Training Temptation started as a very vague idea ten years ago. After reading a novel in which the heroine went to a ponygirl ranch, I wondered—what would make someone want to be a pony? It was such an unusual fetish that the idea stayed with me for years.
The idea simmered in my unconscious mind as I read piles of books on how to write a novel. It toyed with me as I attending my local Romance Writers of America chapter meetings. It teased me mercilessly until I decided I wanted to take one of the twenty novel snippets I had laying around and finish it. The ponygirl book idea emerged from the pile and demanded a happy ending, in more ways than one.
I dreamed of writing a novel for years and finally put in the work it took to get it done. Instead of looking at an overall page count, I committed to writing at least three pages a day. Some days the writing flowed and the characters leapt from my pen onto the page. But other days, they cowered in the corner refusing to tell me what they were going to do next.
I wrote fast and ended up with a first draft with a gaping plot problem. It took me a month to figure out how to fix it. I was sitting in a meeting at work when the solution suddenly popped into my head. I scribbled the idea in the margin of my meeting notes and re-wrote the first chapter that night.
While I re-wrote and revised various drafts, I researched the drawbacks and benefits of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing. I decided to self-publish so I could retain control over the publication process. I hired a freelance editor who pushed me to explore Caroline’s emotional connection to Edward during their lovemaking. She also caught a few hilarious typos. At one point Caroline followed the trail of hair from Edward’s bellybutton all the way down to his plants. Yes, plants. Apparently his pants hid a tropical oasis.
My cover artist took the unusual fetish concept and created an amazing custom cover. I absolutely love the way it turned out. Something about a woman’s mouth is provocative on its own, but then to add a riding crop between her teeth? Scandalous.
Once the book was ready for publication, I opened the 95 page Smashwords formatting guide. There’s a warning at the beginning of the manual which strongly suggests hiring a professional formatter. I scoffed at the idea. I live and work in Silicon Valley. How hard could it be?
…Five hours later, as my fiancé was backing away from me slowly, I sat on the edge of my chair whispering, “Red Rum.” The Smashwords guide is extremely well written with screenshots and diagrams illustrating exactly how to format a novel. However, patience is not one of my virtues. I almost collapsed with relief when their auto-vetter accepted the book on my second attempt at uploading it. The next day, I published Training Temptation on Amazon.
I couldn’t believe I’d finally published a book. The feeling of satisfaction is indescribable. When the first sales rolled in, I about died from excitement. I keep waiting for Amazon to block my sales summary page because I refresh it at least ten times a day.
The whole process of writing and publishing Training Temptation wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. The process for achieving anything is actually really simple. Break it down into smaller pieces and give yourself a deadline. I work really well within a strict structure, so having self-imposed deadlines became vital to finishing the book.
I took two days off from writing to bask in the glow of accomplishment, then immediately started another book. My next book, French Kiss, will be available this Fall.
Diana began writing the moment she learned how to hold a pencil. By elementary school, she was writing and directing plays for kids in her afterschool program. Over the years, short stories piled up on her nightstand. At night, she could always be found holding a flashlight and a book under her blanket.
She studied writing and literature through high school and into the first two years of college. But then, her fascination with other cultures and religious practices took over. She has degrees in Cultural Anthropology and Comparative Religious Studies from San Jose State University and is published in non-fiction.
After college, her life took an unexpected turn. She’s currently a project manager and technical spec writer for a Silicon Valley computer company by day and a daring novelist by night. When she’s not tearing up the felt playing at the World Series of Poker, she’s traveling to her favorite Caribbean islands.
Her latest book is the erotic romance, Training Temptation.
You can visit Diana Baron’s website at www.dianabaron.com.
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