Thursday, November 13, 2014

Stormy Night Publications: A look behind the naughtiness! Part 1

Greetings Everyone. You're not going to believe this, but I have James Johnson here with me today from Stormy Night Publications. That's right, I'm interviewing a publisher.
We're going behind the scenes with some commonly asked questions new authors often have when looking for a publisher.

Melody: Thank you so much for visiting today, James. One of the biggest questions authors have is, 'how long will it take for my book to be published?' Can you tell us, on average, from start to finish, how long it takes to publish a book?

James: The time it takes to go from initial submission to release of a book depends on a number of factors (length, number of submissions we’ve received recently, level of editing required, etc.), but on average we aim to have our part done in a month or less. Of course, the total length of time from submission to publication also depends on how long the author takes to make revisions during the editing process.

Melody: In your opinion, what is one of the biggest mistakes new authors make?

James: One of the biggest and most common mistakes new authors make is not knowing their audience well enough.  It is very difficult to get readers to buy something if the theme doesn’t interested them, regardless of how well-written it may be. Writing a book that will sell requires an understanding of what it is that customers want to buy.

Melody: Very good point James. It doesn't make much sense to write a book no one is in the market for, unless we are only writing it for ourselves or a close group of friends. 
What about grammar. What is one grammar mistake that you would pay to never see again?

James: There are some areas of grammar where there is some ambiguity and wiggle room, and there are other areas where the language has moved on (languages evolve over time, it is a fact of life) and grammarians need to come to grips with reality. Punctuation for dialogue really isn’t one of those areas. The rules make sense, and there isn’t another obviously better way to do things that grammarians are just ignoring because they have their heads up their asses. We should respect that by following the rules in this area, which you can find here, for example.

Melody: Well, I can see you are very passionate about punctuation. Thanks for the link, James. Authors bookmark that link  and keep your publishers happy. The less time they spend fixing simple mistakes the quicker your production line moves. Let's move on to genres.
What is your favorite sub-genre to read from the books that are submitted?

James: Hmmm… probably I would have to say contemporary medical play, but medieval (of both a historical and a more fantasy-oriented variety) is a close second.

Melody: The authors I know who have published with SNP --Stormy Night Publications-- have nothing but good things to say about their experience. How does that make you feel?

James: We strive to be an author-centric company, so it makes me very happy when authors are pleased with their decision to publish with us.

Melody: It's clear you think highly of your authors and take pride in presenting their work. Could an author ask for more? Not in my book.
When you aren't hard at work publishing books, what do you enjoy doing with your free time?

James: I enjoy traveling and seeing new places, especially with Korey. I also enjoy movies quite a bit, especially seeing them in a theater.

Melody: I'm a sucker for movie theater popcorn. Oh, oh, oh... I have to ask you about the new Stormy Night Newsletter. I've read the first edition and really like the Serialized Novel section.  Who's idea was it to start it and what do you hope to accomplish now that it's in place?

James: Newsletters are a pretty common form of marketing, and I think we had always planned to start one eventually, so I couldn’t really say whose idea it was originally. What we hope will set our newsletter apart is the amount of high-quality, exclusive content it will provide for readers. Everyone at Stormy Night contributed ideas for potential future newsletter content, and a number of our authors provided invaluable feedback as well.

Melody: I think the Newsletter is a wonderful tool for both readers and authors alike. Thanks for starting it.
It's been really fun talking with you today, James. Let's wrap up with some fun, random facts.
If you were a crayon, what color would you be?

James: I didn’t know I had a favorite color growing up, but apparently I do have one and Korey tells me it is blue, at least based on the color I always want to paint things when we do remodeling at our house. So blue, I think.

Melody: Remodeling can be a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. Why am I suddenly picturing you and Korey flinging paint at each other? LOL. What about a favorite food growing up?

James: Lasagna

Melody: Is it strange that I picture Garfield the cat every time I hear Lasagna? What about music? What are your tastes?

James: I like songs that tell a story, like most of the stuff by Johnny Cash for example.

