Thoughts On My Author Journey

Toot your own horn! Be proud of what you’ve created, and never feel embarrassed to promote yourself. Excitement is contagious!


IN MY twenties, I met my favourite author Anne Rice, creator of The Vampire Chronicles. Though our time together was brief, we chatted about several things, including her inspiring, descriptive writing style. It’s a memory I’ll always cherish, made even more poignant as she is no longer with us. Her expressive prose and lush detail have definitely influenced my writing style. Another author whose work I respect and admire immensely is Matthew Pearl, author of such works as The Last Dickens and The Dante Club. His historical fiction focusing on the nineteenth century (my favourite age of fashion, architecture, and literature) and its literary giants is transformative. Like Rice and, even to an extent, Stephen King (Misery is a personal favourite), Pearl has influenced how I structure “conversation” in my work. The dialogue between Lestat and Louis in Interview With the Vampire, Osgood and Rebecca in The Last Dickens, and Paul Sheldon and Annie Wilkes in Misery are stand-out examples of how to write intimate, often tense, and sometimes explosive exchanges between characters. 

Regarding dialogue in my work, some highlights for me are the interactions between Jules and Amanda in Vindictive and Declan and Véronique in Vindictive Too. I love using “pointed” phrasing, accusatory condemnations, and unbridled sarcasm–or bitchiness–in my characters’ one-on-one interactions. (Of course, don’t take my word for it; go read it for yourself.)

Unfortunately, there are many ways to become a “lazy writer,” and you can usually spot it rather quickly. No author should ever mimic another’s formed style or point of view, for one needs to respect these artists’ unique creative processes developed over the years from the blood, sweat and tears the creative process puts us through. Authors should always seek to be active, exploratory, and equally respectful to themselves in their search for a distinct literary voice. I do believe that we can, and should, learn from the masters and adapt this knowledge to our own work to find our authentic voice in the creation of a unique writing style and creative viewpoint. Just don’t be a copycat. 

That time when my 1st novel VINDICTIVE was higher on the Amazon Top 100 Gay Fiction list than a TJ Klune book! #17! I’ll take it!

In my interactions with the publishing side of things, I initially had to learn to navigate an entirely new world without a grounded understanding of how things worked, at least, how they would work for me, for my best interests. While it was exciting (and still is), I often felt overwhelmed and frustrated. As time has passed, I’ve had my fair share of challenges and miscommunications, but I’m constantly learning more and more as I engage with this process. I now have the knowledge and experience to ask the right questions and be more proactive with my agency. It’s not always smooth sailing for me, and miscommunications happen. Still, it’s essential to understand, and I have, that it’s an organically evolving process with many moving parts–and opinions. Be true to your authentic, creative voice, though always try to rein in your ego, as it can create unnecessary roadblocks. This last part isn’t always easy for me, but I always do my best to be open to critical discourse of my work. But hey, I’m human, and sometimes I’m just, “You don’t know what you’re talking about,’ or “My way is better!” LOL. 

Of course, if something or someone truly isn’t working for you, walking away is okay. The slogan “Quitters never prosper!” is bullcrap because sometimes the bravest and most intelligent thing you can do is recognize when you’re banging your head against a wall that will never break for you and realize it’s time to find the door and exit, stage left. This isn’t giving up; it’s realizing you’re in the wrong place and walking toward a new and hopefully better creative experience. 

Also, and I can’t stress this enough–DO YOUR RESEARCH! Learn about the three paths of publishing: traditional, hybrid, and complete self-publishing. That way, you will have the knowledge to determine which route is best for you. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, as I learned. The querying process is daunting and often frustrating, and it takes a strong person to accept repeated rejection in the search for an agent, let alone a publisher. Every person should navigate towards the path they feel most resonates with them. What are you looking to get out of this process? How much are you willing to give of yourself to the process? And yes, that includes both time and personal financial contributions. Knowledge is power, granting you confidence when utilizing your agency to make that final publishing decision, so don’t make assumptions. Self-Publishing gives the writer substantial freedom and control, yes, but be ready and willing to do the work, especially in the marketing and advertising of your book. 


In promoting my books, utilizing social media is vital. I readily use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Goodreads, and especially my BLOG (on my website, In these spaces, I can showcase my creativity, promote my work, and engage with people, including fans, other authors, and those curious to see what I’m about. Paid ads on sites can be hit or miss. Yes, they increase your visibility, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to sales. Calculate a reasonable, affordable marketing budget and determine how and where you wish to utilize advertising funds. That’s worked for me. Participating in a promotional Blog Tour can also be a lot of fun. Having done two, I’ve reached a broader reading audience, but I’ve also showcased more of my writing and ideas by submitting articles to these sites. All these platforms are valuable tools to help market your work and exhibit who you are as an author and an individual.

One of my favourite aspects of this “author life” of mine is frequently engaging with other writers working in various genres, and I love to cross-promote. There are so many talented authors out there that I’m honoured to help increase their visibility, and I believe they feel the same when they feature my work. Not only do I do book reviews and personal posts on my BLOG, but I’ve recently begun an Author Spotlight component to my website’s BLOG. It’s all a work in progress, but it’s an exciting time.


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