Alessandra Torre is a New York Times Bestselling author who focuses on contemporary erotica. Her first book, Blindfolded Innocence, was published in July 2012, and was an Erotica #1 Bestseller for two weeks. She hit the NYT list with her sixth novel, Black Lies.
Alessandra lives in the gulf coast of Florida and is married, with one young child. She enjoys reading, spending time with her family, and playing with her dogs. Her favorite authors include Lisa Gardner, Gillian Flynn, and Jennifer Crusie.
Learn more about Alessandra on her website at http://www.alessandratorre.com, or you can find her on Twitter (@ReadAlessandra) or her Facebook fanpage.
1.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something? I never thought about writing until I read the book On Writing by Stephen King. That was really the book that turned writing – instead of being this unattainable skill – into a feasible act to commit. I sat down and wrote Blindfolded Innocence in six weeks.
2.What is a usual writing day like for you, how is it structured?
I spend the first 2-3 hours of the day writing – that is when my house is quiet and social media isn’t busy. After lunch I catch up on emails and social media. At night, I knock out different marketing projects and ‘to-do’ items, and often write another hour or two before bed.
3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? Sometimes I get stuck – it’s not so much that words don’t flow as it is that I just don’t know what is happening next in the book. When that happens I like to take the dogs on a long walk or go see a movie.
4.Are you a plotter or panster when it comes to writing a story? It depends on the book… I normally have some idea where the book is going but don’t typically know the ending. On complex plots I often have to do some sort of an outline.
5.Are you traditionally or self-published, and what was the publishing process like for you? Any advice to aspiring authors? I am a hybrid – I do both. I prefer self-publishing, though I love the editorial process of traditional publishing. My advice to aspiring authors – don’t go into this world to sell books or to quit your job. Go into this world for the love of creating these worlds and living through your characters. I get emails daily from new authors asking how they can get their book ‘discovered’ and disappointed by a lack of sales. Our market is flooded with books. Sales are extremely difficult to get. Sales are not the reason to become a writer. Become a writer because you have a story in you that is itching to get out. And enjoy getting it out.
6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? Writing books I am proud of. Every time I hit ‘publish’ on a new book I feel an overwhelming wave of accomplishment. My highlight has probably been hitting the New York Times list.
7.What audience is your book targeted for, and what genre does it come under? My books are typically erotic romance or contemporary romance. I also have a line of erotic suspense books called the Deanna Madden series.
8.What tip would you give to new authors when trying to build a fan-base / get followers and market their books? (What to do and what not to do.)
-write quality books and get them properly edited
-don’t expect to be an overnight success. I hit the NYT list with my sixth book.
-reach out to bloggers and ask for reviews. Give out free copies in exchange for reviews. Reviews are huge.
-focus all of your happiness on sales
-do your own cover. Pay for a professional.
-write a book with a cliffhanger ending unless you have the second book written and ready to publish within a short time frame.
Here are some blog posts I’ve written that aspiring authors may find helpful:
9.How long on average does it take you to write a book? I write roughly 2,000 words a day. It takes about 45 days to write a first draft. I then spend a month on editing and rewriting the book 4-5x. Then I spend a month on pre-promotion, formatting, book cover, etc. So about 3-5 months from start to finish.