Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Blog Tour - Ignite By Erica Crouch

The Wayward Gifted is thrilled to host
Ignite by Erica Crouch.

Erica Crouch

I wrote my first story when I was in preschool. And by wrote, I mean dictated and illustrated. It involved a monkey, which was a little wide around the middle, and his residence on my top bunk. It was ten pages long and, in true Dr. Seuss-inspired fashion, every line rhymed. My preschool teacher tried to talk me out of making up words to stay within my rhyming scheme, saying using "real words" would make it more "enjoyable." but I ignored her. I was very proud of the final product -- excited to see my work presented in the way I wanted it to be, regardless of what I was told about how it would be perceived. And guess what? The class loved it. So take that Ms. Emily!

Fast forward to fifth grade. Ten-year-old Erica was assigned to write a fairy tale retelling. Ten pages tops. But wait... I wrote ten pages in preschool! So, word count be damned, I wrote a little over twenty pages, each slipped into a glossy page-protector and clipped in a three-ring binder. I even drew a cover to tape on the front. Now, Sleeping Beauty took place under the sea, a-la The Little Mermaid, but with turtles and fish. (Hm... I'm sensing an animal theme with my past writing.) Not only did I get an A on the project, but I received extra credit and was asked to submit my short story to the school's literary competition.

Last year, I began writing Ignite. I wrote through the middle of the night until the words blurred together and the characters seemed more real than fictional. I wrote until -- for the first time -- I had a finished product that I thought was worthy of publishing. Like, adult publishing, not preschool or fifth grade publishing.

At the time of it's completion, I was still a newbie in the field of publishing. Sure, I had taken a few college courses about the industry; I knew the big names in publishing, all of the cogs in the machine. Literary agents, publicists, copy editors, cover designers, book binders, book sellers, etc. I assumed traditional publishing would be the best way to go because, well, I knew very little about the alternative. So into the abyss I leapt.

Query after query letter was sent, followed quickly by rejection after rejection. "The writing is great, but not right for my list." "I already have a similar title. Sorry, wishing you the best!" And, my personal favorite, "The paranormal market is over0saturated at the moment. It's a no for now." A no for now. So... should I wait?

I'm a very impatient person, and also a bit of a control freak. And there are a lot of paranormal books out there? Yes. But you could say the same for almost every genre. The thing about traditional publishing is that you have to be on the cusp of a trend to get traction. No one wants to take a financial risk on a genre readers may be tiring of. But for every reader tired of genre X, Y or Z, there's another reader searching for the next great book in X, Y, or Z. (As the brilliant child in the AT&T commercial says, "Like, if we really like it, we want more, we want more!") In steps the small presses and self-pubbers, filling the void traditional publishers shy away from.

Another great thing about independent publishing is the control you maintain. Not only controlling the rights to your work, but keeping the creative control. I (with the help of my awesome writing partner Kellie Sheridan) found the image for my cover. I edited it. I formatted the inside, page by page, paragraph by paragraph, sentence by sentence. I bled into that book, and I stand by every single aspect of my book because I made that decision.

And I think, at the heart of it, that's what is so great about indie publishers. Is it more work? Yes. But that work pays off because every decision that went into that book was made by the author. It's true to their vision, and in a way, more pure. An indie book is the exact story (formatting and content) that the author wants to tell -- even if the words are made up and it's two times the assigned word count.


Penemuel (Pen) fell from grace over a millennium ago, yet there are still times she questions her decision to follow her twin brother, Azael, to Hell. Now that the archangel Michael has returned, threatening Lucifer’s vie for the throne, she begins questioning everything she has always believed. 

As Hell prepares for war - spreading a demonic virus and pilfering innocent souls to build an army - the lines separating the worlds blur. Fates erase and the future is left unwritten. Azael is determined that he and his sister will continue to serve as demons together, but for the first time in her life, Pen is not ruled by destiny. She has the freedom of choice. With choice comes sacrifice, and Pen must decide which side she’s willing to risk everything fighting for: the light, or the dark.

You can find more information about Ignite and Erica Crouch at these sites:

The Wayward Gifted

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Donna and Mike
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