Friday, February 27, 2009

The American Title Path to Publishing

Barbara Vey, of the BEYOND HER BOOK Publishers Weekly blog has featured VEXING THE VISCOUNT today at Barbara is such fun and her blog is always wonderfully entertaining. You'll want to bookmark it!

If you can, please swing by and post a comment for me. This blog is seen by tons of people everyday and is fantastic exposure for me. It would really help to have some reader comments as well. You don't have to sign up for anything in order to comment. Thank you soooo much.

I really appreciate YOU!


Good Morning! My 50day/50blog VEXING THE VISCOUNT Tour is officially over (though I am booked at a few more sites--will keep you posted!) and my Midwestern heart is breathing a sigh of relief. I can finally start talking about someone else now!

Have you been following the American Title Contest? The manuscript entries go through several eliminations, not unlike American Idol and they live or die based on the number of readers who vote for them to stay. Our own Gerri Russell is a past American Titlist so I imagine she can fill us in on some of the inside details as well.

I'd like to introduce you to Marie-Claude Bourque. She's an American Title Finalist heading into the final round and the brass ring is a contract with my publisher, Dorchester. I first met Marie-Claude through MySpace and was impressed by her spunkiness, business saavy and most of all by her story ANCIENT WHISPERS.

ANCIENT WHISPERS is a dark paranormal inspired by the poem Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie by Henri Longfellow (1847). It is the story of a bold immortal sorcerer and his obsession to be reunited with the fiancée he lost centuries ago

Gabriel Callan is the youngest member of the Priory of Callan, an ancient Celtic brotherhood of thirteen cursed sorcerers and alchemists, each deadly, each haunted by a tragic past.

Still tortured by the devastating events of the Acadian deportation in 1755, Gabriel wants nothing more than to reunite with his lost soulmate, now reborn to this century as you the cool-headed and practical Lily Bellefontaine.

But Lily, a pediatric nurse, yearn for a peaceful life in her own dream home. She seeks an existence far different from the experiences of her unstable childhood and purposefully ignores her latent psychic abilities. Will she ever be able to accept her fate? And can Gabriel let go of his tragic past to live fully in the present?

I caught up with Marie-Claude and had a little cyber-chat with her about her American Title run. To keep us straight, I've put my words in bold, MC in italics. Thanks for being with us today, Marie-Claude. Could you tell us a little about your experience in the American Title contest?

It’s definitely a wild ride. Past contestants have described it like this but it is only when you live through it that you can really understand what it’s like. It’s really hard because we all want success for all the contestants, but there is only one who will win in the end. So you are always happy to have made it to the next round but sad for those who didn’t.

Then there is this constant pressure of asking for votes. It’s exciting to network and also very tiring. Most people are extremely generous, but sometimes it is hard to have to ask them to help you once again. You feel like all you do is ask for favors. I have so many people out there supporting me and it is so so nice and yet I am constantly afraid to let them down by not making it to the next round. And the closer to the end, the harder it is.

One of the good sides is how much I have learned about networking, setting up my sites, blogging, banners, book trailers and quizzes and what not. That is really fun, trying to find the next thing that will attract people and make my book interesting to them. And of course, the best is all the new friends I have made so far and reconnecting with old friends and relative I have not talked to in a while. That is priceless.

Sounds a little like my blog tour! I've made friends with so many "blog touristas" over the last 50 days, I know if ever we meet in real life, we'll run toward each other for a big hug! But back to your manuscript. Ancient Whispers sounds fascinating. What inspired this story.

I’ve known the story of the Acadian deportation for many years because my family descends from deported Acadians and my grand-father had told me all about it. I was very saddened by the fate of Gabriel and Evangeline in the poem, how they are forced on separate ships on their wedding day and spend their life searching for each others. It got me to think of many tragic lovers of literature and legends, and I decided to use paranormal element to reunite them on paper. I’m a big fantasy geek, I’ve played Dungeons and Dragons for a while, so I used that for inspiration. I have also studied Pagan witchcraft for a few years now and I wanted to use that and portray realistic ritual magic using what I know.

I love that your family history and a poem are your inspiration. What else would you like us to know about YOU?

I’m a former oceanographer and fitness professional, currently a stay-at-home mom to my two beautiful boys, and going back to school soon to become a Physics teacher. I’m also a French Canadian from Québec City and feel like I have lived everywhere. I am now settled in the Pacific Northwest with my family. Besides writing, I like coffee shops, knitting, lifting weights and I read mostly fantasy and historical romance.

The American Title Contest is unique in that YOU the reader get to help a major publishing house choose its next acquisition. Let your voice be heard. If you'd like to vote for Marie-Claude Bourque's ANCIENT WHISPERS please go to:

And this is where you can find Marie-Claude and friend her on the web:

My website is at:
My LiveJournal is at:
I’m on MySpace at:
On Facebook at:
My group blog geared to new writers is called Musetracks

Hey that sounds like my favorite ice cream! No wait! That's MooseTracks! My bad.

Here's my Book trailer:

I also made a quiz tied to my book. The code can be found here:

What fun! Now I'm starting to take notes, too. Sounds like you've learned alot about promotion during this contest. Ok. (Heavy sigh as I don my "promo hat" once more!) One last little zing from me too, then. VEXING THE VISCOUNT is now on the shelves at your local bookstore! Enjoy!

Thanks for being with us today, Marie-Claude. Aspiring writers will want to pick your brain so please stick around in case there are questions!


Cindy Holby February 27, 2009 at 5:34 AM  

I love the premise of this book. I've read before about the deportation and thought it so tragic.

Waving at Marie Claire. We met on another loop. Good Luck!

Marie-Claude Bourque February 27, 2009 at 6:41 AM  

Waving back to you Cindy :)
Yes the deporatation is so tragic and I was surprised to hear that so many Americains have Acadian roots.

Cindy Holby February 27, 2009 at 8:57 AM  

opps, I meant Marie Claude. That's what I get for posting before my caffeine intake.

Marie-Claude Bourque February 27, 2009 at 9:04 AM  

It's okay, I didn't have my coffee either and never noticed until you mentionned it. LOL

Jennifer Ashley/ Allyson James / Ashley Gardner February 27, 2009 at 1:36 PM  

Good luck with the contest, Marie-Claude! Your marketing effort leaves me exhausted. :-) When I first started (way back in the year 2002), I thought I just had to write a book! Turns out I had to be an expert in multimedia, and the pressure to do that has only grown since. Gah.

I applaud your efforts, and wish you the best of luck. The story sounds intriguing!

Marie-Claude Bourque February 27, 2009 at 1:47 PM  

Hi Jennifer :)
Thanks for saying that! It leaves me exhausted, so I am glad people notice LOL.
The good thing about this contest is that you do learn it all (Trailers, poll, quiz, HTML!!!). It's fun in a way.
Thanks for your good luck wishes!!

Gerri Russell February 27, 2009 at 3:54 PM  


Welcome to the Chatelaines! You've done fabulous things to promote yourself and your book. Well done. Your efforts will pay off . . . I promise you.

Ancient Whispers sounds fascinating. Can't wait to read the book between covers very soon!

Best of luck to you in Round Four!!

Marie-Claude Bourque February 27, 2009 at 3:57 PM  

Thank you so much Gerri.
And thanks to Emily and all the Chatelaines for having me over today!
Yes I did learn a lot LOL. I'm all ready for when I get that sale now !!!!
And thanks for your good wishes.

Julie Robinson February 27, 2009 at 8:47 PM  

Hi Emily! Well I guess I am 'seeing' you on Friday after all. Thanks for having M-C.

M-C, Wonderful music on your video. Very mysterious sounding with a driving under-beat. I'm new to all this blogging and setting up a MySpace, etc. It's really fun, but takes away from writing, which I hope you have been able to continue despite all the promotion you're doing. And you know, it's no problem at all to ask for votes. Part of the reason for joining a group is to have a support system of like minds.


EmilyBryan February 28, 2009 at 5:30 AM  

Julie--You're right. A wonderful thing about being a woman is that we don't have that masculine "I don't need any help" attitude. We aren't afraid to ask for or give support!

Marie-Claude Bourque February 28, 2009 at 9:19 AM  

Hi Julie,
Thanks for your support. Romance writers are such a nice and supportive group indeed.

I got the music from Kevin Mcload royalty free music for the trailer. He is really good. Glad you like it. :)

Cindy Holby

Gerri Russell

Joy Nash

Bonnie Vanak

Emily Bryan

C.L. Wilson

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