What would I tell a new author? by Aiden Ainslie

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What would I tell a new author?

The first thing I would tell them is, if you are writing because you want to be on the New York Times bestseller list and see your books made into movies so that you can be rich and famous, I suggest you rather buy lottery tickets. The chances of making it big time in writing are pretty slim. But if you have other motivations for writing then “Go for it!”

Of course, I’d love to be a bestselling author, but the writing process in itself can be immensely rewarding. Creating characters in a story is probably the closest a man can get to understanding how a woman feels about giving birth to a child. I nurture my characters for months through the whole writing process to shape them into decent human beings. And I am super protective of them. I want readers to understand my characters, root for them, and like them despite their frailties.

So, aspiring author, be prepared to give up a lot of your headspace to your story. The characters are going to be bouncing around in your head whether you like it or not.

The next thing to address with the new author is the tricky question of marketing. There’s no way around it. It’s time-consuming and takes you away from the creative process. All I can say is, find help if you can afford it, or else embrace it. But don’t let it suck the life out of you. Be selective with your precious time and advertising dollars.

One of the things I learned about marketing the hard way is that you must be really, really clear about what your genre is and who your audience is. It’s one thing to write your memoirs, which will (maybe) be read by your family and five good friends. But if you want to be commercially successful, you should know exactly whom you are writing for and what they expect. That is why people like Colleen Hoover, Louise Penny and Geoffrey Archer are as successful as they are. They stick very tightly to a genre, and readers get exactly what they expect from these authors.

So, think big! Don’t just think about the one book you are going to write. Think about the ten books you are going to write. By book five you’ve got your readers so hooked that they are panting for the next release. And that, my friend, is when you get onto the New York Times bestseller list and Netflix sends a limo for the premiere of the movie based on your latest book.


After years of hard work and training, I finally have the chance of fulfilling my lifelong dream of winning the Tour de France. Nothing can be allowed to distract me from this mission, especially not Gabe O’Reilly, the adorable art student from San Francisco.

But he looks so vulnerable – all alone in France.

I would be failing in my patriotic duty to a fellow American if I didn’t take care of him, wouldn’t I? And what possible harm could come from spending twenty-four hours with him on the shores of the Mediterranean? I deserve that little break, don’t I?


I have never seen a human specimen as perfect as Clifford Du Frey. During our fleeting encounter in Paris, I saw a man who was funny, caring, and tender – so very different from the way the media portray him. He is everything I could ever dream of in a boyfriend.

But in what universe will an international sports superstar pay any serious attention to me?

Do not get involved, my brain yells; you can only get hurt again. But my heart is thrumming to a different tune.

Enjoy an Excerpt


In my line of work as a professional cyclist, me-time was rationed like the tiny, individually wrapped squares of chocolate my mother would give me as a reward for good school results. Of course, once I had found her secret stash, I used to help myself and haughtily decline her miserly tokens of approval.

But there was no secret stash of time. I had to live with the given rations to deal with my anxieties. I knew what none of the team even suspected – this was do-or-die, my last attempt at finally pulling off the big win that had eluded me throughout my ten-year professional career. I knew that I would not be able to muster the hunger for another Tour – to withstand the hundreds of hours of training rides in extreme heat and the Alps’ arctic altitude. This was it. But if my cycling career was at an end – then what? It was all I had ever done. My grueling schedule had not allowed me to attend college. At twenty-eight, I stared into the chasm of obscurity, a has-been, yesterday’s hero discarded with yesterday’s trash.

I nursed a coffee and was about to spiral into a pit of self-doubt and anxiety when I noticed a young man at the restaurant entrance. His indecision was palpable. He had a camera on a strap around his neck. Who still used cameras? Didn’t everyone have a smartphone? And he held a copy of the Lonely Planet in one hand. He wore cargo shorts, a UC San Francisco T-shirt, and leather sandals. There was something so open, innocent, and vulnerable about him that it tugged at my jaded heart. He might as well have had “American student – rip me off” tattooed on his forehead. Physically he was gorgeous – average height with sun-tanned skin and the perfect proportions that come from working on a farm or construction site. The soft curls of his dark hair shone in the midday sun and fell in unruly waves over his forehead. I had the fleeting, insane urge to push my fingers through that hair so that I could get a good look at his eyes. A few well-heeled ladies in the bistro were giving him the once-over, but he was utterly oblivious.

The man bit his lower lip as he studied the menu, and it was as though I could read his mind. The hand in his pocket was no doubt assessing how many euros he had and whether he could afford the expensive bistro which the Lonely Planet recommended as a “must-do.” Again, his eyes scanned the packed restaurant, and the waiters were too busy to notice his dilemma.

To this day, I do not know what made me do it. I, who had wanted anonymity, to get away from the oppressive togetherness of a competitive sports team in a foreign country. I, who desperately needed time to straighten out my head. I, who definitely did not need any distractions in my life. I rose from my seat and beckoned for the stranger to join me at the intimate table with its white tablecloth, the vase with lavender, and the table-setting for two.

About the Author:Aiden Ainslie lives in the Diablo foothills, east of San Francisco. He grew up in various small towns and loves to draw on that small-town feel for his romances: the sense of community but also the petty grievances, intrigue and rivalries. “An author has to draw on personal experience to create authentic stories.”

According to Aiden, setting and mood are critical parts of a romantic story, hence he is always taking pictures of romantic settings to be used in future novels. Check them out on his website.

When Aiden is not writing or listening to audiobooks, he likes to cycle and hike. During those solitary pursuits, he dreams up the characters and plots for his MM Romance novels. He also enjoys zipping around town on his motor scooter, drinking coffee at the local coffee shops, and watching people to get inspiration for his writing.

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