Friday, April 27, 2012

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Publishing by Terri Bruce Part 5


The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Publishing by Terri Bruce Part 5

 Here's the final installment of the 5 part series.  I hope you enjoyed our look into indie publishing and Eternal Press.  If you haven't already, make sure to stop by Dean C Rich's page The Write Time for the first half of the interview.  If you just started here, looking for the Blog Ring of Power interviews check back to the beginning of the week for more
To find each link and read the entire two pronged 5 part series start with Dean C. Rich's blog The Write Time
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Then head over to my blog and start with 
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
and lastly stop by here.  Thanks so much for reading this information packed series on Publishing.

We will start on a recap of what Terri had to say on Part 1. 

I am thrilled to be here today to talk about navigating the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of publishing. Many, many wonderful people helped me on my road to publication—sharing information, resources, and their experience—and I jumped at the chance to do the same when Emily and Dean offered me the opportunity.

With so many indie presses, conflicting information, and scam artists out there, Dean and Emily asked me to stop by and talk about what I learned while I was searching for a publisher and why I made the decision to work with a small press with a questionable (internet) reputation.

Part II: Publishers: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

When I was researching publishers and agents to submit to, I found a lot of confusing and often contradictory information online about different publishers. With legitimate scams out there, horror stories of publishing contracts with large, reputable publishers gone, and new indie presses springing up (and going out of business) overnight, how is an author to know that he/she isn’t make a big mistake?

You don’t.

That is to say, not always. Stuff happens. There are countless stories of authors dropped by agents, dropped by publishing houses, of publishing houses going out of business and the author not able to get his/her rights back to sell the book elsewhere. If you didn’t read the two horror stories included in Part I of this interview, I highly recommend you do that now. I’ll wait. ::hums jeopardy theme:: Now, repeat after me: bad stuff happens to the best of us. You can’t foresee—and you certainly can’t insulate yourself against—everything that might happen. That’s life. But, there are some obvious “red flags” you can look out for that will help you avoid the obvious scams.


10. Doesn't Eternal Press have ties to erotica? Doesn't that make them a questionable or fringe publisher? Why would you work with someone like that?
All publishers produce a wide variety of books and no matter what publisher you go with, you’ll probably be no more than arm’s length from material you might find distasteful. The same company (Viking) that published Catch-22 and The Night Circus also published Fifty Shades of Grey. Eternal Press started in romance novels and only recently has been expanding into contemporary and urban fantasy. Almost all romance imprints publish a spectrum of “heat levels” from sweet, “G” rated romance stories to those at the “flame” or explicit level; it’s the nature of the beast. Again, know your values and goals, and do your research. If you object to having your work in any way affiliated with a material you find distasteful, then be sure to research each company’s titles and imprints carefully, and look for companies that share your values. They’re out there.

If there’s anything that someone takes away from this interview, I would want it to be a: don’t believe everything you read on the internet (especially supposed factual or legal advice) and b: forewarned if forearmed.  Read, talk to people, read some more. Get educated, know what you want, make a well reasoned decision. Then pray really, really hard, because, at the end of the day, every decision we make in life is in some way a leap of faith. 

Thanks so much Terri, for giving us a lot to think about when we are ready to try publishing our books.  For any of my readers, have you decided what type of publishing you will be doing?  Have you already published? What choice did you make?  I'd love to hear from you.  Thanks for reading, to find out more about Terri Bruce and her journey with Eternal Press check out any of her links below. 


Biography:
Terri Bruce has been making up adventure stories for as long as she can remember and won her first writing award when she was twelve. Like Anne Shirley, she prefers to make people cry rather than laugh, but is happy if she can do either. She produces fantasy and adventure stories from a haunted house in New England where she lives with her husband and three cats. Her first novel, HEREAFTER—a contemporary fantasy about a woman’s search for redemption in the afterlife—will be released by Eternal Press later this year. Visit her on the web at www.terribruce.net.

Connect with Terri:


HEREAFTER
Coming August 1, 2012 from Eternal Press
Thirty-six year old Irene Dunphy didn't plan on dying any time soon, but that’s exactly what happens when she makes the mistake of getting behind the wheel after a night of bar-hopping with friends. She finds herself stranded on Earth as a ghost, where food has no taste, the alcohol doesn’t get you drunk, and the only person who can see her is a fourteen year old boy-genius who can see dead people, thanks to a book he found in his school library. This sounds suspiciously like hell to Irene, so she prepares to strike out for the Great Beyond. The problem is, while this side has exorcism, ghost repellents, and soul devouring demons, the other side has three-headed hell hounds, final judgment, and eternal torment. If only there was a third option…



Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly of Publishing with Terri Bruce Part 4


We've been talking about Eternal Press and the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Publishing with Terri Bruce. Eternal Press had a questionable P&E rating, and Terri had answered as to why she still went with them. To read that first click here.

