Dare to Love cover art

DARE TO LOVE – on sale for $1.99

Dare to Love cover artGet it while it’s hot!

Dare to Love, my regency romance novel is on sale for a limited time. It has earned 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, so don’t even think it’s being “put in the back on the discount rack, like another can of beans” (thank you Billy Joel).

Nope. It’s a charming, amusing, challenging novel featuring Lord Dare Landis, a handsome heartless rake, and Nivea Horsham, the sweet plump sister of Landis’ best friend. She has worshiped him since she was a young girl, but he knows better than to trifle with an innocent. Especially since the Horshams are the closest thing Dare has to family.

Much like Johnny Depp in The Libertine, you will not like Dare Landis in the beginning. He is a right bastard, cold and arrogant toward everyone–friend or foe. But there’s a reason.

And once Nivea discovers that reason, she is even more determined to win his love.

Don’t be concerned that Nivea is nothing but a wilting wallflower. She is surprisingly strong, secure in her own beliefs. Her only weak spot, being the unattainable Lord Landis. Unattainable, that is, until the fateful trip to her family’s country estate.

Please take a peek and let me know what you think. Reviews are always appreciated!

Thank you to Lyrical Press/Kensington Publication for believing in me. While this was my first romance novel, it will not be my last!

In His Corner coverart

Love is “In His Corner”

In His Corner coverartVina Arno loves to write, and she is not constrained by genre. This month, her first novel In His Corner, was released by Lyrical Press, an imprint of Kensington Publishing Corp. It’s a contemporary romance featuring a boxer named the Juggernaut, and an emergency room doctor.

Vina has also worked as a journalist and written an historical novel featuring Douglas MacArthur. She was kind enough to get in the ring with me and answer a few hard-hitting questions (just kidding…we’re all friends here.)

Who’s your favorite character in the book?

Both the hero, Tommy Raines, and the heroine, Siena Carr. He’s an Olympic gold-medalist boxer known as the Juggernaut and she’s an ER doctor. They’re opposites. She was born into money, while he comes from a blue-collar family. She’s an Ivy League graduate; he’s a college dropout.  She heals people, while he knocks them out.

Is your personality more like your hero or heroine?

I’m nothing like my characters. The only thing I share with Siena is my love for Italy. In the book, her parents named her after the Italian city. It’s no coincidence that Siena is my favorite Italian city. I started writing this book one week after returning from Tuscany.

What’s your favorite scene and why?

My favorite is the first chapter, which is set inside an ER—a very unlikely place for romance. The Juggernaut goes there for stitches and Siena is the attending physician who treats him.  They have a singular encounter that leads to a hot but rocky relationship.

What did you get stuck on when writing this book?

I’m very lucky that I didn’t get stuck at all. Writing this romance book was a “treat” for me after spending 10 years researching, writing, and rewriting a historical novel about Douglas MacArthur, the iconic World War II general. I started writing In His Corner two months after I finished rewriting the MacArthur novel.

What’s next?

My literary agent, Paula Munier, is shopping my MacArthur novel to editors. I’m also writing another romance story.

Buy Links

In His Corner by Vina Arno, published by Lyrical Press, is available at:

Amazon.com   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo Books   |   Kensington Books   |   iTunes

Google

About Vina Arno

Vina Arno is a pen name used by Cindy Fazzi, a Philippine-born American writer who has worked as a journalist in the Philippines, Taiwan, and the United States. Her short stories have been published in the Snake Nation Review, Copperfield Review, and SN Review.

Read this Forbes article about Vina Arno:

3 Career Reinvention Tips From A Reporter Turned Romance Writer 

Learn more about Vina Arno at:                  

Web site: www.cindyfazzi.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cindy-Fazzi/779654065440439

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9800535.Vina_Arno

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+CindyFazzi/about

How I envision Matt Quinsy

Catching a Pixie

I just finished my second manuscript–Catching a Pixie–a contemporary romance novella.

Can I tell you, it is awesome?!Matt Quincy

Trust me, I’m a professional writer, so I know. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll stay up way past your bedtime to finish reading about the romantic adventures of Matt and Lindsay.

There’s still a few rough patches I have to fix. And then I need to find a publisher who will want to print it… but then you’ll see what I mean.

