Risk Of A Lifetime (aka, Please Be Careful) was the third book I had written, and the first one that was romantic suspense. In 2011 it came in second in the KOD Daphne du Maurier (Unpublished) contest. I began shopping the manuscript in late 2012. There were multiple offers, and I accepted the contract with Entangled Publishing in early 2013. Risk Of A Lifetime released April 14, 2014.
What made you chose romantic suspense as a genre?
Great question, Christine! I write romantic suspense for Entangled Publishing, so I'm not completely in charge of what my covers look like. However, Entangled just made fantastic new covers for Slater's Revenge and Dangerous Lies. They still have a protector agent on each one, but in a 2021 look. I love the new covers and can hardly wait to release the next book in the Shades of Leverage series!
But don't worry readers, I plan to keep writing in both!
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
I can't stop myself from self-editing as I go, which slows my writing down. Yet, this does make the second pass easier.
At least I've learned to write the first paragraph of the next chapter or scene before ending for the day. And if not that, then I'll write in all caps my idea for the next chapter or scene and highlight it in bright yellow. That way I know where I'm headed instead of having to reread what I wrote the day before.
Add more romance. Add more DPOV emotion. However, the romantic suspense market right now likes more of the suspense/thriller aspect in the stories, so that works out well for me.
What’s the best encouragement you’ve had in your writing?
Every time a reader tells me how much they love a book or want to know when the next book will be out, that just makes my day. What more encouragement would a writer want to hear?
We have all experienced writing rejection. How have you learned to write past it?
Keep writing. Keep submitting. Keep publishing. Keep letting the characters and stories flow.
What has surprised you the most in writing/publishing?
Surprising? It's continually changing!
Frustrating? It's continually changing!
Yes, change can be both surprising in a good way and frustrating, too. What do you know now about writing you wished you had known sooner?
Write your story…your way…and don't let others convince you, you're doing it wrong. Listen, consider and then decide if what they've said makes sense for what you want to achieve. Because, in the end, there are readers waiting to let you know what they like.
Don't give up! Just keep writing, writing, writing! Be willing to change as you grow in knowledge and confidence. And invest in yourself by taking a workshop (small or large) every so often. You'll learn a new topic. You'll meet new authors to network with in the future. And you'll come away energized!
Are there any other points about writing you would like to add?
I've always done marketing, but mostly when I had a new release. A lot of times, I didn't even see that anything happened in sales. In 2020, I took some workshops that have opened my mind to see how marketing is as important as writing the book! And I've started marketing something a few times a week (I'm loving FB ads) and have followed the workshops advice about testing, testing, testing. By doing that I've found some evergreen ads and audiences, so it doesn't take me near as long to set something up as when I started. Good luck!
Could you give me a short synopsis of your latest book?
If you like the Virgin River or Sweet Magnolia series, you'll want to read A Week At Most. First book in the new Nature's Crossing series.
Mark Garmund is ready for a change in careers. He's seriously considering the National Park Services job offer in the area of Nature's Crossing. Now, he's got his eye on ten acres with towering pines, a park-like setting and one sprawling house he could call home. Meeting Ashley has triggered emotions he'd rather not face, and a few he would sure like to pursue. But first he has to earn her trust.
Sounds like the start of an interesting story. If you'd like to learn more about this book or others Claudia has written, here are some links to get you started.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Claudia-Shelton/e/B00JNZ83DO/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0