Category Archives: Author

Imposter Syndrome, Part II

 

Last week I wrote a blog post about Imposter Syndrome. I was floored by the responses I received from readers and writers after it went live. For two days my email inbox was crawling with dozens of responses about what I’d written. Most of them were from authors – some of whom I don’t know personally. A few were from readers. All of them thanked me for calling out what it is to feel  like a professional failure, even though you’ve had a modicum of success. I ended that blog piece by saying, “STOP THINKING YOU ARE AN IMPOSTER AT THIS WHOLE WRITING THING. You write, ergo ( and don’t I just love being able to use that word!!) YOU ARE A WRITER!!!

Why don’t they get that?

A few authors wrote me that they felt like failures, and not “real” writers,  even though they had sold thousands of books, recently signed new contracts, and generally had well known names in the romance writing community. I was stunned by these revelations. My questions to each of them was : HOW DO YOU DEFINE A REAL WRITER and HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS, because it obviously isn’t in sales, or name recognition. The other question that blew through me was WHY? Why do you feel like a failure? You’ve written a book – some of you several books. They’ve been published – some traditionally, some independently. You’ve received royalties – some a lot, some not so much, but still…money! Readers know your name. Readers await your next book release. Readers WANT to read your work. So, again, WHY do you feel like professional failures?

I’m gonna take a wild guess here to answer that question, and I’m gonna ask for a little patience while I present my case, because some of you are gonna get all hot and bothered ( and not in the good, romance reading way) about what I think.

Since I write romance, that’s the genre I’m going to latch on to here for my discussion. The majority of romance writers are WOMEN. The majority of romance readers are WOMEN. The majority of people who pay cash-money for books of all genres are WOMEN. The majority of people who read for pleasure are WOMEN. The majority of people who make the most money on the planet and are responsible for the majority of decisions made ( and most of them are bad ones!) are ( wait for it ) MEN.

The definition for professional success for most men is very different for woman. Men equate success with money, material possessions, social status, and titles ( CEO, CFO, etc.) Women equate success almost the same way, but where a man will wear his success with pride and boast about it, women, it’s been my experience…will not. They tend to brush off well meaning compliments and try to turn any conversation away from themselves.

Again, this is my opinion based on years of being around very successful MEN and WOMEN and seeing how they react so differently when given praise or asked about their accomplishments. I’ve been in a room filled equally with writers of both sexes and the male voices are usually the loudest, the ones filled with the most hubris, and the ones bragging on their next book sales. The women, when given praise about their own bestsellers and highly anticipated new releases, have typically waved off the compliments, and redirected the praise. When you ask a male writer what he is working on you get chapter, book, verse and verbal diarrhea about the plot and everything else. Women will give you an elevator pitch and then move on to another topic.

Women do not like talking about themselves. Most women, that is. There are a few who drone on incessantly as if they were the only ones on the planet or in the discussion. We all know people like that. But for the majority, women still tend to take a back seat when it comes to broadcasting their successes and this is the reason I think they feel like imposters, frauds, and are faking it.

To these wonderful woman I say OWN IT!! 

Own your success. Wear it like a badge of courage for all your hard work.

 

I raised my daughter to be proud of herself – her successes and goal achievements. I raised her to accept her failures, learn from them and grow with them. I raised her with the knowledge she could walk through any door with her head held high, knowing she could make of herself anything she wanted. I thank the gods of everything she is the woman she was always meant to be. She doesn’t brag, but when given a compliment, accepts it, graciously. She doesn’t extol her own virtues and successes, but she doesn’t dismiss them with an embarrassed hand wave when someone mentions them, either. And she is forever lifting others up both verbally, spiritually, and emotionally.

To all the female writers I know who suffer thru imposter syndrome please know this: YOU ARE NOT AN IMPOSTER and no one has the right to make you feel less than a success.

Own it. Be it. Wear it. YOU ARE A WRITER.

‘Nuff said.

 

If you’re looking for me, I’m usually here:

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Strong Women

A conference, A wedding, A birthday….oh my!

So, this past weekend sosososo many things happened. Where to start?
Always best at the beginning, right?

This past weekend I attended my very first Maine Romance Writers Retreat and conference in Portland, Maine.  I was not only lucky enough to be a participant, but a presenter as well. What a wonderful, warm, welcoming, and TALENTED bunch of writers in this group! Just this year alone they have a Rita finalist and 2 Golden Heart Finalists. That’s pretty impressive, no? I gave my workshop on Baby Boomers and Romance ( euphemistically called Your Mama’s Got Game) to a rousing reception. I learned a lot. I met some new friends. And I networked with some wonderful individuals who share what I do – a love of all things romance and romance related.

