Thursday, September 26, 2013

THE COURAGE TO PURSUE A DREAM



My guest is historical romance author, Victoria Roberts. She's the author of Bad Boys of Scotland series and her current release is To Wed A Wicked Highlander.

Many writers look at those who have made the cut, gotten the agent, or the contract, as lucky. In some ways, yes, they are. They were in the right place at the right time and with the right story. Of course, they worked their butts off to get there and probably have enough prior rejections to paper a room or two in their house, but they had the courage and tenacity to follow their dream of being published and got the brass ring. A writer's life does change when they sell and chances are they have now added writing deadlines, editors, and promotion to their already busy lives of juggling jobs, kids, and life. 

Victoria talks about her life as an author before and after getting the contract. 



Thank you so much for having me today. It’s great to be back.

Being an author isn't easy. Really. Most of us aren't fortunate enough to be J.K. Rowling or Nora Roberts. I have a full-time day job, husband, two kids (8 and 12 years old) who have homework every night and who are both involved in sports. I’m a laundress, taxi service, cook, wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt—yep, I think you get the point. When in the world do I find time to write?

I make time.

It all starts with goals. I used to scoff at the idea of setting them. I didn't have enough time in the day to even figure them out. When I started my writing career, I knew setting a personal target was a must. In fact, it took me a week to figure out not having a goal was definitely not working in my favor. Without goals, I wouldn't have much of a word count. Without a word count, my story took forever to finish. So how do you pick a reasonable goal?

Start small.

Everyone is different and we all have craziness in our lives. Figure out what you can easily handle and then gradually increase your writing goal. For instance, I used to have my goal at 500 words/day or 2,500 words/week (no weekends.) As my kids got older and my day job changed a bit, I was able to increase that goal to 1,000 words/day or 5,000 words/week. If I did not meet my goal by Friday, I worked the weekend until I reached the mark. You want your goal to be challenging but not overwhelming.

I also found that surrounding myself with supportive writer-friends helped me to plug along. How many times have you tried talking shop to a friend who is not a writer? It’s quite difficult. I've lost track of how many times those friends gave me the “deer in the headlights” look. No one understands your struggles and personal triumphs better than a fellow writer because we've all been there. Heck, we still are there! This job is not easy, but writing stories is our passion. It’s something we choose to do. And that’s the basis of what makes a story great.

Writing the book is only the beginning…

At least 25% of time is spent marketing, promoting, blog tours, interviews, guest posts, book signings, etc. Don’t forget, this is all done while you’re still writing the next book! Oh, yes, word counts still apply. I don’t think they ever really go away. 

So why write?

If you have to ask yourself that question, this is not the job for you. Write. Your. Passion. Believe me, I wanted to be traditionally published in the worst way, but even if I wasn't  I would still be writing. At sixteen, I remember pounding out stories on an old typewriter. There was nothing like that feeling of being so engulfed in the story that you could feel it, taste it. This is your baby. You have all the power. Tell your story to the world. And if you keep knocking, one day someone will answer.

I’ll leave you with my favorite quote.
“All dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”—Walt Disney

Thank you so much for having me today. Now back to the darned book. 


  • Name your passion whether it’s writing, reading, music, etc. 


Sourcebooks will give away one copy of To Wed a Wicked Highlander to a lucky commenter. (US and Canada only, please)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

BUY: AMAZON, B&N, INDIEBOUND
She always wanted to be one of the boys...

Sybella would do anything to prove she's just as valuable to the MacKenzie clan as her brother is. She'd go on any hunt, take any dare. But her father has a different sort of mission in mind: marriage. It's simple, he explains. All she has to do is marry Alexander MacDonell and report back on his family's secrets. It will be easy, he says, as long as she doesn't do anything foolish...like fall in love.

Until she got a man

As laird of the MacDonells, Alex has a duty to produce an heir. It's a duty he won't mind with the lovely Ella as his wife―even if she is one of the dreaded MacKenzies. He's wooed and won many ladies, but Ella is a challenge like no other. He can tell she's holding something back. But not for long. Because inch by inch, he plans to expose everything she's been hiding and claim the ultimate prize: her heart.


“Roberts has created the baddest boy of the Highlands for her third in her series. This action-packed romance has everything Roberts’ fans adore: a strong heroine who meets her match in a to-die-for hero, deception, betrayal, love and redemption..." 
―RT Book Reviews Reviewer Top Pick

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Victoria Roberts writes Scottish historical romances about kilted heroes and warriors from the past. She was named by RT Book Reviews as "one of the most promising debut authors across the genres" and was also a 2012 Reviewers Choice nominee for Best First Historical for Temptation in a Kilt. X Marks the Scot and To Wed a Wicked Highlander (Bad Boys of the Highlands #2 and #3) were reviewer TOP PICKS, and the first of Victoria’s new Royal Rebellion series is scheduled for release fall 2014. 

Represented by Jill Marsal of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, Victoria is a member of Romance Writers of America®, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, several local chapters, as well as a contributing author to the online magazine Celtic Guide.

