Monday, February 22, 2016
The Ten Steps Needed to Become a Novelist with Sabrina Benulis
When I tell people I'm an author, they're fascinated. "How did you start your career?" they inevitably ask me. "If I wanted to publish a novel, what would I have to do to get to the same point as you?"
Before I briefly run down the necessary steps you'd have to take if you chose the same life journey, I'm going to clarify by letting you know I've never self-published. Not because I think it's a terrible thing, but because I emerged as an author when self-publishing was in its relative infancy. So these steps will only be taking into account traditional publishing for the time being.
I hope you find them fascinating too!
1. Write your darn novel. You don’t know how many people actually stop here at stage number one, and never get any farther. The reasons are many: fear, writer's block, bad time management. But there can always be excuses, right? So I often tell people, "Develop your novel as best you can, and then sit down and JUST WRITE IT." It doesn't get simpler than that.
2. Now revise the novel. Even if that means rewriting it ninety times. I can assure you, the first version of your novel will be your worst. It's the most exciting to write, and also the most unpolished piece of drivel this side of Sunday. Set it aside for a few months and come back to it. You'll hate it now too, and that's great, because it means you're about to make it into something amazing. Your real novel. You know, the one you've been wanting people to actually read and enjoy.
3. Find a literary agent. There have been a billion books, blogs, FAQs and websites that have covered this topic over the years. So all I'm going to reiterate here is to query agents, to query them until you're blue in the face, and to not give up. I recently read an analogy that likened finding a literary agent to finding a spouse. It's so true.
4. Wait. This step will be infuriating to you, but you'll have little choice in the matter as your agent shops your novel around to interested publishers. If you're not mentally exhausted, now would be a good time to start a new project.
5. You will now either have a publishing contract, or be repeating step four until you do. Crack open some champagne once you're successful. You deserve it!
6. Do what your new boss (your editor) tells you to do. You've spent all that time making your novel the best it can be. But it's not good enough. No author's novel is good enough that it goes straight to print once your contract is signed (that I'm aware of anyway). You'll at least need to do some minor proofreading. At the worst, you'll be rewriting the darned thing all over again. Yes, it sucks. But do it anyway.
7. Wait. You might end up waiting for editorial notes. Or line edits. Or copy edits. Either way, you'll be waiting. Not in the mood to start a new project right now? I don't blame you. You should take a vacation. You deserve that too!
8. At last, your book goes to print! This is time for same major celebration on your part. Your baby has been born, for all the world to love and enjoy!
9. Do any necessary publicity and marketing to help get the word out. A publisher will usually assign you a publicist and help as much as they are able with marketing. The rest is up to you, whether through social media, blogs, or events. The busier your lifestyle, the harder that will be, but every little bit will be worth it as more and more people cradle your newly published novel in your hands.
10. Brace yourself. It's time for reviews. They're inevitable, and thanks to the internet, opinions are as common as air molecules. This is actually where your metal as an author gets tested most. Not everyone will love your novel, even though you think they should. And they'll let you know about it. What path will you take next? Some authors self-destruct at this point, and never go further. Others become vindictive. Never a good idea. Then there are the real authors and artists who take it all in stride and sit down at their computer and start their next novel. Because that's what ultimately separates the real novelists from the dreamers.
As you can see, all you need is a computer, an idea, and some perseverance. So what are you doing reading my blog post? Get writing! J Perhaps I'll be picking your book off the shelves the next time I'm in the store.
Thanks for your time!
Books of Raziel Trilogy
Genre: Fiction / Fantasy / Paranormal
On-Sale: February 9, 2016
E-book ISBN: 9780062069436
A Harper Voyager Trade Paperback Original
In the heart-pounding conclusion to The Books of Raziel trilogy, Angela discovers that she holds the keys to both Heaven and Hell, and that angels, demons, and all the creatures in between will stop at nothing to possess her...
The war started by three powerful angel siblings - Raziel, Lucifel, and Israfel - has divided the kingdoms of both Heaven and Hell. Now the destruction is spilling over into our world.
The last hope for a crumbling world is the Archon, also known as the human Angela Mathers. Angela alone can successfully oppose Lucifel and open Raziel’s Book for the power of good rather than evil. But to do so would mean murdering her best friend, a fact Angela refuses to face.
Now Angela sits on the throne of Hell, fulfilling a prophecy of ruin. But ruin does not always mean destruction.....sometimes it means revolution.
