Due to my error with the sign up forms, this week, there are two Tuesday Guest Bloggers. Say hello to LB Joyce….
When did you begin writing?
I began writing about five years ago and believe me, it was something I never expected to take on. I have always loved to read, but write? I didn’t think I had it in me.
Over the years, I’ve had people tell me I should write, it was something I was good at, but up until then, I’d shrugged it off. This is because, in my everyday life, I’ve always been an artist, with Christmas ornaments as my specialty. But after so many years of this, I felt like I was losing my ‘creative spark. I needed a break.
So, one day I sat down and started to write. And I haven’t stopped since.
What’s been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge is trying to make it as an independent author. I find it can be so hard to know what to do and what not to do to in order to get your stories recognized. Since marketing is not my strong point, I’ve made it a point to join as many social media groups that I can – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram to name a few – hoping to soak up information that might make me a better writer and also get my books known. As with any other business, there are so many people ready to promise you anything or offer a quick deal to promote your book, so you need to choose your options carefully.
Patience is a big factor here. If you have something worthwhile to offer, good things will happen.
Why did you choose your genre?
I didn’t choose my genre. As silly as it sounds, it chose me. Over the past ten or fifteen years, I’d entered, and even placed in, a variety of recipe contests. Pillsbury Bake-Off, Betty Crocker and Nestles, to name a few. So, the plan floating around in my head had been to write a collection of humorous books about the experience I had with those contests. Instead, I sat down one day and started writing A Million Decembers. A love story I had no idea I had inside of me, ready to come out. Now it’s true the main character, Anna, is an artist and she does specialize in designing Christmas ornaments, but this is the extent of any familiarity to me or my life.
I love the romance genre, because you always know you are going to get a happy ending. And who doesn’t want that? I’d say my books fall right in the middle between sweet and erotica. And you will always find humor in my books. After all, one can’t be serious all of the time. Especially when it comes to falling in love.
What writing tips would you like to share?
I edited and re-edited my first book for over two years before I finally took the plunge and published it. I think this was because I was afraid of what people would say. Or even like what I’d written.
I had two friends as readers, one who loved to read romance novels and one you wrote children’s books and they both kept at me to publish what I’d written, something I don’t think I would’ve done on my own. I will always be thankful to them for this!
As far as writing tips go, I think everyone has their own style, their own way of getting things done. Some writers believe in a master plan before they start each book, every character and situation having a certain place and time. I can’t do this. I may have a vague story in mind, but I find the story tends to unravel as I write. I’m always surprised when this happens. I like to think of it as magic… or as a story that’s been waiting to be told and I’m just along for the ride, helping it along.
So, my biggest advice would be to just start writing. Don’t become hung up on writing the perfect sentence, setting a word count or making sure everything is in the right order. This will all come in time. The most important thing is to get your story down. There is a reason they call it the first draft.
What are you currently working on?
I have just published A January to Remember, the sixth book of the series, Twelve Months, Twelve Decembers. So, I am now starting work on the seventh. I’m not sure yet what month it will be, or what title I will choose. But I already have a story line rambling around in my mind and I’m excited to get started. I always try to leave a hint of some kind in each book, bringing possible characters into the story that could develop into the main plot of the next box. I guess you could say I like to keep the readers guessing. And more importantly, I want them eager to read the next installment.
That I’m already half way through the series, a goal I wondered if I’d ever make, is almost too unbelievable to me.
What would you like to promote today?
A January to Remember, along with the other five published books of the series can be found on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/bookseries/B0798SF1WG
All of the books, both paperback and EBook, can be found at Barnes and Noble, Apple and just about every other site out there. You can also order them from your favorite independent book store.
Please feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or check out my website/blog at: lbjoyceauthor.com
And then, there is always Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LBJoyceAuthor/