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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Writing Romance: Julianne MacLean (Guest Post & Giveaway)



We are lucky to have two author visits today! First I'd like to welcome author Julianne MacLean who is stopping by with an inspiring post and a great giveaway! I've recently reviewed two of her novels, Claimed by the Highlander and Captured by the Highlander, click on the titles to check them out! 


Julianne MacLean - On Not Giving Up

Last week I released a new e-book called The SEXY GIRL'S GUIDE TO COWBOYS, and it is a testament to the fact that anything is possible - even if it takes time.  But I’m a firm believer that if you keep working passionately toward your goal and developing your skill level, you will reap the rewards of your hard work.

My new release is a time travel romance I wrote in 1995, when I was still an unpublished writer and time travel romances were selling like hotcakes to all the publishers.  When I finished it, however, that particular trend was on its way out and no one was buying time travels anymore, so after shopping it around without success, I shelved it and started something new.

After 5 years of writing and submitting to publishers, I got an agent and later sold my first novel (a western romance called PRAIRIE BRIDE) to Harlequin.  Since then, I have published 17 romances, but I always had a soft spot in my heart for that quirky time travel I wrote back in the nineties when I was an aspiring author.  The book no one wanted to publish.

So here we are in 2011, and e-book technology has made it possible for me to publish the book on my own.  It took some effort, because I wrote it when I was a very "young" writer, and the prose needed some polish.  (I believe this is part of the reason it didn’t sell back then.)  But I’ve learned a lot about revision in the past ten years - it’s incredibly important - and I was able to bring it to whole new level.

Which brings me to the theme of this blog.  Fifteen years ago, when I started writing this book, I had high hopes for it.  When it didn’t sell, however, I soldiered on.  I WROTE MORE BOOKS.  If someone had told me it would take me 6 years and four unsold manuscripts before I became published, that wouldn’t have stopped me either, because the time is going to go by anyway, right?  And I loved writing romances.   It was time well spent.

Nowadays there are more options for writers because of the indie revolution and the new technology which makes it possible to self-publish.  In many cases this is a good thing.  In other cases, it may result in writers publishing their work before they are ready, just because they can.

No matter which road you decide to take, the important thing is to keep writing and honing your craft.  With each book, your storytelling abilities will get better.  So always make improvement your goal.  Even after 17 novels, that is still my goal.

So let me know what you think of these issues, and I’ll give away a signed copy of THE COLOR OF HEAVEN (another indie book of mine) to one lucky winner!





~*GIVEAWAY*~
As Julianne mentioned above, she is giving away one signed copy of her novel, The Color of Heaven.  
To enter, just leave a comment answering the question at the end of her post AND fill out the form below.
Giveaway will end at 11:59pm on July 8th when one winner will be selected at random and contacted via email. 


23 comments:

debbie said...

I do agree. I have read some self published novels, that were truly not ready to be published. They may have been good after some editing and revising. It would seem to work out really good for authors such as yourself, that have the experience to edit and revise.

Na said...

I do think there is room in the market for both published and sel-published books and it really depends on the book. For some authors it's a way to get noticed, get beyond the slush pile and if their self-published book takes off an ahent might come in and really hone the author's craft, create a publishing plan that attracts more reader for them. However, it could also be a bad thing, not garning sales and that author might call it a day on their career and feel defeated. Whatever the case it's important to know your strengths and limitations and work, a manuscript might be book but it does not mean ALL manuscripts is bad. Keep submitting and look for ways to improve your craft. Dedication will go a long way in success in publishing.

Tore said...

I also think there is room on the market for published and self published authors. I think if the books are really good and they sell it is fine. I think it also makes an author feel real good if they can publish a book on their own. It gives them a sense of accomplishment. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. Tore923@aol.com

shadow_kohler said...

You make valid points. Theres good and bad to self publishing and having a publisher. I think its great that authors can publish there work, espcially if they've been repeadly turned down for it. The self esteem and criticism is enough to make some give up. But if the books not ready, it could ruin there chances of anyone ever buying there work. If there going to self publish, they need to give out a couple copies to trusted family and friends and get there perspecive. But all in all, I think its great that authors have the talent and courage to go after what they believe.

marybelle said...

I don't mind how a novel is published so long as the quality is there. In the writing & editing. I don't want to stumble over bad grammar or misprints.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

roro said...

i totaly agree with maryybele coment 'I don't mind how a novel is published so long as the quality is there. In the writing & editing. I don't want to stumble over bad grammar or misprints.''' i think a lot of authors rush and make the book horible

rogcaprino@hotmail.com

Rad Hall said...

