Hi guys, we have debut author J.T. Rogers stopping by today with her upcoming debut novel In From The Cold, we have a fantastic guest post where J.T. chats about publishing and what she didn’t know about it, and we have a great excerpt, so guys check out the post and enjoy! <3 ~Pixie~
In From The Cold
Robert Flynn abandoned a sterling military career when his best friend and fellow soldier, Wesley Pike, died under his command. More than a decade later, Flynn’s quiet life is disturbed by the troubles of a fledgling CIA and Alexander Grant, a flashy agent with a lot to prove. As the space race between the United States and the Soviets heats up and the body count rises, the two men fight to find common ground. Grant knows Flynn believes in the cause, but all Flynn sees is the opportunity to fail someone like he failed Wes. An attack by a Soviet agent spurs Flynn to action and a reluctant association with the agency, and tilts Flynn’s world on its axis with a shocking discovery: Wesley Pike may be alive and operating as a Soviet assassin.
With Grant to bankroll the operation, his superiors looking the other way, and Flynn’s hard-earned peace officially forfeit, Flynn reunites his old team with the singular goal of finding Wes. But they get more than they bargained for—Wes is amnesiac and dangerous, brainwashed into becoming the perfect weapon. Flynn struggles to reach his friend, lead his team, and navigate his charged relationship with Grant—something neither of them expected and aren’t sure how to parse—while coming to grips with his long-buried feelings for Wes.
The Top Five Things I Didn’t Know About Getting Published
by J.T. Rogers
To date my debut novel, In from the Cold, has lived an exceptionally charmed life. Not only is it the first novel I ever attempted to write, but it was also accepted for publication at the very first publisher I submitted it to, which is probably the result of both my determination to produce a clear, defined work, and, let’s be frank, knowing my potential audience. They say early success is a terrible teacher, but the team at DSP Publications has thankfully been of tremendous help to me over the past year, as I naïvely stumbled from milestone to milestone. Writing is a process, and my editors made sure it was a deeply rewarding one.
To mark In from the Cold’s release, I thought I might share the top five things I didn’t know about getting published before I sold my novel.
#1: How Long It Takes
From conception to publication, In from the Cold ate up three years of my life. While I was prepared for the writing process to take a lot of time—particularly with the amount of research this particular project required—I was completely thrown by how long it took between signing the contract with the publisher and when the book came out. Publication, it turns out, is a classic case of hurry up and wait. In from the Cold sold in August 2015, but formal editing didn’t even start until the spring of 2016. While there were occasional flurries of activity between the summer and the spring, there were months of radio silence. For a while, it felt like selling a novel had been little more than some fantastic dream.
Of course, once editing began, and the deadlines started coming hard and fast—that’s what he said—I found myself wishing for at least a little silence, but I’ve yet to lose the thrill of the sale. Some of the turnaround times got pretty tight near the end, but knowing all that work was in service of making a lifelong dream come true made a few sleepless nights worth it.
#2: How Many Times You Read (and Re-Read) Your Story
By the time the third round of global edits hit my inbox, I began to joke that it’s a good thing I like my story because God knows I’ve read it enough. Even with my editing background, I was surprised by the depth and scope of the revisions, which ranged from minor comma issues to full chapter rewrites. I’m not saying I can recite my novel from start to finish, but there are definitely a few passages I can rattle off verbatim.
#3: How Fragmented the Publication Process Is
Publishing a novel is a lot like making a movie. There’s no one person who does it all, and not everything is done sequentially. For example, one of my earliest preproduction deadlines was for the cover… Which ended up being one of the last things finalized. I’d consider myself a fairly organized person, but keeping track of all the various moving parts got a bit dizzying after a while. I think if I had to dispense with any piece of advice for the aspiring novelist, it would be to stay organized: keep track of deadlines and know your contacts.
#4: How All Those Plot Diagrams You Do in School Are Legitimately Useful
Now, In from the Cold was heavily—heavily—outlined as part of my prewriting process. Like I mentioned before, the book required a lot of research, and outlining was a way to keep all of my ideas in one place. But while the story was broken down into chapters, I never sat down at any point and said, “Okay, this plot point here is the falling action.”
I regretted that oversight once it came time to write story summaries. (Plural. You end up needing to summarize your book for a lot of different people, in a lot of different contexts.) Probably one of the most important skills I’ve had to develop since selling In from the Cold was the ability to concisely and compellingly sum up my story. I ended up creating a plot diagram after the fact just for consistency’s sake, but knowing what I do now, I would have included that information in my first outline.
