Hopefully, none or only a few of us are digging out after last week’s major dump of the white stuff. The hubby was happy; he got to go out and play with his oversized snow-blower. Kids were thrilled: between the extended Presidents’ Day and the two snow days that preceded it, they ended up with a full week off from school. (That worked in my favor, too. Got almost completely caught up with a few day-job related items and got a total of 6.5 out of the seven straight days school was closed—and paid, too! Not bad at all!)
Not that “snowmaggedon” kept a slew of you from dropping by my humble corner of the net to hang out with Cate Masters and me for a while. A great showing folks—thanks so much to all of you, comment or not! Cate was so gracious and Vikki Bakus, dear friend and supporter/subscriber as well as pre-published author, you took home the giveaway: a digital copy of Cate’s most recent release, Design for Life! Congratulations!
Rebecca Clark has wanted to write romance novels since she read her first Harlequin Romance at age 11. She holds a BA degree in Graphic Design and occasionally puts that talent to use as a portrait artist where her recent specialty has become drawing people and pets who have passed away. “I see dead people” could be her motto. When she’s not writing, she works as a personal fitness trainer and group exercise instructor. She makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of 22 years, two kids, a German Shepherd beast who thinks he’s a lap dog, two cats, and a gecko. In her abundant free time, Rebecca enjoys reading, watching Criminal Minds reruns on TV, and doing absolutely nothing.
Today, exactly one week after her brand-new debut release, Borrowed Stilettos, Rebecca (what else?) steps into the bloglight!
What a hot cover, Rebecca! Make sure to pass the compliment on to Nicola Martinez , your wonderful cover artist, please. Now, talk about your writing roots: what got you started and what gave you the confidence to keep at it? I’ve wanted to be a novelist since I read my very first romance as a pre-teen. It wasn’t until after my first child was born that I started my journey for publication. It took me many years before I got that first sale. I made a ton of mistakes along the way, quit writing for several years due to frustration, and started to get very cynical about the industry. I finally realized my dream had changed. My focus was no longer to be a “big name author”, hit the bestseller lists, make a lot of money from my writing. That’s a lot of pressure to put on oneself, and none of those things is in my control. I realized I just wanted people to read what I wrote. Once I made that mental switch, writing became fun again and I got my first contract.
Sounds like “you” came through once you made the mental switch! How has your writing impacted other aspects of your life? I’ve learned to be a much more productive person in little snippets of time. Years ago, I asked a successful writer friend how she could be so productive and prolific while having two little kids at home and running a home business. She said she uses her timer, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. I have two timers now—one for writing and one for housework. It’s amazing how much you can get done in 15 focused minutes.
I can really relate to that, Rebecca. When my kids were in grammar school, they didn’t have to get up until about 7:45. I’d do paperwork for about ninety minutes, then allow myself 15-20 minutes of concentrated writing time. Think I wrote an entire novel in those fifteen-minute windows. Next, talk about current, past and future projects, upcoming releases, maybe your ‘dream novel’? I’m one of those people who reads several books at once, always has more than one household project going on, will talk on the phone and answer email at the same time. So, it follows that I would write more than one project at a time, too. Right now I’m finishing up a story I plan to submit to Harlequin Superromance; writing a follow-up to Borrowed Stilettos (my book that just released); and am revising a couple of my old manuscripts. My “dream novel” is actually one I wrote a few years ago—the “book of my heart.” I’m revising and updating it in my abundant spare time. Maybe someday soon it’ll be ready to make the rounds again.
Please tell our readers how you juggle work, time to write and all that goes along with it, especially as a published author (i.e., promo, etc). I do work outside the home, but only 20 or so hours a week. I’m a personal fitness trainer and class instructor, so my hours are very flexible. This means a split schedule (a few hours in the morning, then back for more hours in the evening), but I make sure most afternoons are free for my writing. Juggling promo isn’t so easy. Even with my handy-dandy timer, I tend to spend more time on email, blogs, etc than I should. I’m working on finding a balance between writing and promo. I enjoy the writing side way better.
Please share the three ways you find most effective to promote your work! Well, I can’t tell you yet which ways are most effective as my first book just came out. However, I’ll tell you the ones that are the most enjoyable. Blogging. I have a blog for shy writers. (www.shywriters.blogspot.com) While its main purpose is to help other writers like me who are shy and/or introverted, it does get my name “out there.” It’s all about name recognition in this industry. Guest-blogging. (Thanks, Joanna! ) Some writers hate being asked but I find it an honor. Even though it’s sometimes difficult to come up with something fresh, it’s a great way to reach new writers and readers. Every blog has a unique following. It just takes one of those followers to click on my name and decide to buy my book. Twitter. I just opened my account a couple of weeks ago and I’m hooked. It’s like being in a crowded room, where you can listen in on a bunch of conversations, or have a private little conversation one on one. I’ve connected and chatted with people I never would have otherwise. Connect with me here, too:
It’s a classic case of mistaken identity…only this time, it’s no mistake. Mild-mannered teacher Audrey Thompson dresses as her flamboyant but cowardly twin in order to break up with her sister’s fiance, Zach Banister. Before she can do the dirty deed, she starts to fall for him herself. Her plan goes hilariously and seductively awry, as things tend to do when you’re stuffing your bra and borrowing your sister’s stilettos. Little does Audrey realize, however, Zach is also playing a game and has his own agenda.
Excerpt: Well. It was now or never. Adrenaline blasted through her veins, heating her skin. Taking a deep breath of courage, she navigated the first step downward while holding the banister for support. Her ankle wobbled on the four-inch heel. She took another step. This time, she swayed precariously. Her head swam with visions of being splayed out like road kill on the Banister slate.
The threesome below turned her way.
“Ava,” Zach greeted with a smile in his voice. Its deep tone echoed the answering quiver in her belly. She imagined what her name would sound like rolling off his tongue. She froze on the second step from the top, afraid to move. Who in their right mind would ever install hardwood stairs? Nerves rattled around her gut like coins in an empty soda can.
“Darling, we were just talking about you,” he said, moving toward the bottom of the staircase.
Darling? Oh, crap. How was she supposed to break up with a man who called her ‘darling’ in such a sexy way?
“Come down here, and I’ll introduce you.”
Order your copy at The Wild Rose Press!
Thanks so much for having me, Joanna. These were great questions.
Wonderful to have you, Rebecca. Best wishes with that first release! I look forward to having you here again with your next!
And speaking of next, next week, Tina Gabrielle, writer of historical romance, will be stopping by! I’ll tell you then why this visit is particularly special to me! Until then, stay warm! If you get a chance and want to, of course, stop by my website (http://www.joannaaislinn.com/Eventphotos.html) –finally got some photos from my launch party up. Thanks, Aggie!