Interview Transcripts

Sheri Gormley: Serial Future 11/16/06



Legend:
Questions from the Audience are presented in red.
Answers by the Speaker are in black.
The Moderator's comments are in blue.

Mary Rosenblum

Hello all!

 

Welcome to our Professional Connection live interview.

 

My guest tonight is Sheri Gormley.

 

Sheri Gormley is the Director of Marketing & Promotions at http://www.virtualtales.com/, which delivers serialized fiction via e-mail to its subscribers through its website. She is also the author of the Fantasy serial THE EYE OF CAER WEILEN http://www.caerweilen.com/ , which first appeared on the Keep it Coming e-serial website and now continues its run at Virtual Tales.

Sheri Gormley

Hello, everyone!

Mary Rosenblum

Sheri, welcome!

 

I'm so pleased to have you here tonight.

Sheri Gormley

Hi, Mary! Thanks for having me here.

Mary Rosenblum

I actually have published a serial and I had a ball doing it. It used to be a common fictional form.

Sheri Gormley

Yes it was... and will be again.

Mary Rosenblum

Short shorts and serial pieces do seem to be coming back.

Sheri Gormley

It's fun, and challenging, and nerve-wracking, all at the same time.

 

I think it's because of the time factor.

 

We're all so busy, and it's hard to commit

 

to reading for many hours at a time to read a book. Shorter works are satisfying, and still complete.

Mary Rosenblum

I agree. I think people are asking for their entertainment in smaller and smaller bites.

 

So let's begin at the beginning.

gskearney

I didn't have chance to check out the site yet, but I was wondering, are the serials more like TV serials where each program stands more or less alone, or is there a continued plot from session to session?

Mary Rosenblum

I think a definition is in order, don't you?

Sheri Gormley

Yes, here goes.

 

Serials are more like soap operas

 

than stand-alone episodes.

 

It's like reading a book, or a series of books

 

with each "issue" having a cliff-hanger ending. You get very familiar with the characters and the plot develops.

Mary Rosenblum

So how did you get involved in serials?

Sheri Gormley

I saw an ad for KeepItComing.net, which was founded to deliver serials.

 

I had an idea for my Caer Weilen stories, so I applied as a writer.

 

It was accepted and published, and the rest is history, I guess.

Mary Rosenblum

And now you're involved with Virtual Tales. That is all serials isn't it?

Sheri Gormley

Mostly serials, but also e-books as well.

 

Virtual Tales was founded when KIC went out of business.

 

The publisher had a family crisis, and shut it down.

 

That left lots of authors and readers in the lurch.

 

All that was left was the Yahoo Groups forum board

 

and a bunch of us got together and decided to start a new venture.

Mary Rosenblum

Cool. How long has Viortual Tails been in operation?

Sheri Gormley

The site went live last June (2006)

 

and has been building steadily ever since.

Mary Rosenblum

For those of you who are interested in writing a serial

 

you'll find an open market on the LR newsletter that is up on the website right now.

 

Tony Burton is looking for serials.

Sheri Gormley

Virtual Tales is also looking for serials

 

especially Horror and Romance.

info

Even though you have a cliff-hanger for an ending, do you still need to write that next book in the series if you really don't have an idea or intend for that one to be the last? Some books seem to have that cliff-hanger ending designed to be satisfying and yet makes the reader guess.

Mary Rosenblum

I think there's still some confusion about what a serial is, Sheri.

 

It's easy to confuse it with a series.

Sheri Gormley

A serial is a novel that is broken up into smaller chunks.

 

It has a beginning, and an end.

 

And when all is done, it usually is published as a novel.

 

Think Charles Dickens. Most of his "books" started out as serials

 

like A Christmas Carol, etc.

Mary Rosenblum

Analog Magazine occasionally publishes serialized SF novels.

Sheri Gormley

Virtual Tales publishes serialized novels.

 

Each issue is 1,500-2,500 words

 

and we e-mail the issues out, twice a week, to each customer who subscribes.

gskearney

Sounds to me pretty much like each issue is more a less like a chapter of a novel with the stipulation that it has to have a complete story arc of its own?

