Becky Lower on Finding the Right Publisher and Fixing the Blank Page

I’m delighted to host multi-published author Becky Lower, who publishes both contemporary romances, like Blame It On the Brontes (a title that definitely intrigues me), and American historical romances. She recently released Forgotten Debutante, Book 9 of the Cotillion Ball series. In this interview, Becky shares the challenges she has faced with finding the right publisher and the one piece of advice that keeps her writing.

What made you decide to write romance novels?

I’ve always been a storyteller, and I’ve always (well, at least after I got out of college and could read what I wanted), read romances. I don’t usually read books more than once, since there are so many good ones to get through. But I make an exception when it comes to Jude Deveraux’s A Knight In Shining Armor. {I’ll have to add that to me TBR list!}

What was your biggest challenge when you were trying to publish your debut novel?

Finding a publisher who was willing to take a chance on a newly-minted author. My books don’t fit into a neat little box. My historicals are set in America but they’re not necessarily westerns. My contemporaries feature older heroes and heroines, and there’s not a billionaire in sight. So I needed to find a publisher who wasn’t locked in to the norm, who was searching for something different.

Did that work out? Were you able to find the right publisher?

I have been blessed to have Crimson Romance believe enough in my concept of having nine interconnected historical novels in my series. It’s been nice knowing I could get to the end of the series while at the same publisher. My contemporaries have gone down a different path. I’ve tried a couple different small-press publishers for them, with mixed results. I do want to spread my wings a bit now that my contract with Crimson is over, so I’m searching for someone new right now.

What would you have done differently if you could start all over again?

I would have started taking my writing seriously the minute I graduated college, instead of spending a lifetime in a series of occupations and hobbies that never quite fit.

How has the market changed since you first published?

Self-publishing has moved from being a path to publication that everyone pooh-poohed to one that more and more authors are embracing. I have yet to take the plunge, simply because of the learning curve involved, but I may do it this year.

What is the single most important thing an unpublished writer should do to get published?

Join a critique group and don’t be afraid to let a total stranger read your work. Your friends and family are going to support you, but you need impartial feedback if you’re going to get ahead.

What about once a writer becomes published?

Make sure you’ve got your social media in place. At a minimum, you need a website and a Facebook page. If you’re comfortable with more, add in blogs, twitter, pinterest, google+, etc. But start out with the basics and add on as you figure out what interests you most.

Where is the best place to go for writing advice?

Your local RWA chapter. The people in my chapter are so willing to share their expertise with everyone and they’re the most supportive group ever.

What is the best writing advice you have ever gotten?

I live by one of Nora Roberts’ quotes–I can fix everything but a blank page. So I put words on the page even when I’m not feeling it, since I edit my work at least five times before I think it’s ready to be read by someone other than me. I can fix it, but not if I haven’t written anything.

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Don’t miss the touching conclusion to the Cotillion Ball Saga!

In 1863, America is war-weary. Fifteen-year-old Saffron Fitzpatrick, whose teenage years have been spent mourning the dead rather than dancing at her debutante ball, just wants to visit her beloved horse after being housebound due to the draft riots. A chance meeting with soldier Ezekiel Boone changes everything.

Three years ago, Ezekiel ran away with his older brothers to join the war effort, welcoming the chance for adventure. But when all four of his brothers die at Chancellorsville, he retreats home, despondent and depending on the kindness of strangers, like Saffron, who help him on the journey. They share a wild ride and a breathless kiss, parting with fond memories.

Fate reunites the couple three years later, and their former attraction rekindles as they discover unexpected common ground and begin to build a relationship. But though the war is over, a future together may still elude them … especially if Saffron’s older, protective brother and the U.S. Army have anything to say about it.

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Becky Lower has traveled the country looking for great settings for her novels, which she’s pleased to say have become Amazon best-sellers. She loves to write about two people finding each other and falling in love, amid the backdrop of a great setting, be it present day middle America or on a covered wagon headed west in the 1850s. Contemporary and historical romances are her specialties. Becky is a PAN member of RWA and a member of the Contemporary and Historic RWA chapters. Her degree is in English and Journalism from Bowling Green State University, and she lives in an eclectic college town in Ohio with her puppy-mill rescue dog, Mary.

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Becky Lower on Finding the Right Publisher and Fixing the Blank Page

  1. Interesting interview!
    I very much identified with your regret: “I would have started taking my writing seriously the minute I graduated college, instead of spending a lifetime in a series of occupations and hobbies that never quite fit.”

    And I love A Knight in Shining Armor, too! The female character reads a little dated in her bad relationship in the beginning, but the book is wonderfully plotted and laugh-aloud funny!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel the same way, Rebecca! I took a popular fiction course in college, and the teaching assistant gave us all brochures published by Harlequin about writing romance. I was intrigued at the time but felt like I needed to do something more “serious”. I really wish I’d pursued the interest and realized at the time just how serious writing romance novels can be!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Rebecca. I adore A Knight in Shining Armor. Jude revised it a few years ago, to make the reader better understand why the heroine even bothered with the original guy. I re-read the book almost yearly. Love it.

      Liked by 2 people

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