Wednesday, July 13, 2011
An Interview with Gloria Teague
Interviewing Gloria Teague is a pleasure for me, because I respect her and think she’s one of the most fun-loving people I know. I first met Gloria at the Tulsa Night Writers almost three years ago. She’s one of those people you like being around. She’s also one terrific writer. When I heard she had a new book on the market, I asked her to do an interview, and she agreed.
Congratulations on being asked to do a sequel of Beyond the Surgeons Touch. How did that come about? And tell us about AWOCBooks.
Thanks! I’m enjoying writing Safe in the Heart of a Miracle even though it’s proving a bit more difficult than its predecessor.
The acronym AWOC stands for A Whole Other Country, based out of Texas, which explains where the publisher got the name. It’s a small press operated by Dan Case, a great hands-on publisher, available whenever I need to run something by him, or, poor man, whenever I need to gripe. He’s patient, fair, and shoots straight from the hip. The company publishes books from mysteries to inspirational books.
Gloria, you’ve published several full length novels and short story books. How do you decide what venue you’ll use to take your work to the marketplace? Which has been the most successful for you?
Like most authors, I slid into home plate with Kindle. It just seemed the natural “next step” after already having sold so many books through my publisher. What better venue to reach the entire world? Once I learned how to format my work I went hog crazy. I was amazed I could actually sell short stories and I cleaned out a file folder that I’d filled over the years. I have posted my latest book on Nook but I’m not as comfortable with it yet. I plan on putting my work on Smashwords and any other site I can find.
So, if I understand you correctly, you’ve never had an agent taking your material around the eighty-plus publishing houses on their circuit, rather you’ve chosen to enlist your own associates and creative marketing talents. What venues do you use: blogs, webpage, book store signings, social media?
No, I’ve had two agents which were the stuff nightmares are made of. (Yep, I ended that one with a preposition!) One put together a catalogue of books he represented and just sent the whole thing to publishers. Hello? That wasn’t going to work but he kept dragging it out for six months. The second one was the most prolific liar I’ve ever met, going so far as to tell me that Tom Hanks was reading one of my manuscripts. Can you imagine the hurt and disappointment when I realized everything she said was untrue? So now no agents, just little ol’ me. I read everything, pay attention to any small detail that may lead to getting published. I look at the rack at the check-out stand. That’s where I got the epiphany to submit to Women’s World. When they called, I nearly passed out. I pay attention when another author says, “I just got published in XXX!” Then I start doing research. Do I write the material they want? Can I write the material they want? Sometimes friends will send me a lead about where to submit. And then there are the repeat sales to the same company, some buying my work since 1995. Then I start telling everyone about the sale, via my blog, my Facebook page (I love FB for promoting!), on Twitter, leave a business card with someone that likes to read, tell them about my latest book/story. I schedule speaking engagements always followed with a book signing. I speak to any group that needs a speaker; I contact libraries and tell them I’m available to speak to their Friends of the Library group, etc. I’ve learned that networking is exceedingly important in this field. I also try to help my fellow authors because I think that’s what we should do.
You are a cross genre author, having successfully published in more than one. From the realm of the miraculous in Beyond the Surgeons Touch and Miracles Beyond Medicine, to nostalgia in Saturday Night Cocoa Fudge, to the edgy Innocence Sacrificed and Evil Transgressions, you produce quality work. Is there a method as to what genre you write and when?
How kind of you, Bill! I write in whatever genre fits my mood when I’m sitting at the computer. At the moment I’m currently working on the sequel to the book about miracles to one about a serial killer to yet another paranormal romance. I’ve been told by those who think they know the biz that authors shouldn’t write in so many different genres, that we should focus on one and make a name for ourselves within that genre. Writing across genres has always worked for me and my mind doesn’t grow stale or bored. I started writing because it was fun; why stop enjoying it now?
You publish under Gloria Teague and G.T. Everett. I think you added G.T. Everett sometime in late 2009. Why? And how do you decide which name to use?
GT Everett actually came into existence this year with Evil Transgressions. The reason is simply those different genres you mentioned. GT is all mine, no one has any input into what I write under that pseudonym, and I just let my imagination soar with him/her, another reason to use initials-no one knows the author’s gender. Teague is the kind, funny author; Everett is my “dark side.”
Your newest book is Evil Transgressions. The book is enticingly sinister. Sell us on why we should buy it. What makes it a ‘can’t put down’ read.
Evil Transgressions is about the age-old battle between good versus evil. We all know who the good guy is, we all know who will be victorious, but this book takes you on an unexpected ride to reach the conclusion. I love it when a reader tells me, “Wow, I didn’t see that coming!” Donovan Desmond is the achingly gorgeous devil who falls in love with a mortal, something that shocks even him, and he loves her so much that when she realizes his true nature and wants to escape, he allows her to leave…for awhile. He will grant her time to remember the love he gave her and come back to him. If she refuses to do so, he’ll go after her. You know how that’s going to go but you may be surprised how the encounter unfolds. I dislike predictability and I’ve tried to avoid that with a passion in this book.
Well, I’m sure our readers are sold. Amazon here they come. The publishing world is turned on its head right now. Where once an author had few options, we now have so many it’s becoming confusing. Where do you think the most opportunity for strong sales lies?
Without a doubt, at this moment, eBooks are the big thing and will be, I think, for quite some time. I still hear the old diehards that say, “I still want to hold a book in my hand, dog-ear the pages if I want; I’ll never get an electronic reader.” As a royalty-paid author, I applaud those people because I make more money through the print sales, but I’m a realist. Even libraries will be more electronic-based book loaners than print copies soon.
My wife, a Kindle lover, bought me a new one after having such a good experience with hers. I love my Kindle. What advice can you give an aspiring author, who has been rejected on a hundred queries, has been encouraged and then letdown by a variety of agents, and has been recognized by fellow writers as a quality performer?
I’ve struggled with this for years. Even those of us that make money at our craft suffer with rejection and disappointment. I’ve gotten enough rejection letters to wallpaper my office. If becoming a published author is your dream, you have to believe in yourself. You keep practicing your craft, getting better all the time, and pay attention to why you’re being rejected. If you’ve submitted something fifty times and it’s been rejected fifty times, rethink what you’ve written. Edit it, iron out the wrinkles. If you can’t develop a tough hide, maybe writing isn’t going to work out for you. But if it’s your dream, work toward realizing it.
Thank you, Bill, for the interview. Thank you for offering a hand up to current and future writers!
Thank you, Gloria. I believe authors and lovers of our craft should promote the good writing of others as hard as we promote our own.