I resigned from my job to write contemporary erotic romance every day. Am I the definition of madness? Or am I the definition of sane for following my dream? Ask me anything and I'll try my best to answer!

Lia Peele
Sep 21, 2018

I began writing in March 2015 and by the end of the year I'd written what became the Definition series. 

As I literally got the idea one night and twenty minutes later plunged into writing it, naturally those early versions have been buried on my laptop. 

Working as a print professional during the day, coming home, making dinner and writing from 7pm to 11pm never really took its toll because I loved writing with a passion. Forward to October 2016 and the team I worked with were made redundant. I was the only one of a four person team still employed. Unfortunately it had a negative impact on my writing. After a relatively short chat with my husband I resigned and with his support I've been working from home since December 2016.

Do I regret this? Is it something I'd do again? Would I recommend it? Does working from home have its drawbacks? How do I feel about my husband supporting my new career? Would I change anything? 

Ask me whatever you want and I'll be as truthful as I possibly can!

If you'd like to find out even more about me, here are my stalker links:

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Lia Peele says:

This AMA will end Sep 25, 2018 11AM EDT

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You say that you write after work. What do you do to get motivated if you just don't feel like writing after a long day at work?

Sep 17, 8:51AM EDT0

Hello Tom

Thank you for your question.

I used to write after work until I left my job in December '16. Now I write full time. 

That said, I do remember working a 40+ hour week and writing every evening and all day Sunday. TBH, I didn't really need motivation because I loved doing it. I'd cook dinner, help with the dishes and every evening between 7-7.30pm I'd disappear with my laptop and do writing associated things until 11pm. By then I was almost asleep over the laptop lol! 

Sep 21, 7:15AM EDT0

Congratulations on doing what you love. As long as you have a passion for what you do, I don’t see that as madness. How do you define erotic?

Sep 16, 9:14AM EDT0

Hello Vivienne

Thanks for your question.

I definitely have a passion for what I do, that's for sure! I worked it out the other week and I work a 70+ hour week. 

Hmm. My definition of erotic isn't necessarily about the mechanics of the act, although that does appear in my writing. It's an unguarded glance, the frisson of excitement a character gets when they see their lover, the glimpse of a stocking-top. Popularity can be erotic, too. Who doesn't want to be with the person everybody else wants? 

Lia 

Sep 21, 7:19AM EDT0

Hi Lia! I did the same thing as you and we are definitely the beginning of the wave of the future! And if we are not crazy we'd be boring. 

So, my question to you is:

How long did it take to get used to words that we don't use in everyday conversation? I mean "dirty and explicit" words? 

Thank You,

Arielle Hart e-camerone.com/

Sep 15, 1:33PM EDT0

Hi Arielle

Hey, great to meet a kindred spirit! We're so lucky, aren't we, in that we have the freedom to follow our dream? I did wonder if I was mad at first. I have suggested going back to work part time to help with my publishing expenses but my husband says that I've made the break so I need to stay on this path. 

Re: your question ... OMG, I know the words you mean and I won't repeat them here lol! At first I referred to female anatomy with whimsical words - I think it's safe to say it here - I called it a Lily. Then I realised my female lead just wouldn't say that. Nor would my male character. I amended it in draft 3 I think.

In book two - Definition of Stripped - my male character is a male entertainer (stripper!) so there was no way he'd hold back from saying the 'c**k' or 'd**k' word.

Now it's a free-for-all, and anything pretty much goes. I'm well and truly over my fickleness. It's not like I use these words in real life lol! 

Lia 

Sep 21, 7:26AM EDT0

Why did you resign from your job to write contemporary erotic romance every day?

Sep 15, 12:08PM EDT0

Hi Aleecha

Thank you for your question. 

I was a member of a four person team (I worked in Procurement for a large print company) and returned from holiday to discover the other three members no longer worked there. During my break two had been made redundant and the other moved to a different site. 

I attempted to do my own job (which very easily filled the 40 hour working week without the additional tasks), and tried to keep on top of their work but despite my frequent visits to HR nothing was done about it. They put in temporary staff - one of them couldn't type and the other knew nothing about working in a commercial business because she was an ex-policewoman. They slowed me down because I had to show them the absolute basics - like how to save documents, etc. 

I lasted six weeks and resigned because it was difficult to keep up with my writing. As I was the senior buyer (the only buyer!) I had to make sure the machines had paper to print on, as well as organise my own work - I specialised in print buying. 

Once I made my decision, I resigned the next day and gave them one week's notice. I left on 2 December 2016!

Lia 

Sep 21, 7:37AM EDT1

How many books to you currently have available? And do you have any in progress?

Sep 15, 11:35AM EDT0

Hello Bernice

Thanks for your question.

I have three books published and two not-for-sale novella's I give away to my newsletter subscribers and Facebook reader group.

They are: Definition of Flawed, Stripped, and Craving. 

The freebies are: Definition of Lust and Seduction. 

Definition of Redemption is currently ARC'ing, on pre-order with a release date of 2 October

Definition of Absolution is my WIP. I intend to publish that during November. 