Sheri Gormley

That's about right

 

but the catch is, you have to hook the reader

 

so they want to come back and keep reading.

 

Some serials are as short as 40 issues.

 

Some (like mine) are 80+.

 

The great thing for the writer is

 

that they can make money while they are writing their story.

 

In other words, you don't have to have a completed manuscript for a novel

 

to get your serial published.

Mary Rosenblum

As long as you don't decide halfway through that you need to change something you have already written at least! J

Sheri Gormley

Absolutely! Organization is key.

 

Plus, every Virtual Tales author works with a professional editor

 

who helps the writer avoid trip ups in plot, character names, descriptions, etc.

Mary Rosenblum

This sounds like the perfect venue for the writer who loves to plot as she writes.

Sheri Gormley

Or who already has a detailed plot arc

 

so they can keep organized. For my serial, which is about dragon-human hybrids

 

I set up spreadsheets and did all kinds of research

 

and have very detailed notes about family lineages. I drew maps.

 

I have an "aging" spreadsheet that shows how old my characters

 

are (or will be) at certain points in the story.

kish100

Can it be a main story with mini-stories stuffed in?

Sheri Gormley

Yes! Absolutely.

Mary Rosenblum

Complex plotting is okay?

Sheri Gormley

In fact, Virtual Tales has several anthologies of short stories right now.

 

Complex plotting is the best, as far as I am concerned.

 

It shows the author "knows" their subject matter, and it has a way of really drawing in the reader.

 

Try explaining a soap opera to someone who doesn't watch it.

Sheri Gormley

Or explaining Harry Potter Book 6 to someone who's never read books 1-5.

Mary Rosenblum

Good point!

klmiller

Is it easier, harder or the same difficulty to find a publisher for a serial vs. a complete novel....In general, of course?

Sheri Gormley

Well, the market for serials is just opening up.

 

There are only a few publishers right now

 

but it does seem to be expanding lately.

 

I think it gets back to the time thing again.

 

You can read a single issue of one of our serials in about 10 minutes.

 

That's about the time you have for a break at work, or a few minutes at lunch.

 

It's fun to read on your PDA, too.

Mary Rosenblum

I think also, you are getting more and more people who are happy reading on the internet and that makes a quick weekly dose of story episodes a natural.

Sheri Gormley

Yes, I agree. But our research found that most people

 

need a fix more than once a week to stay interested.

Mary Rosenblum

I think this is going to catch on. Look at the popularity of the soaps! Yeah, you're probably right. What is the frequency of your issues?

Sheri Gormley

Each serial publishes twice a week for now, though we are considering going to a more frequent schedule down the line.

geezer

How many stories do you have per issue?

Sheri Gormley

One story per issue. For example, if you ordered my serial, THE EYE OF CAER WEILEN, your e-mail

 

would have just one issue of CAER WEILEN.

Mary Rosenblum

Ah, I see!

 

So you could order, say, ten different stories!

 

Clever.

Sheri Gormley

Yes, and they publish on different days, based on genre.

 

So you can get a Fantasy on Monday, and a Horror on Tuesday, and so forth.

Mary Rosenblum

Can people mix and match? Say they want all fantasy? Or mystery?

Sheri Gormley

Yes, you choose whatever stories you want, for a very nominal fee.

gskearney

What if you come in late? Do you still start at issue #1 or do all subscribers get the same issue each time?

Sheri Gormley

It's just for 10 issues, or 5 weeks.

 

You will always start at issue 1

Mary Rosenblum

Nice price. I'm going to have to subscribe.

 

Try it out.

Sheri Gormley

You can try out any story on the site for free.

 

The first four issues (2 weeks) are always free

 

then you can choose to continue the story with a paid subscription or not

Mary Rosenblum

How complicated is it for you at Virtual Tales to keep track of which subscriber gets which issue? It's not like everyone gets the June issue!

Sheri Gormley

Our system is completely automated.

