Monday, May 7, 2012

Cowboys anyone?


I have a confession today --not a bad confession, but a confession none-the-less. C'mere and listen close.

I think COWBOYS can be just as sexy as Highlanders. As I told my very special guest today, I was lucky enough to spend three years in San Angelo, Texas. So while a man in a kilt is my first love, I also appreciate a fine lookin' man in a snug pair of jeans with a Stetson pulled low over his eyes.

Imagine my pleasure when the Yellow Rose Line of The Wild Rose Press sent out a call for their Honky Tonk Hearts series? Whoo Hoo! As Yellow Rose's motto says, "Got your heart set on a cowboy?"

Without further ado, allow me to introduce the Senior Editor of the Yellow Rose Line, Stacy Holmes. Not only is Stacy going to give us the scoop on what editors look for, but she's also going to treat us with a peek at two of the gorgeous covers for two of the books in the Honky Tonk Series and a chance to win some goodies!

Welcome to my little corner of cyberspace, Stacy!

Stacy:  Thank you so much, Maeve for having me today.  And to thank you and your readers, I will be randomly drawing a name from all the commenters today to win a special Honky Tonk Hearts envelope filled with a special coupon, bookmarks, magnets and other fun stuff from the authors of the series.

Maeve:  That's awesome, Stacy and thanks so much for taking the time to share your "side" of the publishing game. Why don't we start by sharing what led you to become an editor for The Wild Rose Press?

Stacy:  I admit, it was one of those moments that change the direction of your life/career because it was something I never thought about doing until the opportunity arose. 

I started almost from day one as an author with The Wild Rose Press.  Before their first year was through, the garden had grown so much that Rhonda Penders contacted me with respect to an editing position for the Yellow Rose line.  I was honored at the respect she gave my work and soon found that editing came very natural to me.  Whether helping a newer author learn more about her story and herself, or working together with an established author on a great story, it is truly amazing being a small part of helping someone else attain their dreams, all the while doing something I love to do.

Maeve:  Sounds like it was "meant to be" to me! As an editor, what is most likely to catch your eye first in a “promising” submission? Opening hook? Plot? Character’s personalities? Or all of the above?

Stacy:  Yes, that opening paragraph can say…or not say…a lot.  It really is true about first impressions so you want a story to grab you right in.  After that, for me, it is the characters.  Are they believable, natural, relatable?  I find many newer writers often focus too much on what should happen (to move the plot in the way they want) rather than what would happen (as in a natural flow of events, one to the next).  This usually leads to details not matching up or characters losing their characterization so to speak, and a quick way to pull me out of a story.  At the same time, when all there, and I am three or four pages in without even realizing it, that tells me I’m reading a promising submission.

Maeve: *happy sigh* Ah yes...the joy of losing yourself in a story. The Yellow Rose Line specializes in giving us heart-stealing cowboys. Do you enjoy any other genres or are you strictly a Stetson gal?

Stacy:  I admit, I’ve always been drawn to the Stetson, a cowboy’s strength in physical appearance as well as their strength in protecting the land and the ones they love.  But I enjoy reading all genres from paranormal to historical, suspense to romantic comedy.  Actually, the more I laugh with a story, the more I enjoy it no matter what the genre.

Maeve: I agree. A story that makes you laugh is often good for anything that ails you. And now for our last question:  what is the best piece of advice you have for authors seeking publication?

Stacy:  Keep at it.  Keep learning.  Every critique gives you something to work on, and every rejection teaches you something.  Use that for your next project and the next.  Yes, there are some people who can write a story and sell it quick—but to be honest, they are the exception, not the rule.  But every story you write, everything you learn along the way makes the next one better.   One thing we try not to do at The Wild Rose Press is send out quicky form rejections.  Though I don’t like sending any rejection, I do like the fact that even when we need to reject a manuscript, we are helping that author learn more about the craft whether by giving examples of areas needing to be worked on or direction for resources so they can study up.  Keep at it.  Keep learning.

Right now we have a brand new series debuting in the Yellow Rose line:

Honky Tonk Hearts

Lonely hearts seem to gravitate to the Lonesome Steer Honky Tonk. A few miles outside Amarillo off historical Route 66, the large wood-paneled structure boast a large neon star with a single flashing steer riding away from it.  Owner and bartender, Gus Rankin, has seen his share of the wandering souls cross his bar and dance floor over the years—he’d even like to think he helped a few find true love along the way.

These stories all have at least one main scene at the Lonesome Steer Honky Tonk, but then range out from close by to all over the country…and all have amazing cowboy heroes.

The first two stories, Honky Tonk Man and Nothing But Trouble debuted last month and we have an official launch party for the series coming up on May 9th on the main Wild Rose Press loop.  I am so excited because over the course of the night all the authors will be there, we have a great Honky Tonk Hearts prize package to give away and other random draws throughout the night.  Should be lots of fun!  You can find all the details here: 
We would love for you all to join us!

Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win the goodies Stacy mentioned. What do you think? Could a cowboy steal your heart? ;-)