How did you become a writer?

Almost every author answers she was an avid reader and always knew she wanted to write.

Is that enough to transform us into New York bestsellers?

Would you entrust your health and life into the hands of a surgeon just because he eagerly claims he always wanted to be a doctor? Hey, Doc, show me your credentials. You carefully read the framed diplomas and count how many years of experience your expert physician has garnered, before you allow him to slice your precious flesh.

It’s the same with every profession. And I want to believe that being a writer is a respectable and respected profession.

After careful consideration, I put some necessary requirements to be an author and a New York best-seller. No kidding.

1-EDUCATION for aspiring authors:

a- Workshops. Some are offered by your local chapters, others are given on-line. Learn everything you can about POV, GMC, hooks, show don’t tell, good pacing, emotion, interesting dialogues, appealing characters, suspense, dark moment and resolution.

b- Craft books: Here are some from my bookcase.
You Can Write A Romance by Rita ClayEstrada & Rita Gallagher
How to Write Romances by Pianca
Writing Clinic by Nicken
G.M.C: Goal, Motivation & Conflict by Debra Dixon
Heroes & Heroines by Cowden LaFever Viders
Characters& Viewpoint by O.S. Card
Scene & Structure by Jack Bickham
Beginnings, Middle & Ends by Nancy Kress
Conflict, Action & Suspense by William Noble
The Dreaded Synopsis by Elizabeth Sinclair
Writing the Breakthrough Novel by Donald Maass.

c- Critique Group: you may have to try several until you find the critique partners with whom you feel comfortable.

d- Contests: enter as many as you can. Use the suggestions if given by more than one judge.


a- Submissions: polish your book and submit. Submit non stop. If given suggestions for revisions, drop everything and do the requested revision. Even if it involves cutting the three first chapters and rewriting the last three. It happened to me.

b- Go to conferences and pitch your manuscript.

c- SEND the requested partial.

d- Accept the rejections letters and develop a tough skin. It’s part of your learning curve.

You did all of the above and received THE CALL. You are an author.
Announce it to the whole world and celebrate.

Now what?

Now the hard work, the real work is starting as I learned the hard way.

In addition, to revising, editing, polishing your contracted manuscript, you have to promote it and sell it.

1-Promotion is tough for introverts converted into authors, but there is no way out of it.

a-Create a website

b-Create a blog and post, even if it’s once a week or less, as I do.

c- Participate in popular blogs, such as the famous Pink Fuzzy Slippers.

d- Leave comments on other authors’ blogs, as Mary Ricksen often do. They will return the favor. A blog is like a restaurant. If it’s crowded, it is a sign that the food is good. People come back often.

e-Advertise your writing on world-wide loops: mySpace, Facebook, Goodreads, even if you think it’s a waste of time.

f- Create a trailer: I just did mine. Please check it by going to my website and click on the link to watch the trailer, right over the bookcover picture.

g- Send a newsletter to every one you know. I still have to do that.

h- Enter contests. Still on my to-do list.

i- When you receive good reviews, post them everywhere on earth. Be proud of yourself.

When your paperback book arrives, hold it with love, caress it and enjoy the feeling of achievement. It’s your baby, your beautiful cover, your wonderful story.

Go out and sell it, autograph it and participate in book signings.

It’s not easy to write and sell a book.

Congratulations authors. You did it.

Mona Risk writes for Cerridwen Press and The Wild Rose Press.

TO LOVE A HERO: Click here to buy:

Two Lips Review: 4.5 lips Mona Risk tells a poignant yet beautiful and sweet story of two people falling in love, who must fight their attraction.
Review Your book: 4 stars. Mona Risk is a talented author. She knows how to weave intrigue and romance into her story. The characters are well-developed. Fans of romance and suspense will enjoy To Love a Hero.
SIMPLY ROMANCE REVIEW: Outstanding Read. Mona Risk's TO LOVE A HERO is a wonderful love story complete with deception, conceit, stubbornness and the love of a lifetime for two people who couldn't be more different. Ms. Risk hits a homerun with this story.

FRENCH PERIL: Click here to buy:
Review Your Book Review, 4 Stars Mona Risk, author of French Peril, offers her fans another great read. Risk has a talent for character development.

The Romantic Studio: 4 stars This is a wonderfully exciting romantic suspense novel. The characters are appealing and the setting is very romantic, a chateau in the Loire Valley.

TWOLIPSREVIEW 4.5 lips Mona Risk brings old-fashioned romance back into style with French Peril. French Peril is full of mystery and intrigue. I loved Ms. Risk’s injection of humor into the story. The ending was every romance readers dream! I love happily ever afters! Pick up French Peril, a sweet mystery romance you’re guaranteed to enjoy.

Night Owl Romance Book Reviews: Recommended Read. Mona Risk will pull you in with her amazing characters and in-depth twisting suspense. She takes armchair travel to whole new heights as her characters travel to their heart wrenching and spine tingling doom. Mona Risk’s characters will enthrall you as they all dance to their own personal tunes.


  1. Mary Marvella // March 27, 2009 at 12:19 AM  

    Good job, Ms Risk! And now you'll be thanking all the little people. (Big grin)

    I'm doing some of the good stuff.

  2. Mary Marvella // March 27, 2009 at 12:23 AM  

    Check the French Peril link.

  3. Scarlet Pumpernickel // March 27, 2009 at 12:53 AM  

    Excellant topic and advice! You list is very good. I can't wait to get to move to the last half of the list.


  4. Nightingale // March 27, 2009 at 10:06 AM  

    Good advice to would be writers and to authors who want to succeed.

  5. Anonymous // March 27, 2009 at 12:04 PM  

    Writing is SO MUCH harder than I thought it would be...harder than what non-writers think. It's easy to write crap. It's hard to write tight. Hard to write funny. Hard to keep the sexual tension up.

    Work. Study. Write. Rewrite. Erase. Rewrite. Polish. Submit. Cry at the multiple rejections. Polish. Rewrite. Resubmit.

    Sigh. Hell of a career we've chosen! :)

    But then, you see your name in print. You get letters from readers. You make your CP cry when she reads your stuff.

    Yeah. That makes it worth it.

  6. Beth Trissel // March 27, 2009 at 12:50 PM  

    Wow, Mona. You really nailed this.
    Very interesting and informative.

  7. Edie // March 27, 2009 at 1:50 PM  

    Terrific advice! I fill all those requirements.

  8. Mona Risk // March 27, 2009 at 10:51 PM  

    Okay you all agreed because I am sure you went through that hell as Cindy put it so wisely.

    Are we doing enough for promo? I doubt at least as far as I'm concern

  9. Mona Risk // March 27, 2009 at 11:06 PM  

    Mary I don't know why the French Peril link didn't work. But I just change it. Thank you for telling me.

  10. Judy // March 28, 2009 at 3:54 PM  

    Great job, Mona! I think you covered the bases! Your stories sound great. Good PR job, too! Good luck with everything!Sounds like you're on a roll! Yippee!

  11. Mary Ricksen // March 28, 2009 at 8:38 PM  

    Sorry I didn't comment sooner. My computer was giving me fits.
    Your books are wonderful and I love your voice.
    Great advise and thought provoking.
    Great sales sweet Mona!