 

Our Director of Technology is a professional web programmer. Our Chairman, Dave Law, is also

 

a professional writer, editor and publisher. He has lots of good experience. And I am a professional

 

marketing director, so I know how to promote our website and our stories. And June Dieh

 

is a professional editor and writing coach. She works with the other editors to review all submissions

 

and select the ones for publication. Our Director of Technology is Daniel Reppenger, by the way.

 

He's completely automated the site so that once you set up your account

 

it knows who you are and what you've ordered. So even if

 

you take a break from a story, and come back to finish it several months later

 

it will know where you left off.

Mary Rosenblum

This impresses me. I'm looking seriously at the future of fiction on the internet, and this is one of the most promising venues I've run into.

Sheri Gormley

It's been a blast so far, and more good stuff is coming up quickly.

 

Next spring we'll be rolling out a great promotion for new serial writer wanna-bees

 

called "Serial Idol." It will give aspiring authors a chance to write a serial from scratch

 

have the world and our judges vote on each issue, and then win a contract.

Mary Rosenblum

Oh, nice!

Sheri Gormley

Without having to go through the regular submission process, which is challenging.

gskearney

Thirty-nine cents per issue comes to about the same price per 1000 word as paperback books, which seems slightly high as a buyer, but good for authors. How much of that do the authors actually get?

Sheri Gormley

I speak from experience on that, too, since my story had to go through the submission process.

Mary Rosenblum

Gary makes a point about numbers, although I think I'd find the price worth it for the convenience.

Sheri Gormley

It's a bit higher than a book, but remember, you are paying for convenience.

 

Books don't come to your e-mail box

 

twice a week, on schedule

 

ready to be read, printed out, or carried into a meeting on your PDA :o)

 

Many of our subscribers use business addresses to receive their serials.

 

I suspect they are using it as a daytime diversion from work :o).

Mary Rosenblum

Yep, the 'read on your lunch hour' (or when your boss isn't looking) is a big plus, I bet.

 

So what is the pay to the writer? As long as we're talking numbers.

Sheri Gormley

Exactly -- because it looks like an e-mail.

 

The breakdowns are 60% to the writer

 

20% to the editor

 

10% to the cover artist

 

and 10% to the website.

 

We pay out quarterly through PayPal.

Mary Rosenblum

Wow, that is the same as 60% royalties on the cover price. Lady those are good numbers.

Sheri Gormley

Correct! The author is doing most of the work, and deserves most of the profit.

 

But the editor is important too.

 

One thing that sets our site apart from others is our professional editing staff.

 

Every serial, once accepted, is assigned to a professional editor

 

who works with the author to polish the final version. In my case, my editor

 

has been invaluable. I'm writing a Fantasy, and she's pointed out many times when I haven't

 

explained the way my world works to the reader.

 

I know how the magic works, but the reader does not, and as a neutral third party

 

she let's me know when something doesn't make sense. Plus she's top-notch on grammar, usage and spelling.

Mary Rosenblum

I'm very glad to hear you speak of your editorial policies...

 

because quality will help you propagate readers!

Sheri Gormley

Yes, and it helps a new author hone their craft.

gskearney

Many of the novels that have been serialized in Analog as Mary mentioned have also been published later in paperback at least. Have any ezine serials been so honored?

Sheri Gormley

Yes. We have a few that are going into e-book then into paper very soon.

 

But we can't do that until the novel is complete.

Mary Rosenblum

I would think that ...as with Analog...big publishers would be interested if you’re getting enough numbers in terms of readers. The print

 

market is a different group to sell to.

Sheri Gormley

Yes, which is why we formed a partnership with Dragon Moon Press...

 

to handle the paper side of things. We're also looking into podcasting our stories.

Mary Rosenblum

Good move. I think that's a new market looming on the horizon.

janecj333

How common is it for one of the big NY publishers to re-publish a serial as a novel?

Sheri Gormley

I think so, too.

Mary Rosenblum

I think the Analog serials have all been published by NY houses.

Sheri Gormley

I honestly don't know. I haven't worked with any NY publishers before.

Mary Rosenblum

I suspect, Sheri, that if you grow to the point where you have a really large subscription base, you'll hear from NY.

