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Launch Party! Carol Post’s Midnight Shadows

Posted by on Jan 10 2013, 11:01 am Posted in , , ,

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Midnight ShadowsKristen: Hi, Carol! It’s so exciting to be able to talk with you about your debut Love Inspired release, Midnight Shadows. When did you get “The Call”? What was that moment like?

Carol: Thanks, Kristen, it’s great to be here. I got “The Call” on January 27, 2012, at 2:32 p.m. (Yes, I even remember the time!) Rachel Burkot with Love Inspired had had my full manuscript for three months. I received an e-mail from her asking for my phone number and if 2:30 would be a good time to call. It was noon when I read the e-mail, so I had an hour and a half to chew my nails and obsess. 2:30 finally arrived, and a couple minutes later, the phone rang. Rachel said, “I hope I’m going to make your day. We’d like to publish Whispers in the Night” (renamed Midnight Shadows). I told her she didn’t just make my day; she made my whole year! I spent the rest of the day squealing, calling family and friends, squealing some more, posting the news to my writers group loops, and squealing some more.

Kristen: I love a strong heroine that comes to find out that life is better when someone you love has your back. Melissa Langston certainly seems like that kind of character–she can take care of herself and never dreamed she’d need to rely on her ex-fiance, Chris Jamison. Why do you love Melissa as a character, and what qualities of hers do you think will connect with readers?

Carol: Melissa is independent and self-sufficient, with a sarcastic sense of humor. She learned a long time ago to not depend on anyone but herself, and she isn’t ready to let down her guard with anyone, least of all, her ex-fiance. But as the threats against her intensify, she finds those barriers crumbling in the face of Chris’ care and concern.

I think one of Melissa’s qualities that will connect with readers is her tendency to build walls. A lot of us do that when we are hurt (myself included!). I saw a Twitter post recently that went something like this: “Building an emotional fortress is okay. Just make sure it doesn’t keep out the allies.” That’s the problem with walls. Too often they keep even the people we love at a distance.

Kristen: And Chris is the type of hero that we all love… a police detective who takes his pledge to protect seriously–even when it means he’s got to face the woman he feels didn’t love him enough to fight for what they had. Tell me about his struggles when Melissa comes back to town.

Carol: When Chris comes back to Harmony Grove to handle his deceased father’s estate, it doesn’t take him long to realize that Melissa is running from something. She changed her name, abruptly left her life in Atlanta to return to Harmony Grove, and avoids answering his questions. He has her checked out, and the things he learns only cause him more distress. Even though he’s off duty, on an extended leave of absence from the department, he can’t set aside his pledge to defend and protect.Thinking of the danger she is in just about makes him crazy, and he realizes he never really stopped loving her. The problem is, it’s hard to protect someone who insists she can protect herself.

Kristen: This plot sounds great and I really enjoy seeing characters like Melissa and Chris have to work through the past in order to embrace the present–especially with the suspense of a potential stalker thrown in! What inspired you as you sat down to write Midnight Shadows?

Carol: Probably what inspires me the most is time home from the day job to spend writing! But seriously, Midnight Shadows was fun for me to write. I like reunion stories. There’s a lot of opportunity for emotional scenes because of the baggage from the past. And suspense is a lot of fun, too.

As far as inspiration, I’m not the kind of writer who has to feel “inspired” to write. I’m a firm believer in BICHOK (butt in chair, hands on keyboard). But I do have my favorite places to write—the wrought iron table and chair set on my back patio, shaded by huge oaks, the wooden porch swing that hangs from one of the trees in front, and of course, stretched out on the deck of our sailboat, serenaded by the rhythmic lapping of waves, the gentle clang of the rigging and the raucous calls of seagulls.

Kristen: We’re both new authors with Love Inspired. I know there are a lot of writers out there who would like to write for LI or another Harlequin line. What has been your experience with the process so far? What is the timeline for getting something from submission to acceptance to print?

Carol: Rachel Burkot is absolutely wonderful. She’s there for her authors every step of the way. I think the timeline with large publishers is quite a bit longer than for small presses. Here’s how it all went for me:

Late January 2011 – I sent 3 chapters and a synopsis, unsolicited (snail mail).

