Even though it's Monday, today is the fifth installment of my Friday series on successful authors from QueryTracker. We will be having two interviews this week, so please stop by again on Friday for #6.
Some of the authors I'm spotlighting have agents, others have found success in less conventional ways. But one thing they all have in common is the utilization of the QueryTracker website to help make their tracks in the publishing world.
My guest today has chosen a less conventional venue, sans an agent, and it's working out great for her. When I first met KT Grant (katiebabs) on QueryTracker, I knew her story would be an inspiration to other writers who've had trouble finding an agent because they write out-of-the-box books. Also, I hoped she might be an encouragement to authors who are e-pubbed but still don't feel like they've “arrived.” KT has proven through her success that there are many different ways to flourish in this business, even more so now with digital publishing.
Want proof? Check out her impressive bio:
BIO: KT Grant is a self-proclaimed eccentric redhead who not only loves to read a wide variety of romances, but also loves writing it. Under her alter-ego (Katiebabs), she is a well known book reviewer and blogger who doesn't shy away from voicing her opinion. A proud native of New Jersey, KT is multi-published and known for writing "out of the box" romances. KT has been quoted in such publications as the Romance Writers of America's Romance Writers Report and Night Owl Reviews. She has also been mentioned in the Guardian.UK, Publisher's Weekly's Beyond the Book and at Bookseller.com. KT is a top ten best-selling author at Amazon, as well as being a multiple All Romance Ebooks best seller and a Night Owl Reviews Top Author Pick.
What wonderful accolades, KT! Without further adieu, let's pick your brain. ;)
AGH: Which came first, blogging and reviewing other people’s books, or writing your own?
KT: I started reviewing four years ago for various on-line review sites and from that I decided to start my own blog where I could post my own reviews. Reviewing and blogging helped me jump start my own writing to great results.
AGH: When was your first book accepted by an e-publisher, and what is its title/genre?
KT: The first book I published was in June of last year called Lovestruck with Noble Publishing Romance. Lovestruck is a May/December Contemporary Lesbian Romance set in New York City.
AGH: How long did you query before getting picked up by e-publishers?
KT: Lovestruck took me six months to write. I queried to a few epublishers, and was rejected. I then went back to edit and revise with the insight from a few author friends who were wonderful to read Lovestruck. After that final round, I submitted again and Noble Publishing Romance extended me an offer.
AGH: How many books do you now have available to the reading public?
KT: I have a total of six releases, with another four so far to be published this year.
AGH: With close to 600 reviews on Amazon under the name Katiebabs, most of them books, you’ve built up quite a readership through your blog and Amazon book reviews. Do you think this has contributed to your success in the e-book field by providing a platform of readers already hungry for your work?
KT: My reputation as a reviewer and having my own blog definitely helped. I already built up an audience I hoped would be interested in reading my published work. Blogging is a great way for word of mouth, and I had that.
AGH: What books / authors have most influenced you (either in your writing or in your publishing decisions)?
KT: Stephen King has been the biggest influence in my life. The Stand was the book that made me want to write. There are so many other authors who have influenced me such as Meljean Brook, Carolyn Crane, Laurell K. Hamilton, Julie James, and Stephenie Meyer just to name a few.
AGH: How did you find QueryTracker, and how can it help others in their efforts to get inside the publishing doors?
KT: I started visiting various blogs and websites that talked about the publishing industry and advice on how to get published. From a few of them I found out about QueryTracker. QueryTracker is a great site that helps you pick agents and allows other writers to post comments about their experience with querying and the agents they’ve communicated with. It’s the perfect site I’d recommend to anyone trying to find an agent for their work or to keep track of the amount of queries they sent out, along with submissions and rejections.
AGH: What advice on the business side of publishing would you give to up-and-coming writers … something you wish you’d known when you first started?
KT: Being patient. Publishing moves very slowly. Epublishers are starting to get backed up and it may take months before an author’s release comes out. Don’t obsess about sales. When you see that first royalty statement, don’t be shocked or upset by how low your sales are in a month or quarter. It may take some time before you see some revenue for your book. The first five months Lovestruck was out, I was disappointed and then suddenly my sales shot up and have remained steady ever since. Also, once you publish, your publisher may want more from you and expect you to write something for them as soon as you can. That’s a reward within itself.
AGH: Do you have any current news to announce?
KT: My publisher, Decadent Publishing will put three of my books into print. My two titles, For the Love of Mollie and The Claiming of Suzy will be a combined print book. Xavier’s Loving Arms, which has yet to be released, will also be in print.
I also have three other books coming out this year. This Thursday, my third book with Ravenous Romance will be out. It’s a Lesbian Romantic Thriller called Sleeping with the Frenemy.
This is the blurb:
Deborah Murnay has a life most women would die for. She has a loving wife of four years who gives her anything she wants. But, Deborah hides a dark secret. Her wife Genevieve not only enjoys kinky, dangerous sex, but is insanely jealous and possessive. When a violent argument between the two leaves Deborah bruised and battered, she has no other choice but to run away.
Through some intricate planning on Deborah’s part, she’s able to trick Genevieve into thinking she’s dead. Deborah becomes Sharon Wade and ends up hundreds of miles away in the small town of Woodberry Creek where she can start over again, even though she lives in fear that Genevieve will find her and kill her.
When grade school teacher Bridgette Woodberry notices her new neighbor, she quickly figures out Woodberry Creek’s new resident is hiding something. Deborah knows she can’t have a future with Bridgette, but finds herself attracted to the kindhearted redhead whose kisses and warm embrace makes her feel protected.
As Deborah turns to Bridgette to help heal her scars, Genevieve is waiting for the right moment to take back her wife and make her pay for deceiving her.
I have a Contemporary MM (Gay) Romance with Phaze Books called Burning for You and a short MM (Gay) romance called A Bid for Love with Decadent Publishing. This is the first GLBT story for their new 1Night Stand series.
**Five for fun**
AGH: Which would you rather do: carry an umbrella or sing in the rain?
KT: Carry an umbrella. I’ve been caught in the rain too many times before. It’s not fun.
AGH: What’s your favorite breakfast?
KT: I like a simple breakfast of yogurt, blueberries, jam on toast, and a must is a pot of coffee. And yes, I will end up drinking the entire pot.
AGH: What video games do you play?
KT: I’m still trying to figure out a way to beat the Atari game, Pit Fall. If anyone knows how to, please tell me! I’m also addicted to Mario Cart. I love being Yoshi and running over the Mario brothers.
AGH: What would be the first thing you would do if you woke up to find you were a fish?
KT: Scream and freak out. Then find a smaller fish to harass.
AGH: Drinking tea … pinky up, or heavy on the Long Island?
KT: Long Island all the way!
Thank you, KT. Your answer to the fish question was hilarious! If that's any indication of the voice in your books, it's no wonder you're such a success. Congratulations on your climb to best-sellerdom. And I wish you luck and happiness on the rest of your writing journey.
If you have questions for KT--or would like to congratulate her -- please leave a comment below. Also, dont' forget to find her on Twitter: @katiebabs (the lady has over 2,000 followers ... I'm in awe), friend her on Facebook, and follow her blog: Babbling About Books, and More! for book reviews and witty banter.
And please make a point to join me again this Friday, because our next QueryTracker guest is the famed Anna Zagar of Scarlett Prose (aka purpleprose on QT), who got four offers of representation, decided on an agent, revised her MS, and snagged a publisher, all in the whirlwind span of less than two months. Too impatient to wait for the interview? Here's her personal summary of the experience.
Have a wonderful week everyone!