It’s the middle of the summer, the temperature is rising so I thought I’d raise it further by inviting a writer who brought scorching summer heat in early spring with her Reasonable Doubt erotic romance series. Back in March, I needed to cleanse my palate from a bunch of excellent but quite dark and serious books I’d reviewed, so I picked up the first episode of the series, Reasonable Doubt #1, and found myself reading something delectably decadent instead. Although the type of foul-mouthed anti-hero is not my cuppa, I loved how fleshed-out and genuine Andrew was but especially the feisty heroine who gave him a run for his money. (You can read my Goodreads review here.) Heeding the writer’s “call to action” to reviewers to connect, I emailed Whitney and, although the series was becoming a huge success (a New York Times bestseller), she not only responded to a fan but was willing to do an interview with me! My reaction wasn’t what you’d call mature; even my four-year old quirked a brow at my bouncing on the bed. So ladies (and gents, why not?) I present to you the amazing Whitney G!
Whitney, I’m in awe as, despite your busy schedule, you honored this little blog. You recently published a very uplifting Facebook post where you wrote how after the mediocre reception of your first fiction efforts, you never thought that “thinking BIG” applied to you and then Reasonable Doubt happened. Sure, this one was an erotic romance, and this genre’s audience is known to turn what it likes viral, but hundreds get published each month! What was the golden recipe here?
I honestly have no idea…I seriously did not expect Reasonable Doubt to do as well as it’s done so far. I wanted to use it as a way to improve my writing before I finished my current WIP. I was happy with the small success I’d attained before Reasonable Doubt came along, and I’d told myself that one day “bigger success” could happen to me and one of my books. (Yearsss down the line, of course…) But, since I was struggling with the aforementioned WIP, I decided to take a break and pen something short that would allow me to work on banter, scene building, and sexual tension. (I even had a post-it taped to my laptop that read, “If this is the last book you ever write, write it ten times better than anything you’ve written before…”) It definitely paid off, but I don’t know if there’s a “golden recipe” for a successful book. (Trust me, if I find it, I’ll report back and give it away to everyone *smiley face*)
You do that!! Also I now know how I will promote this interview. “How writer’s block can make you a best-selling author!” Before we talk about your WIP, why don’t you tell us a few things about yourself?
Hmmm. Let’s make a list: 1) I have a serious addiction to candy and Starbucks. 2) I curse a lot more than I should. 3) I have a tendency to “fall off the face of the earth” (i.e. avoid social media) whenever I’m deep into a project. 4) Have I mentioned the Starbucks addiction already? 5) When I’m not writing, I’m usually reading an indie book, stalking John Grisham (and Beyonce), or staring into space…
What are you working on right now?
Reasonable Doubt 3… You know what’s crazy? I’d originally planned to have the whole series out in April. What the hell was I thinking back then?
And you suffered serious backlash! I couldn’t believe the angry comments about how you didn’t make the dates you had initially announced. Thankfully, compared to the love you got, those were a drop in the bucket. So, are you happy with the pace of your work? Do you aim at a specific word count each day?
No, I’m never happy with the pacing of my work. I always want to do more or write faster, but I think that’s a good thing. I never want to feel content. As far as a daily word count goes, most definitely. I aim for five to seven thousand a day.
Plotter, pantser or both?
BOTH! I change my mind too many times to stick to an outline, but I *have* to know the ending of a story before I can even begin.
What’s your worst enemy in getting that first draft finished?
Myself, of course.
Have you ever experienced lack of inspiration or drive to write? If so, how do you motivate yourself?
Absolutely. All the time. There are days when I don’t *feel* like writing, days when I’d much rather stay in bed and watch Netflix. However, I think about where I want to be ten years from now and that always makes me get up and get to work.
Could we take a look at your workspace? Is there a particular place you find inspiring for writing?
I’ve attached it. I wake up every morning and write at Starbucks.
Wow! If these chairs get occupied, it means you’re writing in serious company! Now your photo is “pinned” on my Featured Writers’ Workspace Board on Pinterest. Apart from Word and Google, do you use any other writing or research tools and apps?
Not really, but I always read Joan Didion’s “Goodbye to All That” essay before I begin any WIP. She’s one of the best writers in the world, and simply reading a small snippet of her magic inspires me like no other.
That one goes at the top of my TBR list. How do you intend to celebrate writing “The End” on your draft?
I’m going to take one, huge EPIC nap!
Which book publishing processes are you going to outsource and which are you confident enough to undertake yourself?
I now outsource everything (book covers, formatting, graphics, etc.), but at one point in time I was doing everything myself because I was nervous about handing over the reins to someone else…
Do you have any marketing tips or favorite promotional sites you’d like to share?
I have marketing tips for DAYS, but in a nutshell I’d like to say that authors should treat their books like movies. You should be promoting long before the book comes out. There’s a reason why Hollywood invests so much in advertising. They want people to know all about their movies before they come out and they want as many people as possible to watch and enjoy them opening week. Promotional sites I’ve used are Bookbub, E-reader News Today, and I’ll be starting my own writer’s blog soon to share even more. (It’s going to be called “The Delusional Indie Author” and it’ll launch late summer)
Can’t wait to follow that blog! Is erotic romance the genre you will brand yourself with from now on or do you see yourself branching out in the future?
Definitely not branding myself at all. LOL. Although, I do have a standalone erotic romance coming out later this year. I’m still trying to find myself as an author and I want to explore more genres.
Would you like to share with us links where we can find you and your work?
Sure! When I’m not hiding from the world, I can be found here: whitneygracia.com, and if you want to find my books, you can find them all here: http://www.amazon.com/Whitney-Gracia-Williams/e/B0054OUT30/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Thank you, Whitney, and best of luck with with Reasonable Doubt #3! I can’t wait to find out what made Andrew turn into a hardcore cynic, and how he will turn things around after the mess he’s made with Aubrey!! (Update: I did and it explains so much! Great way to end this fun-tastic story!)