Saturday, September 17, 2011

Scarlet Wilson: The Steep Learning Curve of the New Author

This year, has been a big year.  On the 21st January I got The Call.  By the time this blog appears my book, a Mills and Boon/Harlequin Medical It Started with a Pregnancy will be on the shelves in the UK.  Since January I've been on a steep learning curve.  I've learned things I didn't even realise I needed to know! 

So, I thought I would share with you some of the things I've learned in the last few months, rather than give you a Call story!

1.  Revisions  This was the first thing I had to master.  I had four sets before I got The Call.  And for the two books I've sold since I've had two sets for both. 

2.  Contracts People say that Harlequin contracts are boilerplate and don't change.  I've asked for a few amendments and got them without any problem.

3.  Pseudonym  I had to pick a pseudonym as someone already writes romance novels in the US under my own name.  I ended up with a list of 7, which my workmates all voted on.  Scarlet was the obvious choice for me as I have a red car, numerous red coats and bags, a red bedroom, a red living room......etc, etc, etc.

4.  Website  After I picked my pseudonym, I had to register for a website name and get my website set up.  I was lucky, I had a colleague who could help with this and you can visit me at

5.  Publicity I finally set up an Author Page on Facebook. (!/pages/Scarlet-Wilson-Author-Page/124872094266360) I also have a blog, linked to my website, but so far have resisted the temptation to Twitter.  Right now, I want to concentrate on my writing.  The less distractions - the better!

6.  Write every day.  This is probably the most important thing that I've learned.  I work full-time and have two young sons who have activities nearly every night of the week.  Time is at a premium in my house.  I've learned the best time for me is lunch time.  I can write 1000 in half an hour.  So I do that everyday.  Some are good, some are bad, it doesn't matter!

7.  Take the good with the bad.  Yes, I've had a bad review already.  But, I've also had seven great reviews.  And I have to be pragmatic about it.  I don't love every book I read - and I can't expect everyone to love mine. 

8.  I really love writing!  A few years ago I worried in case I wouldn't have more ideas for a story.  This seems to be unfounded, as at present, I'm working on book 4, have 2 ideas for new medical stories and an idea for a Riva.

To celebrate, I'd like to give away one of my books.  It's a 2-in-1 with Sue Mackay's Return of the Maverick.  Distance is no object, so to enter just leave a comment below.  I'll post the winner back in the comments in a few days time.


Desere said...

Hi there,

Your post was very insightfull I really liked it and I learned something too !

I am dying to get to know your books I can tell I am going to love them !

I do have a question , where does your inspiration come from do you find in in everyday life or more suprizing places ?

Thank you for the chance to win your book and thank you very much for allowing distance is no object it means alot to us on the other side that we have the chance to win your great !

All the best

Melanie Milburne said...

Congratulations, Scarlet, on your first book and mega congrats for writing the second one. You have made some very salient points in your blog. Such wise words.
All the very best with your writing. It's hard work, as you know, but so wonderful connecting with readers.

scarlet wilson said...

Hi Desere
Inspiration comes from lots of places, but very rarely from my day job in health. It's usually from something I've seen on the news, read in paper, or something that's cropped up in a conversation with friends.

scarlet wilson said...

Hi Melanie
Just reading your award winning book The Doctor's Rebel Knight and loving it!
Thanks for the good wishes x

Caroline said...

Go Scarlet! (love your name BTW!) Great blog - and more books to follow as well. Great stuff! Caroline x

Rachael Johns said...

Thanks for sharing your learning curve! All your points were great but I really heed your advice about writing every day and LOVING it!

scarlet wilson said...

Hi Caroline,
thanks for your good wishes. It had to be Scarlet - nothing else suited quite like it!
Where is your New Voices entry for this year? I loved your roman one last year.

scarlet wilson said...

Hi Rach,
You've signed me up for 30,000 words in September, so I've GOT to write every day - otherwise you'll give me into trouble!
Currently at 25,000 and doing a bit of revising today and tomorrow, will still make the target though!

Sonali said...

Hi Scarlet,

Congratulations on your debut novel and wishing you all the best for your upcoming releases!

chey said...

Great blog!

marybelle said...

I like the idea of being able to choose the name you write under. It must be a tricky prospect too.

scarlet wilson said...

Sonali - many thanks

Chey - thanks too!

Marybelle - you have to agree your name with the publishers - sometimes they don't translate well, or they don't like them, so it can be tricky!

scarlet wilson said...

Hi Caroline
My son picked you as the winner, can you go to my website
and fill in the contact form with your address
Many thanks

Caroline said...

Wow! Thanks Scarlet and your lovely son for picking me! Caroline x p.s my NV entry (another Roman) will be up next week after a final Mr Sheen!

Pat Cochran said...

Congratulations on your call!

Good luck on your writing career, sounds
as if you have a very good start!!

Pat C.

Desere said...

Thanks for answering my question !


Desere said...

Thanks for answering my question !


Virginia said...

Thanks for sharing your debut book with us and your learning curve. We all have those. Your book sounds like a fantastic read and I would love to read it.

Kaelee said...

Hi Scarlet ~ coming in late to congratulate you. I really hope some of your books will be released in NA.