About Dakota Willink:
I am a self employed writer and editor, and the author of Heart of Stone, a contemporary romance novel.
I have always had a passion for reading and writing. From the time I was an adolescent, I enjoyed curling up with a good paperback, reading genres that ranged from thriller and fantasy, to mystery and romance. I always dreamed of one day writing my own book, but had put my aspirations on hold to focus on my family and a career that would pay the bills.
Although I earned a degree in business and had built a solid reputation in retail sales, my heart continued to be with fictional characters – whether they belonged to a favorite author or if they were just stories that I made up in my own head.
In 2013, I gathered enough courage to turn my dreams into a reality. In between playing chauffeur to two very busy children and working my job during the day, I finally began to put words on paper. Eventually, I began to describe my life as a book. Everything I saw or heard throughout the day, intertwined with my imagination for the creation of future writings. By 2014, with the support of my husband and children, I gave up the security of a steady paycheck and began working on my first novel full time.
I currently reside in the Western New York area, where I enjoy spending time with family, my two Labrador Retrievers, and my spoiled rotten cat. During the summer months, I can often be found on a boat, soaking up the sun on the Great Lakes.
Heart of Stone is available in paperback through Amazon, and on Kindle for eReaders.
What inspires you to write?
I’m a lover of music, and appreciate the power and stimulating effect it can have on the brain. I often use lyrics and melodies to help me through bouts of writers block. At the end of my novel, you can find an authors note that recognizes and thanks the artists that gave me inspiration.
Tell us about your writing process.
I am an author that just writes whatever comes to mind. I once tried outlining the framework for my book, but found that it gets in the way of the creative process. I’m the type of person that will just think of an idea, then let the words flow. I never let the lack of a computer at my fingertips get in the way, and I can often be caught dictating ideas to Siri when I’m driving and my imagination strikes.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I try to imagine how I would think and feel by putting myself in my characters “shoes”. It helps me to write with emotion.
What advice would you give other writers?
I learned that it’s hard work, but determination is key. Staying focused can be challenging, especially when the words aren’t flowing. But most importantly, I learned how to play it smart. I was so excited after my book was officially finished, but then I had to face to daunting task of promoting via social media. There’s a lot of “fine print” out there, and quite a few bogus sites that give false promises. I’m still learning, but I’ve gotten a lot better at seeing the difference between a flower and a weed.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I did a lot of research on this, and decided to go with Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace. Since I was new to self-publishing, I found Amazon to be the most user friendly. CreateSpace, a partner of Amazon, was a great way to provide paperback versions of my book to those that prefer to turn a page the old fashioned way. However, because my book is a contemporary romance (content for 18 years or older), any potential advertising with Amazon was out. Because of that, I will be looking to expand my audience with Kobo Books, Nook, and other eReader platforms after my agreement with Amazon’s KDP Select is over.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It’s so easy to self-publish now, that I think some “brick and mortar” publishers will struggle to survive. However, for the reader, buying a book by an unknown self-published author can have risks because just about anyone can publish today. It becomes a crap shoot – you could end up buying a mismatched story with poor editing, or you could land your new favorite author. But no matter how good or bad a reader thinks that a book is, they need to remember that it takes a lot for somebody to put themselves out there. Every writer puts their heart and soul into their work.
What genres do you write?: Contemporary Romance
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
Dakota Willink Home Page Link
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.