Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tuesday Tidbits with BJ Scott

First, I would like to thank Shiela for inviting me to join her blog family. I look forward to visiting each Tues and sharing my journey to publication, writing info, publishing tips, interesting interviews with fellow authors and having some fun with the visitors to this site.
If you have a question or even a topic you would like us to discuss, just email me at bjscott@authorbjscott.com or contact Shiela and we will be happy to look into it for you.
Today, I will start by tell you a bit about myself and my journey to publication.
I am a Canadian author, born and raised in the Niagara region of Ontario, but now live with my wonderful husband, four dogs and a cat in a small town on the shore of Lake Erie. While I have a background in nursing and child and youth work, I have also worked in the museum field, doing costumed interpretations at a historical village, have run an 1800's bed and breakfast on a horse ranch and owned a pet supply store. Currently employed as a private child care worker and running a small home based business--heat pressed promo items and customized gifts, I always find time to write. Mind you, since my debut novel HIGHLAND LEGACY was published in Nov, the social media and promotions have taken up a huge chunk of my time.
Becoming a published author was my dream for a very long time. Inspired by C.S. Lewis as a child and the classics like Gone with the Wind, Jane Eyre and Little women, my love of reading grew and my desire to write prospered. In 2000, I joined my first online writing group. Full of excitement and enthusiasm, I posted my first manuscript and anxiously awaited the readers response. While the members were very nice and very helpful, my debut was not what I expected or hoped for. After one blunt and not so kind response, I realized that while I knew the basics, there was a lot more to learn about writing and pleasing the readers. Rather than letting that discourage me, I decided to take action.
I enrolled in creative writing classes, stepped up my reading of books in my genres to see what was popular and why. I took online workshops and delved into any writing manual I could find. My next attempt was met with a much brighter response, but I still wanted more of my self and my work. I took a brief hiatus from writing form 2003-2009, when real life, a new husband and other commitments were my main focus. But my love of reading and desire to someday be published was never far from my mind. In 2009, I dusted off my old wips...many in need of a rewrite and sat down to write some new manuscripts.
My heart lies in historical romance, primarily ones set in Scotland since aside from being born in Canada, my ancestry is Scottish, Irish and English. Give me anything historical or Scottish to read and I am in my glory.
While learning the ins and outs of the social media has proven to be a major undertaking, the results are very rewarding. It allows me to offer my book to a variety of people world wide, keeps my fans up to date on what's new and allows me to interact with those same fans on a more personal level.
My current book Highland Legacy, was picked up by Soul Mate Publishing in the summer of 2011. It started out well, but far exceeded my expectations when it made the Amazon best seller list for Historical Romance in Jan 2012 and remained there for 7 weeks.
My journey to publication was not without ups and downs, a lot of learning and even some moments of self-doubt--something I think every author must experience a some time. Fortunately, I am very persistent. I did not let rejection notices and lets not forget the very polite, "We love your book, but it does not fit our needs at this time. Please query us again at a future date."
I found myself asking...What exactly does that mean? Did they really like the book? Do they really want me to query them in future with another book? What was it about the book that you liked, but made it not suitable for your needs at this time? Unfortunately, they do not welcome the questions, nor do they have the time to answer them with the mound of manuscripts sitting on their desk/computer and thousands of aspiring authors waiting for the CALL. Any info even brief is helpful.
So you add another name to your list and move on. Those that do give you a little more insight, you put at the top of the list and make note of every word. Use that information to your advantage and forge ahead. But the most important thing to remember is that every day you write, every lesson you learn and every day you get one step closer to your dream. Write...write...write and never give up your dream.
I write primarily Scottish historical romances, Civil War, 1812 and 1800s Native American culture. I also write paranormal, romantic suspense and time travel. Currently working on a sequel to Highland Legacy, my other wips include a Civil War based time travel/paranormal, another Scottish historical and a few other projects tba.
Blurb:Faced with an abhorrent betrothal, Cailin Macmillan flees her father’s castle and quickly learns that a woman traveling alone in Medieval Scotland is an easy target for ruthless English soldiers. When Highland patriot Connor Fraser comes to her aid, his steadfast dedication to king and country is challenged by his overwhelming desire to protect Cailin—even if he must marry her to do so.
Accused of murdering one of her attackers and determined to rely on her own resourcefulness, Cailin dresses as a lad, intent on seeking refuge at the camp of Robert the Bruce. Can she elude an enemy from her past—a vindictive English lord bent on her utter demise—or will she fall prey to his carnal intent and be executed for a crime she did not commit?
Until next Tues, happy writing and have a great week!


