We’ve had a couple of no-shows with the Author Dream Series lately but the lovely women’s fiction/romantic comedy author, Laura Heffernan!
As a child, I wanted to be a writer, a veterinarian, or (sadly) a model on Star Search. Well, it turns out, I’m terrified of blood so all medical-related professions are out. Models have to be a good eight inches taller than I will ever be, but one out of three isn’t bad, right? I wrote my first short story at five years old and never stopped. Today, I’m proud to be able to call myself a published author.
When I first started writing, I had big dreams. I’d self-publish on Amazon. One day, I’d casually glance at my account, maybe during a lull in dinner with my friends, and be shocked to see tens of thousands of sales (or more!), despite not having looked at my ranking at all. Or I’d get an agent, get a Big 5 deal a few weeks later, and hit the New York Times bestseller list. In retrospect, both of those are pretty hilarious. For one thing, if I could go an entire week without checking my Amazon numbers, it would be a miracle.
After some research, I realized that self-publishing really wasn’t right for me, so I focused on the traditional publishing world. Although I still held onto my dreams of finding an agent quickly, a fast sale, and best sellerdom, it didn’t take long to learn that publishing doesn’t exactly move at the speed of my imagination. Achieving my dreams would take years, not weeks or months. Some dreams might never come true, and I had to learn to be okay with that. I can never debut at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, because I am a year past my first release. You only get one debut. But that’s okay. Still, part of me keeps dreaming of movie deals, of selling books at multi-house auctions, of getting that huge check to let me quit my day job.
Currently, I have three books traditionally published, with three more contracted to come out in the next couple of years. So many of my friends are still looking for that first deal, or are still querying agents after many years of trying. When things get frustrating, it helps me to go back and remind myself how far I’ve come. I wish I’d known earlier how important it is to celebrate even the little victories. Publishing can be a roller coaster, with steep drop-offs and unexpected turns. Being able to see everything I’ve accomplished makes it easier to keep going, especially on days when that dream of getting a movie deal or a six-figure advance seems impossible.
Over time, I decided to make a list of all the different things I wanted to accomplish in my writing career. Some are relatively small – write a complete manuscript. Some are bigger – get 1,000 positive reviews. And the pie-in-the-sky dreams are still on there. But what I’ve found is that I get a sense of accomplishment from checking off each achievement on that list as I get there. I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve hit several dreams on that list, including getting a publishing contract, getting over 100 reviews on Amazon, and being asked to blurb for another author. There’s still a lot left on the list, but I appreciate having goals to work toward.
When writers who are just starting out ask for advice, I tell them two things. First, celebrate the little things. Make a specific folder on your computer where you save compliments and positive feedback, or print them out and put them in a binder. Read it when you’re feeling down. The only way to get through this business is to take time to focus on the positive. I also tell them to find their author support network. Make friends with other writers, because they’ll understand what you’re going through in ways non-writers simply can’t, no matter how awesome they are. When things aren’t going well, your wrier friend are the ones who’ll pick you up and carry you through. Just remember to complain to them privately. Not on social media. With a strong support group and a reminder of the good things you’ve done, it’s much easier to go trudging forward even when it seems like the roller coaster is stalled at the bottom.
Title: Reality Wedding
Author: Laura Heffernan
Say ‘I Do’-Or Else
When Jen Reid escaped a reality TV cruise with her relationship intact-if not her hair-she swore she was done with the cameras for good. Sure, she and Justin met, had their first kiss, and got engaged with tape rolling, but manufactured drama and ruthless producers have shaken them up more times than she can count. With Jen’s reality-themed bakery just getting started and her brand-new lawyer fiancé in a pile of debt, they’re a long way from glitz and glamour, and that’s fine by Jen. Until the Network calls and tells her that unless she says “I do” to a wedding special, Justin will be out of a job.
Now Jen has two weeks to plan an all-expenses-paid “dream wedding”-and dodge the tricks and traps of a showrunner happy to mess up her future in the name of ratings. Luckily for Jen, she’s got plenty of experience with cake and popcorn. But when real-life drama and reality TV twists collide, the cliffhangers may just follow her right down the aisle . . .
About the Author
Laura Heffernan is bringing geeky realness to a bookshelf near you. The REALITY STAR series is now available, with the GAMER GIRL series coming in 2019. When not watching total strangers get married, drag racing queens, or cooking competitions, Laura enjoys board games, travel, board games, baking, and board games. She lives in the northeast with her husband and two furry little beasts.
Connect with Laura Heffernan