Let me summarize:

Lindsay, a graduate student at Roselle University is pulled over for speeding by a handsome NY state trooper. Turns out he went to Roselle too and he lets her go with a warning. A month goes by and who does Lindsay see at Roselle’s homecoming tailgate? Officer Matt Quincy. Best of all, he drove down to Delaware, just hoping to see her. Despite living four hours apart, they decide to see if they can make it work. Busy schedules and the spector of an old flame threaten to pull them apart, but the magic of love–and a little pixie dust–lead them to a happily ever after.

Excerpts (2)

First a little heat:

He reached for me and I took a step back, shaking my head. “I changed my mind.” Thinking I was kidding, he went for my arm again. I dodged away.

Realizing I was serious, he raised his hands in surprised surrender. “What do you mean?” 

“I can’t do this. I mean…just look at you.”

His hands still raised in the air, he lowered his eyes. “What?” I followed along with him and we both stopped when our gaze reached the growing bulge in his pants. “Is there something wrong?”

“Uhhh, yes,” I squeaked, dragging my eyes upward. Then I glanced down at my ridiculously paltry mosquito bites. “Your chest is bigger than mine.”

He chuckled. “Aww, stop,” then flexed his pecs, the big jerk. “I spent a ton of time at the gym this month. I’ve had a lot of nervous energy, thanks to you.”

“Even so, you are absolutely gorgeous. You can’t want to be with me.”

His mouth dropped open. “What are you talking about?”

I swept my hands down in front of me. “Look at me. I’m built like a twelve-year-old boy.”

He reared back a little, to give me a good, long look. Then tipping his head to one side, he said with complete sincerity, “I think you’re beautiful, Pix.”

It took all I had not to snort. I stared longingly at his pecs covered in a light dusting of hair, his obliques bracketing impossibly defined abs, the happy trail just below his navel, disappearing in the waistband of his sweats. Hell, even his belly button was sexy.

Then my gaze returned to his eyes. They were hungry. Craving.

“Seriously?”

He tugged me into his arms, holding me flush against his obviously appreciative body. “Seriously.”

Clearly the man had no sense, but who was I to argue with him. After a month enjoying the most erotic thoughts ever, I’d be crazy to let him slip through my fingers. So, I launched myself at him and we locked lips like he was my last source of oxygen.

And then a little humor:

Let me just pack it all up into a cooler bag for you.” Matt’s mother reached into the cupboard.

And as soon as her back was turned, I wiggled my butt at Matt. He growled and gave me a quick swat.

“Here you go.” She waved a brightly-colored insulated bag at us before tucking the food and utensils into the compartments. “I know it’s not a long trip, but this way you’ll have something to eat when you get there. Mattie’s always hungry and this will tide you over ‘til you get to the grocery store.” She winked at me. “We don’t want him to be cranky, do we?”

Mattie? That was hysterical. I would never have thought my giant, imposing boyfriend would have a nickname like Mattie. Or that his mom would talk about him like a three-year-old. I loved it!

Apparently, Mattie did not. He strode forward and grabbed the bag off the island. “I’m standing right here, mom. And I don’t get cranky.”

Which was funny, because he certainly sounded cranky. I glanced at his mom and she sent me a knowing look. But she reached up to pat his face. “I’m sorry, dear, you’re right. That was mean. I just want to make sure you both have a nice trip.”

If it sounds intriguing, let me know and maybe I can post a few more sections. Until then, it’s back to editing… now what’s another word for ‘love button”? 😉

Novelrank – another cool author’s tool

untitled“So, how’s your book selling?”

Any author will tell you, that sentence can drive you crazy. Know why?

Because we have no bloody idea how it’s selling. At least I didn’t. My book came out December 1 and my publisher said I wouldn’t get initial sales figures until February.

FEBRUARY! That means over two months of uncertainty, panic, self-doubt and frustration. I begged and pleaded but they wouldn’t give me so much as a hint. As a data-fiend, this was unacceptable to me. During one of my rants, a writer friend told me about Novelrank.com. I signed up immediately.

You click on the link, register your book, and voila! They show how many books you’ve sold on Amazon in US, CA and UK. It also provides sales rank and reviews. I have no idea how accurate their data is (I won’t be able to tell until I get actual sales figures…in FEBRUARY), but it’s nice to have some gauge.

The downside is, they only track from the date you register. Since I didn’t learn about Novelrank until a few weeks after my book launched, I couldn’t track my initial figures. And they only track Amazon, not Barnes & Noble, iBooks or anyone else. But still.

Super cool. Thanks Novelrank!

 

Update (March 23, 2015):

I was finally able to get a rough estimate on my book sales from my publisher…on March 20!

It turns out, Dare to Love has been selling pretty well.

