Monday, November 24, 2014


As many of you know, I have recently ventured out of my cozy niche of romantic fantasy and edged into contemporary romantic fiction. In doing so, I have come into contact with many new writers who have a whole different sort of experience and overview of the writing world. It was this pool I dipped into when seeking out a guest poster for this week.

Sarah Hegger writes in many genres, most specifically contemporary and historical romance, but she has a deep love of fantasy, and discovered a fabulous thing I've never even heard of to indulge in it--Wattpad. I'll let her take it from here. Sarah?

Before you yell “Imposter!” let me just say—Terri said I could come.

I write what I love to read, which is romance. And as I have the attention span of a goldfish, I write in both historical and contemporary romance. But, I have another great love, and that’s fantasy. My first contact was Anne McCaffrey and her Dragons of Pern, and I’ve never looked back. Stephen Donaldson, Robert Jordan, David Eddings, Robin Hobb, David Gemmell—love them all.

When I first started writing, I wanted to write fantasy. I sweated two years over a book that ended up being almost 500,000 words. Yeah, I know! And before you ask, I truly feel that every one of those words was totally necessary. Which brings me to why Terri let me in here today.

I am reworking that monster into a number of smaller books. But I’m doing it on Wattpad. For those of you who don’t know it, it's kind of like FanFiction, in that it works the same as FanFiction.  Anybody can contribute and anybody can read your work and comment. The difference is that the content is original, not using existing characters from other stories. And lots of published writers use it as a platform to reach more readers.

I wanted to combine my two loves in an episodic fantasy romance series. Fantasy can often be largely plot driven, whereas romance is more about the characters and their inner journey. What if we could have a cracking good plot, driven by characters—and because I’m primarily a romance writer—falling in love against a backdrop of one of those epic fantasy “Good vs. Evil for the World” battles?

The fun part is writing it episodically. One chapter a week, published every Thursday faithfully. I already have the framework (all 500,000 words of it) and the broader picture. Now to make each episode a compelling enough read to bring the person back next week for the next installment.

Wattpad is totally free for both readers and writers. This is what the front end stats say on the site:

75 million stories to read.
35 million Wattpaders and growing.
9 billion minutes spent on Wattpad every month (this one is a bit meaningless to me, as my math is suspect at best)
85% mobile across all devices.
The big surprise to me is how professional the look of the thing is. I am getting a cover designed for the series, just to fit in with the other folks doing the same.
Why am I doing this?

For the sheer joy of writing a Fantasy novel is the first reason. And, secondly, how cool would it be to develop a readership on such a huge platform?
And the freeeeeeeedoooooooom.
There are no genre rules, no maximum word counts, no ‘selling points’. It’s me and whoever wanders over to read my story. Readers can leave comments, like your story and interact with you while the story unfolds.

The challenge as a writer is delicious. You have to draw that reader in and keep them coming back for more, while making sure you keep the entire plot and the bigger picture straight in your head.

And I’m writing about dragons, my favorites in fantasy. Great winged magicians who draw their powers from crystals, and need their human counterparts because with all that magic, they lose their five senses and need to ‘piggyback’ off a companion.

If you’d like to check out my embryonic effort Companions Gorge: The Return, pop on over to my Wattpad page to see.
I have 16 reads and 2 followers. Yay, me! I believe you need an account to read, but you can read any story off just about any mobile device. And like the website stats say, you have 75 million of them to chose from.
You can have a look at what I do in the more traditional published world over on my WEBSITE.
Who am I?
Born British and raised in South Africa, Sarah Hegger suffers from an incurable case of wanderlust. Her match? A hot Canadian engineer, whose marriage proposal she accepted six short weeks after they first met. Together they’ve made homes in seven different cities across three different continents (and back again once or twice). If only it made her multilingual, but the best she can manage is idiosyncratic English, fluent Afrikaans, conversant Russian, pigeon Portuguese, even worse Zulu and enough French to get herself into trouble.

Mimicking her globe trotting adventures, Sarah’s career path began as a gainfully employed actress, drifted into public relations, settled a moment in advertising, and eventually took root in the fertile soil of her first love, writing. She also moonlights as a wife and mother.

She currently lives in Draper, Utah, with her teenage daughters, two Golden Retrievers and aforementioned husband. Part footloose buccaneer, part quixotic observer of life, Sarah’s restless heart is most content when reading or writing books.
        She loves to hear from readers and you can find her at any of the places below.

Sarah has two published medieval romances: The Bride Gift and Sweet Bea with another releasing next year, My Lady Faye.
On the contemporary front, she hase three books in the Willow Park Romance Series, beginning with Nobody’s Angel in March 2015.




Unknown said...

Thanks so much for letting me ramble on about my newest adventure in writing.

Terri-Lynne said...

Glad to have you, Sarah! I noodled around Wattpad last week after scheduling this post, and signed up an account. :) I haven't put anything IN it yet, but who knows when inspiration will strike. It seems like a lot of fun, informal fun. A place to just let the words fly. Thanks!

Juliette Cross said...

Hi, Sarah. I love that you've found this platform to "venture abroad" in the writing world. Strangely coincidental, while I'm a fantasy romance writer, I long to try my hand at historical. I might have to be a copy cat and try Wattpad. Good luck with your fantasy adventures!

Terri-Lynne said...

Seems to me, with all the romantic fantasy writers and readers I've come across just in the last few weeks, that it is an under-represented branch of two genres that the publishers of this world should take note of. Thanks for stopping by, Juliette!

Unknown said...

Juliette, give me a shout if you do and I'll give you a follow. And don't be intimidated by the research. It gets so fascinating, you get lost in it

Unknown said...

You know how I feel about fantasy..BRING IT!

Juliette Cross said...

You're welcome, Terri-Lynne. And thank you for the encouragement, Sarah. I'm definitely taking this leap soon. I have two separate ideas for historical/paranormal romances. But I want it to certainly be authentic with good research to back it up. :)

Unknown said...

So cool! I've been wanting to try wattpad for more than just my first chapters, but I haven't done it yet.

Unknown said...

Well, Rhenna, you have a fantasy release coming up, which I am looking forward to

Unknown said...

Rebekah, I never thought of doing something like this and it's turning out to be a lot of fun. Not that I am taking the world by storm or anything, but its very liberating

Anonymous said...

Awesome Sarah! You will love wattpad for all those reasons you listed. Excited for you!

Unknown said...

Great post, Sarah. I'm off to follow you on Wattled now.

Unknown said...

Jo, I found you there and I can't believe you have words I haven't read yet. Off to fix that immediately

Unknown said...

Thanks, Gemma, I guess I'll see you there

Anonymous said...

Sarah, thanks so much for being a guest on HoF! This was a fun post. I've had Wattpad on my radar for a while, but haven't had a chance to check it out. Sounds like a great opportunity. I look forward to reading your work.