Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Guest - Kristin Battestella

Good morning all! Today's guest is Kristin Battestella, who's giving us a glimpse into her Vampire Family series and what a writer needs to do when rejections come their way. Enjoy!

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A Vampire Thanksgiving Inspiration!
By Kristin Battestella

“Hello Mother,

I have never conformed to normal societal standards; you know I have looked after my own cares, perhaps even selfishly some might say. However, amid this sad state in America’s affairs, it was in my best interests to marry.  Yes, marry.   I’m sure you wish to know his titles and ancestry for your histories, but none such matters to me. His name isn’t even important, for he wasn’t around long.  His funeral is tomorrow in fact—a gentleman’s funeral for a wealthy gentleman from North Carolina. 

I apologize if I’m late in my correspondence.  You know I don’t like to write. I imagine you might have wished a traditional spectacle at this news, Mother, your one moment of pride and pretense that you have a normal daughter and a proper family.  Ha!”

That’s the opening paragraph to my November release with Muse It Up Publishing, Debauchery: Victoria’s Burning, Book 4 in the Fate and Fangs: Tales from the Vampire Family series.  We began the set in August and are schedule to run all 7 through February.  Awesome, isn’t it?

But it almost wasn’t.
  
About this time last year, we were just signing the contract with Lea at the Muse and I was simply ecstatic.  By the end of last summer, I had finally resigned myself to the fact that Fate and Fangs was unpublishable.  I told my husband I wouldn’t have any books out in 2010 then, and though I wasn’t happy about it, that’s how it would have to be.  The calendar time wasn’t what upset me as much as the fact that what I had worked on for so long wasn’t going to be read.  For a writer, that is the absolute worst!

I hadn’t intended to immediately continue the universe begun in my 2008 novel with Eternal Press, The Vampire Family, but the moment we were re-released at EP, interviewers and reviewers were asking for more.  I have my drafts and am continuing work on the next two full-length novels in the universe, but I didn’t want to go forward with all the heavy vampire action and coven wars just yet.  There was actually one negative review for The Vampire Family, and the complaint was that there was too much action.  This did surprise me; as it was meant to be a heavy war historical battle vampire piece, not a paranormal romance. 


Fortunately, I did have more pieces and partially done short stories that I had originally excised from The Vampire Family.  These personal, individual, first person accounts just didn’t fit with the style of the novel.  I still thought these pieces were critical to the characters and establishments at hand, and after revising and updating and falling in love with them all over again, I sought publication for Fate and Fangs…

Only to find that no one wanted them. 

Naturally, I could understand a lot of the passing- these are after all novella length tales that fall into the realm of $.99- $1.99 sales.  It’s time and effort that just doesn’t add up for some publishers, and that’s fine. Writing is an art to us, but Publishing is still very much a business- and I’m sure we’re tough to market, too. Fate and Fangs varies in its eras and themes: Book 1, Love is obviously more paranormal romance than Book 2 Punishment, which is much more abstract horror. Debauchery has some very inappropriate subject matter, too.  I get it.  Logistics.  But that doesn’t make it easier to get the rejections.  After awhile, you get tired of listening to editors say, ‘I love it, I really really do, but no.’ It’s actually easier when you have a publisher say no because the subject matter is too touchy and out there rather than lose on technicalities.  Again, either way your hard work is for naught.  One less wise to the industry might simply give up, been done with compromising oneself for the business that is publication.

No!

I’ve been doing several speaking panels about the nuts and bolts of writing and getting published with the New Jersey Authors Network. So many other new, aspiring, or stumbling writers have told me how they’re afraid of getting rejected because they have an unusual format, or taboo topic, or just don’t feel like their work has a place in the industry standard.  Fortunately, I can tell them that in today’s publishing world, there are no such stumbling blocks or obstacles.  I first looked into e-publishing as a viable format way back in 2005- pre Kindle magics and when vampires weren’t so played as they are now- simply because I knew what I wrote was too out there for mainstream traditional publication.  There is really every opportunity to publish today, regardless of if your topic is touchy or if your word count isn’t up to snuff to some. 
  
If Fate and Fangs didn’t find a home with Muse, I might not be able to share and inspire other authors to keep at it.  I’d probably just stay at home plugging away on the next story at hand in hopes that that would be the one to see the light of day.  Thankfully, I can indeed say anything is possible.  Sure, I didn’t have any books published in 2010.  However, I will have 5 in 2011 and 2 forthcoming for 2012.  With one publisher taking a chance, my portfolio literally doubled overnight. 

So, the humble morale of my tale is to keep writing!  Put the tale you have to tell on the page.  Shape it to what the story needs to be the best told tale it can possibly be.  In seeking publication, do your research, know your options, and consider the possibilities and opportunities available too you.  Don’t despair after rejection! Keep at it!  The publisher you need to get your book out to readers is there.  It just takes another round of writerly elbow grease.  And we’ve all got plenty of that, don’t we?

  

Fate and Fangs: Tales from The Vampire Family

Feel Love, experience Punishment, know Struggle, indulge the Debauchery, crave Lust, learn Humanity, face Resurrection, and choose: Fate or Fangs?



Kristin Battestella writes for her hometown newspaper, The Cumberland County Reminder in New Jersey and has been writing non fiction, speculative fiction, dark fantasy, paranormal, and horror for fifteen years. She enjoys being at home with her family, collecting records, and creating web pages in her spare time. Along with numerous sports articles, online reviews (Her review of the film 300 earned 11,000 hits and crashed the Fire Fox News server!), and fiction work; Kristin's first eBook was published in 2005. She is a member of EPIC, the Friends of the Mount Laurel Library, and has her eyes set on joining the Online Film Critics Society. Kristin's first full-length work The Vampire Family has been re-released with Eternal Press; and in addition to numerous reviews, interviews, chats and blog appearances, Kristin recently attended the Philadelphia and Collingswood Book Festivals.

You can find us anytime online




In Professor Welshire’s fourth Fate and Fangs chronicle, Victoria uses the fallout from the American Civil War to her advantage-or so the beautiful but deadly blockade-runner hopes.  After all her using, abusing, and feedings, Victoria’s slaves finally take matters into their own hands, forcing Antonio’s daughter to face her own mortality. 
 

You can shop for Debauchery at Muse It Up or find each of the Fate and Fangs tales on Kindle




For December, look for Fate and Fangs Book 5, Lust: James at the Sundowner!

The Sundowner offers steamy Welshire vampires Jessica, Pamela, and Slava for underground vampire sex and biting fetishes in this mid-century tale from Professor James. Victoria’s twin brother James, however, is content with his gig as piano player at the club owned by their brother Stephen.  James’ own love Catrina is the alluring singer at The Sundowner, but can he keep his longtime vampire companion away from the tempting, exciting young clientele?  


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-- Lynda Again,
   My apologies to Kristin. I had some problems getting the blog  to properly post today and in my haste to get it up here, left out the two terrific covers she'd sent me. I hope everyone enjoys her post as much as I did and that you all have a Blessed and Wonderful Thanksgiving.

2 comments:

ellaquinnauthor said...

Great advice. There seems to be quite a few authors who have been told their story is wonderful, but there's not a market for it.

Kristin Snouffer said...

Hi Ella! Thanks for stopping by!

IF you write write write, your bound to get somewhere with something, right? ;0)

No worries Lynda! Thank you for having us drop in for the holidays! Where's my egg nog? ;0)