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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Introvert With a Touch of Shyness by Janice Seagraves

Janice Seagraves, published author

Introvert with a Bad Case of Shyness
By Janice Seagraves

Hi, my name is Janice Seagraves. I’m a romance writer.

I’m actually more introverted than shy.  But unfortunately things do change.

At thirteen I fell in love with books, reading Tolkien and Marguerite Henry, among others. I loved getting lost among the mountain passes along with Bilbo and his friends, or fall in love with the ponies of Chincoteague.  In high school, I read the Lord of the Rings and The Tripods novels by John Christopher, after which I progressed to other fantasy and SF books.

Books became my refuge. Books never judge you, or say mean things to you. They are there for you, whenever you want them to be.

I kept my nose firmly and happily buried, for God knows how many hours. But introverted or not, love finally found me. After I graduated from HS, I married my husband.

When I was twenty, I tried my hand at writing. And found it harder than it looks. I wrote off and on for years as I learned to put my thoughts into words, but sadly never completed that first novel.
Than twelve years ago when my daughter was eight, I decided I would write toward publication. I made it my mission to learn as much as I could about the craft of writing. 

Hubby was very supportive and bought me a laptop computer. Delighted with the gift, I industriously wore the letters off the keys.

I started out small with short stories. Then I bought the Writer’s Market. Carefully, I studied the publishers and contests listed. I sent off for guidelines so I could send out my shorts, but was unfortunately rejected many times.

But I kept at it, determined to see something of mine in print.

Eventually, I started writing book length manuscripts. Now I had a much longer word count to work with, so I was able to explore my characters’ personal growth, sexual tension and eventual the moment when my couple falls in love.

Eventually, my depute novel was published just days before my daughter graduated from high school. My first book is called Windswept Shores; it’s a contemporary erotic romance, its still available through amazon and smashwords.

I was very excited. But I also had to learn to promote.

The internet is a God send for promotions and reaching out to readers. But when I talk to a stranger in person about my book, I found myself stammering and blushing.

Had I suddenly developed a bad case of shyness?

Oh, God. I have.

Then one day when I was at the dentist office, having my teeth cleaned. The hygienist asked what I was doing. I told her I had a book published. As I talked to her, I think I must have been as red as a beet, but I forced myself to continue. She was very excited and wanted to buy my book.

I told myself this is something I must do. I had to get passed this shyness problem, so I can talk to people who might be interested in my novel.

It’s hard but I've made progress since those early days. 

When I see that opening in the conversation, I give myself a mental kick. Do it. Talk about your book. Smile.

“I’m a published author.” My cheeks heat and I know I’m blushing again. But I tell myself to keep going. “I wrote a book about a couple washed up on the same little island in the Bahamas. It’s a romance.” I reach into my purse. “Would you like a book card? It has my book cover and website address.”

And now, years later, I can say I've published three books and a short story. 

Windswept Shores Blurb:

The sole survivor of a plane crash, Megan is alone on a deserted island in the Bahamas until she finds a nearly-drowned man washed up on shore. Another survivor, this time from a boat wreck. With only meager survival skills between them, will they survive and can they find love?

Janice’s website:

Windswept Shores on Smashwords:


Paris said...


I had to smile while reading your post. My dental hygienist was one of the few people outside my circle of friends that I told about my books. I still have trouble promoting myself but I think it might go back to the way I was raised. Promoting seems like bragging and that was a big no no; almost like flashing your knickers in public, lol! If you ever see me smiling and talking about my book, you'll know this is the image running through my head. Congrats on all of your books and keep smiling!

Tina Donahue said...

I heard you about being shy, Janice. I am painfully shy. You'd never guess it from what I write or the way I behave online. But get me in front of a crowd - argh. :)

Cara Marsi said...

Nice picture of you, Janice. I'm shy and introverted too. I think most authors are. Your post is inspiring the way you kept writing until you sold. It took me many years to sell. I don't like promoting myself either. Like you, I can promote more easily online, but I'm very uncomfortable doing it in person. My husband carries my cards with him and he hands them out. I get embarrassed when he does it in front of me. My dental hygienist is also one of the first people I told when I published. She's never bought any of my books.

Judy Baker said...

I'm there with you Janice. I think many writers are shy. I can talk a mile on the computer, but put me in front of real people, I turn red too. We keep pushing forward and we should be proud of our accomplishments. Great post.

Rose Anderson said...

I'm very shy too. If not for my husband dragging me out into the sunlight where other people live with ease, I'd be a shut-in. Thank goodness for the internet! I can hide behind my screen. :) Loved the post, Janice.

Melissa Keir said...

It is hard to promote yourself. I felt like it was bragging and growing up when I did, I was taught that bragging was bad.

I'm horrible in groups unless the group's age is about 10... I love children and can talk for hours to them!

All the best Janice!

Sandy said...

Sorry, I'm so late, Janice.

I can't focus when I talk and sometimes it all comes up a mess. lol I consider myself an extrovert, but not in crowds and not when it comes to telling about my books.

Fran Lee said...

In real life, I can give a speech in from of a large audience, teach a huge class of kids how to block punches,or debate with others. But as my alter-ego, Fran Lee, I am extremely shy. Most folks expect us romance authors to be svelte, hot, and sexy. Hah! I live in constant fear of being "outed". Snort!!!

Janice Seagraves said...

Thank you everyone. I'd write individual responses, but I have a nasty cold and my eyes are blurry.


Janice Seagraves said...

Thank you everyone. I'd write individual responses, but I have a nasty cold and my eyes are blurry.


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