While I expected to strong-arm about 100 copies to friends and family, my publisher said I’ve sold around 650 (all book channels, Dec. 1 – Jan 31). Novel Rank credited me with about 300 sales (Amazon only, Dec. 16 – Jan 31). So, I’m thinking it’s a pretty good tool.Screenshot (5)

Even Historical Demon Hunters Need Love

Deception book coverA.S. Fenichel has unveiled the cover art for Deception, Book Two In The Demon Hunters series.

Due for release in July, this Paranormal Historical Romance is available through Lyrical Press/Kensington Publishing.   

When Demons threaten Regency London, only a Lady can stop them.

Lillian Dellacourt is beautiful, refined and absolutely lethal. She’s also the most feared and merciless demon hunter in The Company. She’s come a long way from the penniless seamstress’s daughter sold to the highest bidder, and it wasn’t by trusting a man, let alone an exiled Marquis with more on his mind than slaying the hellspawn . . .

For Dorian Lambert, Marquis de Montalembert, being sent to keep track of Lillian is no mean task. He’s wanted the fiery vixen since he first heard of her five years ago. But wooing the lady while fighting the demon uprising is no easy feat, especially when the lady’s tongue is as sharp as the Japanese sai blades she favors for eviscerating the spawn of hell.

These two will have to learn to trust each other fast, because the demon master is back, and he’s planning to turn Edinburgh into a living hell…

Pre-order through:   Amazon     Barnes & Noble      Kensington

Enter a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

A.S. Fenichel gave up a successful career in New York City to follow her husband to Texas and pursue her lifelong dream of being a professional writer. She’s never looked back.

A.S. adores writing stories filled with love, passion, desire, magic and maybe a little mayhem tossed in for good measure. Books have always been her perfect escape and she still relishes diving into one and staying up all night to finish a good story.

Multi-published in erotic paranormal, contemporary and historical romance, A.S. is the author of the Mayan Destiny series, Christmas Bliss and many more. With several books currently contracted to multiple publishers, A.S. will be bringing you her brand of romance for many years to come.

Originally from New York, she grew up in New Jersey, and now lives in the East Texas with her real life hero, her wonderful husband. When not reading or writing she enjoys cooking, travel, history, and puttering in her garden.

Find A.S. Fenichel

Web Site- http://asfenichel.net/

Blog – http://asfenichel.net/blog/

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5154640.A_S_Fenichel

Twitter – https://twitter.com/asfenichel

Tsu – https://www.tsu.co/ASFenichel

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/A.S.Fenichel

Google +1 – https://plus.google.com/113195747154467378107/posts

Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/asfenichel/boards/

5 reasons why the Fifty Shades movie is better than the book

50 Shades cover art

So, this may run contrary to every review out there, but I liked the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. In fact, in many ways it was better than the book. Here’s why:

  1. Anastasia is not an idiot. She’s got sass. She sticks up for herself, pushing Christian, questioning him, and at times even outsmarting him. When they discuss the contract, she insists on a business setting and confidently negotiates the terms. She may have an antiquated flip phone, but she’s a poor college kid after all. And she  does know how to use a computer… it’s just on the fritz.
  2. Ana is funny. When she drunk dials him in the bar, her reactions are spot on. Alternately confident, nervous, cute, embarrassed, she’s charming. You can see why her friends like her and why Christian is intrigued.
  3. The movie glosses over the illogical parts. Christian is still a young billionaire, but they never say how young. The book puts him at 27, which is ludicrous. In the movie, he could be 30, maybe 32. Not so old that it’s creepy that he’s with a young college grad, but old enough that he had time to amass a fortune, learn to play piano/fly/dance and cozy up to 15 women. Plus, his family appears wealthy, so maybe he didn’t build Grey Enterprise from scratch, but rather took over the reins.AND the timeline doesn’t seem so compressed. Instead of taking place over two weeks (?), the movie gives the impression the relationship evolves over a few months.  After their initial meeting, Ana sits in class, Christian goes to work. Over time, she mulls, he pouts. She considers her options carefully, he stews impatiently. She muses chewing on a Grey pencil, he fidgets in his grey office. The pace is much less frenetic, which helps dial back the ‘Christian is an unreasonable control freak’ vibe.
  4. Christian’s got a gorgeous… apartment. I expected it to be cold, grey steel, white walls, hard angles, with large windows leading to the balcony. Nope. It was ALL floor to ceiling windows. Not much furniture, but there were warm brown pieces, glowy candle thingies, and a dramatic sweeping staircase. The only walls were in the upstairs hallway and bedrooms (ok, they were white) and the playroom (red, natch). The playroom was large, but kind of elegant in its own right. I would have had to explore it, just like Ana did. Kudos to the set designers.
  5. And overall, the movie was cast well. Ana was close to perfect (see #1 & 2). Loved her. Christian was a little off, some of his lines were poorly delivered, but he looks the part–nice body, tousled hair, sexy saunter. He’ll do.I expected Ana’s mom to look like a hippy throwback, but she was more a modern day free spirit. I hated that she didn’t come to Ana’s graduation, but that was straight from the book. Other than that, she was sweet. Ana’s roommate Kate was much more believable in the movie. She was pretty, dynamic, and not nearly as obnoxiously pushy as in the book. And Elliot? Perfect. Just perfect, front and back.

