Victorine Lieske made a big splash with her book, NOT WHAT SHE SEEMS. Her suspense novel was so popular it landed on the New York Times Best Seller list, an almost impossible feat for an independently-published author. Here she shares with us her journey from beginning writer to published author.
You know, it’s funny, I never set out to become an author. I thought it would be cool to be able to tell people that I wrote a novel. That was my whole motivation. It’s really kind of a silly thing, now that I think about it.
And of course, being a silly thought, I wasn’t very serious about it. I started a novel once, then about ten pages in I lost interest in it. Years later I started another one, but got busy and it never went anywhere.
Then, one day I was getting my daughter out of the car and my back seized up. I literally couldn’t move. I was put on bed rest to heal. Since I was stuck in bed with nothing to do, I decided to write that novel I always wanted to write. Easy, right? I set my laptop on my lap and just started typing. I wanted to write about a rich business man going incognito and meeting up with a woman on the run. I thought it would be fun to combine a light romance with a suspenseful mystery. I finished the first draft of Not What She Seems in one week. (I had no idea that was fast for a first draft. I knew nothing about writing.)
After finishing that first draft I thought I was done. I didn’t know writers edited. Funny, right? (Really, it was more scary than funny.) Luckily I decided to figure out if my book was any good. That’s when I found critiquecircle.com. I submitted my book, chapter by chapter, through the critique website. I learned that my first draft needed work. A lot of work! In fact, I threw out the last half of the novel and rewrote it. Then I submitted the book again. It took me four years to get the book into shape.
But I knew I had something interesting when I got comments from other authors telling me they couldn’t wait to read more of my book. They would ask me why my book wasn’t published already, and ask when the next chapter would come out. Honestly, this is why I kept going with it. I loved hearing the feedback from people who enjoyed reading my story.
Even though I’ve sold over 113,000 copies and made it on the NYT’s best seller list and signed with an agent, I can honestly say my favorite part of this whole journey is when I get an email from a fan. It makes it all worth it.
Victorine’s novel, Not What She Seems is 99 cents on Kindle and Nook.
Keep your eyes on the Summer Book Club Facebook page, Victorine will be giving away a free signed paperback copy of Not What She Seems.