07-14-18 Cassandra O’Leary

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Christy Carlyle: Finding a Path That Fits

Happy anniversary, Genre-istas! How time flies. I will always be grateful to Romancing the Genres and its blog queens for what they taught me about myself as a writer and the fun and discipline involved in blogging regularly. Thank you so much for inviting me back!

For those who don’t know me, I write Victorian-set historical romance.

I refer to 2015 as my whirlwind year. I signed my first traditional publishing contract with Avon/Harper Collins to release a three-book Victorian historical romance series for their digital-first Avon Impulse line. Now those books—One Scandalous Kiss, One Tempting Proposal, and One Dangerous Desire—are in the hands of readers. Between March of 2015 and 2016, I gained a publisher, developed a relationship with my fabulous editor, signed on with an agent, and even made the USA Today bestseller list due to a mix of crossed fingers, all the stars aligning, and a successful price reduction-paid promo combo. Currently I’m working on the first book, Rules for a Rogue, in a new three-book Avon Impulse Victorian historical romance series. Whew. Yep, definitely a whirlwind.

Looking ahead, I believe 2016 and beyond is about finding my path in the larger hybrid world of publishing. If I consider this process as an equation, I have to admit that I don’t yet have the answer, but I know it involves finding balance between my goals, time, and commitments. Before I signed with Avon, I’d published three stories independently as part of my Whitechapel Wager series. I still plan to continue that series, as well as begin new ones.

The most exciting aspect of being an authorpreneur—a term coined, I believe, by Romancing the Genres’ own Kris Tualla—is the opportunity to forge our own unique paths as authors. The current publishing landscape presents us with lots of options and myriad challenges. To that end, I’ve learned to try new things, like joining the February 2016 boxed set, Passionate Promises, with several authors from the Embracing Romance group blog.

Learning how to be a better writer, marketer, and manager of my own time and author platform is now my full-time occupation. As a former teacher, the opportunity to continue learning thrills me, even if the possibilities sometimes feel overwhelming. Whatever path I settle on has to allow me to embrace challenges gracefully while never ever losing my love for the writing itself. If my whirlwind year taught me anything, it is that writing engaging and emotional stories trumps everything else.

What do you do to find a balanced path in your life? If you’re writer, do have any tips on juggling the multiple demands of authorpreneurship?

Christy Carlyle

Christy Carlyle
Fueled by Pacific Northwest coffee and inspired by multiple viewings of every British costume drama she can get her hands on, USA Today bestselling author Christy Carlyle writes sensual historical romance set in the Victorian era. She loves heroes who struggle against all odds and heroines who are ahead of their time.

A former teacher with a degree in history, she finds there's nothing better than being able to combine her love of the past with a die-hard belief in happy endings.


Diana McCollum said...

Congrats on all your good news! Did you keep submitting while self publishing? Or did the publishing houses find your Indie books and approach you? You are one busy lady. Again, Congrats!

Margaret Tanner said...

Congratulations on all your wonderful news.



Christy Carlyle said...

Thanks, Diana! I submitted to Avon in early 2015. Doing so was on my New Year's Resolution list that year. :) That occasion was the only time I've ever submitted to a publisher, and it worked out well! I believe my editor did go and check out my indie books before contracting me, but I'm not sure they made much of a difference in her decision.

Christy Carlyle said...

Thanks, Margaret! :)

Anonymous said...

It's been fun witnessing your journey, and I am sooooo happy for all your success.

I do want to make a correction. Authorpreneur I believe was originally coined by Joanna Penn of the Creative Penn. She lives in the U.K. I remember her using it in 2012 in a presentation on her blog and in a discussion with the Alliance of Independent Authors.

As for balance, that is a constant challenge for me. I keep trying new things, but I'm not quite there yet. I think a big part of it is letting go a bit. Deciding what must be done, what needs to be done, and letting go of the rest.

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Hi Christy, I enjoyed your post. I agree that it is a big world out there with lots of options, which is kind of a double-edged sword. Lots of great choices, but lots of work learning about all of them!

Yes, Maggie, setting priorities and letting go of things is important. Personally, I am traditionally published and still learning more about my craft as well as the business side of things. The one thing that helps me from getting too overwhelmed is keeping a calendar and a weekly schedule. It feels good to check things off the list. :-)

Linda Lovely said...

Hi, Christy--I've been so pleased to see your well-deserved success with Avon. You are certainly a multi-talented person, and I hope your success continus to blossom. Authoreneurship like most business ventures entails ups and downs. For me, the hardest thing is to remember in the down sales/promotion periods that another up is just ahead on the graph paper. Luckily, I love writing and inventing, which can pull me out of just about any funk. Good post and good question.

Christy Carlyle said...

Thanks, Maggie! Yes, if Joanna coined the term, then all credit to her. However, I first encountered it via Kris's book, Becoming an Authorprenuer, and I think the first version came out in 2011. Maybe Kris will see this post and weigh in. :)

Christy Carlyle said...

Hi Lynn. Thanks for commenting! I agree that planning is essential. I have multiple calendars and daily To Do lists to keep me moving forward, but sometimes life throws a curveball nonetheless. However, I couldn't finish books in three or four months unless I was keeping myself on track with forward planning.

Christy Carlyle said...

Hi Linda! :) Nice to see a comment from you, and thank you. You make an excellent point about not getting sucked into the doldrums during down times. Part of the learning curve for me is to not get too carried away by either success or lack of it. Swinging on that emotional pendulum can affect everything—motivation, productivity, drive. You're right. The ups and downs will come, but we need to try to stay the steady course with our goals and writing.

Judith Ashley said...

Christy, you are an inspiration to me. My only regret about your success is that you no longer create beautiful covers! Best wishes for even more success!!! RTG can say "We knew her when!"

FYI: First printing of Kris Tualla's book is 2010.

Christy Carlyle said...

Thanks, Judith, and thank you so much for inviting me back to post!