Patti Hultstrand is not only the author of Rescue in Time and Time Conquers All, she runs the successful AZ Publishing Services.
I had studied some romance stories series and found that many offer multiple male characters which are introduced in the first book, as minor characters, and then they get their own story in books later in the series. I have done this with the Chasing Time series. Walker and Brandt have their own stories coming up. The only man I don’t have a story for yet is Terrance, Tamea’s best friend, who is now the Captain of the Palace Guard. I say “yet” because he just hasn’t told me his story yet.
What is it about?
Is there a snippet you can share?
Here is a short excerpt for “Rescue In Time”: Book 2 in the Chasing Time Series.
Tamea was incensed about being forced into submission, stating so in a snapped response, “I can damn well take care of myself, thank you very much!”
“Tamea, don’t be so difficult!” Terance interjected. “Your rooms are no longer safe for you. Whoever did this, knows where to find both of you. And they mean to kill either you or the both of you now.” She was not calming down. “Tamea think about it, they knew the two of you left the banquet together and since the two of you were together last night, they just did not know which suite the two of you would be in.”
She went red, not from anger, but from embarrassment. Terance knew about last night.
Terance was doing his best not to think about her embarrassment and what he heard going on last night. “And this could indicate there is more than one person since, it appears that both locations were hit at the same time. If it wasn’t for Aspen, we may not have gotten here fast enough to save you.” There was no time for the pain of heartache now; he had to keep her safe.
Parker had come back into the front room during the last bit of information and he put his arm possessively around Tamea’s shoulders. He wanted to be the one who kept Tamea safe, and had wondered again about Terance’s relationship in the past with Tamea, because she wore her embarrassment of the situation too plainly. He would have to ask her later.
Terance took them out of the Ambassador’s wing and down the back staircase to the ground floor, to the servant’s wing. He took them into a simple room and shut the door behind the three of them. He knew Tamea’s questioning look, “Jayson wants very few guards posted on the two of you and they will appear to be just some of the servants who are wandering around at night. Outside, we will have many guards, and on the third floor we will double the guards, to make it appear like you are both still up there with the rest of the Altare delegation. We’ll move Walker in with Brandt tonight for safekeeping. On both sides of you here, there are empty rooms. We have positioned several guards to sleep in these rooms tonight.” Terance knew Tamea would like this plan, because it would have been something she thought of herself.
Tamea gritted her teeth and asked, “And what about you and Jayson?” What she really wanted to know was if Terance was one of these guards to be in the quarters next to this one, but did not want to come out and ask.
“I will be on the third floor as assigned for the night, and Jayson will be at his family’s house as expected for his promotion party.” Terance would not come near this room tonight unless he got word that the plan had been found out. He had an earful last night listening to them make love in her suite and could not sleep the rest of the night due to his loss of Tamea, he could not bear a repeat performance. “Everything must appear as normal as possible for this to be believed.”
Tamea remembered a detail that Terance would have to deal with himself, “You had better find Aspen quickly and tell him where to find me or he will be roaring through the halls tonight looking for me. He would find a way up to the third floor and may hurt someone since he knows I am in danger.”
“You are right! I will go now and find him. But he can’t be patrolling these corridors or someone will obviously see him and realize our ruse,” stated Terence.
“Just tell him I said for him to patrol outside and to hide himself somewhere near this room. You will need to show him which room, or he will not be happy.”
Terance left the two of them alone in the small room without windows, very little in the way of furniture, and one very cozy single bed. He had locked them in, without giving them a key to get out. No room in this palace could hold Tamea if she wished to get out, so the lack of a key did not concern her.
Even though the door was locked from the outside, Parker used a chair under the knob to keep others out, repeating what Tamea had done the night before in her suite. Then he turned to survey their little room. “Cozy, isn’t it?” he grinned when he saw the small bed.
Was there a character you struggled with?
I struggle between Parker and his brother Walker sometimes because I want to make sure readers connect to Parker, but then Walker is written stronger in the first books so I think some women like him better. Then again, I don’t like sharing my men, even ones I make up in my mind, so I may not be doing them justice by making them interesting enough for women readers to love them too. Probably explains why most of my fans are men who love Tamea, my heroine.
