I met Steena last summer when I joined Kristen Lamb’s online blogging class. From the moment I first saw her blog, I knew she was an amazing woman and now, nine months later, I’m in awe of what this woman can do! Her blog is gorgeous and she creates cover art that will make you swoon. Not only that, but she’s written several books that are sultry pleasures to read. Oh yeah, and she loves chocolate.
A few weeks ago Barbara McDowell did a fabulous interview with Steena ~ definitely check it out when you’re done here! Steena talks about her writing process and there’s an except from her book, Devil Unknown. Since Barbara did such an outstanding job with the interview, I asked Steena if she’d be willing to tell us a little about going indie. And so, without further ado, here’s Steena on how she fell in love…
Exactly one year ago this month I fell in love. It was an eye opening experience for me, something that I never expected, not in a million years. You know that heart pounding, stomach churning, teeth clenching, hand shaking type of feeling you get when your life does a complete 180 without you even realizing it?
That’s what happened to me when I decided to self publish a short story.
For years I had been seeking the right agent, the perfect agent to fall in love with my story. I perfected the query, trampled through writing a synopsis. Joined critique groups and did everything I could to garner the interest of someone who would help me fulfill my dream. And then I wrote an erotic novella based on a dare and found myself signing a contract with an epublisher.
I had friends try to talk me out of it. Epublishing was like taking a step backwards. Giving up my dream. Short changing myself. Can you image what they had to say when I decided to self publish a short story right before my novella was released?
It was as if the world was going to end. And that was only a year ago. But let me tell you – the moment I sold my first copy of that short story – I knew … I KNEW this is what I wanted to do. No matter what.
It’s amazing how times have changed. We now have NY best sellers self publishing their backlists, agents joining in the fray and offering to self pub their clients – and we have indie authors doing the unspeakable – joining the likes of Stephen King and Nora Roberts in their success.
It didn’t take me long to realize that I wanted to be a part of that. But let me warn you – it’s addicting. In 10 months I have 7 titles that I have self published, with more on the way. Yes, it’s hard work. Yes, it can be disheartening. But…it can also be exhilarating, exciting, heart pounding, control grabbing and addicting.
Why do I like indie publishing? Because it means taking control of my dream and being the one responsible for seeing it come true. It means taking what I’ve learned and using that to empower others. It means being able to prove to myself, my family and my friends that yes, I can write and yes, I’m good at it. It means seeing a monthly pay cheque that rivals what I make with my full time job and realizing that soon it will surpass that full time job. It means that sooner rather than later I will be able to say I am a full time writer!
I love indie publishing so much that I’ve made it my goal to help others be successful in this new realm of publishing. So much so that I joined forces with a best selling author – Lisa Renee Jones – and created The Author’s Red Room – www.theauthorsredroom.com. A virtual publishing assistant. A one-stop shop for indie authors to go and find people to help them be successful in their journey. From covers to editing, to promotions and marketing.
I doubt I will ever turn from being an indie author. A few months ago I made the decision to take a novel that had garnered quite a few agent’s attention and pulled it so that I could self publish it. This is a story that is from my heart. Finding Emma – the story of a mother who will do anything to find her kidnapped daughter. I’ve partnered with an agency – The Missing Children’s Society of Canada – and will be donating proceeds from every book sold to this charity. I want to help them reunite families that have been torn apart. I’m excited that I can do so. Finding Emma will be released April 1st.
I told you this lady is amazing. All the proceeds to benefit missing children? Awesome! Because Steena is so amazingly cool, she’s agreed to give away a free copy of Finding Emma BEFORE it’s release date! How do you win? Easy! Just leave a comment for Steena here or on her blog Wednesday when I’m guest posting over there (it’s all about chocolate, make sure you stop by!).
Each commenter’s name will be put in a hat and Steena will announce the winner on Friday. This book will grab your heart strings and not let go.
If you’d like to get to know Steena a little better, check out her blog Writing With Passion.
Now it’s your turn ~ What would you like to know from Steena? Got a burning question about romance? Going indie? Chocolate? Ask away!