Welcome to another Author Spotlight!
This time I feature Laurie Wetzel who has just recently published her first book Unclaimed, a YA paranormal romance novel. She’s been working on it since 2011, and it is now available through Wise Ink Creative Publishing. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and two sons. I’m excited to have her answering my questions today!
How was your book signing this past weekend?
The book signing was fantastic! Many of the people who came were family and friends, but others had heard me on the radio or saw me on the news the day before. I think only five or so happened to be shopping in the store at the time. It was my first signing so I had no idea what to expect, and Unclaimed just came out last Monday so I honestly wasn’t expecting to do a signing (let alone at Barnes and Noble!), radio interviews, or be on the news, but as they say, when opportunity knocks… For future signings, I will try to promote it myself again by creating another Facebook Event and try to get on the radio and news (if possible) in addition to the store’s promotions just like this time. It worked so well that I broke the stores record for best signing! I’m still shocked by it.
You made a New Year’s Resolution to write Unclaimed back in 2011. Did you sit down to write the next day, or was it a process?
The New Year’s Resolution was actually to stop listening to all the negativity out there, especially my own voice, that said I couldn’t do something even before trying it. I tried snowboarding, climbed a rock wall, ran in many 5Ks and an 8K, and I got back into my love of reading. My husband was by my side for it all. It was one of the most fun years we’ve had and I’ve kept the same resolution ever since. After devouring 30 or so YA books, I started to dream about this new story. Each night it picked up where it had left off. I loved it. I wanted to sleep as much as possible so I could see what happened next. I think my creative side had been stifled for so long that it exploded. After about a week I began writing the dreams down. I used to love writing too and I stopped it in school thanks to some bullies. After I had most of the book written, I let my husband read it. He gave me the encouragement I needed to pursue the career in writing I’d always dreamed of having, but was too chicken to go after.
At some point you stopped listening to the negative voices in your head. Did you finally find your muse?
It still creeps in there every now and again, but I think that’s normal. In the beginning, I joined several writing groups, only one of which wasn’t online, and several more seasoned writers help me find my footing. I’m so grateful for them.
My muse rocks! Unclaimed is a big series. Each book, so far, is well over 100k words and it will most likely be five to six books before it’s complete. I have another series that I’m currently revising and hope to release the first book later next year as well. There are five other series that I have outlined and just need to find that allusive “time” to write them. Once Unclaimed is further along, I will work on them.
What is your go to vice?
I’m a bit of an oddball here. Instead of coffee, alcohol, or chocolate, my writing fuel is Pepsi and Sour Gummi Worms. I went through a huge tub of them during NaNoWriMo last year 🙂
Finally, what advice would you give to new writers?
The writing world—same as the rest of the world—can be a bit crazy at times. Being new, it’s easy to get swallowed up, spit out, and forgotten. Start building your platform early. Connect with other authors. Listen to their stories of what did and didn’t work for them. Learn from them! I started on Twitter first back in 2011, nearly two years before I let anyone other than a few family members and close friends know what I was doing. By the time I was ready for Unclaimed to be released, I made many fabulous author friends who were crucial in the successful launch of my first book. We work together to promote each other. It’s nearly impossible to truly go it alone in this and honestly, why would you want to?
Be sure to catch Unclaimed now available on e-book and paperback. And catch up with Laurie at her website http://lauriewetzel.com/, her Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LaurieRWetzel, and her Twitter @Laurie_Wetzel.
Keep that monkey fed and journey on!