Guess Post from the amazing, the beautiful.. the talented... Caylie Marcoe!!!!

Yes! You should definitely all be screaming with excitement right now!! I have on my blog today, a fantastic new author that just debuted her first contemporary novel. Choose Us is the sweetest love story and so fun to read! You need to pick it up now, if you haven't already. 
Caylie is going to talk a little bit about her journey into publishing her first novel and how she succeeded in a great release-day and release weekend. If you are an aspiring author, listen up! This girl has great advice. 
So... without further ado... Here is Caylie! 

Hi! I’m Caylie Marcoe, author of Choose Us (which is available on Amazon now!).
I’m a published author.
Yes….I’m still freaking out about it.
First, I’d like to thank Rachel for letting me ramble on her blog today.
Second, I’d like to thank whoever recommended Reckless Magic on a forum on If it weren’t for you, random person, I would never have found Rachel’s books. I would never have joined Rachel’s street team. And I would never have been able to join the Rebel Writers. Thus, I would never have finished my book or published it.
I pretty much owe it all to you, random person.

Today I’m going to talk about how joining a writing group led me to become a published author. Then I’ll let you know what I did to make my release weekend unbelievably unexpected.
Okay. Let’s begin.
In the summer of 2013, my mind was suddenly flooded with book ideas. I sat down and typed out ‘Chapter One’ of three different books and sent them off to one of my closest friends (and reading buddy). She liked them all and told me I needed to write them. She figured the bmx/dating show novel would probably be the easiest to write, so that’s what I started with….
But I never wrote any more.
June turned into July tuned into August turned to September turned to October.
I never wrote a thing.
Finally in October, I was checking out the comments on a post in Rachel’s street team and someone mentioned starting a writing group for new writers.
My first thought was, “Psht. I don’t need to be part of a group.”
Honestly, I just thought a group would be a battle of who has the best book.
But then I realized I hadn’t written a word in three and a half months.
Three in a half months!!
And I realized… maybe I did need help. Maybe a writing group was the push I needed. Maybe talking with new aspiring authors would get the ball rolling.
So I asked to join.
At first it was quiet. A few introduction posts. A few posts about goals. A few posts on how far we were into our novels.
That was when it hit me. When some of the girls were saying they had 10K words written… or even 30K. And I had a measly 1,500 words written.
I mentioned my word count to them.
And you know what?
They were full of support. They mentioned writing just 100 words that day, just to get something down.
So I did. I wrote 100 words. Then 100 more…and 100 more. By the end of the hour I spent writing, I had 500 words written.
And I told them.
And they were my own personal cheering squad.
The days went on, my word count went up.
Then one day one of the ladies posted a chapter of their book.
Holy hell, they had balls.
I could never post a chapter of my book! Never!
And then I read that chapter from her.
Um… no. This is WAY too good. No way am I posting mine!
Then another lady posted a chapter from her book.
What the heck?! Another great chapter! These girls are too good. No one will like my book if I post a chapter. I’m sure of it.
(See my crazy insecurities?!)
Four days… that is how long I knew these ladies when I finally posted Chapter One for the group to read.
Want to know their response?
“Very good!”
“I really liked it! I enjoy friends to lovers stories (which is where I'm assuming this is going).
“I liked it. Not normally something I would pick up, but I did like their relationship.
“Perfect start! I got a really great feeling of the characters (you're dialogue is spot on!). I also really like the friends to romance angle (as this is hopefully heading for!). Can't wait to see what's next!
“Looked good! Intrigued to see where it goes and to learn more about who Riley is.
Um. Wait. What?!
These ladies liked my story?
And not only that… but they also gave me great feedback on what was working and what wasn’t.
So I posted another chapter. Then a few more.
Each time, getting more amazing feedback. They asked questions, brought up issues with the storyline, mentioned I needed more description, because they had no clue what Riley looked like – and they were already reading Chapter 10!
At the end of November, I got stuck. I just couldn’t figure out what to write.
Major writers block.
If I hadn’t been in this group, I would have given up. I would have just walked away from it and probably never came back. But I mentioned my issue to the ladies. And they pushed me. They said I could do it. They told me to write 100 words… even if it was crap… even if it would get deleted. Just write something down.
So I did. I wrote 100 words here, 100 words there.
But they were all just…blah.
And I was losing my motivation to finish this story.
One day Stormy posted that she had finished her first draft.
Then Regan finished. And Theresa. And Deanna.
Well…I’m a huge slacker!
But that was the push I needed. I wanted to finish my novel too! No…I needed to finish my novel. Travis and Riley’s story needed to be told.
So I wrote. And I set a goal for myself.
I would finish the rough draft by the end of January.
And I posted it to our group, so I could be held accountable.
Know what?
A week before my deadline… I FINISHED MY ROUGH DRAFT!
I did a rough edit, then sent it out to my beta readers and to the group to read.
Guess what.
They gave me amazing feedback, advice and constructive criticism… and yes, that lead me to re-write my entire first chapter so it would appeal to a wider range of readers.
And now?
I never imagined I would become a published author one day, but thanks to the ladies of the Rebel Writers, my dream turned into a reality.
These ladies started as a group of my peers. But they have become such great friends.
Seriously. We’re to the point now where we just talk about anything and everything.

