Welcome to Writing Tip Wednesday! Can you believe we're on Week 12 of the Writing Advice series already? My guests have been offering some fantastic insights and suggestions, this week's author is no exception!
Aleatha Romig, another of my IRWA friends, is here today to share her thoughts. Thanks for being here, Aleatha!
Hello everyone, I'm Aleatha Romig, the author of the Consequences series and Insidious, the first of the Tales From the Dark Side. I began writing in 2010. So, to be honest, I consider myself pretty new at this, and whether a new or seasoned author, I'm always willing to learn. Fortunately, since I began writing, I've met with some success. As I think back on my personal journey, a few key elements come to mind that I feel are worth sharing.
One: I began writing because I wanted to write.
That may be a simple sentence, but the meaning is much more complex. I had no grand illusions of fame. I didn't write to write the next blockbuster. I wrote because I had a story, and I wanted to see how it would translate to paper (or e-readers). To be honest, I hoped that one day perhaps my mother and a few of her friends would read it. At first, I didn't even tell my immediate family that I was writing. I just wanted to write.
IF your intent is anything beyond "writing," I fear for your results.
The reason is very simple. In my endeavor, I couldn't/wouldn't fail; because I wrote to write, and as long as I continued to write, I was successful. I held no loftier goal of publication, self-publishing, hundreds of thousands of readers, or making money. My desire was to write my story. Because of that, I was in COMPLETE control over my future. My success didn't lie with anyone else...it was up to me. That gave me the strength to continue.
I often receive emails from prospective writers asking me what they should do to write their story. My answer is simple: write. Don't worry about anything else until your story is written (There are plenty more things to do before you publish, but without a strong story, any advice on beta reading, editing, formatting, publishing or querying, or quality covers is useless.). First, you must write.
Two: I wrote the story I wanted to read.
My Consequences story has been labeled somewhat unconventional. I've been told many times that it fails to fall within the given parameters of a specific genre. Personally, I'm all right with that. You need to decide that for yourself.
As I wrote my story, I laughed, cried, and sometimes was totally amazed with the direction my characters chose to go.
Later, I learned that readers experienced the same emotions while reading that I had while writing. That discovery led me to believe that as a writer, I, and you, MUST love our story. In my opinion, that element is not optional. If an author doesn't love the world he or she created, I believe wholeheartedly that no one else will love it. Therefore, if you want to elicit readers’ emotions, you must first elicit your own.
Don't let anyone else define your story. Claim it. It is YOUR story.
And three: I believed in my story.
I know that this last statement has made the greatest difference in my success; however, without one and two, I would never have gotten to this point. I wrote to write. I wrote a story I loved and would love to read, and, lastly, I believed in it.
To that end, the first year of publication, my first book Consequences sold 536 copies. By all standards of publishing, it was NOT a success. I was turned down by agents and had publishing houses tell me that though I had a "unique" story, they'd only consider publishing it if I allowed them to change it. I didn't. I have since acquired an agent.
Since 2012, when I released the second book in the series, Truth, and left my vanity publisher to be completely self-published, INDIE, my series has hit USA Today twice and the New York Times. With all the books in my series, I've sold over a half of a million books, and it's still selling. I didn't give up. I kept going. I knew early on that if I didn't believe in Tony and Claire and the story I created, no one else would.
Will every book or series meet this success? No. However, NO book or series will ever meet success without the support, love, and wholehearted belief of the author.
If you have a story and you believe in it, write! Don't write what you're told you should write. Write your story.
Once that is complete, there are more hoops to jump through before you hit publish...but as I said before, beta reading, editing, formatting, and quality covers mean nothing without a strong story.
So, first and foremost, my advice is to write!
CONSEQUENCES, her first novel, was released August 2011, by Xlibris Publishing. Then in October of 2012, Ms. Romig re-released CONSEQUENCES as an indie author. TRUTH, the sequel, was released October 30, 2012, and CONVICTED, the third in the series, was released October 8, 2013. Unexpectedly, the fourth book of the Consequences series came to life with REVEALED: THE MISSING YEARS was released May 20, 2014. BEYOND THE CONSEQUENCES, book #5, will be released in 2015. Yes...MORE Tony and Claire.
Aleatha also wrote reading companions for the Consequences Series. BEHIND HIS EYES CONSEQUENCES (Book 1.5) and BEHIND HIS EYES TRUTH (Book 2.5) are currently available for those times and scenes when the readers asked, "What was he thinking?" These companions also contain never before released behind-the-scenes scenes.
INSIDIOUS, the first released book from TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE was released October 21, 2014. TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE will be a series of standalone, dark, erotic thrillers guaranteed to take you on a wild, hot, and dark ride. Each novel in the series will be independent of the next. DUPLICITY, book #2, will be released in 2015.
Aleatha is a "Published Author's Network" member of the Romance Writers of America and represented by Danielle Egan-Miller of Brown and Miller Literary Associates.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AleathaRomig @aleatharomig
Thanks so much for visiting today, Aleatha! Now, go write, Writers!!!
Romance...With A Kick!