So there I was, minding my own business this past January when a tweet flashed across my laptop from a seemingly nice editor lady named Angela James. “Send your historical novels to Carina Press!” she tweeted. “Our editors are hungry for historicals!”
Historicals? I thought. I’ve written one that I love. Maybe this Angela lady will love it, too? What the heck? I’ll give it a shot.
And off flew my manuscript into cyberspace and so began my hopped-up-on-steroids but memorable publishing journey with the very cool and hip Carina Press.
Hey, book lovers! My name is Liz Fichera and I am thrilled to be one of the Carina Press launch authors. Formerly from Chicago, I now call the American Southwest my home. And the historical novel that I sent to Angela earlier this year is CAPTIVE SPIRIT, although it was originally called VANISHED. More on that in a bit.
CAPTIVE SPIRIT takes place in the Sonoran desert at the dawn of the sixteenth century. It’s about a young Hohokam Indian woman named Aiyana who isn’t like the other girls of her White Ant Clan. Instead of keeping house, she longs to compete on the Ball Court with her best friend Honovi and the other boys. Instead of marriage, she daydreams of traveling beyond the mountains that surround her small village. Only Honovi knows and shares her forbidden wish, though Aiyana doesn’t realize her friend has a secret wish of his own. When Aiyana’s father arranges her marriage to a man she hardly knows, she takes the advice of a tribal elder: Run! In fleeing, she falls into the hands of Spanish raiders and finds herself being taken over the mountains against her will, putting Aiyana on a quest to return to the very place she once dreamed of escaping. And she’ll do whatever it takes to survive and find her way back to the people she loves.
I’ll share more details with you later today about the story and what inspired me to write it. And, no, it did not come to me in a dream.
But first I wanted to share my Carina Press experience because it’s been the kind of experience you hope for as a debut author. Not only have I had the chance to work with the fab Elizabeth Bass, Kimberly the copyeditor extraordinaire, and Aideen O’Leary-Chung and her uber-talented book cover artists, but I’ve been able to connect with so many great writers who share a passion for rich storytelling. Thanks to them, my TBR pile has not only grown it’s exploded. Also, thanks to the support of my fellow Carina Press authors, it’s become very Sisterhood of The Writer Traveling Pants, although no one has suggested that we share a pair of faded bluejeans. Yet.
Like most authors, my full-fledged publishing journey has been neither quick nor easy but it’s never been dull. There have even been moments when I wanted to throw my laptop out the nearest window, burn all my rejection letters, and take up basket-weaving. But I’ll always be grateful to Carina Press as well as their readers for taking a chance on this writer hidden amongst the saguaros and coyotes in the wild, wild West who likes to tell tall tales.
Before the next post, I invite you to check out my web site for the first chapter and book trailer for CAPTIVE SPIRIT. I’ve left a few clues in the book trailer that will help me to explain the inspiration behind CAPTIVE SPIRIT later today in my next post. Can you guess which ones?
Be back later! Rock on, Carina Press!
Remember that you can win a free copy of CAPTIVE SPIRIT, just for making a comment on this blog, Twitter, or Facebook. Commenting on any of the Countdown entries will also enter you into the big giveaway for a Carina Press promo prize pack. How cool is that?