“WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR ASPIRING AUTHORS?”
This was the question that I posed to published authors at the 2008 Romantic Times Conference, held in my home city of Pittsburgh PA. Here are their gracious responses. Note: Although these comments come from romance writers, the subject will interest writers of any genre. We all need a pep talk now and again!
Jade Lee, historical and fantasy romance author of over 15 novels including DRAGONBORN and THE TAO OF SEX, advises, “Write what you read! And be patient. This is a marathon, not a sprint. I BELIEVE IN ALL OF YOU!” (http://www.jadeleeauthor.com/)
Christine Feehan, author of over 30 books including PREDATORY GAME and DARK HUNGER, stresses, “Always remember editors are looking for that new fresh voice and innovative idea. Don’t be afraid to pitch to them. You’re the reason they have jobs. They want to find you. Get it done, and do it.” (www.christinefeehan.com/)
CARIDAD PINEIRO, author of paranormals for the Nocturne line and Latina fiction SOUTH BEACH CHICAS GET THEIR MAN (her 17th release) states that she didn’t have an agent when she first submitted and was accepted by Harlequin. (www.caridad.com/) One example of effective self promotion: Caridad is a veteran and attends the Salute to Veterans celebration at the RT con.
RENEE BERNARD, author of steamy Regencies, advises, “Especially if romance is something you’re interested in…going to the conferences, getting face to face with other writers, people in the industry, it’s priceless. Every career connection I’ve had, it’s been at Romantic Times conferences….It signals you really are serious. You go from wishing, to doing.” (www.reneebernardauthor.com/)
KATHRYN CASKIE (HOW TO PROPOSE TO A PRINCE) references Anne Lamott’s instruction to not get bogged down in constantly rewriting the first three chapters. “I realized it was just a first draft and I had to give myself permission to be less than perfect. I wrote to the very end, revised it, sent it in to Golden Heart (a prestigious contest), and I won.” (http://www.kathryncaskie.com/)
DIANE WHITESIDE, author of historical western romance including THE IRISH DEVIL, suggests “Read what you want and write what your heart says.” (http://www.dianewhiteside.com/)
I met our last contributor while stuffing gift bags as a volunteer. AMANDA MCINTYRE (DIARY OF COZETTE) says, “Believe in two things, potential and possibility. Do not start writing if you hope for fame or enormous wealth. As in most areas of the Fine Arts, it is the product, ultimately, that is of greater satisfaction and happiness. Keep learning, keep improving your writing, believe in yourself even when others may not.” (http://www.amandamcintyre.net/)
Good advice for all of us as we pursue the path of publication.
By Cheryl Williams writing as Sharlana Williams