Category Archives: Willow's Book Chat

First Book Chat With Delta James

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How long did it take you to write your first book?

My first novel began the night I recognized that somewhere along the way, I had lost the part of myself that lived without fear.  I got up off the couch, fired up my computer and opened myself up to the possibilities.  My first heroine stepped forward and said, “I have a story to tell.”  Two weeks later I submitted that story for publication.  Within two months, I saw my first novel appear for sale on Amazon.

What inspired you to start writing?

The recognition that as a younger woman I had adopted the creed that fortune favors the bold, but that somewhere along the way, fear had dulled that edge.  I made a decision to banish fear-based decisions from my life.  That thought was almost immediately followed by the abandoned dream of becoming an author.  I let go of the fear and embraced the possibility of living a dream.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

One of the ways I’m kind of an odd-ball is that I edit as I write.  Each day when I begin to start to write, I re-read at least the previous chapter and edit.  Once I have completed the first full manuscript, I re-read the entire thing and send it to my beta reader who sends me suggested edits.  I make those and then re-read it before sending it to an editor.  I get those edits back, make them, re-read the entire manuscript and then return to the editor who either has additional suggestions or forwards to the line-editor.  Once the line-editor is done, I re-send to my beta reader and then I will re-read a final time once she is through.  A long-winded way of saying five to eight times … and still once it’s published you find things!

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

My first book went live about 11:30 PM the night before it was scheduled to be released.  Seeing it appear on Amazon was a thrill.  I squealed loud enough to wake up my three basset girls who were napping in the office.  I was beside myself … they just thought if I was going to be excited and wake them up, I needed to get them a cookie!

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

The writing process is about the same, although I believe I’m a better writer. The publishing process is far different.  I changed publishers. The second/current publisher has a far more extensive and involved editing process, which I just love.  That’s another odd-ball thing about me – I love the editing process.  I always learn things and new skills to improve my writing and my process.

How many books have you published since then?

This Friday, August 2nd, I will release Warlord:  A Dark Shifter Romance, which will be my twenty-first novel (under two pen names) since my debut novel in January 2018.  I published six novels under the pen name Willa Bradley with Blushing Books.  In July 2018, I published my first novel (Brought to Heel) under the pen name Delta James (which I now use exclusively) with Stormy Night Publications.

First Book Chat With H. Gorlitz Scott

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How long did it take you to write your first book?

So, this can get a little complicated to answer, so I’ll preface this with the fact that I started off doing independent comics. My first was a web-comic, which took about a week for each “page.” After that I went to doing printed comic issues, which took me about a year to produce (scriptwriting, then drawing takes a lot of time, ya know?).  My first words-only/no pictures novel took me about 3 years to write.

What inspired you to start writing?

My husband got me into comics with his weird concepts, but the overall story of Sivoa came about because of long-lost childhood days of playing “pretend” at my parent’s house.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

About a million. Then I went crying to a wonderful freelance editor because I couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that I was doing everything wrong. There were about three more rounds of edits before we felt it was ready to send off.

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

This question is why I brought up the comic stuff before, as that gave me prior experience with releasing my works into the world. “Hitting the publish button” wasn’t really anything new to me by that point.

Marketing it for the first time as a new author wound up being a whole different story and, frankly, I was terrified. Honestly, I never got  over that; marketing still scares me.

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

I take a little bit more care with the outline and the first draft now. No more “[insert name here]” or blanks as I write anymore. Filling those in later was practically impossible due to my not being able to recall my thoughts when I went back to them. It really bogged things down.

How many books have you published since then?

I only published one book since then – an anthology of shorts about the characters that do not transition from the first book to the second. It’s thin, but it has also been illustrated and made into a functional calendar. 😉

First Book Chat With P.S. Bartlett

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How long did it take you to write your first book?

If I remember correctly, all in all about three months. The actual writing took about a month but add in all the research, editing, rewrites etc. and three months sounds about right.

What inspired you to start writing?

The voices!

Yes, the voices is what I tell people but as writers, we know what that means. It isn’t like we hear actual voices but more like our imagination is speaking to us in the voice of a character. Mine was Ennis, a little boy who had a story he wants me to tell about his life. I was on a treadmill at Planet Fitness and he wouldn’t stop “telling” me his story. I finally agreed and FIREFLIES was born.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

About three—four if you count the professional editor’s suggestions and changes.

