Authors to Discuss the Road to Publication at MRL’s Central Library

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November 28, 2018
When Anne Tjaden completed her first novel in December 2012, she was exhilarated but also a bit worried. “What happens now?” she asked herself. She had a finished first draft, but what was the process that would take her story from manuscript to publication?
“I spent a lot of time and effort trying to get an agent,” Tjaden recalls. “But looking back now, the first thing I should have done is hire a developmental editor to evaluate my book. I kept tinkering and editing, but it took trained, outside eyes to help me make the story shine.”
Tjaden ended up going the indie route, self-publishing her novel under the pseudonym Margaret Locke. Five years later, she has published five novels, including The Demon Duke, which was a 2018 RITA Finalist for Short Historical Romance and USA Today Bestseller. She has learned a lot about the publishing process that she wishes she had known way back in 2012 when she first typed out the words “The End.”
On Thursday, December 6 at 7pm, MRL’s Central Library will host Tjaden and five other local authors for an informative discussion of the process that begins once the writing is done. “What Happens After ‘The End’?: Taking Your Book from Finished Draft to Publication” will feature Tammy Fulk Cullers (writing as Mary Fulk Larson), Maggie Duncan (writing as P.A. Duncan), Anne Tjaden, Barbara Larson Finnegan writing as (Mary Fulk Larson), Angela Carter, and Allison Garcia.
All of these authors have successfully traversed the publishing process. They will share their experiences of what has worked (or hasn't worked) for them and give insight and answer questions.
This is the first of an occasional series of programs that will explore issues around writing and publishing and celebrate the vibrant community of writers in the Shenandoah Valley and throughout Virginia.
About the authors:
Angela M. Carter is an author, poet, motivational speaker, spoken word performer, visual artist and an advocate/activist. Memory Chose a Woman’s Body (unbound CONTENT, 2014) is a poetry memoir which spotlights the effects of the silences endured after abuse, neglect and living with depression. Angela is a 2014 Pushcart Prize nominee, nominee for the 2015 Virginia Library Literary Award (poetry), and has been featured in a multitude of venues, including The KGB Club in Manhattan and Busboys and Poets. Her publications include The Plath Poetry Project, Silver Birch Press, Deep Water Literary Journal, Whurk, Vox Poetica, Premiere Generation Ink, City Lit Rag, The Word Ocean, Worst Week Ever, Our Stories Untold, Gutsy Living, and several anthology publications. She is an advocate of the healing ability of the arts. Her second poetry collection is scheduled for publication in late 2019.
Tammy Fulk Cullers is a 7th grade English teacher by day and a mystery writer by night. She is co-author of the Custer’s Mill Mystery series and the Local Lore history series. This summer, she published her first middle school novel, Random Numbers. Tammy has recently contributed to The Writer magazine and Shenandoah Living Magazine. You will find her lurking in libraries, engrossed in audio books, and reading past her bedtime! Tammy and her husband have three delightful children, a Kiwi son-in-law, and an adorable granddaughter.
P. A. Duncan is a retired bureaucrat but one with an overactive imagination—or so she’s been told since she wrote her first stories using her weekly list of spelling words. She graduated from Madison College (now James Madison University) with degrees in history and political science. History and politics always find their way into her writing. Her fiction has appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies, but she’s particularly proud of the short story, “Reset,” which won the Virginia Writers Club 2016 Golden Nib Award. Her debut novel, A War of Deception, received the New Apple Literary Award for Excellence in Independent Publishing as a Featured Selection in Best Historical Fiction. She lives and writes in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where she also cheers on the New York Yankees, watches NASCAR, and spoils grandchildren.
Barbara Finnegan currently works a day job as chief financial officer for a local publishing company. She considers writing her calling, despite the challenge of sitting quietly and writing on her own time. Over the years she has written articles and stories for various publications. She’s also part of a trio of writers who have co-written and self-published two Custer’s Mill Mysteries: Murder on Rosemary Street and The Mountain’s Secret. They are working on the third installment of the series.  Her hobbies include piano, gardening and landscaping. Barbara and her husband live on a farm in Rockingham County, and have three sons and four grandchildren.
Allison K. Garcia is a Licensed Professional Counselor, but she has wanted to be a writer ever since she could hold a pencil. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Shenandoah Valley Writers, Virginia Writers Club, and is Municipal Liaison for Shenandoah Valley NaNoWriMo. Allison’s novel, Vivir el Dream, was published in 2017 and has been a finalist for four awards: the 2016 ACFW Genesis Contest, the 2018 Eric J. Hoffer Montaigne Medal, the 2018 Eric J. Hoffer Ebook Honorable Mention, and the 2018 IAN Book of the Year Award in the Christian/Religious Fiction category. Her highly-anticipated novel, Finding Amor, was released in September 2018. Allison lives in Harrisonburg with her husband, Julio, and their son, Miguel.
Margaret Locke, 2018 RITA® Finalist and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Magic of Love and Put Up Your Dukes series, writes binge-worthy romance that keeps you up past your bedtime. She delights in making readers laugh, cry, and think. Because love matters. You can usually find her in front of some sort of screen (electronic or window); she's come to terms with the fact she's not an outdoors person. Newly obsessed with coffee, she also fangirls over Jane Austen, history, cats, books, and Colin Morgan. When not writing, Margaret adores spending time with her fabulous husband, two fantastic kids, and three funny felines. And chocolate. Don't forget chocolate.
Michael Evans, Director of Advancement
(540)434-4475 x135