Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Look Inside The Wild Rose Press

Ever wonder what it’s like to write for Wild Rose Press?

A few summers ago, I had the privilege of taking a class at AllWriters Workshop with Ilona Fridl. She was writing an engaging and romantic adventure set in a Hollywood movie studio during the Twenties. Even as a rough draft her story was something I and other class members looked forward to reading. We enjoyed the tender moments and the captivating plot. None of us were surprised when Ilona sold her story to The Wild Rose Press. It’s my pleasure to have her as a guest blogger today.

Thank you for inviting me, Brenda.

1. How did you get started as a writer?
I guess I've always loved making up stories. I remember coming up with story lines when I was a girl playing 'make believe' with my friends. In school, I took creative writing and journalism, but life took me in many directions and I didn't concentrate on it until I had access to a computer. I decided to give it a shot and see where it would take me.
2. Getting The Call is the moment many unpublished authors fantasize about. It’s that moment when authors hear that a publisher wants her work. Can you describe your experience?
Well, my call wasn't on the traditional phone; it was an email. I sent a query in to The Wild Rose Press and about a week later, they asked me for the first three chapters and a synopsis. That was new. I was used to the thanks, but no thanks form letter. A little glimmer of hope came when they asked for the full manuscript. In a couple of weeks time my editor, Nan Swanson, emailed that she wanted to contract my story. After hyperventilating and screaming, I emailed back “YES!.”
3. How long was it from the initial publisher’s request to see your manuscript until it reached published form?
About a year and three months.
4. What steps were involved to elevate your manuscript from a submission to a published novel?
My editor took one chapter at a time; working on punctuation, re-working awkward sentences, and telling me to add or cut more to the scene. After we went through the book, she gave a final edit of the whole thing. Then she sent it in for the final galley. The galley is the finished book. Then when we both approve, we get a release date.
5. What surprised you most about being published?
How long it took from start to finish.
6. What advice would you give other unpublished authors who hope to interest your publishing house in their manuscript?
The Wild Rose Press takes many different lengths of stories; from short to full novels. It's mostly ebooks you can get from the website. The novel has to be 65,000 words to qualify it for a print. Just like any other house, you need to have a polished manuscript. Sent your best work.
7. What reasons would you give an unpublished author for sending his or her manuscript to The Wild Rose Press? In other words, what do you particularly like about your publisher?
It's run by authors and they bend over backwards for you. Although you don't get an advance, they tell you up front what percentage you get from your downloads and print books. If you have any concerns, you can go right to the top and they get back to you within a day or so with an answer.
8. How has your life changed since being published?
I find promotion is much harder than writing. I see why a lot of the highly published authors have publicists. Arranging appearances and book signings take time away from writing.
9. Typically, how long does it take you to write a book? What’s your writing schedule?
It takes me roughly a year for one book. I try to get some done in the morning and afternoon. Sometimes a few pages and sometimes just a line or two.
10. How do you generate ideas for your stories?
I tend to write about what interests me. I love to delve into research and find out things I didn't know about any subject. I create characters for the times in a variety of situations.
11. What excites you about your current work in progress?

I've been studying about the invasion of the Japanese in the Aleutian Islands during World War II. That was the only time during the war that the US fought on its own soil and it's very little known. My hero is an Army Air Force pilot stationed on Umnak Island during the war.
12. Could you share an excerpt from you books?
This is an excerpt from “Golden North” that will be released August 20th. On a set up, Josh Shafer is working on a theater and restaurant in Juneau, Alaska. His brother and sister-in-law, Zeke and Addy, on the run from gangsters in Los Angeles, came up to help them. Muriel Giovanni, Addy's cousin, is a young widow of the mob boss' son, who followed her cousin to Alaska when the Giovanni family threatened to take her baby. Gladys Pembrook is a distasteful socialite who backs the theater. She got in Addy's bad graces by making a play for Zeke.

Muriel tightened her fingers around Josh’s arm as she led him from the dance floor and into the kitchen. “I have to talk to you, and I don’t want to be interrupted this time.”
His eyes turned serious. “What is it?”
“I was going to tell you, and then Addy waved us into the office. The fight between Gladys and her son reminded me. I was at the courthouse the other day and overheard a conversation between Manfred and someone who I think was his lawyer. Anyway, the man told Manfred he had to prevent his mother spending the estate, and she should be stopped one way or another.”
Josh looked at her steadily. “This was out in public?”
“No. I was walking past an office door and recognized Manfred’s voice.”
“When did you hear his voice? You were upstairs during the fund-raiser.”
“Remember, I heard the fight he and his mother had at the stage door.”
He wiped his hand slowly over his mouth. “We should definitely ask her again to drop the backing. He may be thinking of bringing legal action against us.” He clasped her hand in his.
“Come on, let’s get back to the party. We’ll do something about this first thing tomorrow.”
Returning from the kitchen, Muriel and Josh passed Amelia, sitting with Lester at one of the tables by the wall Muriel couldn't help but notice several long red scratches on Amelia’s arm.

“Oh, honey, did you get hurt?”
Amelia looked down and took out her handkerchief and dabbed at the blood. Her face was pale and drawn.

