Stephanie Aviles

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My Journey has begun.

Welcome to my first blog on the "The Inside Voice," where you can follow me as I detail every step I take in starting my career as a self-published 'indie' contemporary romance author.

Starting this venture in my life has been a dream come true, thanks to the wonderful support of my family and friends. My love for romance started at a young age when my aunt (the cool one that always gets into trouble with me) introduced me to “A Pirate’s Love” by Johanna Lindsey. From the moment I was introduced to Bettina Verlaine and Captain Tristan I was instantly hooked and it was all downhill from there. Since then, my passion for romance has grown stronger by the day, so much that sometimes I feel bad for my poor husband, who must feel tons of pressure trying to live up to my very impossible high standards.

I am an avid reader and find nothing more exciting than going to a bookstore and enjoying the smell of new books with freshly brewed coffee (and a piece of cake, of course!). I have to admit that at one point I had so many books that I had no room left in the house so I stored some in the attic. One day, my husband and I heard this loud noise and rushed to the garage to find that a very large box of books had come crashing down through the ceiling of the brand-new house we had just purchased. Needless to say, that was a proud moment for me. Now we just have a larger home so I have more room for my books.

Growing up I never intended to be a writer. My dream was to be the star of one of the very many Spanish novellas I used to watch. As a teenager I would secretly practice scenes in front of the mirror when my parents weren't at home and I would dream about the day I would make my grand screen debut. Fast-forward fifteen years and I spent my time as a wife, mother, college student, member of the Air Force Reserves, and full-time worker. By then, the only thing I dreamt about was having more hours in the day so I could finish the latest Twilight novel. My best friend, author India Rosado, saw my passion for reading romance and encourage me to start writing. At first I scoffed at the idea, stating that I was a reader, not a writer, and besides, what time would I have to write when I felt like I had several jobs going at the same time? But like the multi-tasking person that I am (or over-loader, as my friends call it) I went back home that night and started looking through old poems and songs I had written as a teenager. I started to think about what she had said, and that maybe there was some truth to it; maybe this was for me after all. After graduating from college with a degree in Computer Science, I made the cross-country road trip with my family from Florida to Washington state to make a new life for ourselves. Despite the distance, for years my friend continued to insist that I go with her to this thing called the Romance Writer Association (RWA) conference. I finally caved, hoping that I would at least get to stalk some of my favorite romance authors, so in June 2010 I attended my first conference in Orlando. That conference changed my life, and all I have to say to my dear friend is, thank you!

After the conference, I was convinced that writing romance was what I wanted for my life and immediately got home and started plotting several ideas down for potential books. I completed two partial manuscripts (which one day I swear I will finish) and took a hiatus from writing due to my crazy busy schedule at work, the birth of my second child, and my husband starting his graduate degree. This last year, however, I finally dusted off the rusty pen again and was renewed when I attended the 2016 RWA Conference in San Diego. There I learned that I didn't have to wait for the golden ticket and get a deal from a traditional publisher. I could instead empower myself and start my own business as a writer. The fire inside me blazed and I knew that I could not put my life on hold any longer. Thus, "The Inside Voice" was born.

There are so many people who, like me, want to be able to pursue a career of writing full-time and make a living doing so, but sometimes the responsibilities of day-to-day living put those dreams on hold.

I invite everyone out there to join me on this journey as I blog through all the ups and downs of becoming a self-published romance author so you can learn with me and through me and share a couple of laughs together as I go through this thing called becoming an indie author.