Monday, December 17, 2012

Interview With An Acclaimed Authoress {and a giveaway!}

Yet Another Period Drama Blog

Today, lovely people, I have the great honor of hosting an authoress in our midst! Miss Jessica Greyson, author of the newly-released Annabeth's War and writer of the delightful blog Safirewriter, has consented to an interview here at Yet Another Period Drama Blog in celebration of her new book.  I started reading Jessica's blog about six months ago at my sister's recommendation and I've been hooked ever since... so will you be, too, once you get a taste of this girl's writing!

You have no idea how insanely excited I am that you're releasing Annabeth's War... what was the prompt to launch your own self-publishing project? 

 I've dreamed of being published ever since I started my first little stories. My plans were to go through a traditional publisher and become rich and famous…er…something like that. Maybe not the rich and famous part, but at least published. I've had a few mentors along the way and shortly after I finished my first real novel (I Am Louisa) I happened to attend a seminar given by Denis Hensley. After that first seminar I was positive I was ready to meet the world and be published (please forgive my ignorance - this was about five years ago I KNEW NOTHING). However as I began editing I became discouraged, and after sharing the first chapter with someone whose opinion I highly valued, I was crushed and just went back to scribbling. 

Through the years of my scribbling I kept secretly stuffing and waiting for that single moment and opportunity in time where the light would simply burst open and shower me with a dream come true. Anyone who knows what makes dreams come true knows it's a four letter word, called work. So I started working on my own dreams, researching hours on the internet different publishing companies and agents, but things kept turning me off to one thing or another. I couldn't find someone or someplace that I liked or I didn't have to write that nasty horrid cover letter too. (Which I totally understand, it makes perfect sense - but the amount of unfinished ones on my lap top is simply horrifying). During this time I stumbled across the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild which was just shy of promising that by the time you finished their course you'd know everything you wanted to know about the publishing world and most likely be published. I jumped at the opportunity. To say the least I was disappointed. I came away from my lessons disappointed and nigh penniless and further from realizing my dreams than I thought possible. Long ago I had avowed I would never ever ever ever self-publish. But you know what they say…don't ever say never. (Okay it's "Never say never" but I like it that way better).

Through winning NaNoWriMo in 2010 I received a delightful ability to publish one of my own books. The delight of holding my own copy was far more gratifying and delightful then I thought it could be. I wanted more but… I didn't want to pay for it. However the lovely Katherine Sophia found out a special deal going down at Lulu. You could publish any book for free and just pay the shipping. Needless to say the two of us went nigh crazy with publishing our works for our personal libraries. Through the writers group I attended sporadically I started noticing groups and tendencies. There were the published, the unpublished, and the self-published. The unpublished was my personal boat at which helm I sat mutely watching those around me. Most people wanted to be published traditionally…(who doesn't), yet the whole procedure daunted them (okay it daunted me). Then the published…their publisher wasn't doing anything, had put it under a different title than they originally planned and now the book didn't sound like it made sense, changed the text to their dissatisfaction, the cover was all wrong or boring, problem after problem. I glanced at the self-published ship, in it were the kind of people who give self publishing well…a bad rap? Then I glanced back down my ship…in it were well, people running in circles, who rewrote their work over and over again and sought perfection constantly only to find it really was yet beyond the horizon. I jumped ship, and boarded self-publishing full steam ahead. Because self-publishing doesn’t have to have a bad rap, and done right it can be very effective in the publishing world. So that is how I landed in self-publishing my works. I get to retain my rights, and have full control of what happens to my little darlings.

Love what you said about self-publishing not having to have a bad rap! I concur.  Wholeheartedly.  :D Can you remember where the idea for Annabeth's War first came from? I know for some novels this is like asking "can you remember your first thought when you were a baby?'...

Annabeth's War is a story that lay in the back of my mind for quite some time and under several disguises. The Mask of Margurite was the original idea I had written in a note book and three of the characters defiantly stemmed from there, however Ransom certainly had his own ideas of how the book should go, and it morphed accordingly.

Having not yet read Annabeth's War (though I'm dying to) I'm a bit ignorant... Can you give a really quick summary of the plot? 

The king is away at war and Annabeth, daughter of a master swordsman, is fighting for the life of her father, Prince Alfred and her country. Will she save them, or will she fall beneath the power of Lord Raburn and his men?

Which character in AW are you the most apathetic about? (The favorite character question is soooo hard to answer so I'm skipping it.) 

 I love this question. Hmm, most apathetic about. There are about three characters that have taken that seat but the one who steals it best would probably be Lady Christina.

What was the most stressful part of the story to write? 

Probably the dungeon scenes, let's just say lots of tears were shed.

How long did it take you to write AW from beginning to end? Like, from first inspiration to final dying gasp---er, last edit? 

A little less than a month to write from when I settled down to write it to when I wrote the last word. From start of story to last edit…it's been 21 months.

I know you're a voracious writer... how long have you been scribbling like this, would you say? 

