Have you ever read a disappointing book and thought, “I could’ve done better?” We probably all have at some point… Today, I’m thrilled to host debut romantic suspense author, Bess George, who did just that! She’s recently published her compelling romantic suspense, Happily Never After, with Soul Mate Publishing. (Read about it below; you’ll have to know what happens!) Here she talks you through the publishing process, sharing the challenges, frustrations, and benefits of being a newbie.
How long have you wanted to be a romance writer? When did you decide to write a book?
I’ve loved reading romance for as long as I can remember, but never considered writing something until my last child left for college and I suddenly had too much free time on my hands.
What inspired you to write this story?
We were on vacation and I’d just finished reading a book where the storyline left me frustrated. I found myself thinking about what I would have done different and the next thing I knew, I’d grabbed my laptop and the journey began.
Describe your process for writing this particular book.
Ha. It was a long process. Let me be the first to say that it’s a LOT harder than it looks. At the time, ‘I didn’t know what I didn’t know’. Which was probably a good thing since it allowed me to type down the words without obsessing over the details.
How long did it take to complete?
It took me a year to write it and then a second year to go back through to correct everything I had done incorrectly.
Was this the first book you had written?
Yes, but it definitely won’t be the last.
How did you fit your writing into the rest of your life?
It is hard to do when you work full time. I’m an accountant by trade so I usually write for thirty minutes in the morning before work, then on my hour lunch if possible, and then another hour or so in the evenings. I try to get as much done on the weekends as I can.
Who gave you feedback as you worked through writing the book?
I’ve taken lots of online classes on the writing process. I joined the local Chapter of RWA and then their critique group. Which has been the hardest part of this whole journey. I tend to be a little reserved and it is terrifying to put your work out into the world to be critiqued.
What kept you going through the process?
The warmth and support from this wonderful group tended to ease the sting. I learned so much from them.
Did you have a market in mind when you started writing the book?
I write what I like to read, romantic suspense.
What happened between hearing your yes and getting the book to print?
Waiting. Waiting for the edits, then waiting for the cover, then waiting for the reveal date.
What has surprised you most about this process?
The eye opener for me was how much promotion of the book fell to the author. Needless to say, it’s been a learning curve with developing a website, Facebook author page, twitter account, etc.
What would you change if you could?
I guess what I would change has been changed for me through the learning process. A step by step guide for new authors J
After being shot in a brutal attack outside her office, no-nonsense Assistant District Attorney Kelsey Brackston suffers from PTSD, panic attacks that won’t allow her return to work. In need of a fresh start, she heads to California to accept a job from her brother. All seems to be going well until the past comes hunting. Someone wants to kill her—again.
Former SWAT officer Bode Taggert doesn’t want to feel anything for anyone after a split-second decision caused the death of an innocent woman and nearly ruined his life. He’s pulled himself out of the bottle and has one last chance to be a cop again—the only thing he’s ever wanted. When Kelsey asks for his help hunting down a stalker, he resists, knowing the sizzling attraction he feels for her could jeopardize his focus.
Kelsey’s determination to put the past behind her and move on with her life is the one thing that he can’t resist, and despite his intention to remain uninvolved, Bode falls for the sexy lawyer. While he and the police are focused on catching the stalker, however, Kelsey vanishes. With his career—and his heart—on the line, Bode will stop at nothing to find her. But will their newfound faith in each other be enough to save the day? Or will the demons from their pasts destroy them both?
Excerpt from Happily Never After:
Fight or flight kicked in and her rational brain shut down. She backed away from the stranger, clasping her hands together to control their violent trembling. Like a trapped animal, her eyes were frantic as they searched for escape routes, her heartbeat roaring in her ears. The wall stopped her backward progress with a jolt just as recognition hit her.
She was safe. Two dark brown eyes pinned her in place as they stared at one another.
A soothing voice at her side broke the connection. David placed his arm around her shoulders and gave a gentle squeeze. “This is Bode Taggert, honey. He’s one of the detectives in the Redding police department. Bode, this is ADA Kelsey Brackston.”
Debut author Bess George lives in Texas with her hubby. Her novel, Happily Never After was released by Soul Mate Publishing on September 2, 2015.
Even though Bess crunches numbers for a living, she’s managed to work in some unusual places over the years. The oil business, a gun range, and a golf course are a few jobs where she met all types of characters. She loves to hear stories about people finding the unexpected hero inside each of us.