Thanks for granting me a chance to interview you! Congratulations by the way for the success of your Rock Me books --- you have no idea how much I love those books and I can't wait to read the next titles in the series!
I'm putting on my reader's hat for my first few questions. Firstly, I've read both books (Naughty and Wicked) and in the two Tyler just comes across as really obnoxious. I'm pretty sure he'll be redeemed in his own book but right now I can't see it. Can you share anything about the woman who's going to capture his heart? It could help me and other readers understand more about him.
Yeah, Tyler is quite obnoxious! He's the sexy front man for the group, he's got an enormous ego and he loves the attention. He's a rock star. He's all about having fun and getting laid every night. Why would he settle for just one woman?
We'll learn more about Tyler in book 4. One way I like to shape some characters is to start off by having the readers not really like them. But by the end of Tyler's story, if I do my job correctly, I want the readers to love him and adore the couple he becomes part of.
It will become easier to understand Tyler when we start seeing things from his perspective. So who will be the woman that catches his heart? It will be fun to watch because Tyler will have it bad and it will be so unexpected for him.
Rock Me: Wicked
Alex and Lena's story is about 'the one that got away'. They were great friends in college and although we see through flashbacks that they both loved each other, they were never a romantic couple. When they find a second chance at love, the biggest obstacle is Alex's constant touring keeping them apart. So book 2 will focus on the challenges they face when Alex goes back on tour and they are separated again. They will be tested! And, I'd definitely like to incorporate the flashbacks in book 2. I think it shows an interesting contrast between their current relationship and their old one.
Next up - Nick and Allie. Love their story - so much that I have to confess to reading it before Wicked. Their romance was just so hot and sweet! I'd love to read more about them. Any chance of a sequel for these two?
Rock Me: Naughty
Nick and Allie's story is all about 'forbidden love'. I wanted to explore a forbidden relationship in a contemporary setting, but modern, western society no longer bats an eye at romances that used to be considered so taboo. Nick and Allie's love straddles the edge of what is considered acceptable today.
So now that they have been 'outed', so to speak, I think it would be fun to explore how they deal with it. What is it like in the media spotlight, how does society react, what do their friends and family think? Can their relationship hold up to the intense scrutiny?
There's no immediate plan for a sequel, but I've got ideas…
Anyway, can you tell us more about this book?
The Billionaire's Son is an erotic romance series packed with intrigue, danger, secrets, powerful billionaires, clandestine sex clubs and sizzling sex scenes. The heroine, Julia, has nothing but disdain for the impossibly sexy, Derek, when they first meet. He's an arrogant, spoiled playboy who seems to catch Julia at every turn in humiliating and compromising situations. As the mystery unfolds, Julia and Derek are thrown together and sparks fly. Ultimately, they not only find the answers they are searching for, but much more than they ever expected.
Currently, Part 1 is free on Amazon, i-tunes and Kobo!
Ah, that magic word - FREE. Readers: if you haven't downloaded any of her books yet, here's a chance for you to discover just how amazing her stories are! I kid you not. :) Okay, one last question for readers --- any other plans for new books aside from these two series?
Well, of course, I'm busy working on current series like 'Rock Me' and 'Dangerous Curves Ahead'. I'm also considering a spin-off to 'The Billionaire's Son'. I get a lot of interest in my inbox looking for more of that series even though the conclusion was quite definitive.
For my next 'new' book, I'd like to write a gothic erotic romance. Something really old-school (the kind I loved reading as a teen, before vampires and werewolves were huge). I'm thinking of the romances where the heroine ends up in some dark, creepy castle in some old eastern European country. The story would be filled with mysterious occurrences, dark and intriguing secretive men (ones who are super sexy, but are they good or bad guys? who can she trust?), secret passages - all that fun stuff. And of course, I'd modernize it so that there were plenty of sexy and erotic scenes with a healthy dose of romance added!
Ooooh...you had me at Gothic. Then creepy castles and erotic combined? When is this coming out? I mean, seriously! Please come and drop by to answer this haha. Buuut I digress. Sorry my reader's side got the better of me. Writers or would-be writers, never fear: I haven't forgotten you. Our next questions are for you.
First up: how did your writing career start? Did you try to be traditionally published first?
I started writing purely for fun, mostly short stories. I got an idea for a novel that I spent months obsessively writing 'in my head' before I ever set pen to paper. Finally, I challenged myself to sit down and see if I could actually produce it. I loved every minute of it!
I haphazardly sent query letters to about 10 literary agents before realizing that the chase wasn't for me. So, the novel sat in a drawer for a year. At the time, I equated self-publishing with vanity publishing, so I never even considered that avenue. Finally, a friend was self-pubbing her back catalog of romance novels and convinced me to try it. It was a terrific experience, and I've never considered traditional publishing since.
What is your writing routine like? How much of your time do you spend marketing, blogging, networking, and writing books?
I keep a flexible schedule (I'm more of a binge writer), but I don't recommend it. I write a lot in the evening when my kids are sleeping. I really recommend writing everyday, because it's so easy to get out of the groove. When things are hectic during the day, I keep a writing journal nearby where I can brainstorm ideas, flesh out characters, outline scenes, write dialogue - I've even diagramed sex positions! haha. Hint: never lose this book (especially at your child's soccer practice).
I spend the vast majority of my time writing or outlining. At first, I hardly did any marketing. I think it's more important to get your work out there and let your audience find you. When you get rolling, it's time to pay more attention to networking, blogging and social media. Still, I only spend about 10% of my time on that - I should probably spend more time than that! Maybe when my youngest starts school…
Mmmm...diagrammed sex positions?! Now, why didn't I think of that? haha.
Anyway, a lot of aspiring writers are worried about the income they'd earn if they self-publish. Anything you want to say about this?
Income is tricky to talk about. I had no idea what the potential was when I started. You hear a lot about the self-publishing super-stars: EL James, Amanda Hocking, Hugh Howey, etc. But, I was surprised to discover that there are legions of mid-list self-pubbed authors that earn full-time salaries doing this.
I can't give you exact numbers, but I consider myself a mid-list author (based on my author rank in the Kindle e-books store). So I know there are a lot of people making similar sales to mine and thousands making much more than me!
If writing is a passion, don't give up. I made only $43 my first month. I've come a long way! Just keep writing, even if it's in your spare time. This is probably the best time in history to be an author. The prospects are amazing.
Lastly, any writing advice you can give to those who want to be as successful as you are?
My advice would be:
Read! It's so hard to remember this when you are writing every spare second you can. Read the titles at the top of the best-selling lists in the genre you are writing in. Read the top 100 authors (amazon) in the genre - they are the ones who are producing material that is selling.
Know your audience. What do they want? Understand what makes the best-selling titles so appealing. Read book reviews (on amazon or goodreads, etc) to find out what fans like or don't like about those titles.
Write! (duh, I know.) The most important thing to be a successful self-published author is to release often. Releasing ~1 new title per month is going to lead to visibility and greater success. It doesn't have to be a full-length novel each time, shorts or serials work well in several different genres. Releasing one novel per year just doesn't give you any traction in this self-pubbing model.
Thanks for this Arabella - this was a really fun interview and I'm pretty sure those who have just discovered your books through this interview will be eager to buy them on Amazon. We look forward to reading more of your books in the future and hope you come back for a cover reveal or teaser for your new titles! Thank you again!
You can learn more about the latest releases of Arabella Quinn at her site. You can also sign up for her newsletter here.