Melody: I think I know Folsom Prison Blues and The Burning Ring of Fire by heart. I swear that was the only cassette tape my mom ever kept in the car. What's your favorite season and why? 

James: Spring. Texas (where I grew up and have lived most of my life) doesn’t have great fall color, but the wildflowers in spring are amazing.

Melody: Spring is pretty muddy where I'm at but I can't tell you how relived I am to see budding trees and flowers after a long winter. Give me the blistering heat of summer any day. Well if we actually had any blistering days of summer in Wisconsin.
You recently had a birthday. What was your favorite /least favorite gift you received?

James: Favorite: Maddie Taylor went along with the blurb I wanted to use for Lanie’s Lessons after I told her it was my birthday and I wanted to use my blurb.
Least Favorite: The water puddle our leaking shower floor left for me underneath the carpet in the bathroom closet.

Melody: Leaky shower woe's. I feel for you on that one James, sounds like it was a wet mess. I have to giggle at your favorite gift, but that's because I know and also work with Maddie. LOL. Which reminds me. Maddie Taylor has Korey Mae Johnson visiting and Meredith O'Reilly has Jamie Miles from Stormy Night Publications on their blogs today. Please visit them to learn more about these wonderful, top notch publishers and editors. 


  1. It's nice to see James out and about! I like the link up above - but you did get all serious there for a minute. Did that dash annoy? I can't do commas apparently ;)I think it's great you and Korey travel so much. So many people don't get to (and I understand there are many reasons why), but it's so nice to see different places and cultures and people. It totally expands your world. Nice interview Melody. I'm off to see Korey's!

    1. This was a fun interview. Thanks for visiting Natasha. I bet the dash did get under his skin a little.

    2. Why does everybody think I hate dashes now...?

  2. I must be a terrible person because y'all are making me want to send James a MS filled with dashes, maybe on April 1... Lol.

    This was a great interview, Melody. The other day Natasha said when you work with SN - they make you feel important, and I wholeheartedly agree. James, I share your love for "A Boy Named Sue" and lasagna, but for some reason I picture you as a burnt sienna crayon. :)

    1. Thank you Normandie. I agree with SNP making their authors feel important and cared for.
      So you think Burnt Sienna?
      I pictured Mango Tango myself so I was blown away when he said Blue. I mean just blue too, not like aquamarine or midnight blue or anything, just ... blue! ☺LOL

    2. I had to Google "burnt sienna". It is pretty, but it is no blue.

  3. Melody this was a great interview! I love all the comics that you added in it and it was nice getting to know James more along with Korey and Jamie! :-)

    1. Thanks Meredith, I really enjoyed what you did with the pic's you used on yours too. The sour patch kids... don't let anyone fool ya, they pack a punch, but when Maddie mentioned Cay Babies, I cringed. If you've never tried one... don't. ☺

    2. I particularly enjoyed the one about doing the promotional tour first :)

    3. I thought you might like that one, James. Thank you for coming by to check out the post along with all the lovely comments.

  4. This was a fun interview series! It's great to get to know the people behind the company!

    1. Thanks for stopping, Corinne. Glad you enjoyed ☺

  5. Okay kids, its comments like these that give a girl a bad rap as a diva. I must say James, that it's very telling when your best birthday gift was getting your own way. LOL I folded like a cheap suit when you told me that, but I'm glad I bowed to your wisdom and savvy 'cause Lanie is kicking butt! Whether it's your eloquent blurb, Korey's HOT cover or what lies beneath, we may never know ;) Melody, thanks for the cartoon that defines the correct use of the winky face, Jamie will appreciate you giving me that lesson. I'm with Meredith in that I too hate grammar! Great interview!

    1. I'm still baffled I've been telling my dogs to lay down all these years. I mean it's almost as bad as misspelling CHAPTER 11 times in a row... lol.
      I loved all three of our interviews, it was fun working as a team creating them. ☺

  6. How fun to get all three of our Stormy Night People for interviews at the same time. Fun interview guys :)