Name: Talli Roland
Hometown: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Current Residence: London, UK
Education: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education, Masters of Journalism
Briefly: Twice shortlisted for the Festival of Romance awards; selected as an Amazon Customer Favorite
Favorite Read: Prep, by Curtis Sittenfeld
Pet Peeves: Slow walkers who block the sidewalk!
If You Weren’t a Writer You’d Be… A teacher—and I have been!
What You Have Lined Up Next: I’m currently working on The No-Kids Club, about a group of women who form a social network for people without children. It’s slated for release by Amazon Publishing next Spring/ early summer.
Your books all have these funny premises. What usually inspires your plots?
Thank you! I read to escape, so I try to keep the tone light and the premises fun – something I’d want to read myself. I must admit I get a lot of my ideas from the Daily Mail, a newspaper in the UK which often features ridiculous stories.
And speaking of which, they give this screwball comedy vibe. Do you have a classic movie love story that you love so much that you could watch over and over and yet, not tire of it?
I’m a real sucker for Love Actually. I’ve watched it many times and it never fails to leave me a sobbing wreck. Happy tears!
Your books are widely reviewed by readers online. Besides writing great books, what other advice do you wish to give to authors who are trying to get more reviews of their books?
Find readers! Easier said than done, I know. To find reviewers, I looked at books similar to my own and noted down which review sites endorsed them. From there, I drew up a list of reviewers to target. Offering your novel for free might also garner more readers and more reviews as a result.
What makes a successful romance novel? With all the success you’ve had over the course of your career, you’re the perfect person to ask!
I learn with every book I write, and I think the recipe for what works varies from book to book. I tend to focus mainly on the heroine and how her flaws create obstacles in her life – including relationships. For me, the heroine has to be strong and have a mind of her own. I find nothing appealing about a female being ‘swept off her feet’.
What should every aspiring author know about marketing books, and getting publicity?
It takes a lot of time, energy, and persistence. Building a platform will not happen overnight, but if you stick with it and you’re consistent, you’ll get there. Also, be genuine and be present: no-one wants to read auto-tweet after auto-tweet. Too much promo turns people off.
Do you ever get stuck while writing?
I do, but I tend to carry on writing until the solution comes. That means I often need to cut a lot of unnecessary words in the end, but I find the ideas flow better when I’m engaged in the project rather than thinking about it in isolation.
What do you like most about being an author?
Every day, I get to enter a new world. I love leaving my desk and feeling I’ve been somewhere else! I can’t think of a better job.