April 18 – Rachel requested the full.

July 22 – Rachel sent me a revision letter.

October 19 – I emailed the revised manuscript.

January 17, 2012 – Rachel emailed me a list of questions, such as had I ever been published before, what professional writing organizations am I a member of, and has my writing won any awards/contests.

January 18 – Rachel emailed me that she wants to pass my manuscript on to the LIS senior editor but needs a synopsis (for the revised version).

January 27 – Rachel asked for my phone number and when is a good time to call.

April 15 – Deadline for having revisions in.

June 5 – Line edits back from Rachel

June 19 – Edits back from copy editor; due June 27.

July 12 – Received AA’s for final review; due July 25.

September 21 – Received cover art

January 1, 2013 – Release date!

So it was just under two years from initial submission to publication.

Kristen: And one more thing… this is your debut with Love Inspired Suspense, so it’s the first chance for readers to get to know you. How long have you been writing? Do you have any other books in the pipeline at LIS? What are your goals for 2013? What else do we need to know about Carol?

I’m almost embarrassed to say how long I’ve been writing. I actually started in 1992, with articles. After several months of rejections, I started getting published in some religious and children’s magazines. I think it was 1996 when I wrote my first novel. Since then my writing life has gone something like this: Write a book, collect rejection letters, get discouraged and quit for a couple of years, write another novel, collect some more rejection letters, get discouraged and quit for a couple of years. In 2010, I learned about Romance Writers of America and my local chapter TARA (Tampa Area Romance Authors). The support system made all the difference in the world. No more quitting. A lot of times people want to know how many books you write before finally getting published. For me, Midnight Shadows is book three, take twenty—because I rewrote it so many times!

I currently have one book in the pipeline for LIS…sort of. I just submitted it last week. I lost some time this past year working on a non-suspense series for Love Inspired, which I had started before Midnight Shadows was accepted. The editors at Love Inspired like for their authors to get well established in one line before jumping over to other lines. So I’m putting that series aside for the time being and focusing on the suspense.

My goals for 2013 are to complete three books for LI Suspense and get more active on social media. I just completed a class on how to use Twitter and have been trying to post more regularly on Facebook. I have to admit, the writing is much more fun for me than the promotion, but I’m hoping to be doing lots of both in 2013.

Kristen: That sounds great, Carol! You have a busy year ahead! I’m so excited Midnight Shadows is on the shelves and I can’t wait to see more to come from you!

Carol will be around all day to answer questions, so please ask her questions about the book or writing or anything you can think of! It’s a (launch) party! Let’s get this started!

Readers…click here to get your own copy of Carol Post’s Midnight Shadows!

41 responses to “Launch Party! Carol Post’s Midnight Shadows”

  1. Congratulations, Carol, on the release of MIDNIGHT SHADOWS! Gotta love the combo of inspirational and thrilling! Can’t wait to read it. Excellent interview, Kristen. Thanks for hosting Carol’s launch party.

  2. Congratulations, Carol! What an intriguing sounding story. Can’t wait to read it. I love your publishing history. How exciting. Best of luck to you.

    • Carol Post says:

      Thanks, Kathleen. I hope you enjoy it!

      Yes, the publishing process was an eye-opener for me. I didn’t realize there were so many steps. Copy edits, line edits, AA’s, oh my!

  3. Sharon Wray says:

    Wonderful interview, Kristen and I’m so happy for you Carol. I love hearing publication stories because they’re always about perseverance, overcoming obstacles, and end with “The Call.” I hope your book is the first of a successful career. Congratulations!

    • Carol Post says:

      Thanks so much, Sharon. The “perseverance” and “overcoming obstacles” part of it is so much easier with the support of friends. Being a part of RWA has made all the difference in the world for me. And the love and support I continue to get through the Firebirds has been awesome!

    • I totally agree, Sharon! Perseverance is key. Even after you sell, you still have to keep on keeping on. It’s just a different set of goals and activities. But it never stops.

      I’m speaking to the Tulsa OK chapter of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) next month on this very thing!

  4. Tammy Baumann says:

    Great interview ladies!

