We're excited to have Brittany Roshelle with us at The Stiletto Gang today! Brittany is a freelance writer and an aspiring author of young adult fiction. Her blog, The Write Stuff, is where writers, authors, and book lovers converge to learn insider tips into the publishing world, read exclusive author interviews, and win book giveaways. Previously, she was a journalist for The Examiner as the Columbus Relationship Advice Expert. Currently, she writes for the online women’s magazine, Betty Confidential, as a Betty Fan Blogger. She recently completed her first novel and is actively pursuing agents.
Stiletto Gang: How long have you been writing?
Brittany: My father actually paid me a dollar per story when I was a little girl. He loved that I loved to write. As I grew older, I would journal every day, so much so that I often filled up a new journal every week. Since I loved to read often, I bought a new book every week as well. All of this led my father to lament that he should have bought stock in Barnes & Noble had he known what was ahead for him and his wallet.
Stiletto Gang: Where did you get the idea for your blog?
Brittany: I think a lot of people talk about writing a book, but that’s just it. It’s talk. The reason I held back from writing is that I come from a family of scientists and mathematicians. The idea that I might pursue a field that doesn’t require an advanced degree seemed laughable. And while books are everywhere, how one gets published is a big secret to most people.
I created my blog, The Write Stuff, with the goal in mind that I would contact as many authors as I could and publish their stories, their tips to publishing. Not only did I want to give any writers out there the help they needed, but I wanted to show everyone who was skeptical that getting published is possible.
Each week I interview someone new, whether it’s a New York Times bestselling author or someone with their first novel. I ask about their story, chat about their new book, and host a contest. It’s the ultimate place to learn insider tips to the publishing world and the best place to find inspiration, especially if you’re an author-in-the-making.
Stiletto Gang: What's something important you've learned along the way?
Brittany: There’s no one road to publishing. Every author has a unique story. For some it took seven novels before they made it. Others got an agent three weeks after they sent out their first query letter. What is the same, though, is that everyone persevered. They’re authors today because they never gave up the dream. They kept writing, revising, and trying to get published. While publishing a book takes time, you can either be your own best friend or your biggest roadblock.
For example: What do Dr. Suess, John Grisham, and J.K. Rowling all have in common? They’re authors who were rejected multiple times by publishers. Can you imagine what would have happened if they had said, “Enough’s enough,” and gave up? While no one can say if your writing will ever make you that famous, who's to say it won't? You just have to hang in there.
Stiletto Gang: You also have another blog for Betty Confidential. Tell us about that.
Brittany: Yes! I have a Betty Blog called Chocolate Covered Chick Thoughts. Each week, the Betty fan bloggers and I are asked a question by Betty often relating to the most recent celebrity scandal, and it’s our job to spill on our real life relationships. Each Friday the top blogs are featured on their main website. So far, my articles have appeared every Friday.
I have the best time writing my articles. I try to throw in as much humor and advice as possible without being too serious or personal. I absolutely love it.
Stiletto Gang: You recently finished your first novel. What was that like?
Brittany: My biggest dream for as long as I can remember was to write a full-length novel. That dream has finally been realized. It feels so wonderful and gratifying…I really cannot explain it! But it’s important for me to keep in mind that my job is not over yet. The road to publication can be broken into two basic steps: writing the best novel you can write and getting it published. Right now, I’m teetering on the edge of phase two in the process. I can clearly see that writing my novel was the more enjoyable part. Spending all day inside my characters' heads was fun, insightful, and heart-warming. Now that I’ve finished the manuscript, the business side of it all starts. The next step is to send out my query letter.
Stiletto Gang: What has the querying process been like for you?
Brittany: Reducing your book into 250-350 words is incredibly difficult. By far harder than writing the actual book. That being said, it’s all part of the process and I'm eager to learn as much as I can. Creating a killer query letter is at the top of my list; and, after working on it for a few weeks, I think I’m close to it.
Stiletto Gang: What’s the title and the genre of the manuscript you're currently pitching?
Brittany: The Popular Girls, and it's a contemporary YA novel. It’s an edgy tale of a young girl and her quest to find her self-worth in our fast-paced society.
Stiletto Gang: Do you think your blog has helped you finish your book?
Brittany: Absolutely! Writers have to get out there and connect with other writers. They need to do their research. Part of that is paying attention to how other authors have navigated their way through the publishing industry. More importantly, having my blog has been a way to meet new, wonderful people, and it's a daily exercise in writing for me. You’ve got to keep those writing muscles strong and healthy.
Stiletto Gang: What’s the hardest part about writing?
Brittany: For me, it’s the end. Through the process of writing a novel, you grow very attached to your characters. I don’t like having to let that go and end it!
Stiletto Gang: Do you have any writing rituals, or something you keep on your desk everyday while you work?
Brittany: An iced white mocha latte. Often times I use it as my reward after hitting my word count. Besides that, I just need a clean workspace and a silent cell phone…and did I mention chocolate?
Stiletto Gang: Brittany, thanks so much for coming by today and sharing your story! We'll definitely be checking out The Write Stuff and all your author interviews and contests. And good luck with your book (fingers crossed).