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Tell A Story Day

Today is National Tell A Story Day. Whether or not you take up a pen and paper to hash out a story, we all have one inside of us. Even Midnight Tide has a story! Founded by a collection of authors who desired a platform that catered to them but also has a strong support system, MTP launched in July of 2020. Almost two years later, we're creating waves in the industry with our amazing catalog of books and authors.

Midnight Tide wouldn't be what it is without our authors, so, we decided to ask a handful of our team 3 important questions! Here's what they had to say.


Lou Wilham


How did you become an author? I've been telling stories forever. I don't actually remember a time in my life when I wasn't telling stories. But I started writing consistently back when I was in my early teens and got into writing forums on geocities and yahoo groups. So I've always kind of just been a writer, but the idea to become an author actually came a lot later, and I can't pinpoint a date. What I can pinpoint is when my writing buddies from the forums, Elle and Tiss, finally talked me into publishing some of my stories, and that started with The Curse of the Black Cat two years ago. So, that's how I got here. I met two people on writing forums that inspired me, helped me hone my craft, and then dragged me kicking and screaming into the publishing world. What is your favorite part of storytelling?

I don't have a specific thing I love most about storytelling. I like world-building, I like plotting, I like character creation. But my favorite part of the writing process is the actual writing. I know some writers love to have written, or they love editing, but I love writing. I love sitting down at my computer and just letting the characters and world do their thing while everything on the outside of it just goes kind of quiet. Top 3 things you’d NOT do again (that you’ve learned on your journey)

This one is harder. I have a lot of things I've said I'd never do again, but I also kind of forgot them as soon as I said it, so I probably will do them again...

One of the recent ones was not paying attention to my KDP upload countdown for pre-releases. For some reason, I thought I wouldn't be locked out of the book content after the countdown ended, and I'd still be able to make changes, but you can't apparently. Like once that countdown ends you're locked out until release, even if you desperately need to put an updated file in there for release day. So yeah, pay more attention to that.

Another thing, and this is kind of a big one for me, is to not force myself to turn something into a series that didn't make me genuinely happy when I wrote it at first. I have a series that I finished because I promised I would, but because of personal reasons the whole thing just left a bad taste in my mouth, so writing it was much harder than I would have liked, and finishing it just didn't feel like the victory I wanted it to feel like.

The third one, and this is less of a not to do again, and more of just something I learned, is to be fearless in building my writing community. You can't do this alone, no one can. Sure, the actual writing part usually happens by yourself, unless you're co-authoring, but otherwise, you need people. I have made so many friends in the indie author community, and it's wonderful to be able to support one another through what is arguably a very personal, and sometimes hard process. I bounce ideas off them, I go to them when I'm so excited about a new idea I just can't hold it in anymore, I ask advice, we beta read for each other, we commiserate when things aren't so great for whatever reason. Having a group of people who know what it's like is invaluable. Because no one outside of the writing world is ever going to get it, even if you try to explain it to them. So yeah, make friends. And don't be afraid of being rejected, you'll find your people.

Thanks, Lou!

Elle Beaumont


How did you become an author?

Funny enough, it was one of my childhood dreams to be an author, which is somewhat cliche. As with most childhood dreams, it faded because, honestly, what were the chances?

Flash forward several years, and I became obsessed with writing forums. I'd write constantly, creating several characters and deep worlds, but again... how did I even go about publishing a book? It wasn't until I met a few people in the self-publishing world that I realized I could do it all on my own...and that was 2018. I took the leap and only looked back to pull Lou and Christis with me.

What is your favorite part of storytelling?

So, for me, it's similar to a reader's experience. I get to take a journey with the characters, hash them out, and build up the world and while I know my general idea at the beginning, it still surprises me with some twists and turns. That's one of my favorite parts of storytelling, and crafting a piece that will allow someone to escape... honestly, it's the best.

Top 3 things you’d NOT do again (that you’ve learned on your journey)

  1. Keep putting off my dream and keep telling myself "not now". Yes, now. Now, because we're never ready, and if you keep telling yourself to wait, you'll never get there.

  2. Relying on one person as my writing circle. I'd never do it again. The bigger your circle, the better. And find people who genuinely cheer you on. It's a hard industry and you want genuine people to cheer you on and help you out. Beta readers, proofreaders, reviewers, other writers, and other industry professionals are a MUST for your circle. Build it wisely. A solid foundation is nothing but good for you.

  3. Pants a novel. I can pants a short, and even a novella, but I cannot pants a dang novel! There are so many intricate pieces, it's legitimately like a clockwork piece! Cogs, gears, hands, they're all moving, and if they're not's not right.

Super answers, self, I mean, Elle.

Candace Robinson


How did you become an author?

I originally wanted to be a horror movie screenplay writer in high school, then that evolved into wanting to build more to the characters etc. But it took me a long while to finally put words down and write once I lost a family member and realized life is too short to not try out your dreams.

