So this last summer I had the amazing opportunity to attend RWA (Romance Writers of America) Annual Conference. And I learned so much, and met a host of other authors who were in the same boat as I was. Trying to make our writing stand out from the pack and make a living with our writing.
One session I attended said the following: ‘If you don’t treat your writing like a serious business, how do you expect anyone else to take is seriously.’
This struck a deep cord within me, and I realized I had been treating my writing like a hobby. Even with 4 books published I still haven’t been treating my writing as the business it should be.
So after I heard that I took a couple of months (I’m not kidding but I wish I were), to understand what that meant to me and my writing. I really believe this means something different to everyone. But for me I know without a shadow of a doubt that I have been treating my writing as a hobby because when I didn’t feel like doing any writing I just wouldn’t. If I felt boxed in with anything that had to do with writing I just walked away. Maybe that’s why I haven’t written anything in over a year….
But now what? Just recognizing that I am treating my writing like a hobby wasn’t enough, I needed to make some important changes in order to move from hobby to living.
CHANGE 1: creating a business mindset. I don’t know about you but when I am writing the last thing on my mind is business.
CHANGE 2: Carve out time during the week to deal with the business of my writing. Marketing, list building, social media, blogging. I have failed mightily in these areas in the last several years.
CHANGE 3: My writing has been mish mash for the last year, and if I want to make it a business I have to write. So I am carving time out of every day to write. Some day’s that means I am only writing for 15 min but at least I am getting words on a page.
CHANGE 4: Setting appropriate goals. ie: when I want my next book finished, how I will grow my email list, building a tribe a like minded writers. I know this one is tough because writing is such a solitary process but having like minded authors and readers will increase my reading base and accountability
CHANGE 5: Taking classes, and learning how to make my writing better. It’s always good to increase your knowledge base.
Wow reading through these kinda makes my head swim, but if I want to make my writing my business I have to treat it like it is.
Hope this helped out, if you are struggling with making your writing a business you are not alone. Let me know in the comments.
So this past weekend I was privileged to participate in RWA of Utah’s annual readers luncheon. I have been lucky enough to attend all 3 events. And this event gets better and better every year.
The point of this luncheon is to focus on the reader! Show the reader some love and gratitude. Because without readers where exactly would we be after all. Readers get a ton of swag from the authors participating, and they do a ton of baskets and giveaways. You get to sit at a table and have lunch with the author of your choosing (you have to sign up early to reserve your seat with the author you want to have lunch with).
Being an author is a very solitary type of work, so getting the chance to get out and meet and mingle with my readers just means the world to me. Plus writers, I think, are some of the biggest fans out there. And getting to rub elbows with other authors is just too much fun.
This year we were lucky enough to have ReaAnne Thayne, and Jill Shalvis speak and they both gave amazing and wonderfully inspiring presentations about being a writer, and more importantly the love of reading. They are both New York Times best selling authors.
So overall if you ever get the chance to attend a readers luncheon grab that opportunity with both hands. I know if you come to the Utah luncheon that we hold every Oct. you won’t be disappointed.
I’m sitting in a nondescript coffee house in Salt Lake City, UT. (Beans & Brew). Because I’ve been told: “Just because you write the shit, doesn’t mean you are trustworthy to visit.” Which I find rather ironic. I mean I did write it didn’t I?
So with that in mind I am waiting for Ryder, and I assume Kyra to come to me because I am not allowed to go The Staten. And again the irony of the situation is not lost on me. I’m sipping my favorite coffee, a Caramel Cielo and wondering briefly if meeting in a coffee house for a Tracker’s sense of smell isn’t a bad idea maybe I should have picked a book store or a park. But then I hear it the deep rumble of a motorcycle, you know the kind that you feel deep in your chest before your ears register the sound. And part of me wants to jump up and run to the windows. But I force myself to stay in my chair, I notice several of the women in the coffee house look up to appreciate the view, and I know it’s him. And I wonder for a second if I should have scoped out the back exit. After all, I wrote him, and I know how freaking dangerous he is.
As the door opens and the air is displaced the first thing I realize about him is that he is so much bigger in real life. Like HOLY SHIT, he is larger than life! And I’m in awe, the next thing I notice is the way he scans the entire restaurant in one glance. I wonder if the other patrons realize that the larger than life guy that just walked in is capable of killing them with his bare hands.
