Wednesday, September 18, 2013

IT TAKES A TEAM TO CREATE A BOOK


It's my pleasure to have Gina Lamm visiting with us Over Coffee. We often think that once you're published you don't have writing problems, and the stories just flow without problems. Certainly a published author doesn't get writer's block, especially when they have a deadline, right? 
But... what happens if they do? I'll let Gina tell you a bit about that. 

Hi again Sia! I’m thrilled to be back here at Over Coffee, chatting with you guys again. I had so much fun with THE GEEK GIRL AND THE SCANDALOUS EARL’s blog tour that getting to come to your place again was a real treat. Thanks for having me! J

Today I want to talk a little bit about my writing team. No, I don’t currently co-author any projects; all my books are single-author efforts. But even single authors need a huge team to get a book off the ground, and I’m totally no exception!

It has always fascinated me to find out how some of my favorite things came to being. Like my favorite books, or my favorite TV shows. Behind-the-scenes glimpses are really fun to me. So here’s my little behind-the-scenes for GEEK GIRLS DON’T DATE DUKES.

It all started in 2011, when I met Leah Hultenschmidt, then-editor at Sourcebooks. I pitched the idea for THE GEEK GIRL AND THE SCANDALOUS EARL to her, and she loved it, but she told me that Sourcebooks preferred contracting series of books over single titles. Could I come up with a couple more ideas for additional books? Sure I could, right?

Denise Tompkins, one of my BEST FRIENDS EVA and super-duper critique buddy, helped me brainstorm a couple more ideas, and between us, we hammered out the idea for GEEK GIRLS DON’T DATE DUKES. Sourcebooks liked it, and contracted books 1 and 2 of the “Geek Girls” series.

And then it was time to write the darned thing. Ever heard of the sophomore slump? I hit that, and I hit it HARD. Writer’s block was too good for what was happening there. I just couldn't get past the wall in my head, and here’s where my team came in.

My husband, my parents, my sister, Denise, my incredible editor Leah, all of them combined to pull me out of this hole and get me writing. My parents would ask me how the book was coming. My husband would listen to me moan and whine about why WAS THIS SO HARD???? Denise would help me brainstorm, and my sister would read things and shoot them back to me so fast. If not for that team helping me through, I don’t know that the book would ever have been finished!

And once the book was finished, it went to Sourcebooks, and they turned that little lump of coal into gold. First my editor Leah ripped it apart (wonderfully) and helped me put it back together. Then it went through copy edits and proofreaders, I don’t know how many passes. The incredible art department made one of the best covers I've ever seen on a romance novel, one that captures the attitude and characters perfectly on the first go. You may not know this, but authors get very little input on their book covers. There’s usually a little form to be filled out, and once the author has done that, they have to trust in their publisher to get them the right cover. And I have to say, that so far I've been so very impressed with Sourcebooks’ art department. Both “Geek Girls” books have looked incredible, and I couldn't be happier.

Then the book moves forward, to Netgalley, where wonderful bloggers like Sia can review it. These guys are also a hugely important part of the team. Where would a book be with no reviews? Sitting in the bottom of the Amazon rankings, that’s where! Through reviews, good and bad, word of mouth, advertising, bloggers and book reviewers can really shape the way a book sells. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the opportunity to post here and on other blog sites. I’m honored to have you guys as part of my team!

And then, once the advanced copies have been reviewed, and release day has come and gone, I get to the biggest (and most important) part of my book team.

You guys. The readers.

Without you, Leah and Avery can only live inside MY head. But with you? These two characters have traveled the world, having their adventure again and again, causing laughs and tears in so many different time zones, zip codes, and countries. And that, my friends, is a humbling thought. This book that took me so many months to create has flown worldwide, and I couldn't be happier, or more grateful.

Thank you for being part of my team. Thanks for reading these crazy tales that come pouring out of my noggin. Thanks for laughing, for sharing, for buying and borrowing and telling your friends.


I couldn't  do this without you.

