I'm inspired by many writers. I've been writing my whole life, but I've only been publishing for a year. The amount I've learnt in that year, and the people I've met, are amazing.
One author I've read recently is called S.L.Jennings. She writes contemporary romance and is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller! How exciting for a self published author! I really like her book Fear of Falling. She tackles current topics in an easy to read and compassionate way.
When I contacted S.L.Jennings, it was for two reasons. Not only did I really enjoy her writing, I was also inspired by the way she became a bestselling indie author. S.L agreed to be interviewed by little old me and here are her answers to my questions:
1. What inspired you to start writing and how long have you been writing for?
I’ve always been creative in some capacity, remember making homemade books in grade school and filling up notebooks of my stories in high school. But what honestly lit a fire under my ass was approaching 30. Shallow, I know. But one day, I looked around and realized that I had done NOTHING for ME. I’d birthed 3 precious boys. I’d followed my husband around the world. But those things did not reflect me as a person. I sought purpose. So I decided to buckle down and write (and actually finish!) a book. And I did.
2. Every romance reader has a book boyfriend, some even have a few at a time. Who is your book boyfriend right now?
Mine always stay the same.
Lucas Maxfield (Easy by Tammara Weber)
Kellan Kyle (Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens)
Dean Holder (Hopeless by Colleen Hoover)
3. How long after you started writing did you decide to self publish your books?
I was rejected many times by many agents. I queried for a few months then had heard about self publishing. I was tired of being shut down, so I gave it a shot.
4. Chocolate is my choice of writing snack. What snack do you enjoy when you're deep in words?
I don’t type well with one hand, so eating is difficult. But I HAVE to have my coffee! No matter the time of day!
5. Is there anything specific to which you can attribute your success?
Marketing & promo. I’m always posting or sharing things on my page, even if it’s not book related. I’ve also made some amazing friends in this industry and we always try to promote each other.
6. Afraid to Fly is the follow up to Fear of Falling. Do you have a specific release routine?
I wish! I’m a last minute kinda girl. I’m just grateful when it goes out on time!
7. What has been the best moment in your writing career so far?
As far as accomplishments, hitting the NYT Bestsellers List was HUGE for me. Also, my very first signing in NOLA in 2014. I had NO idea that many people had read and loved my books. Such an incredible experience.
8. If you could choose any actors' to play Blaine and Kami from Fear of Falling, who would they be?
For Kami, Phoebe Tonkin. And Blaine was inspired by Mateus Verdehlo who is actually a Brazilian model/musician. So, if I couldn’t have him…Theo James. We’ll just give him tattoos and piercings.
9. I have a writing schedule. In the morning, I write for two hours in bed before I face the day.
Do you have a specific writing schedule?
Wake up. Get the kids to school. Coffee. Write. Nap.
Then at night, once everyone is asleep, I write until I can’t keep my eyes open.
10. If you had to give one marketing tip to authors that are self publishing, what would it be?
Be original. Don’t try to base your career off anyone else’s. People want something that feels genuine, not a clone of someone else’s book. Also, be likable. Readers support authors they like. If you’re a brilliant writer, but a raging bitch, people will remember it when searching for their next read.
11. Was there a specific tipping point in your career, or did you have a hit on your hands from the start?
My first book, Dark Light, did ok. Its sequel gained quite a bit of attention, especially for being PNR. The third, Fear of Falling, is what really launched my career.
I want to thank S.L for giving us her time. She's an inspiration to all that have a dream of being a bestselling author. It is possible!
You can find more info about S.L.Jennings at her website, facebook and Amazon.
The follow up to Fear of Falling is coming on May 26th!
*Banner copyright belongs to S.L.Jennings.