Monday, July 18, 2011

Manic Monday with Amy Corwin

Today’s Manic Monday guest is Award-winning author Amy Corwin. She manages a dual career as a writer and an enterprise systems administrator in the computer industry. She writes Regencies, paranormals, and mysteries, although to be truthful, most of her books include a bit of murder and mayhem since she discovered that killing off at least one character is a highly effective way to make the remaining ones tow the plot line.

Please give Amy a warm welcome…

First, I owe big thanks to Jane for allowing me a spot on her blog. It’s very kind of her as it’s not everyone who will allow another writer to babble on the way we tend to do. So…THANKS!

We live in a remarkable period. For the first time in history, everyone who “has a book in them” can release their creativity and get it published! Through the Internet, we have the ability to share ideas, thoughts, and dreams with others and connect to people all around the globe! I’m so glad to be writing now, because it hasn’t always been so easy. My own journey has been full of fits and starts. Just for the fun of it, I thought I’d share my experiences.

A Writer’s Journey

Back in the dark ages when the earth’s crust was just beginning to cool, I thought it would be pretty nifty to be a writer. In fact, when I was six years old, I wrote my first book about a germ and his journey through a little girl’s tummy. Bizarre, yes, but a lot of fun. Particularly since I illustrated it and bound it with my own loving hands. It had cloth-over-cardboard covers, and I even sewed the pages to a spine. Quite the quality production.

After that, there were a few short stories I wrote, including one with a sort of “Twilight Zone” theme about a man who tried to pull off insurance fraud and ended up just cheating himself. By the seventh grade, I learned how to type on an old Underwood typewriter, and I really got to work. For those who were not privileged to grow up in pre-computer days (about a week after the earth’s crust hardened) this process consisted in typing each individual page, ripping it up and typing the entire page over when I made a mistake. Or trying to correct it with various methods such as white-out. A great deal of fun, to be sure.

When I finally got my first real manuscript more-or-less finished, I took two sheets of fresh paper and insert a sheet of carbon paper between them. Then I very, very carefully typed the finished product so that I would have one copy to submit to publishers and a carbon copy to keep. Just in case.

After going through this process a few times and getting a loan to pay for white-out, I finally got a romance ready to submit. I was twenty-one at the time and completely clueless. I sent it to a publisher and…low and behold…they sent back a rejection along with a box of books! And in the rejection, they said, “We liked your writing, but it didn’t entirely fit our line. If you could rewrite along the lines of the enclosed books, we would be happy to see your manuscript again.”

Folks, this is where a smarter person would have dug in and done just that. Silly me threw away the manuscript in frustration, read the books (*free books!) and piddled around for about…fifteen years with another career!

Finally, I found a group of friends who were all working at writing. They were wonderful! We critiqued each other’s work and provided much needed moral support. One by one, each of my friends got agents and got fantastic contracts for their manuscripts. Sad to say, I was the last one to get an agent, but after slaving away over a hot computer keyboard for more years than I care to mention, I got an agent. Time passed. Got another agent. Sold a manuscript! Yippee!

Looking back, my journey was pretty much the same as every other writer’s journey, although if I’d had a little more sense when I got that first rejection, I might had been published a heck of a lot sooner. But maybe, just maybe, my work was published when it was ready to be published. Maybe I needed those intervening years to live and learn.

And that’s the thought I want to leave you with: maybe things when they need to happen and not before.

My Latest Historical Mystery: A Rose Before Dying

Only Sir Edward had the motive, the opportunity, and a garden full of the identical roses sent to each victim before their death.

The first victim was Sir Edward’s ex-mistress, a woman who threw him over for a younger man. After receiving a mysterious rose, she dies while alone with Sir Edward. Then a second rose is delivered and a deadly game commences, where roses are the only clues to save the next victim.

However, Charles Vance, Earl of Castlemoor, refuses to believe his uncle, Sir Edward, could commit the murders, even when the renowned head of the Second Sons Inquiry Agency warns him there may be some truth behind the rumors. “The roses are Sir Edward’s attempt to cast suspicion elsewhere.” “Misdirection.” Or so the whispers say.

Convinced he can prove his uncle’s innocence, Vance enlists the aide of notable rosarian, Ariadne Wellfleet, little realizing his actions will involve the Wellfleet household in the killer’s game.

Before the week is out, another rose is delivered.

And someone else is missing.

You can find out more about Amy at the following places:
Her Website
Her Blog
Her Facebook Page

Kiki Howell dishes it up with me on Friday!
Until Then,

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