Interview with Author Mollie Mathews – Ramona Portelli Blog

Interview with Author Mollie Mathews

Author Mollie Mathews is an award-winning author and artist. She writes beautiful and sensual women’s fiction and contemporary romance, often with artistic themes and a splash of humour.

She has worked as a child therapist and counsellor during her varied career. She passionately believes in the power of love to transform people’s lives. Her stories are unashamedly positive, optimistic, and full of fun, beauty and passion.

She has always believed authors are pens in the hands of writing goddesses sending love letters to the world. She loves it when readers write to her, saying that her books gave them hope and courage during tough times.

She loves to follow the sun, dividing her time between New Zealand and exotic locations—wherever she intend to set her next love story. She lives with her romantic hero, Lorenzo—tall, dark, terribly handsome and fluent in Spanish!

Tell me more about your latest book.

Christmas For One is my newest feel-great romantic comedy. 44-year-old Ruby Evans doesn’t want to be a ‘leftover girl’ —especially at Christmas. But finding a ‘forever’ man is proving impossible.

A single mum after 20 years of marriage, her husband is the only man she has ever slept with. But the one bit of security she always thought she’d hold onto for the rest of her life is brutally ripped from her.

Living the worst cliché, she is humiliatingly and cruelly ex-ed when her husband trades her for a younger model. Chanel Zest, a long-time friend and unconventional, X-rated life coach, comes to her rescue. Together, they embark on a quest to reclaim and rebuild Ruby’s shattered life and find love again.

In my former life as a counsellor and therapist, I’ve encountered many people over the years looking for love again and don’t know how or where to start. I thought sharing some of the zany things people try and do to find love would be fun. Many events are inspired by true stories—my and others’ experiences, including speed-dating, going dancing and turning to astrology and tarot cards.

In part, the story was also inspired by a research scientist who unmasked herself as a secret sex blogger just as her ‘big mouth boyfriend’ was about to spill the truth.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing this book?

This story began many moons ago, in 2013, at my first and only romance writer’s retreat facilitated by successful Mills and Boon authors Robyn Donald and Daphne Clair. The feedback from these excellent, passionate, experienced writers and others was encouraging: “You’ve got the beginnings of a really good, hip, fun book.” “It was a riot. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Great fun!” “I can see the movie now.” “When are you going to finish it?”

Overcoming discouragement from traditional publishers was one of the most challenging aspects of writing this book. Two decades later, I decided it was time for it to air! Having read the reviews, I’m super proud I persevered.

What is your normal procedure to get your books published?

Owning my own publishing company, Blue Orchid Publishing, gives me full creative control over the books I publish and the stories I tell. My procedure for getting books published begins with carefully selecting story ideas that align with my company’s vision and values. I look for unique and compelling stories that have the potential to resonate with readers and make a lasting impact emotionally.

Creating more love in the world is my soul mission. Someone once told me, “I’m not loved, but when I read one of your books, I feel loved.” That makes my soul sing.

Next, the editing process begins. I believe in the power of collaboration, so I work closely with my Dream Team of readers to polish my manuscript to perfection. This involves line editing, copy editing, and proofreading to ensure the book is flawless. Simultaneously, I work on designing a visually stunning cover that captures the essence of the story. A well-designed cover plays a crucial role in attracting readers and enticing them to pick up the book.

Once the editing and design processes are complete, I move on to the production phase. This involves formatting the book for audio, print and e-book editions. As an independent publisher and author, I utilise various distribution channels to make the book available to readers worldwide.

How important are the elements of character, setting, and atmosphere to a story, and why?

Character is everything. I love to treat my settings like characters, too—adding romance and conflict to the scenes and nudging the characters’ transformational journey of growth and change toward the all-important happily, forever after. I love creating flawed characters who find healing through love. Very often, childhood wounds and traumas have caused them to deny and mask their beauty, and I love to bring these to the light through the power of story and give my characters a rebirth as their true, authentic selves.

How many books have you written so far?

I’m prolific! I’ve written novels, novellas and short stories. There are too many love stories to list! My favourites include my award-winning novella, Love in Venice; the first book in my The Sheikhs Untamed Brides, Claimed by the Sheikh; my butterfly-lovers-inspired romance Flight of Passion; and book one in my Gemstones Billionaires series, Married by Christmas (also published as The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride. You’ll find them all on my Amazon author page:

What’s the best way to market your books?

When marketing my books, I have discovered that the most successful approach is a combination of strategic planning, targeted promotion, and genuine engagement with readers.

It all starts with creating a solid marketing plan that outlines specific goals and objectives for each book. This plan includes identifying the target audience, researching the most effective marketing channels, and determining the best timing for promotions.

One of the most potent tools in book marketing is social media. Creating a strong online presence through platforms like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok can significantly boost book sales. By posting engaging content, sharing snippets of the book, and interacting with readers, I build a loyal community of followers excited to support and spread the word about my books.

