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  1. #1
    Senior Member Victoria's Avatar
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    June 20-24 Author Seminar: Special Guest Cindi Myers

    Please join me in welcoming our next special guest to the Writers.net forums, Cindi Myers! She will be available here in the forums between the 20th and 24th of June, 2011. I'll open this thread for comments beginning on the 19th of June, so get your questions ready!

    Cindi Myers
    is the author of more than forty published novels. Her historical and contemporary romances and women’s fiction have garnered praise from reviewers and readers alike and several have been Waldenbooks Bestsellers. Her October 2005 release, Learning Curves, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly which lauded her “true-to-life, sympathetic characters.” In 2005 she was recognized as the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ Writer of the Year. Her 2008 release, The Right Mr. Wrong, was nominated for a Rita Award from Romance Writers of America. Recently, Aspen Mountain Press began re-releasing Cindi's historical romances as ebooks, as well as one brand-new historical, A Long, Sweet Ride. Cindi has also written a young adult novel, My Upside Down Life. Her most recent release is Work of Heart, a reality-based romance from HCI Books. Cindi produces a weekly market newsletter, with more than 2500 subscribers and an estimated readership of 20,000 per week. In addition, she is a popular writing instructor and conference speaker.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Victoria's Avatar
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    The thread is now open!
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  3. #3
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    Welcome, Cindi Myers!

    Probably the only thing I have in common with you is "the more than forty" phrase. I've had that many letters to the editor published in (mainly) NYC newspapers --.three in the NY Times, plus several ditties in their Metropolitan Diary section. Very few (serious) rants; most of the letters were just fun things. Big whoop, right?

    I don't write novels. Those of you who do amaze the hell outta me.

    *_*

    P.S. What did you have for lunch today?
    Last edited by Kitty Foyle; 06-19-2011 at 09:26 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Avonne Writer's Avatar
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    Welcome Cindi and thanks for dropping in.

    I see that you write a lot of (or mainly) Harlequin was it hard to break into this area as a writer?

    Were you originally represented by an agent?

    Any advice for agent hunting, and were there any surprises for you along the way?

    I am, as yet, unpublished. I write mainly YA and MG novels.

    Thanks for any advice and for your time.

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    Good morning! Thank you everyone for the warm welcome. Kitty, I think having 40 letters to the editor published is an accomplishment. There must be something about your writing voice that the editors like.

    Avonne, I did not have an agent when I started out. I got one later. And now I'm "between agents" again. I think in some ways, finding an agent can be tougher than finding a publisher. Do your homework and zero in on the agents who represent the type of things you write and that you think will do a good job for you. Even then, it can be a crap shoot. I fired my last agent because she let a manuscript sit on her desk for months and months and never sent it out. A good agent will do wonders for you and a bad agent can hurt your career.

    Fortunately, you can still submit your work to many publishers on your own while you search for an agent. I sold my first book, a historical, to an editor at Berkley I pitched to at an RWA conference. And you don't need an agent to sell to Harlequin.

    Harlequin can be tough to break into. I sent them several manuscripts before I sold one. I think the key to selling to them is to target a line and listen to the feedback you get and be willing to rewrite using the suggestions they give you. The editors there are, for the most part, very good to work with and I learned a lot writing for them. They are very willing to read submissions from unpulbished and unagented authors.

    My best advice is to be patient and keep plugging away. Keep sending your stuff out there. And keep writing new stuff. When you do sell you'll have that much more material to show your new publishing house.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cindi Myers View Post
    I fired my last agent because she let a manuscript sit on her desk for months and months and never sent it out.
    Wow, Cindi, "months and months"? Maybe you had another project going at the same time and forgot about it? I'd think most people would ask for an update from the agent well before months and months went by.

    The one you fired sounds like a horror show. So it's hard to get good help in the agent department too?

    *_*

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    Cindi,

    I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on the distinction between romance and women's fiction. I'd always thought that women's fiction was the sort of book Oprah tends to pick, usually a female author, female main characters, themes of family, children, relationships. But a couple of recent references have left me questioning my assumed definition.

    Would be interested in hearing how you diferentiate a romance story from a love stoy, too.

    Thank you.

  8. #8
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    A romance by definition has a happy ending. The focus is on the relationship -- the process of falling in love and the obstacles that keep the couple apart. A love story can have a tragic ending (Love Story.) Romance tends to focus on the emotional experience while a love story might focus on events more than emotions.

    Women's fiction is really any story that focuses on a woman's journey. So the Oprah books qualify, but so do less-literary titles. Now many publishers are publishing "Women's fiction with strong romantic elements." So, the story may focus on a woman's struggle with issues besides romance, but there's a romance involved, or the promise of a romance. The emphasis is on other things in her life -- her relationship with family or friends, overcoming an illness, coming back from a setback, and the romance is more peripheral.

    I really love women's fiction, but it's still a tough sell.


    Hope that answers your question.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Avonne Writer's Avatar
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    Cindi, thanks for all the info.

    Did you set out to be an author? Currently, I am also dabbling in freelance writing (trying to get some cash flow while writing and querying the novel).

    How long did it take you to become published? (Or become contracted to be published) I've read blogs from some really famous authors that say it took them up to three years or more, and hundreds of rejections.

    How many times, on average, do you think you edit a piece of work?

    Sorry, if i'm bombarding you with questions, but I won't be on again til after midnight again. And, much appreciated, in advance.

  10. #10
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    Cindi,

    Great suggestion for those historical tidbits you don't want to stop to research while you're getting the story down. I'm so taking this idea, but broadening it to several bits like that that I don't want to take time to figure out on the first or second draft.

    Couple more questions.

    With forty books, I imagine you've put some thought, and perhaps some time, into building a repeat readership. Have you developed a fan base of readers? If so, how many published books until you saw this kick in? What do you do to foster this? What do you wish you would have done earlier in your career? Any thoughts on this subject would be interesting to me.

    Second, how has your writing and your writing process changed through the course of your career? What are you concered with in your writing today that you wouldn't have given two thoughts about a decade ago? Guess just trying to get some feel for how you see the evolution of your writing, if that makes sense.

    Again, thank you.

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