Saturday, December 19, 2009

Authors Advising Authors #10 - Carol Lynne

I've been a reading fanatic for years and finally at the age of 40 decided to try my hand at writing. I've always loved romance novels that are just a little bit naughty, so naturally my books tend to go just a little further. It's my fantasy world, after all.

When I'm not being a mother to a five-year-old and a six-year-old, you can usually find me in my deep leather chair with either a book in my hand or my laptop.


How many books did you write, and how long were you writing, before your first acceptance?
I was one of the lucky ones to have my first book accepted. I wrote Branded by Gold in June and submitted it to Ellora’s Cave in July.

What is the most important piece of advice you would give an aspiring (not yet published) author?

In my opinion, too many aspiring authors suffer from lack of confidence. I believe strongly in not going over and over a manuscript once it’s finished. I’m not talking about not checking your work, I’m simply saying, there was a reason you wrote the story the way you did. Second guessing yourself is counterproductive, in my opinion. You can go back and revise until the end of time, but you’re not enhancing the original story you wanted to tell, you’re merely changing it to what you think others want from you. Be true to yourself and your original story.

Is there a “warning” you would give an aspiring or new author about the writing profession or the publishing industry, something to watch out for?

Never allow a reader, a reviewer or another author to change the way you view yourself or your story. Not every book will appeal to every reader. As long as you know you’ve put your heart into the story, stand proud.

What was the most surprising thing you learned after you became published?

That people actually wanted to read the stories that fill my head on a daily basis. I was in a place in my life where I felt like nothing but a mother and housekeeper. Through writing, I once again discovered Carol. That’s by far the biggest surprise that came out of becoming published. Suddenly, people cared about what I wrote. I had a voice. I had a dream of making a better life for me and my children, and I made it come true.

What is your best advice or enlightening story about dealing with revisions and working with editors?
I’m a firm believer that you should drop everything and do your edits when you get them. If you were at a regular day job and your boss told you to fix a mistake you’ve made, you sure wouldn’t put it off for several days. Buck up, knuckle down and dig in. The sooner you get the edits finished, the quicker you can go on to the rest of your work.

What is your favorite promo tip?
Answer your emails! I can’t stress this enough. As a reader, I can’t tell you how many authors I email that don’t email me back. When you do email back, try and engage the reader in a short conversation with several emails back and forth. It not only gives you a chance to get to know your readers, but they’ll remember you and not just your book. Branding your name is a lot more important than spending all your time, money, and energy branding a single book.

Did you have an agent when you sold your first story? Do you have one now? At what types of houses are you published: e-publisher, small print press, traditional (NY) publisher, Harlequin/Silhouette category lines?

I’ve never considered trying to get an agent. I actually love writing ebooks. NY doesn’t hold the same appeal for me as it does other authors.
I’ve been extremely fortunate in my writing career. From the beginning, I’ve been lucky enough to make a living from my stories. Although my hours are long and my days off almost non-existent, I’m home with my girls doing what I love. I tend to focus my energy on series books and currently have over sixty-five stories released. It seems for every story I write, I think up two more I’ll probably never have the time to pen. It’s my life, and I absolutely love it.

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