Join us on Dean C. Rich's blog The Write Time for more on Terri's thoughts.  

Okay, but what about predatory practices such as charging "kill fees," not paying advances, and paying royalties on "net sales"?
Publishing is a funny business. A small press that doesn’t pay an advance is labeled as predatory while an entity like Random House, which is currently involved in litigation centered on its claims that older publishing contracts, written before the advent of e-books, include the right to publish e-books of those works (without additional compensation to the authors), is not. Some things that have been labeled as “predatory” practices simply are things that vary from the large press way of doing things or do not favor the author. Small presses operate on a narrower margin than a big publisher and by necessity have had to institute some business practices to protect themselves. I cannot stress enough that authors need to be educated as to what various publishing and contract terms mean, know their goals and values, and know what they will and will not do to support their book being published. 

A kill fee is simply a fee the author has to pay if the book has entered the production process but has not yet been published to cancel the publishing contract and get the rights returned to him/her. This fee helps the publisher recoup money that may have been invested in your book—such as editing and cover art costs. Small presses operate on a small margin and can’t afford to spend a lot of time and effort on a book only to have the author pull it from them before it goes on sale. When considering a contract with a kill fee, always focus on the worst case scenario. If you need to cancel the contract because something isn’t working out with the publisher, can you afford the kill fee? If you can’t easily afford it, then don’t sign that contract. Also, look at how many books the publisher has released: if they have released very few, then it’s likely they’re running a scam—they make all their money from kill fees. They drag their feet on releasing a book, let their authors get fed up, and then reap the kill fees. And again, this is where talking to people who have published with the company is critically important. Are the authors who have worked with them happy?

Paying royalties on net sales is a very misunderstood term because there is a lot of different (and tricksy) language such as “net sales,” “gross receipts,” and “net revenue” (net revenue is the one that can be scary). Always, always, always have a lawyer look at the contract and be sure that the contract defines everything in minute terms. There’s a saying in contract law—assume the worst. The contract should be written so that all worst case scenarios are covered and the remedy in each instance is made clear.

Authors should keep two things in mind: large publishers engage in plenty of predatory practices—such as tying up rights for years and dropping authors after releasing their book (and thereby making the book unsalable anywhere else)—and the trade off for slightly less favorable contract conditions is a wider window of opportunity to be published and generally more favorable conditions in another area (i.e. more input into the cover art and/or higher royalty rates). Again, do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Create a matrix, list the pros and cons of each opportunity, and evaluate each opportunity objectively: is this a good opportunity for me and my book?

Now, some actually predatory practices include registering the copyright in their (the publisher’s name), charging reading fees, buying all of a book’s rights—including ones they never intend to use, and having no mechanism to revert rights to the author (especially in instances where a book goes out of print or never goes into print). I would urge extreme caution in working with a company that engages in any of these practices!

Great thanks Terri, now I've got notes on this...

Ok, now I need to clean this up. Join me tomorrow for the final installment in the series The Good The Bad and The Ugly of Publishing with Terri Bruce.


Biography:
Terri Bruce has been making up adventure stories for as long as she can remember and won her first writing award when she was twelve. Like Anne Shirley, she prefers to make people cry rather than laugh, but is happy if she can do either. She produces fantasy and adventure stories from a haunted house in New England where she lives with her husband and three cats. Her first novel, HEREAFTER—a contemporary fantasy about a woman’s search for redemption in the afterlife—will be released by Eternal Press later this year. Visit her on the web at www.terribruce.net.

