Thursday, October 28, 2010

Welcome, Tia Nevitt!

Today I welcome another fellow Carina author, Tia Nevitt, whose Sevenfold Spell reimagines the Sleeping Beauty story from the perspective of an ordinary woman put out of work by the ban on spinning put in place to try to protect the princess.

Here's Tia:

Surprises about Being Published

Thank you, Susanna, for having me as your guest. Susanna suggested that I write about some of the things that surprised me about being published. The Sevenfold Spell is my first fiction sale, and it has been very exciting!

One big surprise was how supportive my publisher has been. As a reviewer who focused on debut novelists, I had heard all kinds of stories—all told in confidence by nervous authors—about authors who after the initial sale were ignored. Authors who found out about their cover art when they saw it on Amazon. Authors who had back cover copy written about their book that inadvertently made them look racist. Authors who discovered that their publisher had dropped them only when their emails stopped being answered.

In late July, I had an opportunity to go to a fabulous party given by Harlequin at the RWA conference. As part of the program, multi-published authors were recognized. One of the things that struck me was the incredible loyalty shown between Harlequin and the authors. There were authors who had written 25, 50, 75, 100 and even 200+ novels! I was astonished—especially when I recalled all those awful stories.

Another surprise is how the conversation changes between writers. On the Carina Press author loop, we don’t discuss query letters and submissions. We commiserate over bad reviews and celebrate good ones. We share publicity leads and offer guest posts on each other’s blogs.

Another big change—for the first time in four years, I’m no longer actively looking for an agent. If one comes along, I’ll be thrilled, but now I’m trying to get myself into a better position for an eventual agent hunt, with a strong ebook backlist.

I was also surprised by how quickly Carina Press is moving beyond ebooks. They call themselves digital first and they mean it. One group of novels has been selected to be published by Audible as audiobooks, and another, smaller group of mystery and suspense novels have been selected to go into print. I look forward to future similar developments!

The very biggest change for me is having a reader reaction. For so long, my work went unread except by a tiny handful of beta readers and critique partners, and one IRL friend. Now, total strangers are reading my work and picking it apart in public. When it first started, I had a bit of a panic attack, but I’m ok now. Even if I get a bad review, I can console myself by saying, “look at all those good ones, instead.” I do try to learn from the bad ones, if there is a lesson I can glean from the review.

Have you ever worked for something, and then found out that it wasn’t quite what you expected? Do share!


I will be drawing a name from all commenters here and on my guest post earlier in the week for a special prize pack. It will contain an ecopy of The Sevenfold Spell, a book from my stash of unread review copies and advance copies (check the links for lists at Goodreads) and a $10 gift certificate at Please leave your email address so I can find you if you win! I will draw a winner on Saturday.


  1. Hi Tia! Super congrats on your first sale. You must have danced around the house for days. I'm not surprised about the developments at Carina, as I'm hearing a lot of good things about them and have several friends that are also debut authors there - so you are in good company.

    I think my writing always qualifies as something I work hard at, but the end result is always unexpected! Usually a happy surprise!


  2. Welcome again, Tia!

    With my own first publication experience, on some levels it's just as wonderful as I expected, or more so. It's a real confidence boost after working for nearly ten years before my first sale to have that outside affirmation that I wasn't deluding myself, I really CAN write a book.

    On the other hand, I'm now feeling something I was describing to my husband last night as sophomore slump, though that's probably not the right word. You see, the books I sold to Carina are the ones I wrote in 2005 and 2006. I then spent 2007-09 working on four complete, from-scratch drafts of something completely new and different that I tried to sell but ultimately concluded just didn't work as well as I'd hoped and decided to shelve for now. So now I'm feeling this tremendous, though entirely self-imposed, pressure that I must write something AWESOME, and FAST, because my next release is in April 2011, so I need something else out there by the middle of 2012 at the very latest or people will forget I exist and my career will be over when it's barely even begun. And I wasn't expecting that because at the beginning of the year I thought that if I sold anything, it'd be the 2007-09 project, which I had no less than four sequels planned to follow up on.

  3. Hey, Tia, I'm so glad Susanna has you as her guest. Your perspective is helpful for those of us still working toward publication. I know you must still be dancing around with glee.

    Your story sounds like a keeper!

  4. Dale, I LOVE it when that happens! Unexpected is good in stories!

    Susanna, I'm in the same boat. I've submitted one of my backlog novels to Carina and now I'm trying to finish Cinderella. Inspiration just struck this morning on the ending! I really do think my third retelling will go better than this one and if Carina takes my novel, I have a sequel planned for it as well.

    But I just can't write fast enough!

    Thank you so much, Mary!

  5. Tia,

    Carina Press has been a great experience for me as well. Everyone has been so helpful and supportive, especially the other authors. In the spring, it was kinda wild submitting to a press that hadn't put out a single book. Yet, here we are and it's been fabulous.

    I loved Sevenfold Spell. It's a joy to read. Get that backlog going....I want to read more of your work!

    Susanna Ives (the other Susanna)

  6. Wonderful post, Tia, and your book sounds awesome! Can't wait to read it!

  7. Tia, I've heard good things about Carina from so many of its authors. One thing I admire about them is that they publish "different" books. Books that are a bit outside the box. And I love it that people are buying these books. It shows there's a market for those books, and it's a win-win for all authors.

  8. Susanna, you KNOW I loved your book as well!

    Thank you, Nicole! I'd love it if you let me know what you think!

    Edie, The Sevenfold Spell is definitely different, so I'm glad it found a home at last. And it IS very cool that people are buying these books.

  9. Tia, you did a great job breaking down the experience.

    Samhain was very organized and proactive in getting their authors reviewed in a lot of different venues, but you can tell Carina has a lot of muscle, especially when it comes to promo.

    For example, I was shocked to find Carina already advertising True Believers on The Romance Studio. I expected to do that for myself.

    It was a relief to know I'm not in this alone.

  10. Maria, they advertised at Dear Author for me, and Smart Bitches, and arranged for a feature at Romance Junkies and that's only the places where I happened to spot an ad.

  11. Hi Tia,
    Yes...still following you around the web :-)

    My experience since I got an agent hasn't been exactly what I expected, although that doesn't mean it is bad.

    Good luck with the book! (You know where to find me...) So glad things are going well.

  12. Thanks for following me around, Deb! I think, when you get an agent, thing become a lot more business-like, just like when being published (which you know all about as well). All of a sudden, it's not your hobby, you are producing a product for sale. It's sobering.

  13. Congratulations, Tia! I think the thing I worked for and the result that was most unexpected was motherhood. I never realized, when I first started out, how complex it was going to be (especially when I ended up going it alone after my second child was born) and how many new skills I was going to build while doing it! But it has been the most rewarding thing I've done to date.

  14. Margay, when you find what you love to do, it's not work when you do it, is it?