 

They watch new market trends.

Sheri Gormley

Well, since I come from New York, at least I'll speak the language.

speckledorf

Do you have a "most popular" genre or do most sell about the same?

Sheri Gormley

Oh, that's a good one.

 

It's actually story-driven, rather than genre driven.

 

Some of our most popular titles are Westerns, believe it or not -- but they're really, really good ones!

Mary Rosenblum

Western action, male POV or western romance?

Sheri Gormley

That's why we do the free trial thing.

 

So you can try out a story to see if it's for you.

 

Westerns run all over the gamut.

 

We've got a popular western romance, Hannah

 

and an historical western, The Last Gunfighter

 

and a tongue-in-cheek comical western, Rough Justice.

Mary Rosenblum

I'm wondering about the demographic of your subscribers. Do you know, offhand, what it is? Age/gender/socioeconomic range, I mean?

Sheri Gormley

I wonder about that, too! Seriously, Daniel is working on that aspect right now.

 

We’ve got a very good stat-recording mechanism set up, and we're just gathering the data now

 

but we have lots of readers in the US, Canada, the UK and Australia.

 

And I have to assume they all have a computer with Internet access.

 

We'll know more about the demographics later next spring.

Mary Rosenblum

You know, I have not run into you in the sf/fantasy universe and that's probably a prime market for this...a high percentage of very savvy internet users. You might keep that in mind for marketing.

Sheri Gormley

I certainly plan to.

 

It’s been hard the past 6 months, because we're so new.

 

And we didn't get our shopping cart operational until June

 

and we just brought the gift certificate program on line

 

plus we've been hiring talent (editors, artists and authors).

Mary Rosenblum

Oh goodness, you're just getting started, but I really think you have a huge growth potential! I certainly wasn't criticizing, dear!  J Hardly!

Sheri Gormley

I've only been able to do two promotions so far.

 

Oh, I know that -- I'm just jumping on myself, really. I'm eager to push the envelope a little, too!

Mary Rosenblum

I think you folks have a HOT idea, and you're the first!

 

I am truely impressed and I am not easily impressed by publishing start ups!

Sheri Gormley

Well, the first after KIC, really.

 

Thanks for compliments! We really have an amazing team assembled.

 

I'm looking forward to growth and success.

kish100

Is fantasy ok? Basically that is what I write.

Sheri Gormley

Fantasy is FABULOUS! It's what I write, and it's what I read. If you have a good idea, go to our website and read the submission requirements.

kish100

How many stories per week would you be required to write?

Sheri Gormley

Once you get accepted, you'll have to write 14 issues before your story will be posted for sale.

 

Then, you'll need to complete 10 issues each month until the serial is complete.

 

Though we do allow for breaks and time off, if you ask for it in advance.

 

This was actually one of the big improvements over KIC.

 

Their schedule was killer!!

 

I had to write my serial on vacation,

 

I couldn't stop writing because KIC pre-sold my serial

 

so I had to deliver or I would loose the contract.

 

Virtual Tales only sells issues that are complete.

 

If you need a break, we let your readers know and then tell then when you've posted new issues.

Mary Rosenblum

Have you had trouble with authors failing to complete their submissions according to schedule at all?

Sheri Gormley

No, not so far. We have had a few family emergencies and a wedding, though, and it's okay as long as we know in advance.

 

We recognize that our authors need a life, too!

klmiller

Perhaps I missed a little something, does the STORY define a serial as complete or are you expected to just keep going and going?

Sheri Gormley

The STORY defines it as complete. When the author says, this baby is done, then it's done.

 

Of course, we're always open to a sequel :o)

speckledorf

Is there a max number of issues for each story?

Sheri Gormley

No, but there is a minimum. We want to see at least 34 issues, which is about the length of a novella.

 

If it's an anthology of short fiction, then we'd like to see at least 34 short stories.

kish100

What kind of word count/per issue are we look'n at?

Sheri Gormley

An anthology should have a theme, by the way...

 

Our very popular horror serial, Curious Accounts of the Imaginary Friend, has a narrator that tells the stories. Very nicely done!

