What was the most difficult thing to overcome on your path to becoming a published author and how did you conquer it?
SW: I think the most difficult obstacle for me to overcome was figuring out how to get all the working parts to move in a carefully orchestrated way to allow for a novel to be completed. Here was my path:
Attending Conferences and Workshops
Writing can be a lonely profession and many writers are introverts. So I joined writing groups and went to conferences. I found many, many like-minded people who were happy to give advice and talk about writing. Learning about the craft and speaking with other writers helped to push me forward.
Carefully Using My Free Time
I’ve sacrificed most of my free time and quite a bit of sleep in the last five years to pursue a writing career. I have a full-time job as an administrator in a small school and three growing children who are now teenagers. I get up early to write each day and then spend longer stretches of time on weekends and holidays to push a story forward.
When I started writing, there were often gaps in the time I could dedicate to writing. In these intervals, new story ideas would surface and I would start a new project if I had a few hours. I would have three or four stories going at the same time. Ultimately, this approach didn’t work for me and nothing got completed. Out of sheer necessity, I became more disciplined. I started writing an hour each day and wouldn’t allow myself to switch projects. If a new idea surfaced, I would write it down in an idea folder and go back to my current project.
Deciding Not to Allow Tangents to Rule
I also realized that I would often completely change a central element of the story and then spend weeks revising the entire novel. This would happen four or five times. I decided not to allow myself to change something important just because the idea presented itself. It would have to greatly improve the story or I would make note of it for a new story. Something interesting happened. I became more focused and productive. And I started completing projects.
Taking a Leap of Faith
In my writing career, I think my best accomplishment has been to take the leap into indie publishing. I have a good friend who I met years ago at a writing conference, Christina Tetreault, who is a successful author and has offered advice and encouragement at each juncture. There is so much to know in self-publishing, you have to do so much more than just write. At times, it can be overwhelming but if you are able to push through then it can be enormously satisfying at the end of the day.
Remembering Why I Write
I write for the playfulness and sheer joy of escaping into a different world. As a writer, you have ultimate control and can let your imagination run wild. But I have learned over time how to harness this energy so I can use it to stay focused and complete a novel.
by Susie Warren
A reluctant socialite is pulled into a scandal and must choose between her family's reputation and her future happiness.
Lucia Montgomery is from an old and powerful political family in Connecticut and desperately wants to shed her reputation as a superficial socialite. Against her family’s wishes, she seeks a position working for a fiercely contested political campaign and the dark horse in the race, Anderson Adams. She is thrown into the middle of a scandal of her own making when she is tricked into going to his hotel room. Anderson persuades her to play along with a pretend engagement then an actual wedding to save her reputation and his campaign. The media falls in love with the charismatic couple and they must figure out how to reconcile their public image with their private life.
Even though she had seen many images and video clips of him, Anderson was more impressive in the flesh. His intense presence drew her closer to him, and the rest of the party faded from view. His confidence was not surprising, but his relaxed charm was and it put her at ease.
She nodded. “Lucia Montgomery.”
He met her gaze. “My campaign manager seemed to think you go by Bella.”
Lucia gasped and shook her head. “Bella was a childhood nickname. It’s Lucia these days.”
“Bella suits you.”
“I was hoping I would have an opportunity to speak with you.”
He raised his eyebrows slightly, and she cringed at her forwardness. He didn’t need more adoration. She fiddled with the slim rope belt on her gown and smoothed the fabric down, trying to remember what she wanted to say to him.
His penetrating gaze sent a slow blush over her skin. “Do you have advice for me? It seems everyone in this room has an opinion on how I could win this race.”
Her mind went blank. “I don’t know if winning is possible.”
He looked at her intently. “Would you care to dance?”
Lucia straightened her spine. Why had she said that? Was it because she didn’t want to fall into the category of people wanting something from him? Or had his nearness elicited the truth from her?
