Thanks for joining me, Elizabeth. Please take a seat and make yourself comfortable.
Can you please share with us how long you’ve been publishing with Limitless and what titles you’ve published with them? Have you self-published any titles or published with another publisher?
Please give details.
I got my first contract from Limitless mid-September, 2015. I have no other published books. I have a lot of other books written, but I’ve only been pitching agents and editors for a little over a year, so I feel lucky to have found a publisher so soon, especially one as wonderful as Limitless.
Congratulations. Can you please tell us a little bit about your book — what genre it is and any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress.
I also have a series of seven YA contemporary fantasies written. Those were my first books, so they need revision. I additionally have an adult contemporary single-title, a YA contemporary duo, and a YA contemporary romance. The YA romance is in revision stage, the other two are being looked at by agents right now.
Would you describe your goals as a writer to us. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?
My main goal (other than to just keep on writing) is to begin building a fan base, and to learn how to market and grow that fan base. I plan on pitching my adult contemporary to Limitless next, if the agent currently looking at it decides to pass; it isn’t a romance, like my upcoming publication, but it has similar LGBT and erotic themes, as well as crime thriller elements, so it would have a similar or identical audience and could help me hopefully achieve some momentum in the adult market.
I also want to find an agent and publisher for my YA contemporaries within the next few years. It is my goal to go “big” with these novels. The duo and the romance both have main characters with serious mental health disorders, but they are characters that I believe have appeal for a general audience; they’re compelling people with compelling stories that I think a lot of readers can identify with. I would like to introduce my characters and their stories to people who might shun folks in real life with their disorders, and make them look at the issue of mental health in a new light. It’s sort of a lofty goal as a writer, to make the public more comfortable around people who suffer from psychosis, but it’s something I feel strongly about.
And, of course, in the next few years I’d like to complete at least twelve more books. Since I wrote twelve in the last two years, I think that’s pretty doable.
Wow! Twelve books in two years. Did you ever sleep or eat – lol. Actually, I wrote A STONE’S THROW in two months and am working on the sequel which I should finish in another month. It’s the editing, selling, and promoting that takes so much time in my opinion. Your goals sound incredible, and I wish you luck with them.
What type of reader are you hoping to attract? Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?
My different genres would have different audiences, but I think most of my stuff will appeal to folks who like something a little dark. I have a lot of humor and lightheartedness in all my stories, but they still deal with stuff like addiction, incarceration, abuse, and mental health disorders.
It’s probably a good idea to add some humor to those type of books as long as it’s done in the right way.
What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?
Keep writing. Never give up. Believe in yourself. Know that what you’ve already written is beautiful, and that you will just get better and better with every word you write.
Excellent advice. All of us authors need to follow that, the ones new to the field as well as veteran writers. I think it’s common for authors to be self conscious of their works and sensitive to criticism, but they shouldn’t allow those feelings to interfere with their progress.
What hobbies and interests do you have besides writing?
I’m a musician. Since I left Seattle, I haven’t been in any bands, but I give lessons and still play just for fun (my daughter and I jam a lot). Guitar is my main instrument, but I play keyboards, bass, and a little drums. I write songs of my own, too. I also really enjoy cycling, running, hiking, ethnobotany, and mushroom hunting. I cook and bake a lot, and make my own recipes (my daughter and I are compiling a cookbook). I keep a garden and chickens.
My gosh those are some varied interests. You sound quite well rounded – lol. I love the idea of a mother/daughter cookbook. My daughter loves creating her own recipes, so that might be a fun project for us, as well, although I never have much time to experiment with recipes. I ordered my daughter a Kidstir breakfast kit for Christmas thinking we could do some of it together over her vacation break. She is always complaining that there’s nothing good for breakfast (she won’t eat cereal). I’m not sure I’ll buy the subscription, but I wanted to try it out with a sample kit. She might be a little old for it now (she’s 11) because the recommended age is up to 10, so we’ll see what she thinks of it.
What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?
My favorite part is drafting. I love being lost in a story. I’m a pantser, so I write for the same reason I read: to see what happens next. What I like least is marketing. I have no idea how to do it, and it frankly frightens me. I love interacting with people, but social media is rife with opportunities to be misinterpreted, or to say the wrong thing. My biggest challenge I think is to just keep believing in myself on my bad days. I’ve not had a lot of support from my family for my writing at times, because it can consume me so entirely, so that dynamic has been challenging, as well.
I can relate to all of that. I’m also a pantster, although I’ve tried to organize and plot the sequel to A STONE’S THROW a bit more because I had such a tough time editing the first book and have learned some things to avoid. I also dislike marketing and promotion, although it’s such an important part of the process. One thing I’ve found that helps is the great camaraderie among Limitless authors who are so wonderful about promoting one another. I suffer from self-doubt, too. I think most writers do. There are definitely issues in managing time with family and fitting in writing.
Thank you for a great interview. I’m sure readers will enjoy it. Can you please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. so readers can connect with you.
I’m @lidsrodney on Twitter.
Thanks again for joining me in the Limitless Library Lounge today, and good luck with your new release and future books!