Here is Dorothy!
What state do you live in: Texas
A Little about yourself:
I grew up in southern California and found my own romantic hero in Austin, Texas, where I received a Bachelor of Journalism degree, with honors, from The University of Texas. After a 35-year corporate career in marketing and public relations, I am living my dream—writing historical romances—and residing in central Texas with my husband (the same wonderful guy) on our beautiful cattle ranch. Yes, dreams really can come true!
1. & 2. Is being an Author what you thought you would do with your life?What made you decide to be an Author?
At the University of Texas, I majored in Journalism. After graduating, I worked in marketing/public relations for corporations in Houston and writing was a big part of all my jobs. I primarily wrote annual reports, speeches, news releases, magazine articles, etc. But I always wanted to try writing a novel. Eventually, I just had to try. I had characters in my head who needed their story told. At the time, I was a VP for a major corporation and could only find time to write for a few minutes or hours here and there and it was hard to make significant progress. But I did get my characters and setting fully developed. Almost two years ago, I decided to retire early so that I could begin writing novels full-time. That opportunity has been a real God given blessing and I have loved every minute of it, especially that minute in July of 2014 when I opened the box that held my first book’s proof copy. That’s when I really felt like a writer! What a thrill.
3. What would you tell any new authors that are breaking into the business?
Most importantly, don’t rush your first novel to print. It will forever represent you, so make sure it’s your best work. Like top athletes, writers must continually train. With each draft, you build more stamina. With each edit, you increase muscle and get rid of fat. With each skill you practice, such as showing not telling, you add beauty and style. Be sure you ruthlessly proof for errors and format the manuscript professionally. And dress for success—invest in a quality book cover designer to produce your cover. Learning how to produce quality manuscripts is not easy or quick. To really shine, a book requires many drafts and countless edits. After writing for more than 30 years, I still have a lot to learn and believe that each of my novels will be better than the last because I am continually learning to become a better writer.
Second, I would tell new authors to be willing to work long and hard or don’t even start. There is nothing about publishing novels that’s easy. Writing is the easiest part for me and, as I’ve said, that takes a tremendous amount of effort. And, unless you are very computer savvy, publishing is complicated and time consuming. But marketing is even harder. I work very long hours, full-time, and still never have enough time to do all the marketing things I would like to. I say all that not to discourage you, but to tell you the honest truth. But in your heart, if you have a great story to tell, by all means tell it. Just be aware that writing it just the beginning.
The strangest thing for me is how my characters take over. My primary approach to writing is to allow the characters to drive the story. I believe a writer must really get to know their characters. I would like to be a plotter, but I confess to being a pantser. For those of you who are new to writing, pantser means writing from the seat of your pants rather than following a detailed plot outlined in advance of writing the book. For me, it means plots driven by the characters. I spent a lot of time initially conceiving the characters and describing them to myself, both physical characteristics and personalities. Then, in my head, I put them in a room or situation and just follow their lead. Strangely, they always seem to know what to do or say. I guess that’s my subconscious driving them forward, but it seems to work for me. I often receive compliments on my characters such as this one from a reviewer on Amazon, “The author's well-sculpted cast of characters, not only come alive, but you actually begin to really care about them and want them to succeed in their journey west. Her evil characters are truly scary and her good characters are painted gloriously.”
5. What is the hardest part of being an author?
The competition. Amazon has opened the publishing world up to tens of thousands of aspiring authors who otherwise would never have been published. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the competition has skyrocketed.
6. Do you love what you do?
Absolutely! Writing is exhilarating for me. Publishing is even more thrilling. And winning contests and getting 5-star reviews is very rewarding and encouraging. I love to hear from readers too.
7. Do you have a family?
Yes, my husband of 38 years and I have two children and two grandchildren. I love them all dearly.
8. What was your first published work?
WILDERNESS TRAIL OF LOVE published August 2014.
9. What are you currently working on? Can you share any of it with us?
I am working on the fourth novel in my American Wilderness Series Romances. I am a little more than a third of the way through writing it. Each book in the series is the story of one brother and this book is about Bear.
10. New release book cover?
I have not yet had the fourth book cover designed, but I’ll be doing that soon. Here are the other three:
12. What genres do you write? Historical romance. I love history and I love romance, so it’s the perfect genre for me.
13. Anything else you would like to share?
My American Wilderness Series Romances, WILDERNESS TRAIL OF LOVE (Book One) NEW FRONTIER OF LOVE (Book Two), and WHISPERING HILLS OF LOVE (Book Three), are set in 1797 colonial America. My husband’s ancestors, who really did journey from the New England area to Kentucky in the late 18th century, inspired this series. I wanted to honor these and other first wave settlers of early America by writing these books. The arduous journeys, brave battles, and daily sacrifices of these first-wave pioneers should not be forgotten. Although the books are only inspired by America’s ancestors and are not based on actual people, I’ve attempted to balance the hardships of the frontier with amusing, romantic, and vividly compelling characters that I hope will be very memorable.
14. Give us some unusual fun facts about you.
I am half Scots (father) and half Italian (mother). My father was an artist—I think that’s where my creativity comes from. I love music—especially rock & roll, 60’s, Motown, and some more contemporary artists. Love Matchbox Twenty’s Overjoyed, Bon Jovi’s You Want to Make a Memory, and anything by Rod Stewart, but especially one of his newer songs, You Can’t Stop Me Now. That song is my writing anthem and inspiration. Listen to the words and you’ll see why. My favorite thing to do is to sit out on our terrace, enjoy our great view of the ranch, and listen to music with my husband while enjoying an adult beverage—usually a Manhattan. One’s my limit. I also love wine and cooking—which works out well since we live about an hour from any great restaurants.
15. Share with us your links. (Facebook, Tumbler, Twitter, Instagram, Etc)
Facebook: Dorothy M. Wiley https://www.facebook.com/DoraMayWiley
Twitter: @WileyDorothy https://twitter.com/WileyDorothy
WILDERNESS TRAIL OF LOVE
- Historical Novel Society (HNS) Editor’s Choice and long listed for the prestigious
2015 HNS Indie Award.
- Readers’ Favorite Five-Star Award 2015
- Finalist in the CFRWA Touch of Magic Contest 2014
NEW FRONTIER OF LOVE
- Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) Quarter-Finalist 2014
WHISPERING HILLS OF LOVE
- BookBzz.com Prize Writer Finalist – Romance 2015
READER AND REVIEWER COMMENTS:
- "This work has that memorable feel I associate with big historicals (i.e. Lonesome Dove)."
"A deft new writer of intelligent romantic fiction."
"A must read. One of the best books I've ever read."
“Fresh, unblinkingly gritty, & highly readable, her romance novel reads like a classic American adventure story.
"Nothing mindlessly emotional here"
"Skillful, entertaining and sparkly.”
Wiley received a Bachelor of Journalism, with honors, from The University of Texas in Austin. After a distinguished 35-year corporate career in marketing and public relations, she is living her dream—writing historical romances.
CONTACT Dorothy through her website www.dorothywiley.com
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