Genesis – The Story So Far
Before the beginning of all things, there was a Mother who sang and carried the stars within her.
Worry consumed her because often the stars near her heart burned and jostled, as if fighting one another. Then the unthinkable happened, and she gave birth to twins long before the appointed time. These children were meant to be equal in every way, but from the stars one twin decided to claim dominion over our universe. He attacked his sibling, murdering him, and from then on a fragile balance weighed toward the side of shadows.
The Mother who has carried these gods fell into the deepest despair and took her punishment to the depths of the eternal Abyss.
Innumerable cycles of time passed before an angel named Raziel found her again.
Raziel was one of three powerful sibling angels, and they had also been told their purpose was to share equal rule over the universe. Yet the jealously and rivalry between two of them, Israfel and Lucifel, grew to a feverish pitch, and upon returning to his home in Heaven, Raziel found his sister, Lucifel, instigating the infamous War that would divide the angels forever into two opposing kingdoms.
It was a dreadful time of blood and feathers falling like the snow.
Raziel was the last to fall. Horrified and determined to end the bloodshed, he had confronted God and begged for intervention to stop Lucifel’s rebellion. Instead, he plummeted to his death in full view of his siblings, one of whom loved him more than life itself.
The glorious time of Israfel’s rule as Archangel in Heaven was over.
Lucifel too had failed to claim the crown she so desperately desired, and she fled to her new kingdom of Hell. But the Throne of Hell was little more than a prison, and Lucifel found herself swiftly jailed by the angels who had once worshipped her. They called themselves demons, and though their kingdom remained forever dark and dismal, they never forgot the glories of long ago.
This truce between angels and demons could not last. Instead, Lucifel’s influence grew from the darkness, and her twisted ideals seeped throughout the universe. Seeking the mysterious power contained in Raziel’s Book, one of his greatest treasures, it is claimed she means to destroy the universe that mocks her suffering.
The last home for a crumbling world is a being called the Archon, also known as Angela Mathers. Angela is human, but her soul is protected by the spirit of Raziel. She alone can successfully oppose Lucifel and open Raziel’s Book for the power of good rather than evil. However, the Book is not a thing but a person, and Angela knows that to open the Book would mean murdering her best friend, Sophia. She has refused to do so, seemingly sentencing the universe to a fate of silence worse than death, because it would be one without resurrection.
Angela Mathers firmly believed that even Hell could not separate her from her friend. She suffered, and bled, and fought in a twisted demonic maze to save the Book from destruction, only to unwittingly allow Lucifel to escape back to Heaven.
Now Angela sits on the Throne of Hell, fulfilling a prophecy of Ruin. But Ruin does not always mean destruction. Sometimes it means Revolution. Crowns pass from one person to the next, yet it takes a special soul to heal the burdens of all.
The Mother’s song no longer echoes throughout the universe, and new notes wait to be revealed. Now, the moment of change has finally arrived. The end of a cycle of pain has begun.
For through souls have hurt, and bled, and cried, the light ever returns in a rushing, relentless tide.
Praise for Sabrina Benulis and The Books of Raziel Trilogy:
“[Benulis’] unique take on religion and angels is truly innovative. With just enough left unresolved, Covenant perfectly leads into the upcoming final book of the trilogy”
— Romantic Times Magazine on Covenant
“These angels can be vindictive and cruel, more human than you might expect and oozing supernatural abilities…. If you think you have the guts to take on this novel pick it up.”
— Boulder Examiner on Covenant
“A dark, bold story.”
— Lexington Literature Examiner on Covenant
“Benulis writes a no-holds-barred tale of destruction, love, power, and friendship. Everything you thought you knew about God, the Devil, angels and demons will be wiped away and replaced with a world so terribly beautiful that you will yourself gazing out into the night sky, hoping against hope that magic is real. Her characters have depth and 3-deminsional personalities, while her scenery, complete with candlelight and stain-glass windows, emphasizes the primal battles that humans go through on a daily basis.”
— Tulsa Books Examiner on Archon
“… Benulis uses lush descriptions and larger than life characters to tell the story of a battle between Heaven and Hell…She proves herself as a force to be reckoned with… I will definitely be on the lookout for the next installment in her book of Raziel series so I can grab it up and pour over each page.”
— Suspense Magazine on Archon
About the Author:
Sabrina Benulis graduated with a masters in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She currently resides in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania with her husband and a spoiled cockatiel.