Posted in Romance, Writing

How Did I Get Here?

I’m an author. A real author.

Several things happened the last couple of weeks to make me realize that I’m no longer a wannabe, aspiring author.

I saw my book on Facebook as part of Brenda Novak’s Online Auction For Diabetes. That was pretty exciting. I’ve posted my book cover plenty of times, but this was from Brenda Novak. And it’s for a good cause. If you want to check out the auction, here’s a link. http://brendanovak.auctionanything.com

I put my book on Goodreads. This is a site for readers to share books they’re reading and books they want to read. It’s word of mouth on a large scale. I have friends who’ve marked my book as read, and strangers too. I even got a review from someone I don’t know. How cool is that?

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20878834-better-than-perfect

I was contacted by my publicist. Talk about feeling legit. No, I won’t be taking a limo on a worldwide book tour anytime soon, but it’s nice to have someone who knows what she’s doing I can go to with questions or even reassurance that I’m on the right track.

My book is up on NetGalley. This is where reviewers can get my book to review. Exciting, scary, but an important way to get word out about my book. This is something I know I wouldn’t be able to do on my own. Sure, I could find out how to upload it and get the technical details, but I would have a hard time clicking send. I would find all kinds of excuses as to why I should wait. Maybe go back and tweak something before I put it “out there.”

I also got a message on my Facebook page asking how for advice on become a published author. What an honor.

The most important thing I did was join Romance Writers of America. I’ve learned so much about everything from story structure, Goal, Motivation, Conflict, characterization, starting in the right place, point of view, finding making time to write, to honing my query letter and pitching to agents and editors.

I also learned how to find my voice and feel comfortable in my writer jeans. I learned not to follow trends, but keep an eye on what was selling. I learned to own my writing. To write what I love to read. I wanted to read more sports romance. There wasn’t a lot out there. In some ways, writing athlete heroes was taboo. But the story still spoke to me. Begging to be told. I needed to write a guy who defied the stereotype of a major player on and off the field.

Another bit of helpful advice I followed was to read a lot of debut authors. I could read all the bestsellers I wanted but what they do and what I can get away with are two different things. Nora Roberts could probably write her book backwards and in purple crayon and it would sell. Me, I have to follow the rules. Or at least most of them.

I read a lot of debut authors. I read one particular line religiously, hoping to sell to them. I ended up going a different direction, but I think I learned a lot by studying that line.

I haven’t loved everything I read. I think I’m a little less tolerant of books that don’t really do it for me. That’s one reason I hesitate to review other authors. But I do finish them. And instead of getting jealous (if this garbage could get published, why not mine?) I try to figure out what doesn’t work for me.

I am an author. A real author, because I didn’t give up. Even when it was hard. Even when I learned the odds against me. Even after I got rejections. I didn’t give up, because I am a writer.

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Author:

Author of Contemporary Romance. Wife. Mother. Educator. Sports fan. And I once trained to be a model, but I don't look like one. Most days I don't even wear makeup.

9 thoughts on “How Did I Get Here?

  1. It is one of the most exhilarating and liberating experiences, yes? We work so diligently, dedicate ourselves to the craft with hope and inspiration, struggle with self-doubt and writer’s block, then one day…it all comes full circle and we blossom. Dream becomes reality and there is no going back. 🙂 Congrats!

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    1. It’s still kind of surreal. It’s one thing to see my friends and family support me and share my Facebook posts, but it’s something else to see my book on my Publisher’s website and on NetGalley and to see reviews start coming in. It’s no longer just a book in my head or on my hard drive. It’s out there in the world.

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  2. You ARE a writer and I am so happy for you, Kristi! I wish you nothing but success and tons of sales. I’m looking forward to reading this book. Can’t wait for it’s release.

    And thanks for the tips on writing.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    Like

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