Ah, but did you cringe in parts as you were revising? ... :)
I suppose it's as much a balancing act as ever; greater opportunity to get published but more chance of shooting yourself in the foot.

Bummed to know I missed the time travel romance trend, I rather enjoyed Somewhere in Time.

Temperance said...

I think that there is:)
I looking forward to checking out your work..Thank you for the giveaway

Linda: By the Book said...

I have a soft spot for indie books and self-pub authors. It's new and fresh. I can say I discovered them before they were popular. So much talent and possibility. And with that comes some people who don't write...well. Yet. I've read lots of bad books and I know when an author didn't try. If they get bad reviews, they can try to do better. I have a lot of respect for people who don't give up.
Thanks for the giveaway.

Lindadao2060 at yahoo dot com

JessS said...

I feel bad admitting it, but I haven't really read many indie or self published books. That's partly because I much prefer paper books to ebooks. I do think it's great that authors have more options and oppourtunities, but I'm still more likely to buy a book that's been published by a company (although some of them aren't that good either).

jessicamariesutton(at)msn(dot)com

Keisha said...

I have not read any indie books but i love hearing about new authors

ktalley28gmail.com

mbreakfield said...

I have read some very good self-published works and some that needed lots of work. However, I have also read some books by mainstream publishers that needed work. It is a mixed bag.

janhvi said...

i ahve not read any indie books but i'd love to read any book by any author if the story interests me and can keep me wanting to know more about the characters.

GFC-Janhvi Jagtap
justjanhvi at gmail dot com

Julianne MacLean said...

Hello everyone! I'm sorry I was away at the Romance Writers of America conference last week, so I wasn't able to pop in, but I'm back now! Happy to see all the great comments.

One in particular inspired to respond: "Ah, but did you cringe in parts as you were revising? ... :)"

Absolutely yes!! There were some passages that were very cliche, or just plain cheesy. But here's kicker. I still encounter passages like that in the books I write today. Revision is everything. I am one of those writers who lets it all hang out in the first draft, and some passages are simply BAD. I truly believe that an equal skill level is required in the revision stage. The ability to recognize our weaknesses is a great gift and talent. A strong critique partner can also be worth his or her weight in gold.

roro said...

think that there is:)
I looking forward to checking out your work..Thank you for the giveaway

gfc roro(rogier caprino)

rogcaprino@hotmail.com

Barbara said...

I don't think I have read any self published books and not sure if I want to, until I see reviews and blogs about the book. My reading time is limited right now and I hate to get into a book and not want to finish it. so I am glad to see blogs like this about books and series, etc; this is where I get my TBR list

regencygirl01 said...

I love all of Julianne's books.
I like that she has kept her irst book and has now looked over it with new eyes and made it so it would work in today's market. Ebooks and self published books online are something I have to get used since several of my favorite authors are doing it. Can't wait to read Color of Heaven

Karen said...

I've started following some author websites and blog sites and have found some wonderful new authors - having a grand time with great new reads for my e-reader! And I do let my friends know of my new finds, too.

Karen C.
kacbooks(at)hotmail(dot)com

Marguerite V. said...

I too have not read an indie book, but as I love reading, I am always up for a new book. Life is stressful enough - I love all of your books, and anything that "takes me away" is OK by me. I don't mind authors that think they are ready to publish, we as readers are here to critique if need be. Thanks for being a fantastic author, you have helped me out in my life more than you know, and thanks for this opportunity!

Anonymous said...

I haven't read any indie books, and I guess it wouldn't matter how a book is published as long as it's quality reading.

Betty Hamilton said...

Julianne, I am so glad that you persevered. I love your highlander books! I am looking forward to reading the 3rd. KEEP on writing those great books!!

Emma said...

I have always wanted to write a romance. There is always that self doubt that you wont be good enough, funny enough or be able to bring the characters to life. Now I see that I should be just writing for my own self satisfaction. I may never get published, I may never have a legion of followers, but I now realise that if it's something I love and I put my heart and soul into it, I can do great things. Thank you for inspiring me:)

Maria (pronounced Mariah) said...

I have read several self published books and love that they are inexpensive and easy to get. Yes there may be a few typos but I can usually find a few things wrong in non self published books.