I know that I sit around eating bon-bons just waiting for my muse to show up . . . as long as she gets here before my massage appointment. Not! I write in my closet and drool over the pics that Annie Seaton’s posts of living and writing at the beach. I keep threatening to move in with her . . .welcome Annie!
The glamour and the grind…
I am often asked why I write stories. Where do I get my ideas? And where do I get the inspiration for the exotic settings in my contemporary romances? How do I spend my glamorous days as an author?
Readers and acquaintances look at you in awe and point and whisper…she’s an author.
I’d love to be able to say I have travelled the world…okay, maybe one day I will get to all of those places where I would love to set a romantic story. Machu Piccu, Marrakesh, Tuscany, Patagonia, Bora Bora…my list inspires my dreams, and I could fill the page with places I would love to see.
And I’d love to be able to say I have written my whole life. I have always dreamed of writing but for me, like most of us, life, family and career, generally make it a mammoth task to contemplate. As far back as I can remember I dreamed of being a writer, but many, many years passed between the little story I wrote when I was eleven years old and the contemporary romance Holiday Affair which I wrote some forty years later. In between that time, I wrote only one short story just after my children were born.
But I have no regrets. The breadth of my life experiences has enriched my writing. The places I have managed to visit have enriched my love of settings, and of giving deep description in my stories. Tropical islands, the northern Californian coast, Vienna, Scotland, Glastonbury, and the wild Australian outback… all make an appearance in my stories.
So why do I write stories? The simple answer is I write because I have to, and my inspiration comes from many places I have visited, dreamed about or read about. Even though at times it can be difficult—the times when you have an idea or a scene developing in your mind and you have to be social and interact with family and friends and all you want to do is get it written down before it slips away. The joys of an iPhone when you can make a quick note!
Where do I get my ideas? My first source of ideas is people watching. Sometimes on a simple trip to the supermarket, I will stand in a line and watch and imagine. By the time I get to the checkout, I may have a whole life and romance written for someone who may have been choosing the best tomato in the vegetable section!
Many of my ideas come through dreams. Some nights I will dream a whole story with characters I have not met or thought of in my waking hours. These are the people you then meet in my stories.
Much of my inspiration comes from nature. The sound of the waves breaking on the sand, a fluffy cloud scudding across the sky on a windy day, a spectacular sunrise or sunset has inspired the many a scene or setting. I am fortunate to live by the ocean and have many opportunities for seeing spectacular sunrises and sunsets, and wild oceans in the winter. All of my books have sunsets, sunrises, calm seas and gardens somewhere in them!
How do I spend my glamorous days as an author? Now we move to the sub heading of this article…from the glamour to the grit.
The best way to describe the difference is to compare two photographs. You know… that lovely author photo where you are smiling for the camera? My author photo has an exotic Pacific island background. That’s the dream.
Do I potter around all day flicking a feather boa with my little toy dogs? No.
The reality of the life of an author today can be compared to another imaginary photograph. A screen shot of me in a Skype meeting with my publisher at two o’clock in the morning.
Living down under means living in a wonderful climate, living by the beach and visiting exotic settings within a stone’s throw of home, but it also means we are awake when the rest of the world is asleep! So forget the glamorous author photo with the softly waving palm trees and the deep blue ocean, the other side of the author coin, the visual of everyday life is most likely to be an image comprising sweatpants, red-rimmed eyes, surrounded by coffee mugs in the dead of night.
Deadlines, constant promotion, edits, blog tours, and social media now fill my days.
The twenty-first century and the explosion of digital technology, self publishing and social networking have been wonderful for the publishing industry and readers alike. Never has there been such an opportunity to get published, and access a wide variety of books at your fingertips. An author can now do promotion from their home without embarking on one real book tour or face to face book signing. We have Facebook launches, author graphs for book signing and blog tours to meet our readers. We communicate with our publisher, our publicist, our editor, our cover artist, our street team, all by email.
But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I have achieved my dream. I have written a book—actually eleven books in two years—to make up for all those years I was doing other things.
I have been published… and I now spend my days (between edits, deadlines and promotion) talking to like minded people across the globe.
Yeah… I’ll take the grind with the glamour.
So, how do you balance the grind and the glamour?
Mark Henry will be here tomorrow to discuss finding your voice.
Annie Seaton lives on the edge of the South Pacific Ocean on the east coast of Australia and she is fulfilling her lifelong dream of writing, and has been delighted to discover that readers love reading her stories as much as she loves writing them.
Annie lives with her own hero of many years. Their two children are now grown up and married, and two beautiful grandchildren have arrived. Now they share their home with “Bob” the dog and two white cats.
Annie’s working life was spent in education and she worked as librarian, teacher, technology consultant and university tutor. Now retired from going to a day job, she spends her days writing down all the stories in her head.
Her debut full length novel, Holiday Affair, a contemporary romance set in the South Pacific was released as part of Entangled Publishing’s Indulgence line in March 2012 and was an Amazon and Barnes and Noble bestseller. Since then Italian Affair, Outback Affair and Dangerous Desire have also been published by Entangled in 2013. Tangling with the CEO will be released in December.
When she is not writing she can be found in her garden or walking on the beach… or most likely on her deck overlooking the ocean, a chilled glass of wine in hand as the sun sets….dreaming of exotic locations.
- Weekly Lecture Schedule – November 25th – 29th
- Strong & Sassy Heroines with Annie Seaton
- Category Romance: Ask the Authors, Day 2
- Category Romance: Ask the Authors, Day 1
- Category Romance Authors – Benefits to Being Agented