Posted by Marie Lavender
This month’s issue of my author newsletter just went out last night. Here is the full link. Don’t miss the exciting news! ♥
Here’s a guest post that I had to include below because the owner of the blog decided to shut her site down this year.
A Labor of Love
by Marie Lavender
It all started with my love of literature. I recall my mother reading me bedtime stories. I got so lost in those fictional worlds that I didn’t want to find a way out.
My own stories began to formulate in my head whenever I’d play with dolls as a child. As soon as I learned to write, I finally had an outlet. They found their way onto the page. Throughout my childhood, I knew I wanted to be an author. As I grew a little older, I’d stalk the reference section of the library, finding how-to books on writing, as well as writer’s market books, exhibiting lists of publishers I could submit my work to.
This was my dream. I pursued it steadily, did anything I could to accomplish that aim – I kept writing, entered young writer’s contests, I familiarized myself with the industry as well as possible, and took creative writing classes whenever they were available.
In college, I made a goal of finally finishing a novel. In 2002, I had the idea for a historical romance book, which would be set in France. Of course, I didn’t know it would take nearly nine years of organization, writing and perfecting to complete the novel. I was aware of the growing popularity of self-publishing. With this one, however, I wanted to find a traditional publisher.
Still, I was reluctant to let the trend pass me by. I selected some works-in-progress and set to completing them. Between the years of 2010 and 2012, I’d released twelve books in various genres. Yet I maintained my dream of getting published traditionally.
After numerous rejections I finally found a home when Solstice Publishing offered me a book contract for Upon Your Return, book one of the Heiresses in Love Series. In February of 2013, the novel was released. Since then, I’ve submitted six other novels and stories to the same publisher, and they’ve accepted every one. I now have four series published, and many others planned for the future.
Just before UYR was published, however, I quickly realized I’d have to jump on the ‘public presence’ bandwagon. I began to develop my social media accounts. I wrote guest posts for book blogs or writing blogs. I learned how to participate in author interviews, radio spots, author timeslots during Facebook events, placed book ads whenever necessary, and, well…I also launched two blogs (which actually became three later on). I struggled with them at first (i.e. What did I have to say, to offer?). But I eventually figured it all out. By the time Upon Your Return was published for a while, I had official book reviews on blogs as well as sites where the book was sold.
Now? I know I’m never finished learning about this industry, but I can say I’ve made quite a bit of progress. With 5,000 friends on Facebook, 1400 followers on my profile and 2500 likes on my author page, over 3500 Google+ followers and almost 15,000 Twitter followers, I haven’t done too bad.
Additionally, I’ve evolved from a romance author to a true multi-genre author, covering literary fiction, poetry, various types of romance, mystery/thriller, fantasy, science fiction, to wherever this crazy muse will take me. I no longer try to box myself in.
I am also proud to call the Heiresses in Love Series completed, as the final book, Upon Your Love, a full-length historical romance/family saga, comes out on February 28th. The series has been nearly fifteen years in the making, and it quickly became an empire of Victorian maritime drama, suspense and passion. I couldn’t be happier that the series pleasantly surprised me with its twists in development, all the characters coming alive on the page. I am beyond grateful to the wonderful people at Solstice for giving me a chance. I look forward to many more years with them, as they’ve taken me under their wing, and helped me to soar on my own. With my two books coming out soon, that makes a total of 25 published books to date.
And the muse, as always, is tireless, a true blessing for a writer. I just love writing, learning all about my characters, and experiencing their stories.
It’s been quite a journey, and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
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