May 122016

Last night I received the preliminary galley from The Wild Rose Press for my romantic suspense novel ‘The Resort – A Frankie James Mystery‘. Since this is my first novel through a traditional publisher, I am also learning each step as a manuscript works its way through the system.  In some ways it is a fascinating process, and is others it is a bit frustrating.  For unpublished authors, I hope my blog about the process is something of value in letting them in on how it all works – at least with my publisher.

In November 2015 I received an answer to my query and the publisher (actually editor) requested a complete manuscript.  In January, I received notice that the publisher accepted my manuscript and a contract to return.  As any author knows, this was a huge day in the life of a writer — the first contract for a traditionally published novel.  I nearly had to fix the ceiling of my living room from jumping too high in excitement.  I admit, I debated about signing the contract, or doing an immediate search for an agent.  I decided to go on my own for this first novel.  An agent can always come later.

At that time I sent in the ‘final’ manuscript to my editor with great trepidation.  I had no idea what to expect.  In our first few email exchanges I found her to be delightful (she laughed at my bad jokes).  I honestly expected the process to take months and was pleasently surprised when I received my first edits  in about six weeks – early March.  I worked on the edits for the next few weeks (actually it only took me a couple days, but the editor wanted me to take at least two weeks before I returned the revisions for a variety of reasons.  At the end of that time frame – in it went.

I was expecting another round of edits, probably with more depth or massive revisions to scenes and chapters.  But that didn’t happen.  Instead I received really positive comments and then last night the preliminary galley maginally appeared.  Up to this point it is about 12 weeks since I first received my contract.  Somehow I was expecting the process to take much longer.

Now I know we still have a number of steps to move through.  The next step is a production galley which only minimal fixes are allowed and then it goes to a copy editor.  Once the copy editor approves it the final production galley is created and I get to review it one last time.  If anything has to be fixed, it prolongs the process, so the plan is to have it ready to go before it gets to that point.

Once final approval comes, I will be notified of the planned release date and everything moves forward at that point.  I expect it to be out the Fall of 2016.

Now, I have no idea yet on what the cover will look like and I am very curious to see the design.  I was allowed to give my thoughts about what I perceive works, but the publisher has the final say.  I did receive suggested blurbs for the cover and approved them already.  Just another step in the overall process.  I decided that once I receive the cover and the release date, I will begin a massive advertising campaign on social media.

While I have had many accounts on a variety of social media in the past, I have never been a big fan of Facebook, Twitter or the other popular places.  However, I have begun to take a critical look at the best ways to employ each of these options and am spending time learning dome of the intricasies of each.  In fact I am begining to work on a presentation on how to use social media to its best advantage or at least as a means to get your name out there.  It is a tough job and requires a real effort, but that is a topic for another day.

Well it is time to get back to work on my next two novels … the second in the Frankie James series and the first in a ramantic paranormal series – The Noctis.

May 092016

This morning was interesting to say the least.  While I was working on a full revision of The Noctis, I received a ‘male’ recorded phone call claiming to be from the ‘Treasury Department’ telling me a warrant had been issued for my arrest and I was to call back the same number that initiated the call.  A woman then answered and claimed it was the U.S. Treasury Department.    Then she said I did not pay any taxes in 2010.  I nearly laughed out loud, but instead began to question her including asking what the actual charges were.  When I asked if it was the IRS, she said yes (two different parts of the government completely).  She could not answer anything I asked, but instead said officers would be at my door to arrest me and I should sit there and wait for them.  In the meantime I goggled the phone number and found it to be a private home in Lakewood, Calif.  Now mind you, this is a real phone number since it had to be called back and she answered, not the fake ones we get all the time trying to sell us Viagra or Rachel at Cardholder Services.

Obviously this was a scam and I knew it immediately.  The IRS never makes a phone call.  If they want you, they either send a law enforcement officer or at least send a registered letter.  I clarified this with my local police department just to be certain and had a good laugh.

The sad thing about this is these crooks probaby are having some success getting naive or elderly people to give them a credit card or bank account number and then stripping them of their money.  That is disgusting.

Anyway, my primary point to this message is to make my friends aware that this is going on and if you get a phone call from the ‘Treasury Department’, it is a rip-off attempt.

Jan 202016

After many years of disappointment and frustration combined with trying to gain the skills in which to become a successful author, I was offered a contract by Wild Rose Press for a romantic suspense novel, “The Resort”.  For any author, this is the ultimate goal; to feel accepted inside the publishing industry and to see their name on a traditional book cover after years of rejections by publishers.  I am excited.

I’ve been writing professionally in one form or another for most of my adult life – starting as a part-time reporter for a small local newspaper to the editor of a medium sized one.  When I was a teen, I could never have imagined this is how my life would turn out.  I wanted to be a doctor and pursued that goal into my early twenties and then settled for nursing.  I was married in my early 30s and shortly thereafter began my journalistic career.

