Monday, July 12, 2010

Guest Author Kaily Hart

Please welcome my guest, fellow Ellora's Cave author Kaily Hart! She's blogging today about what it's like to be published for the first time. Take it away, Kaily---

If I could think of one word to describe what it’s been like as a new author, it would be ‘emotionally draining’. OK, that’s really two words, but I couldn’t think of a great one-worder! I really mean it in the best way possible. As we go through life, we experience many firsts, some more memorable than others. As a newly published author, I’ve been lucky to experience many, many firsts to date. For Picture This, I seem to have struck a bonanza and they all seemed to come within a very short space of time!! They’ll always be mine, and they’ll always be special and I’d like to share them with you:

I wrote my first novella. [Picture This, duh…]
I submitted to my first epublisher. [Ellora’s Cave]
I received my first revision request.
I got my first offer for publication.
I executed my first publishing contract.
I got my first editor. Yay, Grace! [notice comma before name!!]
I received my first edits! [goodbye en-dash]
I got my first cover.
I received my first release date!
I had my first heart attack [no, just kidding, but sometimes it felt like it!!]
OMG, June 29, 2010 and I’m a published author for the first time! [I got me a buy link!]
My first review! Woohoo! [Tiger Lily, I love you]
My first feedback from a reader [Rita, you’ll always have a special place in my heart]
My first interview as a published author [Cari, you petitioned and you got it, baby!]

So, how does it feel? It’s exhilarating, scary, empowering, anxiety-ridden, incredible, nerve-wracking, moving… LOL. Seeing a pattern here? Yeah, like I said, emotionally draining, but in the absolutely, positively, best way possible!!! The coolest part of all of it so far has been reader feedback by far. Many have reached out to me directly to say how much they’ve enjoyed the book, the characters, the story. To be able to touch someone in some way? Well, it’s why I write!

If any of you have read my book and happened to look at the dedication, Picture This is dedicated to all aspiring authors. It wasn’t that long ago that I was in those ranks and I won’t forget that anytime soon. I may have achieved the milestone that all writers strive for, but it’s not an end. I see it as a beginning. It’s the first rung on the publishing ladder for me and I really hope there will be many more milestones or rungs along the way. Actually, I hope it turns out to be more like an elevator, rather than a ladder!

As well as being an incredible journey to date, it’s also been a foundational learning experience. As a writer you learn constantly, about the craft of writing as well as the business aspects of it. Going through revisions and edits with an editor was an invaluable experience. Being involved in promotion has been a very steep learning curve but amazing and getting to see your work out there in reviews? Almost surreal. As a writer I don’t think I’ll ever stop learning, nor would I want to.

Writing is still as hard as it was before, possibly even more so because there’s the pressure of creating another story that’s not just as good, but better than the first. Suddenly, you’ve built expectation out there and you have to try and live up to that. Ah, the never ending cycle of hope and anxiety for the writer!! So, what am I focused on now? Well, I’m still basking in the success some, but I’m hard at work on my next book, of course!

So, I showed you mine, you show me yours! Anyone care to share any of their memorable firsts?



Desperate and young, Jillian Moore did something she knew would one day come back to bite her in the ass. She’d posed nude. For money. Years later, and on the fast track to a successful career, she’s still haunted by her mistake. She can’t help but wonder when her past will catch up with her.

Samuel Steele is not short on female attention, but the women who warm his bed pale in comparison to the fantasy he’s created of the seductive temptress in the painting hanging prominently in his bedroom. A fantasy that has ruined his once satisfying sex life. When he discovers that her exact likeness works in his building—for him—things get…interesting.


Oh my God, Samuel Steele was a walking, talking wet dream.

She’d drooled from afar plenty, but up close he was downright gorgeous. Every woman in the place, and even some of the guys, had checked out his tight butt, flat abs and broad shoulders, and although he’d never worn anything but a suit to the office, that didn’t stop imaginations from running riot. His hair was dark and thick, his skin tanned, and regardless of the time of day, his jaw always seemed darkened with at least a day’s beard growth. And his eyes. She’d never been close enough to make out their color before, but they were a dark, piercing gray. They should have looked cold, but the way he was looking at her made her wonder if someone had turned off the air-conditioning.


