Welcome to the SNOB - Second Novel Ominipresent Blues. Whether you’re under contract or trying to snag another deal, you’re a professional now, with the pressures of a published novelist compounded with the still-present nagging self-doubt of the noobie. How to deal?
Today’s guest is Brandy Woods Snow, a writer and journalist living in beautiful Upstate, South Carolina. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in Writing from Clemson University. Her first novel, Meant To be Broken, a Southern YA contemporary romance, was released from Filles Vertes Publishing on July 2, 2018
Is it hard to leave behind the first novel and focus on the second?
I honestly thought it would be. I liken it to the same feeling I had before going to the hospital to have my second child, when I was hit with a sudden panic. “How will I ever love another child as much as I love my first? It’s not possible.” But as I would find out in that hospital bed, holding my newborn, it’s absolutely possible. Your heart just sort of expands and the love multiplies and you end up enamored all over again. It’s the same with books.
At what point do you start diverting your energies from promoting your debut and writing / polishing / editing your second?
Do you ever really quit promoting your debut? LOL! I wish I had this insanely positive and wonderful answer for this, but the truth is, you just sort of squish it all in. I’m learning to become more of a scheduler and a planner, setting specific times to focus on drafting, editing, marketing, and all the other facets that come along with creating and selling books. It’s definitely challenging, but I can say holding yourself to a schedule gives your work more purpose and direction, so, in the end, your efforts are more efficient and fruitful all around.
Your first book landed an agent and an editor, and hopefully some fans. Who are you writing the second one for? Them, or yourself?
I always write for myself. I’ve never been a “chase the trend” sort of person and don’t intend to start now. I write from my experiences, my emotions, my thoughts, and I try to flesh everything out in a way that feels universal to all my readers. I want them to read my debut, my sophomore novel, and any others to come and think, “Man, she really made me feel that.” I think if you’re authentic to yourself, your readers will feel that connection to you and your work, and isn’t that really what it’s all about?
Is there a new balance of time management to address once you’re a professional author?
Yes! (See Question 2) My motto (new-aged a bit since I write YA) is treat your book like your bae, not your side piece. Pretty much, that means your book is your business, not some fly-by-night hobby. Give it the time and attention it deserves if you want to be successful. Schedules are a good way to ensure you’re putting your efforts where they’re most needed. I live by mine now, especially when balancing writing/editing/promotions with family life.
What did you do differently the second time around, with the perspective of a published author?
There’s definitely been more foresight this go-round, for sure! Writing my debut now seems like a stroll down the “ignorance is bliss” highway. LOL Writing my second was different from the get-go. I plotted instead of pantsed. I had a more extensive network of critique partners and betas on deck. I’m working on promotions 9 months in advance instead of hanging around with that doe-eyed gaze. Now that I’ve seen the sheer amount of work it takes, I’m preparing myself for the long road ahead. But I’ll also tell you, that this time, I have wonderful, beautiful, loving readers who are genuinely excited to see the next book come out, and that in itself is such a humbling experience and a complete treasure. When readers go out of their way to champion you, it means so very much, and the encouragement drives me to ensure I’m giving them the best story possible.