Mary Rosenblum

Nice! Watson and Sherlock.

Sheri Gormley

We like to see at least 1,500 words per issue, and usually top it off at 2,500.

 

We don't want them to be too long, since many of our readers want a quick fix, not an online e-book

 

or that's what they would have purchased.

kish100

If you only do segments how do writers pitch their storyline?

Sheri Gormley

I don't understand the question. What's a "segment"?

Mary Rosenblum

I think he's asking how to submit a story to you.

 

If it's not yet written.

Sheri Gormley

Oh, you send us the first four issues

 

along with a complete story synopsis,

 

your bio and some promo copy. We like to know what the author thinks are the selling points.

Mary Rosenblum

Good. And the submission guidelines are on the website, yes?

Sheri Gormley

Then our editors read the materials and give their evaluation. If they like what they see

 

they ask you to send everything you've got, and then it goes to the Board for a final vote.

 

Our submission requirements are on the website, yes.

info

Does the author need to discuss with you when it is done or is it strictly when the authors says it's done?

Sheri Gormley

Nope, the author has the control there -- it's your story, after all.

 

We've already had a few stories that are complete. One author, in fact.

 

finished his first serial and then sent us his next! That's going on line next month.

builder guy

Do you keep the same mc in each issue, or is it a good time to introduce new characters in different issues to merge later with your main mc?

Mary Rosenblum

Or do you prefer a strong single POV?

Sheri Gormley

We prefer a good, strong story -- in whatever format/viewpoint that works best.

 

My story, for example, introduces new characters over the first 8 issues.

 

You don't even meet the main character until issue 6.

 

That's just the way I wanted it to be.

 

And every issue takes the viewpoint of the character that's featured in that issue.

 

You really get to see what everyone is thinking, but in a very structured way.

 

That was important to me, because the book is really about tolerance, the need to see other sides of a story.

 

What seems evil to one person is goodness to another.

 

The reader gets to decide what they think about each of the characters and their actions.

Mary Rosenblum

But of course the reader has to be able to keep track of the story. J

 

So a huge cast of characters might be a problem.

Sheri Gormley

Oh yes, absolutely! I only have 4 main characters, but they are traveling and meeting others

 

and encountering prejudice and friendship. It's really about the 4 characters, though.

kish100

If you have 2 stories accepted is that 20 issues a month.

Sheri Gormley

Yes, that's why we only accept one serial from each author at a time. You have to

 

finish the first serial before we'll let you do another one.

Mary Rosenblum

Let's pause for a moment here.

 

Sheri is going to give away three gifts tonight.

 

Want to tell us what you're giving away?

Sheri Gormley

I can give away free, 10-issue gift certificates to visitors

 

so, when combined with the initial 4 free issues

 

you'll end up with 14 free issues of a story. If you're thinking about

 

writing for us, why not find out what our stories are like?

Mary Rosenblum

Sheri has just generously offered to simply give all of you the same free trial

Sheri Gormley

Hey, I'm the Marketing Director. I can do that!

Mary Rosenblum

So if you want to send your email address to me, you can try out Virtual Tales.

 

Thank you SO much, Sheri. You can add me to that, too. J I was going to go subscribe to it anyway.

Sheri Gormley

Sounds good!

Mary Rosenblum

I'll email you all the addresses when we're done, Sheri. Thank you so much!

Sheri Gormley

You're welcome!

Mary Rosenblum

So...while I'm busy recording all these email addresses... what do you think makes a good serial? As opposed to a non-serialized novel?

Sheri Gormley

It starts with a great story, and some strong characters.

 

And I think that short stories also make good serials

 

when they're part of an anthology. I'd love for a group of writers

 

to get together and do a theme anthology for us by genre.

 

That way, the pressure to write 10 issues each month would be less.

 

But it would have to be a very tight group, with a very compelling story arc.

 

Not random stories, per se, but related stories. I think our readers like a bit of continuity.

Mary Rosenblum

That's a fine idea, Sheri. I bet the Storycrafters -- an online critique group -- might be up for that challenge. Eh, speck?

info

I've been working on a series of shorts aimed at YA about a cat. Was thinking of putting them into a book. Would something like this be of interest to you?