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

I felt so accomplished. I’ve always been the type of person who commits 100%. When I decide to do something, I dig in my heels and don’t stop until it’s done. With writing, to see your book right in front of you, your name on the cover, your beautiful cover design that you chose from the artist, then to open it and see your dream come true is something like a miracle. It’s like Christmas morning when you’re a child.

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

It’s ten times easier. Back then, I was with a boutique publisher and granted, she did all the heavy lifting for me but even now that I self-publish, the hardest part is writing the story, editing and finding a good professional editor and beta readers. The best part about now is I have learned so much. All I want to do is top myself with every book. Getting better with every line is all that matters.

How many books have you published since then?

At the moment, I have a total of seven published. My eighth book is complete and currently going through the editing process. I’m hoping for a Christmas release, but things are going so well that is might be Halloween!

I’d also like to thank bloggers like you for being such a wonderful support system to independent authors like me. We definitely couldn’t get our work out there without you!

First Book Chat With Laura Hawks

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How long did it take you to write your first book?

Two months (I sorta cheated, as some of it was already written for a story on FB and I just reworked it)

What inspired you to start writing?

I run a FB role playing group and some members of my group were published and encouraged me to submit for an anthology. Long story short, it was refused by that company, but one of the authors showed it to another small press who wanted the short story turned into a novel. Readers seemed to like the book and asked for more and that has inspired me to keep writing. Now I have stories I just need to get on paper.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

Five

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

Shocked (that anyone liked it) excited. Thrilled.

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

A complete 360. I started with a small time press who planned to do everything, marketing, editing, cover.. and now I do it all. I was unprepared for entering this world, but have had a lot of help from other authors. I admit I’m still floundering sometimes, especially with marketing and promoting, but the thing about writing and publishing it’s a never-ending learning experience.

How many books have you published since then?

11 books, one photo-souvenir booklet, one word-search with 28 other authors.

First Book Chat With Gryffyn Phoenix

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How long did it take you to write your first book?

Verity and the Haven/Helm kids were born when my parents dropped me off at college. I was 16. Verity and my journey were pretty much the same, learning to see things through my own eyes and not my friends or family. When I went to write down Verity’s tale, many many … many years later it took me 10 days.

What inspired you to start writing?

I was eleven years old before I found out everyone didn’t have a movie theater in their heads showing new stories. In other words, I don’t think I was inspired to be a writer, I just was one.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

My first book … I was lucky. I had a number of professional editors in my life who taught me by working on it with me. It was a great way to get started.

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

Euphoric. Anyone who does drugs or likes alcohol should try finishing a book they’ve written. Best feeling EVER.

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

When I started it was just to help chill me out. Drain out some of the frustration I felt with my life. So basically a weird kind of hobby. After it was done, and in my hands, WOW! I mean, as a manuscript it feels like your baby. Once it’s published, you get this baby isn’t yours anymore.

How many books have you published since then?

There are three books in the Haven Awakening series, and one omnibus edition. Now I’m launching a new series based on the Aguane. Historically, the Aguane were fashion loving, kick ass fairies who lived for each other and avenging crime against women. The Roman legion recorded their existence warning their soldiers to not engage, how cool is that? So Rise of the Night Goddess will be the first installment in this girl power saga.

First Book Chat With Kyra Dune

How long did it take you to write your first book?

It took me about a year in total.

What inspired you to start writing?

When I was in fourth grade, our teacher let us sit quietly at our desk and do whatever if we finished our assignments early. Me, big old nerd that I am, always did, so I’d have a book to read. I’ve been a big reader since forever. One day, I finished my book, I didn’t have another one, so I just took out my notebook and started writing one. I’ve been writing ever since.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

Three. That always seems to be my magic number.

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

When I opened the email and saw my book had been accepted for publication, I cried.  It was just the most amazing feeling ever.

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

I don’t have as much free time for writing these days, so it goes a bit slower. As far as publishing, I now self-publish all of my books. I like the control and, honestly, I’ve made more money off my self-published books than I ever did off the traditionally published ones. Granted, I’ve only worked with a few small press publishers, and not any real big houses, but I definitely like self-publishing better. Of course, if one of the big boys in New York ever came knocking on my door, I wouldn’t slam it in their face.

How many books have you published since then?

I have 40 published novels to date.

Links:

Amazon

Other retailers

First Book Chat With Golden Angel

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!

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First Book Chat With Casey Hays

How long did it take you to write your first book?


About three months, but it wasn’t very good. In fact, I’m rewriting the story now. It will be released in 2020 with a new title and cover. Now, it takes me 6-8 months of writing to bring a book up to standard for publishing.

