Renee Writes

About Me

About Me

 

bratpicWhere I’m from…

I live in Australia with my husband and daughter, but I was born in a town called Neptune in the US state of New Jersey. I lived in New Jersey until I was about thirteen when I moved with my family to Florida. In my young adult years I lived up and down the east coast in places like Pennsylvania, New York and Virginia.

How I ended up in Australia…

I met my husband online in a chat room. We were friends for many months before our relationship started becoming more serious. We decided we wanted to meet each other in person, so I came out to Australia to meet him. I have not been back to the US since. We married about three months later and we are still happily married today (yeah, it can happen)! 😀

When I started writing…

My first real writing experience took place when I was living in Florida. I was in high school at the time, and as part of my mass media class we were asked to write a radio script for a contest a local universities radio show was hosting. I was grouped with two of my other classmates and we decided to write a medieval spoof with a lot of Star Wars references called A Knight to Forget. We ended up winning 1st place in the contest.

I’ve always loved making up stories. I usually made them up in my head for my own personal amusement. Sometimes I shared them, but I never considered writing them down until I was in college. As part of my English class, we were asked to write a few short stories. My instructor was so impressed with some of mine he asked me to read them to the class (much to my embarrassment). One day after class he called me up to his desk and asked me if I had ever considered getting published.

It was not something I ever considered doing. I loved to write, but I loved to write for myself. I was really too shy to share my work with others. He got the gears in my head going though, and I started wondering, “what if?” I became involved in a simulation role-playing game online, which involved doing a lot of writing. It was much like a collaborative writing effort, but you had your own character that you wrote for. The more involved I became in the SIM, and the more compliments I received about my writing, the more my confidence grew.

I decided I would love to write professionally, but I had no idea where to start or what to write. So it was many years of just taking correspondence courses and lots of research about the industry before I really got my start. I began mostly with writing articles and short stories. I shared many of them at places like Suite 101 and other similar sites where you could share your work with others. I never had the courage to officially submit my work to a publication, however.

When I decided I wanted to write a novel, I took a novel-writing correspondence course. As I worked through the course, I had a nearly completed novel, but I wasn’t happy with it. I decided to try again… and again… and again…

I think you get the point. I’m a perfectionist, and I’ve never been happy enough with anything I’ve written to get it published. I learned my biggest problem was I was editing as I wrote. I made myself a promise this year (2014) I would just write and then edit. I would get the idea out and then work on refining it. So far so good…

Why I decided to self-publish…

I want to start by saying I have nothing against traditional publishing. I’m not afraid of a publisher or editor making drastic changes or “ruining” my baby. In fact, I have a friend who is a published author, and she’s done a lot of editing for me. On the last manuscript I sent her, she suggested an entire rewrite with some other suggestions, and I didn’t even balk at it. She had some great ideas. So my problem definitely is NOT that I am over-protective of my work.

Now that, that is out of the way…

My main reason for deciding to self-publish is I see the publishing industry changing very drastically, but I don’t see the publishing companies changing quickly enough to keep up. Not that it’s any fault of theirs. It’s not easy to make these kinds of changes in a big business (or even a small one). I feel as though I can better keep up with the changes on my own, and not find myself locked in a contract that may prevent me from adapting to a new technology or other things that may come up.

I’ve also got a very entrepreneurial mindset. I love the feeling of working things out for myself and the satisfaction that comes with succeeding at something I did myself. Keep in mind though, I did not go into this decision lightly. I’ve wavered back and forth for years, and when I decided I would definitely self-publish, I spent a lot of time doing research on publishing, marketing and promotion. I have taken courses on marketing as well, and plan to take more in the near future. Self-publishing is a lot of work, but it’s very rewarding too.

For a complete list of everything I’m working on, check out my Works in Progress page.

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