A Tor Mass Market
On Sale: October 30, 2012
"Psychologist Elizabeth Cole prepared for the worst when she accepted a job on a newly discovered world - a world where every colonist is tethered to an alien who manifests in the form of a dead loved one. But she never expected she'd struggle with the requirement to shun these “ghosts.” She never expected to be so attracted to the charming Irishman assigned as her supervisor. And she certainly never expected to discover she died in a transport crash en route to the planet.
Reincarnated as a ghost, Elizabeth is symbiotically linked to her supervisor, Murphy - creator of the Ghost Protocol, which forbids him to acknowledge or interact with her. Confused and alone - oppressed by her ghost status and tormented by forbidden love - Elizabeth works to unlock the secrets of her own existence.
But her quest for answers lands her in a tug-of-war between powerful interests, and she soon finds herself a pawn in the struggle for control of the planet…a struggle that could separate her forever from the man she loves."
Today I'm massively excited because Sharon's very kindly stopped by to give us a bit of insight into her literary journey....
The Road to Oz
My first RWA Golden Heart finalist class chose the name Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood, and my writer's journey was a lot like the road to Oz. I felt a little lost when I got started. Agents and editors threw apples at -- I mean rejected my manuscript. Sometimes I got tired and discouraged and thought I'd never make it. I couldn't have done it without the loving support of friends. And by the end, just like Dorothy, I realized success or failure depended less on all these other factors than on what was inside of me.
Most critically: Passion for the story. Belief I would succeed. Refusal to quit.
You have to become a little delusional about the possibility of failure. Of course the possibility exists, and many will tell you it’s the most likely outcome. But a writer who actually believes that is finished. It destroys motivation, inspiration, and drive. The only guaranteed road to failure is quitting.
When I was gearing up to start writing again after the birth of my daughter (about 5 years ago now), I read the story of Stephenie Meyer’s journey to publication. She had nothing more than any other writer ever has when they begin – a story she felt passionate about, and a strong drive to see the thing through. Okay, she also had a fabulous idea, perfect timing, and a heaping helping of luck. But maybe you will too. Assume that you will. What do you have to lose?
Okay, end of pep talk. J When Rebekah invited me here, she asked me to talk about my writer’s journey. So I’m going to write the rest of this as an interview, using the questions she sent.
Were you always a writer?
Yes, I started writing when I was 6. I always knew I wanted to write fiction, though I treated it like a hobby for many years. Then I got serious and completed a couple manuscripts when I was in my 20s. One partial (of a book I never actually finished) made it to a second reader at Ace. That was as far as I got, and then for the next decade or so . . . well, life happened.
About 18 months after my daughter was born, I reassessed (early 2008). Was I doing what my younger self had envisioned me doing at this stage of life? In many ways, yes. I had a family, a successful career as a copywriter, and lived in a beautiful part of the country. But I’d never really given the fiction-writing dream the time or effort required to bear fruit.
That’s when I decided I was going to do it. I started out writing short stories and submitting them to the Writers of the Future Contest. My first efforts were romantic fantasy, which is pretty much what I’ve always written. After a few honorable mentions I decided to try a sci-fi story.
The title “Ghost Planet” came to me. I remember the exact spot I was standing in (the living room) and what I was staring at (the kitchen bar) when it happened. The next six weeks were a blur of fingers flying over keyboard.
How did you pull the puzzle pieces together to create your book?
After the title came to me, I started noodling on what a world called “ghost planet” would be like. I had the idea for a first scene where a scientist traveled to the planet to work, only to find herself tethered to a very attractive alien. The real spark happened when I thought: No, she should be the alien.
Based on a two-sentence synopsis (that was only in my head) I soon had the novel drafted, and I started querying agents. But that was only the beginning of a 5-year journey.
What happened after you signed with an agent?
In early 2009 I signed with a junior agent at a respected agency. She suggested I beef up the sci-fi elements of the book, and I was working on that when I found out GP was a Golden Heart finalist. We started submitting in the spring, and while we got a lot of positive feedback, it was clear the book wasn’t ready. I revised again.
Around that time my agent left the business and I was faced with starting over. Happily, another agent at the same agency took me on. Unhappily, after she read the manuscript and gave her feedback, I realized my vision for the book had become fragmented in rewrites, and I was going to have to start from scratch. I can imagine how hard that conversation was for the agent, and to this day I’m grateful for her honesty. Her insights were spot on.
I rewrote again, but when my agent and I discussed the new version, it became clear our visions for the book were not aligned. We mutually and amicably agreed to part ways.
I had a couple dream agents in mind when I first started my querying process, and one of their assistants had actually read and commented on the first version of my manuscript, inviting me to resubmit. Fearing I didn’t have a realistic chance with her, I never did. (Writers do some very silly things.) I felt more confident now, and determined to at least try, so I approached her again.
Third time’s a charm! I signed with the agent, and about the same time we started submitting, the new version of the book was named a Golden Heart finalist. Less than a year later we had the offer from Tor.
So that’s my story! I’d love to hear yours. If you’re a writer, where are you on your yellow brick road? If not a writer, do you have a childhood dream that you’ve pursued, or would still like to pursue?a Rafflecopter giveaway
RULES: Must be over 16 to enter. Winners will be sent an e-mail and have 72 hours to respond or another will be chosen. Your address will be passed on to the author/publisher who will then send out the book and your details will be deleted.