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When and why did you begin writing?
I have been writing all my life. My unfinished/unsubmitted manuscript folder is huge! But here lately I’ve been really pushing it harder because my daughter started reading books and talking about them. That made me pull out an idea I’d been tossing around for years and make it reality. I wanted to write things people wanted to read and wanted to make the effort to get them out there.
What does your life as a writer look like? What is your schedule and do you work at writing full time?
I work during the day so my writing takes place in the evenings and on the weekends. I do my best to schedule that time into my day so my family doesn’t feel neglected. It’s tough and I don’t get nearly as much done as I’d like. But that’s life!
What books/authors have most influenced your life most?
I blame a combination of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon books, Roger Zelazny’s Amber books, and Georgette Heyer’s Regency romances for most of my writing predilections. That and many years of Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine.
What are you working on now? Any new projects or books you can share with us?
I’m working on The Merchant’s Son, the sequel to The Blacksmith’s Daughter, but life has thrown me some curveballs. I also have some works in progress under my romance pseudonym Leigh Daley.
As an author, how important do you feel social media is to your career? Is marketing a love/hate relationship with you (as many authors admit) or do you enjoy it? How much time daily/weekly do you spend promoting?
My brother gave me some very sage advice about social media. He told me, “The Internet rewards content. Whatever you do, always create content. Don’t just advertise.” So I’m working harder at creating fresh content that engages people. My blog at www.arleycole.blogspot.com features a new series in fact on how to use one of the Internet’s biggest free critiquing services to help developing writers with their craft.
Is there anything else you'd like to add? Perhaps some advice to any aspiring authors out there?
Ask yourself why you want to write. Know deep in your heart what you want out of it. The world of publishing is undergoing a paradigm shift like you wouldn’t believe right now. Nobody knows how it will look in ten years. So if you want to write, now may be the perfect time to get your work out there. On the other hand, the system may chew you up and spit you out just because the grinding wheels of progress are going off the tracks. If you aren’t writing to make yourself happy, you will be miserable. But if you are miserable when you’re not writing, you need to by all means do it. Be happy.