He led her to the dance floor and she could feel his hand resting lightly on her lower back. The band was playing a love song and she realized she hadn’t even attempted her pitch for Isabel. She didn’t want to date Anderson Adams. She wanted to spark his curiosity in creating a documentary and tactfully mention her cousin. She had also wanted to appease her grandfather by being seen speaking with the candidate. But she had no intention of seeking a position in his campaign.
He gathered her into his embrace and she could feel her body respond to him. The evening was not going according to plan. She could barely string two words together and now she was dancing with him.
Her body stiffened and he said, “Relax. We can talk about the campaign later.”
She looked up into his eyes. “How did you know I wanted to talk about the campaign?”
He drew her slightly closer as they continued to dance. “There are very few secrets in politics. My campaign manager informed me that your grandfather mentioned that you are seeking a public relations position.”
She shook her head. “No, I’m not interested in working on your campaign, but I have an interesting idea for you.”
“Do you?” His face showed no expression.
She decided to go ahead and pitch her idea. “My cousin is an enormously talented filmmaker and I wondered if you had given any thought to recording your run for congress? Images of you campaigning could be used as a powerful marketing tool if done well.”
He smiled at her. “I agree. Maybe we could get together and discuss it further?”
Lucia nodded and allowed herself to let down her guard slightly and enjoy the dance. Anderson was agile and impressed her with his ability to dance. She stopped worrying about the intimacy of their embrace and let him lead her through a series of intricate moves.
After a second dance and then a third, she was slightly breathless and laughing at her inability to keep up with him. When the song ended, he said to her, “Let’s get a drink.”
She followed him to the bar and he ordered two glasses of Perrier with lime. Lucia cautioned herself not to be too taken with him. He was an expert at luring people in and impressing them. It didn’t hurt that he was a marvelous dancer.
He lifted his glass to her and said, “May that be the first of many dances.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Susie Warren writes contemporary romance. Besides being an avid reader, she spends much of her free time crafting intense and complex stories about falling in love. When she is not writing, Susie works as an administrator in a small, independent school while caring for three teenagers and keeping tabs on her inventor husband. With the launching of her first book, The Forgotten Heiress, she has slowly begun to navigate the social media realm.
Susie loves to hear from readers and responds to each email and Facebook post. Please reach out to her via Facebook or Twitter @susiecwarren
For more information on her upcoming releases, new excerpts and other related postings, or to sign up for free promotions, please visit her website.
The first novel in The Rosa Legacy series, Ruthless Perfection, started with the idea of a traditional Italian mother who wanted her only daughter happily married. The mother, Carla Rosa Neri, along with her two sisters, Francesca and Marie, had emigrated from Italy as young girls and each went off to create a dynamic and successful family.
Each of the sisters had an only daughter and they made sure the girls spent time together. They attended the same boarding school in the northeast and visited each other’s homes in the summer.
Carla Rosa married into the Neri family with a long history in the Carrara marble industry. Her daughter, Isabel Neri, being a filmmaker and wanting to honor her grandfather’s legacy, approaches a reclusive billionaire, Marc Santoro, to ask permission to produce a documentary about the life of a quarry worker. Ruthless Perfection is the story of how they fall in love.
Francesca Rosa married into the Berceto family with a long history in the jewelry making business. The Second novel in The Rosa Legacy series, The Exiled Jeweler, is about her daughter, Emelia, who went into seclusion after a scandal tore the family apart. Emelia is a talented jewelry designer who lived a sheltered life and was drawn into a passionate encounter with her family’s rival, Alexander Armati at a gala. Outside in the garden, photographs were taken on them and sold to the tabloid press. Her family was shocked and embarrassed and sent Emelia off to Florida. Four years later, she returns when her grandfather has a heart attack and her parents are deciding to sell the family business.
Marie Rosa married into the prominent Montgomery family, with a successful background in politics. Her only daughter, Lucia, is fascinated by politics and becomes a campaign aide. The opportunity to work on a senate campaign in Connecticut draws her into the middle of a scandal. Anderson Adams is a dark horse in the senate race yet convinces Lucia to play along with a strategy to save his campaign. The third novel in The Rosa Legacy series, The Convenient Wedding, is the story about how they reconcile their public image with their private life.
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