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10 Secrets Readers Don't Know About Authors

We all have a favorite book, a book so well-loved that its yellowed pages curl your fingers like a baby’s hands when you turn its pages. A book that you are inspired to read after you see a funny movie or someone says a particular name. One of my favorite books, one that calls to me as the main character is a relatable, clumsy mess, is Bridget Jones’ Diary (though I have many books that I love). It could be Bridget’s well-intentioned, but lacking sexual prowess with men, or it could be her hysterical dialogue, but I keep saying I need to read that book again. This time when I was flicking through the pages like a book-starved librarian, I began to wonder what are things readers don’t know about authors and their books? So I came up with this list:booksquiggles

10. Authors love their readers. At least most of them do, this is especially true of romance authors. So if you have a favorite author, or if you love a book, let the author know. There are a lot of potholes in the road to publication. A few kind words can go a long way. I know many authors who have a board filled with positive comments readers have sent them for those ‘pothole’ days. So stop by on Facebook or Twitter and say ‘Hi!’

9.  Books are not written overnight. In the case of most authors, we don’t have a devoted team of personal assistants and public relations officers. We do everything: writing the book, the jacket flaps, the blurbs, we are the ones who get endorsements for our books, we are in charge of (some) marketing, teaching classes, judging writing contests, setting up personal appearances and book signings, and all of this on top of the daily writing projects. Right now this is my personal To Do List: write blog articles for book tours (I did ten interviews last week), write two book proposals for The Nymph Series, write two book proposals for my next series (YEAH!), I’m writing a collection of short stories, and any day now I should have my edits coming back for my next book in The Nymph Series entitled Winters Swans (to be release October 14, 2013). This is all on top of my ‘day job’ for a publishing house out of Seattle called, Books To Go Now.So please be patient with us. We would love to put out a book every two months, but for most this is an impossible dream but, believe me, We Strive to Make Our Readers Happy.8. The success of a book is largely in part to the support of its readers. If you love a book, tell your friends. There is no better recommendation for a book than word of mouth. J Authors love when they see you talking about a book that took them many months to write. It makes our day!7. Most authors will send signed books if you ask. Now I have run into scenarios when this isn’t true. (I would like to add this is normally the authors with teams of personal assistants—the authors who have nine books on the New York Times Bestsellers list.  Then again, sometimes ven they will find time to send you a signed copy—and those are some of my favorite authors.)6. We have favorite authors too! We read. Some may say we have an ‘addiction.’ In fact, our addiction is what has led many people to become authors.5. Going off the last point, if you see us in public (when we venture out of our dark cavernous writers caves) don’t be afraid to come up and say ‘Hi!’  We are human and, for the most part, we don’t bite. It’s better to introduce yourself and say hello than to be the person who stares at me like I have a booger sticking out of my nose (yes, I checked when you weren’t looking).Feel free to discuss books with us. We’re huge nerds!4. Yes, we are nerds. Think about it. We sit alone for hours on end while we try and pretend the voices in our heads are real…. Thinking about that, maybe we aren’t nerds. I think there is actually a psychological problem that may need to be addressed. J3. In every book you read, you are learning not only about the characters, but about the author as well. However, in the case of a great book, you will think you are learning only about the characters, but if you look a little deeper you will find out some of the author’s inner-desires and passions. No author would write a book about a subject they find uninteresting or uninspiring.2. (As much as we all do this) Don’t judge a book by its cover. I have found that terrible books have fabulous covers, and some great books have covers that…well, let’s be honest here, I’m just glad I’m reading the book on the Kindle. I don’t need anyone thinking I’m some kind of sex-starved housewife. I love my hunks (I even post them regularly on my Fan Page), but that doesn’t mean I want to my dentist to comment on the qualities of the cover model’s abs.The truth about covers is this: authors have very little say about what makes the final cut. For my latest release, Montana Mustangs, all I got to tell the publisher was that I would please like a horse, a blond, and Glacier National Park in the background. Thank goodness they have a wonderful team of designers, as I couldn’t be happier, but there are times that even the author cringes at the final design.1. Romance authors hate it when you say: “Oh, I don’t read romances.” And then grab a Lee Child novel off the shelf.Almost every book out there, at some level, is a romance. Labeling all romances as “less than” is a discredit to not only the genre, but to all the authors who write romances. In the last decades romance has evolved, unfortunately the public opinion has not. There are many who believe all romance authors write ‘smut.’Yes, many romance novels do have a little sexual attraction, but there is a huge variety of books under the label of ‘romance.’ There are books with no scenes and there are books that proudly declare they are porn. There is every level of romance from those with a Christian message to those romances that take part in the farthest reaches of the galaxy.So before you judge a romance author, make sure you know what romance entails. At the most basic level, if someone says they write romance, it means that they write books that are emotionally based. We pen books that pull at reader’s heartstrings. We want you to laugh. We want you to cry (tears of joy, I swear…errr… usually). Most of all, we want you to enjoy your experience while reading our books.

Other Places you can find Danica Winters:  Blog | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

Top 10 Rules for Writers

I have had the honor of meeting many wonderful people who have wanted to become authors.  I wholeheartedly believe that everyone has a story to tell, but finding the time, the motivation, and the belief in yourself can be the biggest battles in becoming an author.  For those who do follow their dreams, it still doesn't mean success--or merited publication.  If you dream of becoming a successful author, I have put together a simple list of things you must strive for in order to make it in this competitive, critical, and sometimes brutal world of writing.10. Write every day.9. Write the story that is in your heart, not the story you think you should tell.*8. That being said, you must follow the rules for your genre (Which means you must know in which genre you write--And Yes, it is good to be labeled, but make sure you control what you are known for.)7. Once you know the rules, feel free to break them.creator6. Edit, Edit, Edit... Let the book sit for a few months. Come back and edit again.  If you are ever bored when you are writing, your readers will be bored when reading.  Stop. Tear the section from your book and start over.  Once you do this, you will have the strength of knowing this is the best book you can write at this point in your writing adventure.5. Never stop learning.  The publishing landscape alters like brittle frost on a cold spring morning.  One day something that was tried and true will fail and something you thought was crazy may be the industry standard.4. Always be kind to other authors (and people in general).  This is a tough one, I know.  There are times when you will face down the reader/editor/agent/author who will feel it is necessary to tell you exactly why/how you smell like dirty socks.  Force your body to smile.  Thank them for their time in letting you know their thoughts.  Then take what you can from their comments and forget the rest.  Under this rule, I also want to add if you help another writer do so in with a spirit of support and not competition.  Your words will come back to haunt you if you let selfish motivations control your mouth (or typing fingers).3. Thank the people who work with you.  It takes an army to be successful.  You need to appreciate the time people take out of their lives to mention you, publish your books, promote you, and read your words.  It only takes a second to make a good impression and graciously appreciate what others do for you.  *Insert the Golden Rule Here* :)2. Remember that you are an entertainer at the most basic of level.  Make your reader feel.  Make them want more.  This doesn't mean they have to love your characters, but they should feel the overwhelming need to keep reading.  You achieve this by digging deeper.  Delve into your emotions, search your soul, and learn how others may react differently then you.  Even more simply, be empathetic to other personalities and use what you learn to strengthen your writing.1. Write for yourself.  Write the story that keeps you up at night.  If you write for yourself, regardless of what may come, you will be a success, you have succeeded in meeting your goals.  In being an author, just like in life, there will always be someone who will be doing better than you. Don't try to keep up with the Joneses or the Koontzes.  You will never be happy if you try to compete.  You must find happiness within yourself and your work.  If you can do this, you were meant to be an author.