Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday's Guest - Qaey Williams

Today Title Magic meets Qaey Williams - finalist in American Title V

Qaey's entry for the American Title contest was a romantic suspense, set in Alaska, but she also has another identity, as Qwillia Rain, when she walks on her wilder side, writing for Loose Id, publishers of erotic romance. Her latest, Diablo Blanco Club - Unfair Advantage came out at the end of January. (A hot romance that is definitely for the over eighteens.) The book got 5 Blue Ribbons from Romance Junkies.

Fellow ATV finalist Evonne invited Qaey to talk to Title Magic about her writing life and tell us a little about her dual personalities.

In my regular life I’m a teacher. I walk into my classroom—three rows of five tables with two computers on each—and wonder, ‘what in the world am I doing here?’ After a Dr Pepper or two, the first class or two of the day, and a heated discussion with a student about the merits of using a spreadsheet program to organize data for the Science Fair, the question becomes moot.
Because I KNOW I was born to teach. It’s been a part of my nature all my life and only required the formal instruction gained through university to hone my skills. I love learning knew things and imparting that knowledge to my students. I’ll never really know if I’ve inspired any of them, but I do know I’ve made the effort to show them another world for them to explore.
In my other life, the one spent staying one step ahead of serial killers, enticing old high school crushes to have a little fun, and helping a savvy submissive show the Dom she was meant to be with just what he’s been missing, I write. I stare at the blank screen of my computer and spin amazing fantasies of interesting lives, thrilling adventure, and sexy encounters in my mind and pray that when they come out on the page they’re at least half as intriguing to the reader as they were in my head. The refrain ‘what in the world am I doing here?’ is even louder in this particular venue as in my regular life, but when associated with my writing life, it’s easier to ignore.
Because I’m learning that I was meant to write. I don’t ever remember a time when I couldn’t or didn’t read. Books were an integral part of my home life from early childhood. The stories on the page, the characters spun in the words, all created a landscape that was fascinating to explore.
When I write, I let my mind wander as a story is developing. I allow the people in my mind to flesh out their history to me. At times, I grow impatient with their secrecy and try to inject what I think happened, but they’re quick to correct me.
In many ways, I believe I was also born to write. Especially romance. I love a happy ending. One that satisfies the need to see two people trust in their emotions and the feelings of another to make the world they inhabit complete.
To be completely honest, I’ve been writing for thirty years. I know the stories from my youth were simplistic and juvenile, but considering I was eleven or twelve at the time, it was only natural. I never really thought I would ever see my work published. Yes, I dreamed and fantasized about a huge book contract that would lift me into the ranks somewhere close to those authors I adore and admire: Linda Howard, Mary Jo Putney, Johanna Lindsey, and so many others. But, I also knew the reality. Just like for every famous actor in Hollywood there are tens of thousands of pretty people looking for their break, I knew the likelihood of publication were slim.
When the rejections came in from different editors and agents, it only reinforced my understanding that success might not be in my future. Still I continued to write. I practiced my craft. I analyzed stories, read manuals, listened to other authors, even took a class or two on creative writing in order to improve my skills.
There were times I walked away from the characters whispering to me. I ignored their stories and got on with the day to day grind of living. The voices quieted and I settled into my routines.
Then, I moved to Alaska and the voices started up again. Instead of ignoring them, I picked up the pen and began to jot down what they had to say. Comments turned into dialogue. Dialogue turned into scenes, and by 1996 I was back to writing again.
I wasn’t dedicated to it. Every few days I’d write down an idea. Maybe scribble out the particulars of a scene, but nothing concrete. By 2000 I’d turned to writing my romance novels as a means of stilling the thoughts in my head at night. Typing out the conversations, the lovemaking, the arguing and making up, I purged the frustrations and pent up emotions from the day onto the page at night. And I liked what I was reading.
I liked it so much I even got up the nerve to submit it to publishers. And I was rejected. But this time, I knew this was a calling for me. It couldn’t be ignored anymore.
So I wrote.
I wrote story after story. I rewrote some stories so many times they were no longer recognizable as the original story they were. And I kept submitting them. And, yes, I continued to gain rejections, but now they really didn’t matter. I was writing. I was having fun. And I liked the people coming to life on the pages.
On Halloween morning 2007 it happened.
I received an email from an editor with Loose Id, LLC asking about a book I’d submitted—a Christmas themed story about a woman curious about her toymaker boss who just happened to be a Dominant. Within two weeks I had the contract in my hand and the little voice in my head was cursing a blue streak. The gist of the comments being, ‘what in the Hell have you gotten yourself into?’
That same voice was still vocal last week as I put stamp to envelope and mailed off my fourth contract with Loose Id, LLC, but this time it was more along the line of ‘okay, so which story do I work on next.’ The ‘what the Hell are you doing?’ comments were there, but they were easier to ignore this fourth time around. LOL.
The notification that I’d been selected as a finalist for American Title V thrilled me to no end. Being the first one eliminated sucked. I freely admit I was deeply disappointed, but I haven’t given up. I won’t give up. I like what I do, both in my regular life and my writing life. I don’t think that will ever change.

Qwillia currently has three books released with Loose Id.
She shares her website with another author, Jennifer Cole. Feel free to browse through the pages, if you're over 18.
Qaey/Qwillia can be reached through her author email--


Tamara Hughes said...

Qaey, congratulations again on your new contract! Four contracts now...Wow...You sound like a successful author to me. So do you feel added pressure to produce stories faster now that you're published? Just curious given the questions you keep asking yourself.
It's been great being an American Title finalist with you. I think you have a very bright future.

Take Care,

American Title Finalist
Tamara Hughes
Once Upon a Masquerade

Edie said...

Qaey, congrats again on you latest release! You are a writer, and a damn good one. You have a great career ahead of you. The ATV final is another step in the journey. :)

Evonne Wareham said...

Good to have you with us.

Qwillia Rain said...

I think it's more the pressure I put on myself to produce the stories some of the readers have asked for rather than getting the stories done to get them done.
DBC: Unfair Advantage was the story some readers had asked for after spotting Mattie and Bryce in my first book Santa's Elf.
I know what's it's like to be a reader who is jonesing for a story and I have to wait and wait.

Qwillia Rain said...

Thank you for inviting me to join you today. My apologies for posting so late, but the day job wouldn't let me go until just a few minutes ago. LOL
I'm really feeling privileged to have been part of ATV and meeting you and Helen, and knowing Mai, it was nice to meet and skim through the posts of the other ATIV authors here on the Title Magic blog.
Hope your day was a great one.

Qwillia Rain said...

Thank you for the support. The ladies in ATV are great to hang out with. I'm just sorry not all of us can win, LOL. But just having made it this far you all are winners!

Savanna Kougar said...

Qaey, we are all winners. Congrats on your latest release and all your success.
I was the first one to go in ATIV, so I know the feeling. However, doors opened, and I now have 6 e-published novels, and one that has just been put out in print.
I think I went on a similar journey toward becoming published, as you did.
I would have commented earlier, bowever, it was 'the big shopping day' ~

Qwillia Rain said...

I know exactly what you mean Savanna and congratulations on the print book.
As long as we keep plugging away, we should make it to our goals.

Mel Hiers said...

Qaey, welcome! I think most of us can relate to the voices in our heads. Congrats on your success with Loose ID as well as your AT final! :-D

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