OMG! Romance author extraordinaire, Julie Doherty agreed to do a guest post for the Spotty Blog! The subject? Her publishing journey as told through a series of coffee mugs. Heads up, we got some swear words in here. And a helluva fun guest post.
Julie Doherty’s Mug Shot
I peeked in my kitchen cupboard the other day, and there it was: my writing journey spelled out in . . . mugs. Yes, mugs.
It was James Scott Bell who first introduced me to the idea of a coffee mug as visual motivation. At the time, I was mired in the aftermath of rejection. I no longer believed in myself. My pages remained white for months while I read every how-to book I could get my hands on, including Mr. Bell’s. His suggestion of buying a mug made sense to me. I drink coffee like a fiend. A mug would be in my face throughout the day, pressuring me to get off my self-pitying ass and get on with it.
So, I bought this mug:
It taunted me and reminded me of my dream. “I write fiction,” I replied to those curious enough to ask about my mug. In fact, I said that so many times I started writing so I didn’t have to lie anymore.
I wrote the first word. Then I wrote more. In 2014, I landed an agent, who sold my book, and suddenly, I needed a new mug:
I finished a second story, and my publisher bought it. I felt like a real author, so I celebrated with another mug:
Now, I was really cranking! Of course, the market took an erotic turn, so I thought I’d better steam up my love scenes. Screech! This turned out to be much harder than I’d anticipated. I put my guy and gal together on a heather-capped hillock in Scotland and BAM!—the eyes of my devout ancestors bored holes into the back of my head and taped my fingers to the desk. As if that wasn’t bad enough, someone said, “Eww, I don’t want to know how you have sex!” Sigh… I was blocked—again.
My critique partner saved me with this mug:
You drink out of that sombitch and it’ll turn you into a goddamn sailor at port. Straining cocks and kisses that trail fire will suddenly seem mild.
So, there you go. The secret to success is a cupboard full of mugs. I’ll probably have a few more to buy before the one that says BESTSELLER, but when I do, it will be a big 32-ounce bastard with a gold rim.
Take Mr. Bell’s suggestion. Buy a mug. Just make sure you have plenty of cupboard space for the ones that will follow. And make sure you hide some of them before the vicar stops by for tea.