Margaret Locke on the Challenges and Rewards of Being a Multi-Published Author

I’m so delighted to welcome back Margaret Locke, one of the first authors I hosted when I started the blog. She has written a third time-travel romance, and fortunately for us, she has offered to share her insights into the life of a multi-published author.

If you didn’t have a chance to read Margaret’s account of finishing and publishing her first book, read it here:

https://romancedebuts.wordpress.com/2015/08/14/margaret-locke-is-locked-on-love/

As you’ve been working on your 3rd book, how (if at all) have things gotten easier?

Easier. Hrm. Well, having all three books linked together helps in terms of world-building, because I’ve got some of the information and characters set, and already feel familiar with them. I’m also a little better about knowing the steps I have to take to get from first draft to final product – but I don’t think those have gotten any easier!

I hope I’m getting a bit savvier on the marketing end of things, as well, but I guess readers will have to tell me that. 😉

How have things become more challenging?

I used to think once an author had the first book out, it obviously got easier. After all, they’d done it once – surely it wasn’t so hard the second, third, tenth, twentieth time around.

I’m so wrong. There are two big challenges I see for authors writing multiples books:

1. Not reusing the same plot ideas. This one is harder than I thought! I’ll be brainstorming a story idea, think, “This would be great!” and then realize I did something similar enough in a different book that I better not do it again. I only see this getting worse!

2. Living up to expectations. I’m delighted and stunned at the wonderful reception A Man of Character and A Matter of Time have received (they’re both nominated for the 2016 HOLT Medallion!). But now I’m terrified to put out the next book – what if people don’t like it? What if I can’t recapture whatever I did right in the first two?

What has surprised you?

I’ve been very surprised to learn how much I enjoy many of the marketing aspects. Notice I don’t claim to be GOOD at them – but I genuinely have fun making promo pics with Photoshop, or participating in FB parties, or doing interviews, or writing snappy lines to hook potential readers.

I’m also a bit surprised, to be perfectly honest, that I’m actually doing this, especially since I see so many other writers not taking the risk to put their work out there (or put words on the page). I don’t have a thick skin at all, and yet, it must be a little thicker than I realize, because I’m not letting fear and anxiety stop me – and they stop me a lot. {On behalf of all of us readers, I’ll express my gratitude that you haven’t let fear and anxiety stop you!}

What advice would you give to aspiring writers now that you’ve published three books?

Write. Write more. Learn craft, yes, and read widely, yes, and attend conferences and build platform and all that. But you won’t get anywhere if you don’t actually write. I’d love to tell you I’m one of those people who sits down in her chair for a certain amount of time or a certain amount of words a day. I’m not. But I’m working to prioritize writing, because that’s what matters in the end.

And take advantage of all the writers out there! Join (or start!) a critique group. Find critique partners. Join a professional organization. Get to know other writers on social media. I have met some amazing people these past few years, and without them, I wouldn’t be where I am. The vast majority of writers I’ve met want to share info and help and learn and support. Don’t miss out on that by hiding away in a writing cave (or at least come out of the cave once in a while.)
A Scandalous Matter
http://bit.ly/AScandalousMatter

Independent, spirited Amara Mattersley may live under scandal’s shadow, but at least the Regency society judging her is familiar, if not exactly beloved. That’s all about to change when this nineteenth-century duke’s sister finds herself in twenty-first-century Charlottesville, Virginia–and locking horns with one very befuddling, very male, UVa professor.

Computer science professor Matthew Goodson has no time for love–no time for anything, actually, but his quest for tenure and his obsession with the screen. The last thing he expects is to get side-swiped by this adorably odd British miss. Yet something in her calls to him, pulls at him, in a way unknown — and uncomfortable.

Can this odd couple blend the past and the present into a mutual future, or will old wounds and new complications sabotage any chance at a twenty-first century happily ever after?

 

MargaretLocke

As a teen, Margaret Locke pledged to write romances when she grew up. Once an adult, however, she figured she ought to be doing grown-up things, not penning steamy love stories. Yeah, whatever. Turning forty cured her of that silly notion. Margaret is now happily ensconced back in the clutches of her first love, this time as an author as well as a reader. Margaret lives in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley in Virginia with her fantastic husband, two fab kids, and two fat cats. You can usually find her in front of some sort of screen (electronic or window; she’s come to terms with the fact that she’s not an outdoors person). Please visit her at margaretlocke.com.

Margaret Locke’s Contact Links:

Website: http://margaretlocke.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorMargaretLocke

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/MargaretLocke

 

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/Margaret_Locke

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Margaret_Locke