Emily Guido explains how passion, marketing, and editing are the driving forces behind her success as a self-published author in her interview below.
While some of us struggle to complete five pages in a week, Miss. Guido was able to author 100,000 words of her romantic urban fantasy Charmeine in a week.
The need to tell the story of a love between a hellish blood-hunter and a heavenly light-bearer, a love that seemed destined for failure, transformed her into a typing goddess.
Even though she is currently busy working on the continuation of Charmeine, Ransom which will be released May 2012, Miss. Guido kindly set aside some time to share how she edited on a budget.
Read what keeps Miss. Guido writing and be inspired.
Straight from the author’s mouth: Editing on a budget
Can you tell us about the Light-Bearer Series?
“The Light-Bearer Series” is a set of books that feature a couple, Charmeine (Heavenly Light-Bearer) and Tabbruis (Hellish Vampire Blood-Hunter) who are total opposites. They come from different times and mostly are different in what makes them tick and think. I got in my head how two people like that should be so far apart in the axis, that yes, they would attract and clash hard together like two polar magnets.
One real twist of the story is that these were not two very different people meeting each other and falling in love, these were two super-human immortals, one which was a blood-hunter with super-fast strength and speed, and one with the ability to throw light.
To throw a wrench into that, they both were supposed to kill each other’s species on sight! The blood-hunters destroyed the light-bearers and vice-a-versa.
The biggest twist is that they find that they were once made by God for each other in Heaven and were separated by some mistake in which their family was broken up and scattered on the Earth in different times.
Once they declare their love for each other, to remain on Earth with their family, they and their family must battle Evil on Earth stamping out the minions which Lucifer has dispatched on the Earth.
Why did you choose to write Charmeine and Ransom?
I was compelled with this clear cut idea in my head. I had to write it down and could not type the words fast enough on my laptop. I wanted to get it out of my head because the idea kept rolling around in it. I would like to believe it was some sort of mystic muse inspiring me, but it was like I had been sent to a movie, and I was asked to give a detailed description of it and review it.
Ransom is just the continuation of the wonderful and terrifying adventure Tabbruis and Charmeine have on the Earth. However, Ransom is not the same definition you and I think of Ransom being. I think once the reader actually reads it, they say, “So that’s what Ransom is!” I thought the idea was too crazy, and there is always the moment of second-guessing yourself thinking this sounds too pedestrian; however, if it can make me cry or believe it while I write it, then I know it is good!
How long did it take you to write ‘Charmeine’?
For ‘Charmeine’, it only took me about a week or so to have 100,000 words down! That’s how fast I was typing. I was just trying to catch up to the movie that was playing in my head. After about 3 weeks or so, I had finished with over 130,000 words. Finished typing, not edited. Editing took a lot of time
How long is it taking you to write Ransom?
I will have to admit that Ransom took longer but it wasn’t because the movie stopped, I had so much to do in promoting my first novel ‘Charmeine’. If I was left to do nothing but write, I would have all four novels done in a matter of months. I have Tabbruis and Charmeine’s adventures in my head; I just don’t have the time to get it out. You see, I must explain that I work full time and go to MBA school full time also, so the only time I have to write is late into the night. Plus I have the normal things I must do that we all have to do, laundry, cooking, cleaning and dishes. With my schedule, it makes for a lot of late, late nights and coffee-filled days.
Any Editing Tips?
Ah yes, there-in lies the rub! I am a good writer but not a good editor and it is so impossible to do my own editing, at least that is how it is for me. I cannot afford to hire a professional editor, and at this point, I am not even able to afford to print out ‘Charmeine’ or ‘Ransom’. So, I had to rely on myself for “Charmeine.” Good thing I couldn’t afford to print the books out because now I have found two beta readers who will read ‘Charmeine’ for me and give me the edit fixes that I could not see. Being an independent self-publishing author, the first thing you will hear as a critical comment is the editing. Then you want to go slink down into the woodwork because you try to do it, but you can’t edit your own writing, it is too hard. So, if you are like me and do not have the money for an editor, try to find a beta reader or two who will help. If not, be ready for a star to be taken away during the review.
If you could share one tip you learned with self-published authors who share the same dream of being a successful author what would it be?
I would tell anyone to prepare themselves not for the writing or even the editing… it is the promotion of the novel. Listen to this advice… Your novel will not be successful if you do not promote it and promote the heck out of it! That means separating time away from writing and allotting yourself time each day to post on your Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest, and email! Also, your cell phone is your best friend. Make sure it is adaptable to all these social engines. My last piece of advice will be simple, make time for you… read, review other books from indie author as well as published authors, get some exercise and try to take all the pitfalls in stride. Think of this like being an adventure and not like a sprint. As my husband keeps telling me, “It only takes one, Emily, it only take one.” One person to buy your novel, one person to read your novel, one person to review your novel, and one person to spread the word about your novel on a blog… and then your novel’s appeal will grow exponentially. Good luck and just remember… it only takes one!
- Emily Guido: Writing 100,000 words in a week (lawreigns.com)
- I can’t believe you exist! Snippet from “Charmeine” First Novel in “The Light-Bearer Series” (emilyguido.com)
- “Charmeine’ The First Novel in “The Light-Bearer Series” (emilyguido.com)