Amber Leigh Williams is a romance writer who lives on the US Gulf Coast. She lives for beach days, the smell of real books and spending time with her husband and their two young children. When she’s not keeping up with rambunctious little ones (and two large dogs), she can usually be found reading a good book or indulging her inner foodie. Amber is represented by the D4EO Literary Agency.
Amber’s latest book is the contemporary romance, Navy SEAL’S Match.
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Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published. Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Author: Thank you for having me! I don’t think I had a choice other than to become a writer. Ever since I was a child, I’ve had an overwhelming urge to tell stories. Since I was quiet, the most natural way for me to be a storyteller was with pencil and paper.
I had to tell the story of Navy SEAL’s Match in particular because the characters, Gavin Savitt and
Is this your first book?
Amber: This is my sixth novel.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Amber: I was very happy when the editors at Harlequin Superromance chose to work with me on this series. Since I began reading romance years ago, I wanted to be a Harlequin romance writer.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey? The pros and cons?
Amber: I worked with a small press writing western romance novellas. I decided that I prefer the novel format, but I stayed with contemporary romance because I felt I had found my niche there. I’m glad of my experience with small press leading up to traditional publishing because it allowed me room to grow and learn what it was to be a professional. Once I was accepted by Harlequin, I felt confident in my voice and in dealing with the legalities of publishing.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Amber: I initially worked with a small press publisher who didn’t honor its contractual obligations. It made me wary of the traps of the business. Another reason I found working with an established publishing house so welcoming is because I felt a bit safer in that medium.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Amber: Many writers feel more comfortable in small press and indie publishing so as long as you’re cautious and you pay attention to the business side of it as well as the creative aspects, I’d recommend writers free themselves to whatever format suits them best.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Amber: Write the book of your heart. If you can follow publishing trends and stay ahead of what the consumer wants, that’s great. But don’t be afraid to write the book of your heart. When you write what you’re most passionate about, it shows. When you write what most inspires you, your voice becomes stronger and more grounded. The reader feels that and is more able to connect with the story and characters, too.