In episode 11, Melissa and Jeni talk to author Raquel Miotto about celebrating wins in your writing.
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Or listen to the audio podcast here: EPISODE 11 Celebrating Wins in Your Writing.
Welcome to the Indie Chicks show! I’m Melissa Koberlein, an author and professor of publishing, and she’s Jeni Chappelle, a freelance novel editor.
Indie Chicks celebrates and supports independent women in publishing. We’re a place for writers at all stages of the publishing process. So, whether you’re on the traditional route to publication or self-publishing, you’ve come to the right place for advice.
On this episode:
We’re talking about how to pitch at conferences
End with an author tip of the week
This week we’re joined by Raquel Miotto. Raquel was born and raised in Brazil until she moved to the US for college. In 2011, she started writing a book for her stepchildren, who share her love for fantasy. She won a spot in the Revise & Resub contest in 2018 with her second manuscript, SUN OF THE NEW WORLD, a historical fantasy set in colonial Brazil. She loves to travel but now calls western North Carolina home.
Here's the Q&A
Raquel, you and Jeni met because of the Revise & Resub contest, where you won a full developmental edit from Jeni. What was your reaction to the announcement that you’d won? How did you celebrate?
I feel like I should mention I'm a former professional volleyball player from Brazil, and former student athlete in the US, so I really work hard and make sure I savor every win. I have poured my heart and soul into this ms, and when the winners were announced, I automatically jumped into OMG-I-won mode (*insert Bohemian Rhapsody hum here), then I-need-to-work-harder, and consecutively must-make-coach-proud mode. My brain was already thinking about all the things Jeni would want to change. I had a brief moment of panic when I thought that she might want to change too much. But she'd picked my ms over 99 others, if she had visions for it, the least I could do would be to listen and be open to her ideas. As for celebrations, I'm pretty sure it involved alcohol and an immediate brainstorming session.
When I started reading your story, I was drawn in by the beauty of your writing. I was floored when you told me you taught yourself to speak English. Can you talk a little about what it’s been like for you to write in your second language?
Whew, I think I'd have to go a few years back for this one. But it was certainly one of the most difficult things I've ever done. But what can I say, I might be slightly masochistic? I've always been a good story teller so when i left volleyball behind, I'd try writing. This was in 2012 and didn't go well at all. I stopped after a few chapters of Faeth, certain that if so many writers whose first language was in fact english couldn't make it, there was no way I would. But once my heart is set on something, forget it, I will make it happen. I reminded myself I wasn't born a volleyball player, and it had taken me 14 years of honing my skills to get to where I was. So I decided that at a minimum I'd finish the book. And I did. Then I revised it. Then I revised it again. Then I met a freelance editor who worked with me for very little money as I didn't have much, and I just absorbed every note he left on the ms. I learned everything I could from him, and by the time I sent him my next story, he said I wouldn't need him anymore. That's when I entered RevPit.
When you finished your revisions for the contest and saw your finished work in the showcase, were you exhausted? Excited?
When the #RevPit showcase went live, there was no holding back the tears of seeing my work out there, for people to see. The little fraction of what I saw filled my heart with so much love, I can't even imagine what it's like to get published. The support I've received from the writing community has made me love writing even more than before. I hope you all get to experience working with someone as sweet, knowledgeable, and hardworking as Jeni. I was extremely exhausted but I knew if I got an agent, it would mean more work, and if a got a book deal, even more work. I was ready.
You’re revising again now. Do you have any advice for other writers on how to cope with seemingly endless revisions?
Oh God! Uh... remodeling? :) Like I said, it all come down down to how much you really want something. The thing with revising is keeping the final goal in mind. Visualize it how it will be like when you're done. Feel the thrill of seeing you book in someone else's hands and work toward that goal. Talk to friends, get beta readers, read. Take a step back when it gets to be too much. Stop. Let it rest. For me, the longer I spend revising, is like my brain is zooming in the story, until I get so caught up on words, and sentence structure, I lose sight of the big picture. I wasn't joking when I said remodeling. Of course this works for me, it takes my mind out of the ms, but choose something else you're equally as passionate about and spend a few weeks working on that. Once your brain is ready to get back to the ms, you'll see it zoomed out, you'll be able to see the big picture again.
Tip of the week:
Celebrate every small accomplishment. It helps you see how far you've come instead of only how far you still have to go and can help insulate you mentally against rejection.
On our final podcast of season three, Jeni and I are talking with writer, Maria Tureaud. We will also have another Tip of the Week. And don’t forget where to find us! Find our podcast at indiechicks.net or follow us on Spotify or subscribe to Indie Chicks on iTunes. Please rate us! You can follow us on Twitter @Indie_Chicks or Facebook.com/TheIndieChicks. And now you can subscribe to our YouTube channel too!
So, remember, we’re all part of a publishing community, be kind and review your fellow authors’ books. Thanks for listening!
Indie Chicks out.