Blog Tour Stop: Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan- Guest Post

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The Guest Post:

Cierra, hello! Thank you so much for hosting me today and I’m very happy to have you as part of the blog tour.

With Maid of Secrets now out in the world, I’ve had time to think about the entire writing process – why I decided to write not only Maid of Secrets, but any book at all. I thought I’d share my process with you and your readers, in hopes it might inspire them to follow their own dreams, despite any setbacks that crop up along the way!  

Why did I write Maid of Secrets?

This is an easy one. Maid of Secrets was, for me, a new beginning in my writing career. I’d been improving my craft over several years, but the stories I was focusing on (paranormal romance) just weren’t quite gelling. They were close, but not quite there. So, I decided I’d return to Elizabethan England, which is a favorite time period of mine. I loved the Queen, and her court, and all of the intrigue—so a tale of spies flowed naturally from that. And with the input of a great friend who is an award-winning writer as well, I crafted my tale about teens, for teens. I’m not sure if it was just the freshness of the new start, or my familiarity with the time period, or the voices of the characters themselves, but Maid of Secrets turned out far better than I ever expected. And here we are today!

Why did I want to become a fiction author… and why did I keep trying to get published?

So this one is a two parter, but both parts are important. I have always made my living as a writer – even before I was paid to do it. I wrote to get good grades, to please my friends and family, to win contests. I wrote essays to get into college on scholarship, to win a prize to study overseas, and to land my first job. And second. I used writing every step of the way, but I always yearned to be a FICTION writer. I wasn’t well-equipped in this pursuit—I wasn’t an English major, and I hadn’t read all of the great works of fiction out there—but that didn’t stop me from trying. I just wanted to share stories that helped people find joy, love, and new worlds to explore.

For many years, I didn’t try very hard at this endeavor. I was a successful business writer, and that was financially rewarding. But it just never was enough. I kept coming back to fiction. And then I did try very hard to get published—and failed. Over and over again. Which takes me to the second part of the equation. Why did I keep trying?

Make no mistake, publishing is a challenging business. It’s filled with rejection and setbacks, and you have to have a thick skin (which I don’t!). For every amazing milestone, there are equally daunting detours. But for me, it was not a matter of “yes” or “no” that I’d publish, just “when.” As anyone in sales knows, every ‘no’ is one step closer to a ‘yes’. And the dream of living as a full-time fiction writer just wouldn’t go away.

And where do I go from here?

With Maid of Secrets released (hooray!!) it’s now on to the next project. Maid of Deception is out in 2014, and so I will be editing that book shortly. I’ve also written a book for an entirely new series, which hopefully will find a home with a publisher soon. And I am dreaming up ideas for Sophia’s book in the Maids of Honor series, currently titled Maid of Wonder, which will follow Beatrice’s book. You have to keep working on the next book—it’s what gets you through both the very high “highs” and the rather low “lows”.

So, what’s the biggest, most important, number one thing I’ve learned along this journey?

The only people who fail are those who quit too soon. Following your dream is just one of those things that will happen in its own time. For some, it’s a fast process, for others it’s slower. But the only way you know for absolute certain that you won’t reach your goal is—if you stop trying. Sounds a little trite, I know, but as someone who now has her first book out in the world, I can tell you that it’s true. J

Cierra, thank you again!

Now, a little bit about the book:

Maid of Secrets

Author:  Jennifer McGowan

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers

Release Date: May 7, 2013

Summary (Goodreads):

Seventeen-year-old Meg Fellowes is a wry, resourceful thief forced to join an elite group of female spies in Queen Elizabeth’s Court. There she must solve a murder, save the Crown, and resist the one thing that will become her greatest freedom–and her deadliest peril. 

For Meg and her fellow spies are not alone in their pursuit of the murderer who stalks Windsor Castle.

A young, mysterious Spanish courtier, Count Rafe de Martine, appears at every turn in the dark and scandal-filled corridors of the Queen’s summer palace. And though secrets and danger are Meg’s stock-in-trade, she’s never bargained on falling in love…

Buy Links: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | IndieBound | The Book Depository

About the Author:

Jennifer McGowan writes Young Adult romance full of swash and buckle. Her first novel, MAID OF SECRETS, debuts in Spring, 2013 from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
Age: Royal Secret
Came From: A small town in northern Ohio
Became a Maid of Honor: After bringing her tale of spygirls to the noble city, and winning the favor of the great house of Simon (& Schuster).
Special Skill: Matrix-like reflexes, superior strength, fabulous wit… okay, ah – we’ll get back to you on that.


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13 May, 2013 delete

Thanks for joining the tour, Cierra!

It's great to know that Jenn never gave up on writing fiction every step of the way :) Wonderful guest post!

13 May, 2013 delete

Cierra, thank you so much for hosting me today. :) I enjoyed writing this blog and checking out your site--and hooray that the giveaway is almost here!

14 May, 2013 delete

I think this looks great! Excited to read it! Thanks!


I love it when people comment! :D