Daily Archives: March 22, 2008

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Advice to Myself as a Newbie Author

March 22, 2008 by in category Archives tagged as , ,

by Shauna Roberts

Today’s Guest: Linda Wisdom

Linda Wisdom is a born and bred Californian who was first published in 1980 and has gone on to write more than 70 romance novels. She is presently writing a paranormal series; 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover is out now, and Hex Appeal will come out in November 2008. She and her husband share their house with a spoiled Yorkie/Chihuahua, an Amazon parrot, and a tortoise, all who’ve been in her books.

Linda, if you could travel back in time to before you were first published, what advice would you give yourself?

What did I know about writing and the business of writing when I first started out? Nothing. Did I have anyone to ask? Nope. Did I survive? Considering I sold my first two books in 1979 and I’m still doing it, I must be doing something right. Or I’m just plain lucky.

If I had the knowledge I have today and could go back in time, what would I tell myself?

1. Keep the enthusiasm in your heart and soul even if you wonder why you keep on doing it when you’re hitting a brick wall. Remember that a brick wall is made up of pieces and those pieces can be broken down. Sure, it may take time, it may hurt your head from batting it against it, but the end result will be worth it.

2. I would tell myself that to always look ahead. Look at what you’re doing now and what you want to do down the line. I started out with category romance and then slid into romantic suspense, paranormal, and humorous romance. But paranormal was always my first love. I wrote several category books with paranormal elements, but I knew I wanted to write stronger paranormal and now I’m doing it. Along the way, I honed my craft, didn’t rush it, and made sure it was everything it was supposed to be.

3. Always remember this is a business. A rejection only means that one editor didn’t like it. It’s not personal, and what she/he didn’t like, another can love. Look at what’s said in a rejection, take the suggestions, and use them. Consider it all a learning experience that will make you all the better in the long run. It doesn’t mean you have to agree with all you hear, but keep your listening ears on, as Judge Judy says.

4. One phrase I keep in mind is roll with the punches. There are cycles in writing. Be prepared to roll with them. Know that changing publishers can mean you might be starting all over again. Park your ego at the door and just plain work. There are a lot of examples out there why it’s necessary. But I’ll be nice and just give you one. Years ago I knew an author who had her career mapped out to the nth degree. She planned when she would sell her first book, which would naturally make the top of all the bestseller lists, and when she’d win awards for the book. You name it. When the book was released, she sent out letters to bookstores that pretty much said, “I wrote the absolute best book you will ever read and I know you will love it.” The book didn’t sell well and she never sold another one. Maybe it was because her ego got in the way. And it could also have to do with her writing not catching on with readers.

Writing is a career and a way of life for us.

Of course, I could go back in time and tell myself all of this and I might not believe a word I said. I’d have to learn it all by myself.

So listen to those who’ve paved the way for you. We don’t expect you to agree with all we say, but just remember something: Who better to believe than someone who’s been there?


Visit Linda Wisdom’ MySpace page at www.myspace.com/lindawisdombooks and her blog at http://witchychicks.blogspot.com. Her book 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover (Source Books) can be ordered online from Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

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