I was able to get in touch with fellow author, Beth Hammond and ask her a few questions. She has some advice on query letters, as well as some information on her forthcoming works.
What genre do you write in?
Fantasy fiction is where my heart is right now. I have finished one novel called “The Sound of the Stones”. I sent it out for query this month. I will be working on the second novel in July, after I finish a short story for an anthology “Forgotten Places” to be published next year by Heart Powered Publishing. All of the proceeds from the sale will go to a children’s charity.
Outside of writing, what do you do?
Well, I’m a mother to two great kids, a wife, a photographer, and an illustrator.
You’ve recently submitted your first query letter; do you have any advice for others attempting this step?
Yes, make sure you read the submission guideline very closely, and then follow them. If they ask for a one-paragraph synopsis, give them a one-paragraph synopsis (not a two paragraph because you couldn’t fit it all in one). They are looking for writers who can deliver. Also, I plan to save any rejection letters in a pile. One day I hope to look back and smile at the uphill battle of getting published.
Can you tell us anything about this project?
I would love to! Here is my one paragraph synopsis I sent for query: In a world where people are held captive by cruel, half-human creatures, one woman holds a secret close to her heart. Ashra must discover the purpose of her gift before the oppressed human race is destroyed. An unlikely ally comes to her aid. Forgotten prophecies are uncovered. Strangers bring her a message from a hidden, far off land. Ashra and her band of misfits set off on a quest to discover the meaning of life, and the reason for their suffering. They must make it out alive before the universes collide.
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I have always written, poems, love letters, short blurbs that I found amusing. It wasn’t until about two years ago that my first full-length novel grew into something so big in my mind that I simply could do nothing but put it down on paper. I didn’t know if I had it in me, but I was willing to give it a try. Once I started, I knew this was always meant to be.
Are there any specific authors that have influenced you- either in life or in your writing?
The writing style of Diana Gabaldon, and Patrick Rothfuss moved me so much. Gabaldon’s humor, and Rothfuss’ artful word play are never far from my mind when I’m writing.
Are there any scenes you find especially difficult to write? If so, which types and why?
Any scenes that move the story between epic scenes are hard for me. I want every scene to be epic, but the truth is, life is not always epic. The trick is to find a way to make necessary scenes, that aren’t epic, interesting in their own way through good character interaction. A touch of humor never hurts.
Do you prefer to work from an outline or just let the story flow?
I do both. I write an outline and follow it loosely. Often the story takes turns I wasn’t expecting. That can be frustrating, but sometimes the best writing happens in the off scrip tangents.
Where can we find out more about your work?
First, I want to thank you for asking me to do an interview. I would also like to thank anyone who has taken the time to read it. For a peak at some excerpts and illustrations from my first novel you can find me at: https://www.facebook.com/authorbethhammond