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Guest Post: Stacey Jay’s Journey to Publication, Plus Giveaway for OF BEAST AND BEAUTY

Posted by on July 15, 2013

Hello, lovely readers! Today, I’m kicking off the tour for Stacey Jay’s OF BEAST AND BEAUTY, hosted by the fabulous Rockstar Book Tours. OF BEAST AND BEAUTY, Stacey’s latest novel, sounds nothing short of epic, and I’m thrilled to have a guest post with the author on her journey to publication. And be sure to stay til the end – you can win one of ten hardcover copies!

Of Beast and Beauty 

In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret…

In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.

Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.

As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love

Once upon a time in Southern California, there lived a very naïve, very out of work, former actress and new mother to an adorable little boy. After the birth of her son, the actress (who had never made much money being an actress, though she worked very hard at it), found herself unable to afford childcare in order to continue auditioning, and making not-very-much-money, in the manner to which she had become accustomed.

Eager to continue earning at least a little money, and to have work to occupy her time while her new baby took his two naps every day, the actress put her mind to seeking out a job she could do from home. She soon realized that—armed with a BFA in Acting, and a spotty work history—she wasn’t qualified to do much except play pretend for a living. And so she decided to start writing fiction. She had always loved to read (and play pretend), had had a few of the plays she’d written produced, and was practically addicted to writing bad poetry. She figured with practice, commitment, and discipline, she should be able to start earning a small living as author within a year or so.

This was not a very wise thing to figure. (As most of you know, publishing is a difficult business to break into, let alone make a living at, and the actress had absolutely NO clue what she was doing.)

This became an even less wise thing to figure when the new mom soon became a single mom and the breadwinner for her small family. (Anyone who tells you babies aren’t expensive is lying. Big, stinky, needs-a-new-diaper lies.)

Now…at this point…if the actress had been sensible, she would have secured a full time job of some sort—waiting tables or bartending or something she’d done before—and put writing on the backburner. But the actress had never been big on sense. Stubbornness: yes. A firm believer in, and possessor of, an insane work ethic: heck yes.

Sensible…not so much.

And so the actress, who had begun to publish steamy romance stories with a digital publisher under a pen name, worked harder. She wrote four to five thousand words a day. She submitted partials to dozens of agents. She continued to publish a new steamy romance under her pen name every few months while working on the book of her heart—a Young Adult novel, because that was what the actress really wanted to write—every moment she could spare.

It took about twice as long as she had initially hoped—two years, instead of one—and the generosity of a mom willing to let the actress and her baby shack up with Grandma for several months (thanks, Mom), but within twenty-six months of beginning to write every day, the actress had a contract with a New York publisher for her first Young Adult book, and nine novels and novellas digitally published under her pseudonym.

Since then, she has gone on to publish eight novels as Stacey Jay (Stacey is her real name, J is her middle initial).

OF BEAST AND BEAUTY, her latest, is out July 23

The End.

So…that’s the story.

The tale of my path-to-publication makes me cringe a little every time I think about it—hence the third person—but I share the complete truth in hopes that it will inspire any of you who are currently on the path and feeling frustrated and confused.

You could not be more clueless than I was when I started out. (Seriously.) You can, and will, sort it all out, if you are determined to do so. Determination is, in my experience, the most important trait a writer can possess. A mild case of insanity is probably a close second.

Stacey Jay

Stacey Jay is a recovering workaholic (or at least working hard at recovering) with three pen names, two small children, and a passion for playing pretend for a living. She’s been a full time mom-writer since 2005 and can’t think of anything she’d rather be doing. Her former careers include theatre performer, professional dancer, poorly paid C-movie actress, bartender, waiter, math tutor (for real) and yoga instructor.

In her very limited spare time, Stacey enjoys cooking elaborate dinners and eating them very slowly, dressing up in costumes with her sons, and drinking wine with her husband. She loves to hear from readers and personally answers every single email she receives.

Find Stacey on her Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
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  1. OH BOOOO. Sorry Hafsah, I entered before I realized this was US only. That being said, I am going to add this anyways. I love Beauty and the Beast retellings! Pls disregard my two entries.

    Lily @ Bookluvrs Haven

  2. A BFA in Acting – cool! Sounds perfect for writing fiction ;)

    I don't think it worked out too badly for you! You have awesome books out, and coming out, and I especially can't wait to read this one! I do love a good retellings :)

    Thank you! <3

  3. I can't WAIT to read this book! AMAZING giveaway! I've heard great things about this book! Thanks for the giveaway!

    Rafflecopter name and Comment name is different:

    Rafflecopter name: Vannah Batista
    Comment name: Alicia Batista

  4. Wow! What a story. I totally give you kudos for keeping on with your desires! I've not had a very easy life of it, trying to be a writer, but at least I've been in high school/college so I'm still able to live with the 'rents.
    The book sounds fantastic, by the way.

  5. This book sounds amazing! I LOVE fairy-tale twists, and I haven't seen much done with Beauty and the Beast. Epic! And a big congrats for sticking to your dreams, even when it didn't seem like it'd work out. This book looks delicious.

  6. I absolutely love fairytale retellings, and Beauty and the Beast is one of the best! For another good retelling, read East by Edith Pattou (sooooo good!). Thanks for the chance to win :D

  7. I'm so glad writing worked out for you! Beauty and the Beast is my favorite disney fairytale, so I can't wait to read this!! Thanks for the giveaway!

  8. Thanks very much for the story of your book's publication. I'm looking forward to it and I'd love to win a copy in this draw. Think you could make that happen? jk Thanks again.

  9. I am in love with this cover, and I am in love with the story and I haven't even read it yet! Thank you so much for writing this story, and sharing it with all of your old readers, and all of the new readers to come!

  10. I really love Stacey's books and I'm so glad she stuck with writing! Of Beast and Beauty is sure to be amazing. Good luck on your future books!

  11. I loved the bit 'Knew nothing except how to play pretend, so went into writing.' There's something beautiful and so true, about that sentence.

  12. It is always so crazy to read just how much time and effort goes into becoming a published author. I am super grateful that people are willing to do it so that I can continue to read awesome books! This one sounds so good and I LOVE fairy tale retellings :)

  13. I always love learning about how published authors actually get published. What an interesting journey Stacey Jay has had, but it's also inspirational, especially to an aspiring author like me. Looking forward to reading Jay's Of Beast and Beauty, especially since I've studied the Beauty and the Beast tale in great depth.

  14. Beauty and the Beast retelling? I'm totally in! And what a great story about getting published. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the giveaway! ^.^

  15. This book seems to be right up my alley. Beauty and the Beast has always been a favorite of mine. I'm really looking forward to reading this. I also really love the cover.

  16. I adore fairy tale re-tellings! I love seeing how different authors portray different fairytale's. Beauty and The beast was always one of my favorite Disney movies. Stacey YOU rock! I am so looking forward to reading your book. :)

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