Today's Friday Friend, Jody Vitek
Jody will give a $10 Amazon gift card to one lucky commenter today. Leave your email address with your comment.
Thank you for having me today at Heroines with Hearts. Bear with me today as my responses could be a little slow. I am traveling to a writer's retreat that I’m partaking in this weekend. I’d like to share my brief journey to publication and then about my newest release Rescue Me.
The first book I ever wrote is on a back shelf waiting to see the light of day. About 11 years into my writing career, I started researching agents and built a list of those I would like to represent me. Once I felt confident my book was ready for representation, I submitted queries to the agents on my list. The rejections flowed into my email inbox. After multiple times multiple rejections from agents, I decided to submit to electronic publishers and made forward progress. Two steps forward and then the rejection arrived.
About to give up, I was given a lead to two more electronic publishers. I was firmly told to submit to them. So, I sent my submissions to the two publishers and waited for a response. On an early October day I received feedback from both publishers. The first email came in the morning and it was a rejection. Later that afternoon, my family was gathered in the living room and I checked my phone for messages. There was the e-mail from the other publisher. After hemming and hawing over whether to open it on my phone or go downstairs and sit in my office at my computer to cry over the rejection, I decided read it on my phone. Opening the e-mail my mouth dropped open, closed as I continued to read, and with tears in my eyes I screamed, “I sold my book.”
Florida Heat was released in July 2012 and Rescue Me was in the process of being written and edited. I decided to submit Rescue Me to my publisher when it was ready for submission. I wasn’t interested in trying to get an agent and that’s why I went back to my publisher. I thought it would be easier the second time around. After having gotten all those rejections and having a publisher but it wasn’t. I still worried that they would reject me. That they would reject my story. To my delight, they offered me a contract.
Are you wondering how I came up with the idea for this book? Well, if you ask any writer how they come up with ideas for their stories you will get a variety of answers. But in general, every writer will have similar answers. A line in a song stuck out in their head, something overheard in a conversation in a crowded elevator, something they see on the side of the street and the list goes on.
For me, Rescue Me stems from a visit to a family member’s old farm house. Although the city I named in the book is fictitious, I based it very loosely on the city where the family farm is location. It was after I started writing the beginning of the story that I shared the basis of this book with my second cousin, who grew up on the farm, and he told me a little history that shocked me. What I wrote, actually happened to my distant relatives! What am I talking about? The real farm was won on a poker bet.
It only takes a sliver of information or to see a miniscule detail on the side of the road to spark an idea. To make you wonder, what is the story behind that? So, be careful of what you say and do because it may end up in a book someday.
What tidbit of your life would you be willing to put in a book? Are there any taboo parts of your life to be written about? If yes, you don’t have to explain but it would be interesting to see how many of us have taboo parts in our life.
Ana's Review of Rescue Me:
In additional to her Twin Cities veterinary practice, Catherine Mornelli takes in stray animals as Four Hooves and Paws Rescue. The land where she houses her rescue horses has been put up for sale. Pragmatically, she decides to see her favorite great-aunt Elaine’s barn is serviceable.
Up north, Aunt Elaine’s 200 acres abuts Catherine’s old boyfriend’s farm. Josef has become a successful farmer and rents Elaine’s fields. Josef dotes on Aunt Elaine, but he is secretly hoping the sweet old lady will bequeath her land back to him. You see, his great-grandfather lost the land to Catherine’s great-grandfather in a poker game.
And dear Aunt Elaine has a scheme of her own: to get Catherine and Josef to marry.
With this setup, Jody Vitek creates an enthralling story with a host of supporting characters and perfectly timed plot twists. The priest who tries to block Josef’s and Catherine’s “shotgun” wedding so Aunt Elaine’s trust money will go to the church. The tornado that destroys Aunt Elaine’s barn along with Catherine’s dream for her rescue service. The dilemma after one night of passion.
Ms. Vitek writes with vivid imagery and graceful phrasing. I recommend it wholeheartedly.
Her website: www.jodyvitek.com
Her books are available at Melange Books, Amazon, and B&N
She can be found on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jody-Vitek-Author/142820225824162