Meet the Author — Kyelle Aaron and Embarking on Indie Publishing

In today’s literary landscape, aspiring authors wield unprecedented power thanks to the rising prominence of self-publishing. This incredible shift in the literary landscape opens up a world of possibilities for authors to share their captivating stories with the world. Among these promising writers is Kyelle Aaron, who, in April 2023, introduced her debut self-published masterpiece, ‘Wesley’s Heart,’ to eager readers.

‘Wesley’s Heart’ is a gripping tale of romance and suspense that revolves around Wesley Hawthorn, a brilliant founder and CEO, who had sworn off love and buried his emotions deep within. However, the entire course of his life takes a thrilling twist when a letter from his closest friend arrives, bearing an unexpected request: the care and guardianship of his friend’s daughter.

In this inspiring interview, let’s learn more about Kyelle Aaron and her self-publishing journey along with her masterpiece release.

 

MEET THE AUTHOR

Can you share with us an overview of your personal background?

I am from the mid-west United States. I have been a nurse for the last 24 years. I’ve done a lot of different types of nursing, and am currently working on the business/administrative side; I manage the daily operations of three clinic departments. I love to read, and am reading mostly indie authors these days. I also love music and my two adorable nephews-bi-love (my best friend’s children) whom I don’t get to see nearly enough.

 

How did you start your self-published author journey?

I discovered my love of creative writing in the early 2000’s in the age of dial-up internet, message boards and chat rooms, so…a long time ago. I started with writing fan-fiction around my favorite couples in TV shows (specifically soap operas), but I hadn’t written anything for at least 10 years. My interest was rekindled in the last couple years when I finally gave in and clicked on a Facebook ad for a story that was serializing on a popular reading app. This idea that people could get paid to do this without huge publishing houses or literary agents was what ultimately inspired me to try again, and the rest–as they say–is history.

 

What inspired you to write and why did you choose your genre?

Personally, I mostly read romantic fiction of different sub-genres, so I don’t know that I really chose it so much as it just felt natural. I tend to like TV shows, movies and books with interesting drama and sub-plots as well,so again, I don’t know if I chose the dramatic element as much as it just naturally found its way into the story.

 

WRITING JOURNEY

 

 

“I would go back and read from the beginning to renew my belief that I was telling a compelling story and was still on the right track.” — Kyelle Aaron

 

 

 

How did you come up with your first self-published story, Wesley’s Heart? How long did it take for you to complete it?

Honestly, since this was my first attempt at a full-length novel in addition to being the first story that I would build from the ground up, I really didn’t have a clear vision or inspiration for getting started. My motivation was simply to see what I could come up with.

At the time, a good friend of mine was walking through the initial conversations and diagnosis of autism for her one-year-old grandson, and she was talking to me about that experience daily. Another layer of difficulty in their situation was that her daughter (the grandson’s mother) has had a diagnosis of schizophrenia since she was a young, and it currently wasn’t well-controlled, so taking care of any child – much less a child that was going to have special needs – was going to be challenging. She definitely was going to need even more of a support system to lean on to be successful, and my friend was verbalizing how her role in her grandson’s life would look different than her role in the lives of her other grandchildren . 

Those two things were what inspired the prologue of the book, which is a letter from a struggling parent of an autistic child to the person he is asking to support him and ultimately take on a huge role in that child’s life. The rest of the story didn’t exist until I needed it to, as the story took shape on the pages, and it took me about 4 months to complete.

 

How did you build your creative process when writing it, knowing that you’re self-publishing it?

I didn’t know that I was going to self-publish in the beginning. I went into this thinking that I would write one story for the reading apps and that would be all. My experience with the apps wasn’t as successful as I had hoped, and at the end, I was sitting in my room feeling kind of let down that the experience was over. The characters had become such a part of me, that I didn’t know what to do without them, really. By that time, I had met so many wonderful people in the indie writing community, was making great use of my Kindle Unlimited subscription, and again said to myself, “I wonder if I could try….?”

The one thing I was really concerned about was making sure everything about Wesly’s Heart was complete and professional. I wanted it to look and feel like it belonged out there in the world even though it was my first book and somewhat written on a whim.

 

What were your struggles when writing ‘Wesley’s Heart’ and how did you overcome them?

As I already mentioned, this was my first attempt at writing anything of this caliber. One of my biggest challenges was struggling to meet word count goals; for example, I needed 60,000 words for my work to actually be released to the reading app. That’s a lot of words–especially when I only needed 5,000 to be eligible to submit for contract consideration!