Lia 

Sep 21, 7:39AM EDT0
Do you ever base your characters on real people in your life?
Sep 14, 1:47AM EDT0

Hello Hussnain

Thanks for your question.

I haven't based them on real people so far - or rather, I should say each character is a pastiche of different people, rolled into one. 

I do have them speak like real people though; I tend to imitate speech patterns I hear when I'm out and about.

Lia 

Sep 21, 7:43AM EDT0
Have you ever suffered from the writer's block? If so, what did you do to overcome it?
Sep 14, 12:11AM EDT0

Hello Rahul

Thanks for your question.

Touch wood(!) I haven't so far. When I started writing in 2015 the words flowed and before I knew it, I'd written 3 x 90k books in 8 months. 

I wrote first, learned to write later. After discovering I was a pantser, when I began the re-writes I started to outline. Now I'd call myself a hybrid between the two. I have an outline but flesh it out during the writing process. I find doing an outline helps me to stay on track. 

If I ever did get writer's block though, I'd resolve it with a couple of stiff drinks! Not that I recommend it, of course, but I find alcohol makes me a less inhibited writer, just the same way as it would in real life.

Lia 

Sep 21, 7:47AM EDT0
Why romance and what makes your particular brand of romance special?
Sep 13, 9:11PM EDT0

Hello Terry

Thanks for your question.

Why romance? Well ... I enjoy reading romance of all kinds. It could be  PNR encompassing vampires/shifters/aliens/witches, etc. Also I enjoy some YA romance (Colleen Hoover et al). I love dark romance. And of course, contemporary.  I'm not really into historical romance although I love time travel (Diana Gabaldon!).

The simple answer is I enjoy reading it, so that's why I enjoy writing it. 

My tagline is 'Deliciously Dysfunctional Romance'. I came up with that because the characters I write about are deliciously dysfunctional with deep-seated issues they have to overcome. My reviewers have fallen in love with the male character and have followed his progress from a 17-year-old somewhat loveable but immature youth through his 20's and now they're reading about his latest incarnation at 30.

My brand of romance is special because I'm not afraid to show a warts'n'all version of the characters. I don't shy away from writing uncomfortable scenes. 

Lia 

Sep 21, 7:56AM EDT0
What is your main advice to aspiring authors struggling with the publishing process?
Sep 13, 8:30AM EDT0

Hello Wynner

Thank you for your question.

Hmm. If I could go back and speak to myself in 2015 I'd tell 'her' to read books on writing and learn something about the craft before launching into writing a book. 

Next I'd tell 'her' to create an online presence straight away -I didn't because I wasn't sure where to start. I wish I'd done that and started posting in groups back then. I'd have learned off other people's experiences as well. 

Next, I'd start growing an email list with small sections of my WIP using Instafreebie or Book Funnel. By the time your book is ready the idea would be that subscribers will be chomping at the bit.

I'm Indie all the way but I can't do it all on my own.  I now have a PA, a reader group, an ARC team and a Street Team. If I'd created an online presence earlier these groups would have been better established. Everybody needs their tribe. You have to network to find it.

Lia 

Sep 21, 8:04AM EDT0
Besides your job, what are the main challenges that you faced in order to become a full-time writer?
Sep 12, 9:01PM EDT0

Hello SSECNIRP

Thanks for your question.

Actually my job and the circumstances that led me to resigning was the biggest challenge I faced in order to become a full-time writer.  I'd leave work, constantly worrying that I'd forgotten to order something. As the only buyer, it would come back on me if one of the machines was standing because it didn't have enough paper. 

The stress crushed my creativity and as I'd been writing for almost two years at that point, it was an easy decision to resign. 

I will just add that yes, it would have been lovely to have kept on earning a salary but we just 'cut our cloth' and it hasn't stopped us enjoying life. 

Lia 

Sep 21, 8:09AM EDT0
Do you usually write characters or parts of your stories based on people or situations around you?
Sep 12, 4:32PM EDT0

Hi Tonijay89

Thanks for your question.

My characters are a pastiche of different people rolled into one. For example, the face I picture when I write about Max, who's a gay man, is the guy from Modern Family-Mitchell Pritchett-and a couple of people I used to work with. 

The situations I put my characters through are from my imagination. I just wonder what's the worst that can happen and put it down on paper lol! 

Lia

Sep 21, 8:23AM EDT0
What do you miss the most about your previous job?
Sep 11, 3:43PM EDT0

Hello Humprey

Thanks for your question.

Oh, without a doubt, the camaraderie. I worked with a great team of people. Several of us 'leavers' meet up actually and we're now at a stage where we don't really talk so much about where we worked. Now the conversation is about what we're doing and our plans for right now. 

Oh ... the money came in handy as well lol! However, I don't miss it as much as I thought I would. As I work from home now I am extremely low maintenance so that helps. 

Lia 

Sep 21, 8:26AM EDT0
What are the main drawbacks of being a full-time writer?
Sep 11, 5:58AM EDT0

Hello Mistraldanao

Thanks for your question.

I can't think of any drawbacks. It's all positive; I have time to interact with my team, do research, do things like AMAFeed, etc etc.

