I Promise You Won't Learn A Thing From This Blog

The official blog for author Ashley Chappell. Check back every week for a few laughs at my expense or, if you know the love-hate process that is writing, commiseration.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Tales From My Pub Sister

The Unstoppable Elizabeth!
Don't get too excited - this post doesn't come stocked with beer (unless you hang around for the after-party). Elizabeth Seckman is in fact the same charming lady and talented author who convinced me to go the dual publishing house route and submit a novel that didn't fit with my current publisher to World Castle. Thanks to her encouragement - and Elizabeth is one heck of a cheerleader - we now get to be publishing house sisters, along with the fantastic Celeste Holloway and so many other talented writers.

And I would be totally remiss if I didn't mention she's kind of my hero, too :-) If successfully juggling writing, mothering, wifing (yes, I'm making those verbs), blogging, sports-momming, networking, providing writer support, and marketing were an Olympic event, Elizabeth would bring home the gold. So I was thrilled when she wanted to share her journey into publishing on my blog. Stick around to the end; there's also a giveaway chance for a hand-crafted pixie by PK Hrezo!


Elizabeth's Tale:

I figured a stop by your blog was a good place to discuss why I went small pub, considering we are now publishing house sisters and all.

Writing for me started as therapy. In 2005, my father-in-law was diagnosed with leukemia; my brother-in-law was diagnosed with chronic and possibly fatal pneumonia (he's special needs, profoundly mentally handicapped); my father was diagnosed with kidney cancer; and my brother was diagnosed with angiosarcoma. Oh, and my youngest baby went off to kindergarten.

Life felt bleak. Like there was nothing to look forward to; everything in life was a loss.

My sister's birthday approached, and I wanted to get her something special. After much thought, I sent an email to her favorite writer, Dixie Browning, and requested an autographed book. Dixie sent the book, accompanied by the kindest letter. When I gave my sister her gift, she cried happy tears.

I sent Dixie a thank you card and mentioned I once wanted to be a writer. She sent a note back and asked why I would give up on a dream...just go write.

I did. And it felt great. It was like therapy on a page. Dixie offered to read a few pages, so I took her up on it. She sent me back a letter that said something like this: Elizabeth, I have no doubt you can make it as a writer, but be warned. Writing is a big business. It's all about numbers and sales, and I warn you, it can kill the joy of it. I got so sick of hearing, add more sex, less humor. I quit and I will never write again.

And she hasn't. No amount of prodding seems to be able to make her.

Faced with this bit of wisdom, I decided to write for me. Plotting a story was a much more comforting way to fall asleep at night rather than wondering who might not be with us in 2002.

I wrote one story. Then another. And another. I'd finish and stick them in a manilla envelope and toss them on a shelf. 

Then one day, my flash drive got corrupted. I took it to my dad. He recovered my story putting it on a CD labelled, "Liz's Trash Novel". When he gave it to me, he said, "This is good, why don't you publish it?"

Because. Publishing can suck. Publishing takes a dream and beats the hell out of you with it.

Ten years later, I was perusing the net and I happened across Karen Fuller, my publisher's bio. In it she said she liked beer and NASCAR. I felt like I knew her. I mean, being from West Virginia I'm used to people who like beer and NASCAR. The way I figured it, Ms. Fuller must be good people.

So, I sent a query and a full and forgot all about it.

Then one morning I got an email..."Loved your story. I'd like to offer you a contract. Call me."

I did call and I loved Karen from the get-go. She is honest, sincere, patient, and hard working. World Castle Publishing is her life's dream and she treats her writers more like co-workers than employees. I like it there.

People ask me if I am querying an agent or going after bigger contracts.

Answer is...no decision in my life was ever based on money or power. I will never sacrifice peace of mind or the joys of my life to add more dollar signs to my account or prestige to my name.

Cause you know what they say...in the end...you can't take that with you.

Fate Intended is the third book in the Coulter Men Series.  Trip is the last of the Coulter sons to find love. He’s a handsome man with all the skills a young spy needs to succeed. But when it comes to love, he misses the target. Jane is a sweet beauty who may or may not be wanted for murder. She’s hiding out as a cleaning lady when chance brings her and Trip together. It looks like a happily ever after is in the cross hairs until reality tries to destroy what fate has intended.

Elizabeth Seckman is a simple chick with a simple dream…to write stories people want to read.
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  1. Thanks for having me over Ashley! I really appreciate you taking the time to host me. Hugs Pub Sister!

    1. It is ALWAYS my pleasure to have you on! And hugs right back lady - see you next month! :-)

  2. Wonderful to hear your story, Elizabeth. Thank you for sharing. :)


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