clarissa! Also, Colin Firth... mmmmm. Happy thoughts, bubbling over.

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  73. OOh, Colin Firth. I'm off to see The King's Speech soon!

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  74. thanks for another fantantic post I know I amlate with a comment but I am so glad I read your blog lots of info for a writer
    cheers

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  75. Wonderful interview, thanks Clarissa and Denise. Ooh Colin Firth!!!

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I love hearing from you! Hit me with your wisdom!