Tag Archives: publishing

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!).

Thank the Holidays for ‘Holiday Ties’  

1406759946On my journey towards being a published author there have been a few milestones; finishing the first draft of my manuscript and holding it in my hand, receiving my friends support and encouragement towards my story and being brave enough to share it with someone I didn’t know.

That last milestone wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for a great short read by a fabulous author Elizabeth SaFleur.

I first found Miss E on social media and the blurb for Holiday Ties ticked all the boxes for the type of story I’d enjoy reading. So I did. It was a fab ‘Sunday treat’ and I was late for my yoga class as I couldn’t put it down. My biggest criticism was it wasn’t long enough. But as this was a short story I had to be content with what Miss E gave. I try and post at least a short review on Goodreads for the books I enjoy, I understand how important these can be for authors and this review turned out to be a great decision.

She contacted me soon after and offered me the opportunity to review her debut full length novel Lovely. This was another milestone for me – my first ARC review. To say I was excited was an understatement. I loved the scene that Miss E had painted in Holiday Ties and was eager to see more of her Doms of Washington.

‘Lovely’ was a gripping story that built on Holiday Ties, had some very charged and knicker wetting sex scenes and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Miss E and I went back and forth a few times on social media and then I decided to do it. I asked her if she would read my manuscript – pause for dramatic effect. Because she is so wonderful, she agreed. My milestone!

Now, I should have been happy with that, and I was. I was ecstatic. So when she got back to me with a really positive review AND a crit summary I was bowled over. She was supportive, encouraging but also told me where I could improve. This was such a huge step for me and probably the biggest milestone after deciding to write the book itself. Without her first few words I doubt I would have had the courage to continue.

Since then, we have continued to stay in touch (more in that in future posts) and I am so thankful for her first book, Holiday Ties being so good and good enough that I wanted more of Elizabeth’s story!

3a0e9b0440e468fd1e6b22687f9a10e580f30df7-thumbHer wonderful book Lovely is up for pre-order now and she’s also doing some fantastic giveaways on her blog. I’d guarantee Christina’s story is well worth clicking that button!

 

 

 

Lovely (Amazon): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00P3CHMQ0

Holiday Ties (Amazon): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LZA6HO2

Website: http://www.elizabethsafleur.com/

Now, you remember me saying how wonderful Miss E is, well she’s answered the following questions for me to share as well!

Q Do we get to see more of Ryan and Yvette from Holiday Ties in future stories?

Yes, absolutely. Yvette emerged as I was writing Lovely. She wasn’t supposed to be a main character, but she does end up playing a pivotal role. After I completed Lovely, she (figuratively) turned to me and asked, “Where is my happy ending?” So, I wrote Holiday Ties, providing her with some HEA of her own. Of course, Yvette and Ryan’s story is not done. Yvette wants her own book now!

Q What book are you currently up to in your writing process?

I’m editing the second Elite Doms book, Untouchable, which should be out in early spring. It features Carson Drake, a Dom who made a cameo in Lovely. I simply love the heroine, London Chantelle. She’s sassy. London goes to a private club, Club Diabolus, to get her “ridiculous” submissive desires out of her system, but then runs into co-worker Carson—a man who promises to fulfill her dreams. Or will he drain her dry, like every other man she’s known? Hmm, we’ll have to find out!

Then, of course, there are five other books in the Elite Doms series: The Lovely sequel (early summer release) and four other books about different Dominants and a Femme Domme. Each of the heroes/heroines are connected through a secret organization called The Tribunal. The Tribunal makes itself known in Untouchable.

Q Have any of your characters taken the story in a completely different direction to what you had planned? And as a writer how do you deal with that?

Oh, yes. My characters are quite “bossy.” For instance, London Chantelle, the heroine in Untouchable. She turned out to be a masochist. I did not see that character trait coming. I was writing a flogging scene when she kept screaming at me “harder, harder!” Who was I to argue? I tend to start out writing a character who is “half-baked.” They come with a few key characteristics, a “look,” goals, motivations and inner conflicts. But as the story unfolds, they develop. I like the surprise. They keep me on my toes.

Q Lovely is up for Pre order now. What was your favourite part of writing this story and why?

This story will always have a special place in my heart. I carried Lovely around inside me for so many years – dating back to 1996. One day I was sitting in an outside café, sipping wine, watching the boats on the Potomac River when I swore I thought I saw a woman being lashed to a sailboat mast. I wondered, “does she like that?” Jonathan Brond “spoke” to me that day. He asked me “Would you like to find out?” For years he whispered to me, filling my head with different aspects of his story. But it wasn’t until two years ago that his “whispers” became more demanding – like a true Dom. My favorite part of writing Lovely was the boat scene, because that was the genesis of the whole story. That scene is where Christiana finally admits her big secret, and in doing so, shows Jonathan a part of himself he doesn’t like.

A big thank you to Miss E! You can connect with her at any of her social sites.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethSaFleur

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ElizaLoveStory

Google+ profile: google.com/+ElizabethSaFleur

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/elizabethlovest/

The decisions of a fledgling writer

 

f88067198cd6620856c8442d6dbf5319As a newbie writer just finishing the first book in my debut trilogy I thought that the decisions in front of me would be simple. Character developments -Will she won’t she? This scene or that? I was focused on the writing.

I started writing for a number of reasons, one was to have some time for me and to do something I felt passionate about. I wanted to write and give my characters their story.

But with the completion of my first draft came my first decision. What now? I’d completed a book. Big tick. But I decided I wanted to make it better. So I went back through it with my trusty pink pen. And edited.

It became clear to me that if i’d done this, why not take the next step. My next decision – should I share it with a friend? That was probably one of the scariest moments, letting go of my baby. Would they see it like I did? Is it any good? Luckily for me, my friend LOVED More and it was that confidence that made my next decision for me. I’m going to publish this, even if it’s just for me.

It was at this point that the flood gates opened! So many more decisions to make and behind each one, there were further questions to answer.

Self publish or try to get a publishing deal?
Editor or self edit?
Which editor?
Cover design and cover reveal?
Beta readers?
Book blog tour for launch day, who?
When to launch? At how much?

Once I started down this wonderful rabbit hole I didn’t know where it would lead. I had a small goal in mind and now that goal has grown due to the decisions I’ve made.

One of the best decisions I have made to date was to send my baby to an author I had read and connected with on social media. She read it and gave me some fantastic feedback and reader insight. It was constructive, sound advice which I desperately needed. I knew I had to do this, send it to others to better the story and her input has led to numerous emails and words of advice.

There are a hundred other questions and decisions to make for a newbie author. But, what I’m finding out is there is a huge community of authors willing to help with advice and give back. This has been a revelation to me and I’m thankful to have made the decisions I’ve made as it’s led me to where I am today.

Have I published yet? No. Have I made all the decisions I need to? No. But I can now do it knowing I have several people and a host of other resources that will help me through this, willing to give me advice and support that will improve my writing ‘career’.

My latest decision is to take the advice on offer and learn from it.