Thursday, September 15, 2016

Author Dana Provo shares writing, pub advice + a chance to with a copy of BLEEDING HEARTS!

I'm excited to bring you another successful author chat, this time with Dana Provo. Her debut, BLEEDING HEARTS, is available now. Don't forget to scroll to the bottom of the post for a chance to win your own copy!

Hi Dana!  Thanks for joining us on Thinking to Inking. Tell us about the path to publication for Bleeding Hearts. What advice do you have for writers still working to make their publishing dreams a reality?

Bleeding Hearts started back in April or May of 2015 when I realized I wanted to write a story with several timelines. I took about two months thinking about what I wanted and how I was going to write it then I created a chapter outline. The first draft took two months to write and each chapter I finished, I uploaded it onto Wattpad to get feedback. Little did I know that my story would get over 12,000 reads on that free reading/writing site.

I knew I wanted to publish BH in November, 2015 so I asked my good friend Alyssa to beta read and edit it for me. Before I sent it to her I had already edited it 4-5 times myself. Alyssa and I worked on my book for an additional two months; she would edit one chapter and send it to me, then I'd edit and send it back for more critiques.

Now, while I was editing BH, I started working on my synopsis and short blurb while also researching agents and publishers. I created my social media platforms, joined a local writing group, and attended a writer's conference to gain more knowledge.

As January came along, I started crafting three different query letters and created a spreadsheet for all the agents and publishers I wanted to query and which letter I would send them based on their requirements. There were several Twitter pitch parties I participated in as well. I submitted close to 50 agents and publishers. Half of those responses were straight out rejections. Some rejections were from my favorite agencies.

At the end of January, I received a full manuscript request from another publisher and boy was I excited! I waited many weeks to hear back from them. During that time, I sent out more queries and another full request to Clean Reads (my publisher). When you have multiple fulls out to different agencies it's important to let the other companies know that they have competition if you haven't heard back from them within 6 weeks of the request, but don't be pushy, stay professional in your letter.

Stephanie with Clean Reads emailed me the middle of February with a publishing contract. As excited as I was, I wanted to hear back from the first publisher before I accepted the first contract, so I asked some questions and waited a full week before I made my decision. The first publisher got back to me with another rejection right at the same time I was planning on accepting the CR contract.

After the contract was signed, there was so much to do. Editing, building my social media platform, editing some more, filling out paperwork, more social media, and last but not least editing. It took six very full months to publish Bleeding Hearts from the day I signed the contract to release day. But that doesn’t include every month writing, editing, and querying the book. I don't think I would change anything I did to get where I am today.

For aspiring authors, the most important thing that helped me through this process is good friends and lack of procrastination. I knew what I wanted and I went for it. Don't hesitate to ask for help from other writers you may know, and don't stop until you've reached your goal of publishing a book. There will be times where you think the world is against you, but it's not. People are busy and since no one knows your name, you are always going to be put on the maybe pile until someone reads your story and takes a chance on you. It takes time, but don't let time slip away.

About Bleeding Heats
by Dana Louise Provo
Publication Date: August 25, 2016
Publisher: Clean Reads

Orphaned at an early age, now twenty-four-year-old Camryn Lucks is ready to commit to find that special someone, and so accepts a date from a charming, gallant, handsome stranger. The last thing she imagines after accepting that first date with Carson would actually be the beginning of her worst nightmare.

Red roses, a reminder of her parents' killer, soon become an emblem of horror for Cami as one by one, those closest to her fall victim to a serial killer. Cami becomes an obsession for Carson, the man she had finally allowed herself to love. Not only is he vying for her heart, but also her life.

Finding herself in a whirlwind of torments shadowed by the blood-colored bloom, Cami finds solace in Isaac, a neighboring police officer. She’s desperate to escape the haunting memories, but she must revisit them in order to catch her would-be killer. Living life in constant fear has driven Cami to second-guess every choice she makes. Will the police catch the illusive murderer, or will Cami be forced to face him once again?

About the Author

Dana Provo has always loved books and reads everything from young adult fantasy to adult historical romances. When she’s not reading or writing her next novel, Dana can be found riding her horses and getting ready for competition. Dana lives with her husband and two house plants in Richmond, Virginia.

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