Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Spotlight Author with Josie Malone

So how is everyone doing two weeks into their New Years resolutions? I'm hanging in there. I hope all of you are too. I have another great guest here today. She's got a couple of books to tell us about and one to giveaway. ;-) Let's not waste any more time, say hello to Josie Malone.

Hi Micole, thanks for inviting me to chat with you. It’s great to be here.

Tell us a little bit about your latest release…

BookStrand just released A Man’s World, my historical western romance in trade paperback and it’s available at and What a great Christmas present for me since I didn’t expect to see it in trade paperback until March 2011! Another thrill was seeing the cover of The Daddy Spell, now in e-book from BookStrand.

The Daddy Spell was especially fun to write since I used the memories of my childhood home as a setting for this new story. What happens when two kids decide to find their divorced mom the perfect husband? Oh yeah, and a new dad for them, since their old one should and could be replaced. A pony farm definitely needs an ensemble cast of four-legged critters – in other words, ponies. I drew those fictional ponies from the ones that made The Funny Farm so special. I know that’s a rather strange name for a pony farm, but it came from my grandmother who said that our stories about life on the farm could make anyone laugh until they cried.

What are you working on now?

For my next book which I hope will find a home at BookStrand, I finally decided to revisit the world of Trace Burdette, my heroine in A Man’s World. My newest project, A Woman’s Place allows the marshal of Junction City to meet his match, and Iraqi War veteran/homicide detective Beth Chambers takes no prisoners. I figure she’ll fit right into 1888 Washington Territory. Of course, I had to figure out how to get a woman from 2012 to the old West, but that was part of the adventure.

What do JOSIE MALONE fans have to look forward to in 2011?

Well, if everything goes as I hope it will, then they will get to visit Junction City and the Lazy B, Trace’s ranch again, in A Woman’s Place. The Daddy Spell is scheduled for trade paperback release in June 2011 and as soon as I finish A Woman’s Place, I plan to start a spin-off of The Daddy Spell. It isn’t titled yet, but I know my heroine, hero and the story. So, the writing continues and I get the fun of popping back and forth between fictional worlds. Yahoo!

Where does your inspiration come from?

It depends on the story I’m writing. If it’s young adult, then I draw inspiration from the kids I meet when I substitute teach at the local schools, or the ones who come to the family farm to learn horseback riding. If it’s an adult novel, sometimes it’s what pops in my head during barn chores. That’s when I play the “What-if” game. Of course, I’ve had a lot of life experiences too, but then again I’ve always listened to the stories other people tell, like my grandmother who served pithy putdowns along with her pot roast at Sunday dinners. I’ve served in the Army Reserve, dealt cards in a casino, wrangled dudes, cattle and horses, raised my two sisters, and as one of my first writing teachers quoted, “Everything is grist for the mill.”

What is your writing process? Plotter or Pantser?

I think I’m a total Pantser, but that’s not 100% true. I live and work on the family farm so when I’m doing stock chores, teaching riding lessons, training horses, working at my day job, I also plan out my books. I have to think of something when I shovel horse stuff in the stalls. By the time I hit the computer at night, I usually have the scene that I want to write ready to go in my mind. And I try to write every night – at least that’s my goal although it doesn’t always work.

What is the most important advice you can give to aspiring authors?

DON’T QUIT. Yes, you can do this – write your own book from your heart – and nobody else can tell your story. So polish your words, learn your craft and submit your work to the appropriate agents and publishers, but DON’T QUIT! Accept the fact that some people won’t like what you write – my own family never read my first two books because, “they were kids’ books.” They also complained bitterly when I started writing for newspapers and magazines because people outside the family read my articles and mentioned them “in public.” No matter what the family said, I stuck to what my grandmother told me. DON’T QUIT! I’ve been writing longer than most people. I sold my first two young adult books more than 20 years ago and then my publisher folded. Aargh! If I’d allowed that to stop me, I never would have sold again. So my best advice – DON’T QUIT!
Did you receive rejection letters during your journey to become published?

Of course.

If yes what is your best advice to someone who’s received their first one?

I could probably have papered my office with rejection letters, but I didn’t. I’ve received a ton of them over the past 20+ years. The best ones offer advice to improve the book and if an editor or agent takes the time out of a tremendously busy schedule to offer you that advice, I think you should take the time to consider it.

Maybe, like me, your pacing does need improvement. My wonderful editor at BookStrand had me cut 30,000 words from my historical, A Man’s World and she was absolutely right. All those extra words dragged down the story. Maybe, your hero is like mine from my first novel which I wrote more than 30 years ago – I loved him – but he wasn’t particularly romantic. He was honest, reliable, steady and my heroine’s best friend – the kind of guy a woman could live with for the next fifty years, but he sure wasn’t sexy. That novel will never sell, but I learned a lot from writing it. I also learned that it was time to put it aside and move onto a more saleable project.

You can even learn something from an assortment of form rejection letters – I figured out that nobody liked my historical a couple years ago after receiving several computer generated rejection letters – yes, this was the same book I sold last spring. So, I rewrote it completely, submitted it to contests, got great feedback, but didn’t win, rewrote it again, took classes, rewrote it again – by now it was 115,000 words and submitted it again.

How long did it take before you got “THE CALL”?

Actually for me, it was an e-mail offer from BookStrand last spring, and it had been 20+ years since I sold a book.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Writing a book – okay, I’ll still be learning my craft, polishing my words and writing the best book I can, straight from my heart, telling a story that only I can tell. That being said, I would also love to be on the NY Times bestseller list.

Where can we find out more about you and your books?

Visit my website,

Thank you Josie for stopping by and sharing with us. Josie plans to give a copy of her book THE DADDY SPELL, to one lucky commenter. So make sure to stop in and say hi. See you next time at Micole Writes Romance.


Sheri Humphreys said...

Josie, I really loved your story about getting advice and rewriting, getting advice and rewriting, getting advice and rewriting. I'm so glad you stuck with it and DIDN'T QUIT! Like you, I'm convinced that perseverance is key. Thanks for the insight into your writing and your life. Sheri

Micole Black said...

Good morning Sheri! ;-) Thanks for stopping by.

Laurie Ryan said...

Hi, Josie! It's funny about getting the call. It doesn't matter if it's voice or email, it's still a lot of fun. :) I'm really enjoying A Man's World and look forward to Daddy Spell!

Micole Black said...


Thanks for stopping by.