Everybody please help me welcome my friend and author Latessa Montgomery to the blog. I first met Latessa at the Georgia Romance Writers, Moonlight and Magnolia’s Conference and we’ve been friends ever since. One of the benefits of being a part of RWA is the life long friendships that occur. And after RWA I feel like we need to carry on the inspiration and Latessa is just the person to do it. 
My road to publication
When I decided to try my hand at writing a novel back in 2008, my Grand Master Publication Plan (GMPP) included the following:
1.    Write the next biggest thing to hit the literary airwaves since Harry Potter within 5 sessions at the keyboard.
2.    Send said literary masterpiece to the Big 6 and instantly start a 6 way bidding war.
3.    Receive my fantabulous book with a hot cover full of awesomesauce.
4.    NY Best Seller status within one week of release.
5.    Book tours and television appearances (Hi Oprah and Dave Letterman).
In that order and within four months.
Did I mention, I was slightly delusional in 2008? J
In reality, my road to publication wasn’t nearly so short, succinct, or roadblock free. During my initial delusion, erm… I planning, I failed to take into account the abject lack of knowledge I had about crafting and selling commercial fiction.  I failed to account for how my OCD and Anal Retentive tendencies would impact my creative and productive process (**cough** spent six months writing a seven page prologue **cough**). And I failed to account for just how tough it can be to write with 3 little ones run around, and demanding things like being fed, bathed, and otherwise cared for.
I took a couple of years and soaked up as much as I could.  I took online workshops, joined several author groups and writing organizations, and attended conferences.  During this time, I learned the craft of writing and the importance of being disciplined.  Then over the next few years ,I continued to write my manuscripts (crappy drafts, storylines, and all), met a hosts of talented writers of all walks, and most importantly I learned to respect my process and gained confidence in my writing.
Five years later, after the utter failure of my GMPP, I’d still not sold any full length novels, inspired no bidding wars, and still not heard from Oprah or Dave.  But,  what I did have was exposure to the ever-evolving publishing industry.  And through this exposure, an editor of an independent press saw a few pieces on my website and invited to be a part of a short story anthology.  I jumped at the opportunity and now I stand before you (in the virtual sense) as a published author.
No, I didn’t arrive at this destination in the way I’d planned, grand delusions and all, but I am here. La-Tessa Montgomery, author, workshop facilitator, and 2013 Debut Author of the Year nominee.  The moral of this story is:
A plan is necessary if you wish to attain a goal.  However, said plan should actually be obtainable and contain the least amount of delusion possible J
My debut release, “Found Rhythm”, is now available in the short story collection Seven Dress Sizes.  This collection takes you into the lives of seven different modern women.  All struggling, in a full scope of shapes and sizes, to find the key to unlocking self worth, acceptance of their personal beauty, and natural confidence.
My story features Isa Taylor, a size 7 chef who struggles with societal expectations that she’s the perfect size and shape, and her cultural expectations that say she’s not.  Here’s a snippet:
Justin turned Isa so that she faced the mirrors. “I’m a man, and let me just say… You are indeed sexy.”  He wiped the tears she didn’t even know were streaming down her cheeks.  “What’s not to find sexy?  You’re a successful chef with her own restaurant.  You put yourself through culinary school, studied your ass off, and rose to the top of your class.  You won Rising Star Chef of the Year honors from the James Beard Foundation.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know… But that’s just it, I know I’m good at what I do, but that doesn’t make me sexy.  So what, I’m accomplished.  The only thing that attracts is other cooks and people after my money. I’m made up like a boy, I don’t have the all the curves and junk in the trunk men like.”
“Sexy is in the eye of the beholder, Isa.  There is nothing you, or anyone, can do to change that.  If I say you’re sexy, and all the woman any man needs, then who are you tell me I’m wrong.  And until you realize that, Isa, you’ll never get beyond the doubts and insecurities that stifle you.”
            He ran the back of his finger down her cheek, drawing her attention back to her reflection. “Look, a flawless complexion.  You’ve got skin like silk,  perfect white teeth, and a smile that can make a man feel like you’re his only reason for being… for breathing.  And look at your body.”
He hands drew attention to her hips and thighs. She fidgeted, not comfortable with this self-appraisal, especially with Justin being the one leading the perusal.  Fire spread from where he touched her, going straight to her groin. “You have all the curves a man will ever need.  And if anyone says otherwise, they’re crazy and not worth your time.” 
His last words were whispered in her ear.  She turned, searched his eyes for the truth.  It wasn’t long before his full, soft lips claimed hers, silencing all thoughts but those of the carnal nature. When he released her, they both pulled in a lungful of much needed air. 
“Damn,” she whispered.
“Damn is right,” he agreed.
If you’d like to learn a bit more about La-Tessa, she can be found around the internet at the following:
Twitter: LaTessa25