What is your favorite part of storytelling?

Bringing my characters truly to life. They do a lot of talking in my head, but when I get their story down, they feel even more real and my ultimate hope is that they feel just as real to the person reading the story.

Top three things you'd not do again (that you've learned on your journey?)

Focus too much on social media, publish without a good beta reader, and worry about how long a story is (short and long are both perfect stories).

Thank you, Candace! Especially love your last line!

Nancy O'Toole


How did you become an author?

I've always been a writer. Even before I learned how to read, I have memories of telling stories into a tape recorder (a confession that surely ages me!). Becoming published took a bit longer. In my twenties, I wanted nothing more than to be a bestselling fantasy author like Tamora Pierce, and wrote an entire young adult trilogy that was continuously rejected by agents. A few years passed, and I began writing newer, stronger stories, and exploring other options for getting my books out into the world. My first step was self-publishing the superhero novel Red and Black in August of 2018.

What is your favorite part of storytelling?

I love the "what-ifs" that come from stringing a story together, posing questions about things like worldbuilding and character, and then digging into the delicious complications that result from them. For The Twin Kingdoms, that was the question of creating a religion based around cycles and then wondering about the impact that would have on people's everyday lives and the realities of life and death.

Top 3 things you'd NOT do again (that you've learned on your journey)

From a creative standpoint, I've learned to be really careful about genre expectations. Readers will often enter a book with a fixed idea of the type of characters and stories that they are getting. Obviously, there's nothing wrong with subverting those expectations, but even in the cases that it's right for the story and characters, you need to be okay with the fact that doing so may have negative consequences.

From a self-publishing perspective. I spent waaaay too much money on my first book! This isn't, in itself, terrible. I had the money to do it and the lessons I learned from that have been invaluable, but since then I've learned to make smarter decisions with my money.

And from a business perspective, I've learned the hard truths about comparisonitis. One of the wonderful things about publishing is that it's filled with authors who have found success and want to share their stories to help other writers who are struggling. But sometimes you look at someone else who is publishing say, a book a month, and it's hard not to think "why can't I do that? What's wrong with me?" But the truth is, that we are all different! As someone who works a full-time day job, my productivity is going to be different than someone who writes full time. There's nothing wrong with pushing oneself but constantly comparing yourself to a person who has different restraints as far as time, budget, experience, and genre goes isn't going to do you any favors. Unfortuantely, this is a lesson I need to re-learn constantly!

Sage advice with your final thought, Nancy. Thank you for sharing.

Jenny Hickman


How did you become an author?

I know it sounds cliche, but being a reader made me want to become an author. I fell in love with romance novels after I graduated high school and then stories started coming to me. I decided to write one down (it was awful), but then I wrote the next one and it was a little better. Then the next one. And the one after that. The idea of sharing them with the world terrified me at first, but I had a really strong support team and published my first book back in May 2012.

What is your favorite part of storytelling?

Writing "The End." Just kidding. (Or am I?). Honestly, I really enjoy writing banter between characters. And those rare occasions when ideas and storyline and dialogue are all flowing and mixing perfectly. There's nothing quite like it.

Top 3 things you'd NOT do again (that you've learned on your journey)

1. Query a book before it's ready

2. Write a book without clear character goals

3. Write a book without a clear theme

Great advice! Thanks Jenny.

Brindi Quinn


How did you become an author?

I've been writing stories since I could write, staying in from recess when I was a kid to make cardstock books, writing scripts for my family to act out, and creating personalized short stories at the request of friends. I wrote my first novel when I was in middle school (about a disappearing house) that tragically got deleted from the school servers when the systems were upgraded. Fast forward through many more partially completed manuscripts, and I published my first book in college at the age of 23 after my fictional writing professor told me I had talent. I fell into authordom because it felt like the natural thing to do. I've always loved crafting stories, worlds, and characters, and no matter what other diversions or day jobs, successes or failures, writing will always be my first love.

What is your favorite part of storytelling?

Diving into a world of my creation and having total control over the events therein. I love reading and getting lost in other people's stories, but the escapism is so much greater when it's a world you've built. When I go in deep, it truly feels like I'm there, experiencing the emotions and sensations of my characters. I'm a pretty tightly wound person in other aspects of my life, so detaching into another life is, for me, the greatest release there is.

Top 3 things you'd NOT do again?

1.) I published a book in second person to extremely mixed reviews. I won't be doing that again. Sometimes I need to remind myself to focus on the reader experience and save any crazy experimental work for my own purposes. In this case, I feel like a great story was sabotaged by a writing style that wasn't for everyone.

2.) Crying over a bad review. I used to get totally bent out of shape when receiving critical reviews, but I've learned to ignore the sting and to use them to better myself. We all think and perceive differently, and taking in the opinions of others has helped me learn to diversify my writing and think objectively during the editing stages.

