Thursday, November 17, 2011

Guest Post: Tanya Contois

TOSK says:  A long time ago, it seems now (though it was just a matter of months, to be honest) I went looking in the Facebook world for fellow book lovers and writers.  One of the first landing places I found, through a friend's page, was All Things Books.  I've followed the page and the great people involved in it for a while now, and I'm glad to bring you a friend and fellow Trestle Press author Tanya Contois:

Tanya Contois says:  Writing has always been something I’m good at but after high school I lost focus of that. Instead I worked a series of jobs that lead nowhere. I always felt like there was something else I was meant to do. Now I’m 28 and despite all my efforts to find a job I’m still unemployed.

When I first started my blog and Facebook page All Things Books it was only meant to be a hobby but it has become more popular than I ever thought it would. Both the Facebook page and the blog were very helpful to me because it introduced me to so many people that I wouldn’t have gotten to know otherwise. I have been incredibly lucky to get to know so many friendly and kind people. Another plus of creating All Things Books is that I was able to learn about smaller publishers with open submissions.

When I saw that Firefly and Wisp publishers were having a contest for several anthologies I submitted a horror short story based around the urban legend Bloody Mary. Having my story chosen to be in the anthology was a huge deal but I really wanted a contract. At the same time I had to be realistic because there are so many incredibly talented writers who don’t have contracts with publishers. So I buckled down and started working at fixing plot holes and grammar/spelling errors. At the beginning of October S.L. Schmitz emailed me about participating in a blog talk radio show. Although I was incredibly nervous about being on air I said yes. After exchanging emails with Stephanie about the details of the show I got an email from Giovanni Gelati. When he asked if I was a writer I said yes and gave him a brief description of what I am working on. A few days later I signed the contract officially making me a Trestle Press author.

To anyone who aspires to be a writer don’t give up hope. There are alternatives to being traditionally published that are becoming more and more popular each day. Keep an eye out for smaller publishers with open submissions. There is also the self published route. Other websites that you can publish on are Smashwords and Lulu. Amazon has also just started Kindle direct publishing.

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