Hey, romance addicts! I am excited to have author Amber Daulton on the Layla Writes Love blog. She is one that likes to keep readers on their toes.
Amber is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through The Wild Rose Press, Books to Go Now, and Daulton Publishing, and are available in e-book, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats.
She lives in North Carolina with her husband and demanding cats.
Amber is going to share a little about herself as a writer and her latest book, Harmony’s Embrace. Welcome, Amber.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It depends. If I’m in the mood to write and my muse is flowing, I feel energized as I’m burning up the keyboard. I just can’t stop the words or keep back my smile.
Other times, I feel brain dead and exhausted as I’m trying to force out a complete, cohesive sentence. When I have writer’s block, nothing seems to go right, even in my personal life. It’s like a huge weight is on my shoulders, and the only thing I can do is step away from the project to find my zone. I usually have to play video games, read books, or work in the garden to get my creative juices flowing again.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
It’s so exciting and scary to start a book, even more so when submitting it to agents and publishers. I think a lot of writers, both aspiring and those who’ve been around the block a few times, become so attached to their book babies that they can’t take constructive criticism. I’ve been there myself. Granted, it is YOUR story, but editors, critique partners, and readers can give you good advice if you’re open to hearing it.
Also, I think a lot of aspiring writers are afraid of rejection, even when nicely put, and they’ll give up their writing dream after some bad feedback. You have to develop a thick shell as an author. Some people will be cruel with their opinions—unfortunately, not everyone has manners—but others will try to help you do better and succeed. Not everyone will like your story. We all have different tastes and opinions. So develop your shell, brush off the cruel responses, and focus on the good, constructive feedback you get.
Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
It can go either way. If the authors are multi-published with a million dollars in the bank and they have a legion of fans, they can basically act however they want. Even bad press is good press. I’ve talked with some authors like this in some of my writing groups, and readers still flock to their books even though the authors have an ego the size of the sun.
On the other side of the spectrum, authors who aren’t a big name in the industry really need to watch their actions and words. Don’t be a diva; it could kill your career. It’s best to act humble, be kind, and say thank you. Sure, if your book wins a contest or is nominated for one, tell everyone about it. It’s okay to get excited. But don’t act like your book is the best ever or get publicly mad if you lose the contest.
Authors are public figures, so we need to act like mature adults.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Distractions. I can’t stand it when I’m writing or editing, and my husband says something from out of the blue or my cat lets out a high-pitched meow and jumps in my lap. I mean, c’mon, guys. I’m super busy, so leave me alone. When distractions happen, my blood pressure rises (along with my temper) and I lose my train of thought or writing mojo. Sometimes it’s difficult to go back into the zone, and my writing day has ended early.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Both. I write what I want, what feels right and natural to me, but I also try to connect with readers and follow the trends. Luckily, I already write in two of the most popular genres (contemporary romance and romantic suspense), but I think I give my books enough of a twist to help them stand out.
Thank you, Amber. Okay, romance addicts. Check out Amber’s book, Harmony’s Embrace.
Divorced dad Birley Haynes is too busy raising his children and running his family’s music academy to start a relationship. Then Harmony Holdich, his high school sweetheart, returns home to Willow Springs, Vermont for Christmas and falls into his bed. She brings light and fun back into his life, but he can’t brush aside the threatening incidents around his workplace.
Harmony hadn’t expected a complication like Birley, especially so soon after the death of her unfaithful husband. With her life a mess, she plans to move across the country and start over. All she can offer him is a fling, but her heart yearns for more.
When the threats rise, how will Birley keep his children safe and convince Harmony to give love another chance?