I've been writing seriously for about five years now and have slowly picked up and dropped speed to about a book a year overall. My peak was before I was doing a lot of working, and I pulled off 3 books in 4 months (which felt supremely epic). However it has dropped considerably and I write a few thousand words a month when I get the chance.

What's one book you would recommend to everyone reading this post (other than AW and the Bible? :P) 

I am going to go on my old fallback for this one - there are SOOO MANY WONDERFUL Authors to recommend, however one author I always feel safe saying to just anyone is Lois Walfrid Johnson. She spins some pretty amazing and lovable characters and stories.

Is there a particular piece of music that you listened to obsessively during AW's creation? 

There were several pieces of music that defined Annabeth's War but the one that I listened to the most would be Hero by Heather Dale, which happened to be forwarded by Katherine Sophia to me shortly after I started Annabeth's War.

Are any portions of AW drawn from real life? Would you care to share an example (or two)? 

Annabeth is purely a work of fiction; the only thing from my life that I placed in this story was the truth I learned that all things really do work together for good, no matter what it is.

The book's cover is fascinating! Did you design/draw the cover?

 The cover was created by Louie Roybal. He did such an amazing job with it I am floored and tickled beyond pink. Working with creating a cover for Annabeth's War was very difficult for me. So often when people tell me about their novels I catch an INSTANT image of several ideas and the creation comes about, however with my own works it can be hard at times to come up with something because I see so many images at once. So after briefly sketching out what I imagined my ideal cover to look like and taking a few pictures of my little sister (she is the silhouette on the banners). Louie and I did some chatting, and took his creative bent to work and created a gorgeous cover.

Annabeth is a lovely name! Did she just sort of choose her own name and you had no say in the matter, or was it a name you'd always liked and wanted to give to a character? Or none of the above? 

Coming up with a name for her was difficult. Ransom knew he wanted his name instantly but coming up with hers' took more time. I actually wrote the first chapter just referring to her as she and her, before we came up with it. We were wavering between Anne or Anna and Elizabeth neither which really seemed to fit her exactly. Ransom said he wanted to call her Beth for short so after a little bit of thinking the inspiration to combine the names struck and name Annabeth was created and fit her perfectly.

*

Thank you, Jessica, for consenting to be interviewed today!

And now I have a special surprise for all of you (okay, if you read the title of this post it's not really a surprise...).  In addition to the interview, Jessica has kindly agreed to give away one free, autographed copy of Annabeth's War!  How cool is that?  If you're as anxious to read it as I am, here's your chance-- and if you've already read it, I might add that a lovely signed copy of this splendid book would make a delightful Christmas present for a friend.

To enter, you must be a follower of both Safirewriter and Yet Another Period Drama Blog (insert little star thingy that says You Are Here).  In order to earn entries, you can...

  • Follow both our blogs [Mandatory entry - 2 points]
  • Share about this giveaway via whatever social media you use: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, blog button, etc. [2 points for each of these, and be sure to leave a comment with a link]
  • Write a blog post to promote this giveaway [5 points]
  • Write a review of Annabeth's War (only if you've read it already...) and post it to Amazon.com or Goodreads [10 points]
Don't forget to leave a comment on here for each entry! (If you write a blog post or a Goodreads/Amazon review, however, you can just leave one comment for each of those and I will add the correct number of points to your tally.)

The giveaway will close Friday, December 21st-- so get crackin'!  Oh, and here is the button you can use for the second entry option:

Yet Another Period Drama Blog
<div align="center"><a href="http://miss-dashwood.blogspot.com/" title="Yet Another Period Drama Blog"><img src="http://i845.photobucket.com/albums/ab15/Safirewriter/MissDaswood.jpg" alt="Yet Another Period Drama Blog" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

P.S. Jessica is hosting me at her blog for an interview/giveaway today as well, so hop over and take a peek!

49 comments:

Eva said...

Hey there Amy!

Just dropped by to say that I follow both your and Jessica's respective blogs (2 points) :D

Nessíma Tavariel said...

I follow both your blogs!

Nessíma Tavariel said...

I follow both your blogs!

Nessíma Tavariel said...

I pinned it http://pinterest.com/pin/43487952623550084/

Nessíma Tavariel said...

I pinned it http://pinterest.com/pin/43487952623550084/

Nessíma Tavariel said...

I put the button on my blog http://nessimasrealm.blogspot.ca/

Nessíma Tavariel said...

I put the button on my blog http://nessimasrealm.blogspot.ca/

Anonymous said...

I now follow both blogs. No blog of my own, so no more entries :(


~Robyn Hoode

Nessíma Tavariel said...

I blogged about it http://nessimasrealm.blogspot.ca/2012/12/a-giveaway-and-giveaway-winner.html

Nessíma Tavariel said...

I blogged about it http://nessimasrealm.blogspot.ca/2012/12/a-giveaway-and-giveaway-winner.html

Nessíma Tavariel said...

I blogged about it http://nessimasrealm.blogspot.ca/2012/12/a-giveaway-and-giveaway-winner.html

Nessíma Tavariel said...

