In the past few years of hosting Infamous Scribbler, I’ve had the chance to have a few conversations with Connie Wilson, interracial romance author and good friend. With the occasion of the release of Northern Lights: Two Worlds Collide, I invited her to come by and talk about not just the book, but the process leading up to where she is today. Her story is a story shared by many in the indie publishing biz, and I hope you enjoy it!
Q (Infamous Scribbler): Tell me a little about the background of NL, the series and today’s release.
A (Author C.M. Wilson): The Northern Lights series will forever be my first baby. I started writing this series as wrestling fan fiction back when the internet was brand new and fan fiction wasn’t a thing yet. It started with four girls in a bed room talking about what ifs and drooling over hot guys. We wanted to write our own version of Sweet Valley High. It’s morphed into an interracial romance and what it is throughout the last 21 years.
It’s now about Carrington and Eli, two seemingly polar opposites, from completely different worlds. But they’re both deeper than they look on the outside. Eli is running from a past that keeps following him around. Carrington’s world isn’t as perfect and All-American family as it looks from the outside looking in. They some how fall in love and go through a whirl wind life together.
Two Worlds Collide is the first of the five book series. It got released on January 9, 2017, under Sharpe Pen Publishing.
I am currently working on the fifth and last installment and it’s bittersweet. I’m completing a dream. A dream that people called silly and that it wasn’t worth holding on to. I was bound and determined to prove the nay sayers wrong and I did. On the other side of the coin, this is something I’ve been doing since I was 19 years old and it’s almost over. I’ve grown up and changed right along with these characters. It has definitely been a heck of an enjoyable ride.
Q: What are some of the challenges of indie publishing and how have you overcome them?
A: The biggest challenge of indie publishing is the lack of a PR team. You have to hustle a little bit harder to get your name out there, but it can be done. Having a publisher is a little easier because you have someone else behind you, helping open avenues that you may not have known about. Sharpe Pen is more like a little family so I have others hustling with me and helping me get my book out to readers that may not have known about me otherwise.
Q: (Trigger Warning: Miscarriage) You’ve been through some personal challenges this year, and then came out strong, finishing a novel even while dealing with life-changing events. Can you talk a little about that, and what you might have for people going through the same thing?
A: Thank you so much for asking this question. I don’t know if I necessarily came out strong but I’m definitely still working through it. April 6, 2016, I was in the hospital for a heart related issue and they told me that they couldn’t do the chemical stress test because I was 6 weeks pregnant. So, life changing event number one. I was told that I would never get pregnant, and well SURPRISE. Right from the point I found out I was pregnant, I started to miscarry. 13 days later on April 19, it was determined that her heart was no longer beating.
I started journaling the day I found out I was pregnant. The plan was to write in my journal every day and turn the entries into a book about how I handled a high risk pregnancy. Then, when Angeline passed away, I was still writing in my journal and planned on turning the entries into a book about miscarriage.
Five weeks after the miscarriage, I found myself fighting for my life because of a diabetic ulcer on my toe. I landed in the hospital for 8 days and then in a nursing home for a month. I didn’t write anything during that time because I was focused on saving my life.
Once I got out and returned to life as I knew it, I started realizing things that a woman who has never had a miscarriage wouldn’t notice. So I turned my journal entries into a book about what I went through and how I handled things in the first year after losing the baby. The book is called My Walk Through Hell; A Grieving Mother’s Tale of Miscarriage and it will come out on Angeline’s angelversary, April 19, 2017.
My advice is that there is no time limit on grief. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself to grieve. No matter when the miscarriage is – early like mine was or later on – it’s still the loss of a life and all those hopes and dreams you had for that life that you carried inside your body. Do what you have to do to try to get through it. Writing about it was my outlet and it saved my life.
Q: What is unique about your books when it comes to the subject of interracial romance? Any advice for IR writers?
I don’t use the stereotypical white girl that dates black men or the stereotypical thug. My characters are just people who find love in each other.
My advice is, don’t listen to no. There are a lot of publishers that won’t take interracial romance. Write it anyway. If that’s what drives you – keep going until you hear yes.
Thanks for stopping by, Connie! Best of luck. 😀