Nuts ‘n Bolts of Publishing (Series) With Author Penelope Marshall

We’re pleased to kick off our new series Nuts ‘n Bolts of Publishing, which focuses on the ins and outs of writing and, you guessed it, publishing. Our goal is to inspire, educate, and enlighten writers through the shared experiences of fellow authors, writers, poets, and other wordsmiths. These interviews will give writers the chance to see what has worked for other authors throughout their publishing process.

Up first is one of our favorite authors. She’s a big fan of Forewordz and we’re thrilled to have her join us today. Say hello to fiction writer, Penelope Marshall!

Penelope was born in the Philippines, and raised in Southern California. She picked up writing in early 2016 and instantly fell in love with the craft. Her writing runs the romance gamut from sweet romantic comedies, to tough alpha male military suspense thrillers, with a little young adult, and paranormal thrown into the mix. A good plot twist is what drives Penelope’s writing, striving for that jaw dropping moment at the end of each book. Find her on her website or Facebook. Or visit her author page on Amazon.

Are you traditionally or self-published?

I am both traditionally and self-published.

How long does it take you to write a book?

My books are rather short, falling between 30–40k words, and some run as low as 21k (but those are usually my self-published novellas). If I am focused, it usually takes me a week to write a book, but distractions double that time.

What are your tips for staying focused?

Staying away from Facebook and my Amazon KDP reports page helps me stay focused, but that almost never happens. :)

How do you balance all of the demands of a successful writing career (writing, marketing, etc.) and the myriad personal life demands?

Being a new writer, I have yet to grasp the elusive time management skills that I’m sure my more established author colleagues have down to a science. I’m hoping, with time, I’ll learn.

How supportive is your family of your writing career? In what ways do they help and support you?

My family has been nothing less than an amazing support system, allowing me the freedom to pursue my dream while they pick up the slack.

What were your 1–2 biggest learning experience(s) or surprise(s) throughout the publishing process?

I’ve learned there are so many different facets to being an author. It’s not just the matter of writing a book and waiting for money to roll in. One must promote, market, network, submit to publishers, and be ready to accept rejection and criticism at every corner. It is truly a labor of love.

What would you have done differently if you could do it again?

I would definitely have written under my real name!

Did you have a platform in place when you started this journey? What are you doing to build a platform and gain readership?

I did not have a platform before I started writing. Only after my first book was self-published did I begin to incorporate social media. I’m currently focusing much of my time on finishing a 5th book for Limitless Publishing, while creating a website to showcase those books, and hopefully gain interested readers.

How important is utilizing social media to becoming a successful writer?

Social media is the corner stone of success. Without it, an unknown author’s books would be lost in a sea of the millions of titles floating around Amazon. Social media allows us a platform to showcase our books to potential readers.

Best piece(s) of writing advice we haven’t discussed?

Research! Research! Research! After all, you don’t know what you don’t know.

What are you working on now?

I am currently finishing a rewrite on my very first Romantic Comedy entitled The Want Ad, as well as putting the final touches on a manuscript for my Mr. Black Series which has been contracted through Limitless Publishing.

Current Titles:

Rosaline Silver Moon: The Scent of Blood #1 (paranormal/YA/romance)

Gideon Silver Moon: The Scent of Blood #2 (paranormal/YA/romance)

Indecency (military/mafia/romance)

Coming Soon (Indie Style):

The Want Ad (romantic comedy/sweet roommate romance)

Coming Soon (Traditional Route):

Unleashed (interracial/military romance)

Absolution (military romance)

The Enemy Inside (ex-SEAL/suspense/thriller/romance)

Depravity (ex-SEAL/military/mafia/romance)

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!