Coincidentally, and really, I should say providentially, the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle took place on Saturday morning. This, people, THIS is the stuff of what romance writers live for.

 

Two gorgeous people meeting, falling in love, and then having the wedding I bet every little girl dreams of at least once in their lives.

 

 

Although she wasn’t titled a PRINCESS, the new Duchess of Sussex and her Hunky Duke (  hey! That sounds like a good book title!) Meghan is a true Cinderella story if ever there was one. Don’t be surprised it there is a new wave of Prince/Commoner books published in the next few months.

 

Please forgive these slightly grainy, ultra cheesy photos I took while watching the wedding on the TV in my room. If I knew how to crop, I would. But, alas…

Now, combined with all this wonderfulness, it was also my birthday on Saturday. I turned 21 for the 37th time. You figure that out if you want to know how old I am, because my lips are sealed. But, isn’t it great I got to attend and present at a wonderful writers conference, AND I got to watch a royal wedding to boot, both on my day.

Le sigh. I love my life.

If you’re looking for me, I’m usually here:

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Filed under Author, Romance, Romance Books

A series of firsts…

I’m over on LOVEROMANCEREADS today talking about the first time I ever did….this. 

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Social Media is here to stay…. #MFRWauthor

Another Friday, another blog challenge topic from MFRWauthor. Heehee. This one’s another easy peasy one to write.

Up until I had my first book published, the only Social Media platform I used was Facebook. It kept me in touch with my daughter who’d been in college, and I had fun seeing the posts from all her friends.

Fast forward to June 2014. I signed my first book contract and was told by the publisher that I needed to have a social media presence in order to garner readers and followers. I think the first thing I said was “no.” All I wanted to do was write, not be on-line with strangers all the time talking myself and my book up. That thought went the way of the dinosaur when I found out how effective a marketing tool being on social media sites can be, and in reality, is.

With my daughter’s and my best friend’s help – both of whom are techy and marketing gurus, I started this website, joined Twitter, found Pinterest and Instagram, and became a Goodreads “author.” In addition, I developed a FB following on my author page.

By the time my second book was released, I was proficient in all these sites.

And every time I thought I was done, another “must be seen on” social media site emerged. Book Bub, Triberr, Tumbler, Linked-In came along and with them, my participation.

But this is a blog about our favorite SM platforms, so to be true to the challenge, my absolute favorite it TRIBERR. The reasons vary, but the main one is REACH,  a term that gives new meaning to what you really think it mean.

On TRIBERR I follow many book-, romance-book, and writing web-blogs. Each site has at least a reach of a minimum of 2000 readers. A few have hundreds of thousands. What that means is, if I a member of that TRIBE, ( and yes, that’s what it’s called!) and I post a new blog, the potential for people who don’t know me from Adam to see it is huge. Really huge. Of course, there is reciprocity involved in all this. If I want my blog posts to be seen, I need to publicize other blogs as well. Tit for tat; or in this case, blog for blog. Every morning I log onto my Triberr account and then scroll through the Tribes I am a member of. When I see interesting posts, or posts I feel will be beneficial for my followers, I schedule them on my Twitter feed. That way, my 2000+ Twitter followers, get to read things by people whom they do not ordinarily follow.

Get it?

If you’re a blogger, Triberr is a great place to garner new readership, so that’s why it is my current favorite SM site.

And you can follow me on Tribber ( and all my other sites) here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

Now, since this is a blog challenge and hop, visit the other authors here to find out what their favorite social media platforms are and why.

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Author Branding, branding, Romance, Romance Books

Children learn from your example

Mother’s day was Sunday and I usually don’t post anything on facebook or social media except for a generic ( but heartfelt!) HAPPY MOTHER’S Day greeting to all the moms out there. This Sunday was a bit different, though. I didn’t post anything – as usual- but my daughter did. What she wrote floored me, and I’ll admit freely – had me bawling my eyes out. I copied it from her facebook post here – not because I want to brag on her or myself, but because it reminded me that no matter what you may think as a parent, your kids ARE watching what you do and LISTENING to what you say, how you say it, and to who you say it to and about.

Here’s the post:

My mom has given me many gifts, but none so powerful as the example she’s set by following her calling as an author.