HEREAFTER
Coming August 1, 2012 from Eternal Press
Thirty-six year old Irene Dunphy didn't plan on dying any time soon, but that’s exactly what happens when she makes the mistake of getting behind the wheel after a night of bar-hopping with friends. She finds herself stranded on Earth as a ghost, where food has no taste, the alcohol doesn’t get you drunk, and the only person who can see her is a fourteen year old boy-genius who can see dead people, thanks to a book he found in his school library. This sounds suspiciously like hell to Irene, so she prepares to strike out for the Great Beyond. The problem is, while this side has exorcism, ghost repellents, and soul devouring demons, the other side has three-headed hell hounds, final judgment, and eternal torment. If only there was a third option…

Connect with Terri:


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Publishers: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly Part 3


This is part 3 of the 5 part series with Terri Bruce: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly of Publishing

Be sure to check out Dean C. Rich's blog The Write Time for more on this by Terri Bruce

Why did you choose to work with Eternal Press despite their P&E rating?
Several things stood out to me when I researched Eternal Press—the first was that anything negative said about them on various sites was said more than two years ago (they have since changed ownership), there was an equal number of people defending them, and all of their authors that I spoke to (and I spoke to quite a few) had only good things to say about EP—the publication process (including the dreaded cover art process) had been smooth/trouble free, they were happy with the quality of their final product, they got their royalty checks on time, and were thrilled with the amount of ongoing marketing and distribution support they got.

When I received the offer, I had the opportunity to speak with the CEO and I was not only pleasantly surprised by her professionalism, honesty, and transparency, I was blown away by it. I think I was still on the fence and half suspecting some kind of dragon-lady based on the internet stories, but she was nothing like that. With the contract, EP provides several guidance documents to help authors understand the publishing process and what to expect from working with EP. The documents were not only professional but showed me that EP has good systems in place—my book wasn’t going be produced by the seat of their pants but put through a standardized process, which, to me, meant this is a mature company with good standard operating procedures, is efficient and well-organized, and has experience.

These factors, added to the fact that EP is fairly large for a small press (they produce many books each year), offers a great royalty rate, has beautiful cover art, and is well known in the genres they specialize in, convinced me that EP was a good company to work with.


HEREAFTER
Coming August 1, 2012 from Eternal Press
Thirty-six year old Irene Dunphy didn't plan on dying any time soon, but that’s exactly what happens when she makes the mistake of getting behind the wheel after a night of bar-hopping with friends. She finds herself stranded on Earth as a ghost, where food has no taste, the alcohol doesn’t get you drunk, and the only person who can see her is a fourteen year old boy-genius who can see dead people, thanks to a book he found in his school library. This sounds suspiciously like hell to Irene, so she prepares to strike out for the Great Beyond. The problem is, while this side has exorcism, ghost repellents, and soul devouring demons, the other side has three-headed hell hounds, final judgment, and eternal torment. If only there was a third option…



Terri will be back tomorrow to give us more insights on why she decided to go Indie and other thoughts on Publishing. Don't forget to check out The Write Time for the first section of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Publishing, hosted by Dean C. Rich


Biography:
Terri Bruce has been making up adventure stories for as long as she can remember and won her first writing award when she was twelve. Like Anne Shirley, she prefers to make people cry rather than laugh, but is happy if she can do either. She produces fantasy and adventure stories from a haunted house in New England where she lives with her husband and three cats. Her first novel, HEREAFTER—a contemporary fantasy about a woman’s search for redemption in the afterlife—will be released by Eternal Press later this year. Visit her on the web at www.terribruce.net.

Connect with Terri:




Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Publishers, The Good, The Bad, The Ugly... Part 2


This is part 2 of the 5 part series on this blog. To find out more about this go to Dean C. Rich's blog The Write Time for more Terri Bruce on Indie Publishing


A publisher is rated "not recommended" by Preditors and Editors—doesn't that mean they are a vanity press?
The insinuation that vanity presses are somehow a scam is somewhat old-fashioned and I’d like to see it go out of use all together. A vanity press is one where the author pays to have his/her work produced. In essence, self-publishing is vanity publishing. The term comes from the idea that these types of publishers will take anyone who can pay the fee (which is true), and, by extension, that authors published this way are of lesser quality (which is not necessarily true). I’m going to keep my fingers and toes out of the debate about whether or not self-publishing and “vanity pressed” pubbed authors are “real” authors or not. But I will say this: “vanity publishing” can be a perfectly reasonable way to meet a particular need. If someone has put together a book of their family’s history for their children or grandchildren and lacks the skills to have it produced through self-publishing, then by all means, he/she should pay to have someone publish it.

As always, my advice remains the same: know what you are getting yourself into. Be sure that there are no hidden fees, requirements to purchase a certain minimum amount of books, and that you aren’t transferring copyright to the publisher. Also, understand who the intended customer/book buyer is of such set-ups: YOU, the author, are the customer of vanity presses and even some self-publishing operations. They are, in essence, a glorified copy center. They are designed to produce a physical book, not to sell books to the general public. Do not expect publicity or marketing support or even that your book will be commercially available through so much as an internet store front.  

