I’ve been writing ever since I was old enough to string words together into cohesive sentences. In fact, I wrote my first “book” in the third grade. Looking back on it now, the story and craft were understandably lacking, but the heart was there. And some 20+ years later, here I am. Celebrating the release of my debut novel into the wild. The realization of a dream I’ve had since childhood, and one of the biggest moments of my life.
The journey from wannabe writer to published author has been a long and arduous one, filled with endless roadblocks and countless lessons. One of the first I learned that set the stage for my ultimate success? You’re never a “wannabe” anything, especially not a writer. If you write, then you’re a writer. End of story. Hard stop. It took me realizing that fact before I was able to pick myself up by the bootstraps and take my own dreams seriously.
Before I accepted my writing “hobby” as so very, very much more than that, I never let anyone read my words. I would write in secret, hiding my half-finished manuscripts in a labyrinth of oddly named subfolders so no one could accidentally stumble across them. Even my husband, who knows me better than anyone else in the world, had only the vaguest inclination I still harbored those writerly hopes.
Surprisingly enough, it took joining the Twitter #amwriting community before I found the courage to face down my self-imposed barriers. The support and encouragement offered by the people I’ve met there has been invaluable to my growth and development as a writer. They taught me to not only share my words, but to welcome constructive criticism. Especially when I found my writing squad—a group of amazing and inspiring people who guided me through the twisted path that led me to where I am today.
Before I joined Twitter—only a few short years ago—I knew nothing of the publishing industry and even less about the myriad of rules that structure the writerly craft. I had only ever written for pleasure or academia, never with a true goal of putting my words into the world. But with my #amwriting—and, eventually, my #writeLGBTQ—peeps in my corner, I opened myself to the grueling process of learning to be a “publishable” writer.
Beauregard and the Beast isn’t the first novel I’ve finished over the years. In fact, it’s lucky number seven. But it is the first book I wrote, in its entirety, after discovering the beauty of beta readers and the precious value of critique partners. Through that process—both by allowing others to provide feedback on my work and by doing the same for them—I learned how to truly write. From both a technical and emotional standpoint. But even more important? I discovered my voice.
If there’s any advice I could give to aspiring authors out there, it would be this: Never give up and don’t hold back. Open yourself to criticism and embrace change. We all must start somewhere but that doesn’t mean we have to stay there. It isn’t easy as a writer to hand over your words and accept anything less than glowing feedback. The things we write are near and dear to our hearts, but by keeping them under lock and key—or by ignoring the genuine constructive criticism offered by our peers—we’re only hurting ourselves. And, last but not least, don’t get too attached to one idea. Keep writing new things and exploring your voice. With every sentence you write, you learn. If one story doesn’t get you to where you want to be, perhaps the next will.
RELEASE WEEK GIVE AWAY (ENTER BY AUGUST 26th, WINNERS ANNOUNCED AUGUST 27th, 2019):
The GRAND PRIZE WINNER will receive a personalized signed copy of Beauregard and the Beast, a $100 Amazon Gift Card, and an assortment of author swag! The RUNNER-UP will receive a personalized signed copy of Beauregard and the Beast and an assortment of author swag! Your followers can enter by clicking the following link: https://promosimple.com/ps/e886/b
A Once Upon a Vegas Night Tale
His greatest prize can’t be won in the octagon.
Champion MMA fighter Adam Littrell needs no distractions as he prepares for the fight that will determine whether he retires. But when he opens the door of his swanky Las Vegas home to his new personal assistant, Bo Wilkins, staying focused becomes a struggle.
Aware of Adam’s surly reputation, Bo doesn’t expect to like his new employer, let alone fall for him. But Bo is pleasantly surprised when a shared love of books leads them to study for their GEDs together and plan for a life after their current careers. Adam won’t be able to fight forever, and Bo wants a relationship on equal footing.
But just as their relationship is getting off the ground, the sister Bo raised needs his help, and he drops everything. With Adam’s final match looming and Bo in a different city, reuniting will be the real challenge.
Evie Drae has won first place in seven Romance Writers of America® competitions and is a double finalist in the 2019 Golden Heart®. She landed her literary agent Eva Scalzo from Speilburg Literary following a dual win in the 2018 RWA® Heart to Heart.
She loves encouraging her fellow writers and started the #writeLGBTQ and #promoLGBTQ hashtags on Twitter to support LGBTQ+ authors and allies. She is married to the love of her life, is the mother of three fur babies, and runs almost entirely on coffee and good vibes.
WHERE TO FIND EVIE:
LINK TO BOOK TRAILER: https://youtu.be/c0cUznn1AW4
NEWSLETTER SIGN-UP: http://eepurl.com/dymBtz