Mar 292012
 

I am so happy to welcome Laura here today. Whether you have love her Tea Shop Mysteries or Scrapbooking Mysteries, or Cackleberry Club Mysteries or you love them all you realize what a treat it is to have her here . If Laura is an author new to you I will have a complete list of her books after her guest post.

Think you could be an author yourself, read below as Laura gives you a bit of inside information.

Hi Laura!!

Hi Lori, I am happy to be here!

Have you got a story to tell and a yearning to be published?

Most people do. As an author, I’m constantly quizzed about the world of publishing and being asked for tips on how to break in and what editors are looking for.

So . . . do editors really know what they’re looking for? Not always. Do they know it when they see it? Well . . . sometimes.

An editor’s biggest responsibility lies in the area of acquisitions. That is, they are tasked with finding new authors with new material. As such, editors are always on the hunt for the next big thing. And usually that means a great story with great characters – because a character-driven story is what’s really critical these days.

Editors are also looking for breakout books. Books that are different and don’t re-tell the same old story. Think about books such as The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother or The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. These are books that really stand out in their categories.

So what can would-be authors do to increase their chances of success today? What can you do if you’ve got a story to tell and a yearning to be published? Well, take a look at the various categories. The mystery, thriller, and romance categories seem to be holding strong, while the market for “chick lit” novels is fairly saturated.

In the past, I was able to pitch books and win contracts based on 3 or 4 chapters and an outline. Now that we’re in a somewhat tougher market, that’s pretty much changed. Now editors want to see your entire manuscript.

As an prospective author, you also need to understand how your book concept relates to the marketplace. If there are already 35 culinary mystery series out there and you’re pitching the 36th, it could be a tough sell. You also need to be fully cognizant of the internal architecture of your novel. I’m talking about plot, pacing, turning points, character development, dialogue, and building suspense. These are the things you learn with experience and also by reading other successful authors. In fact, when I first started out, I used to tear apart novels by Michael Connelly and James Patterson and actually diagram them!

But the most important thing you need today is fortitude – you have to believe in yourself! You have to know that you can do it and never ever allow yourself to become discouraged! Just remember – John Grisham’s first novel, The Client, was turned down by 30 agents and 15 publishers. More than 2 dozen publishers turned down Chicken Soup for the Soul before it became a best seller and spawned an entire series. And Mary Higgins Clark, who helped me get started, was rejected 40 times before making her first sale. One editor told her: “Your story is light, slight, and trite.”

In today’s on-demand climate it’s also hugely important to establish an opening story hook immediately. Editors don’t want pages and pages of build-up, they want you to toss your reader directly into the action! As my agent once said to me – “You’re writing murder mysteries, so you better deliver a dead body right there in chapter one!”

So . . . good luck. Write diligently and work smart. And someday I hope to see you on a bestseller list!

Laura Child’s most recent release is Agony of the Leaves (A Tea Shop Mystery). She has Postcards from the Dead (A Scrapbooking Mystery) coming out October 2 and Stake & Eggs (A Cackleberry Club Mystery) being released December 4, 2012. Both of these new book are available for pre-order.

Find out more about the author at www.laurachilds.com

Thanks to the people at Berkley Prime Crime
I have 2 copies of Laura’s Newest Release!!

U.S. and CANADIAN RESIDENTS
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for Laura for 5 Bonus Entries!

If you publicize the giveaway anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End April 12, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here.

  46 Responses to “Special Guest Post – Laura Childs With Giveaway!”

  1. I absolutely love the Tea Shop Mystery series and thank you so much for taking the time to share with us today 🙂

  2. I am not a writer, but I love your advice. Thanks for sharing with us.

  3. Because I am a tea lover, I had to try this series when I originally discovered it. Still having fun with it! Thanks.

  4. This is my all time favorite series!!! Please keep the series going!! The characters are fantastic and I never tire of hearing about Theodosia!! Thank you!

  5. Laura, I’ve read the first two books in this series and really like them. My daughter has the whole series so far so I get to borrow them from her, she loves your books and got me started.

  6. Laura – I first picked up your scrapbooking mysteries as my first cozy. I have been hooked ever since. I have every book you have written and plan to keep them for a long while.

    griperang at embarqmail dot com

  7. Laura – your teashop and scrapbooking mystery series were the first cozy mysteries I ever read and now I am hooked on that genre. I think my all-time favorite series is your teashop series – I hope you keep writing them!!!

