Please join me in welcoming Renee Pace! Renee has agreed to do a little Q&A and I think there are some golden chestnuts here! So, without further delay, Renee...
What prompted you to launch your career as a writer?
I got fired. Yes, it’s true. It’s a long complicated story but in the end it was one of the best things to happen to me. At the time, I didn’t think so as I was pregnant with baby number three but it spurred me on to give into my passion—writing. I wrote my first book after my third son was born and that book is under the bed (no one will ever see that one) but by the time baby four, our girl, came along I had a REAL book ready for the world to read.
What was the trajectory you took in becoming a writer?
One of the first things I did was to join a local writers group. I had no idea what Romance Writers of America was but I attended a talk with Julianne MacLean and Deborah Hale and was hooked. The group has grown over the years and isn’t specific to romance, but rather focuses on writing as a career. The group is very professional and goal-orientated. Within a year I secured an agent, which later I fired, received a publishing contract for my romance story and was working on my third book. I also attended my first writer’s conference—The New Jersey Romance Conference and learned how to pitch to an editor/agent and met even more wonderful writers.
How do you feel about the current state of publishing? Where do you think it's heading?
Personally, I love the options that have opened up for authors. In the old days an author had to send off a manuscript by mail, wait months if not years to hear back from an agent or editor and start that process all over again if they received a rejection letter. Today, an author can go the Indie route which I have done for my nitty gritty young adult novels under the name of Renee Pace and I love that freedom. I feel, finally there’s a power shift, with more and more authors holding the power in their words rather than the big six publishers. Personally, I love discovering Indie authors.
Do you have any advice for young aspiring writers?
Yes, write, join a professional writing group and get good critique partners. Plus read a lot. I usually have three books of many genres on the go. Also, listen. I’m a mother of four children but because I deal with a lot of teens as manager of a paddling club I’ve learned to listen and watch how the teens interact. I find that helps when writing YA.
Can you describe a typical writing day for you?
OMG I don’t have typical. With four children, and managing a paddling club I write mostly in the evenings in the summer and weekends. I write while my children are doing gymnastics, soccer or paddling. I carry a notebook with pen everywhere – just in case I can’t whip out my notebook.
With regard to your most recent novel(s, was there anything in particular that prompted the topic?
I was in a writing rut and struggling with my own wild teen, which threw me as I didn’t see that coming. Okay, every parent can lol now. Writing YA also opened up my childhood memories, which I thought I’d buried, but I hadn’t really. At first I wrote a YA story in my usual mode – paranormal, third person point of view. I liked that story but realized it’s wasn’t pushing me hard enough. I then started Off Leash, which is written in a male teen’s POV and a dog’s POV – now that’s a challenge. Off Leash was my first nitty gritty novel and honestly, I wasn’t sure how people would react to it. However, I knew when my hubby read it with tears in his eyes that I got it right. After that, I haven’t looked back. I never thought I’d write in first person POV but now struggle with going back to third person.
Who is your target audience?
My target audience are teens 13+ and adults. My nitty gritty YA series are realistic teen stories. They focus on teens who are faced with every day, real life obstacles that for many teens they can’t overcome. My stories show how teens make mistakes but also how they learn to cope when faced with adult situations.
Renee Pace’s third nitty gritty book Off Stroke debuts June, 2012 on Amazon. -
Two teens with little in common tackle prejudice and stereotypes to risk it all to help each other. If you would like an advanced e-ARC of Off Stroke email Renee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Renee also has a short story called “Off Balance” in the YA Anthology, Eternal Spring
Eternal Spring – YA Anthology – Kindle: http://amzn.com/B0081FPKME
Off Stroke - debuts Amazon June 2012
Off Limits - Kindle -http://amzn.com/B006JUVE1Y http://amzn.com/B0081FPKMEPrint: http://amzn.com/0986890871
Off Leash –Kindle -http://amzn.com/B005S34JO2/Print - http://amzn.com/146643791X