#5: How Surprising It Is When Other People Know Your Characters
Writing is an intensely personal (and often private) hobby, but publication couldn’t be more different. Suddenly people are talking to you about your characters like they’re their old friends. It’s a delightfully jarring part of the journey, and one I hope to experience more once In from the Cold is finally released!
Major Robert Flynn was a Brooklyn boy and looked like someone out of a pulp magazine. The tallest man Wes had ever met, Flynn had broad shoulders and biceps the size of Wes’s head. Flynn’s face belonged to a matinee idol—dark blue eyes, a square jaw, an inviting mouth. A tuft of blond hair peeked out from under his helmet.
As a pair, they cut an interesting figure. Wes was of average height and lean in build, but next to Flynn, he looked like a kid. His own hair was a dark brown, and his blue eyes were pale. The nurses would always call him handsome, and in return, Wes was always quick with a smile. He had an easy, loose-limbed confidence, whereas Flynn was a man of quiet authority and perfect posture. When they first met in training, Wes assigned himself the ongoing mission of getting Flynn to laugh. It was a task for which Wes was uniquely suited.
Flynn’s hand was still at Wes’s elbow, and there was a questioning look in his eyes that could pass for concern. Wes shook his head and plastered on his best shit-eating grin. He leaned in to yell over the din.
“I’m tellin’ ya, Bobby, if man were meant to fly, God’ve given us wings.”
The noise delayed Flynn’s reaction. When he finally made out what Wes said, his mouth curved around a poorly hidden snicker that alleviated some of Wes’s nerves. With a knowing glance, Flynn tapped his own Jump Wings. Wes rolled his eyes, but a commotion from the cockpit cut short his feigned annoyance. What little Wes could see of the sky outside erupted into flames as one of their own planes sunk out of view.
“—already missed the fuckin’ drop zone—”
“—boys need to jump now—”
Instinct brought Wes to his feet with the other men, their bodies and gear pressed together as they queued up in single file. His pulse was loud in his ears, the beat of his heart overtaken by a drunken drummer. Second to last to jump, Wes had the vantage point of watching the line shrink as each soldier exited the plane. As he got closer to the opened hatch, the chaos outside came into view.
There was no ground, just a thick cloud of charcoal smoke. Deployed parachutes dotted the sky for only a precious few seconds before passing out of sight. Wes took a breath that tasted more of fuel than air and swallowed with a grimace once it was his turn to go.
An explosion rocked him off his feet, sending him hurtling to the opposite end of the plane. Flynn cushioned Wes’s impact against the wall, his strong hands finding Wes’s shoulders and righting him quickly. Standing was difficult, and they held wide stances to maintain balance as the pilot lost control. A streak of flame painted the sky orange. The Germans had clipped their wing. They were going down. The Flying Coffin was living up to its name.
“I’ve got you!”
Flynn’s voice cut through Wes’s racing thoughts like a knife. Flynn all but frog-marched Wes to the hatch, the wind and the brutal heat from the fire licking at their faces.
“I’ve got you!” Flynn said again.
Wes nodded mutely, biting back the useless fear. He was better than this. He was a Forceman, for God’s sake. They didn’t make it this far just to die high over German territory. He checked his body’s position, keeping his fingers spread over the ends of his reserve parachute per protocol. With another grim nod, Flynn pushed Wes out into free fall just as enemy fire bombarded the plane.
A scream tore from Wes’s throat. Tossing his head, he tried to get a glimpse of the opened hatch to see if Flynn had made it out—if the flight crew had made it out—but smoke obscured his view.
The curse was felt more than heard. Wes’s chute hadn’t opened. He tugged on his reserve and watched the canopy unfurl above him, waiting for the shock of deployment. It never came. German fire reduced the silk to ribbons, and Wes was twisting, tumbling, falling, with nothing except one last glimpse of Flynn’s outstretched hand to lift his spirits.
J.T. Rogers grew up wanting to be either a superhero or a spy—but rather than pick one over the other, she chose to become a writer instead so she could be both in her spare time. Her fiction reflects her childhood obsessions, blending together the distrustful, cloak-and-dagger world of spies with the high-octane action and camaraderie of her favorite superheroes.
The product of a bilingual education and an alumna of a handful of universities, J.T.’s passions include history, comic books, and Shakespeare. She has lived all over North America and loves to weave threads of authentic local color into her stories. Just ask her about Lucy the Elephant.
Currently, she’s living the dream of being overworked and underpaid. She writes to stay sane—or that’s the story she likes to tell, at least.