  8. Can’t wait to read the latest!

  9. I love the tea shop series! Looking forward to the new one!

  10. […] read.  Laura Childs is among my top ten favorite mystery authors. She is guest posting today at Escape With Dollycas.Check it out for Laura’s advice on getting published and for a chance to win a copy of […]

  11. Laura: I love all three of your series. You are among my top ten go to authors when I need a read that I know I’m going to enjoy. And with all the books I read in order to decide what to buy for the school library, I often need one of your books to perk up my reading. Loved your insight on the publishing world.

  12. I like these thoughts that you shared particularly about believing in ourselves. I’ve enjoyed your books as well, so it was great to hear your thoughts for perspective authors.

  13. thanks for the chance to read your novel, laura 🙂

  14. Fantastic advice, the theme running through – perseverance. Any aspiring author should copy these tips and post them near their desk for reference and inspiration. Thanks!

  15. Hi Laura,
    I’ve read every Tea House mystery to date except this new one. I’m on a very long waiting list from TWO different county libraries. I even own a few of the books and they hold pride of place on my bookshelves.

  16. Laura, it’s so generous of you to share advice on how to get started, and how to get published, for aspiring writers. I’d love to read your newest book! I’ve read two of your series and enjoyed them so much.

  17. This is such a fun series! I hope you write many more.

  18. I would enjoy this greatly being a tea drinker and lover. Best wishes.

  19. I have one of this series on my shelves, and Im anxious to get started with it! =)
    I would love to win this book !

  20. Hi Laura Childs,
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for the Teashop Mystery Series. Those books are some of my favorites! Looking forward to reading Agony of the Leaves.
    Warmly,
    Beth

  21. I have never read her books but would like to.
    GloriaDeal@aol.com

  22. Does anyone write about those agents/publishers who have turned down books. Lots of good murders there, one assumes.

  23. LOVE the Tea Shop mysteries. Love all of Laura’s books.

  24. I’d heard of your books before but haven’t had a chance to start them yet. I’m a big fan of cozies and can’t wait to read the Tea Shop mysteries!

  25. I’d love to start reading this series. It sounds really good!

  26. I love tea so I am very interested in this book. I really like that fortitude is so important in being a writer and getting your books published!

    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

  27. Thanks to all for such wonderful comments! I am truly committed to writing all three of my series – Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, Cackleberry Club Mysteries – for many years to come! All of my characters have become like dear friends to me and I just can’t wait to see what happens (trials and tribulations, yes!) in their lives. Thank you all for reading and enjoying the books!

  28. I adore Laura Childs books! Always brings a smile to my face to see a new one!!

  29. Welcome to Laura today, I really enjoyed her comments! I am a longtime fan of her many series and also like that I can support a fellow Minnesotan! Thanks for the chance to win!

  30. Love it when you get to learn more authors. I love tea and mysteries what a great combination. Thanks for the giveaway.

  31. i like her comment about if your writing a murder mystery you gotta have a dead body in the first chapter

  32. Laura – I love your books! This one sounds really good, too.

  33. An interesting article. You’ve managed to keep your books interesting by varying their setting/subject matter (scrapbooking vs. tea shop) within a particular genre (women’s fiction). I had never thought about this angle of the writing and publishing businesses. Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to read this book while drinking a nice hot cup of tea!

  34. Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to read this book. Tore923@aol.com

  35. I love all three series. When I was in my local bookstore, I ordered Agony of the Leaves. When asked about favorite authors, I listed you as one I would love to meet.

  36. congrats to Laura & please continue to do what you do!!!!

    thank you for this giveaway!!!!

  37. This book looks terrific.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  38. Thr Tea Shop mysteries are sooooo much fun. I wait for each one to come out.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

  39. I love Cozy Mysteries and have your 3 series already on my wish list. I read The Teaberry Strangler and looking forward to reading more of your great books. Thanks for stopping by to chat and share with us.
    Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

  40. I just read the first Crackleberry Club book and wrote a review on my blog. I really liked it. Love the advice given here. Looking forward to reading this series too!

  41. I absolutely love the advice that you gave aspiring authors. At one point in my life (as a teenager), I wanted to be an author. I am now happy being a blogger, and your advice goes for everything in life. Even my blog–I have worked hard on it, and your suggestions work for that, too!

  42. Thanks for the information about publishing.

  43. I love mysteries, and this one sounds so good. Thanks for this chance to win it.
    ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

  44. Laura, l love your tea shop mysteries and scrapbook mysteries series. 🙂 Thanks for the advice. I wish everyone best of luck in their writing. I will be a happy reader…

  45. This is one of my all time favorite series. I am really looking forward to the latest release. Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂

    scouts579(at)aol(dot)com

  46. Laura,

    I love your mystery series. They are so cozy and enjoyable and such a welcome refuge from some of the more violent, but enjoyable, novels. Thank you for them!

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