I’m having so much fun connecting with all the smart authors and bloggers I’ve met online. This is the latest entry in my series of conversations with other romance authors, who join us to share about their creative process, their habits, their inspiration, and more. Our guest today is Renee Regent, whose debut novel Unexplained just came out this week! Congratulations Renee!
1. When did you discover romance and what drew you to it?
Renee Regent: I’ve read all my life in various genres, but I discovered romance when I was in my thirties. A friend suggested Kathleen Woodiwiss’ The Flame and The Flower, and I was hooked. I learned later she was considered a legend of sorts in the genre, and her books were the introduction to romance for many readers. I think what drew me in was the focus on the developing relationship between the hero and heroine, on top of the plot. It added an emotional layer that you don’t always find in other genres.
2. What is your writing routine like?
Renee Regent: I am fortunate to have a fairly flexible schedule, but I do stick to my routines. I try to do something writing related every day, but my most productive time is between 3 pm to 7 pm. Research, checking social media, and the other business aspects of writing are done as time permits. Writers are always working, even if just in their heads!
3. You used to write for business, but now you write romance full time. How has that background as a business writer helped you with you romance writing?
Renee Regent: It has helped me with the business aspects, especially with blogging. It also helped with grammar and punctuation, although I am still not perfect. And it took writing several drafts of various stories to find my fiction voice, which is different from my business writing voice.
4. What benefits do you get from connecting with other romance authors?
Renee Regent: I was surprised to find such a connected community among romance writers. I belong to a critique group of local Atlanta writers, and we have been sharing and helping each other for over five years now. I also belong to my local chapter of RWA- the Georgia Romance Writers. I also have met wonderful people online. Many are glad to assist with questions, share information and promote each other, and I love being able to give back by helping others, too.
5. On your blog, you write a lot about being an Author-Entrepreneur and the business side of being an indie author. What would be your biggest piece of advice for a new romance writer starting out on the indie author path?
Renee Regent: I have three things I would advise a new author to do. First, write as much and as often as possible. You won’t get anywhere if you don’t have a product to sell, and the only way to improve your skills and make your end product saleable is to keep writing.
Next, join a critique group or find a critique partner, either online or in person. Feedback is essential to improving, as is learning to accept and evaluate criticism of your work.
Finally, start thinking of the business aspects early, don’t wait until you have a book ready to go. Start building your brand by blogging, or at least posting regularly on whichever social media channels you prefer. There are plenty of informative blogs, books, videos, podcasts, etc., available online to help guide you through the steps to becoming an indie author, but it all starts with the writing.
Special thanks to Rene Regent for participating in this series! To find out more, visit her website and blog. You can also follow her on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google +, and Pinterest. Or you contact her directly by email. Purchase Unexplained, the first book in her Higher Elevation Series on Amazon Now.
A lifelong entrepreneur, Renee Regent spent most of her life writing for business. But she never lost her love of writing stories, especially romance, science fiction, and fantasy. She’s always been fascinated with the science of how the universe works, but equally entranced by the unexplained. Being an incurable romantic, she now writes stories about the power of love, with a supernatural twist. Her stories feature psychics, witches, ghosts and ordinary people who do extraordinary things.
Renee, a California native, lives in Atlanta with her husband, three cats and four turtles. When not working or writing, she can be found sitting on her deck enjoying nature. Wine may or may not be involved….
A member of Georgia Romance Writers and the Georgia Writer’s Association, Renee also loves blogging and sharing her ideas on the business side of being an author, trends in fiction, and tips she has learned in her writing journey.
See also: Five Questions Series
This post was written by Julie Tetel Andresen