About Lilly Atlas:
I am a new contemporary romance author, proud Navy wife, and mother of two spunky girls. By day, I work as a Physical Therapist for a hospital in Virginia. For years, I’ve been daydreaming and plotting characters in my head while driving, showering, and sometimes when I was supposed to be paying attention to something else. Finally, I decided to do something about it, and the No Prisoners MC was born.
What inspires you to write?
I’m a day dreamer, always have been. Too many hours of my day are spent plotting, imagining, and fantasizing. I very often catch myself talking out dialogue between characters that exist in my head. The downside to this is that I have the potential to look crazy. The upside is lots of stories just waiting to be told. What inspires me to write is simple: it’s a love of creating stories, characters, and worlds. Taking the ideas that float around in my head, and turning them into a story that can be shared with others is exciting and addicting. The excitement of publishing my first book has made me want to write a hundred more.
Tell us about your writing process.
My first book was one hundred percent seat-of-my-pants writing. The concept had been brewing in my head for years, and many of the scenes were planned out in my mind, but I never created an outline or character sketches. I sat down with my laptop, and the story just poured out. Then I went back and re-worked it, and re-worked it again.
Now that I’ve been through the process, and am working on additional manuscripts, I’d say I fall somewhere between a plotter and a pantster. Still a little closer to the pantster side of the spectrum. As for my outlines, they are done old-fashioned style: pen and paper. I grab a notebook, a few different colored pens, and go to town. I like to be able to rip out pages, reorder them, circle, draw arrows, highlight, cross out, you name it. By the end, it’s a horrifying sight that only I can decipher, but it works.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
For me, it’s not so much that I talk to my characters as I become my characters. I constantly find myself talking through my character dialogue, both out loud and in my head. Often, it’s a while before I’m even aware I’m doing it. I have a one-year-old, and on more than one occasion when holding her, I have noticed her whispering next to my ear. After a few minutes of wondering what in the world she was doing, I realized she was imitating me whispering dialogue!
What advice would you give other writers?
Just write. Grab some paper, open your laptop, get the words out of your head and into a format where you can read them. First time around, don’t worry about having a perfect outline. Get the ball rolling. Who cares if it isn’t pretty? Who cares if it’s downright ugly? You’re the only one who will ever read it until you decide otherwise. You can polish what you’ve written, buff it up, edit it a million times, but you can’t do anything if you don’t write the words.
I have a degree in Physical Therapy, and have been practicing for ten years. In school, I was science all the way. Writing didn’t fall anywhere along the career path I’d chosen for myself. An obsession with reading and an imagination that runs twenty-four hours a day changed all that. For years, I tossed and turned over the idea of writing. When I was home with my youngest kiddo, I decided to go for it. Now, I’m working on the third book in a series, and hoping to make this a full time career.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
To be honest, once I learned about the world of self-publishing—through months of research— I never even considered submitting my writing to a traditional publishing company. Self-publishing is perfect for me. It allows me to operate on my own time line, choose where I distribute, set the price, choose my royalty options and so forth. Basically, I retain control over each part of the process, which I value. The flip side is the amount of work to be done. I was surprised to find that all the other pieces of the puzzle—formatting, marketing, social media, etc.— take as much time or more than the actual writing. It’s been well worth the hard work. Seeing the results of my efforts and passion come to life is rewarding in a way I’ve never experienced.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I’m new to the industry, so I haven’t been around long enough to comment on past trends and how they predict future trends, but it seems to me that the indie author movement is only going to continue to grow. I hear positives and negatives, and I’ve read many strong opinions on both sides of the line. Ultimately, I think it’s exciting. Obviously, as an indie author, my opinion is somewhat biased, but without the growing indie author community I never would have starting writing.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Audiobook
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.