Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’m a romance novelist and productivity strategist at SaganMorrow.com. After freelance writing for nearly a decade, I decided to start writing romantic comedies… and two years later, I’ve written and published seven so far! I document my author adventure (and share writing tips and behind-the-scenes experiences) in the Indie Author Weekly podcast.
All seven of these romcoms are part of the Polyamorous Passions series. The tagline for these books is “Make your own rules,” which is very apt: the stories feature 20 & 30-something women “coming into their own,” and learning to embrace who they are, flaws and all. These stories touch on important themes about how we don’t need to force ourselves into societal expectations if we don’t want to. I love sharing about important issues in the entertaining, lighthearted format of romcoms.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
“Her Bad Idea” features Scarlett Mitchell, a burlesque dancer with financial struggles. Her only chance to save her failing burlesque business is to become dance partners with her enemy—who just happens to be outrageously sexy. Things get complicated when she unexpectedly finds herself in an accidental fake relationship with him to garner media ratings… There’s a thin line between love and hate in this dance competition romance!
I’m a hobbyist burlesque dancer myself, so I knew right when I started writing romcoms that I *needed* to write a book featuring someone who does it for a living! Financial difficulties is something that so many of us can relate to, as well—it’s always important to me to write “realism romance,” so that readers can relate to the characters and storyline on a deeper level.
Her Bad Idea is an enemies to lovers, fake relationship, slow burn, forced proximity romance, and even though it’s Book 7 in the Polyamorous Passions series, it can totally be read as a standalone.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
So far, I’ve written each book in my series a little differently. A few of the techniques I’ve used and enjoyed include mind mapping, organizing chapters with colour-coded sticky notes, and having a “Scenes & Ideas” document to jot down quick scenes and dialogue snippets before I sit down to write the first full draft. I give my characters a lot of free rein, but I am definitely more of a plotter than a pantser!
You can learn more about my writing process and writing habits on my podcast, Indie Author Weekly.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Real-life scenarios are the most influential for me—that’s where I get the majority of my inspiration from. The tiniest moment or passing comment or expression can spark new ideas.
As far as authors and books go… I think I’m influenced in one way or another from every book I read! That’s one of the wonderful things about books and stories in general: there’s always something that we can learn from them and be inspired by. I like reading a range of genres to flex those creative muscles.
I saw the TV show Crazy Ex Girlfriend after I’d already written the first few books in my Polyamorous Passions series, and I remember sitting there, watching the first few episodes, and thinking, “This is my style!” I loved that. There’s something really wonderful about seeing other storytellers and creatives using fun, light-hearted mediums to share important messages and touch on very serious issues through a supposedly “fluffy” lens. There’s so much power in stories.
What are you working on now?
I have two more books in my Polyamorous Passions series that I’ll be writing very soon, but first, I’m taking a short break to write a standalone novel—still in the theme of polyamory—about a big city girl getting trapped in a small town, who reconnects with her childhood best friends (spoiler alert: she falls for both of them!). I also have plans to write a paranormal thriller romance and a fantasy erotica soon… romcoms are so wonderful, and I’m also keen to play with other genres.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
The book community. Book bloggers and bookstagrammers and advance readers are some of the most incredible people I’ve ever met. They’re so supportive of indie authors, and they care so much about books and stories. It is such a wonderful privilege to work with them.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Understand your goals with your book, schedule time for writing, create an action plan and timeline for yourself, and write the book YOU want to write. Focus on what brings you joy, rather than worrying about how readers will receive your book.
The more you love your book, the more readers will love it. And if you’re bored writing a particular scene, your readers will probably be bored, reading it.
Write, and write, and write some more. You’ll never be a perfect writer—there’s no such thing as perfection, after all—so enjoy the journey and aim for improvement, rather than perfection.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
“Life is too short, but also too long, NOT to spend it on what you love doing.” So many aspiring authors come to me and say they’d love to write books, but they haven’t done it yet… they’ve been procrastinating for YEARS. And I totally get that, because I used to be that way too.
But really, what are you waiting for? There’s never going to be a “good” time to write a book. If you want it, you need to prioritize it, and take action despite your fears. And then you’ll realize how much your story needs to be out there for the world to read… and how much readers WANT to read keep reading every new book you write.
What are you reading now?
I just signed up for Kobo Plus and downloaded a ton of new books! I love reading other feminist romcoms. Anything lighthearted and fun is on my list right now. I also find Face Reading fascinating, and since I have a Rhetoric & Communications degree, I’m really interested in communication theory and how we connect with one another.
What’s next for you as a writer?
More books! I’m currently working to make the author side of my business my main focus. I’m very multi-passionate and I adore the work I do as a productivity strategist—and at the same time, one of my biggest goals is to be able to make a full-time living as an author.
I’m eager to keep writing more books. Writing makes my heart happy, and I view it as its own form of activism, to be able to share your messages and values with the world through story.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Emma by Jane Austen, The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell, and probably something by Neil Postman or Malcolm Gladwell… but I think it would depend on my mood at the time! I’m a big mood reader.