Thursday, August 16, 2012

Author Spotlight: Katherine Polillo

Today on the Author Spotlight, I'd like to welcome author Katherine Polillo:

Hello everyone, I’m author Katherine Polillo and my first book, Destine, will be available in eBook format through on August 8th. I am incredibly excited about the wonderful opportunity Anchor Group Publishing has given me, and I thought I would share with you all what it has been like for me as a first time author.

Many writers will tell you that they have been writing since they were children and always knew that this is what they wanted to do. I was not one of these cases. I have been a lifelong reader and lover of books, but had never even attempted to write a short story, let alone a book, until I sat down to write Destine. I was a history major in college with a minor in English and had read everything from the traditional literary classics, to the modern cult classics, to drug store paperbacks, but if I’m being honest it was the genre of Young Adult Paranormal Fiction that grasped my interests the most. If I was going to read for enjoyment and pleasure that was the genre that I found most captivating, so it is with no great surprise that Destine is YA Paranormal Fiction, but this does not explain how I came to call myself an author.

I was teaching middle school social studies when the infamous budget cuts of New Jersey occurred and all non-tenured positions were eliminated. It was mortifying to be called to the principal’s office like a child and be told “you’re great, but there is no money to pay you, so we are not renewing your contract.” I felt cut adrift into a sea of uncertainty. I had gone to college, I had worked hard, I had done everything right, so why did this happen? As I struggled with finding a new job, I also buried myself in reading to escape the realities of my life. It was during this time period, where I found myself with an abundance of free time, that I decided to try to write. My husband had told me for years that I should write a book, but I had never made the attempt. I sat down at my computer and my characters seemed to flow from me, as if they had always been there waiting to make their entrance. I loved the feeling of creating a life for them that I had control over, when my own seemed out of my hands.

To my great surprise it was during this time that I developed a close friendship with a family member, and she sheepishly shared the secret that she was writing a book. I could not have been more shocked, and I enthusiastically told her I was as well, and low-and-behold her book was YA as well. My friend, Christy, quickly became my role model in writing. She finished her book first, she signed with a publisher first, and she was published first. She also continually motivated me to finish, and brought me with her to her publishing company, but all was not well.

The publisher we had signed with was full of amazing promise and confident, soothing words for two inexperienced and nervous writers. It was only a few months in when the writing was on the wall, so to speak. We had been lied to, made false promises, and deceived. Since Destine was not out yet the blow for me was rather small, but Christy’s The Many Lives of Avery Snow was published and she had to battle tooth and nail to save her book. It was at this time Stacey Rourke walked into our lives like a knight in shining armor. She too had been signed with this publisher, and she too was none to pleased, and that is the story of how Anchor Group Publishing came to be. One motivated, unhappy business minded author, two aggravated and hurt first time writers, and one quirky, cheery editor and ta-da Stacey had created Anchor Group. The family grew quickly since it was clear the Stacey not only knew what she was doing, but also had everyone’s best interest in mind. I finally finished Destine, and found another teaching job, and that is how I find myself here today.

My words of advice to first time writers are to stick with it, it’s going to be really easy to start and then walk away, stay focused and finish! But more importantly be careful whom you trust. There are going to be people out there that make you grand promises and offers, but don’t have you or your book’s best interests in mind. Take your time and look for a place where you and your book feel at home. I know I got lucky and fell into Anchor Group, but I am thankful that I have this supportive and hilarious family to take this ride with. Sails are hoisted, hatches are battened down, anchor is raised and Destine and I are ready to set sail with Anchor Group to navigate.

Destine website:
Destine Facebook:
Follow Katherine Polillo on Twitter:

Check out the rest of Anchor groups books at:

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