Monday, September 13, 2010

Marie Treanor--Agents, Luck & Vampires

Many thanks to Toni for inviting me to blog today! Though we’ve never actually met – had a couple of near-misses in Scotland – I’ve been a fan of Toni’s books ever since I read Her Sanctuary several years ago.

Anyway, since I’ve had a bit of writers’ luck recently, Toni suggested I blog about how I got my agent. I should say at the outset that I don’t think my agent story is a very usual one, but it is quite inspiring because it shows how luck can come out of the blue and make a huge difference to a struggling writer’s career.

I’ve been writing romance – mainly paranormal on the steamier side – for several years now and have a scary number of titles listed on my website – mainly ebooks and all with small presses. Some sold better than others but despite a slow growth in sales I was nowhere near earning a living out of writing. It never entered my head to look for an agent, since you don’t normally need one to submit to ebook publishers.

Then, about a year ago, I received an email from Robert Gottlieb, chairman of the Trident Media Group of literary agents. I almost deleted it – gulp! – assuming it was a scam, or simply spam; but since he’d actually given a website address, I warily checked it out, and nearly fell off my chair. Next, I decided this couldn’t actually be the Robert Gottlieb contacting me. I even had my techy husband checking out the email to see if it really came from the email address it claimed to. He couldn’t find anything wrong with it at all. Cautiously, I emailed back and then kept my phone permanently attached to me, waiting for him to call. Which, inevitably, he did while I was in the bathroom, but that’s another story. Suffice it to say, it’s very hard to sound professional from that position, but somehow I managed not to alienate him!

My burning question for Robert was, “why me?” And the reason, apparently, was that he’d come across my books on Kindle, and one in particular, The Devil and Via, had stood out for him. He believed I had potential and was keen to represent me. Not as keen as I was!

So we discussed my career and what my next step should be; and the upshot was that I wrote a proposal for a new vampire trilogy and the opening three chapters of what became Blood on Silk. Within a few weeks, he’d sold the trilogy to NAL.

Blood on Silk, the first Awakened by Blood novel, came out this month, and the second Blood Sin, will be released in April 2011. I’m in the process of revising the third book. I’ve no idea where things will go from here, but if they never go any farther, I’ll still be happy . I like my agent story, because it shows that if you have work out there, you never know who will read it or where it will take you next.

And if you’d like a taste of Blood on Silk – which I hope you do! - here’s the blurb and an excerpt. My heroine, I should say, is writing a thesis exploding vampire myths, so she’s not falling for any paranormal nonsense!


BLOOD ON SILK: An AWAKENED BY BLOOD Novel
By Marie Treanor
NAL Signet Eclipse, Available Now
Order now from Amazon or Barnes & Noble


Scottish academic Elizabeth Silk is spending the summer in Romania researching historical superstitions for her PhD. While she is tracing local folktales, one subject in particular sparks her imagination. His name is Saloman, legend's most powerful vampire, a seductive prince staked centuries ago. Now, in the ruins of a castle crypt, Elizabeth discovers the legends are real. Her blood has awakened him. Her innocence has aroused him. But Elizabeth unleashes more than Saloman's hunger.

An army of vampire hunters has amassed to send Saloman back to hell. Sworn to help - yet fearing Saloman's deadly blood lust - Elizabeth seeks to entrap him, offering her body as bait. But something stronger than dread, more powerful than revenge, is uniting Elizabeth to her prey. Caught between desire and rage, Elizabeth must decide where her loyalties lie...and what the limits are to a yearning she can no longer control.

*

Emerging from the picturesque vaulted arches that covered the pavement in this part of the old town, she glanced up at the jeweled sky—and something hurtled down on top of her, rolling her to the ground.

Winded and shocked, she could do nothing for the first disoriented moment. Then she realized it was a man’s heavy body pinning her to the ground, a man’s brutal hand shoving her face to one side, and she reacted from pure instinct. Grabbing his hair in both her hands, she heaved with all her might. At the same time, she jerked her knee up between his legs and felt it connect with the softness of male genitalia.

