Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Guest Blog By Lisa Bilbrey

A few weeks ago I devoured the first book in Lisa Bilbrey's The Journey Collection, so I am very pleased to let her leave a guest post on my blog. Check the links below to be able to purchase number two in the series, The Journey Of Champions.

At the end of her blog is an excerpt from her new release, as well as her author biography. 

I asked the wonderful Lisa to use my blog to say whatever she wanted (this is her day after all), and below is what she wanted to share. Big thanks hun xxx

       As an author, I’ve faced the same fears that other authors feel: what if nobody likes my writing? I’m not a fool; I know the odds are that someone out there is going to hate the way I tell a story. And that’s okay. I write for myself.

     Now, as a publisher, I find myself on the opposite side of the line. I’m the one who receives submissions and has to make the decision on whether to accept or reject. Luckily, I don’t do this on my own, but it’s still quite the burden on my shoulders — one I’ve come to accept with a great deal of pride.

     When we look at a manuscript, I check for several different aspects. The first, clearly, is grammar and spelling. Next, I check for details. What color hair, eyes, skin do the main characters have? How tall are they? What are their names? These are obvious keys to a good story. Lastly, I check to see if the story is being told to me or shown to me. There is a different. As authors, we want our readers to feel like they’re in the story with our characters. If we can succeed at that, then we’re doing okay.

    Now comes the hard part: accept or reject. If we accept, then it’s usually pretty smooth, but if we opt not to accept the manuscript, then we have to decide how to handle it. We often offer tips and suggestions to improve their book. Why do we do this? Because it’s the only way to learn what publishers are looking for in a manuscript.

     Here are a few tips on how to handle a rejection:

    --Do not reply to the publisher asking why. First, most don’t have time to talk you through it. Second, you may not really want them to tell you.

     --If they make suggestions, put your manuscript to the side for a few days before you open it back up and see if they’re right. Often, we have a hard time seeing what our critics are telling us because we get defensive. Try to have an open mind and see if there is some merit in what they are saying.

    --Keep trying. One rejection should not stop you from trying. So they don’t want you. There are a lot of publishers out there. Keep submitting, because it is worth it. 


The Journey of Champions Summary

      Travis McCoy thought the journey home would be the hardest choice he ever had to make. It isn’t until he finds himself walking out the door and leaving his family behind that he realizes his journey is only just beginning. Now, with only a handful of weeks until Christmas, Travis tries to find his way back home. This time, he plans on staying forever.


An hour later, Penelope parked in front of Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport. The trip had been filled with awkward conversations mixed with deafening silence. She had prattled on about what she and Max had planned for the coming week. While Travis knew it was just her way of trying to distract him, it hadn’t worked. All he could think about was how he’d miss one more of Max’s football games, how he wouldn’t be able to hear about Mr. Nickels giving too much homework or to read with him before bedtime. These were all things that he had gotten used to doing, and now he wouldn’t be able to — not until he came back, anyway.

They climbed out of the car without speaking, Travis grabbed his bags from the trunk, and they walked into the airport. Penelope stayed next to the sliding doors while he checked in for his flight and picked up his tickets. Turning back to her, he swallowed against the lump in his throat. Saying goodbye to Max had been hard, but the thought of leaving Penelope had Travis trembling.

“Well, I guess this is it,” Penelope said with a wistful sigh. She placed her hand on his chest and sniffed back her tears. “I thought I could do this without crying.”

“If you cry, I won’t be able to go,” Travis murmured.

She smiled. “Then maybe I should start sobbing.” She shifted her attention up to him. “Promise me that you’ll come home.”

“I promise,” Travis replied. “I promise to come back to you and Max. Just remember that I love you, Penelope.”

“I love you, too,” she whimpered before leaning up and brushing her lips across his. “Hurry back to me, love.”

“As fast as I can,” he whispered.

Somehow — and he wasn’t sure how — Travis managed to pull himself away from her. He fought the urge to claw at the ache in the middle of his chest. Just the few seconds that he’d already spent away from her had him rattled. How was he supposed to go a week or longer without holding her in his arms or feeling her gentle kiss?

In a daze, Travis managed to get through the security check-point and down to his gate. Settling down on one of the hard, plastic seats, he placed his elbows on his knees and rested his forehead against the palms of his hands. His stomach was in knots, and more than a few times he swallowed against the bile that had been creeping its way up his throat.

Just when he was about to hightail it to the nearest restroom, someone sat down next to him and placed a hand on his shoulder. Travis looked up, gasping when he saw Russ there.

“Didn’t think I was gonna make it before they called for our flight,” Russ chuckled before he could utter a sound.

“What the hell are you doing here?” Travis asked.

Russ smiled and shook his head. “I’m coming with you, boy. I once made the mistake of letting you go. I’ll be damned if I let it happen again. Besides, Miami is a huge part of your life, Travis. It’s time for me to see it, don’t you think?”

“But I thought you hated to fly.” Travis lifted an eyebrow in his father’s direction.

“I do,” Russ admitted. “But for you, I’m willing to give it a go. Just don’t laugh at me if I get a little scared. If people were meant to fly, God would have given us wings.”

Travis laughed. “You have my word, Dad.”

“Good,” Russ muttered, stretching his feet out in front of him.

“Dad, thank you for coming with me,” Travis said, his voice sincere. “It means a lot.”

“You’re welcome, Travis. Today is a new start for both of us — a new journey.”

Travis nodded. “The journey to forever.”

Authors Biography & Links

    Lisa Bilbrey is a mom of three and has been married to her high school sweetheart since 1996.
Finding a love in the written word, she started writing as a way to express herself. From the first word she wrote, she'd found her heart and soul. Always willing to learn, she's spends much of her time trying to improve as a storyteller.

    In late 2011, Lisa opened Renaissance Romance Publishing with Michele Richard and Laura Braley.


Once again I would like to thank Lisa for sharing her mind with me, and I hope everyone likes what she had to say. All the best with your new book babe, I for one cannot wait to start it. Xxx

1 comment:

  1. Very insightful words of wisdom, Lisa. So glad you had her on, Matt. Great job to both!