Sheri Gormley

Well, if they come up with a proposal, we'd love to see it.

 

Absolutely! YA is hot!

 

In fact, we have a very popular YA story right now.

 

Earrings of Ixtumea, and you can learn more about it at the site.

Mary Rosenblum

Oh, that's cool. Nice to know that YA is doing well.

speckledorf

Actually, I'm over here drooling at the thought of the Storycrafter anthology. J

Sheri Gormley

Not only did the story get an award, but the cover artist is entered for one, too.

Mary Rosenblum

That's great, Sheri. What award?

Sheri Gormley

Oh, it's an art award for YA books -- I have it in a note from the artist. I'll be posting it on the website over the weekend.

speckledorf

Are your YA's the same length?

Sheri Gormley

No--again, it's up to the author.

 

But again, we do have the minimum.

 

Our horror anthology went to 46 issues, I believe.

 

That's 23 weeks, or about 6 months.

Mary Rosenblum

So what is the best part of writing a serial? What's the most fun aspect for you?

Sheri Gormley

You're going to think I'm a nut, but

 

it's the discipline part! I HAVE to write -- I can't get out of it.

 

I have subscribers who send me questions and want to know

 

when the next issues are coming. I can't be lazy.

 

I can't goof off. I have to write.

Mary Rosenblum

That's a very interesting point. Look at the popularity of the nano contest.

Sheri Gormley

Um, what's the nano contest?

Mary Rosenblum

Write a novel in the month of November for National Novel Writers Month.

 

You have to drop everything and WRITE for 50,000 words.

Sheri Gormley

Ah, I must be living on another planet! I haven't heard about that.

 

Ew, no thanks! I like writing 3,000-4,000 words a week. That's enough for me!

Mary Rosenblum

It has gained a HUGE following. (As can Virtual Tales. :-))

builder guy

I like the fact that westerns are doing so well with you. It's nice to break away from the tech world.

Sheri Gormley

I guess you're not the only one who feels that way.

 

When we looked at the stats from KIC, we realized that their best sellers

 

were all westerns. We invited some of the former KIC western writers

 

to bring their story on board with us, and they did

 

and they are doing very well. They get lots of fan mail, too. :o)

Mary Rosenblum

Ah, I am SO curious about your reader demographics!

 

And there you go, builder. Gonna send me a western for your next fiction assignment?

Sheri Gormley

So am I, and I will be looking into that when we've got enough good data to pour over.

 

I must say, though, that our other genres are also doing well.

 

Again, I think it's the story, and finding the audience.

 

We have one writer from Northern Ireland, and he's working on an anthology of short Irish fiction.

 

It’s very good, but it's also sad, because the stories all talk about the affect of the religious wars on the children there.

Mary Rosenblum

You know, Sheri, I think you just solved my Christmas shopping woes. Can I give gift certificates to friends and they can pick out their favorites?

 

The Irish fiction antho sounds very strong.

Sheri Gormley

Oh, yes! They will get to pick what they want -- and you will get a free gift, too. It's our Christmas promotion.

 

We've serialized A Christmas Carol into 12 issues, and both the buyer and recipient of the gift certificates will get a free subscription.

Sheri Gormley

I love the Irish anthology (it's the tolerance theme that moves me)

Mary Rosenblum

Oh, very nice. When I write up this interview in next week's newsletter, I'll specifically mention it.

info

I've been wondering, you've mentioned anthologies being used in your serials. Is there a problem with rights by doing that or am I missing something regarding it?

Mary Rosenblum

I guess we should discuss what rights you purchase, Sheri.

 

First world?

Sheri Gormley

So far, our anthologies have only been by one writer

 

but our programming model allows us to split out the monies, based on percentages of work performed

 

so it's possible to have several authors working on a single piece.

Mary Rosenblum

That's how print anthologies are handled by the way.

 

Every contributor gets a percentage of the royalties on the book, based on length of contribution.

Sheri Gormley

We purchase the electronic rights. As our serials move towards completion, we will explore other rights with the author, if they are willing.

