Zoe Mullins Reminds Writers to Get Over Themselves, Already!

I’m happy to host Zoe Mullins today! If you’ve followed the blog regularly, you may remember that Zoe visited back in February to talk about Winning Cait {https://romancedebuts.wordpress.com/2016/02/19/zoe-mullins-on-writing-editing-and-her-future-self/}.

In this post, Zoe talks about the challenges of finishing a book, having it edited, and dealing with the haters. Please join me in wishing her the best of luck with becoming a full-time writer. You go, girl!

What was your biggest challenge when you were trying to publish your debut novel?

Getting over the fear of submitting. It’s hard enough finishing a story – regardless of its length. You put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into it. It’s your baby, then suddenly just as you celebrate the accomplishment of finishing it, others begin to ask you and you begin to ask yourself, “Now what?” Writing the story isn’t the end. In fact I’ve learned, it’s just the beginning. Now you have the rollercoaster ride of submissions, rejections, resubmissions, edits, release and marketing. You are taking this work, especially your first work, which seems delicate and fragile and terribly personal, and you are asking the world to judge it. To rip it apart and deem whether or not its worthy. It’s terrifying.

How have you dealt with that challenge as you have published more?

I write in my day job too, and because I am forever writing in other people’s voice/tone, the product is always edited. I learned there quite early that you can’t be too precious about it, and I’ve tried to remember that lesson when I have to apply to my fiction writing.

You have to find away to get over yourself (over your inner ‘mama-bear’) if you are going to keep producing new work. It is still all those things – writing a book is messy – but when you put it out there you have to take the criticism with a grain of salt. There will always be haters. Whether it’s a publishing house (find another), editors (they are trying to make your book a better product – listen to them but talk about changes you are not comfortable with), or readers (haters are going to hate).

How has your life changed as you have published more books?

I’ve recently made the decision to try my luck as a full-time author. Having had two books and a novella released this year, I feel like I had the right momentum and wanted to seize on it. It’s scary. It’s a very turbulent time in the publishing world right now, and the struggle to reach your audience is very real. But for me, it was now or never. I hope with a little luck and a lot of hard work to be able to make my living as an author.

What is the single most important thing an unpublished writer should do to get published?

Besides ‘finish the story’, which is definitely a hard thing – to write ‘the end’ and mean it. But seriously, for me, the most important thing was to know your audience, and that doesn’t mean your reader. Your first audience is the editor at the publishing company you are hoping to be represented at. Read what they publish. Learn from their authors, and the author package they provide.

What is the single most important thing a newly published writer should do?

Celebrate the accomplishment. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your first book or your seventieth, I firmly believe you need to stop and celebrate each one. It doesn’t have to be big, but mark the occasion in some way.

What is the best writing advice you have ever gotten?

The best writing advice I ever received was from my high school creative writing teacher (and he stole this from someone else)… Read, read, read. Write, write, write. Never stop.



Cancer. That’s all it takes for Sophie to shut the door on the most important part of her life. After three years as Ben’s submissive, she says her safe word and returns his collar. But fate won’t let her face the fight alone. David steps into her life as her best friend and submissive.

Sophie may know how to use a flogger, but she’s not a Domme. She’s a sub, too scared to give up control, and David knows it. Sophie still aches to submit and if David can’t give that to her, he’s brave enough to approach the one man who can help them both.
Benjamin. He’s never given up on his submissive, even when she pushed him away and began building a life without him. She’s not happy and he knows it, and this time he’s not going let her fear stand in his way. To tempt her back, Ben will partner with David to remind Sophie just what she’s been missing.

Reader Advisory: This story has graphic sexual language and scenes—no closed bedroom doors (or other rooms) here!
An adult BDSM romance from Ellora’s Cave

Buy Links:


Tempting Sophie




Barnes & Noble



Zoe Mullins copy

Zoë is an Atlantic Canadian author of contemporary, historical and paranormal romance. After two decades of working in corporate communications, Zoë decided to refocus her energy on the kind of writing she loves to read – steaming hot romances with strong, independent heroines. When not at her desk or with her laptop in the gazebo, you can find her spending time with her husband (of nearly 20 years) and their three K9 fur-babies. Zoë has had two books published over the last year – Winning Cait and the latest Tempting Sophie, as well as a novella A Risk Worth Taking.

Website: http://www.zoemullins.ca
Twitter: https://twitter.com/zoe_writer
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zoemullinsNB
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/zoe_mullins/


Zoë Mullins on Writing, Editing, and Her Future Self

I’m delighted to host Zoë Mullins today, author of Winning Cait and A Risk Worth Taking, both published by Ellora’s Cave. In this interview, Zoë shares her publishing journey and the surprising visual image that finally pushed her to get the first darn book written!

How long have you wanted to be a romance writer?

I was the kid in school who was always in trouble for not doing their homework. Instead I was writing. I wrote my first novel on an old manual typewriter that my dad had bought for me when I was about 12 – it was a teenage romance full of mystery and gypsies and the supernatural. Think Nancy Drew meets Vampire Diaries.


