This week’s guest post is by Indie Chick Mel Comley.
by Mel Comley
In 1993 I walked out on my sad and abusive marriage, one that I had stuck with for seven years. At the time I jointly owned a shop with my ex-husband and my Mother, so we had to sell the business when the marriage broke down.
If I thought that was hard it was nothing to what I had to endure the following six years. To make ends meet, I had to work two jobs for 70-80 hours a week over 6½ days. Take my word when I say it wasn’t fun.
But onwards and upwards, when Mum retired we made a spur of the moment decision to leave England and move to France. We’d never set foot in the country before we came out here to house hunt, I know, we’re either brave or stupid. I like to think we’re the former, but I sometimes wonder if that’s the case!
We bought a farmhouse and barns that needed total renovation. In 6 months I decorated 22 rooms while a local builder created a gîte (a holiday home) out of a couple of the barns. After the renovations were completed I grew bored with my ‘early retirement’ and enrolled in a creative writing course. I threw myself into it and over the next 4-5 years I sat down and wrote three romances and two thrillers.
In October 2009, I discovered the writing site run by Harper Collins called Authonomy where I uploaded the first 10,000 words of my thriller Impeding Justice. It took me 8 months to reach the editor’s desk where I received a favourable review from a Harper Collins editor. The trouble was they weren’t taking on any thriller writers at that time, they were only interested in printing Celebrity Autobiographies!
Therefore, in October 2010 I decided to upload Impeding Justice as an ebook. It took a while to take off but in January 2011 sales really started gathering momentum, but it wasn’t until I released the second book in the series, Final Justice that sales really took off.
After selling over 30,000 books in April, I was in the fortunate position of having several agents knocking on my virtual door. I finally agreed terms and signed a contract with top New York agent, Richard Curtis. I sent him Cruel Justice the third book in the thriller series and he tried for 4 months to get me a traditional publishing contract, but at the moment he admits he’s finding it difficult to place any books with publishers because of the Indie revolution, which I’m extremely proud to be part of.
During last Summer, I edited the romances I wrote at the beginning of my journey. I uploaded A Time To Heal towards the end of August and immediately received a couple of 5 star reviews (no they weren’t from my family, they don’t know I write!) some of them were from my thriller fans who were equally impressed by my romance endeavours.
At the beginning of September I uploaded A Time For Change, another romance which is actually a TRUE story of how my dear friends met and fell in love. Obviously they’re names have been changed, the story has a mystery element to it too.
In October 2011, I uploaded the third book in my thriller series, Cruel Justice, which is actually the prequel to my best-seller Impeding Justice. It’s been very well received and has even reached #2 in the Police Procedural chart on Amazon.
I’m very fortunate to be able to write full-time (it’s addictive, don’t you know!) and have several more projects outlined that I intend tackling over the coming winter months.
This is how my day pans out, first thing, providing it isn’t raining, I take my two dogs for a walk, actually they tend to drag me round our small village. Then I sit down to answer any emails and facebook messages I’ve received overnight from fans (yes I do have them) I then set out to write a minimum of 2-3000 words per day, before I dip into hours of necessary promoting. That’s the hardest part of being an Indie writer, the fact that we have to promote ourselves long and hard. I used to be quite a shy person, but I’ve had to overcome that quickly. I think deep down, every writer would love to be a recluse and be able to focus full-time on their creations, unfortunately that’s unrealistic in an Indie world.
Do I ever think about my life back in England? No, never, but my ex features heavily in my books. When I need to think up a baddie character it’s his image I picture in my mind. As for my murder scenes, I find them VERY easy to write. LOL
You can find out about me and my books at the following blogs.