And Kyra is following him, and she is just as beautiful as he is out of this world. Her nostrils flare as she takes in the different smells. I can almost see her cataloging all the different smells and lives. And I wonder what I have created here. I lock eyes with Kyra, and she winks as she pushes past Ryder on her way to the counter and places an order. Once that is done they both make their way over to the booth, I am sitting in and Kyra slides in first the Ryder.
Kyra gives me a large smile, “How are you today Christie?” she asks. I’m just speechless for a moment.
“Are you mute?” Ryder finally asks, and I turn to him.
“No.” I stumble. “I just can’t believe I’m sitting here. It’s a serial feeling.”
Kyra laughs softly, “Tell us about it.”
I nod, and motion to my notepad full of questions, “Um do you just want me to get started?”
Ryder glares at my notepad and reaches over and grabs it, “Hey!” I say, he can’t just take things away from me I should be in charge. But he raises one eyebrow at me like I’m going to stop him, right?
“My favorite color is black. I train in my spare time. My most important thing in the world is Kyra and my brothers. Favorite food is steak. Favorite drink is water. Shoe size? Seriously?” he rolled his eyes. Guess that means he wasn’t going to answer that one. “Music? I listen to whatever Kyra puts on my iPod. I don’t watch movies or TV. Scariest monster I have ever come across?” He sighed and rolled his eyes again. I think he might have gotten that trait from Kyra because she does that a lot. And I was getting sick to my stomach because this interview was not going the way I had planned. But luckily I was saved because the barrister called out their order, and he threw my notepad down on the table.
Kyra grabbed it and looked at it, “Can I give you some advice?”
“Please.” Because I needed all the help I could get at this point.
“Stop letting him control the interview,” Kyra said with a smile. “He thinks he can intimidate you.” I look over at Ryder and then it’s me that’s rolling my eyes, “Have you seen the man? He’s like…” and I want to rest my head against the coolness of the tabletop.
“Yes, I know,” Kyra says with a pat on my hand. “But take control, you can do it.” She pulls her hand away as Ryder returns with two coffee cups. One for himself and one for Kyra.
“Ryder?” I say taking a deep breath, I use my mother tone, the one that makes my kids listen to me. “What kind of coffee are you drinking?” I ask.
He blinked, which made me blink. “Eye Opener.” See I was expecting black. Surprise, surprise.
“What do you do when nobody is looking?”
Me: “What are you reading?”
Ryder: “None of your business.”
Kyra chuckled, and I knew I had to have this answer.
Me: “You promised you would answer all my questions.”
Kyra: “You did promise.”
Ryder: “Did you know women are very hard to understand?”
Me: “Matter of opinion.”
Ryder: “Fact. I don’t understand women. I don’t think I ever will.”
Me: “So you are doing something to rectify this?”
Ryder shrugged, “Trying to figure you out. I tried some self-help books, but that was all bullshit. So I’ve been reading some romance novels.”
My mouth fell open, actually fell open. Kyra reached over and closed it for me. “I think I might have heard you wrong. Can you please repeat that last part for me?”
He speaks very slowly for me, “I said I have been ready romance novels in the hope of understanding women.” Kyra nodded as he spoke, and I turn to her. “I don’t understand what he is trying to accomplish.”
Ryder looked at Kyra and then back to me, “See that’s because she is a woman. Women are complicated creatures. Ask Marcus he will agree, and he and Celeste are connected with a mind link.”
Me: “Um not about to ask Marcus to explain women to me with Celeste sitting next to him.”
Ryder grunts, “Yeah, pretty sure Celeste would kick your ass.” I can’t agree more.
“Okay, so who are you currently reading?” I can’t wait to hear this. “Do you read paranormal? Chick-lit? Erotica?”
Ryder looks at me like I’ve lost my mind, “I read all sorts of romance. I don’t pigeon hole myself to just one genre’. But I don’t read paranormal because it just pisses me off with how wrong they all get it.” I guess that makes sense.
“So who are you currently reading?” I ask again. And I swear if Ryder was ever going to blush this was the time, but I don’t think Ryder is capable of blushing I just don’t think it’s in his genes.
“His favorite at the moment is Nora Roberts,” Kyra explains, of course, everyone loves her I think. “Julie Garwood historical stuff” Another excellent author. “And Johanna Lindsay.”
I’m pretty speechless, “So is it helping?”
Kyra gives me a huge smile, and Ryder looks uncomfortable. “None of your business.”
Me: “So you won’t say if you understand women better?”
Ryder: “Women are still a mystery. Do you have any other questions?”
I think for a moment not daring to even look at my notepad for help. “What do you want the fans to know about the Trackers?”
