My guest today is Iyana Jenna, a short story author who has had a whopping NINE of her stories traditionally published. She’s also offering free copies of her stories to FIVE lucky commenters, so take a look and let her know what you think.
Please join me in welcoming Iyana to the Guest Author Program!
If you are interested in participating in the program, you can submit here.
- Tell us your name, and a link to where we can find you (blog, Facebook, etc).
My name is Iyana Jenna and you can find me here:
- How many books have you written? This can include both published and unpublished works. Describe each of them in 1-2 sentences apiece (if published, feel free to include the links as well).
- Just a Little Unwell, published by Silver Publishing on March 23, 2013
This is an adult m/m short story of about 6,000 words
- Dreamcatcher, published by Prizm Books on April 3, 2103
- Three Young Adult short stories of less than 3,000 words. Their titles are: A Granted Wish, Growing Dim as an Ember, and O Res Mirabilis.
A Granted Wish is an m/m story about two boys in high school who like each other.
O Res Mirabilis tells about an orphan who works as a chimney sweep in London in the 1800s.
You can find them here: http://alfiedog.com/products-page/iyana-jenna/
- Tell me a little bit about your current WIP.
Right now I’m working on a short story that I plan to send to an anthology that will be published by Evernight Publishing. It is going to be an adult m/m story about a rich man and the son of his business counterpart.
- What does writing preparation look like for you? Do you do full outlines and character profiles, or do you just start with a general idea and write?
I don’t usually have a complete outline or character profiles though I do jot down things I plan to write. That way I will be freer to develop the story and don’t feel like I’m limited by the outline.
- Editing is a challenge for many writers. Give us some of your tips for editing efficiently and well.
Oh gosh. Editing is very difficult especially when I have to make major changes. Sometimes I feel tempted to just quit but I can’t, can I? To make it easier for me to edit, usually I will tackle the minor ones before I go to the bigger, more complex changes such as rewriting. Then I will carefully do it with the beginning of the story. I will pay attention to the content first before I look at the mechanics, such as punctuations. This is a real meticulous job. I take it very seriously. When I think I’m done with everything, I will check everything again with the help of the word processor.
- Research is another challenge writers face, but is an important part of the writing process. What are some of your research tips?
Research is very important in writing but to me doing research should not slow down or even hinder the process of writing. I also don’t think you should do research before you start writing or during the outline making. You do research anytime the need arises so you should be prepared with the gadget you have that helps you find information you need. In my case it will be my smart phone. I always have it with me.
- If you have been published (self or traditionally), what type of marketing did you find worked the best for you? What was the least helpful?
I’m relatively new in this publishing thing so I’m still searching my way around marketing my works. So far I have my websites where I post things about my stories such as the arts, blurbs, and excerpts. I’ve also done some guest blogging on my friends’ blogs and other places, as well as having some guests doing blogging on my journal. Don’t forget the importance of reviews. I read somewhere that reviews don’t sell books. Books sell books. Still, reviews help spread word about your works and also give good or not so good thing about them, so I always try to get as many reviews as possible for my stories aside from the sites where my publishers sent my works already. Honestly I can’t say which is the most or least successful. I think they all help in marketing my works.
- What genre do you write in? What are some of the challenges to writing this particular genre well?
It happens that almost all of my published stories are m/m or man on man love which I love reading and writing so much. The challenges are obvious, though. I’m neither a man nor a gay man so I always need some betas or editors to help me get things right.
- What advice would you give to a writer who is starting out?
I’d say don’t be shy or hesitate to start sending out stories to publishers out there and don’t be afraid of rejections. If your work is rejected, send more works. I sent my first story last year in October, if I’m not mistaken, and it was published on March. Since then I’ve been sending my stories to many publishers about 23 times and it resulted in nine stories of mine being accepted, including my first story. It’s not bad, is it? 🙂
- What are your writing, editing, marketing, and research goals for 2013?
I don’t really have special goals for editing, I guess, but for marketing I wish to find out more about effective techniques that will help me sell my books more. As for writing, I hope I can finish writing a sequel for my first published short story. Other than that I also plan to send as many short stories as I can to Alfie Dog as I hope I can publish a short story collection this year.
- Pretend I am from a publishing house and you are looking for me to take on one of your books. Pitch it to me in 1-2 paragraphs.
Oh my. 🙂 I usually just write something like below:
I would like to submit my story to your website. The following is some information about the story:
Genre: LGBT Romance
Word count: 13,300
Blurb: A stage actor, Tim Gregory found someone had broken into his changing room and turned everything upside-down. When FBI Agents Brent Sullivan and his partner came to see him, he thought it was to answer to his previous call. It turned out that the agents wanted to question him on a missing necklace that was stolen some time ago.
After witnessing what happened to Tim’s room, Brent Sullivan was convinced that the FBI was not the only one that wanted the necklace. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that Tim didn’t want to tell him where the necklace was. He honestly didn’t know or remember. The worst thing was some people didn’t care if Tim remembered or not. They would do anything to get the jewelry back.
What do you think? 😀
Finally, is there anything else you would like your readers to know?
Umm, how about some giveaways? 🙂 Five lucky commenters will get five e-books of my stories.
I’m very grateful for the chance to be guest author here, Sarah. Many, many thanks!