I thought I had the perfect system, well not perfect but a good system for managing all the marketing, i.e social media platforms while having nothing actually new to release…yet. In January I spent a few days scheduling all my posts on FB and Instagram for 3 months, then In February, I tried to focus on TikTok which, honestly has a much better reach, interaction and for now at least is free. The trouble is I got to April and didn’t have time to schedule another 3 months’ worth of content, so I did just one month and now I’m doing the same in May because honestly I just want to be writing but have this deep deep fear that letting any one of these platforms flounder means I’m failing. Does anyone else have this?
It’s ridiculous I know. The world won’t end if I miss a few days, or months of interaction I’m sure but there it is, like a nagging parent scolding me over my shoulder…you should be writing…why haven’t you posted a funny video today, where are my keys….oh no, that last one is me.
The problem I have is the interaction on FB and Instagram is so very low, I think it isn’t time well spent but I’d also hate to lose contact with the reader friends I’ve met along the way and who aren’t on TIKTOK, which is where the growth is for now.
If you are one of those, please make sure you are on my mailing list because if I do move away from those platforms, I’ll never move away from my newsletter. Or this website.
I’m not rushing into any decision, just sometimes feel a little overwhelmed and hark back to a simpler time, but then without amazon self publishing I might not be here.
First world problems.
Until next month, I thought I’d share a photo I took of a local village with ideas after my own heart.
My biggest fear when I wrote my first book was, What if I only have one story to tell. It’s still a knot of anxiousness that has taken a permenant residence in my gut. Something I have to ignore or this dream of mine would have died in the hole. It’s a face my fears scenerio.
I’m sending the first part of my new book off to my editor and will be sitting in a corner rocking until I get some feedback. In case you’re not on my mailing list the title is Winter’s Girl, it’s a romantic suspense, it started off in the same vein as The Choices Series but as with all my stories they take a life of their own and it wound down a parallel path. Life of a punster author.
Still, I hope you’re going to enjoy. I have a little snippet if you fancy?
I drop my head onto the sofa cushion with a frustrated sigh when he shifts again and moves his weighty cock farther away from where I really need it. It’s like he flicked a switch inside me with his searing gaze, his singular focus, and his tender touch. Never in my life have I felt desire, lust, or whatever this is steamrolling through my helpless body. It’s like I need his touch to survive. Every part of me craves very inch of him.
The handful of occasions where I might’ve gone a little further than a kiss, my body went ridged, I shut down and no one wants to make out with a living corpse.
This is something so different, a whole other realm of pleasure I never really believed. I may have dreamed it once or twice, and similar to a perfect dream you feel slipping back into reality, this reality is also frustratingly difficult to manipulate. I huff again when he circles around for another trail of kisses along my collarbone, up my neck to my ear. All the time, his cock slides back and forth against me with the gentle thrust of his hips. Close, but not close enough.
My impatience seems to amuse him.
I can feel his smile against my neck. He changes direction, moving down my body. The pace is utter torture and judging by the wicked curl of his lips, he’s enjoying every agonising second. He works his mouth from one side of my body to the next, inching down, down until he’s seriously close to my core. Oh god, I want him so badly.
“Please, please, Darius.” I don’t know what I’m begging for exactly. I only know I can’t take much more of this erotic torture.
“I know.” He lets out a breath that hits my molten centre, and I want to scream, but his tongue follows the cool air and silences me as an unbelievable sensation shoots through my entire body.
Oh, my God!
His lips suck and pull at the tender flesh, and his tongue has this perfect pressure sweeping long strokes from just near my clit to my entrance. He slips two fingers inside me, and my hips buck instantly. His other hand rests across my hips, clasping me in place. There’s no escaping this onslaught of unbelievable pleasure.
