Monday 26 September 2011

If, at first, you don’t succeed…by Claire Robyns

Today's guest blogger is Carina Press author Claire Robyns, who will tell what to do if, at first, you don't succeed... 

Rewrite, rewrite and rewrite again.

There’s one publishing mantra that gets drummed into authors from the beginning of their quest for publication, “Put that one away and start something new.”

Sound familiar?

And, actually, that’s not bad advice. I’ve done it a few times more than I’d have liked. But what if there’s one story that won’t go quietly? Slightly troublesome, ever so brazen and utterly stubborn!

 Well, you don’t give up.

Buy the eBook
 from Carina Press
Can She Outwit Fate? 

Gemma is on a collision course with heartbreak. At least, according to the fortune-teller her best friend drags her to see. 

Gemma doesn't believe a word of it, but when other predictions start to come true, she begins to suspect that gorgeous, gray-eyed Nick is the man foretold to break her heart before she can find her soul mate. Too bad she's never met a man she's wanted more, because now she has to get him to dump her before she falls too hard.

Nick has plans of his own. 

He's ready to settle down with Ms. Right, and everything points to the beautiful Gemma. He's determined to prove to her that he's the perfect boyfriend—even if she does seem to be trying her best to scare him off…

The first version of Second-Guessing Fate was written almost entirely on a plane as I travelled extensively between Cape Town and Johannesburg for work during that period. At that time, I was determined to be published in category style romance, even though I kept getting told I had too much external plot and too many important secondary characters. Stubborn as I am, I wrote the book I wanted, subbed to the publisher I wanted, and got rejected. Not totally unexpected and not the first time I’d fallen down this hole.

Obviously something had to change and it wasn’t going to be the type of stories I loved writing. So it would have to be the publisher I was subbing to.

I rewrote the story, changing the point of view (POV) from 3rd person to 1st, jazzed it up to my heart’s delight now I didn’t have those category restrictions, and shopped it out to agents in the UK. Over here, it’s practically impossible to get published without an agent. And it’s practically impossible to get an agent, but that’s another story for another time :)

A few nibbles.

No bites.

Obviously something had to change and it wasn’t going to be the UK publishing business.

I changed the  (POV) back to 3rd person and relocated from London to Manhattan. I practically rewrote the book, but kept the main characters, the theme and plot thread.

And it wasn’t long before my wonderful publisher, Carina Press, said they loved Second-Guessing Fate and went to contract.

If you’re in the mood for a couple of laughs, you can read the first two chapters of Second-Guessing Fate here

Thanks for having me here, Judy! :)
Claire, it was my pleasure. After all that hard work re-writing this novel, we wish you top ratings and mega-sales for your new release.
My review of Claire's fun, flirty and fabulous contemporary romance Second-Guessing Fate is up on Goodreads and Library Thing
You can buy you own copy of Second-Guessing Fate from Carina Press, Barnes and Noble Nook and Amazon.


Claire Robyns said...

Thank you Judy and thanks for having me over :)

LynNerdKelley said...

Now, that's perseverance and dedication. Congratulations on the release of your book, Claire. It sounds like a great read.

Thanks for hosting Claire, judy.

Lisa said...

Hello Claire nice to meet you, hello Judy, I love the cover, the story sounds wonderful. The book is the success. Congratulations.

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

LynNerd, it's a delightful romp, perfect to bring a smile after a bad day!! Claire's dedication as a writer is quite awe-inspiring - she never gives up!!

OCEANGIRL: Isn't that cover hunk gorgeous?! And the cover suits the story.

Claire Robyns said...

Thank you LynNerd, I'm so pleased I didn't shove this one under the bed.

Oceangirl, thanks, I love the cover too, I think it suits the fun, flirty feel of the book well

Damaria Senne said...

congrats Claire. Glad you didn't give up on the story. You've shown us that persistence does pay if you're willing to work hard for your success.

@Judy, I was shopping on Allromanceebooks and i saw Claire's book and you'd mentioned her before on this blog, I think. And I thought, isn't that Judy's friend Claire? So yes, your blogging about your friends' books and writing and stuff does help them build name recognition too, because suddenly Claire wasn't a writer I don't know ( and a purchasing risk) but someone Judy recommended. Damaria

Bish Denham said...

That's the way to do it, if one country doesn't work, try a different one! Way to go. Congratulations Claire.

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

DAMARIA: That is great to hear! I often wonder how effective social media is, and you've just proved it is very effective! Thanks for letting us know!

BISH: I think it was very brave of Claire to make such a drastic change. But it worked!

Claire Robyns said...

Thanks Damaria, and so pleased you mentioned the name recognition - sometimes it's difficult to determine what the impact of blogging / social media really has.

Bish, the thing I've found (and I'm no expert, just my own opinions formed here, would love for anyone else to add theirs) is that editors and agents want you to set your story in their country (for contemporary, different rules for historical) and I go responses, eg, from USA agents asking why I wasn't subbing locally to UK. That's primarily why I chaned the setting, because the romance market in USA is a lot easier to nudge into and it's huge!

Claire Robyns said...

Oops, just noticed all the mistakes in that last post (and I call myself a writer!) It's been that kind of day :)

CA Heaven said...

I'm not giving up, and I'm quite relaxed about my writing since it's just my hobby. I'll probably publish my novel for free at when it's completed. Most important is the fun of writing it >:)

Cold As Heaven

jabblog said...

Top marks for perseverance - you deserve your success:-)

Karen Lange said...

Ah, rewriting, where would we be without it? Enjoyed this, makes me want to keep writing. And so I shall. :)

Happy weekend!

Claire Robyns said...

Cold As Heaven: Writing is also a hobby for me (although I'm trying my best to change that, lol) but yes, you gotta love writing to do it and let that be your reward because only a few reap any kind of financial reward :)

Thank youm Jabblog. I think perseverance is the one thing that all writers (published and unpublished) have in leaps and bounds...

Karen, thank you, so pleased this inspires you to keep writing :)


Thank you Judy for passing by and the comment, Much appreciated.


T. Powell Coltrin said...

Claire, Good luck on your book. Looks like a good read.

Judy, thanks for hosting!

Misha Gerrick said...

Wow Carina I'm so impressed that you kept going despite the rejection, tailoring as you went until you found the market you needed.

Hope your book does well!

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

YVONNE: it was a pleasure.

JOURNALING WOMAN: It's a light fun read - just what one needs at the end of a stressful day!

MISHA: Claire is a great example of an author who is totally dedicated to her craft - and that's why she's now multi-pubbed!