Shadows Gray… Self-Publishing Advice!

Coolest new book you need to read!

Have you ever wanted to see your name in lights… er… print?


Who doesn’t want a bit of fame and (hopefully) fortune?!


My friend, Melyssa Williams, has just published her first book, Shadows Gray, on  Kindle and Nook. It’s very exciting, even more so because it’s a really good book!


As you know, I have a book I’ve peddled to publishers. Since it’s about, ahem, intimate issues, it’s been a hard sell. Agents seem to want a few more letters of alphabet soup after my name, things like PhD or MD or such. Apparently MRS and MOM don’t count…


… oh, the injustice of the world. I think I’ll manage.


Anyway, I’ve been highly interested in Melyssa’s experience as she self-publishes because the book industry is changing in a fast and furious way. So, of course, I asked her about self-publishing and how she found the time to write this shining gem of a novel!


StealingFaith:  Why did you decide to self-publish? 

MelyssaWilliams: I decided to self publish because I felt the old-fashioned route would be too long, taxing, expensive, and just plain out of my reach.  I already have a couple of part-time jobs and three kids so devoting huge amounts of time and energy and money to a process with absolutely no guarantee of any kind of reward just seemed like something I wasn’t willing to do.  Self publishing gives a struggling writer a chance to see their dream materialize – albeit a digital one!  Of course, I’d rather have my book in print, with real pages, or on the shelf of the local library, but this is great fun too!


SF: How long have you been writing?

MW: I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil.  I always loved fashioning stories out of my head and filling up notebooks with them.  I loved fairy tales and still do.  I went through a dark and gloomy poetry phase as a teen.  When I felt like I had to “grow up” though, I gave up writing.  I was also dancing so it seemed as though every “career” aspiration I had were these starving artist types! There were babies to raise and bills to pay and I didn’t realize I even missed writing until I started again!


SF: What successes and challenges have you faced as a writer who also homeschools, works, etc.? 

MW: The biggest challenge for me seems to be the times when I have these great ideas and I’m absolutely itching to sit at the computer and write and write and write but I can’t because there are so many other needs surrounding me!  Writing can feel self-indulgent.  And it never fails that when I DO have an hour or two and the stars align and all’s right with the world, I will inevitably have major writer’s block!  Every time.


SF: What advice do you offer for aspiring writers?  

MW: My advice for mommies who want to write would be to start.  Start now.  It doesn’t matter if the house is loud and the nothing’s “right.”  Multi-task!  I wrote parts of the book at the same time I played cards with my son.  Okay, maybe I wouldn’t recommend that… But even if it’s only a sentence here and a paragraph there, they will string together faster than you think and progress is very motivating!  I also was very motivated by word count.  I gave myself little goals…hit 32,000 words and have a piece of chocolate!  Accountability was also important.  I knew once I told people I was writing the book, they would keep me accountable and they certainly did!


I just love hearing Melyssa’s perspective and look forward to seeing how her book does in the future. Help her out – it’s $2.99 for the download, which is a bargain price, don’cha know?!


Don’t forget to comment on any of the Shadows Gray posts to enter to win a free copy of her download. I’m selecting the winner tomorrow night via a totally unscientific process that will probably look something like this:


“Hey, Uno! Come over here and draw a name from the hat!” “Mama! I don’t want to do that! I’d rather continue watching this special on Bigfoot on t.v.! I’m expecting to see Julius Caesar at any moment!”

“Hey, Dos! Come see me! I need help choosing a winner for the book giveaway!” “OK, Mama! Can I do three flips and walk on my hands over to see you, though?” “Hm… no.”

“Hey, Tres! Come here little one! Plunge your sticky hands in this bowl and pull out a name! No… don’t eat the name, just give it to me… no, no… give it to me, now. Please? Oh, for the love of… why did you just hide that name in your diaper?!”


I know. It’s predictable.


But, regardless, make your comment because we need to have a winner! Here’s your question for the day:


If you were to write a book, what would the name of your main character be and what would they look like?

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5 thoughts on “Shadows Gray… Self-Publishing Advice!

  • March 25, 2012 at 11:45 am

    I really enjoyed this post, and was looking forward to it from the time you told me you were planning to write it.

    I love how Melyssa saw self-publishing as sort of taking the power and the reigns in her own grips, to determine her own process of putting her work out there. I have met several other YA writers who self-published, then got agents, and it’s interesting to see both sides of it.

    I love Melyssa’s advice for Moms who want to write and I’m going to share the article with a friend who is itching to get back into her writing with a 2 year old in tow.

    I also loved the line, “Writing can seem self-indulgent,” as I’ve often felt that myself! I try to just keep everything in balance in my life, and I always say, “I’m the well my family drinks from. If I’m empty, there’s nothing for them to drink from.” I see my writing as a soul food as equal in necessity as drinking water. It feeds me and gives me something to feed others. When I am living in this space of fully expressing who I am, I’m a (much more) happy, content, peaceful Mama, and what could be better then that?

    I’d love to hear advice from both of you girls on how you actually COMPLETED your manuscripts. I have reformatted my Memoir about 7 times, have been working on it diligently for the last 1.5 years (almost daily, although I do go through periods where I take a break for awhile) and while I have about 400 (double-spaced) pages done, and another 400 waiting to be fit into the new format, I still have a long way to go.

    So, here’s my questions for you both.

    How do you balance blogging and writing manuscripts and/or other paid writing work?
    How long did it take you to write your manuscripts start to finish?
    How many times did you reformat?
    Did you have any editors (even friends) who helped?
    What would you say was the BIGGEST factor that contributed to the completion of the manuscript?

    This is wonderful to be connecting with other Mom-writers like yourselves, ladies!

    • March 25, 2012 at 10:46 pm

      Those are good questions! I’ll pose them to Melyssa and think of it myself… and we’ll see if we come up with anything useful between the two of us. 🙂

  • March 25, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    If I tell you, you might steal it for your next book! 😉 Actually the heroine of my book (I wrote three chapters based on an adventurous dream I had one night) was also a “Gray”. I guess it’s a popular name!

    I did have fun writing it though…maybe I should give it another whirl! Thanks for this fun and informative interview. 🙂

  • March 26, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Great questions! Looking forward to answering them soon! I’m visiting my mommy for the week and neither of us can figure out the password to her internet so I have to borrow her laptop…she wants it back. Drat.


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