GIVEAWAY And An Interview With the Fabulous Anne Pfeffer

Hooray! As promised here is my 100 Followers Giveaway!

Thanks to all of my awesome amazing bodacious supercool spectactified followers and blog friends! Just because I love you and I'm so excited you helped me get here, I'm doing a GIVEAWAY (in case you didn't get the hint before the other two times I said it, lol).
My friend and writer buddy Anne Pfeffer just released her first novel, Loving Emily. It is a fantastic story about love and loss and finding out what's really important. And five lucky peeps will win either an ebook or a softcover!!! Your choice of which version you'd like. Just enter below and leave me your email. I will pick the winners at random. No extra points for tweeting or blogging or anything, but you can still do those, if you want. ;)

Ryan Mills is torn with guilt over the death of his best friend, and it's all because of Emily Wintraub. If Ryan hadn't seen those incredible gray-blue eyes, hadn't pegged her as a Potentially Amazing Woman, he would never have gone looking for her at the party that night. He would never have left his wasted friend Michael alone, when Michael needed him and asked him to stay. And if Ryan hadn't left, Michael would never have driven off, totaled his car, and taken the cosmic rocket ride into death. 

As far as Ryan's concerned, when you’ve done something terrible, you don’t deserve to be happy. He tries not to fall for Emily, but he can't help it. Before long, he is "completely, gonzo, out-of-control in love." 

Ryan soon learns that Michael died with a secret. He decides he owes it to Michael to take on his unfinished business. When Emily begins to question where his commitments really lie—with her or with Michael’s memory—Ryan is forced to examine his choices. What does he owe to Michael, to Emily, and to himself? 

Sounds fabulous, doesn't it?
And in this giveaway, anyone can be a winner because I'm also offering to read your wonderful query letters! Not that I'm an expert by any means, but it's always helpful to get a second opinion! So feel free to email me your queries and I will give you my kind, honest feedback. The window is short, so email me your queries between Thursday, November 3-Monday, November 7 and I will get back to you as soon as I possibly can! My email is cor2neyp (at) (dot) com.

I've interviewed the fabulous Anne Pfeffer, and she has agreed to share a little bit more about Loving Emily and her journey to self-publication with us!!

Anne and I met at a writer's conference last March, and she has been an invaluable critique partner and friend. Anne's writing is excellent; her book touches the heart and soul of what it's like to lose a friend and more importantly, that it's okay for you to go on living after it happens.

How long have you been writing?
After a several years of trying and failing to become the next Dr. Seuss, I took a hiatus from writing.  Then, about three years ago, I signed up for a writing class where I tried my hand at young adult writing, and it clicked with me immediately. So I've been doing it ever since. 
What made you want to be a writer? 
I've always loved to read and wished I could write, but I didn't think I had a book in me.  And maybe, for many years, I didn't!  But one day the ideas started to come, and I found I liked the writing life. Especially the part about staying home all day in my pajamas. 
Where did the ideas/themes from Loving Emily come from?
I've lived in Los Angeles for many years, so the LA setting was a natural for me.  My daughter attended private schools in LA, so again, that world was familiar to me and easy to write about.  There are incidents in the book that really happened, although I've changed the details to protect people's privacy. 
The story was also inspired by one of my favorite films, Cameron Crowe's Say Anything.  For me, it's one of the best teen movies ever.  Superficially, Crowe's story and mine could be described the same way— quirky likable boy falls for beautiful brainy girl who's going to England—but after that my story pretty much goes its own way.  Ryan, though, does have one moment in my book where he echoes something said by the film's hero Lloyd Dobler.  I can't say what it is, because it's a spoiler!
What made you decide to self-publish?
Loving Emily's a hard story to sell to trade publishers, because it isn't fantasy or high-concept and doesn't fit clearly into any particular genre.
That said, I knew that people enjoyed reading the book.  I had posted it on, where teenagers loved it and gave me the most wonderful feedback.  One thing they especially loved was reading a romance told from a boy's point of view. They found it fresh and interesting.
I had worked very hard, and used professional editorial help, to make Loving Emily as good as possible.  I felt it was good enough to publish. Under the circumstances, I thought it made sense to sense to self-publish, so here I am!
What has your experience with self-publishing been like so far? Would you recommend it to others who may be considering self-publishing?
I can't lie: it's hard and it's a lot of work.  But I feel positive about it. I'm already starting to get messages from people—new people who are not members of my gene pool—saying they loved the book.  Now, I just need a few more thousands of those!
As for recommending it to others, I'd say it's a really personal decision.  Before you self-publish, you should:
1.      Be sure your book is ready.  This is huge.  We've all made the mistake of querying too soon, but at least a gatekeeper stopped us. In self-publishing, we have to be our own gatekeepers. 
2.      Be sure you have the right temperament for it.  If you're one of those people who really just wants to write, you might be happier with a trade publisher.  To self-publish, you need to be comfortable wearing a lot of different hats.
3.      Have the right motives.  Good reasons to self-publish are: you have a specialty book for a niche market, or one that's hard to sell through traditional channels, or you're just happier striking off on your own.  I would not recommend using self-publishing as a means to get a trade publishing deal. Better to just keep querying.
What is your favorite book? Is there one that keeps you coming back to its pages over and over again?
Awakening the Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das. You can turn to any page in that book and find something wise and beautiful and helpful.
Any last minute advice for those of us on the road to publication?
Write a good book.  That's the first, second, and third most important thing.  Work on your craft, get professional advice on your story, take classes.  When you think your manuscript is perfect, set it aside for six weeks, then come back to it.  You will probably see a lot of ways to make it better.  And enjoy the journey!
Thanks, Anne, for the great interview! And thanks again to all of you! Good luck in the giveaway!! :D If you're interested, you can check out Anne's website here, or find her on goodreads and amazon!


Cassie Mae said... this how I enter? I totally want to win! My email is :)

And my query will be on its way during that window. ;)

Congrats on your followers!! Yay!

Tara Tyler said...

great interview! epublishing scares me! thanks for your perspective.
and from the summary, i'd call it a ya romance?
thanks for the query crit offer!

and come pick up an award, once i get my post up...

Brenda Drake said...

Congratulations on the 100 followers! Woot! Great interview, and it sounds like a wonderful book. I'll tweet for you anyway. <3

Kelley Lynn said...

Love the interview!

I'd love to enter. kger215(at)gmail(dot)com

I'll also be sending my query your way :)

Tanis said...

I would love to win- I am always looking for new things to read!

tanisanderson at shaw dot ca

Coleen Patrick said...

Love reading author interviews! They always inspire me :) Thanks!
ps-you should save your elevator romance story idea (your wip guess on my blog)--sounds fun!

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Yay for 100 followers and lovely interview!!!

Deana said...

Write a good book. That's about the best advice I've heard:)

Thanks for the interview Courtney and congrats on your followers!

Morgan said...

Ohhhhh! It's been driving me CRAZY because I KNEW I had heard of Anne... she's from inkpop! I've picked her projects many a times... she's very talented and I love her work. And I remember Loving Emily... so stoked for her and I can't wait to read the whole thing!

Peggy Eddleman said...

Congrats on the 100 followers! This was an awesome interview.

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