Kat's Blog

Kat's Blog

Monday, May 17, 2010

Welcome Lea Schizas

Today I have guest blogging the wonderful force behind the new MuseItUP and MuseItHot publishing, Lea Schizas. I am so thrilled to have her and without further ado, here she is.

Thank you, Kat, for allowing me to grace your blog today. As many know, I wear different hats so I’m coming in today as Lea the author, Lea the editor, and Lea the publisher to give your readers some personal thoughts and tips.
Lea the author: I tell everyone that I woke up after a 23-year self-induced coma taking care of everyone else but my desires and finally began my writing career again. The year was 1999 when I picked up my first copy of Writer’s Digest, entered a contest they were hosting, lost, but it doesn’t matter. That was the push I needed to pick up a pen and write and I haven’t looked back again.
As writers we need long term goals to keep us in track with our careers. I won’t go into my goals but suffice to say I’ve achieved them and then some.
There are three things writers need to possess:
· Determination – to keep writing regardless of rejections or naysayers
· Perseverance – to help you climb obstacles that block your creative juices
· Patience – nothing comes ‘fast’ or ‘easy’
Lea the editor: There have been many times when I’ve had to edit manuscripts from authors who have self-published because they were disappointed by reviews that criticized the flaw-filled book. It’s a shame because these books all had interesting tales and characters but the urge to see a book in print prevented these authors from having a second pair of eyes look over their manuscripts.
There is nothing more devastating to an author than to see his or her hard work torn apart. There’s an easy solution to this: join a critique group or find a critique partner. Regardless if I’m an editor, I always have my work dissected by a fellow author or two. They catch things my eyes have read numerous times but simply missed them.
Lea the publisher: Opening my own publishing house was on my long term goal plan I mentioned above. It’s been years that I’ve been studying and mapping out what I wanted as a ‘house’ atmosphere. We opened up to submissions this year and this ‘atmosphere’ from authors, staff, and readers is in play. What is this atmosphere? There is only one kind – a family atmosphere of sharing. I won’t dig into this further because I am not the right one to further this topic but anyone who wants to find out how our authors feel are welcome to contact them and find out. And I say I am not the right one to discuss this only because I may be not be neutral since I have a great admiration and respect for everyone who is involved with either MuseItUp Publishing (mainstream fiction) or MuseItHOT Publishing (romance erotica). This is something I always advice writers when they email me to find out about another publishing house. Although the warning sites are the first place to check I suggest to contact a few authors from that house and get their ‘off list’ impressions first hand.
So regardless which Lea you are talking to, the same tip is given:
Possess determination, perseverance, and patience and this will make your writing life less stressful.
Thank you, Kat, for having the ‘three’ of us here today. Now I must leave and re-enter the asylum before they realize ‘we’ve’ left.

Thank you so much for being here today Lea. It's been an absolute joy to have you! If you'd like to visit the MuseItUp website, go here. And here is where to go to visit the MuseItHot page.


Lin said...

As one of the authors at Muse It Up Publishing and Muse It Hot, I will toot the horn of how Lea has created an atmosphere of family give and take.

She states that none of us enjoy seeing the editing marks spread throughout our babies, and she is 100% right, but she has created a suppport system that explains why those marks are needed and what you can do to punch your prose up and make a healthier baby.

Not every publisher, or editor will do that.

Lea also brainstorms with her authors and is busy, busy, busy, looking for new ways of getting the word out there to promote herself, and us, because we, the authors, are her family.

Our success is important to her, and our growth as writers is just as important. No child grows unless the parent, and older siblings model the behaviors the child needs to emulate. Lea and her excellent staff give that to us every moment of every day and in every way.

That does not mean she stands over us and dictates our every move. We have choices. Ultimately the baby, our manuscripts, are our own.

Lea and her staff can show us where the fine-tuning needs to be made. We, the creators, have the right to make the choice to listen to the wisdom of those who have learned by walking the path before us, or steadfastly hold onto the strict tenet of our own words.

As one who had an editor and agent who acted as though their words were gospel without any need to create understanding, I can assure one and all that Lea's way of expressing the pros and cons of preparing a story for publishing is richer, and far more helpful. I have learned more since 3/29, when Lea contracted my first novel, than I learned in the entire year and a half I worked with the former agent and editor ten years ago.

What more could a new author ask for?

Lea said...

Ah Lin, I am sorry you fell into the hands of the wrong motivators and mentors.

I've seen many writers end up discouraged because of the lack of 'giving' to them to help them grow and understand how we are trying to improve their writing.

But as you said, the final decision does remain with the author and that is mainly because the manuscripts we've contracted thus far and will continue to contract are not first drafts but already fully fleshed out stories that only need a minor direction here and there.

I am glad you landed on our laps. Now the 'bouncing' begins. GRIN

Ginger Simpson said...

As another newly-signed Muse It Up author, I come to Lea's house fresh from a very disappointing experience, and find my faith renewed that there still is a place where people can ask questions without fear of retaliation and kindergarten-style hand slapping. I hope the impression I've made is half as positive as the one I've formed of the "three" Leas, her staff and authors. I'm excited to be part of this team...and that's what the contractual connection should be...teamwork. :) Thanks for hosting Lea today, Kat, and giving me the opportunity to chime in.

Kaye Manro said...

Okay-- not at the Muse yet... but I happen to be an author that Lea found at her Muse conference while she was still the head lines editor at Red Rose. She was behind me getting a contract. And now this past Thrusday Forbidden Love, the Sci-fi romance she first noticed, released to rave reviews by readers, and is still climbing the main RRP bestseller list!

Thanks Lea!

Wonderful advice here too!

Katie Hines said...

Gosh, Lea, I identified with all three of those points! I hope you have a big rack for all the hats you're wearing.

Cheryl said...

Great post, Lea. You are a wise, talented woman. I wish you all the best.


Lea said...

Thank you, everyone, for stopping by today. I so appreciate your kind words. And Kaye, BIG kudos on your release. It's going to do great with RRP.

Kat said...

Thanks everyone for visiting. And a huge thanks lea for being here. It was great having you.

Angela Kay Austin said...

I have to mimic Kaye, I'm not a Muse author, but I definitely credit Lea for finding me. Signing up for conference, I accidentally bumped into her, and discovered she was the head editor at Red Rose. I submitted, signed, and my book actually stayed on the Bestseller list for 10 weeks!

Thanks Lea!


Rebecca Ryals Russell said...

Nice interview Lea and Kat. I'm listing your blog on the Muse It Up page of my blog/website, Kat. Your web URL, too.

Lin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kat said...

Thanks Rebecca. Give me your url's and I'll return the favor.:-)