Welcome to the Limitless Library Lounge where I interview fellow authors from Limitless Publishing. Today, I am chatting with Jane Hunt from the village of Pleasley, UK.
Thanks for joining me, Jane. Please take a seat and make yourself comfortable.
I understand you have a novel that is just being released by Limitless today. Can you give me some details about it?
The Dangerous Gift is my first book with Limitless Publishing and is my first Romantic Suspense/ Mystery/ Thriller novel.
These are currently published by Crimson Frost Books.
‘After a tragic plane crash kills Jennie Taylor’s guardians, she returns to her childhood home—and her first love, Jared Stewart.
At just eighteen years old, Jennie had left the Unicorn Ranch in Texas to seek a life in the outside world. But she wasn’t just running toward independence. Heartbroken and confused, Jennie fled her home after Jared harshly rejected her on the eve of her birthday.
Now she must choose between making a new life on the ranch she has grown to love, or returning to her simple but empty life in England. The choice seems obvious at first, but nothing in life is simple…
When Jennie receives an anonymous note, she goes to Jared for support. But what she finds is more than she was prepared for, driving the two further apart than ever. When an old friend is murdered and suspicious accidents escalate, endangering Jennie’s safety, Jared becomes her reluctant protector.
Jennie knows Jared is hiding something, but does he really want her gone from the ranch? And if so, could he be the one behind the ominous threats?
Determined to prove Jared isn’t involved, Jennie turns detective. Can she succeed in her courageous but reckless investigation…or is the truth a dangerous gift she won’t survive?’
I am currently writing a historical story set in England. This is part of a series of three books. I am also planning to write another romantic suspense novel as I enjoy this genre both to read and write.
Awesome. Your books sound great. 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?
I achieved a lifelong ambition to become a full time writer when I turned fifty, four years ago. It has been a steep learning curve. The biggest lesson being that writing a book someone wants to publish is no longer enough. Social marketing and making your story visible to potential readers is vital. So my current goals are writing as much as I can and striving to create myself a viable author platform to showcase my work.
Those are wonderful goals, Jane. I hope to write full-time one day myself, and I couldn’t agree more that there’s much more to publishing than writing a good book. I find it overwhelming at times but am motivated by other authors such as yourself who work so hard to write and promote their books to their readership.
What type of reader are you hoping to attract? Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?
All my books are written for the reader who likes to step away from their current everyday life and live in someone else’s shoes for a little while. I like to take everyday circumstances and overlay them with an extraordinary event and see how my characters react.
I think my writing will appeal to those readers that read to escape and enjoy strong heroines, sensual heroes, vivid descriptive imagery and a fast paced twisty plot.
I think you will have a wide audience in that regard.
What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?
If becoming a published author is truly what you want to do, then never give up. It has taken me years to become published, mostly, because there have been long periods in my life when I haven’t written creatively. I always knew, I would get there one day and I have.
I still would like to become a successful author, which is much harder and depends on factors not directly related to the quality of your writing. As an optimist and loving writing as I do, I will never give up and all aspiring authors should be similarly motivated.
I hear that same advice from most authors, and I agree. Like you, I have been writing for many years but was not seeking publication right away. I also stopped writing after my first self-published novel, Cloudy Rainbow. Now that I’ve published A STONE’S THROW with Limitless, I have already written a sequel that I hope to submit to them soon and then start on either another book for the series or something else. As you said, you need to keep at it. A writer has to be persistent if they want to publish and gain fans.
Can you tell us specifically any challenges you faced before you first became published?
I have been writing on and off since I was in my late teens. I always wanted to be a creative writer and hopefully get published. However life got in the way of my teenage aspirations and as I mentioned above; it took many decades for me to find the courage to become a writer full time. I have written throughout my life but only with any consistency since I turned fifty, which was four years ago. I had to leave my job as a Service Improvement Facilitator through ill health, a couple of years earlier and I decided, rather than being a setback, this was an opportunity to write full time and try to get published.
My first book was published two years later in 2013, ‘The Dragon Legacy’. ‘The Revenge Masquerade’ book two in the series was published a year later and my first romantic suspense novel ‘The Dangerous Gift; is released today, February 9, 2016. Even when you’re published the struggles don’t end there. You need to find the right publisher who will help you build an author platform and promote your book.
Thanks for sharing. Did you also take any writing or publishing courses along the way?
I took a correspondence writing course when I decided I wanted to write professionally in my late teens and I referred to the course booklets over the decades, when I had the opportunity to write creatively. I have also read extensively on writing and publishing and follow numerous blogs that discuss writing and publishing tips. The importance of social media has escalated since I first started writing when there was no internet (yes I am that old). I am indebted to my daughter, a journalist graduate, who advised me on the importance of social media, which is invaluable to any author today.
lol. I also am pre-Internet or actually Internet was just getting started when I was in college. I think we are around the same age. It’s great to get an early start, but many writers write later in life. I have one man at my library who is writing his first book at 90. As far as classes, I wrote a post on this blog about the great online Gale Courses that I took and am still taking on writing and publishing. Gale Courses is a database that many libraries offer free to their patrons throughout the U.S. In addition to writing and publishing, the database offers many other classes. I am currently taking marketing and public speaking, two topics also of importance to authors.
What hobbies and interests do you have besides writing?
I love reading, reviewing and blogging. Walking in the countryside with my dogs, cooking and escaping into television drama like ‘Scandal’,’ Grey’s Anatomy’, ‘Supernatural’, ‘The Originals’ and any good period drama like ‘Downton Abbey’.
I’m sure you get some plot ideas from those interests.
What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?
I love finding a new idea for a book and that feeling when you have so much to say, you can’t type quickly enough. I dislike not having enough time to write and not having the will power to write at the expense of other things, like a clean house and cooking for my family.
My toughest challenge is self- promotion and asking for help to do this. I promote lots of authors on my blog and social media but I find it hard to promote myself in the same way, or ask those same authors to help me but I am learning to slowly.
You sound a lot like me here, too. I love writing and try to set aside time to do it each morning before work, as I’m an early riser, but then I find I end up spending more time on marketing and promotion which leaves little time for my family and household work. I also try to feature authors on my blog such as this Author Spotlight and my Cozy Chats. I don’t expect reciprocal promotion from anyone, but I’m thankful for those authors who help me by sharing my book posts on social media, reviewing and/or beta reading my books, and just supporting me in general with answers to questions or assistance with other writing and marketing-related matters.
Can you please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. so readers can connect with you.
You certainly have a lot of social connections, Jane. I will have to check to see if we are connected on some of those. Thanks for visiting the Limitless Library Lounge today, and best of luck with THE DANGEROUS GIFT and your upcoming books.