Valuable Writing Advice: Paige Tyler Shares Her Most Valuable Lesson

To Love a Wolf by Paige TylerListen, writing isn't an easy career. There are highs and lows — and advice is everywhere. Today, Paige Tyler is here to share the most valuable writing lesson she's ever learned, maybe it can help you in your journey as well. Paige's latest, To Love a Wolf, is out next week, so she knows of what she writes!

Okay … honesty time. Prior to 2011, my writing was all over the place. I wrote various forms of erotic romance, a bit of erotica, some romantic suspense, a little paranormal, contemporary, hunky cowboys, even a dash of sci-fi. I was writing short stories, novella and full-length stuff. I was running around writing anywhere that struck my fancy. It was fun and I was doing okay, but it really wasn’t getting me where I wanted to be. Because truthfully, I wanted to write for a New York publisher. By that time, I’d been writing for a variety of digital publishers as well as doing indie stuff and I wanted to take the next step. I know that New York isn’t a big deal for everyone and there are plenty of writers who do fine without them, but for me seeing my books in the traditional bookstores has always been a dream.

I wrote a couple of books that I thought may do the trick, and shopped them around. People were interested and liked the stuff—just not enough to do the deal. I was getting more than a little frustrated.

Then in June of 2011, hubby and I were at a writing conference. We were having dinner with one of my favorite writers and good friends Monette Michaels. Moni brought one of her writing friends, Linnea Sinclair, and we were talking about writing, the e-book market, promo, what New York is looking for, etc. I doubt Linnea even remembers us, but she said some really insightful things about finding a niche and a voice that is undeniably mine. Something that would make my stories stand out from the crowd and make a publisher say, this is something I can publish.

Then she pointed at hubby and suggested that I should be using his military experiences to lend an edge to my books that other writers might not have.

Now, hubby had been helping me write anyway by doing the plotting and drafting the action scenes, but he’d always been reticent to take any of our books in the military direction. That was an aspect of his life that he’d always considered personal and private. But after this long talk with Moni and Linnea, we both started thinking that maybe this was something we needed to do. As I’ve come to learn since then, an author’s unique voice is the single most important thing she or he has. It’s what make readers pick up anything that has your name on the cover simply because they know they’re going to like the way you tell a story.

I realized that up until that point, I didn’t have a single unique voice. I had a collection of books that were all so different it was hard to tell that they’d been written by the same author.

Something had to change.  

Around this same time, there was a lot of Special Operations stuff going on in the news, and before I knew it, an idea started developing. I thought it would be so cool to blend realistic military elements with shifters. Hubby loved the idea too, and by the time we left the writing conference a few days later, we already had an outline going for the series that ultimately became known as X-OPS.

When we went to the conference again the following year, we already had an agent and a publisher for the series. We’d put a tremendous amount of work into the project, but ultimately, I’ll never forget how it all started, who helped me get there, and the tip they gave me that changed everything.

Don’t just write—have a voice.

It was the best tip anyone ever gave me.   

If you'd like to check out Paige's voice, To Love a Wolf is out next week! You can preorder your copy for $7.99 here: Amazon, BN.comiTunes. And if you're after more aspiring author info, we've got ya covered.