That’s not to say the movie was without its flaws. Christian’s performance was sometimes embarrassingly stilted. Early on, he rants at Ana for wanting him, and his reactions were so odd, the audience laughed. In the sex scenes, Ana seems to go from zero to the verge of orgasm in 2.5 seconds. I wish it were that easy.

And my own personal preference…I would have liked to see more of Taylor, the driver/bodyguard. He’s my secret crush.

But other than that, as a fan of the book, I’d say the movie was fifty shades of fabulous.

To see the few POSITIVE reviews printed regarding 50 Shades, check out my 50 Shades of Great Expectation page.

Fifty Shades of Great Entertainment

220px-50ShadesofGreyCoverArtI’ll admit it. I am one of the millions of women who tore through the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy like a bride at Filene’s Basement. They were silly, redundant, romantic and shocking…not to mention a lot of fun (not good, clean fun, but definitely fun).

It is now five days away from the movie’s opening day and I am giddy with anticipation. (UPDATE: It’s now only one day away…24 hours to be exact! I wish I had a countdown thingie like the Irish bars do for St. Pat’s Day) Will they be able to capture the intriguing allure of Christian, accurately portraying the torrid, tormented soul that both attracts and repels the innocent Ana? It’s a tall order.

To be honest, I don’t expect it to live up to the hype. But a girl can hope, right?

Follow up 

As you can tell, by my second post “5 reasons why the movie was better than the book,” I was not disappointed. I wouldn’t give it 5 stars, but it was not the soul-crushing, society-destroying, domestic violence promoting, women’s rights bashing, end-of-civilization-as-we-know-it travesty that seemingly EVERY reviewer is proclaiming.

So, to support those few brave reporters who watched the movie and took it for was it was–a fictional/romantic/sexy/fantasy/love story–I’m going to post your reviews here. Thank you.


If you’re as obsessed as I am…finding yourself watching trailers over and over, even clicking on the Lego video just to get your fix, let me offer you an alternative.

**Shameless self-promotion alert** My romance novel, Dare to Love is what I call “Thirty Shades of Regency.” While he’s not quite as damaged as Mr. Grey, Lord Landis is a handsome, heartless rake who goes to great lengths to hide the scars of his childhood. Nivea Horsham is a sweet, spinsterly wallflower who has loved him since she was a child.

Can Nivea shatter Dare’s carefully crafted facade and show him how to love? Just click here and you can find out!

Now available through Lyrical Press/Kensington Publishing.

Twice in a Blue Moon cover art

Mastering romance in multiple genres

Twice in a Blue Moon cover artCate Masters has released her latest novella, Twice In A Blue Moon this month.

Published by Kensington Publishing’s Lyrical Press this contemporary romance features Melanie Michaels, a woman desperate to bury the grief she’s felt upon the death of her first love. She embraces the risky demands of a reality show, where her extreme stunts leave her teetering on the edge of danger. That’s exactly where she wants to be—until she arranges for her crew to traverse the Swedish Lapland in the dead of winter. It’s the one place she shouldn’t go, on the one day she should avoid—her would-be wedding anniversary.

Instead of romantic nights spent in the Ice Hotel or under the Northern Lights, Melanie is stuck with Joe “Buck” Wright, a snarky loner tour guide who loves his sled dogs and nothing and no one else. But Buck is also trying to numb a painful past. Can two people skilled at pushing others away find warmth at the edge of the Arctic?


Cate’s been kind enough to answer my favorite blog questions, so without further ado…

Welcome Cate! So tell us, who’s your favorite character in the book?