Ryder: “Not a fucking thing.”
Me: “Ouch, guess I walked right into that one.”
Ryder gave me the first real smile since this interview started. And instead of reassuring me it sends chills down my spine.
Me: “What are you and Kyra working on right now?”
Ryder: “Secret mission, so if I told you I’d have to kill you.”
I look from Ryder to Kyra, and they are both unreadable. Again the irony of the situation isn’t lost on me.
Me: “You realize I’m the author here right?”
Ryder: “Yup, but even you don’t know everything all the time. Sometimes we characters are building arc’s in the background while shit is happening in other places.” He winks at me and the chills I have increased tenfold.
Me: “There sure are a lot of irons in the fire right now Ryder. The Tribunal is messing around right now. The Reapers are in a lot of trouble, and your brothers are getting more involved than ever.” I warn.
Ryder: “Shit never goes the way it’s supposed to, does it, Christie.” He slides out of the booth and holds out his hand for Kyra.
Kyra gives me a smile, but it doesn’t quite reach her eyes, “Keep yourself safe and keep writing your stories because the real history needs to be written. Something the Druids forgot to do a long time ago.” I slide out of the booth, and Kyra wraps her arms around me, and the fear from seconds before is washed away.
I extend my hand to Ryder, “Thank you for the interview, Ryder.”
He looks from my hand to my face and then finally takes my hand. His hand is warm and large enveloping mine as he shakes, and then release’s it. I following them to the door and watch as they climb onto the large Harley they never look back as they pull away and drive off.
Where you can find me
Well it’s Snippet Sunday and I agonized over what I should do. Should I do something from a past novel or from book 4…
And lucky lucky you I have decided to share a little of book 4 with you.
I hope you enjoyed Snippet Sunday!!
Where you can find me
Well it’s Re-Wind Friday and since Shadow Play is free for a limited time on Amazon I thought I would give you all a taste of what you can expect if you ran out and got your copy.
Seriously you don’t want to miss this sale. Now I may be bias because I wrote the damn thing… lol but don’t just take by word for it here are some of the reviews:
— Marked by Books
— Lauren Johnson
So here is the teaser I promised you enjoy.
“I’m the one asking the questions. And if you’ll remember, I only ask once. So if you want to answer my questions, now would be a good time.”
Hoped you enjoyed the teaser! Now run out and buy your copy. Here is the link. Amazon
Where you can find me
With the release of Reaper Mine yesterday I thought it would be appropriate if today’s Sunday Snippet be from Reaper Mine. ENJOY!!!!
I am so very excited to announce the release of Reaper Mine (A Reaper Novel) on Aug. 1, 2015. This is my third novel and it has taken me so long to get this one published. I’ve had many issue’s with getting this novel out, both personal and professional. But in the end the most important thing is that I have finally finished it and brought it to you, my fans. And I can only hope that you enjoy it a little. Hopefully more then a little. This is a complex story about a Reaper named Victor and a cursed demi goddess named Elle who can’t seem to get her life straightened out. Believe it or not, the only one that can help her straighten it out is Victor the Reaper over Violence. Hopefully he will be able to save her before the bad guy kills her. And there are plenty of bad guys in this one.
So run out and get your copy of Reaper Mine on Aug. 1st you won’t want to miss this one.
You can Pre- Order it now at the following places for $3.99
What I’ve learned from watching Criminal Minds
And how they’ve made my writing better.
In case you don’t know Criminal Minds is a television show about a group of FBI agents who profile serial killers. Now that I’ve explained that to you I should also tell you that you should crawl out from the rock you’ve been living under.
I mean who doesn’t know what Criminal Minds is? I mean it’s on syndication and on like ten different cable/satellite channels any given time any given day of the week. So look it up ladies and gentleman you have no idea what you are missing. And here is why…
- Things can always be worse.
- Always, I mean ALWAYS double check the locks.
- It doesn’t always end with a happy ending.
- When there’s a twist… The evidence (the smallest pieces) are all there. You have to be able to follow the bread crumbs back.
- The bad guys have to have a purpose and a reason.
- And last but not least… anyone can be a bad guy so watch the f*&^ out.
What I’ve learned in the years I have watched Criminal Minds
Do you have a favorite show, or do you watch Criminal Minds? And if so has it influenced your writing in anyway? Let me know below.
And watch out because like #6 says anyone can be the bad guy… you might just be in one of my novels as the one who did it, in the study with the lead pipe. Please tell me you got that reference…