My #PoweredByIndie Story
My name is M.L. Bullock, (that's short for Monica Leigh) and I am an indie author. I am a full time author--it is all I do now and I love every minute of it! The only regret I have is waiting so long to get started but I'm getting ahead of myself here. Here's my story.
My journey into self publishing or independent publishing, whichever you prefer, really began in 2008. It was a total fluke. While searching for work, I stumbled upon an online conversation about getting paid for writing. I thought that was "novel" idea, pardon the bad pun and began to do more research. Like you all, I'd seen the scams, "Work at home. Become a millionaire." But there was nothing scammy about what I saw. People were writing all sorts of things, books, blog posts, articles, you name it. And although it was my heart's desire to write a book, I didn't have the confidence to do that yet.
You see, I'd heavily invested in my own skin care and cosmetic business, had a notable level of success but then lost it all when I failed to meet a quota. It was financially and emotionally devastating. I never wanted to be there again. And although they called us "Independent Sales Directors" we were anything but. As a director in this Fortune 500 company, your success depended largely on the success of others in your unit. I spent my time constantly recruiting women to build up my team. I invested in others (which I don't regret) but no matter how hard I tried, I could not maintain the momentum. I felt like such a loser. The economic downturn killed my business and I couldn't fix it. It was a hard lesson to learn.
Soon I found some content companies (Yahoo, Demand Studios) that needed writers so I applied, wrote blog posts and articles for them, worked crazy hours and scratched out a small income for myself. It was labor intensive work but I wrote whatever they needed and felt confident that I'd done the right thing. Until they closed their doors after the great Panda fiasco. (It's an algo thing.) But after the disappointment and crying I realized that I was walking away from that relationship a better writer and I really loved writing (but not enough to write for myself yet) so I took the only avenue I believed was open to me--ghost writing.
After writing six books for other people and watching those books climb up the Amazon lists I gave myself a reality check. I could do this! I was doing this! But what to write? After visiting a local plantation one afternoon and immersing myself in local folklore I knew the story I wanted to tell. This would be my story! Seven Sisters! I loved every minute of the process and to bring my hometown to readers was a joy! With so many local ghost stories I had plenty of inspiration and the story seemed to write itself. I finished that series with six books!
Having seen other authors/clients achieve so much with KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) I went there first. The process was simple and after help from a freelance editor (who has become a dear friend) I published Seven Sisters in September of 2014. That seems so long ago now, although its only been a couple of years. After the publication of my third book everything changed. In so many wonderful ways! I didn't have to depend on anyone else to earn a good living. A few more books and change that "good living" to an excellent living.
I can't imagine doing anything else. In fact, I never will. I love telling my stories and because I'm an indie author (Yep, #PoweredByIndie) I can write what I want when I want. I am so grateful for that kind of freedom. I love waking up, grabbing coffee and sauntering to my desk. I love that I don't have to depend on the skills of others to succeed now. I love that nobody can throw me out of the writers club. I love it all. Even the editing. I love this life.
10/4/2016 08:53:21 am
So proud of you Monica. I have enjoyed Seven Sisters and am about to begin the Idlewood series. Keep them coming!
10/4/2016 08:55:32 am
Thank you for your encouragement. I love you!
10/4/2016 09:48:35 am
You are doing a great job! Love reading your books! Keep up the good work we will all be waiting for more feom you!!!
10/4/2016 11:25:05 am
Thanks, Kiva! I am so glad to spend my time doing what I love. And it thrills me no end to know that others like yourself like my stories. You made my day. :)
10/4/2016 01:45:03 pm
You are a great writer!
10/4/2016 01:48:55 pm
That means so much! Thanks, Barbara. :)
10/4/2016 10:01:51 pm
This is ....your calling! You have always had a vivid imagination ,and the gift of sharing it with others. So proud of Seven Sisters and your amazing talent. I love you sister cousin ♡
10/4/2016 10:06:37 pm
I'll never forget telling those spooky stories by the fire. I love you too, Nic!
12/16/2016 11:42:50 am
What an inspiring bio! Historical fiction is my favorite genre. Southern historical fiction?! Even better. I have quite a few of your books on my Kindle but I'm always tied down with review material & seem to miss out on the books I CHOOSE to read. I have always had a fascination with plantations, their owners, and the history that each left behind. Growing up in the south, Mom and Granny dragged me from one plantation to the next, stopping to collect antiques along the way. Your stories are a perfect match for me and I'm making a promise to myself to start reading all ML Bullock books.
Terry S Sechrest
1/1/2017 11:22:51 pm
I have read all the Seven Sisters and Idlewood books and can't wait for the remaining Idlewood stories. Please continue to write Southern stories that bring history and present together. You do it so well! My husband and I have toured many historic homes and I find your descriptions realistic.
D. Graham Elliott
7/4/2017 08:48:48 am
I don't have a website, but I keep getting these hints and signs to write more than poetry. There so much within me, but I am not sure if it would be interesting to the public.
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