I started reading Renee’s debut novel, Claim me, a few days ago. The first chapter is hilarious, built on misconceptions. The middle will steam your windows.
Renee lives in the Midwest with her husband and four kids. She worked as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist for over twenty years, but now manages her family-owned business. Her spare time is spent hovering over her laptop, trying to transcribe the romance novels playing out in her head. There are several going on at once though, so keeping up with them is hard. She hopes to have her first novel published sometime this winter.
Renee can be found at:
Where do your ideas come from?
This is an interesting question, and honestly, at least for my current works-in-progress, I don’t know. I’ve always been a bit of a daydreamer, which has been a bane at those times in which concentration is necessary.
I’m quite sensitive to people’s feelings during difficult times–so sensitive that I even lose sleep, over people I don’t even know. In order to cope, I allow my daydreams to take me to happy places, where all that badness turns into happy endings.
I had always tried to quell my daydreaming because it interfered with my work. Now that I’m writing, I embrace any situation I’m in and see a potential storyline in it. For example, last summer I spent the day out on a lake and went to one of those little floating gas and food stores. Bam! There’s a story brewing in my head. This past winter my hometown experienced the worst flooding it’s seen in recorded history. Bam! There’s another story waiting to be written.
But before I realized writing was my calling, so to speak, I don’t really know where the ideas came from. They just happened. And when the story reached a happily ever after, my subconscious created a new one.
Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Claim Me? What would you do differently the next time?
Claim Me is my first attempt at writing. I’ve read on several occasions from many writing coaches that your first novel will be trash. Well, yeah, it was. But I didn’t know it at the time. Like everyone else, I thought it was brilliant. But then I went back and read it after I’d let it sit for several months. Thank God I hadn’t published it, because, holy moly, it was worse than trash. But I still loved the story so I revived it. I’m rewriting and having it reviewed along the way. With my first attempt, I knew I needed beta readers and that sort of thing, but I didn’t know where to find them and I didn’t know how to get help. Now I do, and it’s made all the difference. The same thing is true for the second book in the series, Save Me.
Another thing I’ll do differently in the future is to write with an outline. These first two novels, I was so gung ho and knew what I wanted to say, so I just sat down and wrote. Future books, I’ll take the time to plan first. I expect the writing process to be much faster. But, that’s something that remains to be seen.
What’s your view on social media for marketing, and which of them have worked best for you?
I haven’t published anything yet, so I can’t say what’s worked best. I do think social media is of paramount importance in getting your books noticed. I have Facebook and a blog, as well as Twitter, but I admit I’m not very active on any of those.
I need to learn how to put myself out there. I feel I have nothing exciting to say, but I see other authors post a simple “Woke up grumpy this morning” and I feel a connection to that person. I’m happy to know that this person shared such silly, yet personal information. It’s like you get to know that person, which makes reading their work that much more interesting.
So yes, I think social media is important. I just need to embrace it and get active.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Writing a 100,000 word book takes me a few months. Re-writing and revising, though… Well, that takes two to three times that long. I can already tell I’m getting faster as I start my newer novels. I guess with anything, practice makes a person more confident and efficient.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
A few years ago, I became addicted to Romance novels. I read three to four books per week. Then one day, the proverbial light bulb went off in my head. (Seriously. I’d never experience anything like it before.) I realized that all my daydream stories were just as good if not better than many of the novels I was reading. And with the simplicity of self-publishing these days, why the heck shouldn’t I do it? I couldn’t come up with a single reason not to, so here I am.