Why did you decide to self-publish?
There are many reasons. I’m astonished at how many traditionally published authors are now becoming indie authors. At a recent writers workshop, I talked with two well know authors that have decided to, at least at present, be the captain of their own boat.
But really my decision was based on my years as a business owner. I’m a seasoned risk-taker. I’m willing to spend money to hire editors, a cover designer, a formatter and get help from a professional when I need it so that I can write the type of book I want and then reap the rewards of my labor. To back it up, I have marketing experience and the belief in myself that I’ll figure it out or I’ll at least have fun doing it and then saying I screwed up.
You mention writing the type of book you want as one of the reasons why you decided to be an indie publisher. What happened to make this so important?
One of the first mass critiques I got I was told my heroine couldn’t meet her hero when she was married. The quote was along the lines of, “if you want to write a romance she needs to have divorce papers in her purse.” I thought this was ridiculous. But I am, by nature, a rule breaker.
I stuck to my guns on my main character being married when she meet’s the hero. Then I was told I was writing women’s fiction. Again, rule breaker. I suppose that was a good way to dump my idea, my work into a category with less structure.
Thank heavens I have the hide of leathered old woman because writing will leave you wishing you had more callouses. To the heart of the question. Principally, I don’t think readers of romance need to be spoon fed a formula. One of the reasons I started writing, was the story I want to tell was one I wanted to hear. I believe at least one other person out there will too.
But I’d be happier if it were like one million.
How long did it take you to write Greed & Jealousy?
The first draft took about five months. The twenty drafts that followed took another two and a half years. I’m not joking on this.
I’m horribly stubborn. I could’ve ditched Greed & Jealousy and walked away from the manuscript countless times. A few of which, I had visions of printing and burning, for good fun. But the story needed to get out of my head, and those darn characters kept talking to me when I slept.
I think any aspiring writer should know this, though. What I did was not typical in the course of learning to craft a story. Often writers keep learning to write one book at a time and then come book six or ten get published. I choose a different path. It might not have been the best, but it’s the one I take full responsibility for.
Where do you write?
The better question is where don’t I write. I don’t need to work in a quiet space. I have younger kids and can block out all sound. But I do like writing, say after 10 pm and everyone is in bed, and I can sit in the easy chair, feet over the arm, typing on my laptop, as I am now.
Honestly, most of my writing has been done at Starbucks as I inject copious amounts of caffeine in the form of iced lattes. My favorite part of this: sometimes people are walking by and have no idea I’m killing someone on the screen or making my main characters kiss for the first time. This still makes me chuckle.
What’s surprised you the most about writing romance?
A couple of things.
One. My fellow romance writers are the most giving of time, expertise and knowledge. In so many industries professionals hoard contacts and information because why would they give it away, at best they would charge. Romance writers aren’t like this. They share themselves and their talent. It’s very much a pay-it-forward group.
Two. We are looked down upon as writers even though the category makes almost twice that of the runner-up of mystery and suspense.
Someone who’s known me since I was born said I hope one day you write “good” literature. She, of course, hasn’t read a word I’ve written but is already dismissing me because of the genre.
Three. People get so excited to hear what I’m writing. This, of course, make up for all of the naysayers! Boo yah!
Why did you need to get this story out of your head?
Because I’m cursed. The first question I asked myself was: What if Tova, (my heroine) was married? What if she was unhappy in her marriage and she met someone who made her question everything she thought she was and what she wanted. What would that story look like? I wanted to know why she was unhappy. I wanted to know why she couldn’t get a divorce, especially, since they didn’t have kids. And, specifically, why did Tova feel the need to fight for her marriage even though she obviously wasn’t living the life she wanted?
I think there’s women out there that can relate to this.
As a writer, I need the reader to feel something. Good, bad or controversial, I need to illicit an emotion, or I’ve done a disservice. I think Greed & Jealousy does that. You may not like that my main character is married when she meets the man she’ll have a HEA (happily ever after) with but I believe I made you feel something, and I’m good with that.