I’m so happy to have this very special guest on It’s All About the Romance, my friend and awesome romantic suspense writer, Michelle Somers!
A funny thing happened on the way to publication….
I discovered the best things in life come to us when we step outside our comfort zone and take risks.
My writing career has been a series of tentative shuffles over the thick, white line bordering a no-go zone of fear. From writing a book to sharing my dream of authordom with the people around me. From nervously showing my story to critique partners, entering competitions and sharing snippets via social media writing platforms. To sitting in front of agents and editors and pitching.
To wearing my heart on my sleeve and admitting to myself – to the world – that this is my passion. That this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.
And facing the hard-edged truth that I may not have a say in whether that happens or not.
As some of you may know, in 2014 I achieved what many-an aspiring author dreams of achieving – I snagged a publishing contract with one of ‘the big five’ in publishing: Penguin Random House wanted to publish my story. Words can’t describe my feelings when I received that email.
But there’s more.
My editor pitched me an idea – Penguin wanted to launch a new digital-first line and serialize my story, releasing it in six snippets over a two month period. I was still ecstatic, but now ‘flattered’ jumped in and joined the party.
Wow. Just … WOW.
My dream had become reality.
The dream never faded, not once. Even knowing this would be a digital-first line and that it may never result in a print run of my baby. Even knowing I’d never hold a physical copy of that ‘baby’ in my hands. I was still jumping for joy inside. Through the edits; the covers – of which I had no say in; the launch – which I didn’t know had happened till I saw it on social media; and release day – one of six which gave me goosebumps – which still does – just thinking about it.
I’m so thankful to have achieved what most aspiring writers just dream of. Yet when it came time to launch my sequel, Murder Most Unusual, I decided on a second path.
I decided to leave Penguin and self-publish.
Good question. I’m glad you asked 🙂
Control. I wanted more of it.
Much as I loved the covers for Lethal in Love, they weren’t my vision. They weren’t representative of my story and the genre as a whole. I didn’t get to choose the length of the episodes, or have a say in how quickly they’d be released – all things I would have done very differently.
This time round I wanted to do things my way. And what better way of doing that than to self-publish?
Let’s go back to that big, fat line that is my comfort zone. Talk about leaps into the unknown! Yet, I’d be short-changing myself and my story if I published it any other way. I stepped into the deep, dark waters of the publishing world, determined that this time round, I’d have my control.
And where better to start than with the cover design? I had a vision, and my fabulous cover designer, Lana Pecherczyk translated that vision into reality. And what a fabulous reality it is!
What do you think?
Next I spent the time formatting, for both digital and paperback editions, and collaborating on the back cover design. It was all bedlam and madness, and I loved every second of it. Even though, with each nudge past that thick white line and into the unknown, the butterflies in my tummy kicked up their heels. It’s both liberating and invigorating to be in charge of this release, and have a better sense of being in charge of my career.
It’s still scary. But what journey toward a dream isn’t?
What I have discovered along the way, is the amazing generosity of other romance authors. Their willingness – and should I say, eagerness – to help others in their journey, is unprecedented. This is where I send out hugs, kisses and big thanks to the members of Romance Writers America and Australia, and the Melbourne Romance Writers Guild. And the wonderful writing community I’ve cyber-friended through facebook. You are both my sanity and my saving grace. The connectedness and belonging I feel when I log on each day makes all those hours behind my keyboard – with only the cat for company – bearable.
Who knows where this direction will take me, or where I’ll go next. That’s the beauty of taking control of your destiny and walking on the wild-side of your comfort zone.
So, a funny thing happened on the way to publication …
My dream stayed the same, but my journey changed. And I discovered the world outside my comfort zone can be a pretty amazing place.
MICHELLE SOMERS BIO:
Michelle Somers is a bookworm from way back. An ex-Kiwi who now calls Australia home, she’s a professional killer and matchmaker, a storyteller and a romantic. Words are her power and her passion. Her heroes and heroines always get their happy ever after, but she’ll put them through one hell of a journey to get there.
Michelle lives in Melbourne, Australia, with her real life hero and three little heroes in the making. Her debut novel, Lethal in Love won the Romance Writers of Australia’s 2016 Romantic Book of the Year (RuBY) and the 2013 Valerie Parv Award.
MURDER MOST UNUSUAL BLURB:
he watches… he waits… he kills…
Romance novelist Stacey Holland doesn’t believe in love; marriage to a manipulator taught her as much. So she hides away in her fictional world, penning the perfect romance, intertwining the perfect crime. Excitement is for her books – worlds where the mortality of her characters is governed by a tap on her keyboard and the heroine always gets her happy ever after.
Homicide detective Chase Durant’s cases are real and gritty and one wrong move could be his last. The force is his life – he doesn’t have room for more. Love and relationships hold no place for a man whose fate is predetermined by the genetic roll of a dice. With uncertainty on the horizon, he won’t promise a future he can’t guarantee.
Then a sadistic killer breathes Stacey’s gruesome murders to life and the pair are thrown together in a sick game of murder and lies.
When tempers flare, and the murders get personal, can author and detective fight their growing attraction all-the-while fighting the killer determined to destroy them both?
Murder Most Unusual is a thrilling seductive suspense set in Melbourne, Australia.
‘Wicked murders, witty one-liners and totally satisfying romance.’
‘Michelle Somers doesn’t just paint a picture, expecting readers to fill in the blanks – she immerses them in a high definition, surround sound movie experience. A must-read author.’
Murder Most Unusual:
Murder Most Unusual:
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2iGjZEu
Amazon Aus: http://amzn.to/2jSDur9
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2iB9Vcw
Lethal in Love:
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2jZhcbv
Amazon Aus: http://amzn.to/2jiFkCQ