About five years ago, she left a comfortable job to pursue romance writing. For some, it would’ve sounded like a whim or a pipe dream — but she had stories to tell and she wanted to share them with the world.

She sent out hundreds of queries to agents and publishing houses. The inevitable rejections came, but she never lost focus on her own North Star. She was, of course, incredibly privileged to be able to follow this dream with my dad’s support — but that doesn’t dilute the work she put in. Finally, she got an acceptance letter, and then another one. Five years later, she’s authored a whopping 11 published books and has another 5 on the way.

In charting her own course, she sent messages to me whose power continues to crystallize: that it’s never too late to pursue a dream; that external validation comes and goes, but internal motivation is what will carry you through; that magic happens when you combine a little luck with a lot of hard work; and that the joy of the journey is, itself, the destination.

We are so proud of you, Peggy Jaeger. Thank you for the example you’ve set.

And because I’m in marketing: if your mom likes romance and you need a last-minute gift, grab one of her e-books today!

https://www.amazon.com/Peggy-Jaeger/e/B00T8E5LN0

https://happyeverafter.usatoday.com/…/peggy-jaeger-intervi…/

When I was a kid there was an expression: “Little pitchers have big ears.” It was meant as a reminder to people to be careful what they said around children if they didn’t want something repeated that shouldn’t be. I’d like to add my own version of that expression here: Your kids may never tell you this, but what you say and do IS making an impression on them. They’re seeing and they’re listening and they’re learning.
So, I ask you: Are you teaching them the right things? Are you sending them the right impression? Are you setting the right example for them?
Food for thought today.
And can I just tell you how much I lovelovelove my daughter!

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Imposter syndrome….

Last month at my NHRWA meeting, one of my uber-talented and wonderful writing chaptermates spoke a phrase I had never heard before:  Imposter Syndrome. She gave me a very good definition of the word, but when I got home I decided to delve a little more into the meaning. Here’s the best explanation I found of it:

“Imposter syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. ‘Imposters‘ suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence that override any feelings of success or external proof of their competence.” ~My 2008 Harvard Business Review

Hmmm.

That kinda sounds like very writer I know.

I’m plagued with doubts about my writing Every Single Day of my life. Does that mean I have I.S.? 

I worry that my next book will be trash, my editor will have me completely rewrite it, the public will hate it – and me – and I’ll have to go out and get a job cleaning floors at night in office buildings to make ends meet ( not that there’s anything wrong with that!!)  Does that mean I have I.S.?

When I read a less than flattering review of one of my books ( and by less than flattering I mean a 1 on Goodreads and Amazon!!) I think : this is it. I’m done for. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool. No one will read this book now. Does that mean I have I.S.?

The moment I read something back I’ve written and think, “this sucks wind so bad, it’s a hurricane of a mess!” I start to sweat, my heart rate goes tachycardic, and I get a sick, vomit-worthy sensation swell up in my throat. Does this mean I have I.S.?

 

No. Emphatically no. I KNOW I am a decent writer. I may never win any major writing awards, or have a million seller, but that’s okay. I’ve said this before but it needs to be repeated here: Even if I’d never had any book of mine published, I still would have kept writing because I love doing it so much. I didn’t need accolades, royalties ( not that they are necessarily a bad thing!)  or good reviews to validate that I AM A WRITER.

This, I think, is the difference between thinking you might have I.S. and actually having it. My sense of self worth, my idea of success, my feelings of value, are not tied up in whether or not the book reading world knows my name, buys my books, or clamors to retweet anything I’ve put on Social Media. What it adds up to is that – in my very humble opinion – I have a strong, well defined, and productive EGO. And I’m not talking about the posturing, self important, look-at-me-and-no-one-else part of an Ego. I mean, simply, I know my worth, am okay with it, and can hold my head up high.

Okay, peeps, here’s my writing PSA for the day: STOP THINKING YOU ARE AN IMPOSTER AT THIS WHOLE WRITING THING. You write, ergo ( and don’t I just love being able to use that word!!) YOU ARE A WRITER!!!

‘Nuff said.

