Meet Author Melissa Fox

Today, I'm hosting Melissa Fox, author of Wraith Redeemed and contributor to the awesome new blog Fight for Your Write. She's here with an article about the Sisyphean (but ultimately rewarding) nature of writing and publishing, and some excerpts from her book. And just to make it extra awesome, she has a giveaway of Wraith Redeemed, AND a $25 Amazon gift certificate too! The Rafflecopter is at the end of the post. 

Now, on with the show!




Running Up that Hill
by Melissa Fox

So, you’ve decided to write down that story that has been whirling in your head in loud, nagging detail. Congratulations—and I mean that—for taking the hardest first step. A lot of bravery goes into sitting down in front of the computer, pulling up that blank page, and actually making the effort to translate the images, thoughts, and emotions into words. A huge amount of bravery.

Take both a deep breath and that first step up the mountain.

Plot, plan, and talk things out with your characters. Weave scenes and manipulate characters with an eye toward the seemingly impossible task of writing those two amazing words after the tens of thousands you just struggled to get down. The End.

Yee-haw! Never thought this day would come! Grab a refreshing beverage and sit on top of that huge mountain you just climbed, pat yourself on the back, bask in accomplishment. You deserve it! Not many people have been to that peak—finishing a story. Take a deep breath, revel in satisfaction, and then…

Look ahead. Another big-ass hill to climb.

Editing.

The foundation is finished, nice and solid to build upon. Now, go back and really pull your heart and soul out and put it on paper for the world to see. Learn technique, how to bring out emotion, immerse a reader, make then see and feel everything you did while the story and characters lived in your heart and head. Go over for technical issues. Grammar. Punctuation. Tense and sentence structure. Active versus passive, deep point of view. Weed out clichés and repeated words, empty words, dig deep to replace them with strong, sexy, vibrant meaning.

Wait, is that the top of the editing mountain? Nope, just a plateau. Do it again. Keep climbing, until finally, yes, that might be the top. Sit and rest for a while, but look across that valley.

Yep. Another mountain. And that one looks nasty. We’ll call it Mount Rejection. At the top are agents, publishers, and editors. Prepare yourself, because that one’s a doozy. Right next to it is another, Mount DIY. No less daunting, just different obstacles to overcome. Which one is a better path for you? Well, you haven’t been sitting idle while recovering from the never-ending Mount Editing climb. You’ve been researching and crossing that valley full of mind-boggling information, so when you reach the base of those two mountain, you know which one to take and the challenges you have to overcome to get to the top. Start climbing!

The pinnacle of those mountain leads to the same place, Published Author Point. The big goal, the crowning achievement, the impossible feat. You’re there, you made it, now you can finally sit back, relax, bask in the glory of sharing your work. Nothing else to do but kick back and rejoice in the attained triumph.

But not for long.

What’s that ahead, covered in eerie mist and shrouded in mystery? Suck it up, buttercup, it’s the Cliffs of Marketing and Promoting. Many have been lost here, never to be seen or heard from again. But, like any journey, it’s one step at a time, feel your way along, listen, learn, and keep moving forward. Don’t give up. Talk to others who travel the same path. Accept support, advice, help, and give it in return.

Every harrowing, exhausting, flaily, hair-ripping, frustrating step of the journey is worth it to get the real reward, to hear the words that make all the pain worthwhile to start all over again with a new story.

“I really enjoyed your book.”






Melissa Fox
BIO

After being rationed books by my parents like most kids get rationed candy, I turned to writing to tide me over between fixes. Having lived in the suburbs of the Mid-West, desert of the Southwest, foothills of the Rocky Mountains, I’m now on an island in the Puget Sound with my husband and dogs.


Links:


To purchase WRAITH REDEEMED, go to:



WRAITH REDEEMED
SUMMARY

Demon-slayer Conor O’Shea is about to engage in the most dangerous encounter of his life—facing the woman he scorned.

For years, Merry Bradbury's world revolved around Conor O'Shea. After his sudden betrayal leaves her alone and heartbroken, she comes home to settle her past and move into the future. The last person she expects to see is Conor.

Conor never wanted anything more than forever with Merry. Discovering he is a Wraith warrior, honor bound to fight demons, destroys that plan. Merry is his Amorta, his one true soul mate, but he leaves to keep her safe from the evil that stalks him.

