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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Path To Success Sometimes Requires A Look At Where You Began: Guest Blog by @ReneeVincent

After hitting USA Today last month with some of my fellow InkHeart Authors, I started to reminisce about when my career started, what paths I took along the way, and how I ultimately succeeded in obtaining one of my life-long dreams. Upon looking back, I sifted through countless author interviews I'd done from my past and came across one I'd done soon after I signed my first contract for my Emerald Isle Trilogy.

As I read through the interview that was well over five years old, I came to realize that what I'd said then is still true today. Sure, many things have changed in the way I write and promote myself because let's face it, the publishing industry often changes with the wind. In order to make it in this fast-paced world, you must stay up to date on fluctuating trends and markets. But there's something to be said about consistency.

I feel consistency plays a major role in success. For me, that means putting out quality books in a timely manner and staying true to my voice. That also means remembering the things that are important; the things you know to be true in your heart—because those are what will carry you through the rough patches.

Knowing what I know now, I read the answers to one of my first interviews and it brought me a sense of comfort. Though I'd sometimes walked blindly, I must have been on the right track as I attempted to pursue a career in the romance genre.

For a little trip back in time, I thought I'd share a few questions from the interview that I can honestly say I'd answer the same way today. I hope you enjoy!

* * * * *

You’ve just sold your first book. How exciting! We’d love to know the details.
Yes, I am still on cloud nine! Signing a 3-book deal with Turquoise Morning Press has been an amazing turn of events in my life, and I must admit I’m actually waiting to suddenly wake up from this incredible dream.

I signed this contract in front of everyone who attended the Career Writer’s Network Workshop in French Lick, Indiana at the West Baden hotel, and being there made my very first signing even more special. It is a day I will never forget.

Let’s talk about your writing process. Are you a plotter or a pantzer? 
As a whole, a pantzer. I cannot outline a story (believe me, I’ve tried) because it would change from week to week, and I’d spend more time rewriting the outline than the manuscript itself. 

But before I write on a chapter, I plot it out in my head first over a cup of coffee. I often go outside to my lake (weather permitting), and go over dialogue, sequence, and character building. Don’t ask me why…I just find that it works for me. Once I have that down, I spend the rest of the day writing it—although, sometimes the direction I plotted that morning has been know to change on the fly. But I don’t mind. I’m a very flexible person. And if it helps the story, I welcome it.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Dream big. But keep your goals attainable. Success doesn’t happen overnight, but with each attainable goal accomplished, it’s a step closer to the distant dream far out of reach. Eventually, you will arrive there. And when you do, you can look back at all the hard work and feel an incredible sense of pride that you didn’t give up.

Now, here is the totally off-writing subject question. What’s the coolest, wackiest, most risk-taking thing you’ve ever done? 
Let me set the stage… 

I was horseback riding on a couple’s ride in Tennessee and we came to a place on the trail where we had to climb up about 3-foot high rock steps. Now to make this the most risk-taking thing I’ve ever done, the trail (if you could call it that) was only about 4-foot wide—with a high rock cliff to the left of us, and a sheer drop-off to the right. No room for mistakes. 

At this point, it was either turn around or trust your horse to climb it. I chose, among many others to let my horse try. Some had gotten off their horses and led them up on foot. I, however, trusted my horse completely and gave him full-reign. 

It was a bit nerve racking, but I never doubted my horse’s abilities or his common sense. I made it all the way to the top. It was such a rush! I am ready to go back and do it again, and knowing my horse’s disposition, I would venture to say Lucky is ready as well!

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Nina Pierce said...

What a great interview. I love the picture of you signing your contract. Congratulations on making USA Today ... and here's to many more years of success coming your way!

Melissa Keir said...

What a fun post! I'm glad to be able to look back and see that I've come so far in my own dreams! Congrats on being able to fulfill yours!

Renee Vincent said...

Nina: I love that picture too as it captured my immense joy. I was totally beaming in signing that contract!

Melissa: Thank you so much sweetie, and thank you for walking with me on this journey. Without the help of my fellow writers, I wouldn't be where I am today.

vicki batman said...

Oh Renee! This is priceless. Getting the call is truly a moment to treasure. Happy day!

Rose Anderson said...

That was fun! Thanks for sharing, Renee. The best is yet to come. :)

Gemma Juliana said...

What an inspiring blog post, Renee. Thanks for sharing your journey. I have the sense there are many more chapters to be written! I can relate to your story about climbing the steps with Lucky, and your sense of trust. I had a similar experience in 1996 on a mule. We descended a treacherous cliff on the island of Molokai in Hawaii.I was petrified but had utter faith in him. I always loved mules, but my respect for them went into orbit that day. It was exhilarating!

Can you share with us what you consider your single most worthwhile form of social media for promoting your books?

Congratulations on your ongoing success!

jean hart stewart said...

Interesting stuff, Renee. Continued success. I'm just getting over the wedding turmoil for my grandson and am glad to get back to work.

Renee Vincent said...

Vicki: Thanks darlin!!!

Rose: I agree!

Gemma: What a great story about you and that mule in Hawaii! I hope you took lots of pics. In regards to what I think is the most worthwhile social's hard to say. Some days I do really well using Twitter and some days Facebook blows up. I think as long as you remember to use it as a tool to help engage readers, then either one is good. I have found out on accident that once I got an Instagram account and linked my FB to it, my page views spiked tremendously. I'm talking from 50 to 500! And all I did was connect them.

Another thing I think that's even more important than those is for an author to have a newsletter. I've benefited more from that than anything. While FB algorithms keep all my followers from seeing my posts, a newsletter is seen by everyone who signs up.

Jean: Glad to have you back! I bet the wedding was lovely though.

Polly McCrillis said...

From a fellow pantzer, thank you for the insights to making a writing career successful. With some many of us jockeying for "air time" and finding just the right promos, it isn't a career for wimps or faint-of-heart! Congratulations on YOUR success, Renee!

Renee Vincent said...

Polly: Thank you so much!!! And I wish you all the luck and success in your career too!

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