There were times as I was plugging away at night, feeling like I would never reach that goal, when I doubted what I was doing and I didn’t know if the story was even good anymore. Was character development consistent? Was I leaving holes in the plot? Was it relatable and believable? In those moments, I would go back and read from the beginning to renew my belief that I was telling a compelling story and was still on the right track. I also reached out to people I knew liked to read, but weren’t so personally invested in me that they would let that influence their opinion and criticism.

Also, since I really had no idea how self-publishing worked, I surrounded myself with successful indie authors that I respected and asked their advice, listened to their journeys and spent time in the Bookstagram world just observing how these authors worked through the process.

 

INFLUENCES AND HABITS

Do you have any habits or routines before you write?

At this point, so early in my journey as an author, I really don’t. The one thing that is consistently challenging for me is that my writing process is a little more…organic. I believe I read in an article that it is called a “gardener” style, meaning I plant a few seeds, see what happens, then plant a few more and see how they grow, and so on. That makes it hard to stay on task in the writing and to also plan everything from contract proposals to book launch activities and release dates since you don’t know what’s going to happen until it does, and you won’t know when the book is finished until it is.

I think one habit that could help change that is to embrace the reality that the first draft of any project is not going to be perfect, and it is not going to be the last. I just need to write, get words on the page as I feel inspired, and then go back and review and revise. I’ve also chosen an Alpha reader (someone who is reading along as I write) this second time around to give me real time feedback as the story builds.

 

Where do you get your inspiration when writing or when building your characters? Do you also get inspiration from other books or authors? If so, could you share more about it?

Inspiration can come from anywhere. In the days when I wrote fan-fiction, it often came from wishing that the professional writers had told a story differently in the show. Inspiration can come from other authors, music, current events, personal experiences, people you know…keep your eyes and mind open to all possibilities!

For me, I think the most compelling stories come from personal experience, from subjects that you know and can speak to. You don’t have to reach far to add that personal touch in creating your characters’ and their worlds because you’ve been there.

 

As an author and reader, what are your pet peeves when reading a story?

Inconsistency or plot points that aren’t fully vetted and fleshed out. When character motivations aren’t fully explored. In short stories, those things are understandable, but in full length novels, I think it’s important that we don’t lose track of who our characters are, why they do what they do and to make sure our reader can clearly understand those things, even for side-characters that make more than passing appearances.

 

FUTURE PROJECTS/EVENTS

I heard that you have future plans for your story, ‘Wesley’s Heart’. Can you tell us more about it?

Yes. I am hoping to make it part of a trilogy of books, and am working on the second book. My timeline is a little shaky as it is taking me a while to write (see that question above), but once I published Wesley’s story, I was looking for my next project.

The inspiration came from several places. One, I was feeling a nudge to write a story about his friend and the life that led him to that letter (I’m trying not to spoil it in case readers of this interview have not read the book). Secondly, I had a few readers mention that they loved the “adorable little girl,” and ask me if there was ever going to be more of her. And thirdly, my friend was telling me more about her family’s journey with evaluating her grandson’s Autism and talking about how much they were learning, and that sparked more ideas about how I might be able to bring those first two inspirations together for more stories.

So, I’m excited. A little scared. You would think that writing one book would make you feel confident about the next, but I’m finding the opposite to be true. I feel a little more pressure to make sure I live up to the first.  Wish me luck!

 

CLOSING

What is the biggest lesson that you learned from your self-publishing journey?

This is not a cheap hobby if you want to be serious. And while there are many honorable entrepreneurs hustling online with any number of services for you, DO YOUR HOMEWORK first! Scammers abound. Find people that you trust and surround yourself with them.

 

Do you have any advice that you can share with fellow and aspiring writers?

Copyediting. It is expensive but necessary to make sure your manuscript is the best that it can be. Reach out to people that do pieces of the process well and ask them to teach you how. Self-publishing is not just about writing; it is a business. If you are wanting to make money with this, you have to treat it as such because you are responsible for all aspects.

 

Lastly, what is your message to your supporters or followers?

Your reception of Wesley’s Heart has been so encouraging and humbling, more than I could ever dream really, and I can’t thank you enough. I hope you will like the next chapter in Wesley’s and Ariel’s story just as much.

 

Conclusion

Kyelle Aaron’s self-publishing journey is a remarkable testament to the power of creativity and determination. Her debut novel, ‘Wesley’s Heart,’ not only showcases her storytelling talent but also highlights the challenges and rewards of indie authorship. Kyelle’s willingness to embrace imperfection, draw from personal experiences, and seek inspiration from her readers sets a shining example for aspiring writers.

We thank you, Kyelle, for gracing us with your time and sharing your experience that will surely touch other aspiring writers. We are looking forward to the next chapters of your writing career.

Check out your own ‘Wesley’s Heart’ copy and stay connected with Kyelle’s writing journey here.

 

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