Happy Valentines’s Day!
On this day celebrating love it seems right for me to look back on a my first year as a romance author and sometime blogger.
Almost a year ago, I started this blog in the run up to the release this past summer of my first romance, The Marriage Ultimatum.
I’ve learned a ton over this past year. Some of my hard-won insights may be “duh” moments to you but here goes.
I had a blast writing my first book, the process (I’m a pantser!) was everything I always thought it could be. All I need is my rampant imagination and a keyboard and I’m good to go.
Finding a super(!)small press publisher was a particular bonus and seeing my work in print (and hearing the audio), well let me tell you, the buzz was better than caffeine and yes, even chocolate isn’t as sweet.
At the same time, I embarked on the very steep (for me) learning curve of marketing my work. If writing is a addictive, action packed rollercoaster, then promo is the nauseous bump at the end of the ride. Excruciating, but necessary. I’m still wading through that process.
And yet, bright side again, promo leads to the incomparable thrill of connection and discussion with readers who enjoy my work and adore romance novels in general. It’s been fun to meet so many talented people who love to read and write romance.
Somewhere in between all of the joys and obligations in my life that compete for writing time, I’ve completed Book 2 in my City of Dreams series, A Model Engagement ~ RELEASE DATE TBA but S0 soooooooooon I can taste it.
Like my first story (and like the upcoming Book 3, An Illicit Affair,) this story begins with my heroine, Lacey smack in the middle of a life altering crisis and finishes with a satisfying happily ever after with Connor, the just-right-for-her man of her dreams.
Okay, so what have I learned?
1. I’ve read so much about writing— both from a craft perspective and from the marketing standpoint— and it’s all is true. I strive everyday to put something I’ve learned on the creative or business side into practice. I believe my work and my audience has grown as a result.
2. Trends in marketing come and go. A great story, told well, never goes out of style.
3. Write everyday. This is a lucky bit of truth because there is almost nothing I like to do more than write~and I’m carrying the extra ten pounds to prove it. Writing is never a chore whether I have multiple luxurious hours to spend or have to be content with a short burst of time squeezed in before bed.
3a. A corollary to the above: emerge from the writing cave occasionally. Your loved ones, your body, and your muse will thank you for it.
4. Social media is a blessing and a curse. Use the venues you like and that feel comfortable. I’m such an introvert nothing feels quite right yet but I’m trying…
5. I write the kind of stories I like to read. I cut my teeth on contemporaries and they are still my faves though I don’t read them while I’m writing. That’s when I go for a historical or a paranormal.
That’s all. Wishing you all hugs and chocolate.