When did you decide to write a book?

I have all my life written on and off, with the intention of one day trying to get published, but building my ‘day job’ career took precedence. I was on vacation when the idea came to me for Winning Cait. I think my thought process went a little like this… “You can be kinky even in the middle of the woods. Not everyone has access to a dungeon. It would be fun to write a story about a kinky couple in a small town.” Everything else flowed from that idea.

Describe your process for writing this particular book.

For me, vacation is the easiest time to for me to focus on new stories. But because our vacations tend to be a little rustic, it also means I write the first drafts long hand. Once I am back in civilization (as defined by access to my Mac) I begin the process of typing in that first draft and as I do that I give it a first edit. I usually do this on weeknights because it doesn’t require my mind to be as fresh. I can’t work on original content after working all day, so I usually save that until the weekend.

How long did it take to complete?

Winning Cait took about a year to complete, but it took a lot longer than that to get up the courage to share it and eventually submit it.

Did you work on simultaneous projects?

I am always working on multiple projects. Sometimes that means I’m playing on Pinterest or Facebook, but usually its means that I am working on the next story or book in a series.

How did you fit your writing into the rest of your life?

I don’t know how people with children do it… I have three dogs, a husband and a home that’s in a perpetual state of renovation, so finding time to write is not always easy. I save weekends for working on original content, whereas weekdays are reserved for editing. I find the more tired I am, the more brutal I am.

What kept you going through the process?

My age. I was turning 40 and that was the now or never point for me. I had this horrible fear of being the woman in the old age home someday who talks about what might have been. Frankly, I creeped myself out. I want to be the woman with a sparkle in her eye, drinking a glass of wine, who talks about the kinky sex books she published during her misspent ‘youth’.

Did you have a market in mind when you started writing the book?

I was and am a big fan of Ellora’s Cave and I studied their writers. I loved what they were doing, giving new authors a home for some very unconventional stories. I saw how writers honed their craft there. I knew I wanted to be an EC writer and I didn’t give up until I could make that happen.

What did you do when you got the go-ahead?

I’ll admit it, as soon as I realized this wasn’t a friend joking with me, I cried. It was overwhelming.

What has surprised you most about this process?

How much I had to learn about marketing. I’ll admit the writing and editing side came easy. My day job is writing and having it edited and picked apart. That doesn’t bother me. I long ago learned not to be precious about that sort of thing and to learn from the experts. Though I will admit I had it easy. We only had one serious round of revisions before it was fast-tracked. It was only six weeks between the day of acceptance and the day it was published. But that meant I had to learn quickly how to promote my work. I knew nothing about Goodreads, author blogs, blog tours etc. I didn’t even have a Facebook or Twitter page ready, let alone a website. I took a few days off to get that all set up.

The other surprising thing… is the support from my fellow writers, especially my fellow Ellora’s Cave authors. They are an inspiring and supportive group, but truly all the writers I’ve encountered have been amazingly helpful and encouraging.



After more than a decade, Cait returns home to St. Augustin and the Dom she left behind. A pampered sub, now widowed, Cait has had to adjust to making decisions for herself for the first time in years. With some help from her friends, she’s been able to begin the business she always wanted.

Then Jackson walks into her studio and it’s as if their years apart never happened. As if she hadn’t left him for his best friend. Their intense chemistry is still there, but she’s already balancing running a new business and making ends meet. Does she have room in her life for Jackson, or better yet, is she willing to relinquish her newfound control?

He’s not going to give her a choice. This time he’s determined to earn her submission, and have her back, not only as his sub, but as his wife.

Reader Advisory: This story has graphic sexual language and scenes—no closed bedroom doors (or other rooms) here!
An adult BDSM romance from Ellora’s Cave

About Zoë

The only reason Zoë learned to type in high school was so she could write even faster. A prolific writer, even in elementary school, she was jotting down poems and stories whenever she had the chance – usually during math class. After years of working in corporate communications, Zoë decided to refocus on the kind of writing she loved – hot romances with strong, independent heroines. Zoë and her husband of nearly 20 years (yes they did marry in elementary school, thank you for thinking so) live in Atlantic Canada with their fur-family (two dogs at this time). When not at her desk or with her laptop in the gazebo, you can find her at her favorite yoga studio, camping by the lake or renovating their money-pit of a house.

Zoë loves to hear from her readers. You can contact Zoë by email, Facebook or Twitter. If you want to get more insights into the characters you’ve read about, or get a sneak peak at what’s ahead, check out her Pinterest page!

Website: http://www.zoemullins.ca
Email: zoe_mullins@hotmail.com
Twitter: @zoe_writer
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zoemullinsNB
Website: http://www.zoemullins.ca
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/zoe_mullins/
amazon.com http://t.co/KjWCSE0TXw
amazon.ca http://t.co/R4Fpj3yklK
kobobooks.com https://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/winning-cait
barnesandnoble.com http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/winning-cait-zoe-mullins/1122573605?ean=9781419994425
ellorascave.com https://www.ellorascave.com/product/winning-cait/