Monday, January 25, 2010

Author Interview-Melissa Luznicky Garrett-Precipice

Today we have such a treat to be able to talk with Melissa. If you don't already know this charming lady, head over to her blog as soon as you finish reading this post!!  Now to the good stuff!

Julia Becker is a 25-year-old elementary school librarian living in upstate New York with her successful journalist husband, Jim. Up until the moment Jim is involved in an accident while away on business, Julia's life is comfortable, secure, and hardly exciting. While tending to Jim, however, Julia uncovers some hard truths about herself, her husband, and their marriage. And when a new teacher begins at Carson Elementary, Julia finds her allegiance to both her husband and her best friend, Kris, being put to the test.

Tell me how you came up with such a great storyline, what sparked this idea?
I'm not certain how the storyline for Precipice evolved. It just . . . happened! I had only a very rough sketch of an outline, so the story came about very organically. There were times I was really surprised by what I wrote, but I just went with it.

Is this the first novel you've ever written, or just the first one published?
Precipice is the first book I've written and had published. I've been writing for as long as I can remember, but Precipice has been my most lengthy project. I was constantly penning short stories and poetry as a kid, and especially as I got to be an angst-filled teenager. I even placed in a few writing contests! When I had my first baby in 1999, though, and then two more kids shortly thereafter, my writing fell by the wayside. It wasn't until November 2008 that I started getting serious about my creative writing again. 

How has your experience been with a digital press?
I never had any aspirations of publishing Precipice, either by a digital press or through a traditional publishing house. Writing that story was purely for exercise in order to get the creative synapses firing again. But I let a few friends read it, and they really liked it. I initially published Precipice on Lulu, but then Michelle Halket, the publisher for ireadiwrite Publishing, found me through Twitter and asked me to consider republishing with her digital press. I've had nothing but positive experiences.

What have you found to be the biggest hurdle in your writing life?
My biggest hurdle in writing, period, is the lack of time. With three kids, the youngest who is four, it's difficult to squeeze in everything that I want to do. I try to get my biggest chunk of writing done while my little one is at preschool, which amounts to 2.5 hours each morning. After that, I literally grab 10-15 minutes whenever I can. I try not to expect too much from myself and just go with the flow, but I aim to write at least 1000 words a day on each of my projects (I've got two at the moment) and spend some time each week researching agents and querying.

What are some things you like to do other than writing?(IF you had time)
In my spare time, I love to read and garden. I'm a solitary type of person, and I could spend an entire day not speaking to another soul and be happy about it. Of course, with four other people who live with me, that doesn't happen ever!

What kind of advice would you have to offer aspiring published authors?
My advice to writers who want to be published is to let others read your work and offer feedback. Then take their feedback seriously! If you're trying to have your book published the good old-fashioned way, don't even think about querying until you've polished your manuscript to the best of your ability. Subscribe to agents' blogs and then practice what they preach. Writing a book is the easy part; anyone can do it. But not everyone gets published. Although I wrote a book-length story, I don't really consider myself a published author, and neither would most agents. I won't consider myself a bona fide author until I have a representing agent working alongside me to get my book to print.

What genre do you read for enjoyment?
I'm open to reading most genres, but I tend to gravitate toward Women's Fiction and Young Adult. The last three books I read were Three Cups of TeaThe Lovely Bones, and The Time Traveler's Wife. Of course, I've always had a soft-spot (read: sick fascination) with vampires, so I totally got sucked into theTwilight saga, the Sookie Sackhouse series, and The House of Night series (all of which I've read multiple times). Shiver is also one of my favorites. 

Any news on what you're working on now? Future teasers?
As of this moment, I am in the process of querying my first Young Adult book, as well as writing its sequel. Of course, my goal is to find an agent to represent it (them). I am also working on my next submission for ireadiwrite Publishing, which I hope to have published by Fall 2010.

And just for fun....What are three things you can't live without. *(Family is already a given...three other things)

Three things I can't live without? Coffee (although I'm trying to cut back), Chap Stick, and my laptop. :-)

Thank you again, Melissa, for taking the time to answer all of my questions. Now, you can click HERE to order Precipice-a digital download-for a very realistic price of $4.95! Don't miss out, I know I'm not going to! This has been a fabulous, engaging and cerebral read. I have enjoyed it immensely from the very first page. Well constructed characters, a depth of thought that is at once immersive and challenging and a story that leaves a lasting impression. This one is a keeper. -Dean from Australia


  1. Wow, Kristi - great job! I'm intrigued about the book. The story line sounds great. Will Amazon carry it?

  2. Great interview!! It's so interesting to hear from a published author. The book sounds very intriguing :)

  3. PJ: Amazon does carry it, though the author doesn't get as much royalty through Amazon.

  4. Great interview! And, thanks for the great creative writing prompts! I think I'll be putting one or two of those into play -- as soon as I get my writing assignment done...

  5. Thank you so much for coming by!! I had tons of fun getting to know Melissa. She's such an inspiration and I hope that came through in the interview.

    Also-the writing prompts will change from week to week. Definitely use them!! I'm so glad to hear that you will find it helpful!

  6. Hello Kristi, and thanks for posting this great interview! I am Michelle Halket, Creative Director for ireadiwrite Publishing.

    I quite enjoy having Melissa as part of our family She's bright, fun and extremely supportive both of us and her fellow writers. Her work is well researched, well written and full of characters so rounded - you'd swear they live next door. All biases aside, I highly recommend her book.

    To the other questions on availability, her book is now, or will be available quite soon, at all major and independent ebooksellers. Ebooks represent the only growth in the publishing industry right now - and happily - a rising tide lifts all boats.

    Kind regards and thanks again for YOUR support of your fellow writers...

  7. Michelle,
    Thank you for taking the time to stop by and comment on this interview. I also enjoy having Melissa as part of our blogging family! Thank you also for addressing the availability of Melissa's book and where. I enjoy supporting my fellow writers, especially knowing how many of them are absolutely wonderful!


  8. Great interview. The book looks good. I'll have to put it on my list.

  9. Kristi, wow, great interview. You go girl. I think I shall buy the ebook. And visit the blog. Thanks Kristi. I so enjoyed it. :-)

  10. Thanks for sharing this wonderful interview, Kristi. It's always informative to hear about the various paths to publication.


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