Episode 75: On Becoming a Full-Time Novelist with Celeste Barclay

Writing and publishing one book is hard. It’s a commitment to yourself and to your creative practice. But if you want to become a full-time novelist, it takes more than one book.

My guest today committed big and has managed to write and publish close to 30 full-length novels in the past three years, many of which she wrote while teaching full-time. If you’re like me, this sounds like an almost impossible task, but as Celeste proves, it can be done and done well. We dive into how she accomplished this and continues to write and publish multiple novels a year.

In this episode, we discussed:

  • The joy of transitioning from full-time teacher to full-time novelist and the fulfillment she feels serving her readers that she used to get from working with her students
  • How Celeste organizes herself to reach her writing goals (which are high – like 10-15k words per writing session in a day)
  • Her process of binge writing and why it works for her to write an entire book in two-three weeks
  • How she found her genre (historical romance) and began writing
  • Why she originally chose to self-publish over a traditional publishing route and why now, after publishing 30 books, she has chosen to work with a publisher and is now known as a hybrid author
  • Why it’s important to take time to learn about the publishing industry before you share your book with the world
  • How important it is to take good character notes as you’re writing, especially in a series

Celeste’s Books

You can find all of Celeste’s books and explore her series on her website or on Amazon.

Meet Celeste Barclay

Celeste Barclay, a nom de plume, lives near the Southern California coast with her husband and sons. Growing up in the Midwest, Celeste enjoyed spending as much time in and on the water as she could. Now she lives near the beach. She’s an avid swimmer, a hopeful future surfer, and a former rower. Before becoming a full-time author, Celeste was a Social Studies and English teacher. She holds degrees in International Affairs (BA), Teaching Secondary Social Science (MAT), and Political Management (MPS). She channels that knowledge into creating rich historical romances that bring the steam.

Connect with Celeste Barclay

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  1. Jeana on September 11, 2021 at 10:57 am

    I really enjoyed this podcast and the exploration of how different souls work …and what works for one is not what would work for another! Thanks Amy for sharing!

    • Amy Isaman on September 11, 2021 at 3:23 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it. And yes, we have to be open to exploring and accepting our own processes.

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