Blog Archive

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Writing Romance and Betrayal: Author Interview with Joanne Clancy

According to your bio, it says you are now on your 10th book to be published. Looking at the print dates on Amazon, it looks like they only go back to 2011. When did you actually start writing them?
I wrote my first four books: Unforgettable Embrace, Unfaithfully Yours, My Love, and The Wedding Day, over a period of several years. I decided to self-publish those books as e-books in 2011, having read about Amanda Hocking's success. 
How quickly do you write a book? How many rewrites do you do?
It takes me about four months to write a book. When I'm working on one book, I tend to plan and write drafts of my next book. I like to do four re-writes per book on average.
What made you decide to take the plunge and write a novel?
Reading and writing are my twin passions in life. I wrote short stories for many years, and attempted to write a book several times, but something always seemed to get in the way. In late 2010, I decided to take the plunge and write full-time, so I quit my day job and dedicated my working day to writing full-time.

How long did it take you to write the first book? Who helped you with the editing? 
It took me six months to write Unforgettable Embrace. I rewrote it four times, with the help of my family and friends. I was living on my savings at the time so I couldn't afford a professional editing service.

Some of your books are more of a novella style as they are under 200 pages per book. Is there a reason you chose the shorter length?
My first book, Unforgettable Embrace, is just over 100,000 words, and Unfaithfully Yours is 75,000 words. My other books are less than 200 pages. I found that I could tell a more coherent story with the shorter books, plus I sell more of my shorter books than the longer ones.
It’s also looks like you’ve packaged your trilogies in one book? Are more sold as a trilogy or separately? 
I packaged my books as trilogies because some readers prefer to read an entire series together. I also thought it would be an interesting marketing tool, but I've sold more books separately than as a set.
What is your best selling book to date?
My best selling book to date has been "Secrets and Lies".
Did you initially plan to write a trilogy or did the story evolve too much for one book?
I planned to write "Secrets and Lies" as a trilogy. I'd written four stand-alone books before "Secrets and Lies", and I was interested to learn about the process of writing a trilogy. It was certainly a challenge! Keeping the storyline and characters together for three books took a lot of detailed planning.
Another book of yours has a sequel. How did that come about?
I wrote "Revenge" as a sequel to "Unfaithfully Yours" because many readers had emailed me to ask if there would be another book. I hadn't planned on writing a sequel, but once I re-read "Unfaithfully Yours" I could see how my readers would be interested in a follow-up. "Web of Deceit" is the third book in the series, and I'm planning on writing a fourth.
Is Cupid's Arrow Publishing your imprint?
Cupid's Arrow Publishing was a name I used instead of Amazon Digital Services. It's a name I would like to use for my own imprint one day.

Did you try the normal route and try to find a traditional publisher to handle your book? When did you decide to self-publish?
I wrote hundreds of letters and emails to publishers and agents, but without any success. I decided to self-publish after reading Amanda Hocking's amazing success story. She has been my inspiration.
How do you write? 
Initially, I write a very rough outline where I brainstorm the main plot points and do a few character sketches. After that I spend a little more time fleshing out the main story and characters, but I try not to get too bogged down at the planning stage. Then comes the hard part; writing! I aim to write about 4,000 words a day; 2,000 in the morning and 2,000 in the afternoon.
I write the first draft as quickly as possible, just to get all my thoughts in some sort of a coherent order. Then I start rewriting and editing. The second draft is where I trim the excess and focus on the main plot points. The third draft is more focused on my characters and how their individual voices are portrayed. The fourth draft is where I try to be as objective as possible, and focus on how the book reads from a reader's point of view.
What type of publicity do you do to promote your book? What has worked best for you in generating sales?
I've tried social media to promote my books but there's only so many times and ways to say "please buy my book". I have a Twitter page, a Facebook author page, and a blog but I think writing as well as you can, as often as you can is the best method of promotion. I found KDP Select's free days to be most helpful in getting my books known.

What do you know now about writing/publishing now that you wished you had known sooner?
I wish I'd known earlier that I should focus my time on writing, and not spend so much time trying to promote my books on social media. I won't say it was a waste of time, but I think that writing should be the main focus for any writer. 

What is the best advice you’ve been given about writing or that you’ve learned that you would like to pass along?
This may sound like a cliche, but the best advice I've learned is "never give up". Also, don't focus on the blank screen, tell yourself you only have to write one sentence, and the rest will (hopefully) flow from there.
That's all for today's interview. If you would like to learn more about Joanne's writing or buy her books, here's a link to her blog.  

No comments:

Post a Comment