Hello again, can how can it be August 22?
Today we have Callie Thomas dropping in to tell us about her Kindle Vella story - and all sorts of other goodies!
Callie Thomas was born in California but moved away immediately after, living in more places in the United States than she can remember. Even now, she can’t stay in one spot too long, but you can usually find her on the sandy shores of someplace tropical, possibly with a coconut drink in her hand. Callie has been writing since middle school when her teacher caught her writing stories instead of vocabulary words in her 7th grade English class. Plagued by doubt, she went in a completely different direction and graduated college at George Mason University with a Bachelor of Science in Graphic and Web Design. But the stories never stopped. Older and wiser (she hopes), she is finally ready to take a leap of faith with her writing. She recently published her first Vella series, A Forest of Stolen Memories, and is currently writing her first novel, The Captain's Daughter.
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When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
It’s hard to pinpoint the exact date and time, but I know it was in elementary school. When I would read stories or watch movies, my mind wanted to rewrite the plot. If she had said this, it would have been funnier. Or if he gave her a rose, this part would have been more romantic. As I grew up, that urge to shifted from changing what was in front of me to writing a new story I could see in my head.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
My creativity doesn’t like to be set on a schedule. Usually, it’s easier for the words to flow at night time when I have all my tasks completed and I can focus on writing.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I don’t like to write when anyone else is in the room. It’s too distracting.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I wrote a fairy tale in 3rd grade. My teacher picked my story to read in front of the class, and I remembered being so embarrassed when she got to the part where the prince had to kiss the girl to break the spell.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Reading is the obvious choice. But besides that, I love going to the beach with my family and playing board games. I’m actually in a few rulebooks as a beta tester and rules proofer.
What does your family think of your writing?
My kids think it’s pretty cool. It has encouraged them to write their own stories too. I think everyone has a story in us we want to write and they only need someone to give them that little push to get started.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
You aren’t just a writer. You are also an editor, a researcher, a promoter, a graphic designer, a social media manager, an advertiser, etc. There are so many hats to wear. Writing is only one piece of the puzzle.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I do! They comment when they are happy with characters' choices, but more often than not, I hear from them when they are frustrated to be left with a cliffhanger.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Don’t give up. Imposter syndrome snuck up on me, and I quit many times because I thought I was never good enough. I wasted time I could be writing and growing in my craft.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Canva! I make all my graphics and promos for my episodes with it. Scrivener would be a close second.
What did you do with your first advance?
I paid for my editor…but it was only $17.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
LOL! Too many. Ones that are closest to being finished? 5.
What does literary success look like to you?
Someone reading and enjoying my story. I don’t need to be famous or make a ton of money.
What’s the best way to market your books?
I have a story on Kindle Vella, so my marketing may differ from what traditional authors use. I use a mix of social media and Facebook ads to push out excerpts of my story. It’s working really well and I would highly recommend Vella Authors to look into this form of advertising.
What do you have coming next?
I have book two of my Kindle Vella series: A Sea of Golden Chains releasing late summer and a romantic comedy in the works. My first Vella, A Forest of Stolen Memories, will release on paperback, kindle, and KU before the end of the year.
I didn’t care that he was a prince—they would not force me to marry a stranger. Yards of white lace, patterned with roses over a white satin gown, clung to the top half of my body, then fanned out around me. Dazed, I stared at them, confused why I couldn’t remember a single detail about my dress. Or about myself. Who am I? Why could I not remember? “Rose? Darling?” the handsome prince whispered, his words warm like honey, coaxing my eyes to his. So familiar . . . those silver eyes lined with impossibly long sandy-brown lashes. They matched his styled hair, which curled around his golden crown, not a strand out of place. His thumbs rubbed in a soothing motion across my knuckles, my fingertips trapped in his grip. I tugged my hands, his eyes narrowing at my struggles as his hold turned painful. “Please let me go,” I cried out.
He slid closer, so close that his warm breath caressed my cheeks, and I inhaled his lemon scent. Fear rooted me in place, the feeling of confinement strangely paralyzing. His eyes trailed over my features with heated possession, stopping to linger at my lips. Releasing one of my hands, he reached his gloved fingers for my face. Did he think he could kiss me just because he wished it? Not if I had anything to say about it! **** What if the end of the fairy tale was only the beginning? On her wedding day, a mysterious curse erases Roselyn’s memory, leaving her panicked at the altar. Who is this prince she is being forced to marry and is the handsome stranger in the enchanted woods any safer? Nothing will stop her as she goes searching for her stolen memories. But to get the answers she seeks, she must be willing to sacrifice everything. Can she break the curse without breaking her heart?