Two novels hardly make me an expert, but I do have a story to tell.
My novel is fully completed before anyone sees it—the editor. I write with no support, and it can get lonely, especially during "writer’s block" which can be extremely frustrating until I find that word, sentence, paragraph…that perfectly fits. My best ideas seem to visit me around 3 am, therefore I always have a pen and paper ready by my bed. When I write, if I feel tired or frustrated, I walk away, literally, and in my two-mile walk, ideas often filter in.
My obsession for perfection renders me unable to "let go". I did ten editions for Maladies of the Mind before I finally put the book to rest, with the help of my editor, who proved divinely qualified. My first novel was a breeze, even though I had two small children and was working full time. I had my story covered in my mind, always knew where I was headed. Maladies of the Mind was uncharted territory. I did a lot of research, and it took me a long time to figure out the ending.
Feedback is extremely helpful. The encouraging comments from I'll Buy You an Ox sent me back to my computer for this second book. But here's my obsession again. I can have plentiful positive feedbacks, but that one constructive criticism haunts me—but makes me grow! Finally, no feedback is telling feedback. If you have people close to you who never mention the book, then their opinion is obvious.
What I feel as a writer is important. If a passage of my book bores me, then it will no doubt bore my reader. I edit it until I feel emotion. My aim is to write books that not only entertain, but enlighten and touch my readers.
A humbling reality: The publication business has dramatically changed. If there is one set of tools changing the game for authors, it’s social media and online marketing. Gone are the days, (as in 1997, with the publication of my first novel, I’ll Buy You an Ox), when authors simply dumped their manuscripts in their Publishers’ laps and walked away. Social media, or social networking, is becoming the fastest growing method in building and growing a dynamic personal network, and regardless of which Publisher takes you on, you have to become social-networking savvy. There is nothing mysterious about websites, but building an Author’s Platform is very time-consuming. It is important to understand that the passion it takes to write your book will be needed to market your book. Having said that, if you are presently writing, or are intending to write, then for Heaven's sake, get on that keyboard and press on! Your dream could be but a few keystrokes away.