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 Robyn Peterman who loves to write paranormal novels with a sci-fi and horror twist to them.
1. You mentioned on your website that characters come to you and you need to write them down. Do they come with stories too? Or do you create the stories around them?
Robyn Peterman: That’s a great question. I’m a pantser—I write by the seat of my pants, so no, my characters don’t come with their stories initially. I hear dialogue and that’s my starting point. Normally I have a vague idea where I want to go and I simply start to write. It usually changes dramatically from what I thought I was going to write to what ends up on the page. This is what I adore about being an author. I love being surprised as I write a book. The end is the most difficult section for me to write because by then (Thank GOD) I know what is going to happen and I’m no longer surprised.
2. What do you love about paranormal romance?
Robyn Peterman: Everything! I like the world building and the lack of rules. I’ve stuck with some of the traditional tropes with my Vamps, Shifters and Witches, but I’ve created a bunch of my own. Paranormal is what I love to read and love to write.
3. You pitched your book idea before you even wrote it at a conference. People liked it and you then had three weeks to write it. What was the process of writing a book so quickly like?
Robyn Peterman: Ummm, I don’t recommend writing a 95K book that fast, but that’s what I did. LOL I got sick after I pulled that stunt. However, if the situation were the same, I’d probably do it again.
Here’s what I did…
I’ve been asked how I got published. The answer is simple…I lied. That’s right, I lied.
I wouldn’t recommend it, although it worked for me. It certainly could have blown up in my face, but wether it was sheer will and determination or dumb luck, I’ll never know. Here’s how it went…
I pitched a very unfinished novel (as if it were done) to major NY publishers and agents at a writers conference in Chicago. I was shocked, delighted and appalled that everyone I pitched to asked for a full manuscript. After a brief and hopefully unnoticeable panic attack, I very logically explained to them that I needed to get the book professionally edited (real meaning–write it) and would have it to them in three weeks. What the hell did I have to lose? My sanity had been gone for years.
Having been an actor for umpteen decades came in handy. Clearly, pretending to smell delicious imaginary aromas in commercial auditions and becoming one with my inner lawn gnome in acting class, made my fear of telling ginormous lies nonexistent.
The next part of the story goes like this…I went home and wrote it. I didn’t sleep for three weeks, my family ate a lot of peanut butter and jelly and no one in the house had any clean underpants. I loved every minute of it. I ended up with several offers and went with a three book deal with Kensington Publishing. I am now what you would call a hybrid. I am both traditionally published and indie published. My contemporaries all traditional and all my paranormal is indie.
That’s my crazy story, but the real answer to getting published is to write. Just write. Everyday. Every writer I’ve had the good fortune to know says the same thing. Oh, and read…tons.
4. Your contemporary books are traditionally published and your paranormal books are indie published. What do you feel, are the main differences between the two methods?
Robyn Peterman: Very little as far as writing the book goes. It’s what comes next that differs. In traditional, the timeline between finishing a book and the release released is longer. In indie, the turnaround is in the hands of the author.
I have enjoyed being a hybrid. Traditional publishing is where I started and it was a wonderful experience. However, if I’m being realllllllly honest…the money is far better as an indie. I also enjoy the control over my material as an indie.
5. You are part of a writing group. How important do you think it is to find other writers that you can discuss your work and progress with?
Robyn Peterman: For me having a group is imperative. Writing is a solitary sport and being part of a group is healthy and important for me. We’re like a think tank for each other. My two critique partners are part of my writing group. We bang around marketing ideas and cross promote each other.
I like having strong women friends who are positive and supportive. I lucked out with my group and feel wildly grateful that I have them in my life.
See also: Five Questions Series
Special thanks to Robyn Peterman for participating in this series! To find out more, visit her website. You can also follow her on Twitter (@robynpeterman), Instagram, Pinterest. Find her on Goodreads, Book Bub, or like her on Facebook You can purchase her books on Amazon.
This post was written by Julie Tetel Andresen