Denise Tompkins is here to promote the preorder for her book Legacy, published by Samhain. The great news is you can preorder the book now at a discount directly from the publisher.
A) I live in the heart of the South, where your neighbors still know your name, all food forms are considered fry-able and bugs die only to be reincarnated three-fold. My favorite season here is definitely Fall, when the gardens are just about to pass into Winter’s silence, and the leaves are out to prove that nature is the most brilliant artist of all.
I’m an avid reader and have three favorite authors. Why three? Because authors are like chips: I can’t have just one. My little house was recently so overrun with books that my husband bought me an e-reader “out of self-preservation.” He was afraid I would begin throwing out pots and pans to make more room for books and he didn’t want to starve.
Why don’t you tell us about the book?
A) Madeleine Niteclif is catapulted into the world of dark mythology after she makes a wish for an altered reality on Midsummer’s Eve. That same night, a man named Bahlin strolls through her dreams. When he shows up the next day and claims he’s a shapeshifting dragon and insists Maddy is the prophesied Niteclif, super-sleuth of the supernatural world, Maddy thinks she’s kissed sanity farewell. But a series of discussions, a partial shift by Bahlin from man to dragon, and a never-to-be-mentioned-again fainting spell combine to convince her he’s the real deal.
Maddy finds herself thrown into a murder investigation before she’s been in London forty-eight hours. Proximity to her new partner combined with two unforgettable encounters between the sheets leave Maddy unable to resolve the man-versus-monster debate that rages within her.
When someone close to both Maddy and Bahlin disappears, they work together to find the missing person. Maddy and Bahlin follow the clues to the bitter end where they discover a killer who has far worse plans for the paranormal world than simple murder.
Legacy is a 100,000 word urban fantasy set in the Emerald Isles.
What was the inspiration for your novel?
A) Insomnia! (laughs) I was lying in bed one night, wide awake. Instead of counting sheep, I decided to try to get my mind to relax by thinking about stories that hadn’t been written but that I would like to read. I tossed around a couple of ideas and then the idea for Legacy came to me. Instead of helping me fall asleep, it energized me and I thought, “I should write this story.” I snuck out of bed to retrieve the laptop, moved it to a spare bedroom and started to write. I ended up jotting down notes and the first few pages before going back to bed and sleeping soundly. When I woke up, I went straight to the computer and began to craft the rough draft.
What was your favorite part about writing it?
A) I have to pick just one? Hm. It would have to be falling in love with the characters. It was the same rush as falling into a new relationship, when everything is new and bright and perfect. I loved, and still love, them all. Watching them grow and develop, seeing the heroine start to come into her own, watching secondary characters carve out their place in what I realized would be a series – it’s all amazing to me and I don’t take any of it for granted.
What was the hardest part?
A) The hardest part for me was, and still is, the fact that the first book is written as the introduction to the series, so there are things I want the reader to know that can’t be revealed until book two, and in book two there are things that can’t be revealed until book three. I tend to want to give readers everything in one enormous book so I can discuss it with them.
Can you tell us what the road to being published has been like for you?
A) It’s been a very surreal experience. The big moments were all firsts for me—signing with an agent, the offer from Samhain, signing the contract, edits—and they tend to stand out and overshadow the fact that life went on in between these brief snapshots. I’ve learned an immense amount about how publishing works and what the word “subjective” really means. (laughs) It’s hard to understand just how subjective the publishing industry is until you’ve lived it.
The hardest part of the whole process was waiting. It was the thing that no one ever seems to discuss. You spend so much time waiting in the publishing world, whether it’s letting something rest so you can come back to it with fresh eyes, or hitting send on a query letter and trying desperately not to stalk your inbox for a response, or giving a verbal acceptance to an offer only to wait for the hard copies to make their way through the system and get to you. Seasoned writers recommend that you write your next book while you wait. I never understood until very, very recently that it’s not a suggestion they make as a means to keep your mind off the process itself, but rather that it’s a suggestion that’s made because you have so much time on your hands.
The coolest thing I experienced had to be, and still is, the people I’ve met. The publishing world is full of some absolutely amazing people. From new authors to the lovely Diana Gabaldon, to the editors I’ve met and including my very own Bethany Morgan, Samhain Publishing and all the other publishers, and Saritza Hernandez and the other agents I’ve encountered—they’re all just awesome. There are these horror stories that seem to generate from mysterious sources, stories about how the publishing mafia is out to break the knees of new writers and how wicked agents burn writers’ manuscripts in effigy. It’s ridiculous! The people I’ve encountered, save one agent and one NYT Bestselling author, have been warm, funny, avid readers who do what they do out of a clear love for books and admiration for the people who write them.
There have been some absolutely wonderful moments in the journey and I’ll always look back on them with real appreciation for what they taught me and how they influenced me as a writer.
What advice do you have for others joining you on this rocky road?
A) I could probably write a book on the things I’ve learned! Really, though, there are three things in particular that I would tell anyone who wants to pursue publication. First is, oddly, a recommendation for the last thing to do when querying. When you open up a new email message to query an agent/editor/publisher, make sure you put in the recipient’s email address last. You should put your query together according to the recipient’s specific instructions and double-check everything before entering the email address. This way you don’t send out the query before you’re sure everything is in place.
Second, remember that burned bridges are very hard to rebuild and the ashes from burned bridges tend to muddy the waters below for a very long time. No, I’m not on a sugar high, and yes, I should own a fortune cookie company. J What I mean is that you should never forget that the publishing world is a very small, very tightly knit community and your reputation is going to follow you, and sometimes precede you, for as long as you write. Think about the reputation you want to have and then pursue it from the very beginning. I don’t mean from the point you get an agent/editor/publisher, but from the very moment you decide you want to pursue publication.
Third, you’ve got make sure you’re ready to deal with the passes (I hate the word rejection because it makes the pass feel like something personal when it’s not). People always say they can handle it, but few actually get through their entire life as a writer without having a bad moment…or ten. Don’t blog about how Agent X passed on your manuscript and she’s going to regret it. Don’t tweet about how your editor doesn’t understand your vision. Don’t badmouth your publisher for not being forward-thinking. Why? Just refer to the paragraph above.
If you can’t get enough of Denise Tompkins you can follow them in the following locations: (this is where you can offer twitter/facebook/blog/etc…
A) Website: www.denisetompkins.net
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