Be Warned: These are the scribblings of a writer unruly, unsupervised, and largely unrepentant

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Who am I?

For those of you who have just discovered my writing and this blog, I'd like to say a warm "Hi" and take this opportunity to let you know a little about me, why I'm here and how I got here.

I've wanted to be a writer since I was a child, although back then my favourite genre was horror, mixed in with the classics from Austen, Du Maurier and Hardy. I used to pass the time on my way to school every day making up stories in my head, but I never wrote any of them down. It was my little secret.

Slowly, my tastes focused on historical romance. In my twenties I eagerly devoured Jude Deveraux and Susan Johnson. At last, I started writing my own tales on actual paper-- bundles of notebooks over-stuffed with these florid outpourings. But I never expected to let anybody else read them, let alone try to get them published. Crikey, I'd have been much too embarrassed!

Then, one day, a friend at work became my guinea pig and gallantly offered to read this "masterpiece" I'd been huddling over forever. She liked it so much, she encouraged me to seek out a literary agent and, with hope and one double-spaced manuscript clutched in my sweaty hands, I took the plunge. What did I have to lose? Oh, about ten years of my life and several nerve-endings, because I had to learn how to toughen up and take rejection on the chin. Many, many times.

And so I was off on a rollercoaster of ups and downs. I spent the next decade querying literary agents before I finally got signed by a NY agency in 2010. The agent I worked with was a lovely, supportive person and it was fantastic to have somebody on my side after so many years of form rejections and almost-but-not-quites. Unfortunately, my agent was  unable to sell the two manuscripts I had given her, so we eventually parted ways and I was on my own again.

It was shortly after this that I managed, on my own, to get a three book deal with Sourcebooks, Inc. (one of the few major publishers who accept unagented queries). This three book deal turned into a four book deal and then another series deal followed that.

A few years ago when a writer friend of mine decided to branch out and open her own publishing house (Twisted E-Publishing) she offered me a great deal to sign a series with her and since that would give me more freedom over the stories I wanted to write - and, to be purely mercenary, a larger royalty - I was happy to go with her.  At TEP I can put out books on a faster schedule and this is important to me now that I'm writing full-time. TEP is not yet a large enough house to have a distribution deal, which means any print books are POD (hence a higher cost than most other paperbacks). I know there are some independently published authors who can guarantee high enough sales to get a distribution deal, but sadly for now, that is not a possibility for me. In the meantime I keep plugging away with the resources at my fingertips, begging for honest reviews and relying on word-of-mouth.

As for promotion - no I don't have much. I have very little money to spend and, at this time, I rely on free marketing methods, which is why I use this blog and my Facebook Author page to try and keep readers up to date. I certainly don't have the spare funds to pay for a marketing agency, or any of the promotional methods I might have access to with a larger publisher.

 But I'm here and I'm writing every day. It makes me happy and I've been here long enough now to know I can stick it out. The publishing industry is changing rapidly, but the need for good stories and loveable characters will never change. We need some happy-ever-afters in the world and if I can help put some of them out there, that makes it all worthwhile.

So I've been published now since 2011 and it's certainly been a learning experience. I'm extremely grateful that I get to write full-time, and I thank my lucky stars every day, when I sit down at my laptop with my first cup of coffee and stare at that blinking cursor.

Which characters am I going to meet today?

I take a sip of coffee and I smile as my fingers hover over the keyboard, because I know that whoever starts appearing on that blank screen and taking over my story - whatever they do and say, they're definitely going to have fun!

I hope you enjoy my books and stick with me as I continue on with the next stage of my publishing adventures.

Thank you for reading!


I can be found on FACEBOOK

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