Indie Support Sunday: Erin Thomson

2021 was truly the year for fantastic debuts and Melbourne-based Erin Thomson was one of the few authors who completely blew me away with her debut The Wedding Planners. Set in New York and featured two of the most entertaining characters of 2021, the book won me over almost as soon as I started it.

With more books in the works, Erin is an author to definitely watch. Her Instagram page is filled with motivational posts, updates about her life and everything in between. I can assure you that on rough days, if you visit Erin’s profile, you’ll be able to find a reason to smile.

Great at baking, a mother to two kids and writing part-time, Erin is going places and I am so excited to have been able to interview her for this series. Keep reading to find out what books she loves, the kind of stories she wants to tell and what’s next on the bookshelf for her!

What inspired you to write—was it another author or books you read as you grew up?

I wasn’t a huge reader growing up, it probably wasn’t until my mid 20s that I really got into reading and after a while I started having my own ideas, and decided to write them down. It didn’t stick initially, not until I watched Dirk Gently on Netflix and thought it would be cool if the leads were female. I wrote a sci-fi/mystery/who knows what, which a handful of people read, and I was hooked. 

Why did you choose romance as the genre to write in?

Because everything is better with romance! Having said that, I didn’t start writing romance (as I mentioned above), but I loved reading it. After persisting with things that just weren’t working, I decided to give myself permission to write my favourite trope—the fake relationship—just to see what would happen and something just clicked. I loved it! 

Why did you choose to self-publish instead of going the traditional route?

I think when you first start thinking about writing a book in your head (or mine at least) it was going to be sitting on a shelf in a bookshop. But the more I started to learn about self publishing through watching other indie authors, and my own research, the more I really liked it. It’s daunting for sure, but I liked being in control of it, having it all in my hands. 

What’s the best and worst part about being an indie author?

Marketing is the worst! I’m an introvert who doesn’t like talking about herself, so putting it out there and saying I wrote this book I think it’s good you should read it is hard! The best thing for me was probably holding the first proof in my hands, it was completely surreal and amazing. 

Do you write full time or is this something you do on the side? And would you want to write full time?

One day I would LOVE to write full time, but for the moment I balance writing with a part job and running after my two kids. 

Other than writing, what is something you enjoy and are really good at?

Baking! I can make a mean chocolate cake, and I love baking cookies. I also love crafting and discovered last year (in the midst of lockdown) that watercolor painting is super relaxing for me. 

If not romance/subgenres of romance, what genre would you like to write in?

I would love to write fantasy or paranormal/supernatural, but the world building aspect is so daunting. I also love a good mystery. 

What are some of your all time favourite books—ones that you recommend to people or can reread multiple times?

There are so many! For romance I love Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren, Blindsided by Amy Daws, Only When it’s Us by Chloe Liese, Bringing Down the Duke and A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dumore and anything Sarah Adam’s writes. In fantasy The Mirror Visitor series by Christelle Dabos is absolutely stunning, the story, the world building, the slow, slow, sloooow burn romance. 

What are your top 5 tips or pieces of advice for aspiring authors?

1. Just start. It doesn’t matter if it’s good at first, or that anyone else sees it. Just start writing.

2. Find writing friends. It doesn’t matter if they’re online or in real life, find a community of other writers, their support will be invaluable.

3. Don’t stop just because it feels hard. When you first start, the words might flow and you’ll be on a roll and it’s amazing. Then you hit the wall and wonder why the hell you started all this in the first place. Keep going.

4. Find a rhythm/routine that works for you. Some people can write 5,000 words a day, that’s amazing, but it doesn’t mean you have to do that to be an author.

5. Share your work. This goes along with finding those writing friends. Having someone else read your work is so helpful, is it also utterly terrifying at first? Yes, yes it is, but in my experience the benefits far outweigh the fear.

Can you tell me a little bit about your debut?

The Wedding Planners is about a couple of chefs who are thrown together to plan a wedding (funny that) after a one night stand. 

Of the books you’ve written, do you have a favourite character?

This is a bit like choosing a favourite child isn’t it!? Mrs Snyder in The Wedding Planners has to be a favourite, I’m not even sure where she came from, she just popped onto the page and I was like, oh, hello, I love you. I really enjoy the chemistry between the two MCs in book 2, but I have a feeling the ones in book 3 are going to be some favourites as well. 

What inspired your published stories? How and when did you come up with these stories and plots?

I am a sucker for a good romance trope, and reading other books definitely inspires my ideas. The Wedding Planners was born out of me wanting to see what happened when two people who were never supposed to see each other again after a one night stand were forced to work together. Once I had that idea I just started writing and let the rest of the story unfold. A lot changed between the first draft and the published version!

How much of yourself do you put into these characters?

I’m not sure, it’s not something I do consciously but I think they all have a little bit of me, and other people I know in them. 

When you write these stories, what are you hoping your readers will feel?

I try not to think about what other people will think of it when I’m writing because that can feel like a lot of pressure. I do hope that people connect with the characters though, and want to know what happens next. 

What is a story/stories that you really want to tell?

I get new ideas all the time that make me feel like I have to write them immediately, which is tricky when you’re in the middle of something else. Right now there is one about a safecracker and a gangster that I’m pretty excited about but it’s going to take some planning!  

What’s next on the bookshelf for you? Anything you can tell us about a future project?

I’ve finished the first draft of my second book which is telling Chase and Mack’s story, a couple of characters readers might remember from The Wedding Planners. It’s a friends to lovers, which is not always my favourite but these two were really fun to write. While that is having some breathing space I’ve moved onto drafting book 3, which I can’t tell you too much about just yet. 

What are your most and least favourite tropes?

Favourites: rivals to lovers, grumpy-sunshine, only one bed (bonus points if the grumpy-sunshine rivals have to share the one bed *chef’s kiss*), sibling’s best friend (there are more but I’ve had a mental blank!)

Least favourite: secret/surprise pregnancy/child, and I don’t know if it’s a trope specifically but when the hero is so alpha you feel like you’re choking on testosterone when you’re reading! Bleh. 

What are some tropes you want to write in the future?

Hmm… I would love to write a sibling’s BFF, and maybe an age gap. Otherwise I don’t have specific tropes in mind at the moment. 

What are some topics (sensitive and otherwise) that you think should exist more in romance?

I think what we read should reflect the world around us, and that’s so much more than just white cishet relationships. I want to see all the bodies and all the abilities and all the love, no matter how it looks. I am here for all the romance, for all the people.

What is your favourite thing about the romance genre?

There are so many things! The meet cutes, the first kisses, the banter, the steam, the moment they realise that they’re in love (especially if one of them is not a relationship type, or if they thought just the once would get it out of their systems-ha!), the HEAs. Honestly, they’re just a hell of a good time! 

THIS OR THAT

  • Ebooks or audiobooks
  • Historical romance or romantic suspense (I can’t choose!)
  • Single or Dual POV
  • Standalones or series
  • Music or silence while writing (I listen to rain or ocean sounds because I’m so easily distracted)
  • Plotter, pantser or plantser
  • Tea or coffee
  • Cold or warm weather
  • Morning person or night owl
  • Illustrated cover or photo cover

Follow Erin on Instagram (@authorerinthomson) to stay updated on her books and for all of the positive content!

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