A Man of Character: One Week In & a Great Big THANK YOU!

A Man of Character Cover Margaret LockeWait, what? It’s been a full week since A Man of Character debuted? I can hardly believe it.

Thank you for the overwhelmingly positive response I’ve received! I’ve shed more than one tear in the last seven days, but luckily they’ve all been happy tears.

Thank you everyone who’s bought the book, everyone who’s reading the book, and to everyone who’s taken the time to leave a review on Amazon or GoodReads.

Y’all rock. 

Here’s a sampling of what I’ve heard this week:

“Mrs. Locke, I just finished your novel, “A Man of Character.” I just wanted you to know that it was one of the best books that I have read this year. I look forward to reading Eliza’s story, and I hope you will write William’s story as well. Thanks for the pleasure of your words.”

“Loved the story. I read way past my bedtime. It was an interesting and thought-provoking romance. Looking forward to more books from this author.”

“I don’t usually read romances, but I couldn’t quit reading this one. It arrived in the mail late Thursday, and I finished it Friday morning. This novel has a clever premise, cool characters, a neat twist toward the end (a perfect set-up for the sequel), and a great sense of humor. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and can’t wait for Margaret Locke’s next work.”

“I loved it! This fun and thought-provoking romance novel offers a great balance of comedic elements, sweetness, and sizzle. Throw in a handful of handsome eligible men, a touch of magic, and journey of self-discovery, and you have a wonderful story. The book was a joy to read, both for the creative content and craft (it is very well-edited and formatted — the author obviously knows her stuff and invested the time necessary to develop an excellent product). I am very impressed and am looking forward to the next book! (I hope it’s about Eliza. I loved her character!)”

Margaret Locke A Man of CharacterThose are words that feed the writer’s soul – especially a nervous Nellie newbie like me!

I hope you’ll continue to help me spread the word about A Man of Character, whether through sharing about it on Facebook, tweeting about it, or good, old-fashioned telling someone about it directly. Word-of-mouth is everything in the book world, and something on which indie authors are especially dependent.

Thank you again, from the bottom of my romance writer’s heart. You know how to make a girl feel special!


 

Baa Baa, Black Sheep: On Writing Indie Romance

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cordery/362762645/in/photolist-y4fGn-85R4Yj-8ByuRV-4ZwkyA-b27Jzc-9sfnyg-6nfwZm-eh2irv-bAAmr-2ZvEp8-5MKgpQ-cVkHUh-8E3w4T-N3FZG-8wkqRE-a9DfGa-bLdvw-ekLdGQ-8whpdg-6rarM7-9j7xag-9j7x1a-9j7xex-9jaET1-6uXLZB-9irswn-6v2WyJ-4ZwkBh-CJQ9y-CJPnd-CJPmU-CJPn7-CJPn1-CJQ9T-CJQ9E-CJQ9K-CJQDW-CJQDU-CJPmV-CJQDS-CJQa6-CJQE2-CJQ9Z-CJPn3-55JymV-qzz1U-wFWJL-nFG6M-8pvJjB-7DmW5d
Black Sheep – CC/Flickr

Romance and its authors have garnered lots of publicity recently, especially in light of Laurie Kahn’s recent (and excellent) documentary, Love Between The Covers. Numerous articles are swirling around the internet, refuting many of the myths about romance novels and the people who write them. Here’s just a sampling:

I love that people are challenging the notion that romance is lesser, that romance writing is simplistic, that romance is dismissible. Those of us within the community have long known those things are false, of course.

The same can be said of indie publishing: its image is transforming from consisting of only poorly written, barely edited trash thrown up on the internet, to being a viable alternative to traditional publishing, featuring numerous talented, cutting edge authors. Many indie romance authors have become certified rock stars in the genre, including Courtney Milan, Bella Andre, Katy Regnery . . . I could name many more.

But as a newbie indie romance author, I’m suddenly realizing what an uphill battle I have to get people to take me seriously: not fellow romance authors, perhaps (although of course I need to prove myself to them, as well), but friends, acquaintances, and anybody not tuned in to the romance and indie communities.

I know this, because I’ve been talking–online and in person–about my debut novel, A Man of Character, which hits the market May 26th. People are excited for me, and I’m so grateful for that. But several times, after friends and acquaintances asked me what I’m writing and/or who’s publishing it, their expressions changed, their faces fell or took on a humoring expression, when I replied, “romance, and I’m indie publishing.”

Writing romance is dubious enough, apparently–add indie to it, and you’re really not welcome at the table.

I could be misreading their reactions. I could be projecting my own self-doubts and fears as this book goes public. Yes, I’m nervous. Yes, I realize there will be people who don’t like my book. Yes, I’m sure I can (and will) improve my writing as I continue down this career path. And that’s OK. Because that’s what it is to me: a career path.

Don’t hand me that black sheep fleece, because I won’t wear it.

I am a writer. I write romance, and I love it. I’m an indie author, and proud of it.

Thank to you everyone who’s supporting me, encouraging me, and cheering me on. Thank you to my critique group, to my beta readers, and to my editor, Tessa Shapcott: all of you helped shape A Man of Character into what it is–a book I’m thrilled to claim as my own. Thank you to my fellow romance authors, an amazingly welcoming group of women (and men) willing to provide guidance, advice, and valuable insider information to newbies following in their footsteps. .

And thank you to everyone who’s purchased A Man of Character, or will purchase it–your willingness to take a chance on a debut author means the world to me.