As a teen, I failed miserably in my English and American Literature classes and barely got through anything that had to do with grammar (and math).  I could spell, but I couldn’t really write.  The funny thing is that even then, I had a small inclination towards writing stories.  Although the notebooks are long gone, trashed, burned or disposed some other way, I did do a little writing – a space story in a similar vein to “Tom Swift – Space Cadet”  (a young adult series).  I loved comic books and wanted to draw for Marvel comics. While this is the earliest indications of my future, it was not one I ever expected to follow. Strangely when I entered college in my late twenties (following time in the U.S. Navy during Vietnam) I became involved in a theater program and then actually wrote a drama.  It was an interesting story, but not well written.  However it led to to later efforts of creating theatrical productions ranging from two children’s plays to several ‘dinner theater’ productions.  I still never considered novel writing a possible career.

About 15 years ago I decided I was going to try to write a story that had been in my head for many years.  That concept was based on “What would happen if the monsters of mythology came into today’s world.”  I played with the idea, took a class at Writers Digest School and then a second one.  I joined a couple of websites and began to submit small pieces for critique (big mistake). I wrote the earliest novel and then stepped back several times.  At some point I discovered writing conferences and critique groups – places where I could seek the knowledge and information to improve my writing and gain the skills necessary to be successful.  I credit Bob Mayer (at a couple of different conferences and some personal correspondence) for revealing the publishing world to me and opening my eyes to independent publishing.  A conference with Jessica Andersen opened my eyes to the possibility of writing paranormal and romance novels.  Members of my writer’s groups (Saratoga RWA and Rochester Lilac City Romance Writers)  taught me so many things about “how to write” it is nearly impossible  to credit them, but they are a huge key to my success so far.

Somehow during those early years, I became addicted to writing, to exploring the alternate worlds in my head and learning more about the people who inhabited them.  I now have three very different worlds where I escape and explore – Allmharach, Afterlife and The Noctis – and more on the way.  My brain can become very cluttered with ideas.

I suppose what I am really saying is the offer of a contract – a goal I have pursued despite a thousand obstacles – has finally come to fruition.  I may never get rich as a writer, but I will always know that I have succeeded in accomplishing something that I really wanted.  It took work, time and tons of frustration, but in the words of Rocky Balboa “Yo Adrianne, I did it!).

Now I suppose I should get back to writing.

Dec 272015

I just spent a lovely couple of days with my families – all three of them – my adopted one as well as my parents and in-laws.  It was a wonderful holiday time and it gave me a chance to renew my energy with laughter, joy and love.

For those who do not know me, I have an adopted family in the small town where I live, a ‘twin’ sister Kim ( nope, not biologically related) and her husband, Henry, and sons Emerson (and his girlfriend Raena  whom we adore) and Kendall.   They joined us Thursday night for a Christmas Eve celebration, shared some snacks and wine and simply had a wonderful time.

Friday morning we headed down to Lake Placid (yes – the 1980 Winter Olympic village) to my mother-in-law’s home for breakfast and were actually hosted by our 14-year-old niece Sara whom we are incredibly proud of. Sara and her mother, Kathy, take care of my wife’s mother. It was so wonderful to hear that Sara is now earning ‘High Honors’ in school and is already saving for college.  For a 14-year-old to be this focused is amazing.  We are sending her a laptop because she so desperately needs one for school to apparently complete homework now required to be done online.  (Makes me wonder what the heck some teachers are thinking – not everyone can afford the latest toys and it certainly shows a bias against those less fortunate).

After noon, we drove to my parents house for the traditional Christmas dinner where I shared the kitchen with mother to get the meal ready. Both she and my father are in their 80s and still are as active as ever.  They have a small mixed breed dog named Mickie who thinks Christmas and the gifts are the greatest things in the universe.  It’s like watching a 5-year-old child. Mickie gets so excited, but is so well behaved he won’t touched the wrapped gifts beneath the tree until he is given one.  Then he rips the paper to shreds to get at the new toy.  But just like a little kid, he goes to check the labels over and over (sniffs the packages until he knows which ones are for him).  It is absolutely hysterical to watch.

This year my younger brother brought some sections of a book he is working on.  If I can ever get him to finish it, I am certain it will be a major best-seller. It is completely original and will make anyone laugh.  His skill at mixing character, humor and reality is actually quite amazing – so keep an eye out for Adirondack Gump on the bookshelves someday.

But the best thing about this time of year is the joy of getting together with all of those we love.  For all the naysayers and anti-Christmas protesters (nicest word I can think of) – stick that in your chimney.  For everyone else I hope you had a “Merry Christmas” and will have a great New Year!


Dec 202015

After some consideration, I decided to separate my blog from my webpage. In part the change is to focus on two different aspects of writing – one to promote my novels and other books and the second to attempt to provide some outlet for my opinions.  I admit, you may occasionally hear my thoughts on various topics, but my primary goal is to discuss my trials and tribulations in the writing and publishing industry.

What you will find on the T.R. Grady website is everything related to my current and upcoming novel releases to a variety of short stories in my different worlds to news of what events I plan to attend or what tours/book signings I am planning.  In the blog, A Moment of Sanity, I will discuss my life in the writing world and sometimes my frustration or thrills about the real world.  It could be anything.

Anyway, I do hope you will find this blog of some value in the near future.