Indie Support Sunday: Molly McCarthy
If I haven’t mentioned it yet, 2022 is turning out to be an incredible year for author debuts. Not only are we being able to discover and read lots of new authors, we’re also seeing a growth in the number of indie authors publishing this year. And one of them is Molly McCarthy.
Beauty in the Details, her debut, released May 2nd! With a love for photography and a possible interest in writing women’s fiction, Molly is definitely on her way to big things. With a few more books in this series, I cannot wait to see the awesome things that Molly is about to achieve!
What inspired you to write—was it another author or books you read as you grew up?
I have loved reading and writing since I was a little kid! I wrote more than a few “books” as I was growing up. While I lost writing for a while as a teen, I remained an avid reader. Then I finally decided to write the book I wanted to read!
Why did you choose romance as the genre to write in?
Romance is easily my favorite and most read genre, so it was only natural that it’s the genre I would write! I’m a total hopeless romantic, and I love how the guarantee of a Happily Ever After allows romance novels to explore darker, tougher topics while still providing a safe landing at the end.
Why did you choose to self-publish instead of going the traditional route?
To be blunt: because I’m a control freak! I couldn’t stomach the thought of someone else having control over my cover, release date, and other details. I wanted the freedom to write what I wanted, release it when I wanted, and market it how I wanted to.
What’s the best and worst part about being an indie author?
Best: You’re in charge of everything!
Worst: You’re in charge of everything.
Being an indie author means having no professional support (other than that which you seek out and pay for yourself). You have to be a jack of all trades, learning not only how to write a book, but how to publish it, market it, and everything in between. While this can be challenging, it also allows you to flex your creative muscles in different ways and learn so many new skills!
Do you write full time or is this something you do on the side? And would you want to write full time?
I very much write on the side. Writing full time would be a dream, but it would totally depend on my life circumstances at the time! I really thrive on the routine and structure of a traditional job, enjoy having co-workers, etc. which is not something you get in a solitary job like writing.
Other than writing, what is something you enjoy and are really good at?
Photography! I became really interested in photography a few years back and got myself a nice DSLR camera. I really enjoy playing around with it and seeing what kinds of cool shots I can get.
If not romance/subgenres of romance, what genre would you like to write in?
I would probably write women’s fiction and/or children’s books! I have worked with children for many years now, and I could see myself merging those two interests of mine.
What are some of your all time favourite books—ones that you recommend to people or can reread multiple times?
This is a tough one! I’m so bad at picking favorites. My favorite recent romances are Always Only You by Chloe Liese and It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey. My comfort series I could reread over and over are romantic suspense series like KGI by Maya Banks and Edge of Honor by Lori Foster. They’re certainly not for everyone, but I adore them!
What are your top 5 tips or pieces of advice for aspiring authors?
1. Just write. Write that first draft. Get it down on paper. You can’t edit a blank page.
2. Ask for help early and often. Don’t hide your manuscript away for years. Get someone else’s eyes on it!
3. READ. Read as much as you can, especially in the genre you write in. Reading will teach you as much or more than any craft book will.
4. Don’t be afraid to take breaks from writing. The creative process is not linear, and sometimes taking breaks to just live your life will provide the most inspiration!
5. Create a community for yourself. Whether it’s online or in person or a combination of both, connect with other people who do what you’re doing/want to be doing.
Can you briefly tell me about your debut?
My debut contemporary romance novel, Beauty In The Details, is a beachy read with open door steam about a traveling artist who goes to Nantucket to find inspiration. She meets a handsome café owner there who’s totally floundering, and they wind up helping each other out and falling in love in the process!
Of the books you’ve written, who is your favourite character?
I’d have to say that my female MC, Natalie, is my favorite character in Beauty In The Details. She’s confident and self-assured, but beneath the surface there’s a vulnerability that she can’t quite shake. She really learns to let down her walls and trust both herself and others.
What inspired your published stories? How and when did you come up with these stories and plots?
I can’t quite pinpoint what first inspired Beauty In The Details, but I can tell you that I garnered a lot of inspiration from living on the island of Nantucket during the summer of 2019! I got to spend two full months living there, exploring and discovering all it had to offer. It’s such a magical, beautiful place, and I did my best to capture that in the story!
How much of yourself do you put into these characters?
Not much, honestly! I enjoy exploring personalities that are unlike my own through my writing, though I could see myself writing a heroine like myself some day.
When you write these stories, what are you hoping your readers will feel?
My main goal is to provide readers with an escape. I want them to dive into my books and forget about their problems and the problems of the world for a while. And I always want them to finish the book feeling gooey and soft from the HEA!
What is a story/stories that you really want to tell?
I would really like to write some #ownvoices stories about characters that deal with some of the various things that I do (anxiety, autoimmune disease). Representation is SO important in media, and the romance genre is seeing a huge increase in representation of different types. This is a project that’s on my mind once I finish the current series I’m writing.
What’s next on the bookshelf for you? Anything you can tell us about a future project?
My next two books will be in the same series as my debut. The “McNally Men” series is about three brothers who fall HARD for some strong women. I can tell you that the next two books are a bit angstier than Beauty In The Details, with the second one verging on romantic suspense!
What are your most and least favourite tropes?
I honestly enjoy pretty much any trope, but…
Favorites: grump/sunshine, forced proximity, only one bed, surprise pregnancy
Least favorite: secret baby, love triangle, marriage in trouble (not my fave but I do like some!)
What are some tropes you want to write in the future?
I absolutely need to write a grump/sunshine novel! I am planning this for book 4. It’s my all time favorite trope, but I haven’t written a grump yet.
What are some topics (sensitive and otherwise) that you think should exist more in romance?
In general, I love seeing more openness about condoms, lube, and other less “sexy” parts of sex. I also love when consent is super clear and highlighted!
What is your favourite thing about the romance genre?
How can I pick just one thing!? I think the promise of an HEA is the thing that keeps drawing me back to romance. Knowing that everything will work out OK, no matter how many obstacles the characters face throughout the story, is so incredibly comforting!
THIS OR THAT
Ebooks or audiobooks
Historical romance or romantic suspense
Single or Dual POV
Standalones or series
Instrumental music or silence while writing
Plotter, pantser or plantser
Tea and coffee
Cold or warm weather
Morning person or night owl
Illustrated cover or photo cover