Thanks so much for having me as a guest, Alleigh! Hmm, favorites are tough to choose, but I’d have to say Buck, the hero. He’s a bit of a loner (kind of like a writer, lol), loves animals and is ruggedly handsome (just like Richard Castle, because Nathan Fillion was in my head as the hero).

Is your personality more like your hero or heroine?

Because the heroine performs extreme sports and I’m too fearful of anything remotely resembling those, I’d have to say the hero. Again, because of his love of animals and sometimes hermitlike existence lol.

What’s your favorite scene and why?

There are so many! I fell in love with this setting, and sharing a night beneath the northern lights is so romantic. Toward the end, there’s a scene where the hero and heroine bare their souls to one another, and she finally finds closure about her fiancée’s death, with the hero’s help.

What did you get stuck on when writing this book?

I didn’t necessarily get stuck, but I had to do tons of research for this story, about extreme sports, the Swedish Lapland, the Sami people, dog sledding, and the Icehotel, a fantastic place made entirely of snow and ice that melts away each spring.

What’s next?

On May 15, Kensington will release The Griffin’s Secret, my urban fantasy/retold fairy tale of magic and rock and roll:

Jackson Grant had it all—the girl he loved, his Harley, and his guitar. Until a tragic accident stole it all away. Now, more than scars and a tattoo remain. Jackson has a secret. Cursed by his dead girlfriend’s mother, he can never fall in love again or his beloved will die. With his heart on lockdown, he keeps to himself—until a roadie gig with Malcontent, the world’s most popular band, entwines his fate with sweet, wounded Layla’s…

Music is what Layla lives for. She has no choice. She’s bound by magic to serve Malcontent, cursed to propel them to stardom with her musical powers. Then Jackson appears and gives her hope that he’s the hero who will save her. A reluctant hero, yet one she can’t resist. But freedom will come at price—and who will pay…?

Thanks again for having me on your blog today!

About the Author

Cate Masters has made beautiful central Pennsylvania her home, but she’ll always be a Jersey girl at heart. When not spending time with her dear hubby, she can be found in her lair, concocting a magical brew of contemporary, historical, and fantasy/paranormal stories with her cat Chairman Maiow and dog Lily as company. Look for her at http://catemasters.blogspot.com and in strange nooks and far-flung corners of the web.

Contact Details

Website: http://catemasters.blogspot.com

Email: cate.masters@gmail.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cate-Masters/89969413736?ref=ts

Twitter:  @CateMasters

Book video

Direct link:  http://youtu.be/SdWvcfhYzDM

Embed code:

Advance praise for TWICE IN A BLUE MOON

“…a great read. It is fun, it is romantic, it is moving.” – Dan Curnett, 5 stars

“…a quick romance read that will undoubtedly leave them wanting more” – Maria, 4 stars

“… a satisfying and enjoyable read” – Jennifer Schultheis, 4 stars

“I really liked this book! It had a unique setting and a hero with a lot of baggage” – JoMarie DeGioia, 4 stars

I love me some shape shifters

Daisy Banks, a fellow Lyrical author, has published the second in her three-book series called “Timeless.” I invited her to share information about her latest work.

Thank you so much for hosting me, Alleigh, and helping me celebrate the release of my new book To Eternity.

This book follows Magnus and Sian, whom you may have met in my first book, Timeless.  I hope those of you meeting them for the first time in To Eternity will be inspired to read my first book to learn more about their past .

I am presently in the process of writing Out of Time, Book Three in the series and hope to complete it this year.

Daisy Banks cover To EternityTo Eternity-wild beneath the moon- Book Two in the Timeless Series.

Blurb

For four centuries Magnus has lived according to the dictates of the moon, his heart isolated by the domination of his wolf nature. Now fate has brought the beautiful, independent Sian to his house at Darnwell and their irresistible attraction has exploded into a white-hot passion. Yet she is not wolf, and the time has come for her to embrace the change. But once she completes the ritual and claims her place next to Magnus, the rivals will appear on the horizon…

Excerpt

One element in both Timeless and To Eternity that I enjoyed writing about was Magnus and Sian’s magnificent house. Their interest in antiques and architecture, the work they share in planning restoration, and the walled garden interested me a great deal.

I hope you enjoy this short excerpt:

Each dawn, as the shoot-day approached, he dwelt on the need to find another place to spend his time during the days when the whole camera team, the musicians, dancers, sound crew, and all the many others she’d explained would be necessary for the film, came to the house. The prospect of so many disturbed his equilibrium. He’d not invited so many strangers into his home for more years than he cared to think about. Though he did his best to disguise his apprehension, without a doubt, Sian knew.

