Saturday, April 20, 2013

Q & A Saturday.

Happy Soggy Morning from the North East!

I received some really great emails this week, and I thought I'd share them with you.
The response to Fire Burns Hot  has been amazing! It's outsold all the other books in the series in the two weeks it's been available.
So thank you!
I appreciate all the great emails and comments you've sent me.
Here's two:

Will you ever end your FBI series or do you plan on running it for as long as possible?

Well, I don't really know. I always tell everyone that the characters have a life of their own, and when they tell me it's time, then it's time. So far, I still plan on giving Christina a sexy Native, I want to pair off  Doctor Leonard and Doctor Magnus with their own ladies, so that's potentially 6 more books. I love Elizabeth enough that I could keep going with the novels for years to come
(yes you read a but)
Not at the pace I'm working at right now. My year runs from September to September (I have no idea why, it just does) By the time I reach the end of my year, I'll have dropped 10 novels. That's in one year alone. I'll be honest, I'm going to have to cut back at some point. I either need to cut the books back to 2 per series per year, or I have to cut back on the size of the books.
I'm pushing out 500 page novels every other month and I'm exhausted!
(Yeah, I know. Poor me! I get to work in my PJ's on my couch.)

The other issue is I need more people to leave reviews of the books. My ranking rocks! I'm pulling five novels all under 30,000 on Amazon. That means that out of all the Kindle E books, I'm ranked around 30,000's for each one. To put it into perspective, there's almost 1 million E books out there. To a writer that doesn't really advertise, or publicize her books, that's spectacular. I want to keep Elizabeth, Ethan and Callen going, but other than the emails I get from the few readers, I don't know if the series is making people happy.

Sales+ no reviews = bewilderment on my behalf.

If I could get more reviews, then I'd be able to gauge how many more books I plan on writing with the Blackhawks.

I want to be a writer, what advice can you give me?

I get this question a lot. There are two kinds of writers in the world. Those that make a living off it, and those that don't. If you can write and pay your bills, awesome. If not... That should be your goal. Until you get that first big royalty check, and you can put some of it away, writing is a hobby.

Here's my suggestions:

Keep practicing your craft.

Write every day and don't stop.

Publishing is great, but it's like any other skill. It's about the practice. Before I published my first novel in 2002, I had ten manuscripts on the back burner. None of which saw the light of day, but had been my test runs.

Don't try and make your work like anyone else's. The reason the big sellers rocked it out, was because they wrote something completely different. Find your own niche and stick with it!

Don't set unrealistic goals. Not everyone can write a novel in 2 weeks. If it takes 3 years, it is what it is. Setting yourself up for failure isn't helping you reach your goal.

Take advice- if you ask someone to read something you wrote, and they don't give you the response you wanted to hear, still heed it. What you see as a work of art, or your 'baby' may be rough around the edges and need some help.

Find someone you trust to help you fine tune it. Pick one person and stick with them. That trust you build is important. Where it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a team to build up and break down a literary work.
(I have Tammy. She runs me through the ringer, but I put my faith in her to be honest and not bullshit me.) I fight back, but generally she wins in the end, and that's how it should be. I'm the writer, but she's my audience. I'm not here to write for me, I'm here to write for everyone else.

Work on a schedule and stick to it. I get up at 2 a.m., and bed at nine every night. It's a routine and I work best when I'm doing something familiar.

Lastly, don't jump around. If you start a book, finish it. By quitting or stopping half way to 'shelf' it, you're only giving yourself permission to never go back (I've done it myself and they're still waiting for me.) 

I hope this answers your questions! Keep the emails coming! I'll post more questions and answers tomorrow!

Okay, back to Darkness of Truth (book 6). I have a schedule to keep and need to channel my Elizabeth Blackhawk!

Much Love, Mayhem and Murder.