Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. ~Winston Churchill
I'm tickled pink to have Jeff Rivera on my blog today -- his story is one we'd see in the movies -- rags to riches -- and he's here to talk a bit about it and the novel that did it all. Read to the end, where you'll find a special treat -- the chance to win a copy of his incredible book!
Jeff, tell us about your release "Forever My Lady" ...
Well, what I can tell you is that I'm so excited to have the support of Grand Central on this because I spent years self-publishing it and building an audience online. It's definitely a dream come true. In fact, I remember when I got "the call" I had to shake my friend, Chris' hand in order to believe I wasn't dreaming.
Your writing is filled with characters that most people would ignore on the street, how do you break through those stereotypes to get readers invested in the characters in your books?
I think that was my greatest challenge and honor. No body likes to be judged but let's get real, people make first impressions. I've found in my life that some people you may think one thing about but when you get to know them then you see so much more. I wanted the same experience to be for readers when they read Forever My Lady.
Give us the deets - release date, where the book can be purchased... you know the drill!
The mass market edition was just released and you can get copies at Amazon.com, www.JeffRivera.com or your local bookstore, of course.
I love that cover ... were you able to have input on it? Or did the marketing department do it all?
The first edition was actually the same cover I used with the self-published version, this new cover on the mass market paperback was designed by the marketing department but they did run it by me to see my thoughts.
Your "Will Write For Food" picture is so true... tell us a little about your publishing journey.
It wasn't easy but it was fun. Lots of work. If I had allowed myself to be bogged down with all the work that goes into self-publishing a book, promoting it and pitching it agents and editors I would have given up. Instead, I decided to make it fun and enjoy the process of doing it. I was already winning all along just by doing it. I had a goal and I kept going until I reached it.
Have there been any surprises along the way?
Yes, getting "the call" was definitely a surprise that Warner/Grand Central wanted the novel but also getting used to the way things work in the corporate publishing world has been a great surprise and wake up call.
Writing is so solitary that I think you have to have a huge support system...how have your friends and family reacted to your becoming an author?
All my family has been very excited for me because even when we were dirt poor in Oregon and Nevada we stuck together. So, this success I'm having is not just my success it's "our" success. My friends are happy for me but some really aren't that interested. To them I'm not this big author, to them they're like "Oh, that's just Jeff, so what?"
Okay, tell us about that next project -- do you have anything in the works right now?
Yes, I'm really focusing on writing more stuff for Young Adults with elements of love in them and yes, I have been tinkering with Forever My Lady Part 2 for quite some time.
WIN A COPY OF JEFF'S BOOK! One lucky person who comments today will win paperback copy of Jeff's book. So talk to Jeff and tell your friends to come and check it out.
Drawing held Saturday morning, 11/22/08.