Today's author: PIPER J. DRAKE
Here is Piper's ORIGINAL ENTRY ON THE BLOG (entered as PJ Schnyder) from an August, 2009 Secret Agent Contest featuring Emmanuelle Alspaugh Morgen. And here is the WINNERS POST from that contest.
Here is Piper's SUCCESS STORY PAGE.
QUESTIONS FOR PIPER:
1. What role did your participation in a Miss Snark's First Victim contest or critique round play in your ultimate success as an author?
Ms. Alspaugh provided valuable constructive feedback in follow-up to my 1st runner up win and 30 page request. The novel, Heart's Sentinel, was written as PJ Schnyder and became my first sale to Decadent Publishing. It went on to publish in both digital and print formats.
Participation in the Miss Snark's First Victim community helped me to receive constructive feedback. It helped me learn to pick out recommendations or critiques that resonated with my intent for my book and incorporate them. This skill has served me well for every book I've written since.
Now, I still participate in contests and critique rounds when I can because I strongly believe in paying it forward and I also believe the more we provide good critiques, the better we are at self editing our own work.
2. Tell us what your journey has looked like from your MSFV Success Story until now.
As PJ Schnyder, I went on to sell more paranormal romance and science fiction romance to Decadent Publishing and Carina Press, a Harlequin digital-first publishing company. I also co-wrote The Ministry Initiative steampunk role playing game and short stories for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. My books went on to win the Golden Leaf and the PRISM awards and my podcast of A Swan in Siam won the Parsec Award as part of the Tales from the Archive Vol 2.
In 2014, I was asked to reboot as Piper J. Drake, writing romantic suspense. It took a lot of courage and careful planning, which paid off in the form of a 3-book digital deal with Carina Press and then a 3-book print deal with Hachette Group, Grand Central Publishing's Forever imprint.
My True Heroes series made the Nielson Book Scan bestselling lists and has been featured two years in a row as a success in my genre by Nielson at their book summit. In 2016, I signed another 3-book print deal to continue the True Heroes series.
My digital format Safeguard series with Carina Press has been chosen for Harlequin's Direct To Consumer program and will be available in print from online retailers starting in January 2018.
While I plan to continue to write bestselling romantic suspense, I am also working on science fiction and fantasy while I plan for the right time to bring those stories back into my brand.
3. What has been the best part of your experience as an author? What has been most difficult/challenging?
Best Part: Seeing my books out there for readers to enjoy never gets old. It is my joy.
Most Difficult/Challenging: Balancing my writing schedule with my very demanding day job has been incredibly difficult. The biggest challenge is maintaining the balance because I love both my writing career and my day job career. I could not do either one nearly as well without the other.
4. What's your latest offering, and where can we find it?
From my True Heroes series, Absolute Trust is available online and in bookstores.
From my Safeguard series, Contracted Defense is available online at e-retailers everywhere.
5. Please leave us with some words of wisdom for all aspiring authors.
I've given this advice consistently for years and I still believe in it wholeheartedly: Surround yourself with nifty people who continually inspire you and challenge you to continue to do the next nifty thing.