Sierra Hill on managing expectations while working on enjoying living in the now...
"Writing is something ingrained in my very being," declares the author, when describing the source of her inspiration.
Currently living in the Seattle area, Hill holds an undergraduate degree in Organizational Communication and a Master's with an emphasis on Human Resource Management. Although her dream is to dedicate all her time to writing, maintaining a successful career in the HR and Training field is also a priority.
She's been married 24 years to her husband, who she met when she was just 16 years old – They have a rescue German Shepherd they love. Her husband, she praises, "Is the most supportive husband I could have ever asked for."
Hill remembers enjoying making up stories from the time she was a kid, but it wasn't until 2013, after being laid off, that she began to write professionally. "I published my first novel in July 2014, and I haven't stopped writing since."
To date, Hill has self-published several Contemporary Romance series that range from romcom, to erotica, new adult, and sports sub-genres. Her latest is Game Changer (Book 1 of the Change of Hearts series).
Prior series include The Physical Series: Physical Touch, More Than Physical, Physical Distraction and Physical Connection; Courting Love Series: Full Court Press, The Rebound, Pivot, Fast Break and Jump Shot; Character Flaws: One More Minute with You (A Rock Star Romance); Reckless (The Smoky Mountain Trio): Reckless Youth, Reckless Abandon, and Reckless Hearts, which was a 2019 Finalist in the I Heart Indie Awards and the Beverly Contest.
In addition, she has published several novellas and recently signed with a publishing house to release some of her works in audiobooks.
Though she admits to being partial to the fanciful side of Contemporary Romance, Hill is currently jumping into the dark side of the genre to challenge herself. "It's really hard to keep myself in that frame of mind. I typically enjoy lighter books without such heavy themes. But it's good to push the envelope sometimes."
"My biggest challenge is to keep reminding myself that no matter what someone else
is doing…I'm right where I'm supposed to be."
Like most writers, Hill has faced some pitfalls, chief among them avoiding comparing herself to other authors. "It's dangerous for me and destructive for my well-being," she confesses. "My biggest challenge is to keep reminding myself that no matter what someone else is doing, where they're at on the charts, or how many more followers they have, I'm right where I'm supposed to be."
"Being a writer," she goes on, "is often an isolated job even though I'm connected to thousands of people online. It's not the same as having someone you can talk to in person. I've made it a point to get to know many of my local authors and get together on a regular basis. It helps ward off the isolation effect and depression that can often come with this career."
Having been there and done that, Hill advises new authors to focus on what they have and not on what they don't. "Don't get caught up in the swirl of negativity or the pressures of being at a certain level. Live in the moment and enjoy where you are."
Yet, finding her way around the publishing world wasn't easy in the beginning. "I'm not sure I did anything right when I first began. I'm not kidding!" she's earnest. "But I was so naïve at the time that it didn't matter. Since then, I've learned so much about the craft and about marketing and promoting, that I look back to 2014 and wonder how did I come this far?"
With the novice days behind her, Hill now enjoys the cool and unique side of being an author, like connecting and becoming friends with other authors and readers from all over the world. "A few years ago, I was stunned to receive a Christmas card from a reader in France! It absolutely blew me away. It was the first time I realized that my books were being read in other countries and that they had a much farther reach than just me." She also had the opportunity to meet a fellow author and online-friend, Dori Lavelle, during a recent visit to Vienna. "That was awesome!"
Being an indie author requires time, dedication, and a serious investment. On the upside, affirms Hill, "I own it all, every success and failure, joy and problem."
Precisely because indie authors have to dip into their own pockets to market and promote themselves, Hill counsels, "Surround yourself with the best people, other authors, readers, bloggers, book promoters, etc."
"When I write and publish a book, I'm leaving a piece of me behind…"
Business aside, writing is a joy, adds Hill. "I like the fact that when I write and publish a book, I'm leaving a piece of me behind, a legacy that will live on, both in print and in the minds and hearts of readers."
In closing, Hills has a special thank you to the readers of this piece for giving a shot to indie or new authors. "There's a discomfort in the unknown, like when you pick up a book by a new author, especially if you have your favorite 'go-to' authors. But your readership means the world to us independent authors, who pour our hearts out into our books. It opens up doors for all of us, new worlds, and new connections."
Thank you, Sierra, for your willingness to share your story, for the advice, and your honesty.
To the readers, thank you for taking the time to read this piece! Please check out Sierra's books and follow her on social media.
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If you'd like to explore my books, click on the tabs above to learn more about The Thing About Love… and The Thing About Ever After…, Book 1 and 2 of my trilogy – Book 3 is in the works.
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