“Magnus, it will be fine. You can come to watch the filming if you want. Think of the event as if it were a step back through your vacation pictures. I promise the costumes will bring back happy memories.”

He shook his head. “Thank you for the thought, but no, I’d rather not. Perhaps I’ll spend the day researching decoration for the renovation of the conservatory.”

“If you’re sure. I’ll keep the crew to the schedule. Everyone will be out of the house and off the grounds by six-thirty, no later, I promise. That way we can have dinner and the evening together.” She offered him a smile filled with confidence.

“Wonderful, I’ll look forward to dining with you.”

“Hmm…” She stared at the letter she’d opened. “Here’s some information you might want to look at, too.”

He accepted the papers. “Green Girls?”

“Yes, in answer to my advert regarding the walled garden. It won’t put itself to rights, and as much as I enjoy looking at it, I don’t think we’ll resurrect it alone. In my opinion, we need specialist help. I like the look of this group.”

He assessed the business card, professional enough to be encouraging. Opening the sales literature, he gave it a quick glance. “Every employee is a descendant of a Land Army girl?”

“Yes, it’s their advertising gimmick. They all had relatives in the Land Army in the war. You must know of the Land Army.”

He nodded. A wave of helpless adoration hit him at this new example of her happy knack of finding his weak spots. If she’d been a tigress in another life, he’d not be surprised, because Sian sank her claws into him with loving relish, tearing into his open heart. “Yes, I have recollections of the Land Army, my dear. I was quite active during wartime. It was easier.”

Thanks for reading,

Daisy Banks

Buy Links

Amazon  *   Amazon UK   *   ARe   *   Barnes&Noble   *   Kobo

You can also read Chapter One of To Eternity free on Daisy’s blog. Take a peek at her My Books page or visit her:

Blog   http://daisybanks.wordpress.com/

Website http://daisybanksnovels.yolasite.com/

Twitter @DaisyBanks16

Facebook http://on.fb.me/18iRC35

Pinterest http://bit.ly/16sF1XG

Dog says You're Awesome

You are good enough

Dog says You're AwesomeFocus on your own talent

I was perusing my bookcase this week and stumbled across an old motivational booklet, Attitude, Your Internal Compass. It’s one of those hokey “how to realize your potential” books from the ’90s. But one of the essays really struck a chord with me.
Borrowing heavily from Dorothy’s lament in The Wizard of Oz, it chastised people for spending too much time coveting the talent and success of others, without realizing how good they have it right in their own backyard. By feeling as though we aren’t as skilled as someone in a certain area, we get discouraged. Depressed.

What we don’t realize is, we each have our own particular skill set.

You may not be as creative a writer as EL James (Fifty Shades of Grey), but maybe you have a better command of grammar and punctuation. You may be jealous of how prolific Nora Roberts is, but Harper Lee only published one book (To Kill a Mockingbird) and managed to have a fairly successful career.

220px-Steve_Buscemi_2009_portraitCan you even imagine what was going through Steve Buscemi’s head when he decided to become a movie star? I mean, seriously, folks. Look at that face. But he had talent and enthusiasm, and he found his niche.

So, when you’re shooting for your dreams, don’t worry if someone is better than you. Find what you enjoy, work at it, polish it, and become the best you can be.

Don’t try to fit into someone else’s box. Find success that matches your skills and experiences.

Why different is better

I had a boss who hated me. I was too outspoken, too concerned about putting a positive spin on things, and not focused on the nuts and bolts of the organization. She wanted me to be just like her–quiet, restrained and precise.

But I was the marketing manager. And she was an engineer. She didn’t enjoy talking to people and couldn’t care less about making reader-friendly documents. Whereas I loved that stuff. And for our business to succeed, she needed me to do that…to be the yin to her yang. She needed a team of people with different skill sets than hers’. Not better or worse, just different.

This is important for authors to remember. There are so many pieces in the publishing puzzle, no one can go it alone. Plot development, snappy dialogue, accurate grammar (my downfall, as I’m sure you can tell), pitching, synopsis writing, marketing, web design, contract negotiations, accounting, the list is endless.

My advice? Focus on what you’re best at, gain a basic knowledge on the subjects where you’re shaky and then build a team who can fill in your holes. Get a good critique partner, editor, agent, accountant, web designer, etc. Just remember to look for people who are not like you…but who are trying to be the best they can be.