The craft and business of writing and self publishing

My Writing Life: Liliana Hart

20130211_at_150300Liliana Hart is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author in both the mystery and romance genres. After starting her first novel her freshman year of college, she immediately became addicted to writing and knew she’d found what she was meant to do with her life. She has no idea why she majored in music.

Liliana is an avid reader and a believer in all things romance. Her books are filled with witty dialogue, steamy sex, and the all-important happily-ever-after’s her romantic soul craves. Since self-publishing in June of 2011, she’s sold more than 2 million eBooks all over the world.

We asked Liliana a few questions about reading, writing, and publishing.

When did you first discover a love of writing? Is there a particular book that made you want to become a writer?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, jotting down quick stories in spiral notebooks that my mother still has in a box in the attic. But I didn’t discover romance novels until I was sixteen years old. I’d been reading Mary Higgins Clark and Dean Koontz, so my fascination with suspense started early. But when I was 16, my dad brought home a box of garage sale novels and inside was TRUST ME by Jayne Anne Krentz. My dad specifically told me I shouldn’t read that book because it was inappropriate. So being a 16 year old girl, I immediately snuck it out of the box and read it under my covers. From that point on I made twice weekly trips to the bookstore to find more “inappropriate” books. By the time I started my freshman year in college I’d decided I was running out of books to read and that I’d just have to start writing my own. I haven’t looked back.

What’s your favourite book? What was your favourite book as a child?

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Where do you get your story ideas?

Everywhere! I do a lot of people watching and eavesdropping. Story ideas are everywhere. I also read a lot. I love to read epic fantasy and big plot books, and then I’ll brainstorm on spinning them into stories romance readers would love.

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 What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received as a writer?

To ignore the rules. Just tell the story. The story is the only thing that matters. If you tell a good one, then readers will find you.

Where do you usually write?

Huddled on the couch wrapped in a blanket with my headphones on.

What’s your favourite literary genre? Any guilty pleasures?

I’m a huge reader and genre really doesn’t matter to me. I’ll read anything and everything except for hard sci-fi. Probably my most read genres are historical romances, thrillers, and epic fantasies. As far as guilty pleasures, I’m not going to lie, I love 1980s bodice rippers. Those books are amazing.

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What made you decide to self-publish?

Ultimately it was because I had stories to tell and I wanted people to read them. I’d gone through the traditional hoops for several years, but things weren’t happening the way I wanted them to. I knew I could write and that there was a market for the stories I wanted to tell. So I started self-publishing and have loved every minute of it. Now I love the control and the freedom it gives me to tell the stories I want to tell without limits or rules.

Are there any self-publishing tricks of the trade you’d like to share? What rules of craft or promotion do you live by?

Ha! There are so many! I’d say the biggest thing is to keep producing books. Every book will sell more books. It’s the best promotional tool there is. I think once you have the product, then things like social media and connecting with readers becomes really important. The #1 most important thing to my career is my readers. I’d be nowhere without them and I know that. So I answer every email I get and I respond to tweets and Facebook posts.

The only rule of craft I live by is to tell a great story. You can fix the prose and sentence structure if the core of the story is there to begin with.

Check out Liliana Hart:

at her website!

on Facebook!

on Kobo! View Liliana’s Books

on Twitter!

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