Monday, October 6, 2014

Anya Richards & The Long Haul

Please welcome Anya Richards to the blog today!


How many times have I said I’m giving up this writing gig? Too many to count. Sales slump? I’m done. Ideas seem silly? It’s over. The words won’t come? Clearly I’ve lost the knack.
Well… I’m still here ain’t I?

The truth is, if you have the need to tell a story, you really can’t give up. The tales bubbling in your head won’t let you. The drive to create won’t let you. But here’s the kicker…

There’s more to it.

Do you know “that guy” or “that girl”? The one who always has everyone around them riveted at parties, as they tell story after story about what they’ve done or heard? They’re storytellers of a type—a kind with a long and glorious history. They’re the troubadours of our time, and long after they’re gone people will say, “Do you remember that story so-and-so used to tell?” But no one will ever be able to tell that story the way they did. No one. And those stories you want to write down? No one will ever be able to tell them the way you can.

Yet, maybe you’re afraid to try. Maybe it’s not something you’ve ever done before and you think, “I may suck at it.”

Well, you might, but can I point something out to you? When you were a baby and tried to walk, I almost guarantee you sucked at it. You fell over, sat on your butt—probably hard—had to grab stuff to stop from tumbling over. Someone held your hands to help you up and give you some balance, but you fell over again once they let you go. Then one day, after stumbling, falling, crying and maybe even bleeding, you started walking on your own. Then you got stronger and, to your parents’ mingled pride and chagrin, started running. You never looked back after that. The same goes for everything we’ve had to learn—how to speak, do mathematics, draw—every- and anything.

So, don’t be afraid. The want is the thing. If you want to write, get started. Maybe you have a natural talent and the book will be awesome, you never know! But if you’re like the rest of us, it’ll need something more—a little help. When I started, people loved the stories themselves, but there were craft problems. I got critiques and took some writing courses and kept at it. I started getting “good’ rejections, those where the editors told me exactly why they wouldn’t acquire the stories, and that told me the areas I still needed to work on. Eventually I got that first “Yes” and I was walking! Twenty-plus yeses later, I still consider myself learning and hopefully growing…

And that leads to my last piece of advice…

Don’t stop. Don’t get stuck. Keep your mind open to the possibilities of growth and change. Keep moving forward instead of staying in one safe or known place. Keep going…and suddenly you’ll find yourself running the writing marathon, and winning.

Multi-published author Anya Richards lives with her husband, youngest kid, a mutt, and two cats that plot world domination one food bowl at a time. The humans support her writing while the animals see her preoccupation as a goad.

Insatiably curious and irreverent, Anya loves history, music, the sea and a good rum punch. To learn more drop by Anya’s website make friends with her on Facebook  or follow her on Twitter.

His seductive rhythm calls to the passionate soul hiding within…
Jane Rollins is anything but plain, but to keep her position as housekeeper to a wealthy family, she is content to hide her beauty behind a dull façade. This deception has become second-nature to her—until dance master Sergio Fontini waltzes into her life.

While the other inhabitants of the house see him as a foreigner and beneath their notice, Jane sees strength, barely leashed power, and an aura of iron control—an irresistible, arousing combination.

Sergio sees through Jane’s disguise to the woman beneath, and the desires in her veiled gaze call to him like the utterly irresistible strains of a beautiful symphony. The circumstances couldn’t be worse, for seducing her will endanger both their livelihoods.

Yet there are lessons he cannot resist teaching her, steps of a dance that crescendos to her final surrender…

Product Warnings

A deliciously seductive Italian unmasks a supposedly respectable Victorian woman and leads her into a lust-filled pas de deux.

Buy Links

Bellissima on Amazon Kindle
Bellissima* Amazon UK

Enter to Win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks Anya!

I love this advice. There are always, ALWAYS, going to be obstacles and down moments, but if we love the writing, we're going to keep at it! Are you in for the long haul?


  1. There have been a lot of moments where I could have given it up - but the writing is so important that I have to persevere. Thanks for this interview.

  2. I've been trying to give up writing for years now.
    Everything has a learning curve, including writing.
    Congratulations on your latest, Anya.

  3. I think of giving up a lot. I enjoyed the post, especially the analogy to a baby learning to walk. Good luck on your new book, Anya.

  4. Keep learning and growing because we never fully arrive. And no one knows it all.

  5. Thank you all for stopping by and commenting! I think like most writers getting the words down is a compulsion for me, and I'm glad to see others have the same "problem"! And definitely keep growing, because that's what keeps the writing fresh and exciting both to us authors and also the readers.

  6. Great tips! Stubbornness is a good trait in this industry...helps combat the fear.

  7. This is great advice! We're constantly learning and growing. We may feel frustrated, but there's no reason to give up -- we'll only get better from here. :) Thanks, Anya and Jemi!

  8. I guess as long as I'm having fun, I'll keep writing. That and learning new stuff is my main motivation, but I have quit at least 20 times. Quitting lasts about two minutes.

    Congrats on your book!

  9. I used to say on a regular basis that I was quitting the writing. One day, not to long ago, I decided I can't stop writing, I love it that much.

  10. It has been great seeing Anya around the blogosphere. I wish her the best of luck! Her book does sound enticing. :)

    I also loved her advice and the reminder about learning to walk was perfect! Thanks for sharing.

  11. Very nice, Anya. Thanks for sharing and best of luck with your latest!

  12. Beth - I agree - no giving up!

    Alex - so true - and I know I've still got a long way to go!

    Diane - 'we never fully arrive' - I LOVE that!

    Anya - thanks again for being here!

    Elizabeth - now stubbornness is a trait I have a lot of! :)

    Shelley - some of my biggest frustrations have turned into my biggest opportunities to grow!

    Lee - love that! :)

    Teresa - me too! Even if no one ever reads it, I'll be okay :)

    Jess - yes - great analogy!

    Jeff - agreed :)

  13. Great advice. Very inspiring!

    Congrats, Anya, on your latest novel! Jemi, thanks for sharing Anya's post!

  14. Such a good blog post! I've had people tell me they're afraid they'll fail. I'm going to tell them about learning to walk the next time that happens. Thanks.

    Hi, Jemi!

  15. Great post. Congrats to Anya!

    Hi Jemi!

  16. Carol - I love that analogy too!

    Kelly - agreed! :)

  17. Wonderful post.

    I'm not much of an oral storyteller, but I've put in the time and practice to be a writer.

  18. Medeia - I'm the same. I like to have the time to edit! :)

  19. Nice. I grew up with the motto: Dare to Dream. If we don't dare, we'll never accomplish anything, eh?

  20. Congratulations Anya! Great advice.

  21. Writing is such a rollercoaster affair...thanks for the great advice!

    Congratulations to Anya! Good luck with the book!
    Keep away from a man who can dance, and has a name like Sergio Fontini...sounds like trouble! LOL

  22. Wonderful advice! Thanks for sharing and congratulations on your book.

  23. Thank you all for coming by, and I'm so glad my analogy was helpful. Whether it's a fear of failure or of success, fear definitely can cripple any creative soul, but all of life is a process of growing, learning and fighting our demons. Doing those things every day will see us through!

    And Michelle, I'm sure if poor Jane had a mother to guide her, she'd have given her the same advice. "Italian? Dancer? Sergio? No! Stay away from him!!"

  24. Anya - thanks again! Fear is my big nemesis :)