The 27th Annual Fabulous Five contest for unpublished authors and authors not published in book length fiction in the last five years is open for entries. WisRWA is pleased to be able to offer entrants of the 2018 Fabulous Five contest a chance to win one of eight detailed critiques from a published WisRWA author. We wanted to introduce everyone to each of these authors, and share a little bit about their writing journey. Without further ado, please meet our fourth author: Tessa McFionn.
Tessa is a very native Californian and has called Southern California home for most of her life, growing up in San Diego and attending college in Northern California and Orange County, only to return to San Diego to work as a teacher. Insatiably curious and imaginative, she loves to learn and discover, making her wicked knowledge of trivial facts an unwelcomed guest at many Trivial Pursuit boards.
When not writing, she can be found at the movies or at Disneyland with her husband, as well as family, friends or anyone who wants to play at the Happiest Place on Earth. She also finds her artistic soul fed through her passions for theatre, dance and music. A proud parent of far too many high school seniors and two still living house plants, she also enjoys hockey, reading and playing Words with Friends to keep her vocabulary sharp. She is currently the President Elect of the San Diego chapter of Romance Writers of America and loves spending time working with such amazingly intelligent and creative writers.
WISRWA: How long have you been writing? Can you tell us a little about your journey to publication?
TESSA: Wow. I think like most authors, I first started writing when I was in elementary school. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t tinkering with some story throughout the whole of my life. But, with regards to serious writing, I began my first novel, Spirit Fall, about eight years ago. I was standing on a ledge, looking over a very high bridge, and the world of my heroes was born in that moment. I worked on Spirit Fall for about two years, then on a virtual shelf, it sat. It sat for another two years before I had the courage to send it out. Since then, I have three books in the Guardian Warriors series, with a fourth in the hands of my editor.
WISRWA: What is something that you learned along the way that proved to be a light bulb moment and still is relevant to your writing today?
TESSA: Aside from no work is ever truly done? Actually, the best lightbulb moment happened at one of our RWA chapter meetings. The speaker was Angela James and she was giving a talk on what to do before hitting submit. Her advice was to read, or listen, to your manuscript. Brilliant! I have now listened to the mechanical computerized voice read passionate scenes for all my projects and boy, does it make a huge difference in edits.
WISRWA: What is one piece of writing or industry advice you can offer to unpublished authors?
TESSA: Never give up. If you have stories to be told, tell them. And don’t count the number of rejections. It only takes one “yes” to change your entire life.
WISRWA: Any new books coming out in the near future?
TESSA: I do. I’m fortunate to have found a wonderful new publisher who will be bringing my science fiction world to life in March. Book one, entitled To Discover a Divine, hits the shelves on March 20. This has been a true labor of love, and along with sci-fi, they will also be publishing a couple of short stories before the end of 2018. Also, the fourth book in my Guardians series is slated to be released sometime in the summer.
For a chance to win a detailed critique by Tessa, don’t forget to enter the Fabulous Five contest. She will be offering a detailed a detailed critique for one lucky entrant in the Young Adult/New Adult category. For more information about the contest and to enter, click here.