Name: Liza Treviño
Book Title: All That Glitters: A Tale of Sex, Drugs and Hollywood Dreams
Genre: Women’s Fiction / Romance
Publisher: Koehler Books
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published. Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Liza: I’ve always been a reader and a writer, since I was a kid. I loved – love – all kinds of genres: horror, suspense, romance, but Jackie Collins, in particular, always held a special place in my heart. I adore her work and all Hollywood fiction. I gobbled it up when I was a teenager. Eventually, I was re-reading one of my favourites of hers while I was in grad school in Los Angeles, and it hit me. Where is a Latina Lucky Santangelo? I wanted to read about a badass character like Lucky Santangelo, but I wanted her to be Latina. And that’s how it started for me. I began thinking about the popular stories I liked to read and decided I was going to create those kinds of stories but put a Latina at the center of the action. That’s definitely something I wanted to read. I couldn’t find it, so I started writing
Is this your first book?
Liza: Yes, this is my first published book. I have second one currently being shopped by my agent. That one is a romantic comedy set at Christmas in San Antonio.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Liza: All That Glitters is a co-publishing deal with Koehler Books. I went this route because they offered a supportive and collaborative environment for developing my book at every stage of publication. As a new author, it was important for me to work with seasoned professionals who loved the book and were invested in seeing my novel reach its full potential.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey? The pros and cons?
Liza: After I decided to seek publication for All That Glitters, I read all the articles in Writer’s Digest and on blogs about landing an agent. So, I set to doing that. Which took some time. Queries, sample pages, follow-ups and rejections. Eventually, it did happen. Which was a great day! And, then the submission process began. And that was another lengthy process of queries, samples and waiting for responses. So, the con of my journey is time. There just isn’t any way around the fact that trying to get published takes a lot of time…and then, it may never occur.
As for the editing process that I had with Koehler, the pros were many. Working with a great editor who gets the story is invaluable. It’s an amazing experience to collaborate on your work with someone who sees it with new, fresh eyes. Of course, the con aligns closely with this, too. It can be hard to hear that words, passages or scenes you slaved over just need to go. But, it’s part of the process and, ultimately, it does make the work stronger, and it helped me become a better writer.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Liza: That it’s very important to have a clear idea of what you want your message to be. Whether it’s literary fiction, horror or Latina-driven stories, know why you write and who you’re writing for. If you know who you are as a writer, then all the challenges, rejections and comments from would be agents, editors or critics can’t sway your ultimate goal. There’s going to be a lot of rejection – that’s the nature of the business - but it doesn’t matter if you know why you’re writing.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Liza: Certainly. It’s a great way to have the infrastructure of a traditional publishing house and its expertise behind you, but you also get to participate in all the levels of publication, from editing, cover design and marketing. In this way, it’s like a crash course in the industry, from start to end. Some writers don’t necessarily want to be involved in marketing process or selling, and I get that. For me, however, participating in the marketing stage of the process is great because I like to think about things like branding and how best to promote the book. And, as I’m going after a new audience of readers who want to read a darker-edged Hollywood story set in the 1980s that features an ambitious, but sometimes self-destructive Latina who wants to be a film director, the outlets aren’t necessarily that obvious. Nevertheless, I know that audience exists. Who better than me to go searching and excavating that audience?
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Liza: Don’t give up. If you have a story you believe in and are passionate about, keep writing and finish that project. It will find its audience.
About the book:
All That Glitters is a women's fiction Jackie Collins-type saga that introduces a strong, driven Latina heroine at the center of a rags-to-riches story spanning a decade of action. Along the way, Alexandria walks the fine line separating ambition and self-destruction, and discovers that some sacrifices will cost her everything.