I can look back on my own route to publication and howl with laughter at the mistakes I made. Some of it was right, but the first steps … well. So having been inspired to write and totally convinced I could write, I set out to write a fantasy novel in a wonderfully clueless way. Not only did I blissfully commit every writing flub known to man, but I packaged the typed pages of quite a large book and posted them off to Random House without return postage or an agent, let alone an invite to do so. Bong, wrong move and yet they were champions, thanking me for my unsuccessful submission and posting the whole mess back to me. I will never forget that gentle kindness. As for the book, it was consigned to a box in some closet where I think it might still sit, a failed tome beyond help.
Having acquired a pc at this time a search of the web about writing was warranted, really, really warranted and I came across a new group just setting up called the Online Writing Workshop for Science Fiction and Fantasy. This was initially run for free by Random House imprint Del Rey for the purpose of reducing their slush and potentially finding a new writer or two for the new idea of digital books. I stayed on this site for years, long after it was dropped by Del Rey and we all chipped in with subscriptions to keep it open. Here is where I actually learned to write with the help of many wonderful fellow writers that I still count as dear friends. Here is where my next three books were critiqued, chapter by chapter. I also branched out into a new group a few years later called Authonomy, again making some dear, dear friends. Here is where I had the fantastic good luck of meeting the people who would go on to publish my two series, the science fantasy series, starting with Shadow Over Avalon and a paranormal fantasy series, starting with Darkspire Reaches under the Kristell Ink imprint of their company, Grimbold Books.
There was one other hiccup along the way to publication and it came long before Grimbold Books came on the scene. I googled my legal name just to make sure I was the one and only writer. Um no, I wasn’t. Fred Pohl’s wife, a lovely lady, was published under that name, right down to the ‘e’ on my middle name of Anne. She was also published in those genres so it would have been impolite in the extreme to continue as myself.
This is where the name C.N. Lesley came into being. It wasn’t picked at random and has meaning for me, so is appropriate. Anyone wanting to know what the initials stand for? C stands for Christine and N stands for Norma, all of them are first names.
As for marketing, I am in Central Alberta, Canada, so not really in a position to do conventions or books signings. This leaves social media, which these days means Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as my own website.
You can follow C.N. Lesley on the following social media platforms;
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