Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Interview with author and editor, Betsy Dornbusch

I am very pleased to introduce to you Betsy Dornbusch. Betsy writes HOT. I've read some of Betsy stuff and you gotta be careful not to burn yourself. It is most luscious.

I love seeing all the different answers to the same questions...

Welcome Betsy.

First off, tell us a little about yourself and when/how/why you started writing.

I've been writing since I was in 4th grade. Incidentally, I met one of my favorite authors, SE Hinton then, though I didn't read her book THE OUTSIDERS until a few years later, which has so influenced my writing.  My best friend at the time got me writing and it was my distinct honor to dedicate my new novel to her. Now, years later, I'm a full time writer. 

And your books, what do you have published and what are you working on right now?

My pseudonym Ainsley has two vampire eroticas out, QUENCHED and QUENCHER. I also have a space opera erotica called SALT ROAD SAGA BOOK 1: LOST PRINCE out from Torrid in July.

Whiskey Creek Press is also releasing my mainstream urban fantasy SENTINEL: ARCHIVE OF FIRE, this year. It features demidemons who rebel against the demon king Asmodai, hot boys, and a whole lotta wicked violence. Still waiting on a release date for that one.

So as you can imagine, I'm working on sequels! I'm wrapping up the first draft of the second SENTINEL book right now: it's called ARCHIVE OF EARTH.

I'm always trying to keep up with my blog Sex Scenes at Starbucks, too. Tough to do under deadline. http://betsydornbusch.com

Rejection letters: How many did you receive before you were published?

Hundreds, easily. A word on that; I spent a LOT of time in the short story trenches, which I think is a really valid way to learn to write and to get and keep your name out there. I miss writing the short form. I'm too swamped with novels right now to write short stories. Sucks.

You are participating in Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers May Education Event, meeting with attendees and maybe critiquing the first 2 pages of their wip. In your experience and opinion, what is the biggest mistake or misconception new writers have? 

That MOST new writers' first attempts suck. Sorry to be blunt. Mine definitely sucked. (Hell, my tenth attempts sucked too). It doesn't mean we shouldn't keep on, though. And we all learn soon enough how wonderful, as a class of people, writers are. There is nearly ALWAYS a writer willing to help you. Take advantage of it.

How often do you write? Do you stick to a schedule or work it in around life?

It's my full time job, though less full time than I like. I'm always swamped and never writing fast enough! But I work a lot of odd hours, too, evenings and weekends. I try to work to word counts, generally. Right now I'm under a pretty tough  deadline imposed by the impending end of school, which means I'm writing some real drivel. I'll have to get 2-3K words a day to make it.

When not writing, what do you do?

Snowboard, punk rock concerts, read, hang with my kiddos and husband, play with my dog 

What did I not ask that you want to talk about?

I'm an editor with Electric Spec (http://electricspec.com)  and have been for 5 years. Come check us out.


  1. This Betsy chick sounds really cool--despite writing HOT. :)
    Thanks for sharing Vicki and Betsy!

  2. For anyone who hasn't met Betsy, this woman is like the Energizer Bunny crossed with Chelsey Handler. Uber Cool and y'all are going to Love her when you meet her on Saturday at the RMFW Workshop with Kirt Hickman (if you can keep up with her, that is).
    And Betsy, thank you for coming to our blog and congratulations on all your success with your novels!
    Now for my questions (da, da, duh...)
    First, wow! You are all over the place in the writing world: erotic novels, space operas, urban fantasies, short stories-writer and editor, your blog... How do you keep them all separated in your mind? Do you have a "bible" for each story, or do you just have a mind like a steel trap? What tips would you give others for multi-tasking stories?
    And, even though you're an editor at Electric Spec, (which is a magazine for sci-fi, right?) did you have any disillusions about the "traditional" publishing world before your novels came out? Care to share? I ask because I think there are some huge differences and some amazing similarities between what you do as an editor and what an editor at Tor might do... I just wanted to open that avenue up as I think it's interesting ;-)

  3. Great questions, Marne. You should be doing these interviews. :)

    Marne's right about Bets...not only does she do all of the aforementioned, she is also RMFW's website guru. She's the one that put up with me and all my changes on the Education Events page.

  4. Oo, can I use that description in my next query??

    I do write all over, not on purpose, it's just the stories that strike me. I sometimes write for a certain market, too, like I have a space opera coming out from Torrid in July because they wanted some SF and I've always wanted to write a space opera.

    I'm a bible girl, usually spirals or sometimes sketchbooks. I have a couple of moleskins now, one for the SENTINEL series and one for general ideas. They're full of doodles, drawings, song lyrics, poems, ideas, and synopses. Taking pen to paper is another way to work my creative muscles, always has been.

    I don't really multitask, but I do line up projects back to back. And sometimes I will drop my novel for a bit and write a short story, just to feel the accomplishment of finishing something.

    I also try to make room for lots of creative play. Lately I've been writing a story with a friend on blogger, via comments. We've combined our worlds and characters, and it's been amazing creatively. Four of them have even gotten MARRIED! I just read http://www.austinkleon.com/2011/03/30/how-to-steal-like-an-artist-and-9-other-things-nobody-told-me/ and the bit about how side projects are so important really struck me. We both have mined so much material and character development ideas from the experience, and will likely write a book together at some point. I also play on Http://comeincharacter.blogspot.com, which spawned the story threads.

    Editing is a real love. I think editing has one major role: let the story shine. So whether it's uncovering the true story by removing a thousand words or a spit shine, editors are essential. I'm VERY picky, as you can imagine, and I'm fortunate to work with a wonderful editor at Whiskey Creek Press, Dave Field. And what he did to LOST PRINCE is very much like what I do to my stories at Electric Spec, BUT, and it's a big one, he got a pretty rough copy of my book. That won't do for short story markets, or when you're trying to break into a book market. WCP knows me, invited me to submit more, and have bought 4 of my books to date, so it's a little different. Short story markets are swamped and editors don't have time to fix poor stories. That said Electric Spec does edit every story we publish. I can't stand editors who don't edit.

    I think there's a place for traditional and "new" publishing. Obviously I've been in ePublishing for a number of years (6 or so) and my books are all ePubs to date (The SENTINEL series will be in print as well) so I love the opportunity it presents. Amazon just announced that 105 out of every 205 books they sell are eBooks. So it's HUGE. But really, selling is the name of the game, and it's no more easy, and maybe tougher, to sell our writing than when print ruled. To me it's all just opportunity. I'm not ready to self-pub yet. I want a name and a following first.

    I think that's it. Thanks for having me!! I can always come back and discuss more at another time, too. :)