As part of The Lost Boys blog tour, I am so pleased to welcome debut author, Lilian Carmine onto the blog, to tell us about her big break and how she got published without an agent.
1) Your debut book, The Lost Boys, has just been published. How did you spend publication day?
It was an amazing day! I got so many lovely messages of congratulations and good wishes from fans all around the world, on Facebook, Twitter, lots of emails... it was a really busy, exciting, happy day. My friend asked me that day to rate on a scale from “loner to cheerleader”, how popular I was feeling and I answered that I felt “head-of-cheerleaders-popular” on the scale! Haha! Jokes aside, the messages were truly amazing, but seeing the pictures of my book in actual people’s hands was the best part, to realise that my book is “real”, in paperback and out there in the world: Best feeling ever.
2) How does it feel to finally have your name on a book?
It feels absolutely incredible, it’s a dream come true for any author, right? Sometimes it seems a bit surreal though, having the book in my hands here now after wishing and dreaming about it for so long, I don’t know, it’s a bit overwhelming... I keep the book on my table beside me and glance at it from time to time, to reassure myself it is really happening, it is really there and it wasn’t just a dream, it’s real now! I think ‘true happiness’ is the best word to describe it.
3) The Lost Boys is the first book in the series. How many will be in the series altogether?
It is going to be a trilogy. The second book is called “The Lost Girl” (previously titled Lost Boys on Tour) and is coming out next year, 2014. The third book is a work in progress and does not have a title yet, but it’s scheduled to be published in 2015.
4) Can you tell us a little bit about the book for my readers who have yet to set eyes on such a delight?
For the readers that haven’t read the book yet, The Lost Boys is for fans of romance and the supernatural. But the story is not just about magic and romance, folks! It is also about true friendship, music and a love that breaks all obstacles and resists death and time. The book has a fierce heroin that will fight with all her heart for the ones she loves. You’ll get to delight yourselves with exciting magic spells, a wicked rock band and unearthly villains all wrapped up in an epic adventure of one rocking girl, one handsome mysterious boy and their amazing group of friends!
5) Where did you get your inspiration from for it?
The main inspiration for the book comes from music. To be specific, this one song called “Too close for comfort” by the British band McFly. If you listen to the lyrics you will understand why, there are a lot of emotions relating to Joey and Tristan’s relationship in that song. But music was my true inspiration throughout the entire book, each chapter has a different song that helped me type along the lines of the story, it was very important for my creative process, no doubt. I have a playlist with all the songs I picked for each chapter in my YouTube channel, if anyone should be interested to listen in, here’s the link: (http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL45403EF6DA622EBC&feature=mh_lolz)
6) How long did it take you to write?
It took me a year to write the first draft of the story. And another year to edit, make cuts and adjustments, add a few scenes, new dialogues, etc, to the final version for the published story that is out there now.
7) What was your first reaction when you found out your book was to be published?
I think I was in a kind of numb shock for about a week after I found out, while my husband cheered and celebrated in the background. After the shock wore off I spent the next week with the biggest grin plastered over my face. I may have looked like a crazy loon out in the streets then, grinning to nothing and no one in particular.
8) Were you given any good writing advice that you would like to share with my readers?
Well, this whole writing journey really started when my husband asked me one day: “You like to read so much, why don’t you write your own story?” I think it’s fair to say it was his advice that started up this whole adventure for me. I thank him every day for that little nudge forward. But just the nudge is not enough. You have to continue walking ahead after that initial stumble and keep walking until the finish line. So if I had to give an advice, this would be it: write your story, all the way, from beginning to end. Don’t sit still and wait for the ‘right time’, don’t just have an idea and do nothing about it, don’t abandon that idea in the middle. Write your story down.
9) Did you find it easy to get an agent?
It’s incredibly hard to get an agent! I still don’t have one. Thank god for the internet and direct email access! I initially had my Lost Boys story published at Wattpad, a free e-book online website, and there I managed to gather over 34 million hits from readers from all around the world, which I believe was what caught the eye of someone inside Random House UK who directed the story link to my editor. And my editor and everybody at Random House had the vision to see past my beginner status, recognised and paid attention to the public and the reader’s opinions and decided to give me my big break in the literary market. I am very grateful and fortunate for this chance they gave me, my editors and my readers, without them I wouldn’t have this awesome book in my hands now.
10) Who is the one person that cheered you on and supported you through your writing?
My husband. He is “my Tristan”. He was the only one who encouraged me to write and taught me to always strive for excellence in whatever you choose to do. He is a true inspiration and the most amazing person I know.
11) What else are you working on at the moment?
I’m working with my editor on the second book of the trilogy, and starting to plan for book 3 as well. After the Lost Boys trilogy is done, I have a new story with new characters I want to write, it’s about romance and fantasy, but that is for the future. I still have book 3 of The Lost Boys to write yet.
To find out more about The Lost Boys and the author Lilian Carmine, please follow the blog tour below.