Thursday, April 1, 2010

Pay it Forward: Author Interview with Terry Lynn Johnson

Everyone has a different path to publication. This week, I'm featuring authors on the way: authors who have found their agents or their publishers and are in the homestretch towards reaching their dreams. Their stories are each different--but they are all inspiring. By showing you how THEY did it, I hope you remember that YOU can, too!

So, stick around all week to find out about lots of up-and-coming authors! Today, I'm featuring Terry Lynn Johnson, author of DOGSLED DREAMS, coming next year by 4RV Publishing. Her blog features cool stuff about writing and dogsledding!
 Tell us about your book.
 Dogsled Dreams is being released by 4RV Publishing LLC  January, 2011.
12-year-old Rebecca dreams of becoming a famous sled dog racer. But dangerous beavers, flying poo missiles, freezing blizzards and her own self-doubts all stand in her way.

Read more about it at my website or my blog

 Can you tell us a little bit about your road to publication?
 I took an on-line writing course in 2008 to help me write a memoir of my outdoor adventures. My tutor talked me into writing a story about dogsledding instead. It ended up becoming a full length middle-grade manuscript.
I sent it out to a few Canadian publishers. I was asked by several houses for the full manuscript, so that was encouraging. When that failed, I did a complete rewrite and pitched it to Vivian of 4RV Publishing at the Muse online writers conference last fall. She immediately asked for the full, and then sent a contract!
After I returned from the hospital with a fractured head from the the ill-advised chair-dance of victory, I signed the contract. I'm currently working with my fabulous editor on final revisions. 

Was there ever a time you felt like giving up? Why didn't you? 
Almost every non-writer that's heard about my book coming out exclaims, "You wrote a book?"

"Um, yeah, that was the easy part."

The only time I felt like I'd rather stick pins in my eyes than go through revisions again, was a low point in the process. My editor had suggested some things I was a) unsure I should do, and b) unsure I could do. 

On one hand, it's totally awesome to work with an editor, have the rough spots pointed out to you exactly so you can learn where your strengths and weaknesses are. But I've also had moments of self-doubt.

A quick example of this would be, "Terry, I think this part here needs to be funnier."

"What? How do I do that? Do you think I'm brilliantly witty or something? This is TOO HARD!"  Then something clever wakes me up in the night and I sneak downstairs to write, chuckling at my luck in getting a pushy editor.

I didn't give up because my writing just gets better the more I learn. Unlike going to the gym when I see the improvements, but then somehow figure I don't need to go anymore. Writing is much more fun so it's easier not to quit.

Thank you, Terry! You can find Terry online at her blog or website.

This week of interviews is being hosted by Elana Johnson, and several other bloggers are jumping on the bandwagon, including:
 Be sure to check them all out for inspiring, first-hand stories of authors on the verge of publication!

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