Historical romance author Wendy Soliman has been writing books since her twenties, although it was a decision to move house that made her think seriously about writing for publication. Being accepted by a small London publisher on book one gave Wendy the confidence to run with her passion. Find out more about Wendy and what she considers her top tips for aspiring indie authors.
What’s the secret of your success?
Hard work! There’s no easy way that I know of. Just have passion for what you do, believe in yourself, and never give up. It probably sounds a bit sad but I live my life vicariously through the characters in whatever book I happen to be writing. When I finish it and haven’t started another, I feel bereaved! Yep, definitely sad.
Move house! I wrote my first book when I was in my twenties. And no, I’m not going to tell you how long ago that was. Suffice it to say that I used a typewriter, and carbon paper for the copies, in case any of you remember that far back. I threw it in the back of a cupboard and let life take over. Several decades later we were moving house, and I came across that manuscript. I re-read it, decided the desire to write had never really gone away, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Did you get lucky? What happened?
Everyone needs a bit of luck in this game. I joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association before the ebook explosion, and I heard of a small London publisher by the name of Robert Hale. To my total astonishment they took the first ever book I wrote, and the next four after that. I felt invincible!
How do you get/stay in creative mode?
I write every single day, seven days a week, and set myself a goal of three to four thousand words a day. I know, I need to get a life! I can honestly say I’ve never had writer’s block. I don’t plot my books. I start with a broad concept and let my characters run with it. They never fail to surprise and never disappoint.
Writing is my priority. I know we’re all supposed to promote until we’re sick of it, but I just can’t. I made a bit of a name for myself as a writer of Regency romance in the early part of my career, and readers seem in the most part to be loyal, even if I have to adjust my prices to keep up with market trends. Seriously though, promotion’s just not for me, and if I had to constantly blow my own trumpet, I think I’d just write for my own pleasure.
I’ve been doing this for about twelve years and have written, I think, 47 full length novels in that time. Needless to say, I’m now working on number 48, or is it 49? It’s so hard to keep track!
What’s your top tip for other indie authors?
As a reader, I enjoy series. I like to follow characters I’ve got to know from one escapade to the next. So, I now write series, offer the first free or very cheap and hope to pull readers in that way. It seems to work.
Wendy Soliman is a British author, brought up on the Isle of Wight, who now divides her time between Andorra, the west coast of Florida and various places in between. She shares her life with her long-suffering husband and a rescued dog of indeterminate pedigree. When not writing, Wendy enjoys walking miles with her dog, reading other people’s tomes… oh, and she’s on a one-woman mission to keep the wine trade solvent!