The Writing Life--Terri--10/2
The Creative Process--Theresa--10/3
About Your Current Work--Emily--10/4
And now for some words of wisdom:
Tell us about your route to success – were there any bumps and bruises along the way?
“Etched in Soul and Skin” was the first thing I ever tried to get professionally published, and was the first novel I ever wrote, which is apparently quite a feat in itself. However, I did write over 120 query emails, and as you well know in this business, all but one were eventually rejected.
Also, given hindsight, I’m sure some of those rejections came from my near complete lack of web presence. I don’t have a facebook page or a blog, just a twitter that gets updated once in a blue moon. It’s increasingly important to have that kind of social mind in this day and age and I just fell behind spectacularly.
Why did you decide to go with an indie publisher? Did you use/do you have an agent?
The VAST majority of my query emails were to agents, something like 118 of my 120-ish. While I had some hopeful nibbles every few months, each one eventually turned into rejections. As I’ve said before, I’m sure my near complete lack of web presence was probably somewhat of a killer in their eyes. It also wasn’t a “last ditch” effort to go with a small publisher, but a decision I hope leads to future success. Now that I have proven I have a work worth being picked up by someone, hopefully future query emails to agents will have a bit more luck, especially if I continue keeping my presence small.
What are the most important elements of good writing?
For me, aside from a solid grasp of the language the book is written in, the most important thing in any story is the passion the writer had for it. Sometimes, you can tell when an author is just going through the motions, or describing procedures like a Wikipedia article instead of trying to convey the gut feelings and emotions of a story. I’ve noticed in my critiques of other people’s works that I tend to offer notes about the feelings of words more than technical things. I often find myself glossing over lists of details and names when reading just because I don’t find them important. I’d rather know how a character feels when looking up at an imposing building, rather than what its windows look like. It takes real passion for literary storytelling to have that kind of thinking while writing, in my opinion.
What do you feel is the key to your success?
The story I wrote came from more than just a desire to make a quick buck, following market trends and the ‘hot’ genre of the moment. I NEEDED to tell this story. It came from somewhere deep down in my soul and didn’t let me go until it was in the hands of the reader. Of course I worked extremely hard on it, obsessed over it, really. To me, it’s easy to tell when a writer has real passion for their work and when they’re pushing it out for money. Licensed novels often feel like the latter, while personal works usually ooze with the former.
What are your current / future project(s)?
Of course, “Etched in Soul and Skin” will have a sequel. While it has a satisfactory ending, it doesn’t mean all the sins of the past have been forgiven, or forgotten. There are still troubles in Adanna’s world.
I also desperately want to tell the story of just how Shuran started flying in the first place. It takes some major world-shattering events to send an entire city into the sky and start preying on the survivors below.
Author Bio: Joshua Legg resides in San Antonio, Texas with his dog, Ruby. He studies history and English, as well as about a dozen other subjects. His debut novel “Etched in Soul and Skin” was released this year by Musa Publishing.
Book Blurb: The Sky Demons have hunted Adanna's tribe for centuries, kidnapping people in vicious nighttime raids and disappearing without a trace. Her life has been one of deprivation and loss, always striving to keep one step ahead of relentless attackers.
Erik is the newest soldier in a secret military, one dedicated to keeping his steam-powered city in the air. Only a select few know the dark secret of his flying home. It's not their technology that keeps it aloft, but the magic that flows in the veins of the people who live below them. He has been trained for one purpose: to hunt and retrieve human beings.
Captured and almost turned into a living battery, Adanna is rescued by the very man who imprisoned her. In her, he sees a chance at redemption. In him, she sees a chance to escape. And maybe get a little revenge for the years of terror the 'sky demons' have inflicted on her.
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What format is your book(s) available in (print, e-book, audio book, etc.)? E-book, available at all major e-book retailers as well as the publisher’s website.