By J.E. Taylor (Guest Blogger)
First I want to take a moment to thank Lisabet for having me on her blog Beyond Romance. It really is a pleasure to be here and for anyone who posts a comment, I’ll be dropping your name into a drawing for a signed copy of either SURVIVAL GAMES or DARK RECKONING based on the winner’s preference.
When I started writing again in 2007 I really had no clue of what I was in for. The journey has been wonderfully weird and I’ve come a long way from the newbie with no clue to gaining an understanding of the industry and all its quirky pitfalls.
One of my major mistakes along the way was not know what the hell I was doing with a query and because of that, I burned through my “most wanted agent” list quickly. So the most pertinent advice I can offer to the new writers on the block beyond writing a kick ass story is know what you’re doing with a query letter. If you’re not sure, join a writer’s forum like Backspace (www.bksp.org) and the folks there will steer you in the right direction - but you have to be prepared for some real stinging critiques - things that will thicken your skin for later in your career and help you grow as a writer.
After I wrote the Games Trilogy, I knew the first book- Survival Games- would require a small publisher, one that wasn’t afraid of controversial subjects and thankfully, I found eXcessica. They take on some real edgy erotic fiction - from the sweet to taboo - and are very liberal in their selection as long as the writing is strong enough to back the story.
I can tell you - that first acceptance is like a hazy dream, surreal and fantastic enough so you want to do a little jig and squee at the top of your lungs. Then the cover art, the editing, the approval of the proofs comes along followed by the wait. In my case, the wait was over half a year, which in the scheme of publishing isn’t so bad- but it was still excruciating. Then things start to happen closer to the release date - marketing campaigns, blog tours and then the reviews start rolling in.
Each review that pops up in my inbox scares the daylights out of me. I find myself holding my breath, praying and expecting the worst. I’ll tell you, I nearly fell out of my chair when that first review for Survival Games came in. Seriously, the subject matter is so controversial that I prepared myself for negative feedback across the board. But when a 4 star review came out from Manic Readers, I was stunned and then could hardly contain my excitement. I was at my day job, so I couldn’t jump up and down like I just won the lottery - but I have to admit- that’s the way it felt. The write-up blew me away.
It still does. So far the reviews on both my July releases have been 4 out of 5 ratings. Of course, the perfectionist in me would like to see five out of five, but I’ll take four out of five with comments like the book is a page turner and I couldn’t put it down until I found out who won the game.
Now if only I could get on Oprah. ;-)
Like that’s going to happen. Oh well - for the time being, I’m here on the virtual shelves offering up my wares to the general public and hoping like hell they like what they read enough to buy the next book and the next, and the next.
Both Dark Reckoning and Survival Games were released this month (JULY 2010).
DARK RECKONING: Available in both e-book and paperback at www.fidopublishing.com
A sadistic killer stalks the secluded college town of Brooksfield, New Hampshire. With bodies piling up and rumors of the murders being part of sacrificial hazing rituals, the FBI plants Special Agent Steve Williams in a fraternity at Brooksfield University. His investigation takes a ninety degree turn into the bizarre when he’s introduced to Jennifer, a clairvoyant co-ed who swears the killer isn’t human.
Steve considers the plausibility of the extraordinary, the unspeakable, even the inconceivable when his notebook starts bleeding cryptic messages. Messages that indicate Jennifer is at the heart of the darkness in Brooksfield.
When she describes her latest vision, a trail of violent deaths, including his, Steve asks the million-dollar question: Is Jennifer trying to help . . . or is she actually the one responsible?
SURVIVAL GAMES: Available in both e-book and paperback at www.excessica.com
Until he snatches sexy stock jock Jessica Connor, Ty Aris happily followed his step-brother’s orders, producing some of the most coveted black market porn and snuff films on the street. But the day he grabs her in the parking lot, his life becomes a living nightmare.
Jessica foils his plans, fires his passion, and frustrates the hell out of him. She never gives in to his demands, his pleas or his desires, and yet a psychic bond claims his soul and melts the iron walls around his heart. His obsession sparks a fierce rift when Frank wants to start filming. Ty stalls with any and every excuse in the book, fueling Frank’s fury, but he knows it’s only a matter of time before he loses this game.
With the clock ticking, he scrambles for escape options.
Options that won’t land him in jail . . . or worse . . . a captive in Frank’s sadistic prison.
About J.E. Taylor:
Allegory Assistant Editor J. E. Taylor writes paranormal suspense and supernatural thrillers along with erotic thrillers. Her short stories run the genre gambit, running from horror to suspense to erotic romance and have appeared in Niteblade and Allegory. She has credits in three upcoming 2011 and 2012 eXcessica anthologies.
Ms. Taylor lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children.
Visit her at www.JETaylor75.com.