Writing Goals

As an author, I’ve been asked many times, “What makes you want to write?” Hmmm . . . good question! I’m pretty sure most authors write first and foremost because they feel a story bubbling beneath the surface. Often, following an encounter (or a memory resurfacing), a character takes shape, along with the roots of a setting and plot. We water and feed this precious seedling, sitting at the computer as we watch our story grow. This passion is similar to a professional athlete, who plies the track or the ski hills, in all weather, taking risks and spending time and money, pursuing something they love. Writing is the same. It’s tremendously hard and often singly focused. The rewards, though infrequent and hard to obtain, are wonderful, serving to reinforce that what we’re doing is worth it.

Authors set their individual goals and I had mine set from Day One. Here are my past, present and future goals with regards to writing:

  1. Get published.
  2. Become a finalist or win an award.
  3. Join a professional writers’ group.
  4. Attend a writer/reader conference.
  5. XXXXXX
  6. XXXX

What’s that you say? What about #’s 5 and 6? Well, some things are meant to be kept secret!

My list of goals may look similar to yours, or somewhat different. What’s important to note is my journey has been long, in accordance with most authors I know. Any amount of success or recognition with writing does not typically happen overnight. But most authors I know write not for the recognition as much as they do for the sheer necessity of putting stories to paper.

Goal #1 was finally reached after a long journey (literally and figuratively) and a year of submissions. My first manuscript took over a year to write and that moment when Soul Mate Publishing notified me that my manuscript had been accepted was like falling over a cliff into a dream world.  Those of us who have achieved this realize the degree of determination and hard work involved.

Goal #2 has been a dream come true. One of my books (Hands Full Of Ashes) made it as a finalist in the 2016 TRR Readers’ Choice Awards and my time travel romance, A Time For Love In Paris, is a finalist in the 2017 RONE Awards. My novella, The Snow Bird (included in the anthology Sizzle In The Snow: A Soul Mate Christmas Collection), became a Night Owl Review Top Pick and a lucky member of Amazon Canada’s Top 100 Anthologies.

Goal #3 occurred when I decided to apply to be a member of the RWA.

Goal #4 will become reality this Fall when I venture to Burbank, California to attend the 2017 RONE Awards. Down the road, I hope to attend more conferences.

Goals #5 and 6? Who knows. I’m still waiting . . .  and writing!

Writing has been evolutionary for me, and over time, I’ve learned a tremendous amount from the editors (and fellow authors) at Soul Mate Publishing. It’s true what they say, ‘a good editor is worth their weight in gold’.

As I continue to strive for my goals, I hope you reach your goals with writing, and know that with hard work and determination, you’ll eventually succeed.

 

RONE 2017 AWARDS!

Yippee! I am thrilled to share with you the news that my latest release, A Time for Love in Paris, is a finalist in the prestigious RONE Awards! Join me and several authors at the reader/author con/RONE Awards Gala, happening October 12-15, 2017 at the Los Angeles Burbank Marriott Airport hotel. This event is sponsored by InD’Tale Magazine.

I’ll be offering signed books, and gifts, while I hob-knob with readers and other authors. This 3 day event promises a whole lot of fun and excitement for writers and readers alike, culminating in the final gala on Saturday, October 14th.

You can purchase your tickets at http://www.indscribe.com.

 

 

Book Nominations and Awards

HandsFullofAshes

Writers face a long road. First, they are consumed with ideas that need to be written down. Those ideas often take switchbacks and curves, coming out the other side after endless rounds of editing and revisions (some by choice, some less willingly). Once a story finally gets published, the writer endeavours to market their book which is an effort that will hopefully result in sales. This whole process can take anywhere from months to years, depending on a few factors: finding the time to write, the amount of editing undertaken, whether or not beta readers were employed to read and make comments, and how long it actually took the writer to get published.

What happens next? Hopefully, the writer gets some good reviews, some exposure and eventually recognition through sales and awards.

Now let’s switch to first person to gain insight into my own journey. For my debut novel, Hands Full of Ashes, I spent a long time, like many others, churning through the windmill of writing, editing, publishing and marketing. Thanks to an editor, who combed through the manuscript, offering suggestions to the storyline, and thanks to Soul Mate Publishing, who published it, my book finally saw the light of day.

Along the way, the book received a handful of reviews, some of them editorial pieces which highlighted Hands Full of Ashes in a favorable light. Perhaps the most exciting development for me (as a new author) was the discovery that my book was nominated for an award. In this case, a nomination for The Romance Reviews as a Readers’ Choice Award (Winter 2015) in the action/adventure/romantic suspense/mystery categories.

The book hasn’t made it to the final round yet, though I am hopeful. Kind of like the ‘little engine that could’, my story began three years ago as I disembarked in the mountainous region of East Africa, a trip which considerably altered my outlook on life. By the time I left the African continent, three weeks after arriving, the plot and characters for my story were taking root. Chug, chug, chug. The little engine that could still has a ways to make it down the tracks, but the important thing is that it (and I) keep on going. I try to remind myself about a famous saying, something along the lines that ‘it’s not the destination that matters as much as the journey’. If I were to be honest, I would say both are significant for me. The journey has involved the process of traveling, writing, publishing, editing and marketing, but I wouldn’t mind a bit of ‘destination’ by having the book win an award.

If you have had the opportunity to read Jan and Olivia’s love story, as they discover each other in a land full of beauty and struggle, I hope you’ll take a moment to pop over to The Romance Reviews website and vote for Hands Full of Ashes, a love story brought about from that trip into the heartland of Africa. http://www.theromancereviews.com/viewbooks.php?bookid=18133

*Voting officially begins September 11th and goes until September 30th. To vote, you must register (for free) with The Romance Reviews and submit your vote.