I'm excited to introduce a most talented writer, Kristina McMorris. She's the author of the newly released novel, Letters From Home. She's going to be talking with you today about the road to getting published and is graciously giving away a signed copy of her novel that released February 22, 2011 by Kensington. It's already getting five stars on Amazon! Let's check out what the book is about...
Chicago, 1944. Liz Stephens has little interest in attending a USO club dance with her friends Betty and Julia. She doesn't need a flirtation with a lonely serviceman when she's set to marry her childhood sweetheart. Yet something happens the moment Liz glimpses Morgan McClain.
They share only a brief conversation—cut short by the soldier's evident interest in Betty—but Liz can't forget him. Thus, when Betty asks her to ghostwrite a letter to Morgan, stationed overseas, Liz reluctantly agrees.
Thousands of miles away, Morgan struggles to adjust to the brutality of war. His letters from "Betty" are a comfort, their soul-baring correspondence a revelation to them both. While Liz is torn by her feelings for a man who doesn't know her true identity, Betty and Julia each become immersed in their own romantic entanglements. And as the war draws to a close, all three will face heart-wrenching choices, painful losses, and the bittersweet joy of new beginnings.
Beautifully rendered and deeply touching, LETTERS FROM HOME is a story of hope and connection, of sacrifices made in love and war—and the chance encounters that change us forever.
It's an intricate, romantic and dare I say, dramatic read. I'm not going to delay her any further. Here's Kristina in her own words, discussing her journey in finally getting that elusive book deal...
The Road to Publication: Buckle up, it's going to be a bumpy ride
by Kristina McMorris
It's known across the globe as the "Happiest Place on Earth." Yet one begins to question this self-proclaimed title while standing in a two-hour line at Disneyland, in ninety-degree heat, surrounded by crying children and irritable strangers. I remember pondering this irony years ago, awaiting my very first turn on the popular Thunder Mountain ride. This thing better be worth the trouble, I thought to myself.
Looking back, I suddenly realize the similarities shared by my journey to publication. Many a time, my query letters, then copies of my manuscript, stood in lengthy queues to reach the eyes of a promising agent or editor—only to learn it didn't reach the required height line. With a pat on the head, I was sent away, encouraged to come back when I had grown enough, or to try a more suitable ride.
And so, I continued to improve my craft, despite the rejections that streamed in, and I would stand in line after line. Each time that I was told World War II women's fiction would be a tough sell—or worse, that it would never sell—I grew more determined to succeed.
You see, I didn't write my first novel, LETTERS FROM HOME, to fit neatly into the marketplace. Truth be told, I was barely a reader when I discovered my grandparents' wartime courtship letters, which inspired the premise of my story. Instead, I transcribed the vision of a movie that played out in my head, and always I did my best to write from the heart.
Eventually, I made it to the front of that daunting line again, though this time, to my delight, I was invited to board. An official contract was offered with my name on it. Since then, uncertainty and excitement have continued to swirl through the clickety-clack, two-year climb to reach my book's launch date. The past few weeks, following the release, has passed in a blur. Twists and turns and an almost constant adrenaline rush have often overpowered what I had foreseen to be a blissful feat.
At last, however, life has begun to settle to a comfortable speed. And this week, I actually had the chance to sit back and savor the moment. The ride has hardly been free of bumps, but as I stood in the Costco aisle, staring at my pleasantly shocking stack of books—of a novel, mind you, that was never supposed to sell—I couldn't help but smile.
Was it worth all the trouble? I asked myself.
|Letters From Home at Costco!|
Kristina McMorris lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two sons. She has garnered more than twenty national literary awards since writing her first novel, Letters from Home. A graduate of Pepperdine University, she spent twelve years hosting weekly television shows, including an Emmy® Award-winning television show at age nine. Prior to her literary career, she was the owner of a wedding/event planning business and public relations director of an international conglomerate. Find out more about Kristina by visiting her website: www.KristinaMcMorris.com.
If you would like the opportunity to receive Letters From Home, leave a comment telling us if you've ever seriously considered writing a book or not. If you have, how far along are you in your journey? Don't forget to leave your email so you may be contacted if you win. That is all. The winner will be chosen randomly.
Giveaway open to residents of the US and Canada only and ends Friday, March 18, 2011.