9 Tips to Becoming the Next Terry McMillan

9 Tips to Becoming the Next Terry McMillan

Are you a novelist waiting to exhale? If so, it is time to make your passion a reality. Terry McMillan made it happen and so can you.

Meet Faye Thompson, a government employee for more than 25 years whose recent novel is being compared to Terry McMillan’s Disappearing Acts. Thompson’s second novel, Cheesecake and Teardrops (Urban Trade Paper, $12.95), was written during her lunch hour, vacation, weekend, after hours — basically any time she wasn’t at her 9-to-5 job.

“I wanted to write and tell a story that I could not stop reading. If it’s your passion, find the time to do it,” says Thompson. “Get your hands on the Literary Marketplace, a [compendium] of agents, publishers, and editors. This resource will show you how to submit materials/manuscripts the right way. Also, take a creative writing course offered at a local college. This will empower you to tap into your power,” advises Thompson.

Sometimes the upfront cost for pursuing your passion  can just be time and discipline. “I scored my book deal by networking and going to book signings and talking to the authors. Word of mouth is powerful — and preparation is even better. New authors must make it their business to promote and understand that they are a brand in progress,” says Thompson.

Faye Thompson’s tips to becoming a best-selling author:

Do your research. Use the free resources available at your local library to research your topic and keep costs to a minimum.

Stay focused. Keep your eye on your ultimate goal.

Be patient. Don’t be discouraged if your rewards don’t happen immediately.

Listen to your inner voice and trust your instincts. When in doubt, go with your gut.

Don’t edit self. At least not when writing the first draft. Get everything on paper or your computer screen before you start refining your story.

Let it flow. Write, write, write. And then write some more.

Have fun with characters/story. If you’re bored by your story, odds are readers will be too.

Self-promote. Send out your press kit, talk yourself up, start a website, blog, create a social media strategy to publicize your brand.

Network. Go out and meet other authors, publishers, and editors.

I empower you to dust off the noggin and write a best seller as you self-publish or score a publishing deal, and channel your inner passion. How will you use any of Faye’s tips to live your best life?

Visit me at blogtalkradio.com/theprexpert, Thursday, July 15 @ Noon (EST) when Faye Thompson joins me for a discussion about branding and living your passion.

Karen Taylor Bass, The PR Expert, provides entrepreneurs, corporations, and mompreneurs with essential branding, marketing, and public relations coaching; www.karentaylorbass.com and www.taylormademediapr.com. Follow her on twitter @PREXPERT to read her daily tips on boosting your brand and @TheBrandNewMom for strategies on renewing and re-defining mommy-hood.