Alexa Bigwarfe and Leslie Rasmussen talk about the challenges involved in the novel writing journey, including how to get started. They also discuss themes in writing, empowering the characters, and more!
Leslie A. Rasmussen is the award-winning author of the novel, After Happily Ever After. She was born and raised in Los Angeles and graduated from UCLA. She went on to write television comedies for Gerald McRaney, Burt Reynolds, Roseanne Barr, Norm McDonald, Drew Carey, as well as The Wild Thornberrys and Sweet Valley High. After leaving the business to raise her boys, she attained a master's degree in nutrition and ran her own business for ten years. Recently, she’s written over twenty essays for Huffington Post, and Maria Shriver, and spoken on panels discussing empowering women in midlife. Leslie is a member of The Writers Guild of America, as well as Women In Film and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. In her free time, Leslie loves to read, exercise, and hang out with friends. She lives in Los Angeles and is married and has two sons.
“It's funny because sometimes people say, from the cover, is it romance? I'm like, no, the only romance in it really…it's mostly that she is sort of falling in love with herself. I love that romance. She's on a journey to find herself and she's learning how to find her voice and fall in love with herself.”
Leslie on her newest book, After Happily Ever After.
In this episode, we discuss:
- Explore how the work challenges genre expectations and the impact this might have on reader perceptions.
- Consider how readers might relate to the protagonist's journey.
- Universal themes of self-discovery and the quest for self-love that can resonate with a broad audience.
- Delve into the significance of self-love as a central theme in story.
- Explore the importance of finding one's voice as a central theme in the narrative.
- Explore strategies for overcoming self-critique and gaining confidence in one's creative work.
- The Art of Writing Dialogue: Dialogue is important for character development, something Leslie learned working on television scripts.
- Learning from Mistakes: All writing has a learning curve where mistakes are made, Leslie's first novel took 4.5 years.
- Role of a Developmental Editor: Working with a developmental editor from the early stages of the writing journey to streamline the process is important.
- Multi-Perspective Storytelling: Experiment with different narrative perspectives, providing readers with a more rounded understanding of the characters.
00:06:26 – The Process of Writing a Novel
Leslie and Alexa delve into the challenges of writing a novel, including the importance of creating a detailed outline to guide the story and the value of working with a developmental editor to streamline the writing process.
00:18:11 – Challenges of Descriptive Writing
The conversation delves into the challenges of transitioning from technical writing to descriptive storytelling. Leslie discusses the struggle of “showing, not telling” and the use of emotional thesaurus to enhance descriptive writing. Both hosts share their experiences with acting out scenes to improve their writing.
00:23:11 – Writing from a Single Perspective
Leslie discusses the challenges of writing in first person and the need to bring forth other characters' perspectives. She shares her approach of including chapters from other characters' points of view to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the storyline.
00:25:43 – Trend of Multiple Points of View
The conversation shifts to the trend of writing from multiple points of view in current literature. Both hosts discuss the growing acceptance and preference for books with multiple perspectives, highlighting the evolving nature of writing and reader preferences.
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Alexa Bigwarfe had a great experience at the 20Books Vegas Conference for Indie Authors. She encourages listeners to keep writing and shares insights from her time there, learning, networking, and meeting authors!
The name of the conference is changing to Author Nation – and you should follow them on social media to learn what changes are coming and all about next year's conference on November 11-14, 2024 in Las Vegas.
“In the dynamic world of indie authorship, where passion meets strategy, and creativity intertwines with business, the key lies in perseverance. Success often emerges not from a singular masterpiece but from the cumulative impact of an author's dedication, building a brand, and treating writing as both an art and a thriving business. So, write on, chase your dreams, and believe in the transformative power of storytelling.”
In this episode, we discuss:
- How to mix creativity and business for Indie authors
- Perseverance leading to success
- The upcoming Women In Publishing Summit in March
- Passion meets Strategy: Indie authorship thrives at the intersection of passion and strategic planning. It's a dynamic space where the love for writing combines with thoughtful approaches to navigate the publishing landscape.
- Perseverance is Key: In the face of challenges and uncertainties, perseverance becomes the guiding force. The journey of an indie author is a marathon, not a sprint, and success often comes to those who persist through the highs embrace change, are vital. Writing to market, utilizing new tools, and adapting to industry shifts contribute to sustained success.
- Write On and Chase Your Dreams: Despite challenges, the advice is simple—keep writing. The journey unfolds over time, and persistence is key. Chase your dreams, stay committed, and trust in the transformative power of storytelling.and lows.
