My local chapter of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) has been a constant source of inspiration and encouragement since I first decided to start writing fiction more than ten years ago. Annette Briggs is one of the most stalwart members of the group. This is a lady who always has the right thing to say, can be counted on to help out in multiple capacities, and is ready with a listening ear. She always has writing news to share, but never seemed to reach the point of submitting her manuscript anywhere – until a few months ago, when her steampunk novel The Magical Tome was released. I asked Annette to come and share with us what it was that provided the final push to get her book in front of readers, and she kindly obliged. Welcome!
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Thank you, Patricia Kiyono, for inviting me to be a guest on Four Foxes, One Hound. Patricia and I know each other because we’re both members of Mid-Michigan RWA, a nurturing place for both published and not yet published writers.
My journey as a writer started when I was young. During my elementary school days, I drew comic strip stories. By junior high school I had a constantly growing story I passed around to a few classmates to read. At fourteen, I pitched to my local newspaper and sold them essays for their editorial page. Then life intervened. I attended Michigan State and married. Marriage and family raising slowed me down but taught me some lessons that I hope are reflected in my stories. Selling the occasional article, short story, or interview was no longer enough for me. I wanted to write novels, and I have been obsessing upon creating them for longer than I care to admit.
My debut novel, The Magical Tome, began quite a few years ago when I attended a writing class at WMU. As a mother of five with many irons in the fire, I had gotten to work on my thirty page assignment long after I should have. Thirty pages! Due in the morning! I knew I had to write something that would keep me awake. And this novel began that moment.
As a teen, I had been a big fan of science fiction, especially of the “vintage” variety– Frankenstein, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. When a person reads and views science fiction, that person learns to expect the unexpected, and in some cases to encounter stories where the characters overcome the impossible, like time travel. Steampunk included many of the qualities that I liked. I also have a fondness for buckles, laces, corsets, and well-equipped goggles. And I realized those stories could be enhanced and complicated by a hot romance braided into them. My writing a steampunk romantic adventure was what I desired.
Writing and polishing this story took much longer than most bystanders (my husband and children) could bear. Over the years, The Magical Tome had become a story well beyond the 30 page assignment that spawned it. It had become a novel of not quite 90,000 words. But I had finished a vampire story ahead of it. I had sold some articles to a local newspaper, and I had created another newsletter for a service group I’m in. But I had not been faithful in submitting it to publishers. In fact, some family members thought I would never get around to selling that story they believed in. Thus, my grown-up daughter, so believing in the story I wrote, put it up on Kindle without me knowing it. And not just on Kindle, available through print on demand at Kindle, too!
Needless to say, it was like being tossed into the cold and churning ocean without water wings. But here it is, out there, on Kindle. Now it’s my job to let people know what the story is about and where it’s available. I may not yet be swimming, but I am at least dog-paddling.
Many thanks to Patricia, Angela, Elaine, Jeff, Tonette for letting me be your guest today.
Blurb for The Magical Tome:
Twenty-first century coed Emma and hot shot British actor Peter find themselves prisoners of mad scientists in Steampunk England. Their only hope to return to their lives is to return a magical book to its rightful owners. If an angry queen, a raging mob, and a couple of thoroughly ticked off mad scientists, and a deadly jinni aren’t obstacles enough, they complicate everything by falling in love.
The Magical Tome is available on Amazon.