Confessions of a Romance Writer | Reporting in

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This month’s confession opens with me in front of the Principal’s office, expecting to be reamed for my misbehaviour. I’m pacing backwards and forwards across the floor one minute, sitting with hands twisted together in my lap, staring at the floor the next. Waiting to be summoned. Waiting to give an account of what I’ve been up to over the last month.

The door I’ve been watching opens and out steps the source of my nightmare. The Principal beckons, and I meekly walk into her office, reluctantly taking the only chair in front of the desk.

“Well, what have you achieved this month?” she asks in a tired voice. Well, she has heard all my excuses many times before.

Mumbling a bit, head down, I answer truthfully. “Nothing.”

“Indeed?” She stares at me in a way that makes me squirm.

But that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve achieved nothing this month. Zilch. Why do you think I’m telling you a story?

Then, like a ray of sunshine on a dark and dreary day, (oh, the cliché) I remember I have done some things this month.

During April, I did an online course on book covers. I learnt how to analyse, and critique, romance book covers, specifically concentrating on my own genre. I enjoyed this so much, I engaged a graphic designer and sent them a long wish-list. Before I knew it, I had the most amazing cover for my story ever designed. I wish I could show you. I really do.

Naturally, having a fantastic cover in my hot little hands created even more dilemmas.

Do I continue to wait, hoping my book will be published through traditional means? Or, do I bite the bullet and self-publish? That cover of mine is way too good to ignore. And I really want to use it. Because, you know, it’s perfect.

So, I started preparing for the big step into the vast unknown of self-publishing. And this month, I’ve signed up for another online course, this time on Book Publishing and Promotion. It won’t hurt to make my final decision until after I’ve finished that course.

Besides, choosing between going down the traditional publishing route or the self-publishing one is complex. Both options have pros and cons. One is not better than the other. They both lead to having my book available to readers after all.

Oh, and I’ve just entered into a weekly critique partnership. We’ve committed to writing a chapter every week, sending it to each other and giving ourselves three days to return our comments. Scary stuff, and a bit worrying. As in, now I’ll HAVE to write a chapter every week. Gulp. But it also means I should get my next story written well within my timeline, won’t it?

So, dear reader (and that scary Principal), I can hold my head up and tell you with the upmost confidence. I. Am. Doing. Fine. Thanks for asking.

Wendy Davies

Wendy adores riding her pedal-assist electric bike. And living in Melbourne means she has easy access to some incredible bike paths and Victoria’s extensive rail trails.

She runs her own editing and communications business and is often found reading her Kindle, immersed in a romance story. She makes her own jewellery. And enjoys travelling with her husband, where she often indulges in taking the odd landscape photograph.

Wendy lives her life with every intention of leaving this world laughing and shouting “what a great ride this have been”.

Check out her website, or follow her on Facebook – but she’s not on Twitter!

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