Happy Monday all! (I can’t believe I said that.)
And although we–in the New Jersey, tri-state area–are bracing for the monster storm of Hurricane Sandy, I’m still glad it’s Monday. I’m also thrilled to have author Lena Hart as my guest today. First things first …welcome Lena!
LH: Thanks Nett for giving me the opportunity to be here!
Lena and I met a couple of weeks ago at the NJRW Writer’s Conference, and I’ve been waiting on pins and needles to have a chance to talk to Lena about her life as a newly published author. So, let’s get to it!
NR: How long have you been writing?
LH: I’ve been writing for fun since I was 14 years old but decided to start writing “professionally” (i.e. to make money, lol) in 2007.
NR: How did you discover your love for writing?
LH: When I was in the 8th grade, my Language Arts teacher had us create five characters and write a screenplay about them. She loved the “whodunit” play so much, she encouraged me to go into playwriting. (But of course my plan was to become a doctor.) Needless to say, many years later, I am no doctor but I had so much fun writing that year, I’ve been writing ever since.
NR: And what about your work? What drives your stories?
LH: Good question… I don’t know. Characters and scenes just come to me and I write them down. That’s probably why I have a lot of stories started and very little finished (lol). Most times I have to sit down and channel my characters to get the full story out but the real fun comes from having them pop up when I least expect it. It’s inconvenient, but fun. 🙂
NR: Congratulations on your first book! Can you tell us about it?
LH: Thank you! And of course – here it goes:
Sabrina Monroe and Jake Landon are caught in a tug of war between love and trust. A hurt Sabrina wants nothing more than to forget about Jake and the fierce love they once shared. A wary yet determined Jake wants to bury the past and start anew. When old feelings and desires are reawakened, Sabrina struggles to keep her distance – and protect her heart. But it’s a losing battle she’s not even sure she wants to win. With Jake determined to gain back her love, Sabrina is left longing for his trust. In a fight for “all or nothing,” they’ll soon discover that even an imperfect love can triumph over all.
NR: Are there any takeaways you want readers to experience after they’d read it.
LH: That true love does triumph over all. And everything else, i.e. trust, forgiveness, happiness will follow.
NR: With all the various ways to publish nowadays, which route did you take, traditional or self-publication, and why?
LH: Neither, I think. I classify “traditional” as seeking an agent to get into one of the Big 6+Harlequin so I’d consider my route more “New Age.” I found an established e-publisher that believed in my story and the rest is history J. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with self-publishing or going the “traditional” route but they didn’t factor in my strategy for building my “author brand.”
NR: What’s your writing process/schedule like?
LH: My process is more of a “panster,” I guess. I usually start with the character profile, a logline, and a high-concept blurb – and that’s my outline! I find that if I do too much plotting, I get bored with the story. But I do have a blank plotting board for the moments I do get stuck. And I don’t really have a writing schedule. My life is so unpredictable I just have to find the time. There are weeks I get more writing done then others, but because I’m a night owl, most of it’s done at night and on the weekends.
NR: Writing is tough. What advice would you offer to aspiring writers or writers in general?
LH: I agree, it is! But it can also be fun, liberating, and rewarding. My advice for fellow writers would be:
1) Write what you’re passionate about. Don’t follow a trend – just write what you love.
2) Build your “brand.” What do you want to be known for? What’s your strategy to get there?
3) Join a writing group. It’s the best way to keep the momentum going.
4) Read. Read books, articles, blogs, etc on writing, the publishing industry, and within your genre.
5) Keep writing! Aim to write every day, even if it’s just a paragraph or a page a day.
NR: What a way to start the week! Lena, thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your wonderful news and insight.
LH: Thank you again, Nett, for having me as a guest on your blog today!
Lena Hart is currently working on several literary projects, while obtaining her MA in English Language & Literacy. Her debut novella, BECAUSE YOU LOVE ME, is currently available through Secret Cravings Publishing. To learn more about Lena and her work, visit www.LenaHartSite.com or you can find her rambling at scatblogging.blogspot.com