I blogged about it http://nessimasrealm.blogspot.ca/2012/12/a-giveaway-and-giveaway-winner.html

Nessíma Tavariel said...

I blogged about it http://nessimasrealm.blogspot.ca/2012/12/a-giveaway-and-giveaway-winner.html

Marlene E. said...

I follow both of the blogs! Huzzah for lovely giveaways!

Marlene E. said...

Pinned it!

http://pinterest.com/pin/312718767845309982/

Padmé Arya Éowyn Istalrí Skywalker said...

Following both blogs...

Padmé Arya Éowyn Istalrí Skywalker said...

Shared on my page on Facebook...
https://www.facebook.com/pages/When-You-Compare-Your-Life-To-Your-Fandoms/503799856327310
(I hope the link works...if it doesn't please let me know on my blog...but either way, I really did post about it)

Padmé Arya Éowyn Istalrí Skywalker said...

Also did a blog button on the side of my blog about books...
http://need2read9.blogspot.com

Hayden said...

I follow both of y'alls!

Hayden said...

I pinned at pinterest :)

http://pinterest.com/nonsensicalgirl/blogging/

Padmé Arya Éowyn Istalrí Skywalker said...

I just posted about the giveaway on my blog:
http://need2read9.blogspot.com/2012/12/hey-everyone-miss-dashwood-over-at-yet.html

Kiri Liz said...

Hey, Amy! I proudly follow both of your lovely blogs! And I have the button on my sidebar linking to this post. http://liannetaimenlore.blogspot.com

I did a blog post about it: http://liannetaimenlore.blogspot.com/2012/12/jane-austen-birthday-assembly-and-news.html

And I pinned it: http://pinterest.com/pin/470344754803268601/

Vellvin said...

I follow both your blogs. :)

Vellvin said...

3# I facebooked about it. I don't know how to link it though http://www.facebook.com/ajax/sharer/?s=99&appid=2309869772&p%5B0%5D=100002127625498&p%5B1%5D=547638515264820

Vellvin said...

4# I added the button to my blog.

Also that link I gave didn't work for facebook and I don't know how to link back as my wall is blocked from anyone except friends. I hope it still counts though, because I did do it.

Molly said...

The book sounds really interesting!

Elizabeth Rose said...

I follow your blog and Safirewriter! What a splendid giveaway; thank you for hosting it, dear!

Elizabeth Rose said...

I shared about the giveaway on Google+ here: https://plus.google.com/117466872619591200755/posts.

Elizabeth Rose said...

I shared about the giveaway on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/misslizzyrose/status/281529883228774400.

Elizabeth Rose said...

(Extra point for sharing on Google+).

Elizabeth Rose said...

(Extra point for sharing on Twitter.)

Elizabeth Rose said...

I shared about the giveaway on Pinterest here: http://pinterest.com/pin/28710516346157366/.

Elizabeth Rose said...

I shared about the giveaway on Pinterest here: http://pinterest.com/pin/28710516346157366/.

Miss Melody Muffin said...

I loved the ships analogy, Jessica!

Sigh. I wish I could sit down and write the first draft of some of my books in a month's time! Oh that time monster called Life!

I love Heather Dale's music!

I blogged about this giveaway BUT I am not entering it, because I already have a copy of the book on its way to me. (And I'm SUPER excited about it!!)

Allison said...

I follow both blogs!

Hope Marie said...

I follow both blogs!

Hope Marie said...

I posted on fb I cant leave you the link though sorry.

Erika said...

I follow you both! (2 points)

Erika said...

I shared about this giveaway on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AtRestinChrist/status/282295820957671424
(2 points)

Erika said...

I pinned this giveaway on Pinterest:
http://pinterest.com/pin/445856431829430018/
(2 points)

Erika said...

I posted about the giveaway on Google Plus:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/103381378043031941230/posts
I don't know if you will be able to see the post since you and I are not currently connected on Google Plus, but I assure you that the post is there. :)
(2 points)

Erika said...

I put the button on my blog:
http://writtenrest.wordpress.com/
(2 points)

Erika said...

I wrote a blog post to promote this giveaway:
http://writtenrest.wordpress.com/2012/12/21/two-books/
(5 points)

Hope Marie said...

I posted here http://rejoiceinhisword.blogspot.com/2012/12/another-awesome-giveaway.html

Hope Marie said...

I have the giveaway button on my blog here also http://rejoiceinhisword.blogspot.com/2012/12/another-awesome-giveaway.html

Jessica Greyson said...

Thank you so much for hosting me, the interview, and the giveaway!!! You are so amazing!

Jessica

Gale said...

I followed both blogs! Seemed right up my ally.

Gale said...

I shared via blog button (on sidebar)
suchfuntogive.blogspot.com

ecarian at yahoo dot com

(and sometimes the capcha comes up with the coolest sounding words...this time Dolywha. Doesn't that sound like a fairy name or something?)

Miss Dashwood said...

Gale, I'm so sorry, but this giveaway closed a week ago and the winner has already been announced. Maybe you can enter next time!