We're bringing you a new blog series featuring some of your favorite authors. Find out what they've learned on their journey, what their first manuscript was, and if it'll ever see the light of day.
First published: May 2018
What was your first published piece?
My first published work was actually a poem I wrote for an epilepsy anthology featuring other poems and other writings from those who suffered from epilepsy or a caretaker of someone who had it. But that's probably not what you're looking for, right? ;) My first piece was actually not one, but two short stories. Brotherhood of the Sea and Bindings of the Sea, which were inside of a mermaid anthology I was in.
What were your initial feelings toward the pre-publishing work?
The work that went into the two shorts kind of terrified me. I'd never published a fictional story before, and adhering to a smaller word count (10K) was a struggle. Publishing on my own relieved a lot of stress but also added some new stressors too. I didn't know how to market, I didn't have an audience, and who the heck wanted to read my original mermaid academy story? In short, I was so overwhelmed. I felt like I was floundering too. (Spoiler, I wasn't.)
There is so much to learn...but what was one key thing you learned in your publishing month?
There is no such thing as too much exposure. Teasers, snapshots, ARCs, newsletter swaps... Ok, maybe this is something I've learned in more than just my publishing month. But what I realized in May 2018 is that holy cow, there are so many books out there and it's harder than you realize to get seen—not impossible though!
If an aspiring author asked you for ONE piece of advice, what would it be?
Just write. Don't listen to the naysayers, keep your head down and just write. Listen to your heart and let those fingers fly.
What was the hardest thing to overcome on the road leading to publishing?
The self-doubt was seriously hard, but also my biggest hang-up prior to publishing was the "HOW"... how do I even begin? Where do I start? Outside of writing, where do I even begin? Fortunately, there are so many helpful articles and podcasts now that hopefully not many have this issue anymore.
As far as dreams go, where do you see yourself in 5 years? How many books?!
Five years is a long time! The goal, I suppose, would be to have 5 completed series (duology, trilogy, or longer!) and maybe 5 completed standalones. Crazy? Maybe, but I am! Currently, per GoodReads I'm at 36 works... this includes WIP I have right now, so hey... If I could get closer to 50 that would be amazing!
What are three things you believe every author needs in their writing journey? (People, items, resources!)
A writing circle. Pick your people! Readers, writers, professionals. Hold onto them dearly. Tools, such as word or google docs. Booksirens, Bookfunnel, Pacemaker.press, 4thewords, Vellum, and... coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.
Your very first draft of your very first piece of work... pitch that (mess or not) in 1-3 sentences!
Violet believes she's the daughter of a tailor, living in a fantastical world full of dukes and princes, but she's not. And steadily, she begins to realize this, through flashes of reality when she wakes up in a hospital room, but there is one face she recognizes through it all—the duke, Trevor Kilborne. Only, he's not a duke at all, he's the head of the program Violet is in.
Now the above piece of work...did you publish it?
HECK NO. I probably never will unless it received a drastic overhaul or if someone forced me to.
Any last min advice or anything to add?
Just keep writing. Sounds fairly cliche, but that's the only way to get it done. You've got this!
You can hang out with Elle Beaumont on social media!