L.L. Reaper is two multi-published, award-winning authors who decided to write under a pen name for their dangerously sexy suspense series, Black Widow and the Sandman. You can visit their website at www.llreaper.com or connect with them at Twitter at www.twitter.com/llreaper and Facebook at www.facebook.com/AuthorLLReaper.
Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, L.L. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?
My Writing partner and I are both multi-published authors who are writing under the pen name L. L. Reaper for our suspense series.
Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?
Both of our first books were published by small presses. We both decided to go the traditional route because it used to be quite a bit more expensive to self-publish, plus we didn’t know the business very well.
Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?
It took me about eighteen months after signing my contract to see my first novel in the book store.
Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?
Knowing something in your head and in your heart are two different things. Logically, I knew I’d signed a contract to be published, but it wasn’t real yet. The heart didn’t get the memo. Then one day I was in the bookstore feeding my read-a-holic habit when I saw my debut novel on the shelf. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was so excited I called a clerk and asked if I could sign them. He had me sign all of the books and then he put them at the front of the store. It felt FANTASTIC.
Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?
Had a website and MySpace account created. Talking about MySpace, does anyone remember when it used to be the King of social media?
Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?
I am ever learning the craft and striving to improve. I push myself, as does my writing partner.
Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?
In all honesty, I haven’t been surprised or amazed by anything yet. Mind you, I’ve actually worked in the industry in the past, so I’ve seen it from the inside. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?
Hearing from the readers. There have been times that I’ve been invited to book club meetings where the discussion gets so intense that the readers tell me what I meant by this or that portion of the novel. I just love to hear their interpretations.
Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?
Some day you will want others to purchase your novel. If you aren’t willing to invest in your book, why do you expect readers to? Once you decide you want to become a published author, start putting away money every week. You’ll eventually need to pay for editing and marketing (this goes for traditionally and self-published authors). Go to conferences and take workshops on the craft. Take classes at your community college. Learn the craft. A good story teller does not equal a good writer.
I’d like to thank you for giving us this opportunity to share a little about ourselves and our dangerously sexy suspense, Black Widow and the Sandman. It’s been a blast.