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Aug 30

The Business of Books: Jane Cable talks to Choclit author and Romaniac Laura E James

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THE BUSINESS OF BOOKS: Connect, engage – and write!

Jane Cable talks to Choclit author and Romaniac Laura E James

1: How much of your working life does the business of books take up?

I like to start the day by clearing my emails and writing my guest posts, updating the accounts, attending to social media – connecting with readers and writers, sharing book-related news, creating adverts – before settling into working on the manuscript, be that research, writing or editing. Quite often time will run away from me, so I’m attempting to stick to a plan of sorting out on what I loosely term admin, until 11:00, leaving the rest of the day for writing, which is anything from one to seven hours. It’s not an exact answer to the question because my working day depends on my health. I have autoimmune conditions, which can dictate my hours.

2: What’s your business model to earn a living from writing?

It’s only recently I’ve converted my way of thinking to writing as a business, so I’m learning and in the process of developing the business model. I write character and issue driven relationship novels, I engage on social media, run workshops and present talks to groups interested in writing and/or my books, take part in interviews, and network when possible. In its simplest form: keep writing, keep engaging, and keep building my readership.

3: What do you write and what do you consider to be your major successes?

I write commercial fiction, often centred on family relationships, with issues and moral dilemmas sending my characters down dark paths. There are strong elements of romance, so I will always guide my characters and my readers towards a happy or hopeful ending. I’m a Jodi Picoult fan and reading her books has had a major influence on what and possibly, how I write.

My first major success was being shortlisted for a short story competition run by Choc Lit (publisher), which resulted in my entry achieving the runner-up position. I repeated this with their second short story competition, and went on to have my debut, TRUTH OR DARE?, published with them.

FOLLOW ME FOLLOW YOU, my second book, was my first to go into paperback, large print, and audio, and the moment I received my author copies is one I cherish. In January 2017, the book was chosen by Apple to be the free iBook of the Week, and it hit the number one spot – my first number one. I was on a writing retreat with friends at the time. Celebrations were had.

My latest novel, WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU, spearheaded a new imprint – Dark Choc Lit. I feel privileged to have had that opportunity and love that an imprint is in place for darker, harder hitting novels. This is the first of my novels to be sold through WH Smith, in the Travel shops, which is a dream come true.

The Romaniacs, an online blogging group of eight writers, formed in 2011, has to be one of my favourite successes, but it’s not my success, it’s our success. The support and friendship is phenomenal, as is the output – seven out of eight are published/to be published, and/or with agents. In 2015, we won the inaugural RNA Industry Media Stars Award for our work in promoting the romance writing industry. But the real success is how eight people, who met through the Festival of Romance and the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme, have formed solid friendships for life.

4: Tell me about your latest project.

I’m working on two projects – a mother-daughter relationship story, which has been planned, researched and mapped out on one of my white boards, but is hovering in the background, maturing, and a novel about rebuilding one’s life from the ground floor up, following an emotionally abusive relationship.

Laura E James writes romance without the soft edges.
For further information, go to: www.lauraejames.co.uk or www.theromaniacs.co.uk