Thursday, 4 April 2013

The Charge Blogtour - The Long Road

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Today ... today we have a guest posting by Sharon Bayliss!
As part of her blog tour for her book, The Charge, she is here to tell us her journey to publication.


Take it away Sharon and tell us your journey!


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I vividly remember the moment that I decided to write the novel that would eventually become The Charge. In 2009 I was going for a jog. The setting was perfect for inspiration - slightly stormy sunset sky, listening to good music, endorphins pumping. And it just hit me. I knew exactly what I should write, and I knew it would work this time.

I was sort of right. The novel I wrote in 2009 would become The Charge, but the original concept was different enough I count them as two separate novels.

I got so, so, so close with Novel 2009. It won or got honorable mention in more than one agent judged contest, and I got a handful of partial and full requests. For me, being close, but not quite publication ready was harder than writing a crappy book with no chance.

I had to accept the difficult fact that writing a good book was not enough to get published. I knew Novel 2009 had problems, but I also knew it had great things about it. Shelving a book you know is bad hurts like hell, but shelving a book you know is good is just horrible. It feels like such a waste and it's hard to know if you're doing the right thing.

But there is also a point where you've gone too far to turn back. I had put in so many hours, so much blood, sweat, and tears (okay, probably not any blood), I just had to keep trying.

Fortunately, my brilliant critique partners had given me all the insights I needed along the way to know where to go next, I just had to puzzle it all together and separate it from all the conflicting feedback noise.

I revamped the whole thing. Changed the main character, the setting, the title, and much more. I was happy with the result, which was the early draft of The Charge, completed in 2011. I went through yet another round of beta readers and another round of queries. I got a few query replies and blog contest nods, but the response was disappointing.

I didn't want to shelve The Charge, but I was discouraged and decided to at least move on to something else for a while. The publishing industry moves slowly and I'm not very patient. So, I had moved on before The Charge had really gotten a chance. I hadn't thought about The Charge in a while, then I learned that it had made it through the first round of the 2012 
Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Competition. Then, a month later, The Charge became a quarterfinalist. I didn't move to the semi-finalist round, but I did win a very positive Publishers Weekly review.

My success in the ABNA contest made me rethink everything. The expert judges and the Publishers Weekly reviewer thought it was great! The agents who read my query may not have fallen in love, or thought they would have trouble fitting it into the correct marketing box, but that didn't mean the book wasn't worth publishing. So, with my renewed confidence, I tried something new, I queried small publishers directly.

It didn't take long at all for me to get some full requests, and in about a nanosecond in publishing time, Curiosity Quills Press made me an offer. And on March 2, 2013, my lifelong dream of publishing a novel finally came through. 

If you're still in the "aspiring" author stage, I hope my story shows you that success is possible, but don't expect it to come easily or quickly! Thank you for letting me share my story, Aldrea!

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The Charge by Sharon Bayliss
Genre: New Adult Dystopian Romance
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Release Date: March 2, 2013

When King of the Texas Empire kidnaps Warren's brother, Warren embarks into a still Wild West to save

him. On his journey, he makes a discovery that changes his life forever—he and his brother are long-lost members of the Texas royal family and the King wants them both dead. 

He gets help from an activist Texan named Lena, who's itching to take on the King and happens to be a beautiful firecracker Warren can't stay away from. Convincing her he's not one of the bad guys becomes harder when a mysterious energy stirs in his body, turning his brain into a hive of emotions and memories—not all his own.

A legacy of violence is not all he inherited from the brutal Kings of Texas. The myth that the royal family possesses supernatural powers may not be myth at all.

Gone are the days when choosing a major was a big deal. Now Warren must save his brother and choose whether or not to be King, follow a King, or die before he can retire his fake ID.

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Bio: Sharon Bayliss is a native of Austin, Texas and works her day job in the field of social work. When she’s not writing, she enjoys living in her “happily-ever-after” with her husband and two young sons. She can be found eating Tex-Mex on patios, wearing flip-flops, and playing in the mud (which she calls gardening). You can connect with Sharon using the following links ...


4 comments:

  1. I really needed to read this. Thank you for sharing your story and reminding me that patience is key!

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  2. Sharon, what a wonderful story! I've had to "shelve" a novel that I absolutely loved and one which got me a lot of attention from contests and agents, but it just wasn't ready. So I know how you feel. I don't like to think of it as shelving, but shuffling. Like a deck of cards. I'll put this manuscript on the bottom and work on the next. Hopefully by the time that one comes around again, I'll have fresh ideas. Your book sounds awesome, btw. I can't wait to read it!

    Andrea, great post!

    Karen

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