T. B. Markinson and I have been collaborating as author and editor for a while now. I admire her work ethic and commitment to helping fellow indies. Beyond that, she loves to travel and enjoys the pursuit of tasty food and beverages. It’s always great to work with a client on a similar wavelength. Our working relationship is one filled with humor and numerous e-mail anecdotes as we’ve gotten to know each other as co-workers and friends.
1. Please provide a brief synopsis of your book.
The Miracle Girl is a lesbian romance. Newspaper publisher and world traveler JJ Cavendish continually feels pressured to live up to her Miracle Girl nickname. Not many people know she’s living a carefully crafted lie. She may not hide ties to the LGBT community, but she does hide past struggles with addiction.
When the Colorado native is handpicked to take the helm at a dying Denver newspaper, she ends up reconnecting with her long lost love in this contemporary lesbian romance. Only there’s a catch. If JJ fires the most belligerent editor at the paper, she risks losing the love of her life.
Mid-afternoon office romps abound in this romantic comedy while also focusing on what it takes for a newspaper to remain relevant in this age of social media.
Must JJ lose everything in order to gain a life more fully her own?
2. Tell us a little bit about what motivates or inspires your writing.
Way back in the dinosaur age, when I was in the sixth grade, our teacher asked each of us to write a story about Christmas. Usually I hated homework, but this assignment inspired me. To get in the mood, I sat by our Christmas tree in the dark except for the bubble lights and I penned my story. My teacher loved it and wrote a note at the top that read: You should be a writer when you grow up.
That was it. Ever since then I’ve wanted to write stories. Not just about Christmas, though.
3. Writing aside, what passions drive your life?
I love to travel. So far I’ve been to been to twenty-three countries and have lived in two countries. Currently I live in London and each day is a new adventure. My dog, Miles, loves to explore our neighborhood and frequently we set off in a different direction and discover new things around every corner. He’s wonderful at finding pubs. For me, life in London is about experiencing new places, cultures, meeting people from all over, and of course, I enjoy trying new beers.
4. It’s hard to pick just one, but what do you consider your favorite novel and why?
Oh gosh, the first one that popped into my head is The Great Gatsby. I’ve read this novel at least five times and I’ve listened to the audiobook at least twice. Each time I find a different sentence that makes me stop and think, “Wow.” I love authors from this time period, but this is my favorite novel. The glitz, angst, intrigue, betrayal, gangsters, and obsession. I’m nerdy enough that I have a T-shirt with the original cover of The Great Gatsby and I wear it at least once a week.
5. What is the name of your blog and what can readers expect to find there?
I have two blogs. My 50 Year Project chronicles my challenge to visit 192 countries, read 1001 books, and to watch AFI’s top 100 movies. I started this blog when I was in a rut, only focusing on the bad: work, bills, and everyday stress. I started this blog to break out of my blahs and to focus on the things I love: books, movies, and travel.
My writing blog, Making my Mark, follows my ups and downs in self-publishing. I include guest posts, giveaways, and updates on my writing.
6. What does your drafting and/or editing process entail?
Um, to be honest, and I’m hesitant to answer, since Jeri is one of the editors I work with (and can’t live without), but my process is chaos! I start with a simple idea for a story. I’m not a fan of outlining a story so once I have an idea I sit at my laptop and hammer away. I don’t write the story from start to finish and I spend days rearranging bits I’ve written. To complicate things, I’m usually working on more than one project.
When I edit, I try to focus more. Sometimes I lock myself away in the pub (they serve tea, not just beer) and I read the draft and comments from beginning to end for several days. I even use a red pen, even though I hated it when my teachers did.
7. Are you traditionally published or self-published?
I self-published. After studying the market and publishers, it sounded like my best option. Publishing lesbian fiction as an unknown author meant more than likely I would have had to work with an extremely small publisher and while researching a handful of companies over a span of six months, two of the publishers closed and I heard that the other publishers relied almost solely on the author for marketing. I decided it would be best to do it all myself. However, I should note that I work with editors, proofreaders, e-book and paperback formatters, and a book cover designer. Self-publishing can be misleading and I’m fortunate to work with such a wonderful team of people.
8. Can you offer one or two helpful tips for fellow writers when it comes to marketing and publicity?
The best advice I can say is don’t give up. There will be bumps and bruises when venturing into the marketing world, such as getting turned down by book bloggers for reviews, but learn from your mistakes and keep going. It’s best to follow the trends in publishing and social media to find your marketing niche, but it’s also important to realize how quickly trends change. You have to adapt and try new things.
9. What future projects can we look forward to?
As I said earlier, I work on a few projects at a time, and currently I’m writing a prequel to my A Woman Lost series and I’m crafting a new adult lesbian novel. And I’m editing some short stories I’ve written over the years.
10. Is there anything else you want your potential readers to know?
I would like to take a moment to thank my wonderful partner. In 2011 her company transferred us from Boston to London and at the time I didn’t know what I would do. She said, “You’ve always wanted to be a writer, so write.” Without her nudge, I may not have realized my dream of publishing my stories. For that, I’ll always be grateful.
You can connect with T. B. Markinson and her social media websites via her blog.
Is there anything else you would like to know about T. B.? Also, I hope everyone has a great Fourth of July. I’ll be on vacation and no post will appear next Monday.
Permission must be granted by T. B. Markinson to use the images in this post.