Today I have the privilege to interview Tessa Stockton, author of The Unforgivable. Her book was published in March of this year, and she’s going to share a little about the process of writing and publishing.
What was the inspiration for your book, The Unforgivable?
Working with human right groups long ago, I had an epiphany where God compelled me to pray for those individuals others hated who were accused of war crimes. I also dream a lot and have an overly active imagination—just ask my husband!
What do you hope readers take away from your book?
Forgiveness is all-inclusive, even for so-called “monsters”—a message presented through an intense, yet quirky romance.
How did you find your publisher for The Unforgivable?
The good, old-fashioned, slush pile way—it still works! I tried a handful of avenues on my road to publication, such as conferences, and finding an agent. However, when I got a tip from a colleague about a particular publisher, Risen Books, I submitted a query, which led to a proposal, which led to a contract. It all transpired rather quickly.
How long did it take you to write your manuscript?
Three months. That’s not my usual timeframe, but I obsessed over this one and cancelled out just about everything in my life during that event, including skipping a few meals. There was a lot of research involved, so…it was crazy.
Tell us a little about your editing process?
I’m a perfectionist and I like to edit as I go. Once I finish a manuscript, then I read through it to make sure it all ties together, usually doing more edits. Then, although I find it difficult, I try to let the story rest for a few days before I come back to it with fresh eyes. When my “official” editor from Risen Books worked on it, I had a lot of revisions to do before the line edits. For some reason, all the red marks on my manuscript didn’t daunt me. To be honest, I enjoyed the entire process. I guess I like making corrections, and I find a good challenge in the rewrites.
Are you currently working on another book? Yes. The Unforgivable is Book #1 in the Wounds of South America series. Each book is about love and redemption in the midst of some of the desperate political situations in the southern cone. I’ve turned in my manuscript for the second book in the series, which is set in Colombia and due to be released in 2012, as well as the outline for the third book, tentatively set in Brazil.
What genres do you write in?
My current focus is on Political Intrigue, but I’ve also written novels in YA Fantasy, Inspirational Romance, Suspense, and Speculative Fiction. Most of my stories are laced with, at least, a touch of romance. I have a quixotic nature and it’s hard to dismiss.
What have you learned about publishing?
Once you’re there, it’s not all gravy. There’s a lot of work involved in effectively marketing and selling a book…things that can make a reclusive, creative type cringe. It’s a necessary part of the business, though.
Would you do anything different?
I was so consumed with getting to the place of receiving a contract offer that I may have missed some of the joy along the way. I would relax and enjoy the journey, even the submission process, a little more. Trust God at a deeper level, instead of asking, “When?” or “Why?” or “Huh?”
Tell us how readers can contact you (Twitter, Facebook, Blog, website, etc.). You can find me on Facebook, or Twitter, or any of those fine online social networks. I do a weekly blog, Pressing Through, on www.tessastockton.blogspot.com. I’m also a monthly contributor at www.internationalchristianfictionwriters.blogspot.com. Other than that, come harass me at www.TessaStockton.com!
A former contemporary dancer, Tessa Stockton, who was also active in politics and human rights groups, now writes novels. The Unforgivable is her first book in the Wounds of South America, a political intrigue series. Available in paperback, Kindle or Nook, The Unforgivable is set against the backdrop of Argentina’s Dirty War, where a Christian woman falls in love with a man accused of war crimes.
Thank you Tessa, for sharing your book and experience on this blog. The Unforgivable is available in Kindle and Paperback. To get a copy, click on the book image to visit amazon’s page.