What inspired you to start writing?

I was a high school English teacher for 11 years, and I really wanted to write a book for my students. So… I did.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

I can’t even remember, it’s been so long. And I’m one of those writers who stops to revise as I go. I never get through even one draft without revising it. But if I had to guess, I’d say I wrote roughly 5-7 drafts and a dozen revisions of my first book (working closely with my editor) before I felt comfortable with publishing.

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

I was elated. I wrote the book in 2008, but it was not published until 2012 because I was in a queue at the publishing company and had to wait my turn. Impatience set in, but finally, it was my turn! I wanted to be published by my 40th birthday. I turned 40 in April and the book released May 15. Close enough!

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

Now, I take my time. I’ve learned how to slow down and develop my characters, my setting, my storyline. I let these elements lead the story rather than forcing a plot. I still revise as I go (I can’t seem to break my self of that) but I’m what you’d call a sculpting author. I shape and perfect the story bit by bit as I go. Then I go back and do it all over again two or three or ten more times with my editor. I still only release 1 or 2 books a year. I’m a stickler for doing my best to present a book that is error-free for the most part and satisfying and relatable for readers who enjoy my genres. I’ve learned the fewer books I publish within a year’s time span, the better they will be. So I’ve never published more than 2 in a year. I’m also my own publisher now with my own company, Whispering Pages, LLC, so I get to work at my own pace. It’s refreshing.

How many books have you published since then?

I have a total of 10 books published in two genres: dystopian sci-fi and paranormal romance (all YA books expect for A Heart of Flesh – it’s New Adult Dystopian.)

First Book Chat With Christina Lanier

How long did it take you to write your first book?

From August 2018 to April 2019. I had actually started it in 2017 but was involved in a car accident which put it off.

What Inspired you to start writing?

When I was a kid, I read ALL the time to escape an abusive household.  I always dreamt of offering a temporary respite to other people while at the same time giving them hope for the future.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

I think I did 3.

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

It was such an emotional high! It took me a few days to even come to terms with the fact that I finished the book. The sense of accomplishment was amazing.

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

The writing process is a lot easier, I think because I have more confidence in myself after publishing the first one.  Now I know the process, instead of fumbling through it.

How many books have you published since then?

I’ve only published one, but I’m working on my second. *Fingers crossed*

Buy Slated Here:

First Book Chat With Evelyn Lederman

How long did it take you to write your first book?

From when the voices in my head began, it took just under 6 months to write/publish my first book (‘The Chameleon Soul Mate’).

What inspired you to start writing?

I attended my first romance novel convention as a reader in 2010. At that convention, I had an intimate session with Christine Feehan. She mentioned her characters talked to her. I thought she was crazy, but it was a common theme that weekend from other authors. On February 23, 2014, a real conversation that took place outside Sedona, Arizona played in my head. Then 5 women started to talk to me…telling me they were orphaned girls who grew up in our realm, but their parents were dissidents from a parallel dimension. One by one, the women travel to the Troyk universe and discover their telepathic abilities and their soul mates.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

I went through several drafts before I blew up the beginning of the novel. It’s a common mistake for first time writers to put too much backstory in the first chapter(s). Since I knew a number of indie authors, I did some research and reached out to an editor. The editor asked to read my first chapter and agreed to take me on. After Tina’s first read thru, I retooled the beginning of the book and added more conflict. Tina went through the manuscript 3 times and I enhanced the manuscript with each of her edits/critiques.

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

I spent 33 years working for an insurance company, but never felt so emotionally invested in a work product. It never gets old when a reader tells me how much they enjoy a given book or series.

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

I believe my writing has evolved with each book. I’m told there is a huge difference between my first book and my second (‘The Crystal Telepath’). Over the years, I’ve taken craft classes to enhance my writing.

Today, I format my books, rather than paying someone to do it. I also do my first books in Scribner, rather than Word. Once the book is ready to go to my editor, I move the manuscript to Word.

How many books have you published since then?

Completed series:

Worlds Apart Series (5 books, 1 novella)

Nightshade Saga (5 books, 1 novella …Work In Progress)

Zaratan Trilogy (3 books)

Outer Worlds Passion Series (3 books)

Magic’s Destiny (3 novellas)

On-going series:

Shifters of Eclipse/Warriors of Eclipse (WIP) (2 books, 1 novella)

Laurent’s Blood Legacy (1 book, 1 novella WIP Jan/Feb: New Book, March: New novella)

Pick up a copy of The Chameleon Soul Mate Here: