Tag Archive | books

Interview With Author Lexi C. Foss- Two New Series Debut

 

I am very excited to feature a debut author here on my blog. Her name is Lexi C. Foss, and I’m predicting she will be a well-known author in no time! She debuts in May 2017 with not one, but TWO new series, and already has the interwebs abuzz. Her paranormal romance, Blood Laws, and her Contemporary Romance, The Prince’s Game, will both be released in May 2017. Lexi took time out of her ultra-busy release schedule to tell us a bit more about her herself and her exciting new releases.

Welcome, Lexi! It’s unusual for an author to debut two separate series at the same time, so tell us how that came about.

I’m still debating if this was a good decision, or one made in a moment of insanity. I wrote both books around the same time because I needed to balance the dark with the light. Blood Laws is a bit edgier with darker elements, while The Prince’s Game has a humorous undertone and light subject matter. I’m curious to see how they do in comparison to each other with readers. I’ve always loved statistics, so I’m sure I’ll have some fun playing with the results of this case study.

When did you make the decision to write your books and how did you decide on indie publishing?

I’ve always been a daydreamer. On a boring day back in 2009, I decided to write down some dialogue that was floating around in my head. Then I added some description, and suddenly I was staring a 300,000 word monstrosity that I realized was a full blown series. I toyed with various voices, wrote a few other story ideas out, and then I went back to school for my Master of Public Health. My hobby was put on hold until last summer (2016) when a friend of mine encouraged me to get back into writing and take it seriously. She told me about indie publishing, introduced me to an awesome group of writers, and the rest was history.

In Blood Laws, you created a world with paranormal creatures, who appear on the surface to be everyday people. What challenges did you face to make your characters stand out?

I don’t know that I really faced any challenges in making them stand out, but I have faced challenges toning down some of their voices. They are all very loud in my head, demanding I write one thing or another, and sometimes I have to put them in timeout for unruly conduct. Balthazar is the biggest offender. He wasn’t supposed to be in Blood Laws at all, but he kept badgering me until I gave in (he would tell me – “I told you so” – because his scenes did make sense in the end). They all have their own quirks, and I love writing about them. Their voices and unique mannerisms are what makes brings them to life on paper.

The Prince’s Game is a bit different from the intensity of Blood Laws. Was it a challenge to write two series at the same time?

Not at all. The Prince’s Game offered me the mental break I needed after writing Blood Laws. It was a lighter, funnier story that is very different from darkness of Blood Laws. Writing both books so close together kept my creativity fresh, and gave me a break before starting on what will be a very dark novel – Forbidden Bonds.

Will you be attending any conferences this year, so readers can meet you?

I will be all over the place this year:

  • Romantic Times Convention in Atlanta, Georgia: May 2, 2017 – May 7, 2017
  • Romance Writers of America Conference in Orlando, Florida: July 26, 2017 – July 29, 2017
  • Book Obsessed Babes Author Signing Event in Destin, Florida: September 9, 2017
  • Indie Romance Convention: October 4, 2017 – October 7, 2017
  • For the Love of Books & Alcohol in Chicago, IL: October 14, 2017

What’s next? Tell us about your upcoming works in progress or new releases.

Blood Laws will be released on May 2nd and The Prince’s Game will be released on May 9th. So those are my upcoming new releases.  As for works in progress: I’m currently writing Forbidden Bonds, which is book 2 of the Immortal Curse series, and outlining The Charmer’s Gambit, which is book 2 of the Mershano Empire series.

Just for fun, let us know something personal about you…

I was born into a family of Eclipse Chasers. You might be wondering what the means… Well, it means I travel all over the world to see total solar eclipses of the sun. I have see 5 so far in my lifetime (Mexico 1991, Caribbean 1998, Zambia 2001, Turkey 2006, South Pacific 2012), and I will be adding a 6th one to my list in August 2017 (Nashville, TN).

Thanks Lexi! I’m so looking forward to reading all of your books. Here are the important links for everything Lexi C. Foss:

Website

Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Blood Laws Buy Links

The Prince’s Game Buy Links

 

 

 

Post-Publication Syndrome- Now What?

attractive woman with laptop having neck pain

You’ve worked hard for months, maybe even years, on your first book. You’ve dreamed of the day you can finally say, “I’m a published author”, and it’s finally here. You had the launch party, your friends and family have congratulated you. You’ve finally made it, your dream has come true.

So now what?

Preparing for that day, which I experienced in October 2016, I tried to imagine what I would do, how it would feel. I asked other authors, I read blog posts and craft books. Most of them said it’s a wonderful thing, and some of them warned that it was just the beginning of even more work and additional challenges. I understood, and was ready and willing to take it on and do the work. But there was something no one told me about. Or, maybe they did, but in my push to get published, I dismissed it.

I’m talking about The Let Down. The Post-Publication Blues. I’ve got it, and I didn’t see it coming.

Mission Accomplished

Now, I’m a practical sort of person. I had no dreams of grandeur, I didn’t expect to be a best seller or even a good seller out of the gate. I’m a business person, an entrepreneur, so I know I’m selling a product and it will take time to find buyers (readers). I’m not feeling down due to lack of sales or recognition.  With time, and perseverance, (and spending money on marketing) it can improve.

It’s just…I accomplished what I set out to, and now I have this sense of loss. It’s purely emotional, and not what I expected to feel at this point in my career.  How I went from hopeful enthusiasm to…a general lack of enthusiasm in such a short time is beyond me. I love my stories, I believe they are worth reading. I haven’t had many reviews yet, but so far they have all been positive. My negative feelings have nothing to do with the work I have published to date. It’s more to do with expectations and realities, and the emotions that go along with them.

So Back to Work…Right?

Being practical, I knew the best thing I could do right now, besides promoting my newly published series (Higher Elevation, Books 1-3), is to keep writing.  I had several projects on the back burner while the Higher Elevation Series was being published, so all I had to do was pick up where I left off.  I needed to get the pipeline going again.  But that proved easier said than done, and I found my post-publication blues were effecting my ability to write. I’d get going and then I’d stall.  I found myself procrastinating, which I rarely did before. Used to be I couldn’t wait to do something, anything writing-related.

It didn’t help that I’d spent the better part of this year editing, rewriting, and all the other business that comes with Indie publication.  My creative muse had been exiled, and when I asked her to get back to work, she had less enthusiasm than I did.  Clearly, something has gone wrong.

What’s Next?

One thing I know I won’t do, is give up. Writing is like breathing to me, so I will keep going, even if the muse stays in exile. And I know negative emotions are usually temporary. But any advice or tips from other writers are welcome. I doubt I am the only one to ever go through this!

Do I just need time off from writing? Or should I push myself and hope it will work itself out?  Have any authors out there experienced a sense of disappointment or loss, even after achieving success? How have you worked through it?

 

The Pros and Cons of Comparing Yourself to Other Writers

We all start at the beginning

We all start at the beginning

 

Being a fiction writer can be much like working in a bubble. While smart authors keep an eye on trends in the market, ultimately they each must create the best book they can and then hope it finds an audience. Since each work is an individual piece, and each author has their own distinct voice and style, are fiction authors really in competition with one another?
The Trend Chasers
When a trend is hot, and many are jumping on the bandwagon with similar titles and themes, then yes, those authors are competing for the audience that is buying that type of story. However, those situations are usually temporary because trends in fiction come and go. Tropes, genres and sub-genres rise and fall in popularity. Authors rise and fall in popularity (or notoriety). But thanks to a little invention called the e-book, published stories can now remain on the virtual shelf until they become popular again or are discovered by new readers (which may still require marketing and promotion, but at least now there’s an opportunity for resurrection). For more on the topic of writing to market vs. the story of your heart, see this excellent post by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
Readers may have a huge TBR (to be read) pile, and the self-publishing gold rush may be over, but that doesn’t mean there is no chance for any given book to find an audience and gain sales. Whether self, indie, or traditionally published, a good story deserves a chance to be read. It’s not like we already have all the authors we can handle, or there are too many books in the world. The pipeline needs to be fed!
Author vs. Author
Does another author’s success or lack of success really affect you as an author? Only if you let it, by comparing yourself to others and feeling as though you are in competition with them. But there are times when comparing yourself to other writers can be helpful; it all depends on why you are doing it.
Reasons Why You Should:
For inspiration- Your favorite authors are your favorite because something in their voice and storytelling abilities resonates with you. It may be worth exploring in depth why that is so, to understand what touches you as a reader. It will likely be part of why you want to write in the first place.
To learn- So much can be learned from observing successful authors- craft techniques, marketing ideas, story structure, and more. You can also learn valuable lessons on what not to do by observing what goes wrong. Even bestselling authors have flops now and then, or well-known authors behave badly. You can also learn from emerging authors you know, what to try and what to avoid.
To strategize- From other writers, both new and established, you can learn how they handle things like marketing, social media, relationships with their readers, and how they network with professionals in the industry.
In short, discovering what other writers are doing and how they are doing it (maybe even why they are doing it) can help you along your own career path.

However, there can be a downside to comparing yourself to other writers…
Reasons Why You Should Not:
To judge yourself, or others- You should assess where your skills and accomplishments are, in relation to where you want to be, and act accordingly. You should not compare your skill level or accomplishments to your fellow writers, whether they are established authors or unpublished critique group members. Each person has their own path to follow, and there is no “right” way. Interview ten best-selling authors, and each one will have a completely different story of how they arrived at that status. Feeling inferior to another who seems to be ahead of you in progress, or feeling superior to someone who seems to be lagging behind you is pointless, because it is constantly changing, and you may not know the whole story of why they are where they are. Both attitudes, believing you are lagging behind, or that you are levels ahead of someone else, may actually keep you from reaching your own potential.
To use as an excuse- As explained above, there are plenty of readers to go around. There are ways to be discovered. It may take work, it may take time, it may take investment, but every writer has a chance. Focus on your own progress, don’t waste your energies worrying about how you compare to someone else. Don’t let someone else’s lack of success scare you away from trying, and don’t let someone else’s success intimidate you into thinking you can’t do the same.
As an industry, authors are well-known for assisting other authors. Which is as it should be; being kind and helpful to each other is beneficial to all. Competing with other writers doesn’t really help anyone. When it comes down to it, the readers decide who is worthy of their time, money and attention.
What do you think? Have you ever felt in competition with other writers? Was it a positive or negative experience?