Things I Wish I’d Known Before Getting Published by TJ Nichols

Long and Short Reviews welcomes TJ Nichols who is celebrating the recent release of Oliver, book 7 in the Order of the Black Knights series.

Things I wish I’d known before getting published

1- Scheduling. Editing and promoting books takes time. This time is often the only time I have to write, so I don’t get to write . What I have learned to do when I’m editing is to just write 100 words of the story I’m working on so I don’t slip out of the story and I still get to make progress (even if it is much slower than I’d have liked).

2- While it is fun to check my Amazon ranking on release day, it is also a terrible distraction and I will still have to wait for a royalty statement to know how many have sold so…I’m not sure why I do it but I haven’t broken the habit yet. Maybe this time…or not…

3- It’s a good idea to write in one genre, to get established. Fantasy and urban fantasy are almost the same…same enough? Historical paranormal is kind of urban fantasy… the common element that my stories have is a fantasy element (werewolves, elves, demons and parallel worlds, or in this case curses and past lives) and two men who can’t live without each other.

4- Research. Anyone who thinks writing fantasy means making everything up is fooling themselves. I’ve researched everything from Nazi occupied France to poisons in the Middle Ages to how desert dwelling people live. Not only that but the more I read and learn the more my imagination had to churn over.

5- Cover art forms are strange beasts that I’m never sure if I’m doing them right or not. So far my covers have been awesome so the artists are obviously familiar with deciphering what authors put on the forms.

6- Some writers are fast and some are slow but it doesn’t matter as long the work in progress gets finished.

7- Podcasts! There are so many podcasts about writing. Some are more helpful than others, some are just fun to listen to. I have bought books because of podcasts. A goal of mine is to be interviewed on a podcast 

8- Goals are important. If I don’t have goals I can fritter away a morning when I should’ve been writing doing…well I don’t know but I was in front of the computer.

9- While goals and word counts are important, so is taking time off. A story can become all-consuming but I have a life and a family and while characters are people, they aren’t the flesh and blood people in my life.

10- There will always be people who are delighted when you say you’re an author who will then be less than thrilled with what you write. ‘Oh, I don’t read those kinds of books’ is a common response. I sometimes reply ‘oh so you don’t believe in love and happiness?’. They usually don’t know how to respond to that.

Olivier Merlo works for a dangerous man. He does what he’s told without asking questions because he needs to protect his sister and niece. When someone gives his boss trouble, Olivier does what he does best. It’s a routine hit—until the victim’s brother starts poking around.

Cody Anders left his family behind a decade ago—along with their wealth and influence—to live on his own terms. Still, he knows his twin didn’t die of a drug overdose, and he’ll do anything to find the truth. What he uncovers is a conspiracy that will topple his family and leave him staring down the barrel of a gun.

Olivier must decide if he’s going to obey orders or free himself from the curse that has guided his hand for centuries. Cody, who challenges Olivier’s notion that no one can love him, holds the key to breaking his chains. But when the truth finally comes out, it might be more than Cody can accept.

About the Author: TJ Nichols is an avid runner and martial arts enthusiast who first started writing as child. Many years later while working as a civil designer, TJ decided to pick up a pen and start writing again. Having grown up reading thrillers and fantasy novels, it’s no surprise that mixing danger and magic comes so easily, writing urban fantasy allows TJ to bring magic to the every day. TJ enjoys writing novellas and novels and has a series, Studies in Demonology, coming out with DSP Publications.

With two cats acting as supervisors, TJ has gone from designing roads to building worlds and wouldn’t have it any other way. After traveling all over the world and Australia, TJ now lives in Perth, Western Australia.

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Buy the book at Dreamspinner Press, Kobo, iBooks, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble.


  1. I didn’t know there were podcasts about writing. What are a few of them that you’d recommend?

    Congratulations on your new book.

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