Now there are certainly a good many publishing scams out there, including disreputable companies that masquerade as reputable traditional (non-vanity) publishers. Websites, such as Predators & Editors, which is the most comprehensive and the best  known, can be helpful in determining if a company is on the up and up. But here’s the thing: there are a lot of reasons that a publisher can receive the "not recommended" label at P&E—here is the list: http://pred-ed.com/perating.htm. In fact, P&E makes a distinction between simply "not recommended", "strongly not recommended" and outright labeling an entity as predatory (in the latter they generally state outright what they feel is squirrelly about a company such as "poor contract" or "charges a reading fee"). A simple "not recommended" is not necessarily a reason to run for the hills.

One indie publisher that I applied to has the "not recommended label" because something went awry and authors didn't get their royalty checks one cycle. The staff were working to track down the problem but there was some miscommunication - unbeknowst to the authors, the CEO had a health emergency and was hospitalized. The authors were sending him frantic emails looking for their money and didn't get a response. So they complained. P&E labeled the publisher as "not recommended" as per the "Fails to answer or ignores legitimate questions from their contracted writers." The problem was straightened out, straightened out fairly quickly, and when the CEO returned from being hospitalized, he apologized profusely to all of his authors. This is the kind of glitch that is not unusual at a small company, but now that company is marked as “not recommended” and for TWO YEARS the CEO has been trying to get the P&E rating removed to no avail because of ONE incident. All of that press’s authors that I spoke with are exceedingly happy with the publisher and he has attracted many talented writers, including some that have been traditionally published and are currently repped by big name agents. P&E also doesn't appear to have been updated in some time (the last update on any of the pages is from 2010) and many of the new publishers don't even appear on the site, so authors should be aware that some of the ratings and information may be out of date. This isn’t to rap P&E, which, again, is an incredibly useful site that I relied on very heavily during my agent/publishing search, but, as always, I urge caution in relying too heavily on one source of information and in doing your own, first-hand homework.

Another major source of information on agents and publishers is Absolute Write Water Cooler. But, remember the old adage about not believe everything you read (especially, on the internet). It is incredibly easy for one person to conduct a massive smear campaign against a company by using multiple accounts or screen names to make it appear that many different people are complaining. The other thing with Absolute Write is that this is a community of advocates for writers, which means they look askance at any aspect of a publishing contract that does not favor the writer 100%, which is a good thing—writers too often get the short end of the stick—but a contract that has elements that favor each party can still be a good deal. And the world of publishing is changing. For instance, the AW folks will advise authors to run far away from any publisher that doesn’t pay an advance. However, advances are shrinking across the board, even from large publishers, and small presses often can’t afford to pay advances. This doesn’t mean the company is predatory; it’s just a business reality of working with a small press. The AW folks are right to tell authors to question the long-term financial health of a company that can’t afford to pay advances, and to point out that without an advance you aren’t guaranteed to receive at least a token amount for your work, but there are perfectly reputable small presses that don’t pay advances. The fact is, places like AgentQueryConnect, P&E, and Absolute Write are all good places to start your research, but the only way to get the absolute facts is to do some firsthand research by talking to both the publisher’s staff and a good number of authors who have published with that company. And, again, if you still have reservations about a company, then only negotiate the sale of only one book or story with them and don’t give them so much as right of first refusal on any future works until you are sure about the relationship.

Terri will be back tomorrow to give us more insights on why she decided to go Indie and other thoughts on Publishing. Don't forget to check out The Write Time for the first section of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Publishing, hosted by Dean C. Rich

Biography:
Terri Bruce has been making up adventure stories for as long as she can remember and won her first writing award when she was twelve. Like Anne Shirley, she prefers to make people cry rather than laugh, but is happy if she can do either. She produces fantasy and adventure stories from a haunted house in New England where she lives with her husband and three cats. Her first novel, HEREAFTER—a contemporary fantasy about a woman’s search for redemption in the afterlife—will be released by Eternal Press later this year. Visit her on the web at www.terribruce.net.

