Guest Author: Annette Briggs and The Magical Tome

Annette BMy 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!

* * * *

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.

51xnikqe5qlBlurb 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.

You can find Annette Briggs at her website and on Twitter and Amazon.

About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page:
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17 Responses to Guest Author: Annette Briggs and The Magical Tome

  1. Welcome, Annette! I always had a fascination with “Steampunk” long before it had a name. (I watched some of the series where they had competitions to create Steampunk rooms,and I have to say that you don’t look anything at all like the characters who were contestants! LOL!)
    I also like magic books so you are on my TBR list now.
    I wish you all the best and enjoy the ride!


  2. Jeff Salter says:

    I can imagine that night before your 30-p. story was due was pretty stressful.
    I’m a world class procrastinator… so I can picture myself in that situation. Sounds like you managed it well.
    No wonder you didn’t finish your novel with five kids in the household! Wow.
    We only had two kids and they kept us both hopping.
    As far as having one’s work published without being alerted in advance — I’m glad you took it in stride. I’m afraid I would’ve freaked out. I tend to have MANY drafts of a given WIP, and only I know which one is in which state of readiness.
    But in your case, it sounds as if it worked out, so I offer congrats to your bold daughter!
    And congratulations on your debut novel, also.


  3. Lucy Kubash says:

    So happy your book is finally out there! Nice post and I enjoyed learning about the origins of the story. I remember reading part of it in critique group years ago and now it’s on my Kindle. Best of luck!


  4. Thank you, Lucy. I learned so much from you and the other Mid-Michigan writers who I have interacted with.


  5. Margo Hoornstra says:

    I loved this story when I first read parts of it years ago. Congratulations on its recent release. Lucky you for having such a caring and insightful daughter. Best of luck always.


  6. Thank you, Margo. Bess made it happen with no more holding back. It’s up to me now. You and Mid-Michigan RWA are part of my learning about the business of writing and what is expected and I am grateful.


  7. teab123 says:

    When I first learned your book was available I ordered my copy with tears in my eyes! This steam punk tale carried me to another time and i enjoyed every minute! Very big congratulations, Annette! I read the vampire novel, too, and it surely has a spot in the publishing world as well!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Thanks for visiting, Teresa! At least, I think it’s you. I’m just getting into the book myself. Looks like I’m in for a treat.


      • teab123 says:

        Hi Patty! Yes, it’s me. It’s nice to see all the wonderful mid-Michigan member comments. And happy to see Annette launched in the publishing world! Best wishes to you as well!


  8. Thanks, Teresa Blue. I always say that you held the light on our dark path toward publishing. We shared and critqued a lot of our early work and you found RWA for us. I’m looking forward to your next book coming out, too.


    • teab123 says:

      I remember those good old early days reading and critiquing at the library. And will never forget Georgetown conference! We certainly blazed a trail for ourselves! All the best to you, Annette!
      Love the cover!


  9. Elaine Cantrell says:

    Welcome to the blog! And congratulations on the publication of your novel.


  10. Thank you, Elaine. I felt honored to be included.


  11. Diane Burton says:

    I’m so glad your delightful story is finally in print. I was privileged to read it long ago and loved the concept. Congratulations and best wishes, Annette.


  12. I love the premise of this story and look forward to reading it. Sometimes not knowing what you’re getting into is the best way:-). Congratulations!


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