He didn’t scream, and the rising cry from her own throat got lost in shock as she stared into the red, glaring eyes of her attacker. His mouth gnashed like an animal’s, revealing long, pointed incisors. He seemed to grin as he lunged once more toward her neck, paying no attention to the hair that came away in her hands as he pushed downward toward her bucking body.

She changed tactics and punched his face instead. Though it drew a grunt from him, it made little difference to his progress. In wild desperation, she tried another, thudding her left fist into his ribs at the same time. But still his slavering mouth found her neck—just as he was plucked off her and thrown several feet across the pavement.

Gasping for breath, Elizabeth glimpsed a tall figure with his back to her. He wore dark trousers and a white shirt, and long black hair streamed down over his broad shoulders. It couldn’t be. . . .

An inarticulate whimper left her mouth at last, for her attacker had picked himself up off the ground and was charging headlong at the man in front of her. The force of his crash should have knocked the other man off his feet, and yet he didn’t even sway. The two men seemed to be inextricably tangled. Elizabeth heard a sound like a snarl, and then a snap, and her attacker simply disappeared.

For an instant, dust danced like stars where he’d been. The other man whirled around and strode toward her. Glare from the streetlight bounced off his pale, handsome face. It couldn’t be, but it was—the man who’d played Saloman.

No residual dust now clogged his pores, his hair, or his clothes. No seventeenth century cloak swung around him for added dramatic effect. Instead, a tall, fit man of the twenty-first century bore down upon her. His clean, black hair shone under the streetlight, stirring in the air as he moved. His strange eyes bored into her, twisting her stomach with unwanted memory.

Bending at the waist, just like last night’s first encounter, he seized her, dragging her upright and into his arms. There was no denying they felt good around her, hard and strong and comforting after the violence of her attacker, but she couldn’t forget what had just happened.

“Where is he?” she gasped, trying to peer past his broad shoulder. “What did you do to him?”

“I killed him for you.” Even speaking such chilling words, his voice vibrated through her like an agitated flame. “Reward time.” He lowered his head, bending her body into his. His silken hair fell across her shoulder, tickling her naked skin, and she felt his lips on her neck.

“Oh, don’t start that again, you stupid bastard!” She slapped his head hard enough to sting her own hand. “What is wrong with you?”

His body stilled, then began to vibrate. He lifted his head, and his eyes gleamed so brightly she realized he was laughing at her. She struggled in vain to throw him off. Just like last night, he was too big, too strong—terrifyingly strong.

“I’m hungry,” he explained, catching both her agitated hands and dragging them behind her back. “And you really don’t believe in me, do you?”

“No,” she spat. “I don’t.”

*******************************************************************
Thanks so much for Marie visiting today!  I'm so happy for her and wish her so much success with her books.  She is a fabulous writer.

24 comments:

  1. Thanks, Toni - what a nice thing to say :)

    Marie

    www.MarieTreanor.com

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  2. Wow congratulations that is the kind of good news we all need to hear every now and again. very amazing

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  3. Marie - I love your story! Congrats to you for working so hard and having it recognized. Nothing better in the world. (Except maybe a three book deal! LOL!)

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  4. Anonymous12:43 pm

    Blood on Silk sounds good, guess I'll just have to get a copy.

    Carolyn

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  5. Anonymous12:52 pm

    Marie, you so deserve this success after all your hard work.

    Wow, woman, you are all over the place these days.

    I hope you have gigantic sales!!!

    Valerie
    valb0302@yahoo.com
    in Germany

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  6. Thanks for the congrats and good wishes, guys! They mean a lot. Glad you like my story - it still amazes me!

    Glad you like the sound of BLOOD ON SILK, Carolyn. If you buy it, I hope you enjoy it :)

    And Valerie, I know, I've been putting out all over the net this last week or so :) I don't normally do so much promotion, but I have to say it's been fun!

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  7. I couldn't be happier for anyone. You haved worked so hard at your craft and you definitely deserve this. I foresee very big things for you.

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  8. That was a great agent call story!
    Will check out your book!

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  9. What a fantastic agent story. Thanks for sharing it, Marie and for sharing the excerpt :)

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  10. Marie: Thanks for your agent story. Am I right in assuming that increased sales more than make up for the agent's commission?

