How did I "start"?
Recently, a fellow writer asked, “How did you get started?”
I was taken aback, because, truthfully, I feel like I’m still starting. I’m still figuring out what book I’m going to write next, or what series. I’m still figuring out the grand gesture of the book I’m working on now, and how to create a more compelling climax. I’m still getting the hang of marketing and newsletters and Facebook groups and Instagram hops and the next social media platform—whatever that is.
But her question got me thinking—how did I start . . . before I even had a book. And let me say, although I’ve been writing for what feels like forever (grade school, I think.), I didn’t actually finish a book until I was in my twenties. And then I wrote a few more. But in 2015, I was attended the Romance Writer’s of America national conference in 2015, with the hope of deciding between three options:
Pursue a traditional path (literary agent, “Big Five” publisher, etc)
Become an “indie” author (but learn how to do so professionally)
Continue to write, but as a hobby. (because publishing is hard!)
The third option was the least appealing. For me, reading is my hobby whereas writing is my passion. My characters become so real to me that I have to introduce them to readers.
The conference helped me decide against indie publishing (at the time) because I was worried about devoting equal attention to writing and the business side of things. To publish a book I would be proud of AND successfully get it into the hands of readers is hard for any author . . . but to do it with your first book, right out of the gate—is next to impossible. Put simply, you don’t know what you don’t know, and since you only get one chance to launch each book, I decided to go the traditional route.
So, in the Uber on my way home from NYC, I sketched out the idea for a series that, I hoped, would get the attention of an agent and publishing company. Combining my past experience as a twenty-something on Wall Street with my love of contemporary romance, I decided to write a story about a girl from the wrong side of the tracks falling for a Manhattan royal who is now the darling of Wall Street. This manuscript resulted in me signing with Jessica Alvarez, of Bookends Literary and publishing with St. Martin’s Press.
I went on to write a rock star romance (Rock King, Rock Legend, and Rock Rebel with Grand Central Publishing.
And now, because life is a crazy, unpredictable thing, am planning my first indie! Legacy of Lies, and its prequel novella, Throne of Lies, are releasing in October 2018. Now that I believe I can do my characters justice, I’m so excited to undertake something that, only a year ago, seemed terrifying!
I’ll check back in soon and let you know how it goes!!