About the Author
Award winning Sam Cheever writes romantic paranormal/fantasy and mystery/suspense, creating stories that celebrate the joy of love in all its forms. Known for writing great characters, snappy dialogue, and unique and exhilarating stories, Sam is the bestselling author of 50+ books and has been writing for over a decade under several noms de plume.
What inspires you to write romance books?
I’m a sucker for a happily ever after story. A love story that overcomes hardship and misunderstanding is an inspiration. It gives you the strength to face your real life problems and a place to escape to when you need to stop thinking about life’s challenges for a while. Plus, romance fiction allows me to write strong, sexy heroes who make my toes curl and cause my pulse to speed up. #:0) And that’s never a bad thing!
Tell us about how you write:
I’m a slogger rather than a sprinter. I don’t write a full rough draft of a book in a week and then go back and do extensive rewrites as some authors do. I write about a scene a day and when that scene is done it’s fairly clean. I set a daily writing goal for myself of around a thousand words. Most days I’ll write more than that, some days less. I generally write 6 days a week–7 when I’m on deadline. On non-writing days I do administrative and promotional work. (I manage two blogs and two websites)
As far as the actual process, when I start writing a book I usually have a very broad idea of what I’d like the story to be about. I sit down and write a quick, high level premise for where the story needs to go. Then I just start writing. About half way through I hit a wall because I need to get more specific about where I’m taking the storyline. Once I figure that out, the second half of the book usually flows pretty smoothly.
Most years this process culminates in 6 to 8 novellas or full length novels.
Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Mostly I talk and they listen. My characters understand that I’m the boss. It’s no democracy in my office. I’m a benevolent dictator who directs where everybody goes and what everybody does. It has to be this way because, in real life I have absolutely no control over anything. LOL So I assert control where I can. Or at least I pretend I have control. For a little while. #:0)
What advice would you give other writers?
1. Keep writing, because you will improve with practice. No matter how good you are when you start out, you can always learn something that will improve your writing. And never stop learning. Don’t think you know everything about the art of writing because you don’t. I recently went back to some books I wrote 5 years ago and was both appalled and pleased by the improvements in my writing since then.
2. Start creating an online presence for yourself early, well before the first book comes out.
3. Always be yourself. Don’t try to manufacture a persona you think will appeal. People will know if you’re not being genuine.
4. Ultimately people buy from people they like. It won’t matter how talented you are if you treat people badly. The karma monster is always waiting around the corner to take you down if you treat other people badly.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I’ve actually self published as well as published more traditionally through small press publishers. I think most authors need to do both. You need to start out going a more traditional route and then, when the time is right, branch out to publish your own stuff.
The first book I wrote was accepted by a traditional print publisher. But before it could be released, the publisher closed its doors. So I self published it. That was before Indie publishing had really started to gain steam so I was really chugging up a steep hill. When I finished ‘Tween Heaven and Hell (Book 1, Dancin’ With the Devil) I decided to try a more traditional route and offered it to Ellora’s Cave.
Once I got name recognition and had built my platform I started writing original content to self publish. I’ve since gone on to publish close to 30 books under my own imprint, both original and re-published works. I like having control over the books I publish and it allows me to market them more creatively. But I still have books with publishing houses and probably always will, because those companies gave me my start and I owe them a certain amount of allegiance.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think this is a wonderful time to be a writer. Not only has the digital market exploded and continued to grow at a rate that outpaces print, but the traditional ways of publishing have changed dramatically. The changes have created as many opportunities as they have challenges. With the loss of gatekeepers, it’s impossible to deny that the publishing landscape has become a bit like the real world equivalent of The Walking Dead. The publishing industry is undergoing an apocalypse and there are a lot of stinky, gooey zombies lurking beneath ugly, home made covers out there. But there’s real gold too. Self publishing is no longer the poor, unwashed ugly cousin to “real” publishing. It’s now a real competitor and its influence continues to grow. Talented, professional authors are taking control of their own destinies and launching high quality reads under their own brand. It’s fun. It’s profitable. It’s highly satisfying. As apocalypses go, it’s definitely a good one!
What genres do you write:: Romantic Suspense, Mystery, Paranormal/Horror/Sci Fi, M/M Romantic Suspense/Mystery, Paranormal (as Declan Sands), Young Adult Fantasy/Paranormal (as s.i. decker)
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
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