At first glance, you would think this is an easy question to answer, but in reality, it is multi-faceted in many ways.
First of all, especially in the Romance industry, not only are we writers, but we are also readers. So as readers, we tend to be more empathic when it comes to our own readers. Maybe it is a little do unto others as we would have them do unto us mixed in there.
But for me, I never realized how much of an impact the writer/reader’s relationship was until I became a writer myself. The interaction between writer and reader is like no other, because we are one and the same.
For the indie author, this relationship is even more important, because as an indie author, you don’t have a big publishing company or public relations firm out there doing all your advertising; we have ourselves and our readers.
I remember when I first retired from the Army last year, deciding that once I was out I would finally finish the novel I had started back in 2010, and I would send to a big time publisher, and be published by them.
As I researched profusely on various BIG Publishers, I soon found out, that even though I could have had great support, I possibly could never be in control of what I wrote or how I wrote it, was not my cup of tea. So this for me was a BIG NO, after 23 years of having every part of my life controlled, there was no way I wanted to go that route of BIG Publisher, at least not at first.
I sat down at my laptop and began to finish my novel, I had started in 2010 and titled it “Warranted Pleasures”. When I finished, I was so proud of the work I had accomplished, but I still had NO idea what or where to go next.
So on to more research and many “How to” books read, it wasn’t until literally weeks ago that I truly figured out what and where to go, to get my novel out to the masses. I published “Warranted Pleasures” in December 2015, and although I used some social media, and made contacts with other authors and readers; I just wasn’t doing enough in my opinion. So one day, I posted on Facebook what I felt on the inside, it would be my last ditch effort to get the word out, and gain more readers. I don’t remember the exact wording, but in essence it was a scream for help. I think it read pretty much like this, “HELP”…….. ha ha
It was that post that caught the attention of a woman I had recently just added as a friend, on Facebook from another authors Facebook page. I had corresponded with her via comments and she seemed nice, so I clicked add as a friend. What was it going to hurt? But it was that add that changed everything. She offered to help, she added me to some groups and put me in contact with another woman, who was also a big reader, and part of many readers, and author groups on Facebook. I hired her as my assistant and she went right to work finding signings around the country, and Facebook author takeovers with bloggers and reviewers.
I was finally getting the word out, enjoying my time taking over different groups, and events on Facebook. Things were finally starting to work out and go the way I had envisioned them.
It has been so much fun and so exhausting at the same time, but it is the readers that make our job as a writer so much fun. It’s the readers that gets the word out and it’s the readers we get to interact with. It’s the readers that are important, being able to finally connect with more and more of them has made me realized how amazingly blessed and honored I am to be able to bring my stories to them, and be a romance author.
I am having such a great time, being able to interact with readers, as a reader myself, I have Fangirl moments too. Like when I am doing a takeover, and I find myself doing one with a couple of USA Today and New York Times best-selling Authors, I seriously Fangirl.
It’s amazing to me as a writer, how close we are able to become with our readers, especially in the Romance Genre. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that we are readers too; we have our Fangirl moments and that makes this job so much fun. We have signings, Facebook events, conferences, and of course the Romance Writers of America national conference.
I mean come on, you can’t get this close to Gerard Butler on the Red Carpet or on a movie set. By the way, if you decide to follow me, friend me or meet me, you will find I am convinced he and I were married in past lives. Ha ha.
We, as writers, are readers first and writers second. We are the readers and as the readers, don’t we always spread the word about our favorite author or a new book we just read? What a blessing and an honor it is for me to be able to say I am a Romance Novelist, and that we have the best readers and fellow authors in this industry.
We are approachable, because we ourselves, are the FANS and we are the readers. Don’t we all love a HEA? That’s what we get when we pick up a romance novel, well most anyway, some are HEA for now stories, and that’s ok too.
We all love a great HEA story, from the time we were little kids until the day we die, because HEA show us all that there is always a Once upon a Time.
So for me, our readers are IMPORTANT, because WE are them and WE are a FAMILY, and as a FAMILY we help each other. And I believe, that is what I found.
So a big thank you, to all of you who have read, will read and who won’t because no matter what, we are FAMILY, the Romance FAMILY.
Shannon grew up in a small town called Macomb, IL. A university town nestled in the heart of Central Illinois. Corn fields and soy beans surround the town and her Friday nights consisted of reading and television. Surprising her entire family, she joined the US Army in 1987 with an MOS of Unit Supply Specialist. The 4-year stint lead to a retirement in April 2015. She began writing in 2010 as a way to help deal with some of the stress and pressures of daily Army life. It was her best friend who pushed her to pursue writing as a career. “Writing is my release, I love telling a story and I learned to always write about what I know.” Since she has served half her life in the US Army, her stories surround the lives of soldiers. She love’s Sci-fi and fantasy and has thought about exploring it some for future works. She is a mother of four and a grandmother of 1 with another granddaughter on the way in Dec 2016, she has been married for 22 years.
Warranted Pleasures Book 1 (A Warranted Series)
Sergeant Samantha O’Hara had no idea that when she was assigned to the 1266th Transportation Company, that she would meet sexy and flirty Chief Warrant Officer Raleigh Fitzgerald. But when their eyes met, sparks flew as well as the bullets.
It was against Army Regulations they knew that, but it was an undeniable attraction. She wasn’t sure how long she could hold out, he had a way of getting under her skin.
Raleigh was used to getting what he wanted and right now little Miss Sam, is on the top of his list
Meet Sergeant Samantha O’Hara- She’s young, beautiful, extremely driven, and very much single. Her love life, completely non-existent.
Meet Chief Warrant Officer Raleigh Fitzgerald- He’s young, flirtatious, and quite frankly sinfully delicious. Oh and yes, he’s very much single.
Welcome to Samantha and Raleigh’s world.
A world where seduction, dirty talk, and let’s say yumminess comes into play.
A world where no one can be trusted, where secrets are unraveled.
A world of internal conflicts and fears.
A world of hurt and pain where scars run so deep it’s hard to catch your breath.
This is their story……. Available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01795R1IW
Warranted Desires Book 2 (A Warranted Series) Releases Dec 2016