NdulgentBloggrs: Welcome to our book club, Christine.
CB: Thanks so much for inviting me, ladies! I’m excited to be here.
NdulgentBloggrs: We love to feature up and coming authors so we're excited to have you here too. We've all read both of the Wolves of Pray books and enjoyed them. Knowing you're a new author, we had lots of questions about when you got started as an author.
CB: I started writing romantic fiction last December, so it’s only been eleven months, but writing has always been a part of my life in some form or another. I loved taking creative writing classes, writing for my college newspaper, poetry etc
NdulgentBloggrs: What was your first manuscript?
CB: Actually, my first manuscript was Pray! Well, sort of, lol. I wrote the first draft in about two weeks and was feeling pretty nifty. Then I found my crit group and took some writing workshops and realized it was pretty bad! It was a good plot and even then I think my voice came through sort of, but it was riddled with new writer mistakes. “Witty” and plentiful adverbs and dialogue tags, dizzying amounts of head-hopping, just the whole laundry list of "what not to do" packed into one novella. With the help of my C.P.’s, some workshops, a major slash and burn and a little luck, I was offered a contract for it in July. I can honestly say it was one of the HAPPIEST days of my life.
NdulgentBloggrs: That's exciting! Is the process of becoming published really as difficult as "they" say?
CB: See above! Take an editing workshop (I recommend Before You Hit Send with Angela James. It's inexpensive and really on point. She goes over a lot of new writer issues, from passive voice and dialogue tags to how to start en media res and avoid various plot devices). I also suggest, nay, BESEECH you to get a crit partner or a crit group. I don’t care if you’re the next J.K. Rowling, you need another set of (writer’s, not friend’s) eyes on your work, especially early on. They offer a different perspective and can often catch plot holes that your brain may fill in when you’re reading it, but that you never actually put onto the page.
NdulgentBloggrs: You've obviously made it work. Any advice for hopeful authors?
CB: It’s not easy, but luckily talent is a small part of the equation. The rest is entirely within your control, and therefore totally within your grasp. YOU control how much effort you want to put into learning your craft. I chose to put it above everything but family. YOU control how often you write, how often you submit (this is key, many people have a fear of submitting. I wrote and submitted my ass off and still do). Then, once you’re published YOU control whether your publishers and editors want to continue to work with you by making your deadlines, behaving professionally and producing good work. I think with a little talent, and a lot of self-discipline you can get published. Just go after it, you know? I sleep about 4 hours a night because this is my dream and it’s not going to come to me. That’s not how dreams work, so I’m going to actively hunt it down, tie it up and strap it to the hood of my car if I have to. Sounds mean, right? But effective. :o)
NdulgentBloggrs: Thanks for the advice, Christine. And now, our favorite question to ask our guests is... what is your guilty indulgence?
CB: Ack! Let’s see, I hate to be cliché and say chocolate, but that’s definitely one of them. And I looovvves me some shoes, lol. Boots, pumps, sandals, wedges, bring 'em on!
If you would like to own one of Christine Bell's books, leave a comment. We will draw a name at random for a chance to win your choice of either Pray or Awakening. Entries will be accepted through 8:00am EST Monday, November 14th. Must be a follower or include contact information so we can contact you if you win.