My core contracts greedily, grabbing at his fingers, which he pumps into me as a swell of pleasure rises from the tip of my toes, rolling through every nerve in my body, gathering momentum until, like an unstoppable giant wave of pure ecstasy, it breaks. My climax hits, and unrelenting he pushing me on and on, massaging a light circling motion with the pad of his thumb around my clit, building the pressure once more. This time, I scream loudly, with shock and wonder. I’m seeing stars, bright flashes behind my tightly squeezed lids.
“You’re so fucking beautiful.” He draws his lips between his teeth; his eyes darken with desire and they roll to the heavens when he sucks in the flavour of me coating his lips. That has to be the sexiest sight on the planet.
He holds my heated stare, his chest is heaving and matching my own ragged breathing.
“I need to get a condom, and we need to take this to the bed.” He lifts me in his arms. I’m still dazed from the body shaking orgasm, flopping against his chest as he carries me the short distance to my bed. He lays me carefully, even so, the ancient spring creaks with protest.
“Is this thing going to hold my weight?” He presses the mattress a few times. Concern crinkles his brow at the fresh level of noise. I shrug.
“It depends. Are you planning of high diving on to it?”
“I plan on diving, yes, not from any height, though.” He narrows his eyes at my snickering.
So I had a thought and who knows it may turn into a book or a series of short stories about why the best book genre is Romance. It’s a totally unbiased option, obviously, with years and years of research to back up my rock-solid hypothesis.
This is in no way a smut shaming exercise. I will staunchly and happily advocate the value of the genre, of its long history (Jane Ayre was a romance, as was Pride and Prejudice). Romance entertains, promotes literacy and community among readers (fierce and strong is the romance reader community and I’ll cut you if you tell me otherwise). Whether you read A Brief History of Time or The Hungry Catapillar if reading gives you pleasure you shouldn’t need to defend it…ever. And let’s not forget this golden nugget; the majority of romance books are written by women, for women, where the hero is the heroine and she always, always gets her Happily Ever After. #forthewin
Romance readers should never feel the need to justify their choice of books. And if ever you find yourself in that position, do what I do, retort with the sweetest smile and a brow raised high with judgment, and ask,
“What’s your problem with women and sex?”
No, I’m not going to add to this particular discussion.
I’m going to propose that the romance genre is actually an essential element for any relationship, a key-worker if you will.
What makes me such an expert I hear you ask? Since “because I said so” might not cut it with you and probably hasn’t done for a while, I will just say I’ve written 16 romance novels, (erotic romance, romantic suspense/thriller and rom/com), have sold over 250K books, which I know isn’t in the big leagues by any stretch but it’s not to be sniffed at and I have a very dusty bachelors degree in Communication. Enough? No, I agree, not remotely.
OK, how about I try to explain by way of my own personal experience. I have been married for over 30 years…yes I know, where’s my medal? I’m a grown-assed woman who knows the difference between the possessive sexy alpha hero and a crazy psycho-stalker in real life. I know the difference between being thrown up against a wall and ravaged to with an inch of your breast-heaving breathless life and assault. I know the difference between insta-love and insta-lust, I know the difference between the super hot billionaire in books and the actual billionaires (not mentioning any names….oh wait…Mark Zuck and Mr. Bezos ahem.) But in the books I and millions of others love and devour, the lines are not only a little blurry, but I’ll happily smug them out completely in order to fall head over heels in love with my next book boyfriend.
I often get asked, “I’d love to know what Daniel & Bethany are up to now.” But do you really? I don’t think so. It’s never a good idea to go back, visiting characters you’ve been through the mill with only to learn that Daniel does in fact leave the toilet seat up or that Bethany isn’t such a fan of anal. In order to go back, the drama would need to be re-introduced and in romance that can only mean one of three things: cheating, an illness/amnesia, or death, and frankly where’s the romance in that?
However, there have been many times when I’ve smirked, rolled an eye to the heavens at the impossibility of the bedroom gymnastics, or winced at the sheer stamina of both the hero and heroine. I’m just as guilty as a romance writer but do I care? Heck-to-the-no. Do I want to read that? Duh…yes, of course, I do.
