Keira Monclair on How Self-Publishing Changed Her Life (Hint: It Involves Grandchildren!)

By Keira Monclair

I started writing on a whim. I loved historical romance so much that I decided to try creating it, and I was surprised by how easily the words flowed. I researched how to get a book published, hired an editor, submitted to contests, and sent out queries, but nothing came of it.

I joined Romance Writers of America, which was a tremendous help, and started learning more about writing in the genre. So I rewrote, and rewrote, and sent out more query letters. Still no luck.

But I kept writing.

Four years later, in 2013, I had two completed historical romances, but could still not get them published through the traditional route. There they sat on my computer. Around that time, my daughter and her husband were trying to get pregnant, and after many trips to fertility clinics, they were looking into in-vitro fertilization and adoption. Both were so prohibitively expensive, my daughter basically gave up on her dream of becoming a mother.

I wanted more than anything to help, but we had so much debt that it was out of the question. After a tearful phone call with my daughter, I decided to take action. I still had those manuscripts, and I'd heard about self-publishing through Amazon. I decided to look into it in the hopes of assisting my daughter and her husband with the costs of IVF.

I had no idea what I was doing, but somehow managed to contact the right people from the start. Kim Killion and Jenn Jakes from the Killion Group helped me get my first novel ready to sell. They do cover design, formatting, and other services provided by a traditional publishing house, and they helped me publish through Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace, both through Amazon. They have been such a blessing, and I've worked with them on every novel since then.

That first novel, Rescued by a Highlander, took off beyond my wildest expectations and now has over four hundred reviews on Amazon. It was the first book in what has become my bestselling Clan Grant series.

A year later, I was able to quit my job as a nursing instructor to write full-time, and it's been wonderful! I still publish through Amazon. I found a great editor, Angela Polidoro, who started with me on my third novel, and she has been so helpful and insightful with my writing that I fear the day I would have to publish without her input.

The best part about my success is that I was able to help my daughter. My twin granddaughters were born in December of 2015, thanks to IVF. Yay!!!

Now, for the first time in my life, my husband and I are debt free except for our mortgage and one car payment. I have published eight novels in my first series, The Clan Grant, which is Scottish Medieval Historical Romance, and three books in my second Scottish series, The Highland Clan. I also have started a contemporary series, The Summerhill Series, set in The Finger Lakes of Western New York.

A new career, granddaughters, and a bevy of wonderful readers. What more could I ask for?

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For more about Keira Montclair and her books, visit her website at www.keiramontclair.com.

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