Celebrate with us! GIVEAWAYS and BIG news!

We have some exciting news! One of our own co-hosts, Candace Kade, just signed her first book deal!!! To celebrate, head over to her website where she’s giving away a TON of autographed books! Also, read to the end of this post to get the deets on ANOTHER giveaway!
Here’s Candace to tell us a little bit about her writing journey and how she landed this three-book deal for her sci-fi trilogy.

Hey SP friends! First off, it’s been a looooong journey. Don’t be discouraged if you’re on that path now. If you’ve ever doubted yourself, wanted to hit that delete button for your entire manuscript, binge read other people’s books to avoid writing your own, or sign up for martial arts just so you can kick the crap out of something… you have issues. Just kidding! Kicking things is a totally acceptable way to vent anger am I right??
In all seriousness, I’ve wanted to be an author since high school. It was then that I promised myself I’d never give up trying to get published. No matter how long it took.

And boy did it take a while! I was trying to do it all—query, submit to competitions like Pitch Wars or Write Mentor, submitting short stories to get my name out there, I even attended my first writing conference. That’s when I struck gold.

Everyone’s path to publishing is unique.

For me, the path was more like one of those dimly lit pot-hole ridden back-alley ways in China next to the apartment I grew up in. That was, until I attended my first writing conference this past summer. Then my path suddenly turned into an eight-lane freeway moving at 80mph.

I was about to enter the querying trenches in earnest and decided I should practice my pitch and get feedback on whether it was working. So I signed up for some pitching sessions to editors and agents at the conference.

I was nervous. I’d never pitched my book, my preciousssss (cue Gollum hissing creepily in your ear), to anyone. Formally anyway. I felt like a sleezy car sales woman trying to sell something no one would want to buy (apologizes to any cars sales folks out there!).

To make things worse, I didn’t really know anyone at the conference. I had two virtual friends who I’d be meeting in person for the first time, but otherwise, I was alone. I did a lot of trips to the bathroom in between sessions to avoid awkwardly standing around. Then again, maybe that was just because I was pregnant at the time and had a squashed bladder. Anyhow…

It’s not WHAT you know but WHO you know that matters.

That’s a piece of advice a mentor gave me back at my corporate job at Dell. It made a world of difference at this writing conference.

Doing a good job is table stakes. If you’re going to succeed, you have to have a strong network of people supporting you

You can be the best author in the world and you can still face rejection. Think of JK Rowling who got rejected twelve times before she got a book deal for Harry Potter. Crazy right?? But having people who know you and advocate for your writing makes a world of difference and can speed up the publishing process.

Prior to attending this conference, I posted on a writing group I was a part of that I would be pitching my novel. Several people volunteered to help me. The incredible author Nova McBee coached me on how to pitch my manuscript. Then at the conference, the awesome author Lauren Brandenburg helped me refine my pitch and introduced me to Steve Laube, director for Enclave Publishing.

After pitching to Steve, he was interested in my book and asked me to send it to him. Fast forward eight months and here I am with a book deal! Coming out March of 2023 is the first book in my sci-fi trilogy, ENHANCED!!! Aesthetic below.

I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the people I know.

Thanks brilliant authors and critique partners Ellen McGinty, Melissa Poettcker, Rebecca Alexandru, Katie Wong, Hilary Bowen, Jesse Chen, Caleb Robinson, and Becky Dean. You guys made Enhanced waaaaay better! And for those of you not yet published, your time is coming. Jiaoyou! You got this!

Thank you Nova and Lauren. As a special thank you to them, I’m doing a giveaway with their amazing books!! I’ll be giving away two of ANY books they’ve written. Aka any of the below.

If you win, it’s your choice which two books you want! All you have to do is sign up for Lauren’s newsletter and Nova’s newsletter for a chance to win. If you’re already subscribed to their newsletter, you can add one of each of Lauren’s books or Nova’s books to your TBR pile on GoodReads instead. Winner will be announced in two weeks. *US participants only. Best of luck to ya!

Candace signing off to drink more tea and work on edits for her manuscript.

HINT for the next giveaway… go to my LinkedIn on Feb. 24th where I’ll be giving away 5 MORE books! On that day, I’ll have a new post. Read to the end for the final clue.

Hate LinkedIn? DM me on Instagram and and I’ll give you the next clue.

Also, there will be a PRIZE for whoever finishes the scavenger hunt first!

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