Every Wednesday, I’ll be featuring a writer, hopefully introducing you to some new authors and books that I know you’ll love. Today, we welcome Heather McCorkle, whose debut novel The Secret of Spruce Knoll, just released this summer.

A bit about Heather:

I am an author of young adult fantasy, in all its many sub-genres. Helping other writers and supporting fabulous authors is my passion. When I’m not writing or surfing my social networking sites, I can be found on the slopes, the hiking trails, or on horseback. As a native Oregonian, I enjoy the outdoors almost as much as the worlds I create on the pages. No need to travel to the Great Northwest though, you can find me here, on my blog four days a week, and Monday night’s on Twitter where I co-moderate the #WritersRoad chat with my good friend TS Tate. 

About The Secret of Spruce Knoll:

It’s hard enough being a teenager under normal circumstances; imagine being orphaned, sent to live with an unfamiliar aunt—and learning that there really is magic in the world. Following the tragic death of her parents, Eren Donovan moves to Spruce Knoll to live with her aunt. Little does Eren know the entire town of Spruce Knoll is filled with “channelers”—a magical group of people who immigrated to the small Colorado town when they were driven out of their own lands.

Channelers are tied to the fate of the world. As the world slowly dies, so do they—and they alone have the power to stop the destruction of Earth. Now, Eren learns she not only lives among them, but she is one. When she meets local boy Aiden, his charm convinces her that being a channeler may not be all bad.

As Eren and Aiden’s relationship blooms, so too does a mystery in Spruce Knoll. The town holds many secrets—and many enemies. It soon becomes apparent that the untimely death of Eren’s parents-and Aidens-was no accident and that her life might be in danger, too. Only time will tell if Eren has the power to protect the people she has come to love.
Today, Heather talks with us about a lesser known reason some authors go indie:

It is harder than it’s ever been to break into the publishing industry right now. I know, I’ve had two agents and have had two manuscripts on editor submission during the time of the ‘great change (digital)’ in publishing. Editors of publishing houses are buying fewer manuscripts than they ever have before. Because lists are shrinking, so are opportunities with traditional houses. Never fear though, opportunities are opening up in other avenues as this is not only the digital age, but the age of self-publishing as well.
Self-publishing is starting to lose it’s bad name (slowly) and some agents are even encouraging their clients to self-publish when their manuscript doesn’t sell in the traditional market. I won’t get into how I feel about that, but I will delve into how I feel about self-publishing. I’m ashamed to say that I used to question the merit of most self-published books. But after being on editor submission to traditional houses and hearing editor after editor say “We love this but it competes with another one of our titles” or “We love this but we already have all the urban fantasies for our list this year”, I realized something.

Publishing houses are passing up great books because they feel they will compete with a title or author they already publish. This means great, publishable books (and their authors) are not getting published for the wrong reasons. Just because you are rejected doesn’t mean your book doesn’t have merit. In fact, it could mean that it does. If you’re getting rejection letters with either of those excuses in them, don’t give up. It may be time for you to think about self-publishing. Just remember to give your book its due, hire a good freelance editor and a cover designer, and be ready to do marketing! 

Thank you for sharing, Heather! 

Have questions for Heather? Go ahead and ask here. Or, you can find her at these fine establishments: