GVR Corcillo taught high school in Watts and South Central Los Angeles. But deciding she needed an even tougher job, she chose to write. Corcillo won a few contests, hit the New York Times Bestseller List with her first short story, and got a B-movie screenplay produced. She Likes It Rough is her first novel. Geralyn Vivian Ruane Corcillo lives in North Hollywood with her husband Ron, a guy who’s even cooler than Kip Dynamite.
What inspires you to write?
I had nothing to lose.
It took me a long time to figure that out. I have wanted to “be a writer.” since eighth grade when I stated my intentions to my English teacher, Mrs. Sheehan. And she said, “That’s good. You have a flair for writing.” And for the next twenty years, I dreamed about “being a writer.” But I didn’t act on this dream because I was petrified that if I actually tried to be a writer, I might not become the world’s most amazing best-selling powerhouse that I wanted to be. So, I graduated from college but did not seriously pursue writing as a career.
But you know what? I didn’t pursue anything else seriously either, because truly, I was saving my heart and soul for writing. By the time I was in my mid-thirties and tired of paycheck to paycheck jobs, I finally decided, “What the hell? I may as well write – I’m not really doing anything else anyway! What have I got to lose?”
Tell us about your writing process.
I dread sitting down and typing out the first draft. Before that, coming up with the story and plotting it out actually happens pretty quickly in my head. And after that, I LOVE editing – I go through at least three rounds of editing as I tweak, reword, and sometimes completely rewrite. But getting the story onto paper in the first place – yikes! The challenge is to splash my thoughts onto the screen so that they appear exactly as they did in my head. It’s like trying to describe a dream to someone. You know what it was like and how all the magical weirdness of it worked together, but it is awfully hard to make the picture make sense to someone else. That is what it is like for me as I write the first draft. But I just have to knuckle down and do it. As my husband says, “You have to write something before you can write something good.”
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
No, but while I am writing a book, I constantly imagine them, even when I am not writing. Usually they are not even doing things in the book, but just living life. And living during different stages in life. I will imagine my characters as kids, in college, as young adults before they meet each other in my book. And probably my favorite thing to imagine about my characters is their lives after the last page of my book.
What advice would you give other writers?
Enter contests. When my book She Likes It Rough won The Rebecca’s Reads Choice Award for Best Indie Book of 2013 and Best Humor Book of 2013, it was such a game changer for me in terms of marketing and sales. There are so many books available today that a contest win can really get your book some notice and get you some feedback.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
As soon as self-publishing became viable, I was psyched. I had wanted more creative control and financial freedom for authors ever since I started pursuing writing seriously. But I admit I was a chicken. Publishing a book on your own is a daunting task! It involves so much computer know-how and marketing savvy. And let me take a page out of Dr. McCoy’s book and just say that I’m a writer not an uber marketing god! But I was lucky to know some brave authors who forged ahead and really kickstarted their careers through self-publishing – and I am talking about both previously unpublished as well as traditionally published writers. Self-publishing allowed such creative autonomy and such a unique opportunity for bigger royalties that I took the plunge.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
More of my books uploaded, downloaded, and flying off the shelves!
As more and more authors turn to self-publishing, so many more creative careers flourish. Editors, formatters, and cover illustrators and designers, for example, are also going into business for themselves to help create quality books. I find this so exciting – that artists will have more and more opportunities to make a living from their art.
As for traditional publishing? I don’t think it will ever disappear – after all, books have been around almost forever. And I don’t think the Internet is going to kill the Printed Book Star. Traditional Publishing just needs to find ways to keep up with the galloping technology and all the opportunities it affords to an artist.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?
fiction, women’s fiction, chick lit, romance, humor
What formats are your books in?
eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print