Trish Milburn

Meet Trish Milburn!

I worked as a journalist before becoming a full-time author. I still do occasional freelance jobs, but I dedicate most of my time to writing books now. I’m a two-time Golden Heart winner and have published four books with Harlequin American with three more due out in the first half of 2012, two young adult books (under the name Tricia Mills) with Razorbill, and three self-published titles. I have three young adult titles coming out next year under my own name from Bell Bridge Books.

Did you ever want to quit writing? Why or why not?

Oh, heck yeah. I’ve told this story many times. I had in 2007 what I called my Summer of Buffy. I’d hit the 10-year mark for trying to get published and got really down thinking that my Golden Heart finals were the best I was ever going to do. I couldn’t make myself write and ended up lying on the couch all summer watching all seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the first time, all five seasons of Angel and the first season of Supernatural. But something happened while I was watching all that TV. I got an idea for a young adult story and ended up writing the first draft in 17 days. It took me a while to sell that story, but Coven is the first in my trilogy coming out next year, debuting in February. It wasn’t the first story I sold, but it’s what kept me going. A year after the Summer of Buffy, I sold my first two books to Razorbill. Three months later, I sold my first two romances to Harlequin American. So I’m a big believer in perseverance now, even when it’s really, really hard to keep going.

What are your writing career goals? (i.e. to write 2 books a year? To hit the NY Bestsellers List? To sell 100 books a month?)
I think we all might have that New York Times Bestsellers List. I want to have at least three releases a year, and I’d love to eventually see at least one of my YA books turned into a movie. I plan to keep up with my three-prong business plan – books with large publishers, smaller publishers and self-publishing. I don’t like having all my eggs in one basket, and I tend to write different types of stories. I’d also love to make enough that my husband could quit his job. He’s supported me throughout the years when I wasn’t selling, and it’d be nice if he could have the free time and energy to indulge the pursuits he likes. 

Have you truly mastered grammar and sentence structure? Do you feel 100% confident about every comma in your book?
Nobody’s ever going to catch everything. No matter how many times I proof a book, there’s always going to be some little something I need to change. I think all writers experience this. That said I’m pretty confident in the cleanliness of my books. My work at newspapers and magazines helped hone my copy editing skills, and I’ve done freelance copy edit work for other authors and a local publisher.

How many pages do you think you could write in one day if you had zero interruptions from 8 AM to 8 PM?
The most I’ve ever written in a day was between 25 and 30 pages. I find that my pace is fastest when I start and declines as the day goes on and my brain tires. I do best when I write a few pages, then take a break for exercise or chores, then write some more. I’m more productive in writing spurts of about half an hour at a time.

How do you think (take a guess) writers like Nora Roberts write so many books in a year?
They view it as a full-time job and treat it as such. If you have a regular day job where someone else pays you, you can’t say, “I don’t feel like going to work today. I think I’ll stay home and watch TV or go shopping.” Too much of that and you’re out of a job. Why would writing be any different?

What would be easier for you to write, a sex scene or a murder scene?

Hmm, would depend on the book. I’ve written both types and sometimes they flow easily, and sometimes they’re like pulling teeth.

Any advice for new writers just getting started?
Stick with it, even when the going gets tough. And never stop improving your craft. Writing is a crowded marketplace, and with the industry changing so much and so quickly the quality of the writing is really what is going to make you stand out and be successful.

Thank you, Trish! If you would like to learn more about Trish Milburn, visit the following sites:
Find Trish on Twitter: @TrishMilburn  

23,000 Books Sold

Below, I have listed what I've been doing as far as promoting and social networking. More and more books are being released every day. It's easy to disappear. I'm not a saleswoman. I could never sell books out of the trunk of my car. It's just not me. But I know that if I sit back and do nothing, I'll be invisible. I want people to read my stories, which means I have to get out there and be seen. They can't read my stories if they can't find them.

Write. I must keep writing every day. Readers can't read my books if I don't write them.

My goal is to try everything at least once. I don't have to do it all this month or even this year. But when it comes to promoting my book and getting my name out there, especially if it's FREE, I'm probably going to give it a try.

Be fearless. Put yourself out there. Get out of your comfort zone.

Blogs: Questions and answers are fun, fast and easy. I talked with Trish Milburn in May. I answered questions on Dave Wisehart's Blog Kindle Author in June, 2011. I have a post on Joan Swan's Blog coming up on Monday, August 1st and Anne-Mhairi Simpson's questions and answers will be up on Thursday, August 4th.

BlogTalkRadio: I talked with Giovanni Gelati on July 28th on the G-Zone. Definitely out of my comfort zone but I had a blast and would do it again. In fact, I will be interviewed by John Rakestraw on November 6th, 2011, at Unbridled Editor.

Twitter: I love all of the great information to be found on Twitter. I could spend hours over there, but I still limit myself to 30 minutes or under a day and I spend more time reading other people's tweets than posting my own. @theresaragan

Kindle Boards: Same thing. I love interacting with other writers and seeing what they're up to. I also like checking out Book Corner (Kindle Boards) to see what readers are talking about and reading.

Facebook: A great place to see what writers and friends are up to.

Paid for Advertising: The Romance Reviews, Eye on RomanceKindle Nation (September).

Book Reviews: I took part in Menage a Blog, a wonderful blog tour, run by the Indie Book Collective. I met lots of fun people. It was a lot of work but worth every moment. My book was sent to reviewers who were interested in the genre of the book I was talking about that week. I ended up with 7 new reviews, but not all of them have been posted on Amazon and B&N, etc. Hopefully that will happen soon. And I'm hoping any readers who liked my book will post a review, too!

The BookRooster. Just this morning I paid $ to have BookRooster find people who read in the genre of the books I submitted to their review site. It takes months because they find readers who like getting free books. And in return, those people give honest reviews and post them to Amazon. I am doing that for Taming Mad Max and Finding Kate Huntley. I will keep you updated.

March, 2011 thru July, 2011 SALES

 Return of the Rose - Released March 2, 2011    $2.99
Medieval Time Travel Romance

March:     253
April:       879
May:     1,595
June:    1,460 
July:     1,200*
TOTAL: 5,387

A Knight in Central Park - Released March 18, 2011   $.99
Medieval Time Travel Romance

March:    265
April:    6,017
May:     4,282
June:    2,383
July:     1,100*
TOTAL: 14,047

Taming Mad Max - Released April 25, 2011  $2.99
Romantic Comedy

April:      30
May:     182
June:     264
July:      290
TOTAL: 766

Finding Kate Huntley - Released May 5, 2011   $2.99
Romantic Suspense

May:      184
June:      256
July:       300*
TOTAL: 740

Abducted - Released May 29, 2011   $2.99
Romantic Suspense/Thriller

May:          24
June:        696
July:       1,600*
TOTAL:  2,320

Total Books sold for March thru July = 23,260*

*The July sales are estimated since today is July 30th and I will not know exact July sales until August 1st. I am selling between 130 and 180 books a day. I have not included Smashword sales, but those sales are improving every day. 

If you have questions, tips for writers or readers, a book to promote, then go for it and leave a comment!