Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Powder Necklace by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond

I cannot wait to read Powder Necklace by the beautiful, Nana Brew-Hammond.

Check out this video of Nana discussing the novel:

Also, check out these questions taken directly from Nana's blog, on her publishing process:

How long did it take you to write the book?
6 years. A year and a half to complete the first cohesive draft with helpful feedback from the two talented ladies in my small writing group. Another 2 years making tweaks based on the rejections and helpful feedback of several agents. A year and a half when I just couldn't look at the book anymore. (It was kind of like a literary post-partum depression.) A year of re-working the book completely based on more feedback from a generous assortment of friends who took the time to read the manuscript and share their honest critiques.

How did you write the book while you worked a full-time job?
Sleeping two to three hours a day and taking my laptop with me EVERYWHERE. I woke up around 4 every morning, wrote till I had to get ready for work; then I resumed writing on my commute to work. I repeated the process on my way home from work. I went to bed around 1 or 2. On days when I was not feeling inspired I would Google topics related to the book, line edit what I'd already written, read book reviews, research agents who might be interested in my book...

How did you find your agent?
I found my agent Elizabeth Jote on
http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/. When I was looking, an agent who passed on my manuscript suggested I subscribe to the Publisher's Marketplace newsletter http://www.publisherslunch.com/, a free industry newsletter that announced daily news of book deals along with agents' and editors' contact emails! I pitched many agents this way. TIP FOR WRITERS SEEKING AN AGENT: Whenever I got rejected by an agent, I would always ask if they could refer me to a colleague who might feel different. 70% of them gave me the email addresses of other agents to pitch.

How long did it take you to get a publisher for your book?
Finding the agent took forever, but once I signed on with Liz, she sold the book approximately two months later. Needless to say, I LOVE my agent.

How much money did the publisher advance you for the book?
Nunna your bizness. :-) Suffice it to say I'm thankful I have a full-time job.

What was the editing process like?
The editing process was two-pronged. My editor Malaika Adero made constructive suggestions to improve the narrative arc of the book, then my copyeditor Carole Schwindeller went through the manuscript calling me on any grammatical errors and inconsistencies e.g. "she was wearing a sweater and skirt on page 3, how'd it turn into a jumpsuit on page 4?" No soul-compromising involved whatsoever. In fact, it was refreshingly collaborative.

Are they sending you on a book tour?
Not quite. You see, there have to be press people/fans of your work at these tour stops and since I'm still a youngun in this game, I'm not at that point yet. My publicist Yona Deshommes has been amazing about setting up readings and events in and around New York, where I'm based, and making sure editors of relevant national magazines, blogs and websites know about and have a copy of my book. That said, Yona just booked me at the
Afr'am Fest in Virginia so I sorta feel like I'll be on tour.

What else?
The main thing I've note in this process is that getting an agent or publisher has not meant less hard work on my end -- it's just meant more hands to help with the work involved. Any more questions? Feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer. Thanks so much for reading and joining me on this journey. This is a dream come true.

Love it!! <3

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