Mary Rosenblum

Wow, if you're only purchasing first electronic, it leaves the author the potential to negotiate with a print publisher easily.

Sheri Gormley

I know that's from our Chairman, Dave. He's in the publishing business, so he knows how to do things.

Mary Rosenblum

Nice and simple. My hat is off to you.

Sheri Gormley

Yes, that's right. We're primarily about the electronic rights.

 

Mary, a question for you...

Mary Rosenblum

Yes?

Sheri Gormley

I had always understood that print publishers won't touch a book that's been published electronically first.

 

Is that not true?

Mary Rosenblum

Not always. It depends on whether the publisher thinks a large readership will purchase print books. Right now

 

print audiences and electronic audiences don't overlap much. So potentially, you can sell that electronic book to a print publisher separately

 

even to New York, although they would have to love the book, of course.

 

But if they think it will make 'em a lot of money they'll buy it.

 

The serial thing is even better. They are not seen as a 'book' the way a complete novel is.

Sheri Gormley

I see. That's why we did the deal with Dragon Moon Press. We're doing serials of her print books, and we hope she'll do print versions of some of our stories once they're done.

Mary Rosenblum

Good match.

 

You have that partnership between hardcover houses and paperback houses in NY publishing.

Sheri Gormley

Well, that's interesting. As I said, I'm not into the business of paper publishing.

 

Oh, they're not the same?

Mary Rosenblum

But some of your authors will want that option.

 

Not always, Sheri.

Sheri Gormley

Okay, good to know if some of our authors ask.

Mary Rosenblum

Well, we're about out of time. Want to tell us about your writing? This has been so fascinating; I've neglected YOUR work!

Sheri Gormley

Well, it's been really wonderful to actually put down some of the stories I've carried in my head over the years.

 

I invented Caer Weilen and my dragon-human hybrids in my teen years, and I've gone through about 400 years of history in my head.

 

So it's nice to put some of it down in writing. Though I sometimes feel a little embarrassed talking to my corporate coworkers about my dragon Fantasy hobby.

 

I have this amazing book cover that I would love to hang up poster-size in my office, but I don't think I could live it down.

 

I work with a lot of engineers.

Mary Rosenblum

That's quite a cover.

 

Did you know I posted it in the Auditorium?

Sheri Gormley

No, I didn't! I'm glad you like it. It's got three of the 4 main characters...

 

Selena, the dragon matriarch.

 

Michael Van Buren, a canolwyr and sbio

 

and his sister, Bronwyn Van Buren, who is the girl under a spell in the background.

 

Selena wants Bronwyn (who is a dragon-human hybrid) to mate with her grandson

 

Raegenhare, but the dragon rules say the female must choose.

 

Michael (who is also a hybrid), is trying to negotiate for Bronwyn's release in this scene.

 

Michael Leadingham did the cover. He's amazing (he also did the cover for Earrings of Ixtumea, that's up for the award)

dim writer

That is so cool. I love the poster.

Mary Rosenblum

I have one final question for you, Sheri. Then we'll let you escape. J

speckledorf

What kind of submission query package would you want for a themed anthology? Writing samples from each writer or just the main theme?

Sheri Gormley

We would need both.

 

We'd have to have the overall summary, and see the quality of the writing

 

and the group commitment. We'd have to believe that everyone would continue

 

working together harmoniously to finish what they've begun

 

and not leave their readers hanging because someone drops out.

Mary Rosenblum

Sheri, thank you SO much! I'll be writing up a review of our chat for next week's LR newsletter and I'll mention your Christmas promotion.

Sheri Gormley

Thank you, Mary and my thanks to everyone for coming.

Mary Rosenblum

I think you folks have your heads on straight, and I think that if you market hard, you really could be the Next Big Thing. I hope so!

Sheri Gormley

I'll get those gift certificates out soon!

Mary Rosenblum

I'll email the addresses to you.

Sheri Gormley

And I hope we're really big someday, too!

Mary Rosenblum

Thank you for coming all!

 

And have a good night!

 

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