Friday, November 8, 2013

Guest Post: Author Winslow Eliot

How/why did you start to write?
Even before I learned how to write, I used to fill up blank notebooks with scrawls and symbols that I would pretend was real “writing.” So there was never a real “beginning” – it was something I always did.

How did you become an author?
I moved to New York City after graduating from college and was determined to make it as a novelist. By the end of my first year I was still working at temp jobs and plastering my bathroom wall with hundreds of rejection letters LOL. The rejections didn’t bother me – at least not enough to keep me from sending out manuscripts. I felt like a “real” writer every time I got one.

What was your first published piece?
I finally sold a romance novel to an editor – we met at a pretty wild party and hit it off. I sent her a mystery I’d written, which wasn’t her thing, but she bought several romances from me instead.

Where was it published?
A publishing house called NAL/Signet – they were launching a new romance line called “Rapture Romance.” Very steamy, romantic, tales… I loved writing those!  

How long ago?
My first romance novel was published in 1983.

What did you do before embarking on your writing career? Was it an asset to your writing? How?
I did play lots of music, but I never wanted to do anything but write, most of the time.

What inspires you?
I love to dance – a sufi form of meditative dance is my favorite. Also, walking in nature, people, friends ... and I teach high school writing and I do find that very inspiring. Teenagers are wonderful.

Please share one of your successful author platform building technique
I think having a really great website is the most important aspect of your author platform. The social media connections will ebb and flow, some become more important, or you join a great community somewhere else – but any time you connect with someone in a friendly way, you need to have a way to connect them back to a place where someone might become interested enough in you to buy your book. I also believe that having your own domain name is important, otherwise you’re just giving “hits” to blogspot or wordpress, rather than to your own name. It’s not expensive, but it does make a difference in the long run. But best of all, you can really try to convey a sense of who you are in a website. You can present your personality and your books through your posts and photos.

What’s a highlight of your publishing career? 
I have lots – but winning awards, one for my novel Heaven Falls, and three for my nonfiction What Would You Do If There Was Nothing You Had To Do? has been incredibly gratifying. There’s nothing like feeling recognized.

Parting words
Enjoy your writing journey! I wish more writers would create a more loving relationship with Writing, so that they are kinder to it and to themselves – treating it like the special, sacred relationship that it truly is. I have had so many ups and so many downs – really down, at times! – that I look back now and say, with Collette: “I lived a wonderful life – I only wish I had realized it sooner.”

Here is the Amazon link to The Happiness Cure:

All my books are also described and available on my website:

Social media links: