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Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Finding Your Starting Point to Write: Author Interview with Michelle Romano

What inspired you to write your first novel?

I've always loved to write. My novels come from a place of emotion, as a starting point. Finding Faith was written after the ending of a relationship, and the story evolved from there. The idea that inspired me to write Theo's Heart was a combination of experiences with love and loss. When I have a plot idea and a direction, I wait until the emotional pull of the story captures me and then the story creates itself. 

How long did it take to prep your first book for publication?
My books have taken me one to two years to complete for publication. There is a lot of work behind the scenes, like editing, cover designs, author bio, book introduction, marketing, etc.

Who had encouraged you along the way?
I get positive feedback about my writing from my parents, boyfriend, and a couple close friends. They usually read my stories in the early stages, and then others read it when closer to publication. Along the way, I've befriended authors, and they regularly give me encouraging words which have kept me engaged and moving forward!

Are you active in any critique groups?
I love An author friend referred me to this group. It's been a Godsend. It's so helpful to hear what others think of my work, and I've grown so much because of their insights. I also love to return the favor.

You’re an indie author, which means you’re in charge of everything from writing to publishing and marketing. Other than writing, what other parts of the process do you personally do or hire others to do?
Yes, being an indie author is a lot of work! I write my own stories, bio and book introductions. I use when I need editors, beta readers, and cover designers. These are day-to-day gifted people from around the world. It's reasonably priced, and I can find people in my genre. I try to keep costs low though, I've had to learn a lot.

What’s the best encouragement you’ve had in your writing?
That I write well and that my writing is engaging. I've been told it's deep, real and beautiful.

Marketing is the biggest key to making sales. What is the best marketing source you've used that has produced more sales rather than just clicks?
I'm still learning! I've tried a variety of avenues including Amazon Ads and other promotional programs. However, I stand by Facebook and LinkedIn. But not without daily engagement on my part. My motto is that we have the power to be impactful when we develop connections. So, this is what I try to do on social media. I belong to at least 90 groups for authors and readers. I am constantly liking posts, responding to questions, asking questions, and offering to help authors by reading/reviewing their work. I am trying to get seen. 

Weekly, I post my books on these websites. This approach has increased the number of people reading/reviewing my books. It's hard to sell books, but I am happy with the direction I'm heading. It takes time, and I am hoping that with reviews, more sales will eventually come.

What do you know now about writing you wished you had known sooner?
I wished someone told me that marketing is like a full-time job, and to wait until summer to publish so that I would have more time since I don't work in the summer months. I also love to research and network. If I knew how much of this I needed to do, I would've started a lot sooner.

What is the best writing advice you’ve received or could give?
The best advice is to use the five senses when writing and to show emotion, to bring the reader into the story. There is a great book that helps with this called "The Emotion Thesaurus." My advice is to not give up. Sometimes, I feel as if my head is going to explode - there's so much information to learn. But through spreadsheets and daily organization of emails and Facebook notifications, I am able to stay afloat. I'd also tell new authors that there are zillions of new books being published every single day, so it's important to find their niche.

Are there any other points about writing you would like to add?

I love to write. It takes courage to write a story, and I admire the people who have that courage. Because they take that risk, phenomenal books are available.

What is the next book coming out? Can you give me a short synopsis?
Theo's Heart will be published on May 17. Here's the book introduction: Hushed cries and unexplained vibrations fill the empty corridors of Serenity hospital. Fifty-six-year-old Mari clings to her best friend Theo after a devastating car accident. But as prayers beckon for a miracle, Mari senses a presence, a connection to the Other Side. Guided by enigmatic messages from Theo’s doctor, Matteo, Mari embarks on a spiritual trek where the ordinary intersects with the extraordinary. And as her journey unfolds, she delves deeper into the mysteries of the unconscious mind, and discovers a love that transcends time.

That's all for today's interview. If you would like to learn more about Michelle's books, here are the links to get you started:
Finding Faith: 
Theo's Heart:  
And here's a bonus for my readers. Leave a comment on this post and we'll pick one reader who'll receive a copy of one of  Michelle's eBooks. So do that now. It can be as simple as I want to be in the giveaway. We'll chose a winner next Wednesday!

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