The following post was written by Mandy M. Roth and is shared here with her permission as it contains information about a series we co-authored. We both started at the same time 17 years ago, at the same publisher, and have been friends ever since. The answers given here are also my answers. We’ve both been full time, juggling family and work. We hit milestones (even making the USA Today and New York Times list for the first time at the same time –crazy right?!) Thus, the reposting. 🙂
Notes in [brackets] are my additions. – Michelle
Yes, I write my own books (original post by Mandy M. Roth)
Q: Have you ever hired a ghostwriter?
A: Some of you may remember the series I co-wrote with author Michelle M. Pillow [& Mandy M. Roth] that consisted of Pleasure Cruise, Date with Destiny, and Pleasure Island. Readers wanted more in the series world, but neither of us had the time to devote or commit to writing them, so we hired two ghostwriters to help us all with the idea we’d possibly launch a multi-author series world so that other authors could also write in the Pleasure Series World.
Each writer we hired turned in one short story. While the stories they submitted were great, and the authors were wonderful to work with, Michelle [& Mandy] and I ultimately decided against publishing/releasing the stories and launching the multi-author world (at least for now).
That’s it. The extent of [our] hiring ghostwriters.
So, yes, I’ve hired them, but no book has ever been published or released by me that has been ghostwritten.
Q: Does that mean you write all of your own books?
A: I do! Writing for me is a full-time job and has been for over a decade [read: almost two], often to the detriment of other things in my life—family time, health, etc. It’s a calling, yes, but also a career. I’ve always been prolific, which comes from research and planning, but also practice. Some years I write faster than others.
Q: But your writing has changed over the years.
A: I sure the hell hope so! I’m always trying to better my craft. Always learning and growing as an author. When I started, I had no idea how to actually write a story. I just went with what felt right. While that worked in some regards, technically, it left a lot to be desired. I like to say I had on-the-job training since I started publishing with small presses back in 2004. With every book I’ve released, I’ve grown as an author. I learned more tricks and tips of the trade. With every editor I’ve had in my 17-year career, I’ve learned as well.
I’ve always been heavy into researching my books, but over the last decade, that has increased tenfold. In fact, in the last seven years alone, the time I spend researching has gone through the roof. That means more in-depth books and stories. That means tighter writing. That means it does take me a bit longer to write them. That’s fine. I value quality over speed. This all also means subtle growth in my writing skills. If I stayed stagnant, my books would be boring. I wouldn’t want to write them, and readers wouldn’t want to read them.
I work very hard to expand my mind and skill set, to challenge myself to do and try new things in my books and writing. I hope it shows.
You ever look back at a picture of yourself when you were in the awkward teen years and cringe at your hair and fashion choices? I look back at my first versions of my early work like that. LOL. That is probably why, I’ve been working so hard at getting them revamped, re-edited, revised, and re-released.
I wrote several books before my first was taken by a publisher. Many went on to be published, though there are still some sitting in the cyber graveyard waiting to be dug up (or not). Like Mandy, I’ve learned a lot along the way. As writers, we are always learning and growing.
I want to thank Mandy for the post. It’s been an amazing wild ride for both of us. Thank you to all of the readers and friends who have supported our work over the years.
I know it hasn’t always been easy for our families when we work 18 hours days for weeks on end. We couldn’t do what we do without your love and support–thank you!