Miriam Newman said...

Great post, Barb, and I enjoyed getting to know more about you. Good luck with the book. It looks delicious!

Shelly Bell said...

B.J., the fact they wanted you to query later meant they thought it was well written but perhaps they didn't think they could sell it. Trust me, they don't ask everyone to query again. Too much work!

Barb Babbage w/a B.J. Scott said...

Thanks Miriam

You have some pretty great looking books too!

Thanks for stopping by

Barb Babbage w/a B.J. Scott said...

Hi Shelley, the question about the query was a ritorical question but thanks. They are busy and I appreciate anything in the way of enouragement that they want to send my way ;) Especially if they invite me to send something again.

thanks for dropping by. Great to see you!

Shiela Stewart said...

Great post, Barb! Love hearing more about you.

Your journey into the publishing world sounds a lot like mine. Glad we both found our way.

Glad ot have you on board!

Barb Babbage w/a B.J. Scott said...

Thanks Shiela. This will be fun and am looking forward to doing the blog each week.

Meggan Connors said...

Great post, Barb! I love hearing stories about a writer's journey to publication.

Best of luck with this and all your forthcoming projects! I can't wait to read more of your work,

Bev Irwin / Kendra James said...

Hi Barb and Shiela
Great start to your weekly blogging. Nice to learn a little more about you.

Casey Wyatt said...

Congrats on joining a group blog! I can tell from experience, it's a lot of fun! I loved your interview. I feel like I learned more new things about you!

Mandi Casey said...

Congrats on your blog. Great post and I'm so glad that you stuck with your dreams. Can't wait to read more :)

Barb Babbage w/a B.J. Scott said...

Hi Meggan

So glad you stopped in for a visit. And thanks for the comments and good wishes

Barb Babbage w/a B.J. Scott said...

Hi Bev/Kendra

Thanks for stopping in. Looking forward to having you join us and your contributions to the blog ;)

Barb Babbage w/a B.J. Scott said...

Hi Cassey,

This is going to be fun and a great way for me to delve into the world of blogging ;) I do have a blog, but being so new to the Social media, sharing the fun with someone is so much better.

Thanks for stopping by

Barb Babbage w/a B.J. Scott said...

Hi Mandi
Thanks for stopping in.

Apprecate the support and your comments

Shiela Stewart said...

Hey Kendra, can't wait to see what you have to bring to That's What She Said. :)

Barb, I think multi author blogs are great. There is always some one lese there to help out if one can;t make it. :)

lily sawyer said...

Great post, Barb. I enjoyed learning more about your journey into writing.


Barb Babbage w/a B.J. Scott said...

Thanks for stopping in Linda.

Barb Babbage w/a B.J. Scott said...

I agree Shiela. A group blog is a great thing and everyone brings something different to the table.

Ann Montclair said...

Another fine and insightful post, Barb. I need all the advice I can obtain, so please keep it coming. Highland Legacy is a stellar first novel, and I look forward to more historical tales from you.

Barb Babbage w/a B.J. Scott said...

Thanks Ann. Always so nice to see you and appreciate your support.

Sequel is coming.

Callie said...

Hey Barb (she waves). Always good to 'see' you. I loved the story of your writing journey. It was certainly well worth it, with the sales Highland Legacy is having. Best of luck with it and your future projects.

Dawn Ireland said...

Hi Barb,

It's always fun to learn about another writer's journey. Your book is wonderful and you're a very dedicated writer. It's going to be fun seeing what you choose to write about every week! Here's to Highland Legacies continued success!
Dawn Ireland

Barb Babbage w/a B.J. Scott said...

Thanks for stopping in Callie

Always great to see you.

Barb Babbage w/a B.J. Scott said...

Thanks Dawn. I think this is going to be a lot of fun.

Glad you stopped by