Eight years later, Conor's worst fear is realized, and he returns to defend Merry from his enemies. Can he save her from an unspeakable fate and reclaim her heart? And if he does, will Merry be able to accept all that he is?  


EXCERPT #1
“Stay here,” Conor told her. “Don’t move, no matter what you see. No matter what happens, Merry. Stay right here.”
He waited until she nodded her assent before he turned. The woman hissed, and his shoulders rolled as he took a step toward her. Merry’s eyes grew round when long-bladed weapons appeared in his hands.
“Wraith,” the woman snarled, lowering herself into a half-crouch.
The wicked blades twisted in his hands to point in her direction. He took another step toward the redhead, unnaturally swift but pure and beautiful in his power.
“Go now,” he said in a quiet, even tone. “And I’ll let you live one more day."
The woman’s attention left him for an instant to settle on Merry, her eyes narrowing with speculation. A slow, feline smile curved her red lips.
“You think you can protect her,” she purred. “How sweet. I’m going to find out if she is as delicious as she smells after I’m done with you."


EXCERPT #2

“I always knew you loved me, Conor.” Merry could barely hear her voice over the pounding of her heart. “I didn’t understand. I still don’t, not completely, but I knew. That’s why it hurt so much and why I could never forget. That’s why I had to come home.”
His free hand curled around her neck. She didn’t know if he intended to bring her closer or hold her in place. Her breath caught, and his expression changed to something she recognized, something that turned her breathlessness into searing pain. He pulled her up those last few inches and placed his mouth on hers.
Shock ripped through her the minute their lips touched. She gasped, rising to meet him with pent-up longing and frustration. After a brief, stunned moment, both his hands flew up to hold her face as she gripped his arms. She sighed in relief when his mouth opened over hers, the scorching heat making her head reel and her body want more. She accepted the touch of his tongue, pulled him in and welcomed him as she went blind with pleasure.
The compulsion to keep taking and never stop overwhelmed her senses. His taste flooded her soul.
He felt so good.
Merry fought against the desire to ravish more than his mouth, to hold on to reason and keep the contact to just kisses. She had never expected to hold him close again, to be immersed in his heat and scent. Their unique connection proved just as strong as she remembered, and she savored the moment until she had to pull from his embrace or succumb to the temptation of his hovering mouth.
“Conor—” The look on his face gave her a hot thrill of excitement. “Conor.”



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5 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for having me visit today, Lissa! :) Would love to hear about other folks' writing journeys, no matter where you are along the path.

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  2. Great article!! So well said. I think the hardest part of the climb is the promo and marketing. I tend to be quiet, at least until I get to know you. So reaching out to the public is hard for me. I'd much rather learn about them than tell them about me. :)

    I live for that reader who says I touched them with my words. It's a great feeling and makes that mountain seem smaller.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Jerrie! Marketing and promoting is the bane of the business for most people--me, too!--whether it's our personality or just how overwhelming, confusing, and time-consuming it can be. Did I mention overwhelming? Heh. It really is just one step at a time. The whole blogging and guest blogging thing used to scare the bejeebers out of me, and now it's a lot of fun. I never would have expected that! I still have a lot to learn, but I'm feeling my way along those cliffs.

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  3. This is how naive I was when I signed my contract for my first novel: I thought I would write it, hand it over to them, and my job was done.

    As a dedicated introvert, it's been incredibly difficult for me to force myself into the social media world. I didn't even have a Facebook page before my first book.

    And now I've got a blog and a Tumblr and a Twitter and all these things that require time and engagement. It's been a big change, to say the least, and I've had to work on finding a level where I'm comfortable.

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    1. I was exactly the same way when I first started looking into actually writing a story to publish! What do you mean, publishers don't market for you? Social media still baffles me. I didn't have a Facebook page until after I signed a contract, either (some would argue I still really don't *side eyes my friend Jen*).

      Marketing is hard whatever your personality--I've discovered more a matter of not overwhelming yourself with everything you're *supposed* to be doing, and just take the steps that allow you to get yourself out there and have fun doing it. I've never worked harder in my life or enjoyed it more!

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