Please make welcome, Laurin Wittig. This lovely and talented author was one of the first authors to publish her books with Amazon Montlake when they launched their imprint last year. I've asked her to tell us a few things about her experience with Montlake Romance and to give us some insight of her life as a writer.
I admit I was skeptical when Montlake approached me about being part of their launch. My personal experience with traditional publishing was, shall we say, less than positive. My experience with indie publishing was the complete opposite so I wasn’t even thinking about ever working with a publisher again, but my conversations with Montlake and what I was hearing from other authors who were working with them or with other publishing imprints at Amazon, plus the lure of their amazing marketing muscle, convinced me to take a leap with them. My editor and the author team are great to work with. It’s remarkable to work with a publisher who truly sees the author as a partner in the publication process. The author-centric emphasis is unlike anything I’ve ever heard of for anything other than those perennial top 10 bestsellers. I’m thrilled with what they’ve accomplished with the two books they brought out in February - marketing is on-going - and I’m looking forward to seeing what they do with the three new books they’ve bought from me.
· What do you think about self publishing?
I love it, but it is a lot of work. The total control over my work is a heady experience, but that also means I am responsible for both the things that work, and the things that don’t. In addition to creating the books, I had to learn marketing – something that I still have to keep up with for my indie title since what works for marketing indie books seems to change week to week and it’s not something that comes naturally to me. I do think it is incredibly important for anyone considering self-publishing to make sure that they spend the time to produce a quality product. That means not just a great story, well written and professionally edited/copyedited, but also a professional quality cover, web site, social networks presence, etc., etc., etc. Self-publishing is an incredible new opportunity that I often recommend to writers I meet. It very literally changed my life.
· What do you love about being a writer?
I love those moments when I get so engrossed in the story and characters that I’m creating that I forget everything around me and get lost in the world I’m creating. Time stops and the words just flow. Yummy. I also love meeting/hearing from readers who love my books and ask for more. That’s just as yummy!
· What do you hate about being a writer?
I hate those times where the words don’t want to come and my characters get balky, refusing to cooperate with my “perfect plot”. Usually it’s because the plot is not perfect or I’m asking the characters to do something out of character for them. But really, I created them. Shouldn’t they do as I wish? Clearly characters are like children – they have minds of their own which can be a great thing, except when it isn’t.
· If there was one thing about the industry you could change, what would it be?
A few years ago I would have said that publishers should respect the creators of the stories and treat them as knowledgeable partners in the publishing process, paying them appropriately and fairly. Now I’ve found a publisher who does all of that (have I mentioned how much I love working with Montlake Romance?), plus I always have the option of publishing myself. So even though the entire industry hasn’t moved in that direction yet, those dragging their feet against the changes happening around them will have to figure out how to work fairly with authors soon or even more authors will jump ship into the self-publishing/new publishing (like Amazon) waters. The entire industry is in such a state of flux right now I’m excited to see how it continues to evolve, driven by empowered authors for a change!
· Nearly all romance novels have shhh, sex, in them. How do you answer the never ending question, Why do you write THAT kind of book? Or even better… How do you do your RESEARCH?
My first experience with this sort of question was when my aunt called me to "complain" that I'd kept her up too late three nights in a row with my first book. Then she lowered her voice and said, "But how do you know about all that... you know?" My reply? "I'm 40 years old and have two children. How do you think I know about all that "you know?" Of course I'm older than that now and have received this question many more times so now I answer it this way: Sex is an important part of any committed relationship. How could I write a book about two people falling in love and not include sex? As for the "How do you do your research?" question, I find a wide grin and a twinkle in my eye suffices.
· What do you like better, Twitter or Facebook? Why?
I like Twitter best because it’s quick and brief, but I’m finally beginning to see the power of Facebook as a way to connect with readers. Truly, though, I’m not very well versed in the finer points of either of them.
· And the most important question ever... Do you roll your toilet paper over the roll or under the roll?
Definitely over! I’m bad about re-racking the roll if it’s on the wrong way.
Tell us about your latest release and were we can find it.
Charming the Shrew and Daring the Highlander (The Legacy of MacLeod series) were released on Valentine's Day this year from Montlake Romance. They are set in the medieval Scottish Highlands and are packed with a plot against the king, a race through the snowy Highlands, disguises, castles, family secrets, and of course wonderful, unexpected romances. Both books are now available in paperback, ebook and as audio books.
I'm all about twitter and facebook, so can you be sure and add your handles and links here....
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LaurinWittig (@LaurinWittig)
Laurin will be appearing at the Fall for the Book Festival in Fairfax, Virginia, on Saturday, September 29th at noon with fellow Virginia Romance Writers authors. Information is available here:
Pick up your copy of Charming the Shrew HERE
Pick up your copy of Daring the Highlander HERE