Tag Archives: Firsts

My first author interview

Stephy from Troll River Publications, my publisher (little happy dance) asked me a few questions for her newsletter. I thought I could share them with you here.

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TRP: How would publishing this book change your life? (What are your goals as an author?)
RDL: My goals seem to keep changing! Number one was to write the book. Then it was to share it, quickly followed by publishing it.
Today, I want to publish my first novel, finish the edits of book two and start the draft of book three. I can remember a time when I thought that writing was just something I did to escape. I told a friend that I could never see myself as a full time writer. Now, I’d like to be a part time writer or even full time! I reserve the right to change my goals when the next book is released!

TRP: Have you been published before?
RDL: Nope! This is my first dance and I’m very pleased that TRP is my partner.

TRP: What about Troll River Publishing made you want to sign a contract?
RDL: When I first started scribbling down my story, I never intended to share it, yet alone have it published! A few words of encouragement and a very lucky meeting over social media led my manuscript to Stephy and my horizon changed.
The fact that Stephy wanted me to self-publish was a shock when we first started talking. She told me that I could absolutely do it on my own and that I should. Her abundance of support and positivity towards me was fantastic and a huge boost for little old me, sat in the UK wondering what I should do next with this story. When we started getting down to details I realized that she would do all the ‘stuff’ I was hugely daunted by and didn’t have a clue about. If I was going to ‘do this’ and publish my words, I wanted it to be the best I could make it. After talking with Stephy, I knew that I’d be able to do a 100 times better with her as my publisher than on my own. That’s why I signed.

TRP: What have you enjoyed on your journey to publish your work?
RDL: An unexpected pleasure along this journey has been seeing my characters develop and come to life on the page. Izzy started off as this little voice in my head and before I knew it she was real to me. My escapism of writing gave Izzy her own escape and chance of happiness.
Although there is some significant turmoil for my characters, love is at the bottom of it. I’m a sucker for a romance story and lost count of the characters that have captured my heart over the years. Now, I have my own characters and hope they can capture a few hearts on the way.

Izzy Seb

(Izzy and Seb from my Pinterest inspiration boards)

Something that has been instrumental in getting me to the publishing stage is the support and friendship offered by my critique partners. They have been a lifeline that I am thankful for everyday. Hugs to you girls!

TRP: What has been the greatest challenge in the journey of writing and publishing?
RDL: Challenges… oh there have been a few! I still remember the first time I sent my book baby out to a fellow TRP author (and now great friend) to give it a read. I’d read her short story and wrote a review and she asked me to read and review her first novel.  I spent the whole morning working up the courage to ask her to read my manuscript. Of course, as wonderful as she is, she did. That was a huge step for me.

After the initial panic of sharing, having the words edited and learning just how much work goes into turning your first draft manuscript into a book worthy of publishing has been a big and wonderful challenge. I used to think writing a book was a solitary thing. It was my escapism. But turning those words into a beautiful story takes effort from a lot of other people, and I thank everyone who has helped me on my journey. It’s been the most exciting, demanding and daunting time of my life, but I am super proud that I’ve come out the other side (just!).

Looking back on RT 2015

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I’m back in the UK and it’s grey and miserable. Last week (May 12-17th) I was at the Romance Times convention in Dallas. Quite a change of scenery for me!

Now, it’s not everyday I decide to travel around the world to attend a book convention. Circumstances allowed for it this year and I had an opportunity I couldn’t say no to. And it was fantastic.

What I loved about RT was the workshops and opportunity to sit in and hear from authors, bloggers and experts. It was an educational experience as much as an opportunity to fangirl. I sat in with Mark Coker from Smashwords about future trends and listened to a great author panel on working the tension into writing (while being distracted by Jelly Beans). Then there were more author panels including the likes of J.Kenner, Megan Hart, Christina Lauren and Shayla Black.

My note book is full of tips but more than that, I got to meet and speak to these authors who were all really friendly, fun and approachable.

Then there was the book fair. OMG this was epic! The list of signing authors was huge. This was my chance to meet and talk to authors who I’ve read and adored for years. Did I have to get there early before they opened the doors, yes. Did I have to wait to speak to authors, no more than 10 minutes for one or two.