Lester spoke up. “That happened when her brooch loosened. The pin must have scratched her arm.” He seemed to be tending her, so Muriel and Josh took to the dance floor once again.
Fifteen minutes later, Muriel saw Addy come out of the office door. She paused in front of the restaurant's decorative mirror only long enough to smooth her hair before rejoining the festivities.
She was getting some punch, assisted by Muriel, when Zeke came up behind her. “What happened to you?”
“I went to the apartment to put my feet up. I was feeling dizzy.”
Turning her so he could look in her face, he voiced his concern. “Are you all right?”
“Just a little tired, that’s all.”
It was almost midnight, and everyone was on the floor for the last dance. As soon as they heard the church bells begin to peal out midnight, the band launched into “Auld Lang Syne.” Zeke kissed Addy deeply as the cheers and whistles went on for a few minutes, while Josh and Muriel silently exchanged a deep gaze.

Josh and Zeke were helping to hand out the coats from the cloak room when they heard a scream from outside, behind the theater. Everyone started running. Muriel saw the banker’s wife, Mrs. Taber, sobbing in her husband’s arms as Sheriff Darcy moved through the crowd to where the Tabers stood.
“All right, stand back, everybody!” Darcy shouted. He looked for all the world like a prospector who had happened to get a tin star. His build was imposing and his face never quite clean shaven.
Everyone still at the party had crowded out into the cold night to see what had upset Mrs. Taber so badly. For Muriel, one glimpse of the crumpled heap by the back wall was enough. Her mind flew to last year’s studio party and the death of Addy's co-star. Muriel reached for Addy's arm and found she was also shaking.
Darcy took out his flashlight and shone it at the heap. There was blood in a scarlet trail across the back of the wall and pooling on the ground. He turned the body over, and Muriel gasped, sickened to the core. It was Gladys’ gray-blue face in the light, with a grotesquely swollen tongue. The azure blue gown was a dark purple where the blood soaked it, and protruding from the middle of her chest was a fish spear. Was that the one Kata gave Addy as a Christmas present? Zeke caught Addy as she swooned.

(Note: My formatting difficulties prevent indenting for the paragraphs. Sorry.)

13. Where can readers find you on the Web? (Twitter, blog, Facebook, Website)?
The best place is my website You can contact me through the site.

We hope we’ve passed along some good insights into writing and The Wild Rose Press, but if you have other questions, feel free to ask. We appreciate hearing from you.


  1. Great interview, Brenda and Ilona!

    I'm talking meteorites this week.

  2. Thanks Heather,
    I'm glad you emjoyed it.

  3. This was great! I enjoyed the interview and the insider's version of the publishing process.

  4. Wow....this was all so very, VERY interesting. I liked the one about the WWII 'hero'...I learned something.

  5. CountryDew,
    Thanks. I think you'd enjoy Ilona's books too.

  6. Americanising Desi,
    Yep, I'm with you. :)

    Hooting Anni,
    Thanks. I'm eager to read Golden North and learn a bit about WWII, also.

  7. #9 was interesting to me...I never thought in terms of how one writes a book.

  8. Its fun to hear about how writers get started.

  9. An interesting interview with lots to offer. Enjoyed the read.

  10. Hey, another member of the garden! *waves happily*

  11. Hi, Brenda, I'm here! I want to thank Brenda again for inviting me to be on the blog. I appreciate all the great comments. I'll be in and out, so if you have any questions, I'll be happy to answer.

  12. Awesome interview, ladies! I hear good things about Wild Rose Press.

    Brenda, you should send links like this to my Win a Book blog. We'll get you extra notice for them.

  13. Wonderful excerpt, Ilona! And I agree that promoting a book is harder than writing it. Good luck with your next book.

  14. Hi Ilona,

    I too love being a Wild Rose author. And I agree about the promotion...sometimes that takes more time and effort than the writing itself.

  15. It's nice to see fellow roses here. We work for a great company!

  16. Janet,
    I'm with you. I used to always wonder why my favorite authors didn't have more books out. Now I have a better idea.

    Teaching Kids About Money,
    I'm glad you found Ilona's experience interesting. I love finding out how writers get their start.

  17. anthonynorth,
    Thanks, it's fun to connect with another writer.

    Alice Audrey,
    Yes, that's right. You have a book with Wild Rose too. Kudos.

  18. Ilona,
    I appreciate you stopping by. You did a great job with the interview. Thanks.

  19. i beati,
    Thanks. I'm proud of Ilona too.

    Thanks for the tip. I'll be coming to your blog to check it out.

  20. Tiffany Green,
    Thanks. I liked Ilona's excerpt too.

    Debra St. John,
    Thanks for stopping by. I'll have to look for you on the Wild Rose site.

  21. Great interview. I'm thrilled with The Wild Rose Press, too.

  22. Just to clear up something. Golden North isn't the book set in WWII. That's also in the 20's. The third book in the series is the WWII one.

  23. That was a great look into what it's like to become a published author. Thanks for posting this T13 interview. It's great!

  24. Liz,
    Cool. You are one of the many authors who praise Wild Rose Press. Grin. It seems like a good house.

  25. Ilona,
    Thanks. I guess I got that confused. I look forward to reading Golden North and your next book after it.

  26. Forgetfulone,
    Thanks. I agree with you. Through Ilona's interview, I gained some insights in the publishing world too.

  27. Interesting interview, Ilona. Sounds like Wild Rose is great to work with.

  28. EmilyBryan,
    Thanks for stopping by. Yep, from everything Ilona's told me, Wild Rose is a great house to work with.

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