Diving In

This week I self published my first book. This  was not something I took lightly and took me years to come to this. I finally came to a point I either needed to dive in or swim away. Even after my book was edited and the cover was made, I sat on this project for a few months.

I’ve tried going the traditional route to get published, and I still will. I have enough rejections to fill my bedroom to the ceiling. Don’t get me wrong, rejection sucks but it’s part of the process. I have gotten some feedback on my rejections which is helpful. It’s better than getting no response at all. Taking criticism is part of becoming a better writer.

I went into this journey as a learning one, and I hope to grow from it. Self publishing is not easy. There are very few that become an overnight success, and I’ve gone into this knowing I will get nothing back in return. I’ve had fun and am viewing it as working towards a goal.

It is nice to have a finished work under my belt. I have a few other projects I’m working on and hope to submit to some publishers soon. Is anyone else going through the same process? Tell me your experience with self publishing or going the traditional route.

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It’s Here!

After a lot of hard work it’s finally here! My debut novel, Never Settle is a standalone, contemporary romance set in New Orleans!

Below is a short blurb.

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Karina Capello gets the proposal of the year including a fancy dinner by the beach and a diamond fit for a celebrity. Except she turns it down and dumps her boyfriend on the spot. She knows deep down he isn’t the one and can’t settle for him. Is she really crazy for saying no to the perfect guy?
Karina then visits New Orleans for her first work project but is warned not to mix business with pleasure. She throws caution to the wind, when she meets the sexy hotel bartender, Travis Gavin. Travis is the dark haired, sapphire-eyed wonder who happens to be the hotel owner’s son and knows how to make Karina have a good time.
What started as a fling, turns into something more for Karina and Travis. But will they be able to get past the distance and make it work? After all, Karina can’t give up her career for just some guy.

It’s available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.

Note: This is not a sweet romance. It has explicit sex scenes and some profanity. 

Ready for Fall

Everywhere I look on social media are postings about fall. I’m sure ready for it. Plus right now we really need the rain in Washington. I’ve never been a fan of the heat and prefer the dreary days. Proof I’m a Washingtonian.

There is a lot I’d like to achieve in the next few months. I’m working on a novella that I plan to submit to a few publishers. It’s different and sort of out of my comfort zone, but I’m trying to expand as a writer. I wrote a different novel where I completed a rough draft but want to give it time to cool off.

I hope to get my manuscript back from my editor and see what the next step is. I’m guessing more rewrites and self editing. It’s a long process and harder than I thought.

Writing is my outlet for stress right now, every time I read the news there is something terrible going on. I can’t control the world, but I can control my stories. I’m just going to keep on writing.

On a side note, I really hope to get out of the house this weekend. I’m thinking a hike sounds refreshing right now.

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WIP Update

A lot’s been happening in my writing life which makes me nervous but excited all at once. My manuscript has been sent to an editor for her to copy edit. I’m not expecting to get my novel back until the end of September. I understand that won’t be the end of the editing process. I’m sure changes will follow and then a final proofread.

On a fun note, I hired a cover artist whose work I’m in love with and can’t wait to see what the outcome is. I’m not artistic whatsoever, drawing a stick figure is the extent of my artistic ability.  Trying to picture what kind of cover I want is difficult but I have an idea in mind. I’m hoping once it’s done it’ll give me some extra motivation!

There’s so much to self publishing it’s overwhelming, but I’m trying to take it one step at a time. I hear formatting the paperback is a pain and there’s no way around it.

I don’t have a specific date when my book will be available. With this being my debut novel, I need to make sure it’s the best it can be. This consists of a lot of time, effort and money. Self publishing isn’t cheap but I hope it’ll be worth it. Holding my own book in my hands is the end goal and I want to be proud of it.

For now I’m going to celebrate the small victories and see how far I’ve come. A glass of wine is in my future.

If anyone has tips or advice feel free to share!

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Pen Name or No?

This is a question I’ve been asking myself for months, do I choose a pen name? So far this has been a tough subject for a few reasons.

  • My first and last name are another authors name
  • My first and middle name are taken from another author
  • I don’t hate my last name, but it doesn’t excite me either
  • I’ve had a few different ideas for pen names and been told they don’t fit
  • When I get married next June, I will be officially changing my last name anyway

So you can see my dilemma! For now, I’m using the name JR Wallace but it doesn’t excite me. I personally don’t like the way it sounds but maybe I’m being too harsh. Since I have nothing published, this isn’t official and I could change it.

From what I’ve read, pen names aren’t copyrighted but obviously it’s a poor choice to chose a name someone else has. The last thing I’d want is to be accused of ripping off another author.

I’d really love to hear your thoughts on this and your experiences. Do you use a pen name or your real name? How did you come up with your pen name? Any thoughts for creating one?

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Reading Bad Reviews

This post doesn’t relate to bad reviews based off anything I’ve written, I don’t have anything published yet. This is about reviews from other readers that I’ve found on Goodreads or Amazon.

Sometimes if there is a book I’m interested in, I’ll look at the overall rating but typically don’t read reviews. I’d rather see something for myself and make my own judgement. I also don’t want spoilers. I’ve read several books that had a poor rating but I enjoyed it.

Most people talk about what they hate and sometimes dwell on that only. We often forget to write about something because we enjoyed it. I’ve read book reviews because the reader didn’t agree with who the main character chose for a love interest in the end. Another reader left a poor review because they didn’t agree with actions a character did because it wasn’t realistic. It’s fiction! It’s not supposed to be realistic! That’s a joy of being a writer, it’s your ball court and anything can happen.

I rate a book on the overall story, even if I don’t like the ending. Here are a few items I consider.

  • Did the book entertain me?
  • Could I not put the book down?
  • Did I enjoy the characters?
  • Did the story compel me?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments and your experiences.

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