Today we have author Erin A. Jensen visiting. Welcome!
What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
* Erin Jensen is a part-time pharmacist and a fulltime creator of imaginary worlds. She lives in upstate NY with her incredibly supportive husband, two sons (who are both taller than her) and a Yorkshire terrier who thinks he’s the family bodyguard. In the early days of her writing career, Erin vowed to get a dragon tattoo—once her books received a milestone number of reviews—but she won’t disclose that number any longer, for fear of actually reaching her goal and having to go through with it.
Today Erin A. Jensen will be sharing her bit of advice for writers.
* I don’t think I’ve ever done a book signing where at least one person didn’t eagerly approach my table to tell me they had a novel in the works back at home. I’m no different from any of them. Before I published my debut novel, I spent three years writing it in secret. Only a handful of people had any idea I was writing a book because I wasn’t confident enough to consider myself a real author. Now that I am a full-fledged author, I’d like to share some advice with anyone who’s sitting where I was a few short years ago. I’m not claiming to have the magic formula for success. This is just what I’d tell myself if I could travel back in time. Since I don’t have access to a Tardis, I’m sharing it with the writers who are out there hiding in the shadows like I once was.
1. You ARE a writer. The minute you start putting your ideas down on paper and compiling them into a story, you have every right to call yourself a writer.
2. Don’t be afraid to share your dream with the people in your life. If I’d known how supportive the people in my life were going to be when they found out I’d written a book, I would’ve told them years earlier.
3. Connect with other writers. It doesn’t matter how remote of an area you live in. If you can’t find other authors near you, I guarantee you can find them online. Twitter and Goodreads.com are great places to start. You’ll be amazed at what a supportive bunch authors are. No matter what stage of the writing process you’re in, they’ve been there. They’ll share advice. They’ll retweet your tweets. They’ll sympathize when you have setbacks in your writing career (we all have them, it comes with the territory). They’ll cheer you on when you succeed. Some of them might even become dear friends.
4. Connect with other book lovers, not to sell them your book but because they are kindred spirits. They understand what it’s like to lose yourself in the pages of a book. They’ve stayed up way past their bedtime because they had to read just one more chapter. They love what you love. They get you, and they’re out there looking for fellow readers to share their passion for books with.
5. Book bloggers are the most amazing people on the planet. They love to read books so much that they’ve created blogs to share their thoughts on what they’ve read with others. When I first started out, I figured contacting book bloggers would be like querying agents (a terrifying journey paved with rejection and tears). I couldn’t have been more wrong. They are super approachable book-loving people. They’re happy to help spread the word about your book with their fellow book lovers, and they love to review books.
6. Find yourself a group of beta-readers. If you can’t find any near you, find them online. Their feedback is crucial. It will help you pinpoint inconsistencies or confusing portions of the story.
7. Hire a professional editor. I know it’s expensive, but you’re limiting yourself if you skip that step.
8. Develop a thick skin…VERY thick. I’m not going to lie. Putting your book out there is daunting. Whether you decide to query literary agents or self-publish your novel, you’ll be offering up your book baby—the product of your blood, sweat and tears that you’ve been pouring your heart and soul into for eons—to be criticized by strangers. Even the greatest authors out there have received rejection letters and negative reviews because books are a matter of personal taste. Not everyone enjoys the same stories, and there will be plenty of people who dislike yours. It will crush you at first but if you really want this, it comes with the territory. Brush it off, be proud of the fact that you were brave enough to put yourself out there, and move on.
9. Keep reading books. You’ll never improve as a writer if you don’t set aside time to read. Read outside your genre. Everything you absorb will find its way into your writing in one way or another.
10. Keep writing. Think of it like taking up a sport—the more you practice, the better you get. That’s absolutely true of writing.
* This isn’t an all-inclusive list by any means. It’s just a bit of advice I wish I could go back in time and give myself. If it helps another author move forward on their writing journey, then that’s just as good.
* That’s my final piece of advice. Pay it forward. Once you reach the next step in your journey, don’t forget to lend an ear or offer a bit of help to someone who’s standing where you once were. Other authors are not your competition, they’re your peers. Show them some love.
A look into…
~ Blurb for Dream Sight book 3 ~
* The clock is ticking for Emma Talbot—if her dormant memories don’t resurface soon, her past will be forever lost to her—but that’s the least of her worries. Abducted from her home by her husband’s worst enemy, Emma is running out of time in more ways than one.
* No longer bound by any limits—moral or physical—the Dragon King sets off on a rampage to discover the whereabouts of his missing wife and retrieve her from the monster who took her. And any creature who is fool enough to stand in his way may well condemn himself to a fate worse than death.
* As the royal family’s crisis escalates, Charlie has his own struggles to deal with. The weight of the world now rests on his shoulders and although he is physically capable of shouldering the burden in his emergent form, his ability to control the bestial urges that accompany his newfound power might be another story.
~ Excerpts for The Dream Waters Series ~
Please visit the Amazon link below for the Look Inside feature for the individual books.
Thank you for joining us here today, Erin A. Jensen! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your story.
ANNOUNCEMENT! One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card! So be sure to leave a comment AND use this RAFFLECOPTER LINK to enter the drawing. Also, visit the other tour stops for a greater chance of winning!