    I just used the handy link above and hit the 1-click button on Amazon, so am now the proud owner of Carol’s book. I look forward to reading it!

  5. Terri Osburn says:

    Congratulations on the book release, Carol! Amazing that you can rattle off all those specifics about the process. I just realized I have no idea on what day I got the call. I’d better go look that up.

    This story sounds good. I’m curious where the idea came from. Did the characters come first or the story? And if this is take 20, how much did the core story change over those different versions?

  6. robena grant says:

    Great interview, ladies. I really like the title and the cover artwork. It’s a long drawn out process from raw material to finished product, isn’t it? Certainly a study in patience. : )

    I ordered from the easy link too, and I clicked the like button. Congratulations on your launch day, Carol.

    • Carol Post says:

      Thanks so much, Robena. Harlequin does a great job with cover art. You’re right, this publishing business definitely requires patience!

      Thanks for the congrats…and the like…and for ordering the book!

  7. Carol Post says:

    Thanks, Terri. Dates stick in my head. (That was a real advantage in history classes!)

    The story came first, then the characters. I almost always start with the plot idea and then populate it with people. The core story, the heroine being stalked, didn’t change, but everything else did–different career for the hero, different past relationship for hero and heroine, different villain altogether, and more twists and turns. And just a lot of learning the craft along the way.

    • Terri Osburn says:

      Never fear, I’ll find the comment. 🙂 We’re total opposites. I can rarely remember dates and my characters always come through first and then tell me their story. It’s always interesting to see how the process works for different writers.

  8. Kat Cantrell says:

    Congrats Carol! I hope you sell a ton of copies. Reading your timeline brings back (not so fond) memories. 🙂 Publishing moves at glacial speed…until it doesn’t, right?? Have you gone to visit your book in the wild yet? I’m looking forward to that myself!

  9. kd fleming says:

    Yay! Carol is soaring. I am so thrilled for you. I consider it an honor and privilege to have you as my friend and critique partner.

  10. Carol, it was very cool to see your timeline. I’m always curious about how long these things take. And to have your book at Walmart! That’s such a great accomplishment. Congratulations on your release. I know there will be many more to come!

  11. Pamela Kopfler says:

    Again, congratulations! Thanks so much for sharing your story. I can’t wait to read the book.

  12. Pintip says:

    Congrats, Carol! Your story sounds intriguing — I can’t wait to read it! What a great call story, too! Thanks for sharing with us. 🙂

  13. Catherine Rull says:

    Congrats, Carol! So happy for you! 🙂 I wonder if they will stock your books at our stores here in Australia, too? Do you know if and when they’ll hit Aussie shelves?

    • Carol Post says:

      Catherine, that’s a really good question. I don’t know. I think they automatically go to the U.S. and Canadian markets, but I’m not sure about the English-speaking countries overseas. Sometimes books will get picked up for translation, but of course, that wouldn’t have to happen in this case, just possibly some correcting of British versus English spellings.

      Maybe Kat or Kristen might know the answer, since they’re also Harlequin authors.

  14. Great interview, Kristen and Carol. (Good questions and very thorough answers!) Your book sounds great, Carol — I’ll be one-clicking that baby! And thanks for sharing your story of preseverence — always inspiring. It sounds like you’ve got a busy year ahead of you! 😉

  15. Carol Post says:

    Thanks, Laurie. Don’t we all! I’m just looking forward to the day I can write full time. One or two fewer balls in the air would be nice!

  16. Meg Kassel says:

    Congrats on your release, Carol! And thank you for sharing the story of your route to publication. It’s so exciting to read stories of authors who break out of the slush pile. This is only the beginning for you!

  17. Nikki McIntosh says:

    Woohoo!! Congrats on the book release Carol … and I love your hero and heroine. You had me hooked on Chris when he said it didn’t look like Melissa loved enough to fight for him … great stuff!!

  18. Kay Hudson says:

    I treid to come visit, appropriately enough, around midnight, and couldn’t reach the site. Glad I made it this morning to read the excellent interview. I have an order list ready to go off to Amazon (paper books!), and I’m definitely adding Midnight Shadows before I hit submit.

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