Victoria lives in western Pennsylvania with her husband of twenty years and their two beautiful children—not to mention one spoiled dog. When she is not plotting her next Scottish romp, she enjoys reading, nature, and antiques. She also drags her clan to every Scottish festival under the sun. You can find Victoria:
 WebsiteFacebook, GoodreadsCeltic Guide



35 comments:

~Sia McKye~ said...

Victoria, thank you for visiting Over Coffee again.

I truly enjoyed your thoughts on pursuing your passion and dreams. You have some great suggestions and a realistic view of how to accomplish them. Congratulations!

Jo said...

Highlanders, right up your street Sia. I think the dedication to writing is an incredible thing to have. One of my author friends has pictures of herself writing in the most incredible situations, sailing through jungle rivers for instance. The muse has never visited me and the more I read about writer's lives, the more I begin to be glad about that.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I am big on goal-setting. She has the right idea. Set small goals and work towards the bigger ones. Those little goals give one a sense of accomplishment and progress.

Victoria Roberts said...

Thank you, Sia.

I love talking to readers/writers. I don't think anyone has all the answers and some advice may not work for all. The key is to figure out what best works for you.

Happy Writing!

Victoria Roberts said...

Hi Jo. Thanks for stopping by. I can only imagine the inspiration to be had sailing on a jungle river.

Victoria Roberts said...

L. Diane, I'm a firm believer in goal setting. It's funny though. In my younger days, there was no way that was happening. Now that I'm a few years older (and wiser), I realize I was an idiot. ;-)

Kat Sheridan said...

Oh, Jo, you may have just cursed yourself! Back in 2007 I started hanging out with writers, just because I was an avid reader. More than one has reminded me that my very first words were "Thank God I'm just a reader and not a writer." Fast forward: my novel comes out next week. You just never know what will happen!

Victoria, I admire your ability to set goals. The only thing that ever works for me is NaNoWriMo, and dear friends like Sia kvetching at me to get back to writing! Looks like you have a great book here, so your goal setting must be working! Best of luck to you!

Victoria Roberts said...

Thanks, Kat, and good luck on the new release!

~Sia McKye~ said...

KAT, you do your share of kvetching as well, lol!

I like when you did your challenge weeks because it encouraged us to pick a goal and state it for the group and then do daily word counts and share snippets of what we were writing. Aside from NaNo, that was one of the biggest helps to get moving and keep moving.

~Sia McKye~ said...

JO--you got it. Love my highlanders and I'm like Victoria, highland games are the best! And I, too, love Glenda Larke's adventures and the pictures that go with them. I'm not sure sitting in a tent in the middle of the jungle and writing would be something I could do but she writes some very good books.

DIANE--yep, accomplishing little goals give you the sense of accomplishment to tackle the bigger ones.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Victoria--I think many of us were idiots when we were younger, lol!

Do you get to choose some of your titles? I mean, I know you have input but I have to say one of my favorites was X Marks the Scot.

I think Sybella would have been a fun character to write, especially in a time period where greater value was placed on males.

Victoria Roberts said...

Sia, I get to "suggest" my titles, but they're not always approved. The only ones to date that were mine and approved are: X MARKS THE SCOT and MY HIGHLAND SPY (my new one next fall.) At first, that's a little unsettling as an author, but you quickly realize it's the content that truly matters.

Sybella was great fun to write. I had to make her character so strong because she was basically living in a man's world. I think I pulled it off quite successfully since one of my readers actually named her baby after my heroine. Yep, her little bundle was delivered a few weeks ago, Sybella Marie. I was so honored.

Jena Lang said...

Excellent advice, Victoria. Setting goals makes a huge difference. My CP and I recently set up a designated writing time. It's helped me write every day.

jenalang(at)live(dot)com

Mason Canyon said...

Victoria, I'm truly amazed at how writers do accomplish all that you do. I can see where setting goals would be a must. I never realized until I started blogging just how much promoting an author has to do for their books. You have your hands full and I, for one, thank you for all that you do for us readers. Wishing you much success.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

Di said...

I would have to say my passion is for reading - if I had my life to do over again I would pursue a career in book publishing. I really do like the romance books written today more than those written when I first started reading them - they used to be written much more to a formula, and I have a feeling that was based on the publishers insistence. Thanks heavens someone had the courage to break that formula.

sallans d at yahoo dot com

Victoria Roberts said...

Hi Jena. Connecting with the CP so that you're both on the same page is very important. Glad it's working for you.

Mason, that is so sweet. Thank you for reading! Writing takes a lot of work and dedication. And for us women writers, a lot of hair dye. ;-)

Di, I never read romance novels until my thirties so I'm not really sure how they were before. I like the fact that there are different genres geared toward reader tastes. That way, you know what you're getting into if you pick up i.e. erotica, paranormal, fantasy, etc.

sin said...

Thank you for sharing a part of yourself Victoria. My Passion? reading but I also love to bake especially around the holidays.