Connect with Terri:


HEREAFTER
Coming August 1, 2012 from Eternal Press
Thirty-six year old Irene Dunphy didn't plan on dying any time soon, but that’s exactly what happens when she makes the mistake of getting behind the wheel after a night of bar-hopping with friends. She finds herself stranded on Earth as a ghost, where food has no taste, the alcohol doesn’t get you drunk, and the only person who can see her is a fourteen year old boy-genius who can see dead people, thanks to a book he found in his school library. This sounds suspiciously like hell to Irene, so she prepares to strike out for the Great Beyond. The problem is, while this side has exorcism, ghost repellents, and soul devouring demons, the other side has three-headed hell hounds, final judgment, and eternal torment. If only there was a third option…

Monday, April 23, 2012

Publishers: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, with Author Terri Bruce

Part 1

Researching Publishers: Do you need an Agent?





This week it has been decided, with the help of my fellow Blog Ring of Power host Dean C. Rich, to give you a series on Indie Publishing in the eyes of our BRoP creator Terri Bruce.  Between Dean's blog The Write Time and right here on the Realms of a Fantastical Mind we will talk about Publishers.  Let's dispel some myths shall we.  Take it away Terri.





The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Publishing 
by Terri Bruce

I am thrilled to be here today to talk about navigating the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of publishing. Many, many wonderful people helped me on my road to publication—sharing information, resources, and their experience—and I jumped at the chance to do the same when Emily and Dean offered me the opportunity.

With so many indie presses, conflicting information, and scam artists out there, Dean and Emily asked me to stop by and talk about what I learned while I was searching for a publisher and why I made the decision to work with a small press with a questionable (internet) reputation.

Publishers: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

When I was researching publishers and agents to submit to, I found a lot of confusing and often contradictory information online about different publishers. With legitimate scams out there, horror stories of publishing contracts with large, reputable publishers gone, and new indie presses springing up (and going out of business) overnight, how is an author to know that he/she isn’t make a big mistake?

You don’t.

That is to say, not always. Stuff happens. There are countless stories of authors dropped by agents, dropped by publishing houses, of publishing houses going out of business and the author not able to get his/her rights back to sell the book elsewhere. If you didn’t read the two horror stories included in Part I of this interview, I highly recommend you do that now. (they are on The Write TimeI’ll wait. ::hums jeopardy theme:: Now, repeat after me: bad stuff happens to the best of us. You can’t foresee—and you certainly can’t insulate yourself against—everything that might happen. That’s life. But, there are some obvious “red flags” you can look out for that will help you avoid the obvious scams. 

Myth #1: If I don’t have an agent I’ll get ripped off.

There’s a big difference between being ripped off and not getting the best possible deal. While an agent is a huge, huge bonus, lack of one doesn’t mean that you are going to get ripped off if and no one should be afraid of working directly with a reputable publisher without an agent’s assistant. As always, educate yourself, do your homework, and work with a reputable publishing house, and, as I keep saying, before you begin the search for an agent or publisher, be sure to know your values, goals and assess your ability to handle different areas of the publishing process, including: do you feel able to find and understand information about the publishing industry, including technical or legal jargon? Do you feel confident in your ability to ask questions and/or negotiate portions of your contract? Are you comfortable advocating for yourself? Are you able to afford an intellectual property lawyer specializing in publishing contracts? Are you able to find such an attorney on your own? If you answered no to any of these questions, then you should definitely get an agent.


OK my friends, now head on over to The Write Time to see the difference between Traditional Publishing, Self-publishing and Indie Publishing and why she went with an Indie Publisher. Tomorrow we will be talking with Terri about Predators and Editors, and vanity press.







Biography:
Terri Bruce has been making up adventure stories for as long as she can remember and won her first writing award when she was twelve. Like Anne Shirley, she prefers to make people cry rather than laugh, but is happy if she can do either. She produces fantasy and adventure stories from a haunted house in New England where she lives with her husband and three cats. Her first novel, HEREAFTER—a contemporary fantasy about a woman’s search for redemption in the afterlife—will be released by Eternal Press later this year. Visit her on the web at www.terribruce.net.

