Plus a GIVEAWAY!
Erica Collins was born in New Mexico and made her home in Oklahoma after moving eleven times through four different states. She married her high school sweetheart at eighteen and had two daughters in tow six years later. When she isn’t homeschooling, she spends her time reading, writing, or woolgathering about anything from promising book scenes to the extraordinary weirdness of her latest bad dream. Under a Distant Sky is her first novel.
Surviving another Oklahoma tornado. No problem. Almost drowning. Yikes. Discovering your boyfriend is from another planet? Life will never be the same. Seventeen year-old Rayah Willow’s junior year at Arrow High School is coming to a close. What could be better than looking forward to a sweet summer romance? Talon Eastmon is charming and gorgeous, but he’s different somehow. When Rayah learns he’s an alien and has mysterious “gifts,” she promises to keep his secret. But Talon’s past is coming back to haunt him. Government officials from his planet need humans. They’ve gathered a list of five thousand names by spying on a popular social network, and Rayah is on the list. She’s about to be swept up into Talon’s world. Will he leave the refuge he’s found on Earth to save her?
Q&A with Erica Collins…
Maddie F. asks, “What made you want to become a writer?”
When I was young, I spent a good amount of time writing. If anyone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I responded with either a writer or a veterinarian. After I got married and had children, I didn’t write as much but still had an urge to write a book someday. As my children grew into teens, I had a little more time on my hands, so it was the perfect time to write that book!
Becca P. asks, “Was your first book ever rejected? If so how many times?” (Sara Ella adds: Any advice for how to deal with rejection?)
After sending out my first ten queries, I just knew I would hear back from an interested agent. Around the same time, I entered the Genesis writing contest. I semi-finaled in the young adult category and received the notes from the judges on what they liked and didn’t like, which was helpful. I decided to have my book edited and asked my writing group for help in finding an editor. Sara Ella recommended Deirdre at Brilliant Cut Editing. I narrowed my list of editors down to Deirdre and had my first chapter edited by her. That was an enlightening moment to say the least!
Soon after, my queries came back. They were all rejections, but I wasn’t surprised after what I’d learned from Deirdre. In the mean time, I continued to read books on editing, joined writing groups, and also developed an interest in self publishing. The more I learned about self publishing, the more it appealed to me. In January 2015, I put up my book for sale on Amazon.
Rejection is a part of writing, but I’m a big advocate of having an editor go over your work. They can see things we as writers can’t always see. While editing can be expensive, there are some less expensive options out there. Not long ago, while I was designing the cover for my book, I discovered there are editors who work on www.fiverr.com and charge $5 for a specific number of words. If you have a dream to publish your book and it’s just not getting an agent’s or publisher’s attention, save up to have it edited, put an awesome cover on it(mine cost $20), and put it out there for the world to see!
Daniela D. asks, “Where did you come up with the idea for your book?”
Part of my idea came from a scary dream I had as a teen about aliens, and from the fact that social websites like Facebook connects you to the world. Quite a few criminals have been caught and arrested by what they put on their Facebook pages. You never know who’s watching. In my book, it was the aliens who were watching 🙂
Laura P. asks, “If you could hang out with your characters for the day, what would you want to do?”
I would like to hang out with all of them. On the top on my list would be talking with Rayah and experiencing the other characters’ amazing gifts. I’d love to say more, but I don’t want to spoil anything in the book.
Sara Ella (me) asks, “What is your most anticipated read of 2015 and why?”
I think Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley sounds very imaginative and interesting.
Thanks for having me on your blog, Sara!
Thank YOU for chatting on the blog today, Erica! It was a treat to have you!
Erica Collins has graciously offered to give e-copies of Under a Distant Sky to two lucky readers! Leave a question or comment for Erica below to enter.
Be sure to record you entry via the Rafflecopter, and earn extra entries there too by following and sharing on social media. Enter through Thursday, April 30th. One random winner will be chosen and announced in my May newsletter, so be sure to sign up via this form: