THANK YOU for coming back for another round of What to Read Wednesday 🙂 Please help me in welcoming author Sidney Halston to the blog. Sidney is sharing her 5 tips for aspiring writers and also her release BELOW THE BELT!
Afterward, don’t forget to check out her awesome giveaway. The link is at the end of the post 🙂
Take it away Sidney…
Five Tips for Aspiring Writers.
I receive emails all the time asking how to become a writer or how to publish a manuscript. Unfortunately, there is no formula and even with the success of Worth the Fight Series I still consider myself an aspiring writer. I always strive to be better and to strengthen my craft. I wrote a book and did all the research myself. I’ve found that writing the novel was the easiest part; submerse yourself with information about the industry.
But, here are my five tips.
1. WRITE. This is the most important one. WRITE! Write something. Write anything. It is very unlikely that the first thing you write is the one that gets picked up by an agent or by a publisher. I mean, it could happen, but while you wait on that one to take off, write something else. Have ideas. Plot. Write. If you want to be an author, this shouldn’t be a burden. You should love to do it.
2. GET AN AGENT. Aside from my husband, my biggest cheerleader is my agent. I haven’t even met her face-to-face yet, but I love her. She’s supportive but will always tell me the truth. It’s a relationship that, if you’re serious about being a writer, can be instrumental to your career. Publishers may change, the industry can change, but if you have a good relationship with your agent, that should last through the different manuscripts and the tough sales (I hope!)
3. STRONG SUPPORT SYSTEM. I am very blessed that I have a strong support system in my personal life. Without that, I wouldn’t be able to juggle all the deadlines, my kids and husband, and my other job. Besides your personal support system, surround yourself with good, non-competitive, non-catty group of industry people. What I mean by this is that you’ll find yourself in situations where other authors may not be that nice or very competitive. But, there are also the sweet helpful authors that will go out of their way to help you. I’ve been lucky enough to have a couple of wonderful authors that have been great to me (special shout out to Toni Aleo. I love this chick!). And, not only established authors but also aspiring authors, some have become my beta-readers and great friends. And remember these aspiring authors may one day be bestsellers! But don’t forget to be kind back! I try to return the favor whenever possible.
4. TOUGHEN UP. Listen, people are just plain mean sometimes. That’s the bottom line. This was one of the most difficult things I’ve had to learn. Writing a novel, whether it be the next great romance novel or erotica, it’s still something you’ve put your heart into and hours and hours of your time. It means something to you and by putting it out there, you are essentially allowing people to judge your work. Some people will love it. Some people will hate. You’ll receive constructive criticism and you will receive horribly nasty attacks. But you’ll also get fans and that is the most wonderful thing. There’s nothing you can do about the people that don’t like your books. Don’t read reviews, is what my agent tells me. I still do, though. And it’s unfortunate that the mean one-star review has a way to stay with you longer than the ten great reviews. But, just move on and don’t engage the reviewers. People are entitled to their opinion. Try to remember that many bestselling books don’t have the highest ratings. Bottom line: they are attacking your book not you personally (normally). Try to separate yourself from that and…well just get some tough skin because it’s not an easy industry.
5. ROUTINE: Since you’re writing something everyday, try to establish some sort of routine. I write at night at Starbucks. It’s where I can write and where I feel most comfortable. You have to find your place and stick to it.
Hope this helped at least one person. Now that you’ve finished reading it, go and buy BELOW THE BELT! Hee hee. Seriously, though, I wish anyone that is trying to make it in the industry the best of luck!
Below the Belt
Worth the Fight # 3
By: Sidney Halston
Releasing February 10th, 2015
In Sidney Halston’s latest sizzling MMA romance, a former title contender turns the tables on his knockout trainer with a lesson in seduction.
Once one of the most sought-after names on the mixed martial arts circuit, Antonio “Scarface” Marino watched his career go down for the count as he chased skirts and made tabloid headlines. Now he’s finally making a comeback, and it’s all thanks to Francesca Silva, a Brazilian bombshell as tough as any of her fighters. But who’s the real Francesca: the trash-talking trainer who rides him hard, or the vulnerable woman who blushes at his touch?
Francesca went to the mat to sign Tony because she believes he still has the potential to bring big success to her gym—if she can keep his head in the cage and out of her personal life. After a short-lived marriage soured her on love, a one-night stand is all she can handle. Now Tony’s kisses are stirring up complicated feelings—especially when he agrees to face her ex in the ring. Francesca’s used to freezing guys out. But Tony’s tempting her to give in to the heat.
Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes | iTunes | Kobo
Sidney Halston lives her life with one simple rule: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” Mark Twain, or even simpler, “Just Do It” Nike.
And that’s exactly what she did. After working hard as an attorney, Sidney picked up a pen for the first time at thirty years old to begin her dream of writing. Having never written anything other than very exciting legal briefs, she found an outlet for her imaginative romantic side and wrote Seeing Red, among four other novels currently in the works, including the sequel to Seeing Red. That first pen stroke sealed the deal and she fell in love with writing.
Sidney lives in South Florida with her husband and children. She loves her family above all else, and reading follows a close second. When she’s not writing you can find her reading and reading and reading… She’s a reader first and a writer second.
When she’s not writing or reading her life is complete and utter chaos trying to balance family life with work, and writing (and reading). But she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
*Loveswept is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for a $25 eGift Card of Winner’s Choice Bookseller and Loveswept Mug*