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 Tracey A Wood a paranormal writer from Staffordshire in the United Kingdom who didn’t give up in her search to get her book Midnight Angel published!
1. What drew you to write a paranormal romance?
Tracey A Wood: I have always been interested in the Paranormal. I think it started when I was a child. My Nanna had passed away a few years prior, and my mother had begun to use an Ouija board and tarot cards. She believed that she was communicating with my Nanna, her mother.
I started to see things moving around, in my bedroom. For example, I had a large story book, which I saw lift up in the air, move from my toy box, then slam to the floor. I also saw the silhouette of a man standing at the foot of my bed. Some parts of him were transparent, and he seemed to be wearing a tall hat. He would stand in the same position, staring at me for what felt like hours. I was terrified. I would squeeze my eyes shut, peaking every now and then. Eventually, he would disappear. It went on for weeks. At first, I didn’t tell my mother, but I was frightened to go to bed and ended up telling her everything. I don’t know if she believed me, but I started sleeping with the light on. My Aunt stepped in over the Ouija board, and made my mother realize that it wasn’t my nanna, she was talking to. It could have been a child’s imagination, or it could have been the person my mother was communicating with.
2. What is your writing routine like?
Tracey A Wood: I work full-time and have a disabled son. After coming home from work and cooking the evening meal. I see to my son and get my laptop out. I do all my social media postings and support for other authors then take my laptop to bed around 0830. I write for a couple of hours or so before reading a little. It’s not easy fitting in quality writing time, but if you want to do something bad enough, you will make time.
3. Can you describe the process of bidding your book out to a publisher?
Tracey A Wood: I wrote Midnight Angel in 2010. I didn’t know what I was going to do with it, but after a life-changing event in 2014, I was chatting with a work colleague who asked why I hadn’t sent my book to a publisher. I thought about it and did a bit of research. All the big UK publishers wanted you to go through a literary agent or to have already had a book published (I have now). That was me out of the equation. I sent my book to a couple of publishers who told me that they thought I had something. One even telephoned me telling me that they would publish my book but (and there is always a but), it would cost me £800+. I told them no.
I didn’t know how I was going to proceed so I did a search on the Internet, for traditional publishers who were accepting submissions. There were none in the UK, but Soulmate Publishing caught my eye. I followed the submission guideline and a couple of weeks later I heard back. I thought it was going to be another one of those you pay us hundreds of pounds and we will guarantee your book is a best-seller. That wasn’t the case. A few weeks later I was offered a contract.
4. Since you have recently published your first book (congratulations, by the way!), can you describe what the book launch process is like for other new authors?
Tracey A Wood: Launching your first book or any book is a lot of work. For weeks, I was creating promos. By that I mean promotional images and text to post on social media. My problem lay in the fact that my publisher is in the US and I am in the UK. A lot of the authors I know are also in the US. I naïvely thought that if someone purchased my book, they would leave a review. Unfortunately, this is not the case. I sent my book to a couple of review blogs. You have to have thick skin. I had already paid for an editor to go through my book and then the publisher also edited my work, to get it right. But you still get criticized. I soon understood that reviews are like the blood in our veins; we need them to survive.
Anyway, I ended up having to do a review tour. Also, Promo tour or any other promo you can do always helps. Your book could be the best storyline ever but without the readers saying, so you won’t get anywhere. Get in early with reviews.
5. Any advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Tracey A Wood: Don’t give up. If you have faith in what you have written. Go for it. Be honest and treat people the way you would like to be treated.
If someone gives you the offer of help, be wary. Make sure there is no catch. Most authors are lovely, but as in life, care needs to be taken. In the promo stage, before my book came out I had an author befriend me and offer help with promo. They would share my promos, and they would return the favor. Then they turned around and asked me for donations to get their book published. I have also had other authors befriending me and offering to let me have a copy of their book. In the end, they just wanted me for reviews. Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind reading a good book and doing a review. I just don’t like being tricked into it.
A critique partner is good, if you can find one. I haven’t managed to meet one myself but if you have one, hold onto them.
See also: Five Questions Series
Special thanks to Tracey A Wood for participating in this series! To find out more, visit her website or her blog. You can also follow her on Twitter (@Traceya_wood), Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, or Google+ You can purchase her book, Midnight Angel, on Amazon (US or UK) or Barnes and Nobel. To learn more about the book, watch the trailer here.
This post was written by Julie Tetel Andresen