So what did I do to become a published author and have a pretty successful release weekend?
Join a writing group! It will help you in so many ways you’ve never even thought of.
Find some beta readers.
I was lucky enough to find some on Rachel’s street team, and they were amazing. Seriously, I had a good book before they read it, but they made it great.
Hire an editor (or a friend who freaking rocks at line editing).
I know not everyone has tons of money to spend on something that you don’t know will be successful. I was in the same boat. We have no extra cash, hiring a good editor was out of the question. My beta readers (and the Rebel Writers) were helpful in catching major typos and errors. And I was lucky enough to have another Rebel Writer offer to line edit for me for free…and she did a fantastic job.
The same goes for cover design.
I have a graphic design degree. So I had an exact idea of what I wanted my cover to look like. But I also knew, I couldn’t pull it off. So I contacted a friend I graduated with and asked if she would be willing to help me out. She was and did – and made my cover exactly how I wanted it to look.  And believe me; people do judge books by the cover.
Connect with other authors.
Yes, you will have a writing group full of authors who will help you pimp out your book. But connecting with other authors (especially in your same genre) will help word spread even more.
Now… let’s be honest here… I’m an introvert. The idea of going outside my box The idea of talking to a published author who has no idea who I am is the craziest thing ever. But… she writes the same genre I do… so I sucked it up. I messaged her. Asked her if she wouldn’t mind putting an excerpt in the back of my book. And guess what? She agreed! And not only that… but she started talking about my book. And she read my book. And she reviewed my book… posting these things on her Facebook page. Telling her fans about my book.
You better believe that helped boost sales and Facebook likes.
Sign up for a blog tour.
I’ve signed up for one – but it doesn’t start until April 14th. However, the lady who runs the tour also has a book blog and a Facebook page with over 4,000 followers. So, not only do I have 30+ bloggers reading/reviewing my book for the tour, but I also have my book being posted on a FB page with 4K followers.
Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.

That’s my story. I’m done now.
I know, you’re probably thanking your lucky stars I’m not going to ramble on anymore.
If you’re looking for a fun, light-hearted, quick read, I wouldn’t mind if you picked up a copy of Choose Us. ;)
And check out our Rebel Writers website. It’s still a work in progress, we currently have introductions up, but we’ll have blog posts filled with advice on writing, our latest favorites, and so much more. 

If you have any questions for me, feel free to comment below. 


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  1. So proud of you Cales! You did everything perfectly! Take note aspiring authors!!

    1. Oh. And I should also add - having a friend who listens to self-pubbing podcasts and sends you self-pubbing links and is a super awesome marketer, helps a ton too!!!! <3

  2. Thanks for the advice! I feel like I'm you before you joined the writers groups, so here's my question. How do you find a good writers group that isn't already full?

    1. Hi Naomi! Thanks for your question.
      Our group formed from one member asking an author (Rachel) if they could post about creating a writing group. You could go to a FB group focused on reading or writing, or an author you follow and ask there.
      Or you could create/find a group on Goodreads. There are also a place on the NaNo forums where you can either post for a new group or join an existing one (

      Things to keep in mind with writing groups though. You should really try to keep the group small. We have 13 people in ours. Not everyone is very active, there are about 8 of us who are active daily on the group. But a small group let's you focus more on each person. Let's you get tighter as a group because you don't have so many people to get to know.
      Another thing - there is some luck involved in finding a group of people you mesh with. It may not always happen on the first try, but there is NOTHING wrong with continuing to look until you find the perfect group.

      I hope this answered your question.

    2. Thanks, Caylie! P.S. Loved Choose Us. Congratulations; great job!