Tuesday, 20 May 2014

THE PERILS OF THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY





They say that if you're really serious about being a writer, you have to develop a thick skin to cope with rejection. I have to agree. That's one of the most important qualities you need to keep you toiling day and night to produce work that almost makes the leap into the traditional publishing marketplace. I have to share with you my latest experiences with UNNATURAL, my Victorian novel presently out for submission courtesy of my new incredible Toronto agent.

UNNATURAL

The book has been submitted to Big Six publishers in The US, Canada and the UK. Here's a sample of some of the comments from those who passed on it. After reading them, you'll soon realize how frustrating this entire process is:
"While I thought this was a brilliant idea, well executed, we’d have preferred it coming from a British author in this instance, with someone on the ground to work with."
Major publisher UK

"But I just wanted to say that when I pitched this I referred to it as a rollicking good read, one that I couldn't put down once I'd gotten to about the halfway point."
Major Canadian publisher

"She has a flair for capturing the cadence of the time period and for creating a slow-burning atmosphere of tension and suspense in the opening."

"Thank you so much for sending me UNNATURAL, which is such a haunting novel with a satisfying, Gothic tone. There’s so much about this I loved, including the Victorian setting and Ms. Deluca’s lonely depiction of England’s early suffragette movement and the horrible scandal of Mary Ann Cotton."

 "Thank you so much for the opportunity to consider this superb novel. I think Marjorie Deluca is an incredible talent. She has a fantastic eye for detail, and her prose is wonderfully propulsive—and on top of that, her voice has such great humor in it!"

And they still didn't pick it up!! What's the next step? More submissions and if all else fails, I'll publish it myself!! I've done it three times already and I'll do it again!
One thing's for sure, it really helps to have self-published. I can't count the number of times editors requested information about my sales, my social media presence etc. It's not enough nowadays to write a good book. You need to also have a strong author platform. So those of you who are interested in trying to be a published author, publish on your own first, especially if you're meeting road blocks in the traditional publishing industry. It's the best way to prove yourself and prove your product.
And the other important thing to do? 
Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start the next novel. It always helps if you're ready with information on projects in progress. Keep on writing. You can only get better!
Oh and you might be interested in reading some advice by Hugh Howey, the poster boy for indie writers. Check him out here

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

MARJORIE DELUCA'S STORYWORLD : The 48th State

MARJORIE DELUCA'S STORYWORLD : The 48th State: I just returned from a trip to Arizona, the 48th US state and I'm still dreaming of the warm terracotta tones of the red rock landscape....

The 48th State

I just returned from a trip to Arizona, the 48th US state and I'm still dreaming of the warm terracotta tones of the red rock landscape. I had two reasons for going. First I'm trying to finish THE PARASITES, the sequel to THE FOREVER ONES and since much of it takes place in Las Vegas and the  Grand Canyon area, I thought that revisiting the place would give me a much needed boost after the lousy, grey winter we've had. Second, I wanted to see the place that so many Canadians flee to in droves when the winter weather comes blowing in. I know so many people who have invested in condos and houses in Phoenix and surrounding areas, and I wasn't disappointed when I got there.

Elton John's Million Dollar Piano set at Caesar's Palace

FIRST STOP: The Mirage, Las Vegas. Flew in for one night and after watching the amazing Sir Elton John and his Million Dollar Piano, we wandered along The Strip. I took in the blaze of neon lights, the flashing digital signs and non-stop action, a far cry from the bleak futuristic vision I've tried to portray in THE PARASITES. Oh - and I also dropped a few bucks in those lousy machines!!!
NEXT STOP: Flagstaff, Arizona. Stayed overnight and visited the famous Lowell Observatory. the place where Pluto was first discovered. Really interesting tour and got to look through the Pluto telescope and at the sun through a special telescope to see solar flares and sunspots!
NEXT STOP: Sedona, Arizona. Drove through the most breathtaking red rock scenery. Just like the backdrop for a million Hollywood Westerns. I kept expecting John Wayne to ride out from behind the  rows of incredible giant cacti that lined the way and stretched up into the mountains.

A beer and a breathtaking view




Tried out some gorgeous restaurants in Sedona. One in particular I'd recommend is Rene's Restaurant and Wine Bar at Tlapequaque Village. Gorgeous food and great service. The waiter turned out to be a professional photographer. Check out his gorgeous work here.
NEXT STOP: Scottsdale, Arizona. After a beautiful drive and a shaky start with directions, we really did grow to like the quiet, clean comfort of Scottsdale, probably one of the most desirable suburbs of Phoenix. We wandered round Old Town Scottsdale, avoided too many trinket stores, marvelled at the lush golf courses, the ultra luxurious resorts, the pristine shopping centres at Kierland Commons and Camelback Road, visited the incredible Musical Instrument Museum, where we witnessed an impromptu performance from a visiting Austrian Boys' Choir, and walked through the exotic scenery of the Desert Botanical Gardens. We also ate at the marvellous Tanzy's Restaurant, where the waiter puts on an incredible display working with baked mozzarella,  cooking and seasoning it at your table.
Old Town Scottsdale
The gorgeous colours of Arizona

Glass displays in the Desert Botanical gardens.


FINAL STOP: Back to Vegas and the fun surroundings of Planet Hollywood Resort. Stayed in the Charlie Chaplin Hip Hollywood Room. Took in the Pawn Stars Store, a comedy and burlesque Show and even went to see Britney Spears. Surrounded by hordes of screaming loyal fans, I can't say I loved her singing, but she's a great performer/dancer and the sets were incredibly elaborate. Didn't learn my lesson and dropped more money in those darned machines!! Then it was goodbye to the warm desert sunsets and back to the still grey skies of home.