Every writer wants to be famous, right? Who wouldn’t want tens of thousands of people to read (and love!) your books? But fame isn’t necessarily easy, and once you start succeeding, there’s pressure to keep succeeding.
Liana George understands this well, and she’s learning to apply it daily in her writing life. Today she’s going to share some of her wisdom with us.
Thank you for being here! Please, tell us what you write. How/why did you pick your genre?
I write contemporary women’s fiction. I don’t know that I “picked” that genre as it picked me! When I first had my story idea, I based it on events that had actually happened in my life, so it only seemed natural to make it contemporary. Plus, I tend to read more in that genre, so it was a good fit.
How long does it take you to: write the book? Edit it? Finalize it?
My first novel, Perfectly Arranged, took three years to write and edit. At the time I didn’t have any other writing demands, so I had the luxury of working on it as I pleased. Once my book was picked up and I was under contract for two more, I had to learn how to work/write faster! Now I can write a book in six months, hand it off to my freelance editor for a month, then take another month for those revisions before sending it to my publisher. It feels like break-neck speed to me as it is, so I don’t see my pace changing anytime soon.
If you’ve written multiple books, which was harder: the first book or the following books?
Oh, definitely the following ones! As I said above, I had a lot of time to complete the first book so the stress of writing the next two (Perfectly Placed, Perfectly Matched) under contract demands and timelines made the task more difficult. Not only that, but the worry of living up to the first book and the readers’ expectations was daunting as well. I feel like my writing has improved, but there are still moments when imposter syndrome kicks in and stops me dead in my tracks, which doesn’t help either!
What conference do you most want to attend?
I’ve been blessed to attend ACFW and Mount Hermon in the past, as well as many online conferences (ACFW Virginia, West Coast Christian Writers, and Kentucky Christian Writers Conference). However, my goal is to attend the Blue Ridge Writers Conference at some point. I want to enjoy the beautiful setting and listen to their great line-up of speakers.
What’s your writing day like?
It’s taken me a long time to figure that out, but I think I’ve discovered that my best writing gets done in the morning (but not too early). I try to be in my office between 8:30 and 9 and work on my writing until lunch. I can usually work on a few more writing-related tasks after lunch before my brain becomes overloaded (around 3 pm). Then I switch to more non-intensive work like marketing, emails, etc. I try to wrap things up between 5 and 6 pm.
How do you combat writer’s block?
Good question! I’ve found that I have to just start writing (easier said than done, I know) and allow myself to write “crappy” first drafts. I’ve also found that knowing where I’m going with the story (yes, I’m a plotter) and clear pictures of who and what I’m writing about help me actually get words on the page and avoid any blocks.
What advice do you have for new authors?
I think this quote by James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, is the best advice I can share:
“Many people are not ready for their lucky break when it comes to them.
Develop your skills. Study your craft. Save some money. Build a network before you need it. Lay the groundwork.
The prepared person is positioned to benefit from unexpected opportunities.”
How do you self-edit your manuscript?
Once I’ve typed THE END, I print out the entire manuscript and go through it page by page with my red pen. Once I’ve made those edits, I print it out again and then follow along with the text while listening to the manuscript from my computer (I use a free program for readback but may upgrade for better dictation). It’s amazing how many mistakes I find simply by listening!
Six weeks after leaving China, Nicki Mayfield returns to complete two critical tasks: restore order at New Hope Orphanage and reconnect with the little girl who stole her heart. However, between a stubbornly stone walling supervisor, missing documents, and personal tragedy, Nicki faces challenges at every turn. Is she the best person to bring order – and longevity – to the place these children call home? Then, with the help of an unexpected ally, Nicki makes a life-altering decision that upends her well-planned life and the lives of those around her. Will she lose it all, or has she found the way to save what matters most?
Liana George is a sought-after speaker, blogger, and author. Before pursuing a career in writing, she was a professional organizer and is the former owner of By George Organizing Solutions in Houston. Her debut novel, Perfectly Arranged, Book One in the Hopeful Heart Series, was released in October 2021 from Scrivenings Press. When she’s not putting things in order or scribbling away, you can find her reading, traveling, or watching tennis.