In addition to social media, I also believe in the power of personal connections. I actively seek opportunities to collaborate with influencers, book bloggers, and fellow authors to expand my reach. By appearing on podcasts, participating in virtual book clubs, and attending literary events, I can connect directly with readers who are passionate about books in my genre. Building genuine relationships and fostering a sense of community generates buzz around my books and creates a loyal fan base that continues to support my writing journey.

With a passion for bringing original and exceptional stories to the world, my publishing company strives to make each book successful.

What is your writing routine? When you write, do you plan or outline ahead?

Regarding my writing routine, it’s a little bit of both. Having a structured approach helps me stay focused and productive. I like to start my day with some quiet time for reflection and brainstorming. This allows me to gather my thoughts and set clear intentions for my writing session. Once I’m ready to dive in, I create a comfortable and inspiring environment to work in, whether outside in the garden, in a peaceful corner of my home, or in my ‘dedicated’ writing room.

As an artist, I sometimes enjoy writing in my art studio and being inspired by my paintings (many of which feature in my art-related love stories.)

As for planning and outlining, I believe feeling passionate and excited about the story is essential before delving into writing a book. I’m more of a discovery writer in this regard and only spend a little bit of time developing my characters, plotting the story, and outlining the major plot points first, but I come back to this later.

Then, I create my love map. This helps me stay organised and ensures that my story has a solid structure and flows smoothly. However, I always leave room for creativity and spontaneity during writing. Sometimes, unexpected ideas or plot twists emerge as I write, and I embrace them to keep the story fresh and engaging.

Ultimately, every writer has their unique routine and process. It’s essential to find what works best for you and adapt it as needed. Whether you prefer strict outlines or to let the story unfold organically, the key is finding a balance that allows you to tap into your creativity while maintaining a sense of structure and direction.

How hard or easy is it to establish and maintain a career in writing?

Establishing and maintaining a career in writing can be both a thrilling and challenging endeavour. I found that the initial journey of breaking into the industry required determination and perseverance. Getting my foot in the door was difficult, so I forged my own path. With passion, grit and perseverance—devotion, I secured opportunities to showcase my work and build a reputation.

However, the hard work continues. Maintaining a successful writing career requires consistent effort and adaptability. It’s essential to stay up-to-date with industry trends and constantly hone my craft to keep my writing fresh and relevant.

One of the biggest challenges I faced was overcoming self-doubt and rejection. Writing is a subjective art, and not everyone will resonate with my work. It took time to develop a thick skin and not take rejection personally. However, I learned to view each rejection as an opportunity for growth and improvement. By seeking feedback from trusted mentors and continuing to refine my skills, I overcame these obstacles and pushed forward in my writing career.

Despite the challenges, establishing and maintaining a career in writing is incredibly rewarding. It allows me to unleash my creativity, share my voice with the world, and connect with readers deeply.

The key is to stay persistent, constantly learn and grow, and always maintain sight of the passion that ignited the desire to write in the first place. With perseverance and a firm belief in my abilities, I am confident I can continue to thrive in this ever-evolving industry. Following the Five P’s of Life are crucial to longevity– Patience, Persistence, Perseverance, Passion, and Purpose are the secret!

What is your advice for aspiring writers?

I advise aspiring writers to believe in themselves and their unique voice. Writing can be a vulnerable process, and doubting your abilities is easy. However, remember that your perspective and experiences are valuable, and there is an audience out there who will resonate with your work. Embrace your individuality and let it shine through your writing. Write the stories and characters you want to share with the world. Share your heart!

Additionally, read widely and voraciously. Exposure to different genres, styles, and authors will expand your horizons and inspire your creativity. Pay attention to what resonates with you as a reader and analyse why certain writing pieces captivate you. Use this knowledge to inform and improve your craft.

Another crucial piece of advice is to prioritise consistency and discipline in your writing practice. Set aside dedicated time each day or week to write, even if it’s just for a short period. Treat writing like any other job and show up for it consistently. This will help you develop discipline and overcome writer’s block.

Lastly, seek feedback and embrace constructive criticism. Join writing groups or find beta readers who can offer valuable insights and suggestions. Use their feedback to refine your work and grow as a writer. Remember that feedback is an opportunity for growth, and don’t be afraid to revise and polish your writing to make it the best it can be.

Above all, enjoy the process and have fun with your writing. Writing is a journey; every word you put on paper is a step closer to achieving your goals. Stay passionate, persistent, and open to learning, and you’ll be well on your way to establishing a rewarding career as a writer.

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WOULD YOU LIKE TO JOIN MOLLIE’S READERS GROUP ON FACEBOOK? It’s a private group that Mollie’s readers are welcome to join. There is nothing that makes her heart sing than to connect with you all and talk books and writing.

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