Beth Trissel, who writes “romance charged with danger from ages past,” has taken an incredible journey this year. On March 25, 2008 she got a phone call from the Romance Writers of America® telling her that her manuscript, Through the Fire, is a finalist in the historical category of the 2008 Golden Heart® contest.
But before that she landed a multiple book contract. Yes. She’s sold not one, or even two or three, but four(!) manuscripts to e-publisher The Wild Rose Press. Read on to learn more about talented, prolific and amazingly clever Beth, her writing and her soon-to-be-released books.
I’ll randomly select the names of two people posting comments today who will each receive a box of lovely floral note cards, perfect for those all-important thank you notes to contest judges.
How did you react when you got The Call,
or in your case, The Calls?
After 12+ years of endless, diligent writing —I have oft compared myself to a sled dog plowing through blinding snow with no idea what lies ahead—I was thrilled when I got word (an email) from the Wild Rose Press that my Faery Rose editor was offering me a contract for my light paranormal entitled Somewhere My Love, a murder mystery romance novel with flashbacks to early nineteenth century Virginia and Hamlet parallels. Who knew this would be The One? The trailer on YouTube is doing incredibly well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpBh0tPOVUM
Since then I’ve been very excited to be offered three more contracts: my second for Enemy of the King, my Revolutionary War romance novel; a third for Through the Fire, my Golden Heart finalist manuscript, a Colonial frontier romance with a The Last of the Mohicans flavor; and most recently for Daughter of the Wind, an American historical romance novel with strong paranormal elements. ‘Daughter’ will be coming out with the Faery Rose line, the same as Somewhere My Love. All of my work has some paranormal element, more or less. If more, then the story is better suited to the Faery Rose.
What led you to write romances?
I’m a hopeless romantic so I’ve always been drawn to love stories. The first romance I ever read was Katherine by Anya Seton, absolutely all consuming. I was swept back to Medieval England and grieved when I finished the book. My inherent love of the past eventually led me to immerse myself in my own historical romances.
When did you begin work on your first romance?
On New Years Eve 12 years ago, I had a dream about a warrior taking a young woman captive at the river and their attraction to each other. This inspired frenzied research and the writing, by hand at that time, of my first novel, a colonial frontier romance entitled Red Bird’s Song. ‘Red Bird’ has finaled in multiple contests, came in first in the 2007 Gotcha, and is one of my colonial frontier trilogy. I next began work on Through the Fire, now the lead story of the three.
How many manuscripts did you
complete before you sold?
Six, but I rewrote them multiple times, so it seems like more. And I’ve started about six more.
What is your writing background?
I’m self-taught, but my father was an English professor, and my mother’s well educated. I was brought up reading the classics. Problem was, no one writes like that these days. The very first RWA chapter contest I entered, one of the bemused judges said, “You broke every rule.” My response, “There’s rules?”
How did you go about getting an agent?
I’ve had several agents, and one of them was quite good, long time NY agent Pema Browne. I was with Pema from 2006-2007. She was enthusiastic about my work but couldn’t sell it to NY houses, mostly because of my American historical settings not being in vogue. After I decided to look into some of the smaller companies, we amicably parted ways. How did I get her, you ask? I queried the world several times over. If you want an agent, go to Agent Query where they’re carefully vetted: http://www.agentquery.com.
What is the best advice you’ve received
regarding your writing?
Write what you love, and to that I add, because you’re going to be going over and over it for a very long time. If you believe in something, it’s worth sticking with and fighting for. Oh, I learned that from the American Revolution—one of my favorite time periods and hated by most publishers.
Which of your stories is closest to your heart and why?
Red Bird’s Song, my first child. I’m related through my Scots-Irish ancestors to the warrior hero in that story. Much of ‘Red Bird’ was inspired by research into my early American roots. I established this wonderful sense of camaraderie with the characters, as though I’d truly embarked on a journey with them. It was a life changing experience and beyond painful to say goodbye. Deep down I never have. We still hang out.
What part of the writing process
brings you the greatest enjoyment?
That intrinsic sense of wonder in being part of a story as it unfolds to me…like a sculptor chiseling away at a piece of marble to create a beautiful statue. What will it be, how will it go? I’m a pantser trying to be more of a plotter.
How do you deal with the hills and valleys
of a writer’s life, and rejection in particular?
I challenge anyone to outdo me when it comes to rejection. I used to throw little parties for myself when I got my near daily ‘dear john letters’ as my husband called them. It’s kind of like when my daughter was in this dance recital and every other girl in the line had her right arm up, and she had her left. Later, she said, “Yeah, they were all wrong.” Have the confidence of a child and keep on writing.
What encouragement would you offer
those of us on the road to publication?
Write because you want to, because you love it, and keep on going until someone, somewhere, shares your journey. I’ve been given many guides along the way. Listen to them. And chins up!
How do you fuel your creativity?
Music is essential. Got to have the right soundtrack/song to create the mood. I used to light candles until I caught my hair on fire—briefly. Chocolate, of course. Writers are notorious chocoholics.
Check out Beth’s incredible book covers
Leave a comment for Beth:
Have a question for Beth? Want to know more about her writing process, her books or Wild Rose Press? Leave a comment. She’ll be dropping by throughout the day to chat with you.
Please note. On Word Press blogs,
the comment link is at the top by the post title.
I’ll randomly select the names of two people posting comments today who will each receive a box of lovely floral note cards, perfect for those all-important thank you notes to contest judges. Be sure to leave an email address so I can contact you if you’re one of the winners.
The winner of the first box of note cards is Linda LaRoque. Tina Roberts won the second box. Congratulations to both of you!
Learn more about Beth:
Her website: http://www.bethtrissel.com
Her blog, The Pink fuzzy Slipper Writers: http://pinkfuzzyslipperwriters.blogspot.com
The Wild Rose Press Forum: http://wildrose.forumarena.com/wildrose-forum-18.html
You can friend her at myspace: http://www.myspace.com/bctrissel.
View her amazing book trailer at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpBh0tPOVUM.