Secrets of Sin author and mother E.J. Lace describes her publishing journey
E.J. Lace is a full-time waitress and mother from small-town Kentucky, USA, who believes waffles are superior to pancakes. She’s also the author of the GALATEA hits Secrets of Sin, a steamy new adult story that has fans raving, and At the End of the World, a sexy suspense. We caught up with E.J. for The Writer’s Blog to chat about what it’s like writing on Inkitt and how she balances life as a proud mother and GALATEA author.
Finding an outlet by writing on Inkitt
“At the time I found Inkitt, I was a stay-at-home mother who had completely lost herself to the role,” she says. “I felt like a lot of mothers before me had. I needed something to make me feel like more than a tiny person’s caregiver.”
While looking for a creative outlet, E.J. saw an Inkitt ad on her social media feed and took a chance. She’d been interested in writing since the second grade, so writing on Inkitt was a natural next step. “Even as a kid,” she says, “maybe eight or nine, I would write stories. I lived in the middle of what felt like nowhere and had no one to play with, so my imagination was heavily relied on.”
“I grew up being best friends to the stories around me,” says E.J. of her childhood. “From different genres, chapter books, and manga, I fell in love with the fictional world. I think that’s a large part of what being an author is. Falling in love with another world you desperately want to be part of, to see, to read about.”
“I can’t say I would be who I am if I hadn’t found a brilliant book or two in my lifetime.”
Crafting strong female leads
E.J.’s stories feature bold female leads and sexy surprises. “I write stories I would want to read,” she says. “Something steamy, something real, each one having a different type of strong female that is realistic and genuine. Something that isn’t so run-of-the-mill. Giving [readers]something that isn’t typical makes me have fun doing this.”
When writing on Inkitt, E.J. has a strong, visual grasp on her stories. “The way I ‘see’ a scene is sort of like a film being played within my head. As if I’m being shown a movie clip only I can see.” She also uses outside influences, like music. “Every story of mine has come from art in some form as inspiration. For example, At the End of the World was inspired by a love song. Believe it or not, a country song.”
At the End of the World follows Savannah, an aspiring singer who gets involved with the high school bad boy, Damon, when she steals his gym clothes. For Savannah, whose family died in a car crash, biker prince Damon might be exactly what she needs to draw her out of the shell she’s been living in since her parents’ death. An Inkitt hit, it was later adapted for GALATEA.
Meanwhile, Secrets of Sin, E.J.’s other GALATEA story, is a sexy contemporary about eighteen-year-old Marcella. After their mother dies, Mari can’t help feeling like a burden to her brother, who becomes her guardian. So, when she gets an offer to make a pile of cash as a stripper, she does it—but no one can know, especially not her brother, who is hell-bent on keeping her pure and innocent for the rest of her life.
Earning a publishing contract with GALATEA
At the End of the World and Secrets of Sin each earned E.J. a publishing contract with GALATEA.
“I was beyond floored,” says E.J. of the call.
“I couldn’t imagine the amount of love from my readers as is,” she says. “Their comments made me continue doing this. So, when I got the call, not only did these amazing readers love it, I was now able to showcase my work to more people.”
“I am over the moon to be able to work with the GALATEA team,” she gushes. “I remember signing my contracts and being so overwhelmed with emotions that I had tears in my eyes. Tears of joy, for sure.”
Finding time to write
“Being a mother, you never really know what’s in store for you,” says E.J. “If I can have it, I will try to write at night once my babies have to bed and I am alone.” Still, she struggles with mom guilt, as many mothers do. “There is always something else to be done, so I try to give myself a break. The daylight hours are for mom’s life, the rest is up to me.”
E.J.’s dedication to her craft is clear. Before getting a laptop, she used to write on her smartphone, and she finds time where she can. “I am typically able to write three to four hours most nights before I have to cut myself off and get enough rest to do it all again the next day.”
But even E.J. is not immune to writer’s block. When she finds herself stuck, she uses outside inspiration to spark her imagination. “Something like music, movies, or drawing,” she says.
Readers help, too. “I have been helped by my readers more times than I can count. It’s easy to feel discouraged and to think maybe you aren’t doing this right. So when I do feel like this, I like to go back and read the comments and reviews of my readers for words of encouragement.”
“I love my readers,” she says, “from the very bottom of my heart and soul. They mean the world to me.”
Advice for new writers
E.J. has some words of wisdom for other writers—three rules she’s learned in her journey as an Inkitt author, both from fans and critics.
“Rule one, you will not please everybody, and that is okay. Write for yourself.”
“Rule two, if you don’t care about what you are writing, neither will they.”
“Rule three, be consistent with your storytelling. Knowing your characters and how they would handle the scene that they’re in is extremely important. We learn to love a character by who they are and keeping true to that is the only way to grow that love through each page.”
A teaser from Secrets of Sin Part 2
“We’ve talked about this one, Ben isn’t treating me badly. I’m happy, I’m safe, I’m happy on this new path. There’s no need to worry about us right now bubba.”
I let myself fall back into my desk chair. Getting off my feet isn’t needed like all the hours spent in heels. I work barefooted now. I just didn’t want to stand and hash this over again. This way I can still work while hearing his worries again.
“Where’s he at now? He isn’t here to protect you? See this is what I was talking about. He is selfish. Leaving you here in this big house all alone with nothing and no one. What if someone were to break in? Hm? What would you do? Ben isn’t here. I’m not here. Brittany isn’t here. No one is here to protect you?”
A slash into my heart at his words. I know he doesn’t mean to hurt me.
It hurts that he can’t see I can do a lot of this myself.
I don’t need to have everyone else to protect me.
I…I’m strong too.
Follow E.J. Lace on Inkitt to keep up with her latest releases.
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