Have a great weekend :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Make time. That's exactly it! No one has time. If you want to write, you make time.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

WOW! These Highland "romps" sound fabulous. I'm a real sucker for this kind of tale. I come from a long line of dour Scots with understated senses of humor, so it's always fun to encounter people just like them within a book. (So pick me, me, me for that free book!) Otherwise, (sigh) I guess I'll just have to buy it.

Thanks for introducing us to Victoria, Sia. Nice to meet you, Victoria. I'm going to have to adopt your "set a daily/weekly goal" if I ever want to write my next book. I've allowed blogging to eat up entirely too much of my time. (Thanks for the nudge!)

Victoria Roberts said...

Hi Sin. I really used to love to bake, especially around the holidays. Unfortunately, it's not good for my waistline. lol

You know it, Alex! The kids know when mom's writing. Back. Away. Slowly.

Hi Susan. My mom used to plan everything i.e. making lists, etc. It used to drive me crazy. And yes, *now bows head in stupidity* someone realizes she should have listened to her mother long ago. ;-)

Hey everyone, I'm getting ready to get on the road now. I'm traveling to a book signing for tomorrow (4 1/2 hour drive.) I'll check in later tonight. Thanks again for having me, Sia!

Oh, and one more thing I forgot to mention...family. Our family suffers because this is the path we have chosen. Don't spread yourself too thin, but be sure to include your family in your successes. For instance, my little lad dresses in full Highland regalia (his choice, BTW) to all my book signings. He hands out book marks, etc. Sometimes he doesn't understand why mom is in front of her computer all day, but then he sees the fruits of my labor by participating in the good things and meeting readers. Involve your family because your passion is ultimately a business endeavor, right?

Evanlea Author said...

My passions are reading, writing, and creating crafts. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Evanleas-Crafty-Side/432242176867064

Love the covers on Victoria's books! Can't wait to have the time to read them, they are all waiting on my Kindle.

lindalou said...

My passions are my dogs, reading, nearby theme parks, AND working out!

~Sia McKye~ said...

JENA, sometimes having a partner that gives support that way is a huge help. You can each cheer each other on. :-)

MASON, I didn't realize the time involved in promotion until several of my friends in our writing group got contracts. Heard LOTS about having to be creative in writing fun guest blogs.

DI, I think the heroines are more fun and more versatile in today's romances and they're allowed to be older and still fun. If you remember, so many of the historicals had very young--17-19 year old 'women' with men being 30 plus. Granted, that was the time period norm but they got irritating after awhile.

I love how romance finds its way into many genres today. :-)



~Sia McKye~ said...

SIN, baking is very much a creative passion.

ALEX, great point. No one has 'spare' time these days to indulge in their passions. you make time for it. :-)

SUSAN- love this kind of tale too. I'm trying to juggle time around to get the weekly writing in. trying out new times and seeing what works best in my schedule today.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Victoria--yeah. Family. That's a priority for me. You think that little ones require a lot of mom time, and they do, but teens also require as much only in a different way. Hubs is also a writer and works full time so we try to make sure there is a day on the weekend to connect with things we like to do.

Have fun on at the book signing! The blog is up all weekend so be sure to let us know how it went.

~Sia McKye~ said...

EVANLEA-- ooo, crafts how fun. I'll have to check it out. I'm always amazed how many writers also have other creative outlets.

LINDALOU, my animals are a passion for me too. I have horses and raise Great Danes. We're in the middle of nowhere so how fab you have theme parks nearby.

BETH SHEEHE said...

My passion is to read all the Highlander books my favorite authors can write.

Victoria Roberts said...

Evanlea, I hope you enjoy the books.

Lindalou, love theme parks!

Hi Beth! I know when you find some great authors you'd read the phone book if they wrote it. I do the same.

Carol Kilgore said...

Great to meet you, Victoria. I totally agree about the power of goal setting.

Hi, Sia!

Michael Di Gesu said...

HI, Sia, Hi, Victoria,

Wow ... so busy, yet you made it, Victoria. Congrats... I believe that if you keep up the momentum it will happen.

We get bowled over in life, but the passion and will has to be there for us to dust ourselves off and keep going.

ALL the best with your new book.

Have a great weekend, ladies!!!!

Victoria Roberts said...

Hi Carol. Thanks for stopping by.

Thank you, Michael. It's a fun ride.

Yolanda Renee said...

Congratulations! Your goal setting is excellent, have always been a goal setter! All journeys start with that first step - don't know who said that but so true!

Old Kitty said...

OH I so miss using my old electronic typewriter! :-)

Lovely to meet you Victoria and your gorgeous book cover too!! Goodness!! I don't envy Sybella if she's not meant to fall in love with this gorgeous man! Phew! Take care
x

Victoria Roberts said...

Hi Yolanda. I couldn't agree more.

Old Kitty, I loved the old typewriter, but I am rather partial to my laptop. ;-)

Di said...

My passions - my family, reading, geneology, history, and dark chocolate!

sallans d at yahoo dot com