Today I am very excited to play host to Amy Gregory, author of contemporary romance novel Carter's Treasure, book one in the Racing to Love series. It was released on 5th June and I reviewed this amazing novel a few weeks ago. You can read my review of it here.
And, here she is:
Top Five Things I learned While Writing My First Novel
Wow! I’m supposed to narrow this down to the top five, seriously? Considering I was so green, LOL, well I’ll give a shot!
First off would have to be the old stand-by, ‘believe in yourself’. If you have a piece that you have put your whole heart into, then don’t give up. If you don’t believe in you, no one else will either.
Always be willing to learn from those who’ve been there. Everyone started at the beginning. Everyone had rough patches and hard days. That’s a part of life just as much as it is writing. But if you’re lucky enough to find someone who will give you honest feedback and instructions on what to do to make your work better, then listen. Take what feels right to you and apply it to your work. Then when you’ve become the writer you want to be, remember to encourage someone else trying to start at the beginning.
Always stay true to you. If you change your work to someone else’s voice, it isn’t yours any longer. You have to love the finish product just as much as you loved the first draft. If your writing is always in your voice, it will always feel right.
If you write to make money, it will probably go nowhere. If you write because you love it, and you wake up each day needing to write, then the readers will feel that passion, they’ll crave it from your characters. They will be the first in line when the next book releases and the next book and the next. The only way to be happy in an industry where your hard work can be so easily dismissed and criticized, is to write because you love it.
And for every rejection you may encounter, respond back in the most sincere and polite way. You just never know, your positive and cheery attitude might just open a door you thought was closed.
Okay, because I tend to break rules anyway…I was supposed to list five, but I’m going to sneak in a sixth! Shhh… About a year ago I was reading yet another book on writing and publishing and there was a piece of advice that stuck out. Such a simple thing, but yet so huge that I felt I needed to pass it along because I know I’ve learned so much this way. READ. That’s it. Simple right? Told you. But seriously, reading books in the genre you like to write in can shed so much light your own work. The timing, how the comedy or drama is used to make the book flow. The way different authors use tense or how their ideas of how character point of view works or doesn’t work. I’m not saying that all published books are amazing, you’ll get a sense though of what style you like to read, therefore that will be the easiest style for you to write in as well.
Thank you for everything Chrissie, you have made this journey of mine a great experience!
You're welcome Amy, and meeting lovely authors like you is one of my favourite parts of blogging!
As an aside, the photographs are ones that I decided to add. I'm not sure they're entirely relevant to the post but knowing Amy's sense of humour I'm sure she'll like them :)
Amy and her publishers at Sapphire Star Publishing have kindly offered to give away an ebook copy of Carter's Treasure here at Once Upon a Series. And to give you a hint of the kinds of awesomeness that this book is, here is the blurb:
From the outside, Molly West had everything, beauty, brains, and a career she’d retired from not once, but twice. Being in the limelight and in a sport that was male driven, she was often surrounded men. She ignored first the boys, and as she got older, the men. Unfortunately, they were all the same, all after one thing, and she had absolutely no use for them. Her cold shoulder and patented not a chance in hell look were usually enough to get her point across. Occasionally, she had to resort to her sass—and her brother.
Molly had no plans in changing what was a perfectly good system. That is until she walked into the pits. When she stood toe-to-toe with the sex in jeans, she knew right then and there that the man her adoptive mother always told her was out there, was now standing right in front of her.
Carter Sterling had traveled the racing circuit since he was a boy. He’d heard all the old standbys, She’s out there somewhere, love comes along when you least expect it. Good things come to those that… Yeah, he’d heard them all. The last place he expected to meet the love of his life was on a pro track. All she did was smile, and he knew, looking into her sapphire blue eyes, Molly West was his. Forever.
If it was only that easy. From the moment he laid eyes on her, he had a gripping feeling in him. An overwhelming need to protect her. A girl he’d just met. Carter had learned a long time ago that gut feelings are almost never wrong.
Molly now held his heart in her hands, but it was going to take a lot more than just love to protect her from the past she thought she’d buried a long time ago.
To be in with a chance of winning Carter's Treasure, all you have to do is leave a comment here along with your email address.
As it is an ebook, the contest is open internationally and will close Wednesday 4th July.
Good luck everybody!