3.) Send out paperback review copies to everyone who wants 'em. In my early stages, I thought the only way to get readers was to bribe them with free paperbacks, and because these came directly out of my pocket, my wallet suffered greatly. Listen, I can't afford that!! I've since learned that there are other ways to generate interest and that there are plenty of readers out there willing to offer support without being gifted freebies. (We authors LOVE those readers!)

Solid advice, Brindi! Thank you.

Gianne Rabena


How did you become an author?

I've always wanted to be an author since I was in 4th grade after an English teacher got me into reading chapter books like Charlotte's Web and books by Roald Dahl. It was like I understood that this was what I could be good at. I 'got' stories--they were exciting and I was good at the whole 'relaying and sharing of it'. I used to pride myself on 'memorizing', by heart, the whole plot of a series of fantasy comics at the time. Simply put, I /loved/ stories.

When I found out 'writing books' and 'making such ideas up' was a career path I was immediately sold on the idea. But before that, I'd written and doodled all over little scrapbooks my mom, an Art Teacher used to give me.

After the realization of a dream job, I'd written about adventures in pink or blue spiral notebooks--all about my friends, of course. I hadn't been good at coming up with names then but the ideas were there. All unfortunately in fading pencil.

There was a brief period of writing fanfiction when I was 13 that solidified my ambition. It was short-lived since I'd gotten into the idea of making my series, with my characters, that I've been starting--revising, starting again, and then crumpling. There were many an idea until I found a few that stuck.

By the time I got to college, I was juggling between these ideas I fancied, encouraged by the sudden popularity of Wattpad while simultaneously intimidated by it.

I came up with the New Heroes Series in 2014, just shy of turning 18, and wondering if it was worth putting up online or keeping it hidden until I perfected it. It would be 8 years later before I even moved the manuscript past Chapter 10.

A large part of me is thankful for the wait. I suppose the book and the story would be so much different if I tried to finish it back then; at the same time, I now think I can't wait another 8 years for the next book. There's such a rush about 'having finished something' that took me years to find.

There was this thing I read before from my favorite author, Diana Wynne Jones, where she said that she'd always known she would be an author as if her older self was somehow able to look back and tell it to a young her. I'm not sure how that's the same for me, but I'm always grateful the roads I took led me to words and these characters I fell in love with.

As much as I love the milestone of having debuted a book, I always liked to think that what I have here is a journey I get to go on. Just another origin story.

What is your favorite part of storytelling?

I think I've already said it on my Instagram before how I'm a loud and proud PLOTTER. It's my favorite bit about building a story--when things click together like pieces of a large machine or tie up nicely in a tight knot of words. I love when something makes sense to me about a character as I'm writing or planning for the story as well. Things like Character A is afraid of his powers because he's an extrovert and wants to belong but doesn't want to inconvenience others, or Character B falling in love with him despite being an introvert and having powers that keep people away but she doesn't want them away. It's these character dynamics that come into play and mesh well together with the plot that I just adore.

I am not ashamed to say that the biggest driving factor in what helps me /want/ to follow a story, from the first half of the red string to the end, is always the ROMANCE. I could build worlds and /or problems/ in pages just to see lovers try to save or solve things and ultimately fall into place with each other.

Plot and Love. Not to be confused with my upcoming novel, Love and Justice.

Top 3 things that you'd NOT do again (that you've learned on your journey).

If I could go back in time and talk to that preppy artsy nerd of a young writer that I was I would tell her--Number One, STAY AWAY from the misguiding 'advice' of certain men.

Or maybe be wary of people who /think/ they're giving you advice when sometimes it's just them imposing their ideas on creativity and craft; this doesn't always help or benefit you in the end. Somehow you find yourself either trying to impress someone by molding this little blob of art you have to work with their ideals or get extreme burnout, wondering why you feel you're just no good.

Because there is--Number 2!--no point in forcing yourself to write something you don't really like just to get validation, to feel like you're finally 'worthy' of calling yourself a writer. You should 't have to hit a list of qualifying awards or read a ton of books you dislike that were never your genre anyway. The thing is, there IS space for what you do or the kind of stuff you want to do.

Finally, Number 3, don't turn away from putting your work out there out of some fear that someone will take it away from you or judge you for it. I can't count the number of times I've regretted that I never continued to write cringe fanfiction or posted on Wattpad in its early days--for the FUN of it! That would have at least given me more experience in putting my work out there and would have been good for my portfolio too. But I suppose it's never too late to try.

Thanks, Gianne! Love your advice at the end!


Well, that wraps up this blog post. We hope that this post has inspired future authors, and helped them learn what to expect (and also what not to do!)

Until next time, enjoy all of those stories these amazing authors have put out!


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