How many unpublished books do you have lurking under your bed?
Oh geez! I have 2 more completely written in the Chasing Time series and a third about half done, and another 3 started. Outside of that series, I am working on the following with plans to publish 2011:
– 2012: The Calm Before the Storm – writing with my partner, Donald Jacques
– Mahal – Historical Romance
– Center of Time Bar: Time travel stories centered around this bar I created. My world and other authors have been invited to write a story in this world.
– The Bad Easter Bunny – YA Fantasy (although I may be changing the title)
– There is a steampunk story my partner and I have storyboarded, but no title yet
– The Discarded House – Based on a true story that resonates with our economic times in America.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=wiswor0a-21&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B0031ESOCI&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrHow did you find your publisher? How do they treat you? Would you recommend them?
I am my own publisher and am the publisher for 15+ other authors with 30 books on our bookshelf now since May 2009. I use my series as a test in marketing conditions before I push anyone else into doing any form of marketing. This has been good and bad for me personally as an author. I have taken away the stigma for my other authors by adding Az Publishing Services, LLC as the Print/Distribution Publisher, while I don’t have the layer between myself as an author and as the publisher.
Would I recommend Az Publishing to others? Answer: Only if you are prepared to do a lot of work in helping market your book. We can’t do it by ourselves! But you also can’t expect the publisher to do it all anymore either.
We are still a struggling company and this year, I almost completely lost the company. It has been a very tough year for all of us! Even if I have to change the company name, we will still move forward into 2011 with a brighter outlook. We have some kick-butt books coming off the printer this coming year.
Tell us a little about Az Publishing.
Az Publishing Services was designed to assist new or struggling authors in marketing, cover design, editing and formatting plus much more, and has the cohesion of a writing community who has been bullied, lied to, and who have had some of their dreams taken from them by unscrupulous companies who seem to be prey on unsavvy writers. It has grown to a company who has published over 20 books in just the last three year.
Are you accepting submittals right now?
Yes, but I will no longer read submissions. Don Jacques, president of Az Publishing, will be reading through future submittals. We are making major changes to website which will not be in place until late January. I suggest that any author should be prepared before sending him their submittals with a synopsis, first chapter already edited, an idea of where your target market is, and your contact information. Wait until February to send anything, so the website will be ready to accept the submission. We accept any great fiction story and any non-fiction work that has a book proposal added to the submission. It is no longer just important to know your subject matter, but to have a fresh angle and marketing plan or your book will probably fail in this saturated book marketplace.
This is a toughie, but I’m going to ask it anyway. If you had to choose, which would it be an author or a publisher?
That is a hard question, because I love the feeling I get when a new author holds their book I delivered to them for the first time. I think this is the same feeling that a doctor feels when he/she hands the baby over to the new parents and that child is perfect.
But, first and foremost, I am an author/writer. If I was not a writer, I would not bother to be a publisher. I could not love the process unless I was in the process myself. There are too many people who want to write, but do not have the discipline to follow the rules and go through the process. This is what separates a writer from being an author, and keeps an author from consistently producing and selling their books.
Now that’s what I call a good answer! OK, so in your opinion what’s the best and worst part of being a writer?
Best part is when the book comes off the press for the first time. You check that all the fingers and toes are there first, and then just bask in that feeling on completion.
Worst part – Is when you aren’t making time to write regularly so start writing very long emails. The creative stuff seeps out somehow.
Also hate making edits form the printed manuscript to the computer version because it takes so much time. Understand that I do this several times before I even give the manuscript to the editor. If I have to read chapter 1 one more time for “Time Conquers All” I think I will learn to hate that story!
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=wiswor0a-21&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1936037033&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrWhat is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
Mornings for articles and marketing pieces. After 10pm for fiction books. Yes, it does matter. Articles take clarity of thought that you get early in the morning. Where books, especially fiction which takes long stretches of creative flow, which mainly happens for me after 10pm.
Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?
All on the computer. I have been a graphic designer for about 20 years so the computer is a natural extension of my creativity. I may write notes, research ideas, or even write out the occasional scene on paper, but only if I can’t get to a computer. It just comes out of me easier that way and then I don’t have to take the time to type it later.
What/who do you draw inspiration from?
Lately the inspiration has been coming from my writing partner, Donald Jacques, who either offers a kernel of an idea or I come up with the kernel and then we are off into a brainstorming session that lasts hours. We both thrive on these sessions for books we are working on together and those we are writing for ourselves, but the combined creative energy helps us move the story forward or make it into much more than it started.
Eariler you mentioned a near death expereince. Can you talk about that? How did that inspire you to write?
It was in 2003, when I went to get a simple operation and came home with a surgical infection that after several hospital visits, continued to grow and nearly took my life four months later. I was in the hospital 4 times that year for what should have been a fairly routine operation. When I came out of this alive and without any further major setbacks, I came across that story I had started over a decade earlier. It was time to write that story!
After any near death experience, your life never stays the same. I sat down and wrote for six months, that 296,000 words that have become “Time Conquers All”, “Rescue In Time” and “Sands of Time”. Then, I planned out a 14-book synopsis write up. I know where the series is going and who is telling what story.
Along with this revelation that I needed to tell these stories and many more to come, I also knew my husband at the time, was not up for the future I knew I needed to explore, so my marriage ended as well. Near death experiences drive home messages that you would not have listened to otherwise. I had gotten a message, that it was not my time to go, but that I had not fulfilled my destiny or mission in life. This mission has included writing and mentoring others with everything I have learned over these many years.
Do you set yourself goals when you sit down to write such as word count?
My only goal is which story I will work on. I have tried NaNoWriMo in their 50,000 words in the month of November. Out of three different years I tried it, I only made it in the first year. With the first draft of “Time Conquers All” I sat down and wrote 296,000 words in six months, but even that doesn’t quite make that 50,000 words per month. Now, those 296,000 words have been cut into 3 books right now and I will probably be cutting some of book 3 just to get it into a smaller book. Being the publisher, I know how much these books cost. The larger the book in page count, the more it cost and you could charge more, but there is only so much a reader will pay for a book from a relatively new author. There has to be a return on your investment for the author and the book can’t cost more than the market will bear.
What are you working on now that you can talk about?
In my writing, I am working on Book 3, “Sands of Time” for the Chasing Time series and am working on the collaboration on the “2012: The Calm Before the Storm” book due out Spring 2011. This 2012 book will be written into a screenplay as well by Michael D’Ambrosio, one of our author’s who has experience in adapting books into screenplays. I will also be working with Michael on writing the “Center of Time Bar” into a screenplay after the book is done Fall 2011.
The hardest part of being an author and a publisher is how much time I work with other authors on their projects compared to working on my own projects. It is a balancing act that I still don’t have control over yet.
How do/did you deal with rejection letters?
I am probably lucky in a way because most of the rejection letters I received were personally, handwritten notes rather than the standard rejection letter. Those are no help at all because they don’t allow you to understand why they rejected the manuscript. However, I do have one tip to impart to others, watch where the agent or editor left your story. Did they make notes or check marks on any sections or leave the manuscript turned to a particular page. Look for these clues and you may find where your story was either strong or weak.
So, how I dealt with rejection is that I tried to learn something from it instead of fretting too long on the rejection itself. Authors don’t handle rejection well mainly because to us the creation means so much to us. With fiction writers, even more so, because we put pieces of ourselves into the story or the characters.
Do you have a critique partner?
I used to have a critique group which I highly suggest for any writer, but now have Don, my writing muse and my editor, Linda Blazier, who takes a much deeper interest in the stories than most editors.
I do suggest at least one, but preferably several FIRST READERS, when your manuscript is raw, who helps you hammer out plot issues. A critique group could do this for you, but be prepared to do the same for everyone else in your group. It is a collaborative effort to be in a critique group.