On Becoming A Writer

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I’ve been asked to write an article on writing. Since writing is one of my favorite things to do, this should be a piece of cake, right? Well, we’ll see.

I’m often asked how I can put out so many books in such a short time. Granted, I still work a full time Monday through Friday job, so this isn’t always an easy task. It took twelve years to complete my first book…but there was a lot of time in between the time I began and the time I finished that I wasn’t writing at all. I started it and stopped it several times because life, as it sometimes does, got in the way.

One day I sat down, five years after I started it and I finished it. Then I started trying to get it published and learned this wasn’t an easy thing to do. After a bad experience with an agent, I began trying on my own. After a few rejections, which were accompanied by some wonderful suggestions, I put it away. Then a few years later, I got it back out, changed it, using the suggestions I had been given and began sending it in again. I was told no one wanted another story about women’s friendships. So I dug out a different manuscript I had written previously, tweaked it, sent it in, and received a contract back in three days. Yes, three days. A week later, I received a contract for, you guessed it, the book about women’s friendships. I expressed my desire to that publisher, LazyDay, to make the book into a series and was told to go for it. There are now six books completed in the Fab Five series, four of which have been released, and the fifth will be out August 22. Book number six will be released September 25. There are six more books planned for the series and I am currently working on the seventh one. By the way, that first book, the one the previous pubs said would never fly, has been my bestseller to date, and what people love about it is the women’s friendship.

I write for Rebel Ink Press also. I have three books out with them, Unlikely Lovers, Sunny’s Love, and Remember Our Promise. The readers like Remember Our Promise so well they asked if I’d make it a series. After discussing it with Rebel, we decided to make it a Trilogy, so the other two books in the Promises Trilogy are on my list of things to write. I have three novellas coming out this fall from Rebel too.

LazyDay will also be releasing an erotic romance in November under another pen name, Isabella Kole, called Accepting His Terms. I’ve signed thirteen contracts in ten months. How did I do it and keep a full time job, and manage a household, and still have a “life?”

It isn’t easy, and add marketing to the mix…my world got crazy overnight. My secret? I try to write or promote in the evenings and on the weekends. If social obligations or family time gets in the way, I adjust my schedule accordingly. I have no set pattern. I’ve been known to write for an entire weekend and get half a book down. Other times it has taken two or three months to complete a book. The easiest book I’ve ever written just came out from Rebel Ink Press last week, Remember Our Promise. I wrote it in sixteen days, or rather it wrote itself and took me along for the ride. That was truly a once in a lifetime experience.

I just sit down and start writing when I have the time. I have to, my time is limited, I usually come up with a title, a blurb, an outline, and go from there. I pretty much have in my head what the story will be, but ideas pop into my head along the way and they get added. I also have a smartpen, which was a gift from my own lifelong friends, which allows me to talk into it and then plug it into the computer later and it types what I’ve said. Pretty cool little gadget if you ask me and surely not something I would have bought for myself but a much appreciated gift.

Promoting…probably one of the hardest parts of publishing a book. I use the social media, and recently a group of readers approached me and said they’d like to form a street team for me. I now have an assistant, who takes care of a lot of my marketing for me. They are a great group of people and we have a lot of fun. I’ve made some really good friends in that group and some of my family and longtime friends are also a part of the group.

Editing…another part of the process…this is where I have to meet a deadline, and sometimes it gets tricky with my schedule, but I do it. I make it work, because becoming a writer is a lifetime dream of mine and I’m not about to let it slip by without trying to make a successful career out of it. I’ve been given the opportunity by two wonderful publishers, and I have a third one who would like for me to write for them and I have a great group of supporters who have my back. Will I make the bestseller list? Only time will tell, but I’m going to keep writing, keep editing, and keep promoting, that you can be sure of.

My advice to a want-to-be author? Never, ever give up. If it’s your dream, make it happen. I’m living proof it can. Now, I’ve really got to get cracking on some edits for my September release from LazyDay, so I’m going to hush for now. I hope I’ve helped at least one person with my little story about writing and how it works for me.

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