I think three things that set me apart from the average writer.  First of all, I recognize that publishing houses make decisions based on profits and take a significant risk when signing a new author.  With an MBA from Marquette University, I’ve spent several years analyzing profitability scenarios when taking on new deals/clients, and have worked a lot with sales and marketing.

These experiences have given me a firsthand look at the risks and rewards businesses are willing to take when evaluating a new client, much like what publishing houses must go through when choosing a new author or project.  While having a great book is a crucial ingredient to being a successful writer, I recognize that this is a business, and finishing a great book is only the first step in the long journey of bringing it to market.  The second thing that sets me apart is my marketing expertise.  A compelling book cannot reach its audience, let alone the bestseller list, without a comprehensive marketing strategy to sell and promote it.  I’ve researched other author strategies, other marketing plans, and have used my business and MBA expertise to develop a plan for my book and overall author brand.  The third and most important thing that sets me apart is that I’m both a dreamer AND a doer. 

I’m incredibly dedicated, hardworking, and ambitious, and I have a seriously aggressive goal to establish a highly successful writing career where my books get translated into major motion pictures.  And when I say goal, I mean goal – not a dream, not a wish, but a goal that I carve out time every single day to go after. I’m aware of how statistically unlikely it is for anyone to break into this business, let alone become a bestselling author like Nicholas Sparks or Nora Roberts, let alone have these books made into movies.  These daunting discouraged me from pursuing my dream in exchange for something tangible–a highly successful business career at a large corporation. 

For years, I tried to ignore the stories that forever consumed my thoughts–all the scenes and characters that flooded into my head when I was in my car, trying to sleep at night, or listening to music.  I tried to focus on my job, with leadership taking notice of my achievements, and grooming me to become the next CFO.  But soon, the unrelenting dream of telling stories for a living could no longer be contained, and one day, I picked up my laptop and started to write.

As soon as I did, I was transcended into another universe, my soul complete, my home found, and I knew then that no matter how long it took me to get there, I needed to go after my dream. Implementing the same discipline that built my successful corporate career, I dedicate time every day to this, and I have for years.  Navigating through my writing style, I have written and discarded many books before finding my true calling – love stories with suspense, mystery, and gripping characters that stay with you long after you finish the book.  Throughout my journey, I joined AWP and SCBWI (at the time I was writing a story about teens), read many books, articles, and blogs on writing, and I also attended conferences both local and national.  I refined my craft, learned from the agents, writers, and editors I met and welcomed the knowledge I gained along the way.  One day, I hope that my long journey not only pays off but becomes an inspiration to others that no matter how long it might take, dreams are always worth pursuing.