Daisy Jordan is an obsessive tennis fan and wrote Love Means Zero, in which Hilton gets a job as a photographer for a tennis magazine, so she could live out her dream-job fantasy through Hilton. But don’t worry if you’re not a tennis fan; Love Means Zero still has all the drama and suspense of Daisy’s previous books! Those books include Everything Happens for a Reason…, the Spin the Bottle series, and All That Sparkles Isn’t Real Sapphire. Before she published her first book, Daisy grew up in Indiana watching tennis all summer every summer on TV and having her own fair share of high school and college boy drama, much like her characters. She now lives in Denver and religiously fills out brackets for every Grand Slam with her brother Josh, while still managing to find time for boy drama.
Daisy can be found online at:
Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Daisy. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?
A: This is my seventh book! I’m really excited about it!
Q: What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?
A: The first book I finished, and also the first one I published, is called Everything Happens for a Reason…. I worked on a lot of other books before it, but I don’t think any of them had titles, because I never finished any of them!
Q: For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?
A: I went straight to self-publishing after doing a little research. When I found out it could take months to hear back from a traditional publisher and learned I probably wouldn’t hear back at all if I didn’t have an agent, I didn’t want to go that route. When I read about self-publishing, that seemed the best option for me at the time, because I wanted to see my book in print as soon as possible!
Q: How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?
A: Although I didn’t have rejections with my first book, since I never sent it to an agent or traditional publisher, I have faced rejections since then. I have sent my work to agents who have not accepted it. At first that was really difficult, and I got discouraged. I didn’t stop writing, but I did stop sending my work out for a while. I thought maybe I would just stick with self-publishing, because it seemed easier, and then I wouldn’t have to deal with the rejections. I could just feel positive about my work all the time. Now, I have developed enough as a writer that I don’t let an agent’s opinion affect me. I love every book I have published, and I know I’m a good writer. It is not that tough for me to handle rejections, because I know that it is just all about finding the right agent. There will be one who values my writing as much as I do, and as much as my readers do, and any rejections I get just show me that agency wasn’t the right one.
Q: When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?
A: My first book, Everything Happens for a Reason…, was published by iUniverse. They were the first self-publishing company I found online, and after comparing them to others, they seemed to offer the most for the best deal. I liked the marketing opportunities I had through them, and I liked their size and the fact that they’d been around for a while. I read reviews online, and they got higher ratings than other publishing companies.
Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?
A: It was amazing! The feeling of seeing my work, which I had only known as a Word document, in the form of a paperback was – and still is – so cool! I love it. I celebrated by having a book signing at my local bookstore, Summer’s Stories, and my hometown newspaper did an article too.
Q: What was the first thing you did as far as promotion when you were published for the first time?
A: I didn’t do much! I put something on my Facebook page about my book, and the newspaper article helped me advertise locally. Other than that, I basically only used word of mouth. With my second book, I started doing a lot more. I ordered ARC copies of the book and sent them out to reviewers. I started a MySpace and a website, and I went to Book Expo America. Since then, I have continued to do more and more in terms of promotion. With my first book, I wasn’t that serious about promotion. I was mostly so excited just to have published a book! As I kept going and readers kept telling me how much they loved my work, I decided I wanted to do more publicity so other people would find out about it.
Q: If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?
A: No. Even if I had sent Everything Happens for a Reason… to agents or a traditional publisher and it had been accepted, the process would have taken way longer, and there’s no way I’d have seven books out right now! I’m really happy about where I am with my characters and my current writing, so I wouldn’t change anything, because it might change the ideas I’ve had along the way and, therefore, the content of the books!
Q: Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?
A: Yes, I have published six books since that first one. On my second book, I switched to Llumina Press. I believe they have a better reputation as a self-publishing company, because they require editing and don’t just accept any book as it is. I think when reviewers and others in the publishing industry realize that, it gives the book a little more credibility. I have grown a lot as an author since my first book too. I am much better at proofreading, because over time, I’ve realized the kind of mistakes I tend to make that are easy to overlook in that proofreading stage. Now that I have written more books, I would also say I know my style, which I didn’t in my first book. I just wrote it, and that was that. Now, after comparing my books to others, I recognize what I do differently from other authors and what makes my books unique. I now embrace those things and play them up in my books. For example, one stylistic technique I love is using ellipses (…). I think they create a lot of suspense, and I use them a lot more…and in different ways…than other authors.
Q: Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up? What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?
A: I don’t think I could have sped things up much, since I went with the quickest method possible! But one thing I would have done differently is written my next couple books before publishing the first one. My next books were about the same characters, and after writing more about those characters and getting to know them better, there were things in the first book that didn’t seem on par with my view of them and how they would act. I ended up releasing a second edition of that first book two years later, in order to correct those things.
Q: What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?
A: I would say my biggest accomplishment is all the five-star reviews I have received. When I read those, and the reviewer says something that shows he/she really “got” the book in the way I meant for readers to get it, that is so rewarding. It tells me I’m writing well, because people are seeing in the books what I saw when I wrote them and finding those deeper things that not all readers find.
Q: If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?
A: I have another profession; I’m a high school counselor!
Q: Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?
A: No, I would never give up being an author! Writing is my favorite thing in the world. I’m totally in love with it. :) I think I have done a good job combining both worlds.
Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?
A: My dream is for my books to be more well-known! I would love to get picked up by a traditional publisher, and I’m working hard on finding an agent. In terms of where I’ll be living, who knows! I love Denver for right now, but I’m open to anyplace life might take me! I also think the Spin the Bottle series would make a great TV show. ;) In terms of my writing itself, I don’t know where I’ll be with that either. I am currently writing my tenth book, and I’m still writing about the same characters. I have at least three more books planned, so it will probably be about five years till all those are published. At that point, I’m sure I’ll have plenty of other ideas. I don’t try to plan too many books ahead, because fun ideas always strike as I’m writing!
Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?
A: It is all about staying true to yourself and your writing! You created the work; you had the vision for it. Don’t let anyone compromise that vision, whether it be an agent, a publisher, or a reviewer. If you love your work, you will find readers who do too, and that is the best reward. If you change your writing to please someone else, it won’t feel quite as good when readers love it, because it won’t truly be “yours.” Write stories and books you can be proud of, and the rest will follow. :)