Does it sound familiar to struggle in the ever-changing world of publishing, feeling like you're constantly playing catch-up? You may have been told to simply keep doing what you're doing, but the lack of progress is leaving you frustrated and disheartened. The pain of pouring your heart and soul into your writing, only to feel like you're getting nowhere, can be overwhelming. It's time to break free from ineffective methods and gain the practical insights and motivation needed for writing success.
00:10:03 – Direct Sales and Marketing
The discussion covers direct sales strategies, such as selling books directly from an author's website and utilizing platforms like Patreon. The importance of marketing, visibility, and niche targeting is also highlighted.
00:17:29 – Building Your Author Platform
Authors are advised to focus on building an email list, having a website, creating lead magnets, and engaging with readers to create hype and buzz around their books. Building raving fans is key to success.
00:20:39 – Finding Time for Creativity
Successful authors emphasize the importance of finding time and space to focus on writing projects and the value of writing retreats for fostering creativity. It's crucial to make time for self-care and carve out dedicated writing time.
00:23:21 – Overcoming Challenges as an Author
Even successful authors face mindset struggles, imposter syndrome, and business challenges. The importance of self-care and addressing mindset issues for optimal creativity and productivity is highlighted.
00:27:31 – Persistence and Belief in Yourself
The message of perseverance and belief in one's writing journey is emphasized. Success may take time and multiple books, but it's essential to keep writing and chasing dreams.
Alexa Bigwarfe had the chance to sit down face to face with Pam Sheppard, Auntie Pam as we call her in the WIP Summit Community, to discuss a range of topics, including literary citizenship, collaboration, and the importance of engagement in the marketplace when marketing your book.
In this episode of the PublishHer Podcast, host Alexa Bigwarfe interviews Pam Sheppard, a seasoned professional in the publishing industry. They delve into the topic of effectively positioning books in the marketplace and provide valuable insights for indie authors looking to gain visibility and engagement for their books. With Pam's extensive experience as a sales representative and market smart consultant, she brings a wealth of knowledge to the conversation. By leveraging Pam's expertise and industry knowledge, authors can achieve greater success and reach a wider audience with their books. Tune in to learn practical strategies and techniques for effectively positioning your book in today's competitive market.
Collaborating with fellow authors can lead to incredible opportunities and support. From blurbs to newsletter swaps, there are endless ways to come together and promote each other's work. – Pam Shepard
In this episode, we discuss:
- How to unearth the benefits and necessities that collaboration introduces in the dynamic landscape of publishing.
- Explore the powerful impact of diversity in shaping fruitful collaborations.
- Grasp dynamic techniques to assert your book's position effectively in the competitive market.
- Witness the significance of uplifting fellow authors through literary citizenship and what that means.
- Decipher the relevance of the perspective on professional services payments in publishing.
Authors Supporting Authors
Collaboration plays a key role in the publishing industry. Not only does it cultivate the habit of sharing knowledge and resources, it also builds mutual respect amongst authors and service providers. By working together, we can create something far greater than what we could achieve individually, advancing the industry as a whole.
- The value of diverse perspectives in the publishing industry cannot be understated.
- Check out these market-friendly strategies to slot your books effectively in the market flank.
- Appreciate the role you can play in the author community.
00:02:44 – Collaboration and Mutual Respect,
Alexa and Pam discuss how their collaboration developed out of mutual respect for each other's experience. They highlight the importance of recognizing the value of what each person brings to the table and working together for mutual benefit.
00:08:35 – Collaboration Among Authors,
The hosts talk about the various ways authors can collaborate and support each other, such as reviewing each other's books, sharing on social media, and participating in group promotions. They emphasize the concept of literary citizenship and how collaboration can benefit the entire author community.
00:16:16 – Literary Citizenship and Professional Boundaries,
The guests discuss the concept of literary citizenship and the importance of sharing knowledge and resources within the community. They also address the need to establish professional boundaries and negotiate tasks when seeking advice from professionals.
00:30:01 – Building a Supportive Community,
The conversation starts with the importance of community support in the publishing industry. Both the host and guest emphasize that their success is not solely due to their own efforts, but also the support they receive from others in their community. They discuss how supporting each other's work can lead to success, such as when someone's book reached number one on the charts because of community support.
00:31:39 – Personal Connections in the Community,
The host and guest discuss the personal connections they have made within their community. They mention that while they may not know everyone deeply, there is a mutual respect and understanding within the publishing business. They highlight the value of having personal, non-publishing-related conversations with like-minded individuals.