Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mini-Interviews: Maggie Toussaint, Liana Laverentz, and Cindy K. Green

Welcome Maggie, Cindy G., and Liana—and greetings to our visitors. This is my first Mini-Interviews blog. Instead of interviewing one author, I thought of having a three-in-one session. Maggie Toussaint, Cindy Green, and Liana Laverentz agreed to be my first guests. I have the distinct pleasure of co-moderating The Book Spa with them. We think we have a super team.
I have asked the same three questions for each author:

1. What is the last thing you do before you submit a manuscript to a publisher?
MAGGIE: I do a final read-through in hard copy before I sub a manuscript. Not that I think I’ll find errors, but to be sure I have my book in the best possible shape.

CINDY: I am a tireless self-editor. It probably comes from my years as a teacher. I go through my manuscript over and over until I’m positive it’s the best it can be. By the time I submit, I am so sick of it that I think I never want to read it again. As I heard from one great author, ‘No one reads a book more than the author himself.’

LIANA: Read it out loud from beginning to end.

2. What do you do when you lose your confidence in your ability to write a note-worthy novel?
MAGGIE: I’ve had white-out moments like this before. They are usually in the vein of “omigosh I have to do this again, what if I don’t have anything relevant to say?” When this happens I do something creative in another field (arts and crafts, photography, landscaping, sewing, etc.). This helps recharge my energy and muse.

CINDY: I read. Reading always puts me back on track. It never fails during the writing of a story or novel that I lose confidence and wonder why I ever thought I could write. Reading helps me find my way back and regain the needed inspiration to finish that writing project.

LIANA: Write something else. Come back to it later when I’m in a more positive frame of mind.

3. Do you think publishers are too tough on submitting authors?
MAGGIE: No way. Pubs are in this to make money. Inferior work won’t sell as well as well-written books. And publishers know their niche. Writers should not be surprised by rejections. They are the nature of the beast.

CINDY: Certain ones definitely are. And then there are others that have lowered their expectations too far. We need to find a happy medium that incorporates high standards but allows individuality and creativity too. Some acquiring editors have settled on a particular style that has closed them off from other talented authors. The rules of writing change from year to year. It’s difficult to be what every editor wants. All you can do is write the story of your heart and find an editor who agrees that it’s terrific too.

LIANA: No. In almost every case, I’ve gone back later and seen why they rejected my work. I don’t believe editors want to reject people. Or even like to. But I’ve spoken with enough of them to understand how they really need to be one hundred percent behind a project to take it on and be an advocate for that author, because if they’re not, if their heart’s not in it, the book’s just not going to get the attention it could with a more enthusiastic editor behind it.

Excellent answers, Maggie, Cindy, and Liana! We’re so glad to have our visitors here, too. Please leave a comment. Below, you will find links to purchase novels from these authors.
Celia Yeary
Maggie Toussaint
No Second Chance, buy a book, help a horse
ISBN 9781601541628 buy it: Amazon The Wild Rose Press Kindle

Cindy K. Green
The Heart Never Lies
Read an Excerpt
Buy for $1.00 at Champagne Books


  1. Thanks for having us here today, Celia. It was fun reading what the other authors thought of the same questions. One of the oddest parts about being a writer is the sense that we are doing this alone, that no one else has the same journey. In truth, we all struggle with similar issues. It's nice to see a consensus on these questions you posed.

  2. Thanks for hosting us here today, Celia. I hope your readers will join us at The Bookspa!

  3. 3 in 1. Creative way to interview and I love all the different perspectives.

  4. Enjoyed the post and the different perspectives each of the authors had. Nicely done!

  5. What a great interview, Celia. I enjoyed reading the responses and agree with them. Before sending to an editor, I have the computer read out loud my adobe file and I ask my CPs to take a good look at my ms. Of course I return the favor.

  6. Great post. Enjoyed the three views. I especially liked this "mini" as I find that if the interview is long, I lose interest and skip a lot. This was really a good concept. Thanks, Ladies.


  7. PL, Mona, Karen, and Clover - hey all! Thanks for stopping by. Celia has quite a way of interviewing folks to get right to the hub of the matter. I'm flattered she asked me to be here, and I enjoyed being paired with my pals Liana and Cindy.

  8. Great idea, Celia! I've often seen this type of interview in magazines, but never in a blog.

    Loved hearing Maggie, Cindy and Liana's varied answers.

    Best of luck with all your stories!

  9. Celia, what a superb idea! More of these, please?? Great questions, brilliant answers, lovely gals! :)

    Jane x

  10. Hello everyone! This was an excellent idea, reminded me of mini-interviews I've seen in glossy magazines. Very interesting. Thank you!

  11. Celia,
    This was such a cool idea! I don't like long interviews, either, so this was great because it was short and gave several different viewpoints. I enjoyed this post very much. Thanks so Maggie, Cindy and Liana for their answers to some (as usual!) very thoughtful questions on your part.

  12. Guess where I got the idea? From a GOLF magazine!! Surprised, anyone??? Celia

  13. Thanks for having us today Celia. Sounds like it was quite a success. Everyone loves your format. I'll have to think about that the next time I have guest bloggers. :)

  14. Golf is truly life on a different plane and it's worth examining. There are varied aspects of the game of golf;each must be mastered to score well. Like life, it has small victories, moments of desolation and utter joy. On one hole of golf you can be blinded by your brilliance and stomping mad about a mental error. You are your own worst enemy in golf, and also your biggest ally. Deep, huh? Who knew that's what the guys were out there doing all these years? And I thought they were just playing a game.

  15. MAGGIE--someone who understands!! You have summed it up perfectly. I didn't get angry on the golf course, but I saw plenty of golfers--male and female--who did. One woman I played with some complained the entire round--about her game. She was never happy. Once she made a hole-in-one. I and the other two were cheering and congratulating, and she just stomped off, mad becasue we couldn't see that she really hadn't hit that ball well--it had no business going in the hole! Yikes. A tough lady--no fun at all. Celia

  16. Celia, Maggie, Liana, and Cindy,

    There's some great experience here in such a quick interview!

    I agree there are a lot of good writers not being accepted only because of genre and the editor's personal preference and such, and there are plenty of writers being published too soon by presses of all sizes. A balance truly would be nice.

  17. Loraine--I think we've all experienced this kind of feeling. Personal preference by an editor can get in the way, I agree with that. Usually, though, the editor was right aobut my ms. On the other hand I have one I'm tempted to self-publish, because it doesn't fit anywhere, and like you and your books,it's a book of my heart. I absolutely love it--I even cry when I read it, and I wrote it!

  18. What a brilliant interview. Fascinating to have three great authors together and hear their answers to the same questions.

  19. Celia, what a great interview with Maggie, Cindy & LIana. I loved hearing their answers and I thought your questions were really insightful. I always do a read through myself to make sure I submit the best product I can. Great answers and advice to aspiring authors!


  20. HYWELA AND STEPH--my friends from opposit ends of the earth--thank you for your comments.I'm glad you like my format--I'm going to patent it--ha-ah---so no one else can use it.Celia