In honor of Read-A-Romance Month and Romance Awareness Month, this August we’ll be sharing the insights of four romance authors who have been navigating the world of the genre and writing all about love in their latest novels. Here, you can read the full interview with Maggie Rawdon. For her website and social media, see below!
How did you first get into writing romance novels – why romance? Do you have any stories you’d like to share about your initial experiences in this particular genre and how they have influenced your journey going forward?
I got into writing romance novels when I started writing one for fun. I always had stories and characters floating around in my head so I thought it would be a fun experiment to see if I could write a whole novel. Life got in the way though and I shelved it for a bit. When I decided I wanted to try again last summer I decided to write a series leading up to the book I originally wrote. I chose romance because it had always been a genre I enjoyed reading from the time I first picked them up as a teenager.
What does your writing process typically look like? Where do you gain inspiration from, especially because there is a depth and complexity to these stories that set them apart from traditional conceptions of romance novels?
My writing process is always chaotic. I don’t plot my novels and I just write as scenes come to me. Then I’ll go back and try to stitch all the scenes into the final novel.
How do you come up with the names for your characters? What about the titles of your books?
Some of my characters just come to me with names, but other times I’ll find myself scrolling those baby name websites hunting for something that fits the character I have in mind. So far I’ve only written football romance, so all my titles are somehow related to the game—plays, penalties, things like that.
How do you approach determining the nature of the plot or the trope(s) that you pursue in a given novel? Do you tend to stick with what is popular among readers or what is trending at the moment? Are there other key decisions at any point in the writing process that you tend to struggle with?
As far as tropes, I’m obsessed with enemies to lovers and he falls first. If I could write every single book that way, I probably would. I do try to take into consideration what my readers enjoy and balance that with what I think I’m capable of writing. I also really love getting to twist tropes or do something different with them – like ex-husband’s best friend.
When writing a novel, how do you decide whether or not it will become a series? Is it sometimes difficult to envision a future for a narrative or characters, or do subsequent books come naturally? Do you plan writing a series in advance/prior to starting the process, or is that a decision that comes later?
I love writing friend groups and found families. So far that means I write exclusively in series. I won’t say that I’ll never write a true standalone, but I really enjoy writing a world, a friend group, and building that in the background through a series of interconnected standalones. It makes it hard to leave the world though because by the end they feel like old friends.
Social media, particularly TikTok in recent years, has played a huge role in book promotion with the advent of “BookTok” and the progression of online fandom activities that have existed for decades. How has social media provided a platform for promoting/marketing your books and creating a fandom space for your novels? Do you have any notable stories in mind about your works going viral or skyrocketing in other ways through TikTok, etc.?
I’m terrible at social media but I have some very supportive readers who make amazing videos and flatlays of my books and spread the word about characters and stories they enjoy. That definitely helps get the word out. I’m incredibly thankful they take the time and effort out of their busy lives to do that.
That being said, readers are more connected to authors than ever through social media and independent publishing. How do you feel about this sense of connection and attainability? How do fans impact your writing process, whether directly or indirectly? Describe what it’s like having an ARC team, beta team, etc. and being able to receive trusted feedback from your readers.
Having a beta team to get feedback is amazing. They can point out when you’ve missed something in the plot, give you perspective on your characters you didn’t have before and draw attention to areas where your story is dragging. They can see things you can’t because you’re stuck in your head all the time writing, so they’re honestly one of the best things a writer can have. As far as readers being connected to authors on social media – I love talking to readers. There have been days where I’ve been struggling to write and someone will message me to tell me they loved a scene or a character in one of my books and it honestly means the world. It makes it feel like it’s all worth it.
Describe what it’s like to be an independently published novelist. What obstacles have you encountered with this approach? Advantages? How do you handle the “business” aspect of being not only the author but the publisher and promoter of your stories?
Being an independently published author has a lot of advantages. You get more control over how your books are edited, you control the design and vision for your brand, you can pivot quickly if something isn’t working or double down on it if it is. On the other side of it though, your resources are limited compared to a major publishing house and it can be difficult to wear all the hats – writer, designer, marketer, admin – at once. It can be hard to find enough time in the day to do all the things and make sure you get enough time to write.
Here’s where you can find Maggie Rawdon online and learn more about her novels!
Website » www.maggierawdon.com
Email » Click here!
Amazon » Click here!
Newsletter » www.maggierawdon.com/subscribe
Facebook » www.facebook.com/maggierawdon
Instagram » www.instagram.com/maggierawdonbooks
TikTok » www.tiktok.com/@maggierawdon