Friday, April 8, 2011

A Date with Stress with Guest Blogger: Seleste DeLaney

Chat with Carina Press author Seleste DeLaney and WIN a copy of Badlands today at the Book Boost!

Here's what she had to say...

Stress plays a part in most people’s lives. Kids, work, home, family, friends…all of it can lead to gray hairs and wrinkles (not that I have either of those things—nope, not me). But being an author has some unique stresses all its own. Now, I’m not here to talk about deadlines, or edits, or bad reviews. There are posts about those things all around the internet.

Sure, there are a million posts about dealing with rejection as an aspiring author too, but I’m going to tell you a secret. Even with five sales in the last year, submitting doesn’t get any easier. Even if it’s a publisher you’ve worked with (and worked well with), they can still say no. Rather than it being like asking for a first date, it’s more like asking for the second. It’s that moment when you’re left thinking, “Did they like me well enough to try again? Or did I blow my one chance here?”

This isn’t to belittle what aspiring authors go through, it’s just to say that, so far at least, that part doesn’t get any easier. (Plus, if you’re an e-published author still trying to break into the NY scene, it’s still pretty even footing.)

There’s another kind of stress beyond submissions and whether or not your sales numbers make you likely to get a second date. There are all sorts of other things about being a new author that also harken back to high school: firsts and crazy schedules.

As you read this, I’m in Los Angeles at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention, and today is absolutely packed. At 1:30 this afternoon, I need to be at Club RT with Decadent Publishing for their feature time. I have to sneak out early for a pitch session at 2:00. Then I have to run to my room and change for my first panel (er…sort of). I’m one of the hostesses of the Steampunk Social at 2:45 and we’re all going to be in costume! When that ends at 3:45, I need to change again and get to the E-Book Expo at 4:00 to sign.

So…right now, I’m looking at my first “author appearance”, first panel/social, and first signing (other than my Grandfather’s birthday party, but that was just for family, so it doesn’t count). I am a giant bundle of nerves.

What if my publisher is mad about me scooting out early?

What if my stress kills my ability to pitch?

What if the people at the steampunk event look at me and wonder who the hell I am?

What if no one stops by my table at the Expo other than to grab free chocolate? (Oh yeah, if you’ll be there, stop by, I have free chocolate!)

To put this in perspective, last year, I was an RT virgin and an aspiring author. As grateful as I am for all the amazing stuff that has happened in the last year (and believe me, I am), I feel a little bit like I’m voluntarily throwing myself to the wolves today. My biggest hope right now is that they’re all werewolves and are more inclined to bite me and make me one of the pack than they are to eat me alive.

Hmm…maybe it is a bit like that first date after all.

A Note from the Book Boost: Seleste, I can so relate. We're totally in the same boat (and no gray hair here either, that's my story and I'm sticking to it)! Wishing you best of luck at RT and I want to hear all about it when you return home. No free chocolate for me this year, sigh. Please tell us more about your great new book!


After a brutal Civil War, America is a land divided. As commander of her nation's border guards, Ever is a warrior sworn to protect her country and her queen. When an airship attacks and kills the monarch, Ever must infiltrate enemy territory to bring home the heir to the throne, and the dirigible Dark Hawk is her fastest way to the Union.

Captain Spencer Pierce just wants to pay off the debt he owes on the Dark Hawk and make a life for himself trading across the border. When the queen's assassination puts the shipping routes at risk, he finds himself Ever's reluctant ally.

As they fly into danger, Ever and Spencer must battle not only the enemy but also their growing attraction. She refuses to place her heart before duty, and he has always put the needs of his ship and crew above his own desires. Once the princess is rescued, perhaps they can find love in the Badlands— if death doesn't find them first...


The tent flap swished open and Ever shielded her eyes from the glare. Her second-in-command eased inside. “We’re behind schedule, Catherine. Where have you been?”

Stripping out of the simple tunic and pants the border guards wore in the desert, the curvy brunette shrugged. “Jaye announced her engagement. It was all I could do to get the other women back to their tents to change.” She raised a brow as she looked at Ever. “I’m surprised she gave the news without you there.”

“Jaye knows I do not approve.”

“Of men or marriage?”

Ever’s fingers deftly slid buttons through the decorative loops on her jacket. “I have never discouraged the pursuit of sex. Without some release, we’d all go mad.” She twisted her long hair up and pinned it. “Marriage is another matter entirely. A distraction.”

Catherine’s hand fell on her shoulder. “Queen Lavinia has brought us the closest thing to peace the Badlands has seen since the Union first began sending prisoners into exile. If any of us are to find happiness, now is the time.”

“That you equate men with happiness proves you don’t understand anything.” She shrugged off Catherine’s grip.

“Not all men who live here are criminals.”

With one hand on the flap, Ever paused. “That is only because we do not provide them the opportunity.”

She stepped outside, hoping the brutal desert air would scour away some of her irritation.

For seven years, she’d patrolled the borders, capturing the men sent across the Mississippi—or killing them if necessary. She’d seen the true heart of evil. It made what Queen Lavinia and her predecessors created out of the harsh mountains and deserts all the more precious. Even the natives respected the Badlands and all it stood for: honor, loyalty, obedience, and above all the power of women. Ever would proudly give her life to protect the fragile peace of her homeland.

Divided loyalties had no place along the borders.

Want More Seleste?

Seleste is a former lab rat, high school teacher and construction assistant. Now she splits her time between her duties as a stay-at-home-mom to two crazy kids (and two crazier dogs) and writing. In addition to Badlands, Seleste is the author of the Blood Kissed series from Decadent Publishing and was a contributor to the ‘Twas a Dark and Delicious Christmas anthology from Evernight Publishing.

Seleste can be found all over the internet and is very active on Twitter. If you want to meet her, she will be at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in Los Angeles until Sunday and will also be a featured author at Authors After Dark in Philadelphia this August.

Pick up your copy of her book today! Click here.

Contest Time:

Enter to win a copy of Badlands by leaving a message for Seleste and tell her what is causing you the most stress in your life right now.

**Winners for Book Boost prizes are drawn the first week of the following month and posted in the Recent Winners box in the right hand side of the blog. Check back to see if you are a winner and to claim your prize! Please leave your contact information in your blog post!**

No comments: