by Carole Brown
I’m happy to host Rebecca Waters, author of Breathing on Her Own and the Writing to
Publish series today on this post. She’s a sweet and fun author friend, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading a little of her writing life.
Q. How long have you been writing? What led you to become an author?
A. I have been writing ever since my second grade teacher published one of my stories in our school newspaper. Through the years I wrote stories for my children. I put to paper the stories my grandmother told me concerning our family history and more academic articles and reports to the department of education than I care to count. When my husband and I decided to retire, I decided to become the author I knew existed inside me. I decided to get published.
Q. Where did you start and how did you get published?
A. I actually sat down and wrote out a business plan for myself. It included a plan to write daily including short stories, articles, and freelance pieces. I called these my exercises. As a result I published:
- two stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul,
- two articles in The Lookout magazine,
- one article in the Christian Communicator, and
- an article in a publication for church libraries.
These early publications started as “exercises.”
The second part of my business plan included an education element. I needed to learn more about writing, editing and publishing. To this end, I researched the field online and attended a writing conference in Wheaton, Illinois called Write-to-Publish. I pitched my novel to Eddie Jones of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and soon had a contract for my first novel.
Q. You’ve mentioned the “business plan” a couple of times. You recently came out with a series for writers called Writing to Publish. I know the first book is about writing a business plan. Tell me more about the series.
- The first book is called Designing a Business Plan for Your Writing. It is a handbook—a practical guide if you will, to help writers create a road map to becoming published.
- The second book is called Marketing You and Your Writing 101. Most new writers are surprised at the amount of marketing they need to do even if they are with a big publishing house. This book starts with basics and gives authors practical steps to take to keep the marketing game from overwhelming them.
- Book 3, Writing with E’s explores five habits every serious writer must develop to meet with success. Hint: All five begin with the letter E.
Q. What was your biggest challenge after having your first book published?
A. The first and biggest challenge for me was to not get too full of myself. Let’s face it, getting a contract for a book is pretty heady stuff. When it is released, it’s hard to not make it the topic of every conversation. It’s kind of like having a baby or grandbaby. You want to tell everyone and show pictures and have everyone tell you your “baby” is beautiful and wonderful and so on and so on. But then the next biggest challenge hits you and pulls you back to earth: Marketing your book. Now I’m sharing what I’ve learned.
Rebecca Waters’ freelance work has resulted in articles for Chicken Soup for the Soul, the Lookout Magazine, The Christian Communicator, Church Libraries, and Home Health Aide Digest. Prior to publishing her first novel, Breathing on Her Own, Rebecca was a college professor and speaker on the Ohio Writing Project circuit.
Here are the full links:
Breathing on Her Own
Designing a Business Plan for Your Writing
My blog, A Novel Creation can be found on my website www.WatersWords.com
Thank you, Becky, for sharing your book with us today!