First appearing on Joanne Guidoccio’s blog.
Every writer’s journey is fraught with humorous anecdotes, stumbles, pitfalls, and miracles. Yes, it is a journey that perfectly mirrors this adventure we call life, and just like life, you better hold on tight, because as the country western lyric says, it’s going to be “one Hell of a ride”.
I have always been a writer, or, at least, dabbled in it, whether it be speeches, short stories, poetry, or screen treatments. It was my sideline not my profession. However, my serious journey began in 2010, when I published In the Face of Evil, my labor of love historical novel based on my mother’s survival of the Holocaust. I should say self-published as no one showed any interest in doing it for me. Much of that was due to the lack of editing, and not knowing the publishing business. It took me three years to write, and a stack of rejection notices wasn’t going to stop me from publishing it. Call it beginners luck, but that book became a Finalist in the National Jewish Book Awards. Not bad. Imagine if I would have had it professionally edited? To this day, it is one of the highest rated books on Amazon and Goodreads, not easy to maintain with those angry trolls that cruise the virtual world and live and breathe to contribute those abusive one and two-star reviews. Anyway, after toiling, suffering, through one of the darkest times in human history I definitely needed to write something lighter, less taxing on my psyche.
Just around that time, I read this little book entitled Fifty Shades of Grey. Well, it doesn’t get lighter than that. Although not a particularly well-written book, it definitely held my interest. I began to study the romance genre, reading voraciously, everything from paranormal to BDSM. Oh, my goodness those sweaty nights of reading, who wouldn’t be hooked. I was literally infected with the romance germ and the only cure was for me to pass it on through my writing. In February 2014, I self-published (at this point I was fairly turned off by the publishing industry) my first book in the Romance/Sexy/Suspense genre The One, which became the first in my The Only One series. In June, I published The One & More, bringing me to my upcoming release with Soul Mate Publishing One More Time is Not Enough coming April/May 2016, keep your fingers crossed on that not written in stone date.
What I’ve learned along the way could fill a book, however, I have no interest in writing that one. Suffice it to say, I’ve spent a lot of money on poor editing, PR, advertising, the list goes on-and-on. I’ve tried the self-publishing route and it has not worked for me. Yes, I’ve sold books in a vacuum, despite myself. What I wanted was a home, a place to hang my hat. Fellow authors to communicate with, share ideas, brainstorm, all of which had been lacking in my creative world.
My goodness, what an inspiration it is to finally develop a writing family. I have a notebook filled with review site possibilities, book tour companies, rafflecopter events, marketing tips, and a whole slew of new Facebook and Twitter friends. I’m learning what works and what doesn’t work, from writers who’ve walked barefoot over the burning coals and are kind enough to share, preventing me from burning my Tootsies. My thanks to all who have come before and who continue to be an inspiration. It just keeps getting better, and the future looks ever so bright. I’ve just finished another book, working title No Way Out, tweaked my genre from Romantic/Sexy/Suspense to a new cross-genre designation: Romantic/Sexy/Thriller and can’t wait to see where the road will lead.