It helps that I am extremely disciplined and keep regular working hours only in my case, I go back to work after dinner as well.  Some may interpret that as a drawback, and also the isolation, but I don't. In my case I look forward to the time I can spend on writing. 

Lia 

Sep 21, 8:30AM EDT0
What is the most prevalent archetype in your stories?
Sep 10, 10:20AM EDT0

Hello Sursin31

Thanks for your question.

Ha! I'd have to say I have subscribed to the alpha male archetype. But hey, I write romance - it's kind of an expectation.

Here's the proof that writing against type doesn't always pay off.

In my first book - the prequel novella called Definition of Flawed - the male character lead is a guy called Paul and he isn't very nice at all. He's what my mother would have called a 'good-looking nothing (or nowt, as we say in these parts). He's a liar, a functioning alcoholic and a womaniser.

As it's a novella (it still has about 42k words though), I had to nail the characteriation in fewer words. I gave a sound bite of his back story to mitigate why he turned out this way.

Almost all my reviewers for Flawed are united in their dislike of Paul. As a romantic lead it was a bold move to make him this way and I'm not sure whether I'll do this again!

Lia 

Sep 21, 8:45AM EDT0
How important in life is to follow one's dreams?
Sep 9, 5:08PM EDT0

Hello Snowie

Thanks for your question.

Strangely enough, I never had aspirations on being an author but when I look back at my life I can see the signposts pointing the way. I just didn't read them.

To answer your question though, I'm a fatalist and believe everything happens for a reason. For 18 months I held down a full time job working 40+ hours a week, writing on evenings and weekends until it came to the crunch and this was no longer viable. 

By that time, being a full time author was definitely on my roadmap and I can't begin to tell you how I felt when I handed in my ID pass on my last day at work. The relief! The freedom! 

If you have a 'dream' in my opinion, you're compelled to do what you can to make it happen.

Lia 

Sep 21, 8:52AM EDT0

How long did it take for you to quit your job after making the decision you wanted to write full-time?  How did you plan?

Sep 4, 10:02PM EDT0

Hello Jacqueline

Thanks for your question.

The company I worked for forced my hand, really. It's possible that I may still be working there if the situation hadn't changed. The stress of trying to do four people's jobs including my own crushed my creativity and I wasn't prepared to let that happen. Fortunately my husband agreed and I came home one night, wrote my resignation letter and told them I'd be leaving in one week rather than the 8 weeks notice I should have given. 

As you can tell, I didn't plan. Then again, it wasn't a knee jerk reaction either. I'd been there almost 9 years and gave them plenty of opportunities to put things right. They expected me to re-write my new job description and agreed to a salary increase on the proviso that I did the research as I'd be writing my job spec!

We cut our cloth and have managed fine. We're lucky though - we don't have young children - ours are adults now.  I'm also low maintenance because as I work from home I have no need to replace my wardrobe, or have my hair done as often. I've always done my own mani's/pedi's so that isn't a concern. Plus, who see's me anyway? 

Lia 

Sep 21, 9:00AM EDT0
Why did you decide to write in the genre of erotic romance?
Sep 1, 10:50PM EDT0

Hello Teerin

Thanks for your question.

That's an easy one! I don't enjoy reading romance novels when the author leaves the reader outside the bedroom door, or fades to black. I prefer to know what's going on! 

Lia 

Sep 21, 9:01AM EDT0
How has working from home full time helped your writing versus writing from 7 til 11?
Sep 1, 2:49PM EDT0

Hello Donna

Thanks for your question.

It's helped tremendously. Instead of cramming research into a tiny time-slot, I now have more time to do it. Plus, as I'm on social media more now I'm able to dedicate the time to do it. I didn't have a presence until May 2017 so until then I had the 'luxury' of being able to just write.

Now my time is divided into writing/liaising with my team/social media/promotions/research.

I can't imagine trying to do everything I'm doing now as well as working. I'm sure if I'd had to do it, I would but this way is better!

Lia 

Sep 21, 9:04AM EDT0
Which characters in your books are most relatable to your readers? Why do you think so?
Sep 1, 2:02PM EDT0

Hello Deveoper

Thanks for your question.

I try to make all my characters relatable but if I was pushed, I'd say that everybody seems to love Sian (that's my female lead's best friend) and Max (that's my female lead's right hand man at work).

They're not without flaws but they're both very loyal to Scarlett. That's why I think people relate to them. 

Lia 

Sep 21, 9:07AM EDT0
There are many writers who would like to do what you did. What is your advice to them?
Sep 1, 12:52PM EDT0

Hello Jithinjohny

Thanks for your question.

This is a difficult question to answer, actually. I could do what I did because my husband supports me emotionally and financially. I'm still spending more than I'm earning but he's willing to 'speculate' with the hope that it pays off and I get the readership.

If you would like to do what I did and don't have the same support as me, but you're able to trade full-time for part-time work, that's what I'd do in the first instance. It's what I was planning to do before I resigned.

If this is just not possible, I'd suggest saving as much as you possibly can so you can cover your bills for a couple of years, then go part-time if you can't manage without your salary. 

Lia 

Sep 21, 9:13AM EDT0
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