Connect with Terri:


HEREAFTER
Coming August 1, 2012 from Eternal Press
Thirty-six year old Irene Dunphy didn't plan on dying any time soon, but that’s exactly what happens when she makes the mistake of getting behind the wheel after a night of bar-hopping with friends. She finds herself stranded on Earth as a ghost, where food has no taste, the alcohol doesn’t get you drunk, and the only person who can see her is a fourteen year old boy-genius who can see dead people, thanks to a book he found in his school library. This sounds suspiciously like hell to Irene, so she prepares to strike out for the Great Beyond. The problem is, while this side has exorcism, ghost repellents, and soul devouring demons, the other side has three-headed hell hounds, final judgment, and eternal torment. If only there was a third option…



Friday, April 20, 2012

Blog Ring of Power Interview with Jessica Khoury


Welcome to the Blog Ring of Power interviews, Jessica Khoury!  It's great to have you visit the Realm with us!
For those who have stopped by here first, be sure  to check out the rest of her interview at these BRoP sites:
  • Part 1 — About You (Dean’s blog )
  • Part 2 — The Writing Life (Terri‘s blog)
  • Part 3 — About Your Current Work  (T.W.'s blog on Friday)  
  • Part 5 — Words of Wisdom (Sandra’s blog on Monday)
Jessica is 22 years old and was born and raised in Georgia. She attended public school followed by homeschooling, and earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Toccoa Falls College. She lives in Toccoa, Georgia with her husband Benjamin, two terrible dogs, and an abundance of books, shoes, and sweet tea. When not writing, she’s usually directing stageplays or coaching soccer. ORIGIN is her first novel.



Section #4: About Jessica's Current Work

BRoP:  Tell us about your new book and when it is out? Where can people purchase it?
Jessica:  Origin is a YA adventure-romance about a girl living in the Amazon rainforest, and who has been genetically engineered to be the first of an immortal race. It will be released in September, and it’s already available for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes and Noble’s websites.

BRoP:  Is there anything new, unusual, or interesting about your book? How is it different from other books on the same subject?
Jessica:  Origin is extremely unique. It’s not dystopian or paranormal or any of the major current trends—but it contains elements of all of these. There’s no book to which I could closely compare it, simply because it is genre-bending. Pia is immortal, but not because she’s a vampire or anything like that. She’s been genetically engineered by scientists, so there’s a twist on the common paranormal theme of immortality. Also, I get to introduce a culture which is almost entirely absent from YA—that of the South American Indians. The tribe Pia meets and comes to love is based on the real tribes in the Amazon jungle—some of which have never had contact with the modern world. The jungle is a fascinating setting to work with, almost like having a fantasy world—but it’s real and possible and you could fly there tomorrow if you wanted.

BRoP:   What was the hardest part of writing this book?
Jessica:  Emotionally, I had trouble with some of the later scenes, when you see the darkest side of the world in which Pia lives. I delved into the past of eugenics, drawing on the mentality which manifested in the concentration camps of WWII. It’s hard to acknowledge how dismally cruel humanity can be, and even harder to try and get inside the minds of the ones who initiated terrible, inhumane experiments in the name of “science.”

BRoP:  What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Jessica:  I really liked writing scenes with the Ai’oans (the tribe Pia finds in the jungle). Their world is so different from Pia’s and turns everything she thought she knew inside out, so it was a lot of fun getting to play with her head through them. And there are a few high-octane action scenes that were just pure fun to write. I felt like I was unleashing my inner movie director.

BRoP:   Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it?
Jessica:  I learned so much about the world, especially the natural wonders so many people over look. Truly, this planet is absolutely captivating, from the mighty wonders of the world’s biggest river to the tiny details found in the smallest creatures hiding under the leaves. This is Pia’s world, and seeing it through her eyes made me fall in love with it all over again. I rediscovered some of that wide-eyed wonder we have as children, when we lived half in reality and half in our own imaginations, and when it seemed nothing could touch us or harm us. We were immortal, just like Pia, and the world was our playground.

BRoP:   Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Jessica:  Yes, but I can’t tell it to you without giving away the biggest secret in Origin. So you’ll just have to read it yourself and see if you can find it. J

BRoP:  Tell us about your book’s cover – where did the design come from and what was the design process like?
The cover was designed by Greg Stadnyk, an art director at Penguin—and didn’t he do a fantastic job? I love everything about the cover. It’s mysterious, a little sci-fi, with the beauty of the jungle. The negative space is so eye-catching and unique, I think it will definitely stand out on shelves. This was the first cover art designed, and it was so perfect we didn’t need to look further.



BRoP: What format is your book(s) available in (print, e-book, audio book, etc.)?
Jessica: It is available for pre-order for hardcover and Kindle at the moment.
BRoP: Please let us know where your readers can stalk you:



Thanks so much for the interview Jessica Khoury, your book sounds fascinating and I love that you entwined the South American Natives culture into your book.  I've made sure this goes in my to-be-read list.