My Interview at "Jennifer on Writing"

In celebration of this week's release, I've been out guest blogging hither and yon. Here's the first bit of a writing advice interview with the very talented USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer Ashley.

I had the great pleasure to pick up Colleen Thompson's new Romantic Suspense, The Salt Maiden a few days ago. I asked her to be my guest this week, and I was able to ask her about the Romantic Suspense market, agents, and writing in general.

J: Do you have an agent? Why or why not?

Colleen Thompson: I've always worked with an agent and feel it's well worth paying the commission to have someone to run interference. This helps me keep my relationship with my editor about the book and allow the agent to deal with any potentially-contentious matters.

J: Can you talk a little about your road to publication?

Colleen Thompson: I wrote on the side for years while teaching. Only after I decided to give writing a real priority in my life and make an effort to education myself about publishing did I make progress. Both multi-genre and romance writers' groups (RWA) taught me what I needed to know and allowed me the opportunity to gain an agent's attention through entering contests. For me, this opened doors.

J: What challenges did you face once you got there?

Colleen Thompson: I first published in historical romance (under the pseudonym Gwyneth Atlee), but I found history-rich, American-set books were losing favor. In addition, I went lost several editors (three!) in rapid succession. I knew I needed to try something else at a different publishing house to break out of the tough place where I was stuck. As I result, I started over, writing romantic suspense, which I adore, under my real name. I've never been happier.

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