    Thanks also for inviting me over to this blog and helping me to discover Toni Anderson and her work. I've already d/l a digital copy of "Her Sanctuary" and pushed it to the top of my 'to read' list.

    Toni: When I was a teenager, it was my dream to live in the kind of place you've made your home. Alas, I've ended up in the middle of an overpopulated, overpolluted, urban nightmare. I'm counting down the months and years to retirement and hoping to imitate an American colleague who fled North Carolina for the wilds of Montana the minute he finished his last lecture.

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  11. Jud--thanks!! I hope you like the book :) In a twist of fate I'm off to North Carolina in a few weeks--just for the weekend though :) What urban metropolis are you living in?

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  12. Marie, thanks so much for visiting!!

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  13. What a great agent story, Marie. Amazing. I enjoyed the excerpt, and I have to say I love your cover.

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  14. I'm reading this a bit late in the day but congratulations and I loved teh blurb.

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  15. What a pleasure to see you here at Toni's gorgeous blog, Marie :) I am so happy for you, and wish you all success with your new series. You have so much talent, and it is thrilling when the world finds and recognizes it!

    Again, huge congrats!
    Michele

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  16. Hi Desiree! How are you doing? Thanks for being so kind - and I hope you're right :)

    Jennifer and Jenny, glad you liked the agent story - it's a bit different, but optimistic :) Thanks for checking out the book, Jennifer!

    Hi Jud, glad to see you here, and delighted you've discovered Toni! To answer your question, I'm very much hoping sales will justify the agent's commission! My chief joy at the moment is the advance he negotiated - that and the fact I very much doubt anyone from NAL would have even looked at my work if he hadn't presented it to them.

    Thanks, Shelley! Delighted you like the excerpt - and the cover which I think is beautiful.

    Kathy, glad the blurb appealed! Thanks for the congrats :)

    Michele, great to see you here too!Especially when you say such nice things :). Thanks so much - I'm touched, as well as flattered.

    Marie

    www.MarieTreanor.com

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  17. Toni, it was a pleasure! Great to meet some old as well as new friends here :). Thanks so much for having me!

    Marie

    www.MarieTreanor.com

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  18. Congratulations, Marie! Lovely excerpt, and I'm so happy for your success!

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  19. Thank you, Cindy! That's great to hear. Thanks for the kind words :)

    Marie

    www.MarieTreanor.com

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  20. Toni: I live in Yokohama and work in Tokyo, a ninety-minute commute each way.

    Which part of NC will you be visiting? About five years ago I spent a very pleasant sabbatical year in Chapel Hill, visiting Duke and UNC. I can't see why anyone would want to leave such a nice place, unless it's the climate or geography.

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  21. I'm going to Greensboro for a Writers' Police Academy. Can't wait :) My hubby's done some work in Japan, in Osaka though I think. He's told me a lot about Japan and I'm not sure I could live there. You must be a prof (like hubby). And as for where I live now, I think both the weather and scenery could make me move!!! I'm in Winnipeg now and winter is fast approaching. If you like moans about the weather--watch this space!!

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  22. Toni: Winnipeg? From the photo on the top page of this blog I had you placed somewhere farther West. Calgary, maybe. But then my knowledge of Canada is limited to two or three visits to Vancouver.

    If you're interested in police procedurals and have a UK background, you might enjoy an article on police jargon that I excavated from my file archive. It's too long to post as a blog comment so I'll put it up as a web page and send you the URL.

    Me, a prof? How did you guess? :)

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  23. Jud--the photo was taken in Alberta where we get to holiday every so often. Gorgeous scenery. I'm in the prairies. I'd love a look at the police procdeural stuff. Enjoy Japan. I bet you'll miss it when you leave!

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  24. Marie, congrats on the agent, the series, the publisher and your future! From one author to another, I wish only the best for you!

    I'll be hopping over to your sites. Thanks, Toni, for having an great blog interview.

    Hop over to my blog at deannajewel.blogpsot.com to read Toni's interview! *S*

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