Darby Karchut is an award-winning author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. She's been known to run in blizzards and bike in lightning storms.
When not dodging death by Colorado, Darby writes urban fantasy for tweens, teens, and adults, and is now trying her hand at contemporary romance. She'd love to talk with you. No. Seriously. She would.
One of the cool things about writing is meeting other authors. Suzanne Ridgon is a fellow Spence City author whose novel, Into the Night, releases the same day as The Stag Lord.
I asked her if she would like to talk about the publishing world. Take it away, Suzy!
the past five years, I've worked in publishing in one form or
another— on the sales and marketing sides, and now of course on the
author side of things. Along the way from lowly intern, to sales rep,
to author, I've picked up a few things:
a book takes a long time. I
can't overstate this fact enough. Even when your MS is complete, it
still needs to go through rounds of copy edits, formatting and other
fun things to make your book as perfect as possible. For Into
the Night, this
took a solid year, not counting all of my rounds of revision.
first pages must be perfect. Currently
I'm a reader for Phoebe,
literary journal based out of George Mason University. This fall I
read dozens of stories from people all over the country and my main
takeaway is: make sure your first pages are absolutely perfect! If
you can't hook your reader right out of the gate, they'll never make
it to the end.
good editor makes all the difference in the world. As
helpful as I found my friends' beta reading and comments, there's no
replacing a professional editor. Just look up F. Scott Fitzgerald's
relationship with his editor and you'll see what I mean. An editor's
job is to ask you tough questions about your world-building and your
characters and every little detail in your story, helping you to
produce to most complete story possible, while sticking true to your
would have been an entirely different book had I not worked with
Ownbey of Red Pen Reviews.
and word of mouth is key: In
the academic publishing world (think: textbooks and monographs),
promotions for a book begin long before the physical book is printed
or even fully copy-edited. In traditional or popular publishing, the
same is true. Getting your name, your book and other relevant info
out there is so very important to getting people to read your work
when it actually publishes. You can always start early by writing a
blog, owning your brand on Twitter… whatever floats your boat.
of the challenges I've faced with Into
is being nervous of people finally reading my baby that I've been
working on for years. What if they don't like it? What if... what
if... If you're anything like me, you've thought the same exact
thing. In the run up to the December 2nd release date, I've learned
that I can still be nervous, but I'm also incredibly proud of the
quality of my work and I'm happy to pack up its little bag and send
it out into the world to meet lots of new people.
Two- Flash Questions
Pantser or plotter?
a pantser, through and through. I might get an idea and jot down
notes, but I want to be just as surprised by what happens as the
reader. I’ve found that if I plot too much, it kills the idea for
me. Besides, revision fixes any errors we pantsers may have made
along the way!
Favorite genre to read?
all over the place depending on my mood, but anything paranormal is a
great bet. But I’m finding more and more that I enjoy branching out
to read literature from parts of the world that I’ve never been to,
which is a great way to get a $9.00 tour.
Plot driven or character driven?
like a book smack dab in the middle. On the one side, I don’t want
all plot and no character, and I certainly don’t want all character
and no plot (sorry Joyce. Portrait
of an Artist
was a little too much for me). My favorite stories have incredibly
messed up and interesting characters that forge a way through an
un-put-downable plot. (Yes, I just made that word up, and yes, you
can use it.)
Write style: marathon or sprint?
Unless I’m on a major roll, I like to do a chapter a day in
revisions, and when I’m writing it might be more like 5 pages a
day, depending. Slow and steady, as they say.
favorite author since high school, and inspiration for writing Into
has been Sherrilyn Kenyon for her Dark Hunter books, and I still turn
to them time and time again. I’ve added to the list now and will
Tana French (The Dublin Murder Squad Books) and Gillian Flynn (Gone
Girl, Dark Places, Sharp Objects).
Morning or night person?
never would have believed it in college, but I’m very much a
morning person. My favorite time to write is early—not crack of
dawn early, but say 7:30 or 8:00 in the morning, before the house is
awake. I make a cup of English breakfast tea (either Tazo or PG Tips)
and go down to my office. I’m happy to work hard for a couple of
hours and then start my day.
Beach or Mountains?
Watching the ocean is absolutely one of my favorite past times. It’s
also a great place to write long hand, and to read.
Beer or wine?
Red and dry, please.
Summer or winter?
snow can be pretty, I favor summer every time. Besides the obvious
perks of sunshine, warmth and not shoveling, I love it for a
different reason. Each summer my family makes the eight hour (now
more for me) trek to Maine, where we spend a week or so at my
grandfather’s house on an island off the coast. We’re talking no
electricity save for solar power, no internet, and beautiful,
beautiful Maine. Here I start writing by 6:30 and finish by 9, and
then spend the day reading, hiking and kayaking. It’d be a whole
heck of a lot colder in winter!
Fancy hotel or a tent in the woods?
much fun as I’ve had in tents over my life (I spent three weeks
touring the South Island of New Zealand), the ground gets pretty hard
after a while. So I guess I’d go with fancy hotel, if just for the
novelty value and whirlpool bath.
Rigdon’s debut novel, Intothe Night publishes
with Spence City,
the urban fantasy imprint of Spencer Hill Press.
they are bound to destroy themselves. Together, they are bound to
destroy each other.
TUDOR’S LIFE HAS BEEN mapped out since the day he was born: student
president, valedictorian, Harvard Law School, and a stunning
political career just like his father’s.
ever since the death of Henry’s brother—perfect, high-achieving
Arthur—his family has been twice as demanding. And now Henry’s
trapped: forbidden from pursuing a life as an artist or dating any
girl who’s not Tudor-approved.
Anne Boleyn crashes into his life.
is wild, brash, and outspoken. She is everything Henry is not allowed
to be—or to want. But soon Anne is all he can think about. His
mother, his friends, and even his girlfriend warn him away, yet his
desire for Anne consumes him. Henry is willing to do anything to be
with her. But once he has her, their romance could destroy them both.
by the true story of Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII, ANNE &
HENRY re-imagines the intensity, love, and betrayal between one of the
most infamous couples of all time.
IUS is a short-story author, novelist, screenwriter, professional
editor, and communications specialist. She is an active member of the
International Thriller Writers association, co-founder and senior
editor of Vine Leaves
Literary Journal, and the
author of nine educational graphic novels published by the Alberta
Canola Producers Commission. When she’s not slaying fictional
monsters, she’s geeking out over fairy tales, Jack Bauer,
Halloween, sports cars, and all things that go bump in the night.
Dawn lives in Alberta, Canada, with her husband, Jeff, and their
giant English Mastiff, Roarke.