Sunday, June 24, 2012

Author Blog Challenge - Day 21

What is the single best piece of advice you’ve ever received about the publishing process and/or would advice would you offer to a first-time author?

When I was writing my fiction book, I had a consultation with Cathy Yardley, author of "Will Write for Shoes" and many other books. She knows a lot about structure and can pin-point exactly what you need to do to make your story better. Check her website Rock Your Writing to look at the services she offers.

When I had my consultation with her I had doubts about the genre. My writing style is more suited to chick lit but back then that genre was suffering from a backlash. I knew I couldn't write romance, so I was thinking of changing the style to women's fiction. 

During our consultation, after Cathy read a chapter summary and a sample of my story, she couldn't understand why a woman would stay in a marriage if the husband cheated. When I explained it was a cultural thing since my main character is Mexican-American with very strong ties to her Mexican culture and in a way "that's the way it is" (not 100%, of course, especially nowadays) and I mentioned several scenes where that custom was discussed between several characters, I could almost see her light up (the consultation was by phone). She told me to focus on the cultural aspect of my story and if I wanted to change the story to be more consistent with women's fiction, I had to give it my all when it came to the emotional conflicts: "Don't pull any punches!"

Her advice gave me new confidence, I have the notes from that consultation and when I get back to re-writing the story, I have a better idea as to how to make it better and I know who I want as my editor!

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