Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Today, it's my pleasure to have Amy M. Reade, author of the The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor as my guest to talk about becoming a writer.

Five Things I Wish I had Known Before Becoming an Author

by Amy M. Reade

When I started my first novel, Secrets of Hallstead House, I had no plans to submit it to a publisher. But the more I wrote and the further I got into the story, I began to think that I probably should submit it to someone because it was too much work to do for nothing.

I had no idea what I was getting into. The very first person who rejected the book said it was good, but I had no online presence. So I signed up for a Facebook account, my previous declarations that I would never join Facebook notwithstanding (never say never).

Once the book was accepted for publication, I learned very quickly that my dreams of sitting back and waiting for those royalty checks to roll in were just that—dreams. And thus, firmly planted in reality, here are the five things I wish I had known before becoming an author:

1. Unless you’re J.K. Rowling or John Grisham or some other author who’s sold a million billion books, you have to do most of the legwork to market yourself. If you have a publisher, the publicity department should help you out, but they have so many authors to promote that they can’t devote tons of time and resources to your book. So you have to get out there and promote it yourself. This takes an incredible amount of time and energy. It helps if you’re an extrovert. After I got a personal page on Facebook, I then created an author page, then I started a blog, then I designed my own website, then I ventured into the Twitterverse. I’ve had a steep learning curve, but guess what? I love it.

2. I had no idea how many genres of books there were until I had to pick one for my first novel. Did you know there are at least thirty-six subgenres of romance? Did you know there are at least twenty suspense subgenres and a minimum of twenty-two mystery/crime subgenres? It’s very hard to pick just one or two subgenres for a book, but it’s necessary because that’s how books are sold online, especially through Amazon which, for better or worse, is how most books are sold online.

3. You’ve probably heard the old adage “you have to spend money to make money.” That is almost my mantra now. I’ve had to shell out money for author swag, books to give away, transportation and hotel fare for writers’ conferences, and several blog tours. It’s a very expensive journey. From what I’ve read, most authors spend their first few books in the red because they have to spend so much to promote themselves. It’s not until the third book that the great majority of authors start to break even.

4. Authors read all the time! This one should have been quite obvious, and it was, but I never realized the extent to which other authors read. I love to read and I read during every spare minute, but I’m a rookie compared to other authors I’ve met. I’m constantly amazed at the amount of reading that other writers can accomplish in a day.

5. The writers I’ve been lucky enough to meet, whether in person or online, are the most generous, helpful, kind, supportive, gracious, and interesting group of people I’ve ever met. It may be a rat race to get readers and followers and fans, but it’s not a competition. There’s room for everyone’s books on the bookshelves and most authors seem to acknowledge this. They yearn to connect with other writers and share stories—both good and bad—as well as tips and encouragement.

Why do I wish I had known #5 before I became a writer? Because if I had known it, I would have become a writer sooner. And despite the hard work and the disappointments that come with every job, including that of a writer, I can no longer imagine doing anything else.

I invite you to have a look at my most recent romantic suspense novel, The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor. As you may have guessed from the title, the novel is set at Peppernell Manor, an antebellum plantation near Charleston, South Carolina, that has seen better days. But when its owner hires restoration specialist Carleigh Warner to oversee its return to grandeur, disagreements over the property’s future threaten to tear the Peppernell family apart. Carleigh is swept unwittingly into a whorl of secrets that she must face to protect her future and her daughter’s life.

I also invite you to visit me online, where I love connecting with readers. You can find me at the following places:
 Website: (my website has a page listing my appearances)




About This Author

Amy M. Reade is also the author of Secrets of Hallstead House, a book set in the Thousand Islands of northern New York, where Amy grew up. After graduating from Cornell University, she went on to law school at Indiana University in Bloomington. She practiced law in New York City before moving to southern New Jersey, where, in addition to writing, she is a wife, a full-time mom and a volunteer in school, church and community groups. She lives just a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean with her husband and three children as well as a dog and two cats. She loves cooking and all things Hawaii and is currently at work on her next novel.

Thank you Amy for joining us today!  Now let's take a look at...


“Do you know what stories Sarah could tell you about the things that happened in these little cabins? They’d curl that pretty red hair of yours.”

Outside of Charleston, South Carolina, beyond hanging curtains of Spanish moss, at the end of a shaded tunnel of overarching oaks, stands the antebellum mansion of Peppernell Manor in all its faded grandeur. At the request of her friend Evie Peppernell, recently divorced Carleigh Warner and her young daughter Lucy have come to the plantation house to refurbish the interior. But the tall white columns and black shutters hide a dark history of slavery, violence, and greed. The ghost of a former slave is said to haunt the home, and Carleigh is told she disapproves of her restoration efforts. And beneath the polite hospitality of the Peppernell family lie simmering resentments and poisonous secrets that culminate in murder—and place Carleigh and her child in grave danger…


  1. Christa, thank you for hosting me today!

  2. I know it's a lot of work, but as a reader let me say that I really enjoy all the contact through posts and interviews and giveaways and social media with authors who are NOT J. K. Rowling, John Grisham, Stephen King or any of the other billion-book sellers. Many of them have become my favorites.