Nuts ‘n Bolts of Publishing (Series) With Author Angela Evans
With us today for this edition of Nuts ‘n Bolts of Publishing is romantic suspense author, Angela Evans. Angela shares her tips for staying focused and how to survive the work-write-life balance.
As a child Angela remembers her mother telling friends that Angela would read anything she could get her hands on, even the back of the cereal box. That changed when she discovered romance novels as a teenager, secretly reading her mother’s entire collection of Kathleen E. Woodiwiss and being amazed at how captivating the stories were. She knew that writing romance novels was what she wanted to do for a living.
Angela lives in Southern Illinois where she is living her own happily ever after with her husband of over 20 years, their two children, a very spoiled white German shepherd and two equally spoiled cats. When she’s not writing she loves reading, cooking, and photography.
Angela’s first novel, Hiding in Plain Sight, is available wherever eBooks are sold and will soon be available in print! Her next story is available now as a part of Roxanne St. Claire’s hugely popular Barefoot Bay Kindle World series. Barefoot Bay: Dangerously Sweet is available exclusively through Amazon. Angela will be visiting Barefoot Bay again in May of 2017, so mark your calendars. She is also very excited about numerous other projects in the works.
Are you traditionally or self-published?
My first book was traditionally published, my second book is self-published through Amazon Kindle Worlds.
How long does it take you to write a book?
I have discovered that I am not a particularly fast writer. Between a full-time job, a husband, and two kids finding time to write is a challenge. My most recent book is a novella length, 40K words and it took me 4 months to complete from concept to finished with editing.
What are your tips for staying focused?
Get off the Internet! It sounds simple, but it’s so easy to tell yourself you’re going to sit down to write and you realize two hours later you’ve watched a dozen cat videos and haven’t written a word. I speak from personal experience here.
How do you balance all of the demands of a successful writing career (writing, marketing, etc.) and the myriad personal life demands?
It helps that my day job is in the social media field, so I’ve already learned that there is a time to work and a time to shut down and walk away. If I have set aside time to write then that is time for writing, but I also have times when the laptop is off and I am just sitting and talking with my kids, or my friends, or my husband. As much as I’d like to write 24/7 and not do anything else I don’t think that’s fair to my family so I make sure to set aside time each and every day to just be a wife and mom and not a writer or an author. This happens with varying degrees of success depending on the day.
How supportive is your family of your writing career? In what ways do they help and support you?
My family is an amazing support system for me, from being my cheerleader when I’m having one of those days where I think I can’t do it, to telling me it’s okay to close the door and spend an entire Saturday afternoon finishing up a writing project so I can meet a deadline. I couldn’t do any of this without them in my corner, and I wouldn’t even want to try.
What were your 1–2 biggest learning experience(s) or surprise(s) throughout the publishing process?
The biggest surprise for me in publishing traditionally was how much of the marketing effort still falls on the author’s shoulders. Yes, I had heard it before, and yes I thought I knew it but I was still surprised by it. Apparently I didn’t listen. The second biggest surprise was the amazing amount of support I’ve received from my fellow romance authors who have all been willing to share their experience, their advice, and their wisdom with a newbie who is doing this all for the first time. There is no competitive spirit between authors, each and every one I have met (either virtually or in person) has been terrific and has taught me so much. It’s definitely made me want to do the same thing and adopt that pay-it-forward spirit.
What would you have done differently if you could do it again?
As with most things in life my answer to this would be that I wish I had started sooner. I knew at seventeen years old that I wanted to be a published romance author but I kept getting distracted by life (little things like starting a career, earning a paycheck, getting married and raising a family), I wish I had stayed the course and started this journey earlier.
Did you have a platform in place when you started this journey? What are you doing to build a platform and gain readership?
I had a successful blog for a few years before I jumped back into my first love of writing romance so I definitely knew the value of utilizing a website and social media to reach your audience before I finished my novel. I built a website and social media channels before I started querying publishers because I think it’s important that the publishers see you’re already out there talking about your work to people. Having a website and a newsletter is the fastest and easiest way to share announcements and news with the world all in one place.
How important is utilizing social media to becoming a successful writer?
I think that in today’s world where we all live on social media it’s a great thing for readers to be able to connect with you online and feel an added level of connection. I know that I love being connected to my favorite authors on social media and I want my readers to feel that way too.
Best piece(s) of writing advice we haven’t discussed?
My best advice to you would be to find your peers. For me, when I joined my local RWA chapter I felt like the world of publishing and writing opened its arms and wrapped them around me. I had instantly connected to a vast wealth of knowledge I hadn’t even expected. If I have a question, someone in that group has an answer because they’ve already been there and done that. Whatever you write, find your peers and join them where they gather. You’ll value their knowledge and support more than you can imagine.
What are you working on now?
I just started writing a new series that I am very excited about! The first book is about a heroine who is the only female detective on a suburban police force. The opening line woke me up at three in the morning a few weeks ago so I obviously have to write her story. What was the opening line? Well, I’m so glad you asked! “Getting dumped sucked, but she decided that getting dumped while naked and enjoying post-coital snuggling sucked just a little bit worse.” See, I have to write that story, right?
*** If you’ve read one of Angela’s books, PLEASE consider leaving her a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads (or other website). Reviews are the fuel that keeps a writer going!***
Are you an author interested in sharing your writing and publishing experience? Send us an email at info @ forewordz.com (no spaces). We’d love to interview you!