How long did it take you to write your first book?
My first book actually started out as a serial for an online website that was eventually turned into a book and self-published. I think it took me about a month and a half to get the full story written and uploaded to the website.
What inspired you to start writing?
The website I was reading erotica on! After a couple of years I ran through all the stories I wanted to read and I knew exactly what kind of story I wanted to read but no one seemed to be writing new ones exactly like what I wanted. So I figured I should give writing a shot, because then I could have exactly what I wanted without relying on anyone else. I’d always enjoyed writing anyway and I had all these ideas in my head about what I wanted to see happen in a story; it was a bit of a relief to finally get it out of my head and onto some ‘paper.’
How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?
I just published a chapter at a time on the website. I did some proofreading / editing of my own before self-publishing and added a few small scenes, but I went back again later and did more rounds of proofreading / editing, with the help of others.
How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?
Readers from the website had actually asked me to publish the story, they wanted to be able to buy it and read it on their e-readers and not just online, so at the time it didn’t feel like that big of a deal. It was just ‘oh, sure, I guess I could do that’ – looked up how to publish through Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, etc. and just got it out there. It wasn’t until the sales and reviews started coming in and I realized people who weren’t just readers from the website were also reading it and loving it and wanting more that I really had that moment of awe and realized “Oh wow… I actually wrote a book. That people are reading.” That was both humbling and amazing. Publishing the second book was so much scarier because I finally had all the usual worries – what if people don’t like it? What if it doesn’t live up to what they wanted after reading the first book? I do remember that I cried the first time I held a paperback of my book in my hands.
How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?
So different and yet so the same! Now I rarely have time to write for the website, but I feel like I’m still writing books for the readers who want specific stories from that world. I spend a lot more time editing and proof-reading, I have beta readers now who help me, and I pay to have the editing / proof-reading done. The biggest difference to the publishing process is that I now actually do marketing. I was so scared of the author community back when I first began publishing, I didn’t consider myself good enough to even try talking to other authors, and now I feel like I’m fairly involved in the community which welcomed me with open arms. I kick myself for being so shy at the beginning, but I’m so glad to have found them now!
How many books have you published since then?
I believe I’m at about 40 books under my main pen name, not counting the anthologies I’ve been a part of, and another 10 under my alternate pen name. And still going!