Looking for me? Here I am:

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Filed under Author, branding, Contemporary Romance

#Weekend Wrapup

Just in case you missed any of my blog posts this week ( and yes, I realize how conceited and self aggrandizing that sounds!!), but Goodreads does so it, so figure, why not? Here’s a list of this week’s musings:

Saturday, May 5, 2018 Long and Short Reviews Saturday Seven

Monday, May 7, 2018  A little surprise for me

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 A visit with WRP and NRWA sistah Gina Leuci

Friday, May 11, 2018 MFRWauthor 52 week blog challenge entry

Saturday, May 12, 2018  The last Saturday Seven from Long and Short Reviews

and if you’re looking for me you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

 

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Contemporary Romance, Long and SHort Reviews, Romance, Romance Books

A little #Surprise this weekend…

I was laid up in bed all day yesterday because I pulled my left flank and hip muscles on Saturday at the gym. Adulting and life should come with a disclaimer that doing squats after the age of 55 is not a wise choice.

Anyhoo.

As I was working in bed 

I got an email that just about shot me off the mattress. Apparently, I am a FINALIST in the 2018 HOLT MEDALLION CONTEST in the Long Contemporary category for my book COOKING WITH KANDY.

YOWZA!

If you scroll down to the Long Contemporary category you’ll see my name. My real name. Apparently, I entered under my real one, not my pen one. Le Sigh….

Anyway – YAY!!! Cooking with Kandy won a bunch of awards before it was published and this is the first time I’ve entered it in anything since it’s been published, so this is uber-thrilling.

I’ll keep you updated once the winners are announced. All body parts are crossed for this one, peeps!

Looking for me? Here I am: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

and one last shameless plug: Check out my new AUDIOBOOK version of 3 WISHES, available now at Audible // Itunes // and Amazon.

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

#SaturdaySeven #LASreviews 7 Love Songs for the Ages ( or aged!)


Since I write romantic fiction, I like exploring all things romance-related and that includes music. I’m a woman of a certain age ( read old!!!) and have heard a great many love songs during my listening time on this earth. In no particular order, these are my favorite 7 love songs. And a little trivia: #7 is my wedding song.

  1. Can’t help falling in love with you. ~Elvis Presley   
  2. I will Always love you. ~ Whitney Huston   
  3. Because you loved me. ~Celine Dion     
  4. I just called to say I love you. ~Stevie Wonder      
  5. She Loves you. ~The Beatles     
  6. I think I love you. ~The Partridge Family ( David Cassidy) 
  7. I’m a Believer. ~The Monkees And because this is a weekly challenge, click HERE to read about the other authors and their 7 favorite things.

Looking for me? here I am:

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and one last shameless plug: Check out my new AUDIOBOOK version of 3 WISHES, available now at Audible // Itunes // and Amazon.

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Strong Women

Post Writing Conference High…

 

SO I’m back home after spending a few days in Burlington, MA at the NECRW 2018 Let Your imagination take Flight writers conference. Tired doesn’t begin to describe me today. My bones are weary!

This year, I made a concerted effort to put my little introverted self out there and meet new writers. Those of you who know me, probably think I’m having some kind of stroke by referring to myself as introverted. But I am, truly. Even though I’ll talk to a rock, I still get ridiculously nervous and feel I’m being judged by people I’ve just met.

But that’s my hangup, so….

Lots of fun and informative times at the conference.

First and foremost, met the amazeballs and national writing treasure Beverly Jenkins. She gave a master class on setting and world building that was so spot on, it’s no wonder she’s the fabulous writer she is. Every writer – whether of the romance genre, or truly, an other genre, could learn something from this brilliant woman that would elevate their writing to heights never thought of before. I have 6 pages of handwritten, excited notes from her class and can’t wait to start putting them into practice.

From the phenomenal and tech-brilliant Nam Patel I seriously increased my knowledge base of keywords, SEO’s and how to navigate through google. Nam is the kind of brilliant person who is able to break down complex knowledge principles to an understandable language for tach-no-savvy’s like me!!

I’d never heard the term Fan-Fiction before until I took a class with literary agent Courtney Miller Callahan on the subject. Boy, did I get an eyeopener!

Of course there were other workshops I attended, but these three ladies were by far the best and brightest of the bunch!

Now, I’m off to start building a better world and setting for my characters, then I have to update my internet accounts, and finally, I may just take a quick trek through a few fan fiction pages to get an idea of what this whole subgenre is really about. I can smell a potential story line here for a couple of people who need an HEA in their lives!

Of course when I’m not writing you can find me here;

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and one last shameless plug: Check out my new AUDIOBOOK version of 3 WISHES, available now at Audible // Itunes // and Amazon.

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Filed under 3 Wishes, Author, Author Branding, Candy Hearts, Food lover, love, Romance, Romance Books, The Wild Rose Press