18+ "A pleasant surprise that turned into a one-sitting read!Ooooh, did I love this one! I like a good auction plot line, and this one had an additional science fiction twist to it that interested me. I'm so glad I picked this one up because it was such a great, un-put-downable read. Amy Pennza knocks it out of the park with her debut book, Ivar's Prize." - Michaelene, Goodreads
Published: July 10th, 2017
Nadia Green has everything–power, prestige, and a fiancé. That all ends when she’s sentenced to life on the prison planet Tolbos. Within hours of landing, Nadia finds herself captured, stripped, and placed on an auction block, where she’s purchased by Ivar Holok, a brutal warlord with golden eyes and an ability to wield kaptum with a mastery unlike anyone she’s ever seen.
Ivar is instantly attracted to the beautiful slave, but he suspects her presence on Tolbos has sinister implications. The Council wants him dead, and what better way to achieve its goal than by planting an irresistible assassin in his bed? No matter how much he wants to trust her, Ivar has to protect his people–even if it means denying Nadia her freedom. He vows to keep her enslaved and at his mercy until she confesses her involvement in the Council’s schemes, but he didn’t count on the slave enthralling her master.
10 Things Every Aspiring Writer Should Know
As a new author, I’m still navigating the publishing journey — and when I say “navigating” I mean stumbling around and banging into everything, occasionally knocking stuff over. Each step on the path to publication has featured a steep learning curve, but the good news is there has never been a better time to sit down and write something you feel passionate about.
If you’ve been bitten by the writing bug, first: put something on that so it doesn’t get infected. Second, relax because the internet is a goldmine of resources. The title of this post could easily be “Everything I Needed to Know about Writing and Publishing I Learned Online.” Okay, not everything, but I owe a lot to authors who have come before me and generously offered advice and tips on the web. Here are the top 10 takeaways I’d like to share from my own writing adventures.
1. Write the Book First
When you’re just starting out, creating characters and devising plot elements, it’s tempting to dream about what your book’s cover will look like. Who hasn’t stood in the shower, fantasizing about the dedication page for their first novel? To everyone who said I wouldn’t make it — suck it. These are fun exercises, but you’ll never get to do them for real until you finish that first manuscript. When I really buckled down and got serious about writing a book, I didn’t allow myself to google literary agents or publishers. My only goal was to finish a manuscript. Take it step by step, and make writing the first one.
2. There Are Many Paths to Publication
The traditional route to publication involves submitting your manuscript to literary agents, securing representation, and freaking out waiting while your agent submits your manuscript to editors at publishing houses. There is nothing wrong with this approach, but it’s not the only option these days. Don’t overlook small publishers and digital-first publishing houses. They put out high quality books, and many don’t require authors to have a literary agent to submit manuscripts.
3. Write Every Day
This is advice I see often. It’s simple, but it’s spot on. Carve out time to write every day. Even if it’s 100 words — even if it’s 10 — get something on paper (or computer screen) somehow. Write on a cocktail napkin if you have to. Writing is like working out: it’s easier and more rewarding if you do it all the time. It’s also easy to get out of the habit quickly if you stop.
4. The 30,000-word Slump Is Real
Slump…hump…whatever you call it, there is a “sticking point” in every first draft that makes you want to give up and swear off writing forever. You get to about the 30,000-word mark, and you run out of steam. Suddenly, your plot is like overcooked macaroni noodles — all stuck together and unappetizing.
For me, the way out of this is to go at it like a mom determined to get the doorbuster on Black Friday. I just keep shoving doubt and obstacles aside until I get that sweet, sweet word count in my cart. Other people like to jump to a different part in the book and write a scene they’re excited about. However you handle it, know that a lot of writers experience (and overcome) it.
5. You Probably Can’t Quit Your Day Job (at Least Not Right Away)
Unless you write the Great American Novel and sign a deal for a six-figure advance, you’re probably not going to make enough money to quit your regular job. The phrase “starving artist” isn’t exclusive to painters. There are many, many authors publishing many, many books. However, if you’re persistent and talented and willing to hang in there and continue improving your work, you’ll be successful. Maybe not “dining on a private yacht on the French Riviera with Oprah” successful, but successful enough.
6. There Is No Right Way to Write
Does your favorite author post Instagram photos of her antique writing desk on the veranda of her beach house on the Nantucket Sound, complete with Cocker Spaniels and mugs of Earl Grey tea? It’s probably a kick ass writing environment, but that doesn’t mean yours has to look like that. In other words, do what works for you. James Joyce wrote in blue pencil and sometimes crayons. Charles Dickens wrote his manuscripts in longhand (not that he had much choice) in a pronounced downward slant. Sir Walter Scott wrote on horseback. Lewis Carroll wrote standing up.
There is no magic formula for writing, nor is there an ideal environment for getting words on the page. Whether you write at the kitchen table, in your car during your lunch break, or in between the kids’ naps, what matters is that you’re making progress.
7. Be Willing to Hustle
Once you’ve written your book, landed a publishing deal, and watched your precious manuscript launch into the literary world, your job as an author is far from over. Being an author today means promoting your work — and yourself. Many authors are naturally introverted, so self-promotion can feel as awkward as a sixth grade dance. Be willing to invest time (and some money) into things like social media and advertising.
8. Focus on Writing Before Anything Else
“Wait. Didn’t she already cover this in #1?” Yes, I did, but it’s worth repeating because it’s so important. If you talk about writing and dream about writing and think about writing, but never actually write the darn book, you never will. Don’t let that happen.
9. Don’t Get Derailed by Rejection
Subtitle: Get a thick skin, fast. In elementary school, we called this “I am rubber, you are glue.” Rejection is a reality for all writers. At some point in their career, every author you’ve read and admired was just starting out. Most likely, they heard “no” more than once. Heed agents and editors who take the time to offer critiques — they usually only do that if they see promise in your work. But don’t let rejection shut down your creativity (or your soul). You can hear no a thousand times — all you need is one yes.
10. Patience, Grasshopper
Few aspects of writing — and the business of writing — happen quickly. It takes months (or more) to write a manuscript. It can take just as long to find a literary agent or publisher. Once you’ve secured a publishing deal, you can expect multiple rounds of editing. And then, when you’re finally published, growing your career as an author takes— you guessed it — time. Like most good things, however, the end result is worth waiting for.
About the author:
Amy Pennza is an author of romantic fiction that’s not afraid to turn up the heat. A lawyer-turned-copywriter, she’s much happier behind a keyboard than she was in the courtroom. A mom of four, including a set of twins, she always has a granola bar and a package of baby wipes handy. After years in Tornado Alley, she now makes her home in the Great Lakes region with her husband, kids, and one very persnickety cat.
Amy Pennza writes contemporary and historical romance — and sometimes futuristic romance, too. Her first book, Ivar’s Prize, was published by Loose Id in July 2017. She lives in the Great Lakes region with her husband, kids, and more laundry than you’ve ever seen.
Author's Giveaway:a Rafflecopter giveaway