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?
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)
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: Website, Facebook, Goodreads, Celtic Guide