Friday, September 17, 2010

Allison Pang: Author. Artist. Awesomesauce.

Last time we checked in with Allison Pang, first-time author, she'd just recently sold her book to Pocket. Since then, it's been retitled, reworked, and given some pretty mighty cover art.

I asked Allison to share with us her impressions of authorhood now that she's had the chance to see publishing from the other side.

  1. What did you think of the editing process? Is it what you expected?

    I’m not sure what I expected, honestly. I’d heard a fair number of horror stories, but the truth of it is that so much of the “sting” of having to make changes can be alleviated by a good relationship with your editor. (Who sent me chocolate with my edits, btw. You just can’t beat that.)
    Now, I did have some fairly extensive edits. The publisher wanted to market the book as an Urban Fantasy instead of a Paranormal Romance – but I’d written it as a PR, so there were a number of places where I needed to rework entire sections of the plot. This means I really had to trust in my editor and her suggestions – and she needed to trust that I could swing what needed to be done, and in my own way.
  2. How was your first conference as a new author? Was it different than conferences prior to your sale?

    Yeah, it was. There was a little bit of relief on my part at not having to worry about pitching this time around. I also felt as though I knew the “conference ropes” a bit better, so I was able to enjoy it more. Because I was at RWA National, I did get to wear my First Sale ribbon and the sheer number of congratulations that came my way was wonderful. If nothing else, it was a great icebreaker and people seemed genuinely interested in getting all the details and wishing me well.
  3. Have you found yourself changing how you represent yourself to the world? Do you regret that things like fan fiction or snark might be floating around the Interwebs with your name on it...from before? :dun dun dunnnnn:

    Eh. Maybe a little bit. I have two blogs – the “official” one where I try to keep the topics a bit more professionally focused (although I tend to cross-post to my unofficial blog anyway). The unofficial blog is probably more “me”, but I’m starting to get a bit more wary about what I post, particularly about my family.

    The blogs feed into Twitter and Facebook, for example – and my day-job employer does see it from time to time, so even though I post things like Man-Candy sometimes, I tend to stick to fairly tame stuff, just for that reason.
    Regrets? I don’t actually have any fan-fic out there, but I do still play in PbP games (mostly on my gaming forum). Don’t have any shame for those, even if the writing may not always be of the best quality – it’s where I got my most recent start in writing again, so that’s good enough for me.

    Snark? Yeah. There has been some, mostly from before I decided to try to become an author. Some things I have removed, as best I can, although it’s still probably floating out there in cached form somewhere. I don’t think anything was particularly bad, but I decided it wasn’t something I really wanted as representative of me at this point.
  4. Are your family and friends treating you the same? Still expected to be Allison only with extra awesomesauce thrown in?

    They ask me how the book is coming along, and they are genuinely happy about it, but that’s about the extent. Which is fine with me, actually. It’s a bit hard to play the part of “diva author” when I’m cleaning the poop from the hedgehog wheel.
  5. Have you seen your cover art yet? Do you know when it’ll be ready to share?

    Ta Daaaa!
    It’s out now, so yes! Of course, I’ve been sitting on it for months, so it’s nice that I can share it now.
  6. What plans have you made so far to pimp yourself prior to your release date?

    I’m still waiting to see what my publicist has in mind, but aside from that I do have additional blog interviews and guest posts scheduled. I’ve probably got a few contests up my sleeve as well, but I’m still trying to figure out the details.
  7. What nuggets of wisdom have you received that you wouldn’t mind passing along?

    1. Patience is key. Publishing moves slowly (at least print, anyway), and there’s no use getting worked up over things I can’t change or hurry along.
    2. There is no writing so perfect that it can’t be improved on. Edits and revisions can hurt, but it can be a good hurt. Even if you don’t agree with everything your editor or agent suggests, at least look at what they have issues with and see if a middle ground can be found.
Allison Pang's urban fantasy novel A Brush of Darkness will be released February 2011 from Pocket Books.


danicaavet said...

Can't wait to get my hands on this book, Allison! Go you!

Donnell said...

That is one great cover, Allison. Thanks for sharing your process. Sounds like you're a pro, and congratulations on finding an editor you love to work with and who sends you chocolate, no less!

KAK said...

"There is no writing so perfect that it can't be improved."

So true, but does Toblerone make humility taste better?


Simon C. Larter said...

Ah, wonderful, good lady. Enjoyable, as always.

Though I can't help but hope that my future editor knows not to send me chocolate with revisions. Vodka will do just fine, thanks. :)

mynfel said...

@Danica - *hugs* I really hope you like it. :)

@Donnell - Thanks - I have to admit I've been truly fortunate in the way things of have turned out. Luck doesn't even begin to cover it.

@KaK - No, no it doesn't. Bacon does, though.

@Simon - You just have to get it written into your contract. :)