VBT: Moon Over Alcatraz by Patricia Yager Delangrange

If you had to do your journey to publication over, what would you change?

Looking back on the road I took to publication there are several things I’d do differently, if only to have not wasted so much time doing it wrong.

In 2009 my daughter came home from school and told me her friend asked her why her mommy didn’t have a job. I had been an at-home mom since I got pregnant with my son in 1993, and realized I had more free time, since both my kids were becoming more independent. So, I thought about what I’d like to do with my life - outside of “mommy-dom”. I went to the Apple store, bought a MacBook, and started writing a book.

Needless to say, that was a backwards way of going about it. I had no clue how to write a book. I started out with an idea and just started writing. First of all, I didn’t know how to format the writing. The book was just a bunch of paragraphs interspersed with dialogue and I didn’t have much dialogue anyway. It was a conglomeration of paragraphs wherein I was “telling” a story.

Well, we all know what everyone in the book industry tells us, right? “Show, don’t tell”. I quickly found that out after submitting my completed novel in contests. I entered every contest I found out about. Of course, I never made it to any of the finals. In fact, score-wise I was always at the bottom of the list. BUT, I got many really insightful critiques of my work for free! I used the judges’ editing and critiques to my advantage and edited my book - over and over and over.

Then I started to take online classes and read a few books on craft and wrote another novel. But this time I had a little more knowledge under my belt and I employed an editor who is a multi-published author who had been an agent. That’s something I should have done earlier on in the process, perhaps. But I didn’t realize I needed a personal editor until I had received so many rejection letters from agents that I knew something was very wrong.

So, my advice to anyone out there wanting to write would be to learn about the craft of writing either before or while you’re writing your first book, so you can incorporate that knowledge into your novel as you go along. Take a few online classes. More importantly, join an online writing group. Christine Feehan told me to join Romance Writers of America. From there I was able to join a Romance Writers of America Women’s Fiction group along with other groups online that interested me. The people in those groups are an invaluable source of help with your writing, advice on agents and publishers, and anything else you can think of. And you’ll need the support of other writers while going through the process toward publication. Writing is such a solitary endeavor, but I never felt alone because I had my online friends to uplift me when I was down.

About the Author:
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, I attended St. Mary’s College, studied my junior year at the University of Madrid, received my B.A. in Spanish at UC Santa Barbara then went on to get my Master’s degree in Education at Oregon State University. I live with my husband and two teenage children in Alameda, across the bay from San Francisco, along with our two very large chocolate labs, Annabella and her son Jack.

My horse lives in the Oakland hills in a stall with a million dollar view.

Find the author online:


Following the death of their baby during a difficult birth, Brandy and Weston Chambers are grief-stricken and withdraw from each other, both seeking solace outside of their marriage; however, they vow to work through their painful disloyalty. But when the man Brandy slept with moves back to their hometown, three lives are forever changed by his return..


marybelle said…
Good advice. Readers do appreciate it when writers continue to grow.

Thank you for hosting Patricia today.
Patricia said…
Thanks for your comment, Marybelle. I believe writing is similar to riding - you never stop learning and with each book (or ride) you learn something and get better at it.
Anonymous said…
Maybe you needed to have those mistakes to learn from...it's all part of the process. Congratulations on the release!

Patricia said…
Hi Anonymous! Thank you for stopping by on this Friday, the end of the third week of my virtual blog tour.
MomJane said…
I loved all your comments. I also love the way this story sounds, sad but hopeful.
Patricia said…
Hi Mom Jane! I'm seeing your name always. Thank you for following my blog tour.
Patricia said…
THANK YOU so much for hosting me and my book on your blog today. I really appreciate the promotion.