So with my tongue firmly placed in my cheek, I want to explore a flip side, where reality meets romance. I don’t want to simply expose poorly written smut, which cloth can be hilarious I want o to create some fresh scenarios that need the reality treatment. I need some help though. I need to know the type of scenes that drive you crazy, that have you puzzled or incredulous, and while I’m at it, give me those words you can’t stand to.
I was invited to a small writer group, Chalk the Sun run by the very lovely Ardella Jones yesterday. The purpose was to share my experience of self publishing and although in the past I have been known to look like I am about to haemorrhage when I have to speak in front of others, this was actually fun.
There was wine, yes, but mostly it was just chatting about the ins and outs of getting your book out there. Tops tips…hmm?
Write something everyday- It doesn’t matter what. If I’m not actually mid book, which recently is rare, but if I’m not, I will do a blog post, a long post on my reader group or a letter. Just to get some words down.
That was pretty much the nub. I mean there was a great many questions regarding the nuts and bolts of what I actually ‘do’ outside of writing to get my name out there, with social media, relationship building, promotion, street teams, advertising, covers, formatting blah blah etc. Honestly, most of the information you can get from a decent Guide to…book, that’s certainly where I got most of my knowledge, well that, and at the cliff face.
I think I might’ve frightened them a little with how much work I put in outside of writing, but I have a marketing background and this is my business, my brand and my passion. So it isn’t a chore, it’s what gets me out of bed in the morning.
I did think that had I sat in a room full of extremely intelligent and talented people before I published I might not have put pen to paper in the first place. Crippling insecurity and self doubt would have hindered for sure, but thats just me…or is it?
I think the best advice is “Just keep writing”. Get it finished, get it our there and ALWAYS get professional help before you press publish.
Oh…and be nice. It’s costs nothing and means everything.
I published my first book Never a Choice on March 20th 2015.
I knew nothing…I pretty much still fumble along as best I can but a year ago I had read one book on self publishing and I just went for it.
I had obviously written the books I had scheduled to publish and had a professional editor but other than that I was very much on my own…so what have I learnt since then?…What words of wisdom could I offer to anyone just about to press that button?
Um…I actually wouldn’t dream of being that presumptuous to offer advice but I have learnt a few things…
The internet is dark and full of terrors…well duh! But what I mean here is there will always be piracy and it’s devastating when and I mean when it happens to you. Protect yourself as much as you can…sending ARC’s to trusted sources etc…and comfort yourself that those that get books from pirate sites probably wouldn’t have bought your book anyway and hopefully their computer will get a nasty virus and they’ll have all their personal date cloned…we can but hope 😉
Bloggers are people too…I know shocker right! But most are lovely book lovers that do their very best to share their passion but that doesn’t mean they HAVE to do the same for you…they really don’t…If they do…FANTASTIC…really that type of exposure is invaluable so say THANK YOU!! and if they don’t, remember your relationship with Bloggers is the same as any relationship so say THANK YOU regardless-manner cost nothing…no-one likes to feel used.
.Treasure your team…if you are lucky (and I consider myself uber lucky) you will pick up readers who love your work and want to help…they may understand to some degree that you are the weeny tiny fish in a massive ocean and offer to spread the word about your books…embrace these lovely folk for the kind hearted generous souls they are. I have a few very active ladies on my street team…dear friends now…and I am unbelievably grateful for all their help promoting…especially since FB tries to hinder them at every turn…You ladies rock!! This is very much an extension of my previous point…value the relationships.
Not a great revelation I’m sure but like I say I’m still very much learning…I know to give myself time for proper edits and proofreads and I know to appreciate everyone reads a different book…still don’t get how people can rate a book they didn’t finish but hey you can’t win em all…You really can’t so don’t waste your time chasing…focus on those that do…they are a lot more fun to hang with.
New book with my Beta’s…coming soon…keep an eye out <3