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When I decided to write my first book, I worked on it dutifully for over a year (I was new at this and had no idea what I was doing!) It was a long and emotional and arduous process, but in the end, I had a manuscript that I could live with, at least for my very first attempt at writing a full length book.
So, novel in hand, I began contacting literary agents. I don’t know how many I queried in the end, but to make a long story short, not one of them wanted to read my book, and most didn’t even bother to politely decline. I realize that literary agents receive a lot of requests just like mine, but this was my book, and it was rather discouraging that no one would even read it. *sigh*
All of the advice out there for new authors said not to give up, but to chalk up that first book to experience and start writing the next. But I couldn’t do it! I couldn’t toss aside a year’s worth of work that now no one would ever read. Maybe it’s my innate frugality, but I just couldn’t!
So I took a chance and published it on KDP for Amazon. With a really bad cover, (because what if I spent lots of money on a beautiful cover and still no one ever read it? Then I’d feel even worse!) It took a while, but eventually I sold a few copies. Then a few more. After a while, a few people wrote reviews, and lo and behold, most of them liked my book! That was all I needed to dive into writing my next novel, and the rest is history.
Now, I’m glad none of those agents ever got back to me. I like being in charge of my work and my timelines, and I’ve heard horror stories of authors having no say in what happens to their book after it goes to a publishing house.
I love reading reviews of my work and learning what people liked and didn’t like, because it helps me become a better writer (though I quickly found out that you can’t please everyone, one person’s five star rating might be just two for another). The world of independent publishing is growing by leaps and bounds, and as in every industry, competition for readers will continue to drive up the quality of published work. Here’s to a little independence!
Enjoy an excerpt from In Deep:
I turned to Cristos and offered him a casual smile. He was watching me, his expression unreadable at the moment, which bothered me. I’m usually very good at reading people. It’s second nature to me, so much so that I often don’t even know how I do it, so I felt a little bit blind when it came to this man. And of course when people are very hard to read, they usually have something to hide. His stoic silence was making me squirm, so I made an attempt at conversation.
“Thank you… for taking me to dinner. Where are we going?”
His expression relaxed into a devilish smile. “My pleasure, Brielle. And it’s a surprise.”
He shifted his body a little so that the length of his thigh was pressing against mine. A jolt of heat raced through me at the contact, but when I looked up again, he was gazing past me and out the window, so I couldn’t tell if he’d done it on purpose. I had the sudden, disconcerting urge to crawl into his lap and rub up against him. Just thinking about it was making my heart beat faster.
“We’re almost there”, he said.
He laughed. “Vegas is a small city. Were you hoping the ride would last longer?” He pressed just a little bit closer, and I tried to scoot a bit farther away so that I didn’t suddenly lose my mind and actually crawl onto his lap. The way my body was reacting to him, it was a distinct possibility, and I needed to be careful or I was going to end up looking like either a slut or an idiot, neither of which was flattering.
His hand came down gently on my thigh and my breath hitched in my throat. “Are you sure you’re not afraid of me, Cariño?”
He was looking at me with those sexy eyes again, and I felt like I could fly. “No. I’m not afraid of you,” I said with a little laugh.
“Good. If it’s not fear I’m sensing from you, then it must be desire.” His voice was deep and just a little husky. He was so near, so real, so hedonistically male.
I could only stare at him for a long moment, during which Dante opened the partition to announce our arrival, breaking the spell I had apparently fallen under. Be careful, Brie, or you’ll end up hitching a ride home with his personal assistant later.
The car pulled to a stop at the curb, and Dante came around to open the door for us. Criss got out and then reached for my hand. I slipped mine into his and that same thrill went through me at the contact. His grip tightened. I stepped out onto the curb, and was shocked to see several people with cameras raised in our direction. Dante stepped protectively between us and the crowd, and Criss took my arm.
“Ignore them, Brie. Just keep walking.”
I did, and within moments we were inside a posh looking restaurant, and being shown to our table as Dante disappeared toward the car.
Once we were comfortably seated at an intimate corner table, I leaned closer.
“Does that happen all the time? The photographers?”
He shrugged as he opened the wine list and perused the pages. “Sometimes. Other times I manage not to be noticed. It just goes with the territory.”
His eyes flicked up to mine. “Don’t worry, Dante will keep them from bothering us during dinner.”
He signaled the waiter, who hurried over to our table. “A bottle of your best red, please. And ask the chef to prepare something special for us tonight.”
The waiter’s eyes practically sparkled as he gave a little bow and headed for the kitchen. No doubt he was anticipating a rather large tip.
Criss turned his full attention to me, leaning his elbows on the table and casually running one finger over his full bottom lip. “Alexis tells me you’re a student in anthropology.”
His eyes, god… they burned right through me. I had to clear my throat a little. “Yes, I’m just finishing up my Ph.D., which of course is why I’m here in Vegas.”
“Why anthropology? It’s kind of unusual, isn’t it?”
I smiled, my love for the subject undoubtedly shining through. “It just comes naturally to me, I suppose. I’ve always loved to study people, figure them out, their motives and interactions. I sort of have a knack for understanding all that on a really basic level that most people never see. It’s fascinating to me, always has been.”
He leaned closer and gave me a dark smile, his lips curving up dangerously. “And are you going to figure me out, Brielle?”
“I don’t know”, I said quite honestly. It was already obvious to me that the man ran pretty deep, and I had a very hard time reading him. The one thing I did know for sure is that if I let him have the upper hand with me, this spark we seemed to have would go nowhere. If I fell into the mold he made for me, I was certain he would use me up and then walk away. He would probably do that anyway. That must be the way he had always managed to avoid relationships, because women tried so hard to become what he wanted them to be.
About the Author:
I’m passionate about the romance genre because of the emotional journey a well-written novel can take the reader on, and my goal with each of my books is to do the same for my readers. I would love to hear from you at kellamckinnon.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Buy In Deep at Amazon. Buy In Deeper at Amazon.
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