With both the Romance Writers of Australia and the Romance Writers of New Zealand conferences coming up, I thought it might be time to revisit the conversations I’ve had with some of our top Romance Authors.
Here they are, in no particular order:
Natasha Lester is suddenly what we all know as an overnight success with the recent release of The Paris Seamstress. But if you want to know the real truth behind what goes into writing a bestseller, then Natasha shares with us the highs and lows – and everything in between – of the writing process, from pre-drafts, the first discovery draft, and all the drafts after that, about six in total for Natasha
Rachael Johns, Lisa Ireland & Sally Hepworth have published over thirty books between them, with Sally having just released her novel, Lisa is next and Rachael later in the year. They not only know what they’re talking about, they’re generous in sharing their knowledges. The trio chat about word-counts, trusting in the process and accountability. Committing to the writing life is a choice, and it’s not for everyone, but if you’re an aspiring author, or an author on your own writing journey, then these ladies have something to share with you. A few gems; if it’s easy, forget it, don’t reject yourself, fracking around (not sure what this one’s about but I’m going to listen again to find out:), just put your work out there, and don’t lose faith in yourself.
Clare Connelly’s first tip is to write a lot and write often. She is a member of the Romance Writers of Australia Wordcount Warriors, so she practices what she preaches (she also mentions that she can write 1000 words in 20-30 minutes which would help:)). With three Presents, three Dares and an Indie novel coming out this year – and most of those word already written – Clare’s working on a bigger project, a commercial women’s fiction. As for time management, she says she does what she has to do to get the writing done.
Learn how to self-publish before you choose to self-publish, is the sage advice of self-publishing expert, Joanne Dannon. It’s easy to upload your book, but it’s a lot harder to sell your book, develop your brand and make a living from your writing. Step 1 is to write a good book, followed by professional editing rounds, formatting, cover design and uploading to the various sales platforms. Then, there’s the business side of things; your website, blog, social media strategy, and mailing list.Joanne has published thirteen books, and she’s made it her business to learn the business of self-publishing. The rewards are more than merely financial. You are in control of your business and making mistakes is all part of the learning process.
Grow you email list, network and promote your books, is the advice that prolific romance author, Tracey Pedersen, shares with us today and she makes it sound so easy. But listen a little closer and you’ll learn the real secret. Bum on chair and write. Tracey is dedicated to her craft and she’s learnt everything she knows along the way. She calls it taking action through a constant stream of baby steps. Her romantic comedy, Married This Year, is the first in a new series and is proving to be her most popular book yet.
On any given day Indie author, Leeanna Morgan, gives away 1000 books and sells another three hundred. She has been publishing her books since 2014, writes 2000 words a day, and has published over twenty books to date. It takes her six weeks to write and another two weeks to edit, and she loves it the whole process. The secret to her success is – no surprise – write more books. Leeanna’s books are contemporary romances set in Bozeman, Montana but she has her eye on her home country, New Zealand for an upcoming series. Her series include The Montana Brides, The Bridesmaids Club, The Protectors and Emerald Lake Billionaires. Her best tips? Write more books, try new things, build a backlist, publish regularly, write series, go wide with distribution, be consistent with your branding, choose your genre well, and outsource what you’re not good at.
Have you ever thought about having a crack at writing a novel? Cassandra O’Leary did and the result was Girl on a Plane, the cover of which found its way onto a billboard at the Frankfurt Book Fair. This is a fairytale story of a book release, from a co-ordinated book cover reveal to blog tour to winning awards. And it’s about defining your own success. Released globally as an ebook through AvonMaze/HarperCollins in 2016, O’Leary’s romantic comedy has grown wings and has a life of its own, winning the We Heart New Talent contest in the UK. O’Leary lives in Melbourne, Australia, and is working on romantic comedy number three. did and the result was Girl on a Plane, the cover of which found its way onto a billboard at the Frankfurt Book Fair. This is a fairytale story of a book release, from a co-ordinated book cover reveal to blog tour to winning awards. And it’s about defining your own success. Released globally as an ebook through AvonMaze/HarperCollins in 2016, O’Leary’s romantic comedy has grown wings and has a life of its own, winning the We Heart New Talent contest in the UK. O’Leary lives in Melbourne, Australia, and is working on romantic comedy number three.