Follow Kaily's Virtual Book Tour at Goddess Fish Promotions or click one of her links to find out more about this fascinating author!

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Kaily Hart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kaily Hart said...

Cindy, thanks again for having me here today. Being published has been an awesome experience and I love being able to share it.

Cindy Jacks said...

I'm thrilled to have you hear and I totally agree, being publish--even for the hundredth time--is emotionally draining, but in a good way :)

Rula Sinara said...

Hi Kaily! I love how you say that it's emotionally draining in the best way. You're so right. It makes me think of that saying, 'It hurts so good'. You've certainly racked up memorable firsts this year!

I can't top a first call or first published book, but let's see. A few memorable first over the past year would have to include attending my first RWA Nationals meeting, getting my first request for a full by an agent, getting my first partial request by an editor, and starting a blog. I'm hoping to step it up with this next year's firsts, LOL!

Cindy Jacks said...

Those are some pretty awesome 1st, Rula! Thanks for stopping by :)

Kaily Hart said...

Rula, they're absolutely awesome firsts. The publishing ones are just around the corner. I know it!

Kari Thomas said...

HI Kaily,

LOVE that cover! And CONGRATS on your first baby being Released! Im excited for you, and your post does bring back the memories of my First! I was so happy having my first book published -- I had accomplished a life long dream. THEN, the publisher went Bankrupt one year later. What a drop from my feeling the HIGH to the now LOW. BUT! I was so very fortunate to have another Publisher pick it up and RE-pub it! Back to feeling HIGH again! Now, 8 books later, I still do the Snoopy Happy Dance with every acceptance!

Wishing you MANY more!!

Kari Thomas,

Darah Lace said...

Congrats Kaily! There are many more firsts to come. Enjoy them all and then ask for seconds!

Kaily Hart said...

Kari, sorry to hear about your publisher story. What a nightmare. Glad everything worked out for you. 8 books. Wow, that's an accomplishment alright!

Thanks, Darah. Yep, I'm not one to be ever satisfied with the status quo :).

Lorrie said...

Hi Kaily, enjoy your success. The next novels will either be easier, or, I find, added pressure to top the first. Just let it flow. You're doing good.
Lot's of luck with the sales.

Kaily Hart said...

Hey Lorrie! Thanks! I'm putting the finishing touches on my current story now. It did flow well, but I'm second guessing everything as I polish it! The good reviews were great, but added pressure. I can never walk away from a challenge, though!! :)

Erica Anderson said...

Thanks for sharing, Kaily. I'd been writing (unpublished) fiction for almost 10 years on and off and then I gave erotic romance a try. And BANG! Sold the first story I wrote--because the short forms made possible by ebooks were the best fit for my writing. Congratulations on your incredible success!

Shelley Munro said...

Congratulations, Kaily. Reading your post brought back all those firsts for me too. I remember the excitement well. Writing is such an up and down business. I think it's really important to celebrate the highs every time.

Kaily Hart said...

Hi Erica! Sometimes it takes awhile to figure out where we fit. Sometimes it's not exactly what we enjoy reading, either! I love the short stories as well.

Thanks, Shelley. Glad I could take you back on that journey :). Yes, I believe in focusing on the positive!

Sherry Gloag said...

Thanks for sharing all your firsts Kaily. As I'm awaiting the release of my debut novel in October I can relate to the sharp learning curve you talk about.
The biggest learning curve in all this, and like you I enjoyed every step and stage to receiving my release date, but the biggest first is staying cool at each step of the way. I am so out of my comfort zone, I sometimes pinch myself that I'm not in a constant flat spin:-)
Good luck with Picture This and the future of your nest project.

Kaily Hart said...

Hey Sherry! Congratulations on your book! That's awesome. Yeah, the comfort zone thing. I think as a writer to be able to improve, you have to keep pushing that. Best to you!