IMG_4435I knew who I wanted to see and knew which aisle to head for. That was my game plan and I saw everyone I wanted to before it got busy. Tiffany Reisz was the top of my list. She is my all time favourite author. I took several books for her to sign (my treasured possession now) and she was happy to chat and have a photo. This made my trip!

But I saw others as well. Cherise Sinclaire, Lexi Blake, J S Scott, Liliana Hart, Shayla Black, J Kenner,  to name a few. I also found some other great authors happy to chat and share and my TBR list is now over flowing!

Seeing all these authors all under one roof was amazing and something I’m not likely to do anytime soon. Would I have preferred all of my favourite authors in a smaller, more intimate setting? Of course. But that’s not going to happen. Smaller signings are fabulous and I’m looking forward to going to Leeds next year for Orchard Book Clubs second event.

What I’d love to see is the convention and workshop format where authors answer questions and em part knowledge. This, coupled with the smaller signings would be a winning solution for me as a reader!

If you get the chance, I’d say go to a big event – RT is in Las Vegas next year. It’s certainly an experience!

The swag I collected is fantastic and I’ll be giving a lot of it away on my blog over the coming months, including some signed books so sign up to my mailing list for your first chance to enter!

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The joy of critique partners

cat-reading-bookCritique partners used to be the names I read on the acknowledgement page of the books I read. I’d run my eyes over the words of thanks and love for the help and support given by the crit partners.

Now, on my newbie author journey, I have them too!

I came into this writing world with a manuscript that I was really proud to have produced. With the help of my crit partners, that manuscript has taken form and shape and will be a much better story for any potential reader.

I’ve been able to have their opinion and help on the plot, the pace, the motivations of my character. What doesn’t make sense, what needs more work, have I been specific and conveyed the feelings of my character?

I’m lucky to have crit partners who all excel in particular areas. They will look out for the gaps in my story. Is my hero Alpha enough through the story? Is it authentic and convincing? Should my heroine be thrown under the bus?

My manuscript is my baby and I know my characters inside out. But I often make assumptions and don’t show the reader what I need. My partners pick up on this.

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The other exciting thing is that I get to read exciting snippets that turn into wonderful stories that engross and entrance me. We laugh and giggle over new scenes, I make suggestions and we bounce ideas around. We go back and forth on all our projects and it’s such a fantastic support to have them looking out for me. I hope that they feel the same!

When I was first scribbling away on my note books, I never thought I’d need a crit partner. This story was going to be mine and mine alone. It has been invaluable to me. My writing is better for it. I can’t thank them enough. Long may it continue!

 

Orchard Book Club – My first author event

So my list of firsts continues this month as I will be travelling to Peterborough for Orchard Book Club’s Author Event!  My first author event.

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I first signed up to this (and am dragging my bff with me) months ago and will be attending as an avid reader. Going to finally meet some of the authors I’ve read and fallen in love with is a huge thrill and I’m going to hope I don’t go too ‘fan girl’ over them.

Kitty French and Jodie Ellen Malpas are the two top authors that drew my attention to Orchard Book Clubs Author event. 

I remember reading Kitty’s first book Knight and Play. It was in her early days and she is now a hugely successful best selling author. I can’t wait to read Genie which has just been released.

Jodie Ellen Malpas is another author I found when she’d just released her first in the This Man trilogy. Of course this series was amazing and she’s gone from success to success with Jesse (The Lord of the Manor!) and more recently Miller!

knight and play this man

But since buying my ticket, I’ve been lucky enough to read and connect with other authors and I can’t wait to meet them as well!

Louise Bay was kind enough to answer questions about her wonderful series on my blog. And Cameron Lincoln… Well what can I say? Those magical words that light up my twitter feed. I’m looking forward to seeing his suit too.

I’m also looking forward to meeting with other fans and readers. After all, reading was what sparked my interest in writing!

I’m hoping to return with books and signatures and maybe some swag and a selfie or two. Plus hopefully another author or book to add to my growing list of TBR.