Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Guest Blogger: Author Andrea Jackson

Please welcome author Andrea Jackson, also known as the Paperback Diva, to my blog today.

I call myself the Paperback Diva because I love reading, as well as writing romantic paperback fiction.

From the third grade on, I had a book in my hand. When I reached my teen years, I began to venture into creating stories for my friends. I continued to write off and on through many years of work, marriage and family. But I didn't seriously think of it as a career until, in 1992, I entered Writer's Digest monthly contest and won. That made me believe I might actually be a real writer. I joined Romance Writers of America and learned about the business and craft of writing.

I continued to enter contests. I like them for the feedback. Even if I didn't win, I learned some valuable insight into how readers saw my work. When I started to place in the top three or four of contests, I was thrilled. In 2002, I entered the Heart and Soul contest for the Romance Slam Jam conference. I placed third. That year an editor from Genesis Press was one of the final round judges. Almost immediately after the conference, I shot a query off to Genesis, noting my position in the Slam Jam contest. And they bought it. Bodyguard was followed by Hand in Glove and Who's That Lady?

My first two novels were romantic suspense. Then I wanted to see if I could make a good story without the threat of bodily danger. J The next novel, Who's That Lady? was a best friends turned lovers story. Crystal Taylor, super competent in business, insecure about her personal life, and lurking in the shadow of her glamorous friends, presented herself to me begging for a story.

Since that last novel I've moved into the world of romantic fantasy. I wrote a novelette for Midnight Showcase called "Tails You Win" for the Merlicious 3 anthology. In my story, the annual Mermaid games are a combination of Fear Factor, Survivor, and The Bachelor. My heroine has to choose between winning fame and fortune or love. I completed another novelette for Phaze Books. This one is part of their successful Coming Together series. Each anthology benefits a different charity and all proceeds go to that cause. My story "The Pleasure Healing" will appear in Coming Together: At Last which is due out in January 2009. This anthology features interracial couples and will benefit Amnesty International.

As you can see, my tastes run in all directions of romantic fiction. I like it spicy or sizzling. I love diverse characters facing compelling situations. I like my settings down the street, under the ocean, or far out in other worlds. I'm just an insatiable Paperback Diva.

If you have a desire to be a writer yourself, this is my advice.

1. WRITE. A lot. Use writing exercises, journals, copy admired writers. Try different techniques. Learn about your voice and conveying your thoughts. Write a novel from beginning to end. Write another one.

2. READ. Read what you like to write. Read writing advice books and magazines. Read book reviews. Read best sellers, classics. Read inside and outside your own genre.

3. ASSOCIATE with other writers. Join writing groups. Find a critique partner or group. Take advice on your writing and learn.

4. CONFERENCE. Attend writing conferences where you'll get to associate with editors, agents, booksellers, and fans, as well as other writers. You'll get the scoop on the latest trends, find out personal preferences of those you submit to, and learn the business.

5. SUBMIT. Learn proper manuscript formatting and submission procedures. Research the publishers and agents who work with the type of books you write. Find contests. Then send out your manuscript. Learn to wait for a response and then send it out again.

6. SELL. Learn to promote yourself and your book. Stay in touch with fans and keep up with your writing contacts.

Keep checking on my website for more about upcoming books, conferences, contests and appearances. I Twitter and I blog where you can learn about a lot of different authors. I love to hear from other readers who can call themselves "Paperback Divas"!

Wow! Thank you, Andrea, for this great article and for being my guest

today. I hope you'll join us again. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow.

You'll also want to see what Amarinda Jones, Anika Hamilton, Anny Cook, Barbara Huffert, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Dakota Rebel, Kelly Kirch, Molly Daniels, Sandra Cox, Regina Carlysle, and Cindy Spencer Pape are up to, so make sure to visit them also. :)


Molly Daniels said...

Wow! I guess I could also call myself a Paperback Diva, since I started taking books to school in the 2nd grade. Loved Iowa Basic time; I could easily read several after finishing the English portion of the tests!

Great advice:)

Diana Cosby said...

I enjoyed your article. You've worked hard over the years, and I'm thrilled with your every success. I think it's neat that a portion of your anthology will benefit Amnesty International. Take care and I wish you and yours a blessed Thanksgiving!

Diana Cosby
His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
His Woman/December 08/Duncan MacGruder - 4 star Romantic Times review!

Sandra Cox said...

Great blog Andrea and Ash.
Happy Thanksgiving. I hope its wondrous.

Unknown said...

Andrea - Thanks again for being my guest and sharing such a great article.

Unknown said...

Um...Like Molly, I guess I'm a Paperback Diva, too. Great name you came up with for yourself, Andrea. Wish I'd thought of it first. :)

Unknown said...

Diana - thanks for stopping by. I hope you'll drop by often and chime in.

Unknown said...

Sandra and all - Happy Thanksgiving! Thanks for dropping by and commenting today.

Lisabet Sarai said...

Andrea! Great to learn more about you. And we'll be under the covers together in Coming Together: At Last.

Keep writing...keep sharing.

Unknown said...

Hi Lisabet! Thanks for popping in. Good luck with Coming Together: At Last

Anonymous said...

Loved your blog here Paperback Diva! Also the 6 writing tips will help others with their writing. Thanks for letting us know about your posting here!

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