Guest Author Interview: Audra Middleton by Cassiel Knight

January started off slow for me so I’m playing catch-up with some wonderful interviews that were missed. Please join me in welcoming Champagne Book Group author, Audra Middle, as she shares with you her publishing journey.

IMG_2290-EditTell us about your publishing journey.

I usually compare my publishing journey to learning to become a nudist. Having others read my writing makes me feel vulnerable, naked. So I let some close friends read my first several drafts. They made me feel like a Victoria’s Secret model, so I took the next step and joined an on-line writer’s workshop to get input from fellow writers. At first that was like a plastic surgeon consult, where they highlight your every flaw with a big magic marker. But my writing improved, so after a few more drafts I sought a literary agent. My queries were unsuccessful, so I attended a writer’s conference and pitched my book to agents and editors there. That felt like taking a stroll on the catwalk in the buff, but it was worth it, because that’s where I met my future publisher. Lately I’ve been working on the marketing side of things, skinny-dipping in the social media pool. It’s a bit nippy, but I’m getting used to it.

What’s the funniest thing to happen to you along your road to publication and what was the most exciting?

Trying to pitch my novel at the PNWA conference was interesting. I was a nervous wreck and I totally bombed my first two appointments. I kept at it, though, and even got up the nerve to stop this one editor in the hall. Unfortunately, it was day three so I was completely exhausted, plus I hadn’t had my coffee yet. I rambled incoherently for several minutes, at one point actually muttering to myself that I thought I had ‘screwed myself.’ It’s funny now, because I drank some coffee, learned from my mistakes, and later that day actually carried on a lucid conversation with my future publisher. That was pretty exciting. Not as exciting as getting offered that contract, though.

What has been the most challenging thing related to publishing you’ve had to deal with on your journey?

I’d have to say the most challenging part about getting published has been ‘putting myself out there.’ I tend to be an introvert, so having others read my work, getting critiqued, marketing my work… pretty much every aspect of the publishing process tends to induce anxiety attacks. But I keep a paper bag handy and soldier on, because writing in a vacuum isn’t nearly as much fun as sharing my stories with others. So I continue to workshop new pieces, I do the social network thing, and I blog. I even got publicity pictures taken, which turned out fine because Photoshop is awesome. It’s challenging, but worth it.

Who is your favorite author, and what are you currently reading?young woman styled as a forest nymph, studio shot

I think Beverly Cleary is still my favorite, because her characters are so well-crafted. When I first read Ramona the Brave, I swore that woman had reached in and stolen my eight-year-old soul. I want to write characters like that, steal people’s souls. Right now, I am reading Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series to my boys. Lots of action and humor. They’re a big hit at my house.

If your novel, Watcher, was made into a movie, who would play the role of your hero and heroine?

Wouldn’t that be nice! I’m not sure which actress could pull-off Watcher. It would have to be someone strong and vivacious, and they’d have to be comfortable with nude scenes because Watcher finds clothing a nuisance. Maybe Emma Stone or someone like Jennifer Garner. I always pictured someone like Joaquin Phoenix as Benaiah. Not a pretty boy; someone dark and intense.

For more information about my new novel, Watcher, visit my website at or follow me at

Posted on January 31, 2013, in General and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Thanks Maggie! And thanks to Cassiel for having me!


  2. “I usually compare my publishing journey to learning to become a nudist.” What a great analogy! You hit it on the head. Though I must admit that nudists are much more tolerant of physical flaws than critiquers and editors are of literary flaws. The good news is that readers are primarily interested in a great story and forgive the occasional literary transgression.

    Great interview. Good looking book cover. It definitely makes me want to read it.


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