                                                                                                                                                            

BUY: AMAZON, B&N, INDIEBOUND
GEEK GIRLS DON'T DATE DUKES

The Royal Treatment
All Leah wanted was a little gallantry. But in this day and age, chivalry was most definitely dead. If only there were a way to travel back in time and snag her very own duke...

Avery Russell was polishing some boots when a woman fell through the bedchamber mirror into his arms. All he could make out from her breathless babbling was some nonsense about "my one true love, Your Grace." Clearly the chit was mad if she couldn't tell a valet from a duke!

As much as Avery wanted to give in and give her a good tumble, he knew it wouldn't be proper. No, he'd take as long as necessary to convince Leah that sometimes a duke just won't do. EXCERPT



                                                                                                                                                                              

Becoming a magician proved to be less interesting than Gina Lamm had anticipated when she was six, so in her adult life, she's turned to writing.
This belly-dancing, wisecracking, marshmallow-addicted mother of three energetic fur-children loves nothing more than penning funny, emotional tales of love, lust, and entertaining mishaps.
A multi-published author, Gina also writes erotic romance under the pen name Regina Cole. THE GEEK GIRL AND THE SCANDALOUS EARL, GEEK GIRLS DON'T DATE DUKES, INDELIBLY INTIMATE, CAUGHT IN CRIMSON, and DEAR ADDI are only a few of her stories.
Married to a real live superhero, she and her family live in North Carolina, surrounded by tobacco farms, possums, and the occasional hurricane. You can find Gina:  Website, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter

9 comments:

~Sia McKye~ said...

Gina! I'm so glad to have you back Over Coffee, and with your latest Geek girl. :-)

I enjoyed your article. I'm glad you have a good support system and they got you through the wall. That's a tough one.

Was it the pressure of selling a proposal idea of the book, as opposed to a completed manuscript, that seem to block your creative muse?

Michelle Wallace said...

I have always been under the impression that a published author doesn't get writer's block... or doesn't experience it as often as an unpublished writer...

Johanna Garth said...

Sounds like you have a fabulous support system and I LOVE the name of your new book. I just want to say it over and over and over :)

L.G. Smith said...

Any writer who has a backup team to bounce ideas off of and get feedback on their progress is indeed lucky. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

It does take a team. I have test readers and critique partners who not only help with the manuscript but the ideas as well.
My publisher's illustrator did ask questions about the stories before tackling the covers and I'm more than pleased with how all three turned out.
Congratulations, Gina!

Gina Lamm said...

Hi Sia, thanks for having me! Yeah, I think it was part of that, as well as living up to the first book. I knew that my editor adored the first one, and I was so scared of not being able to deliver a book as good as that one that I found myself kind of paralyzed. I'm just so glad I got through it finally!

@ Michelle, thanks for stopping by! Actually, I never really had writer's block before I was published. Back then, I was free, and nobody had any expectations of my writing. It didn't matter if it wasn't any good! But now, there's a lot more riding on my writing, and when the pressure's on, so is the anxiety. :)

@Johanna, you're so right! I'm incredibly lucky to have the team I have. And this is my favorite title of all time, hehehe. The rest of my life I'll be trying to come up with another one as good as this one! :)

@L.G., thanks for stopping by. And you're so right. I talk to other writers who don't have supportive friends or family, and I wonder how they can get through the day. Without that safety net, I don't know how I could get my things done!

@Alex, I'm so glad you've got a good support system! It makes all the difference in the world, doesn't it? :)

Thanks everyone, for stopping by and commenting!

Gina

nutschell said...

It takes one person to write a book but it takes a village to publish it!:)
Nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

Crystal Collier said...

Awesome! It's so great to get the backstory in traditional publishing. It sounds a ton like the process most of us follow--once we've figured out there is a process. LOL.

Great post!

Yolanda Renee said...

Sounds like a great series, and yes writing that second book does create almost more doubt than the first. But Beta readers, and a great edit makes all the difference, plus that great support system - priceless!

Gina, congratulations - I think you've got the writing block beat!