Guest Post: How do you get behind the idea of an Author Platform as your ‘new reality’
Fun title, huh? The title of this article should be “Don’t Do as I Did….” It’s a free country, of course, but… I did it all wrong. But, hey, I’ll start at the beginning…
Once upon a time, there was a young girl who had aspirations of being a singer—vreeeek (tire’s screeching)—delete that.
Once upon a time, there was a young girl who ditched a lot of classes in high school to stay home and read—vreeeeek—also, true, but, yeah—delete that too.
Once upon a time, there was a computer programmer who was terrible at her job—vreeek—no, no, no. We’ll keep on this track. She had picked up karaoke in her early thirties. Even a little acting at local theater in her forties. All true. But, it was in her fifties when she bought a new computer and just wanted to type. She found a Google prompt that read “What if Cinderella’s slipper fit one of the evil stepsisters?”
She thought, Yes. I love Cinderella. So, she wrote her first story. The original title: “The Shoe the Other Foot Fit.” Good idea?
“Get the foot out of the title.” Mary Buckham, USA Today Bestselling author
“Don’t like the foot.” Mel Odom, father, a little league coach, teacher, friend, writer
Well, that was two out of two. The first step down the right path. The title eventually became: The Wronged Princess. And honestly, is still an excellent seller in my five book Cinderella Series.
But was that it?
Certainly not! I wrote that series under the name Kae Elle Wheeler. Sooooo, much work, maintaining two names. Still, the series falls under the romance subgenre of “sweet romance.”
But writing sex is so fun. So, then came my Bloomington Series (for lack of a better series title). Quotable, book one, is about a quirky introverted heroine who owns her own bookstore with her friend. Blah, blah, blah. There is a twist of suspense (someone is sabotaging her building, and the hero, a fraud investigator believes she is the culprit because of the insurance money). Over the years, this story had been edited and re-edited. It was originally picked up by a small press. They did a fantastic job on the original cover, but there were issues between the publisher and I that required attorneys… Anyway, the book did okay. That was a side note.
Book two, however, was more of a struggle. Not in writing it per se. The words came spewing out of me. It also happens to be one of my favorites. The problem was I had no true branding. I published and went my own way. There was a book three. All three covers were all over the place. They didn’t match. It took three or four tries over the course of eight years to get it.
The good news in this is that I never stopped writing. Now, I have a clue. How do I know this?
When I go to Amazon and do a search on, for example: Rebel Lords of London and all the covers come up, it is blatantly clear they are all part of the same series. The same (now) with my Cinderella Series, and my Bloomington Series.
That’s the first thing.
But there are other things I’m still sorting out, even after all this time.
Remember the “love writing sex” statement? It’s a problem when your Historical Fairytale twist series is sweet and you have five sexy billionaire shorts under the same name. That’s where you need to carefully consider how you want them presented to your audiences.
Since 2017, I put everything under my Kathy L Wheeler name. Everything.
But recently, I’ve changed this tactic.
I started with my website. It is still kathylwheeler.com, but I modified the logo to add the new name Mia Augustine for sexy billionaire contemporaries I adore writing. When I made this change, I was able to add the five shorts. There will also be a series of four full length novels. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that there is no social media to associate with the new name. It’s a lot of work.
So, how does an author sort all of this out?
Well, ideally, an aspiring author will know initially, the genre and heat level she/he wants to write from the onset. I was not one of those people. As a result, my path is more difficult than it needed to be.
Would I change that? Maybe, but probably not, except in presentation. I love writing both historical and contemporary. I love being part of the writing community. Which means that occasionally I get drawn into anthologies, i.e., A World of Gothic. A group of authors who did a contemporary series that modeled Victoria Holt. All the elements of the classic gothic romances. Young, single woman, with no close family. Stormy weather. The hero appears to be the villain. First person. Very fun to write. I’m still friends with all those authors involved and that series came out in 2016.
More good news: there is no single path to success. The world is a writer’s oyster if one should be cliché about it. At the end of the day, the question is: do you still love to write? The answer for me (after 35 books and counting) is YES.
So, the ending title of this article is… “don’t do as I do, unless you want to.” The choice is all about what fills your cup.
Happy writing. Kathy L Wheeler
Kathy L Wheeler loves the NFL, musical theater (don’t ask how her how many times she’s seen Phantom of the Opera (12); or Wicked (7), travel, (Europe, Grand Cayman, Mexico, all over the US), reading (practically a book a night), writing (34 published books and counting) and karaoke (well… what can she say). She assists other authors in critiquing, formatting, and creating covers for their publishing dreams. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BA in Management Information Systems and Vocal Minor.
She writes contemporary and historical stories where the heroines save themselves and the heroes who honor their courage with suspense and humor. She is thriving in the Pacific Northwest with her musically talented, lawyer husband and her adorable dog Angel who lives up to her name (…mostly). Connect with her on her website.