Welcome to the Talkative Writer’s guest post with Australian speculative fiction writer Lara Morgan.
Lara Morgan lives and writes in Geraldton, Western Australia. She writes fantasy for adults and YA. Her fantasy series The Twins of Saranthium is set in a world of deserts and jungle with twins Shaan and Tallis pitted against ancient resurrected gods and serpents in a struggle to save the people and lands of Saranthium from those who would enslave it.
Book two, Betrayal, is available now in ebook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and other ebook outlets. To learn more about her, visit her website.
Now here is Lara in her own words …
Betrayal is the second book in my epic fantasy trilogy, The Twins of Saranthium and it was also the second book I ever wrote. I was one of those lucky writers who had the first book I wrote (Awakening, book one in the series) published – but before you start turning green and looking with despair at your pile of rejected novels, there’s more to this story.
One of the things that you don’t really find out until you’re published is that staying published can be just as hard. At first it was wonderful. After ten years of beavering away on the series, I got an agent (huzzah!) and she got me a book deal for the Twins series. I was over the moon. I felt like a real writer instead of a fake who rarely told people about the writing. I’d arrived, I was special. I had a book launch and saw my book in shops. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing in terms of promoting it but I took the opportunities I could and a little later the agent got a German translation deal as well. I thought I could relax a bit now. After all I was published. I had books on a shelf with my name on them. Surely I’d made it.
The people were lovely there and for a while it was great but then the GFC hit and publishers looked hard at the dollars. Including my Australian one and I found out something I’d not thought about too much: publishing is a business and the bottom line rules. Lots of publishers globally had a panic and tossed a bag of mid list authors overboard to save their bottom lines. I was one of those authors. The contract was cancelled and the third book never went to editors or printers.
At the time it was hard to take but time has given me a different perspective and in some ways it’s smartened me up to put on a different hat when looking at publishing deals. It’s important to be clear eyed and pragmatic about these things. Publishers are in business and (with the exception perhaps of Amazon) are not the evil gate keepers some make them out to be, but they are in this to make money and when it comes down to it the author is a client like all their others and you can’t make it personal. No matter how lovely the editors you work with may be if your book, for whatever reason, is making less of a splash than a feather in the Atlantic then you’ve got to take it on the chin. And write another book.
It was in that limbo period of having a sixth sense that the Aussie publishers were going to pull the pin that I started working on my YA series, The Rosie Black Chronicles. In fact I wrote all three books before I even touched the third book in the Twins series again. Apart from not being able to face it, I also needed to focus on something else, something that has ultimately worked well for me. It’s not selling millions but Rosie Black has been published (by a different publisher obviously) and has made some respectable sales and it’s a series I’m really proud of.
While I’ve since managed to find another, albeit e-book only, publisher in English for the Twins series, being dumped was in some ways a good thing ( I can say that now I’ve gotten over the bitter stage!) but it taught me that you just have to keep writing. If one thing doesn’t work out, write something else. Never give up even when they’re kicking you when you’re down. In the words of the song, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again! Persistence pays more than anything else in this business.