Today I welcome Author Mahalia Levey to the L.O.V.E. blog. Mahalia is a best-selling author of red hot romance, but she also delves into paranormal and fantasy writing. With 20 novels already under her belt, Mahalia continues to write and shares some useful advice to writers looking for a career as an author. Here's what she had to say:
When did you first start writing?
My first story was about a pencil in first grade. I wrote some poetry and teenage angst in Junior High and High School and some fanfic where I was the heroine in the local shows back then. I fell out of writing and picked it back up in 2007 on a few forums. In 2009, I submitted to Phaze and got a rejection but revised and resubmitted and entered into the Publishing industry.
Since 2009, I’ve published 20 works. I write in many genres. Contemporary, Interracial, African American, Military, Paranormal Shifters, Paranormal Demons and romance based on cosmic laws of nature…not sure where that falls! I enjoy paranormal because I love to build worlds and realms.
How did you get inspired to write?
I sat down one day and the words began flowing. I created characters and bios and from there, I formulated how I’d do my premise, blurb and titles. Music and art inspire me a lot. So do street signs, billboards and any other observation I can make.
Who is your favorite author to read?
Sherrilyn Kenyon is my favorite author to read. I love the way she built the Dark Hunter series and her other works co-written.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I don’t know what free time is! I do make time to read though. I find it relaxing to sit back and relax. At home on game nights, we do nothing but board games. Balderdash is this month’s game. The teens, my fiancé and I will play for hours - no cell phones, computers, or any other electronic is allowed.
E-books or paperbacks?
Both! I love e-books and can’t wait for my Kindle Fire! I also love print books but only have one bookshelf. I plan on keeping it that way and just buying the rest of the series I have and love in print.
What advice would you give someone considering a career as an author?
Research. Do tons of research. Piers Anthony has a Q&A site on the web that encompasses many e-book and print houses. He has quarterly reports on there. P and E also has some great feedback. Ask around when shopping. Check royalty rates and ask other authors if they’re willing to share their personal experiences. Find out how the publishers pay - direct deposit, paypal, check, visa pay card. It’s important to know what works best for you going in.
If you’re new to writing, it’s very important to get into a great critique group or to find one. The net has a lot of low or free classes available to brush up on technique. There’s no such thing as a stupid question. Authors love to pay it forward so make sure you ask away. Learn your audience and figure out what your brand is going to be before you begin. Promoting is time consuming. Find out where you can promote and look for great deals. Find out if your publishers help promote or if it all falls on you. Some smaller publishers don’t help promote.
Finally, coffee or tea? Which flavor(s)?
Neither. Both have stimulant properties in them and I have SVT aka a racy heart so no stimulants for me. I do go to Panera Bread Co and Starbucks for their decaf latte’s that taste the same. Last month was Pumpkin Spice!
**GIVEAWAY**As a thank you to her readers, Mahalia is giving away a free e-book! To enter for a chance to win, please leave a comment below with your VALID e-mail address. The winner will be randomly drawn on November 30 and notified by e-mail. Here are the e-books up for grabs:
|E-book Choice #1|
|E-book Choice #2|
|E-book Choice #3|
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