This week, I had the opportunity to sit down with debut author, Jennifer Wylie, whose short story Jump was just released by Echelon Press. With her first novel only a few months away, readers can expect exciting things from Jennifer. I'm so pleased to host her today.
JLR: Thanks for joining me today, Jennifer! As all aspiring authors know, writing the novel is the easy part—getting published is where the real work comes in. Tell us about your road to publication. Is there anything you would have done differently?
JW: I've been writing since I was very young. I didn't even seriously consider publication until around two years ago. After editing and then querying for agents and receiving lots and lots of rejections I finally found my publisher. (I still don't have an agent-and that's just fine with me!) I met my publisher on twitter, and also chatted with her in the comments section of someone else’s blog once. After researching the company (beware those vanity press types!) I submitted my query. A few months later I received a contract not only for my novel, but two short stories I had also submitted.
There is so much I could have done differently, however perhaps I wouldn't be where I am today. I definitely jumped in blind at the beginning. I should have done a lot more research on editing, query letter writing, agents and publishers. I did figure most of it out eventually. :)
JLR: So much of book promotion today is done through blog tours. Tell us about your blog touring experience.
JW: I have been so excited to start this tour. I actually started planning it months ago. I'm glad I did, it takes some time to set up dates, and even more to write up all the guest posts and answer interview questions. That said, I've been having a blast! Everyone is so wonderfull, and I love to see the comments left by readers. I will most certainly be doing one again! (I have a second short story out March 1- so perhaps in Feb!)
JLR: As writers, so much of our work is done alone, and this can lead to discouragement. How do you keep from giving up? Who do you get your support from?
JW: I get a lot of support from my online friends on Twitter and Facebook. Many of them are writers or aspiring writers, or even editors. When I get bored or stuck or frustrated someone is usually around who can get me going again. They are also wonderful to bounce ideas off of! My family is also very supportive of me, including my most wonderful parents!
JLR: They say good reading habits are developed at an early age. Have you always been a reader? Can you pin-point a particular book or author who solidified your love of reading?
JW: My mother has always been a very avid reader. I can't remember not reading. When I was very young I zipped through all the Black Stallion books (there are a lot, if you didn't know. I still have them!) When I was a very young teen (if even a teen) mom started me on Pern books, and I was hooked into the fantasy world. I still read a lot of fantasy, occasionally some romance (my favorite is fantasy WITH romance!), though I did go through a sci fi phase as well.
JLR: In the past year or two, e-publishing has soared in popularity. What made you decide to publish in e-book format? Do you worry that you won’t achieve as much success as you might in traditional print?
JW: My publisher, Echelon Press, publishes mostly in eBook format. Though my shorts won't be in print, my novel hopefully will be shortly after it comes out in May 2011. Ebooks are becoming so common I haven't worried too much about it. A lot of it depends on how much you promote your work as well. Having a book in print doesn't guarantee sales.
JLR: Tell us a bit about your childhood. Where did you grow up? What was your family like? Has your childhood influenced your writing?
JW: I grew up in rural Ontario, Canada. I have the best parents and one awesome sister. When younger we played and tormented each other endlessly. We're quite a bit better now (less tormenting LOL). Growing up I spent a lot of time outdoors. I was a typical tomboy. I am happy to say I had very happy childhood. I suppose being happy and having a good sense of humor has influenced my writing, and all the role playing as a child certainly helps as well.
JLR: Do you have any hidden talents?
JW: I can do anything. :) I can ride a horse, weld, needle felt, paint, garden, lay tile, sort of cook. I like to try new things. I can't drive stick shift though, even though I did try :P
JLR: What are you writing now that Jump has been released?
JW: I'm currently working on a sequel to a YA novel I just finished. I'm also working on cleaning up the sequel to Sweet Light, my novel which will be released in May.
JLR: Where can readers go to learn more about your work?
JW: Please visit my website www.jenniferwylie.ca. It has links to my blog, Twitter, Facebook etc. as well as info on my published, pending and works in progress.
JLR: Where can readers go to purchase Jump?
JW: You can pre-order any format at Omnlit (release Dec 15)
It is also available now for your Nook at Barnes and Nobel