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This blog was featured on 08/01/2019
An Exclusive Interview with Andrea Dunlop
Contributor
Written by
She Writes
July 2019
Contributor
Written by
She Writes
July 2019

Andrea Dunlop is an author and social media consultant based out of Seattle, WA with over a decade of experience in book publishing.

She began her career as an in-house publicist for Doubleday (Random House) where she worked with bestselling authors such as Tina Brown, Jonathan Lethem, Linda Fairstein, and many others.

Andrea is the author of three novels including Losing the Light (February 2016), She Regrets Nothing (February 2018), and the forthcoming We Came Here to Forget (July 2019) all from Atria/Simon&Schuster.

Describe your writing routine.

I used to be very diligent about writing first thing every morning but I have a nine-month-old so that’s a crapshoot at the moment. Mostly now I write in the afternoons because that’s when I have childcare. It definitely takes extra discipline to drop in and focus when there’s so much else going on but it’s always been the case for me that the busier I am, the more likely I am to be productive in the time I have!

What parts of writing have gotten easier with each book? 

There are always moments during the process of writing a book when I go to the bad place thinking “Oh my god, what even is this? Why did I write this pile of trash?!” But now, after having been through it numerous times, I know that I just have to feel those feelings and let them pass. Sometimes you just need to call it a day or take a little space from the project.

Is there any part of writing that is still a struggle with each new project?

There are always parts of it that are a slog and there’s always a struggle with self-doubt. A mentor of mine told me early on that that fear would never go away and it hasn’t! The trick is not letting it cripple you. I always tell myself it doesn’t matter if a draft is any good because there’s always time for editing. Have some measure of expectation now creates some extra pressure but it’s also exciting to have readers waiting for what I’ll do next.

How do you feel your experience in publishing helped your career as an author? Are there some things about the behind-the-scene inner workings you wished you didn't know about before you were published? 

I think that mostly knowing how things work behind the scenes has been very helpful to me in managing my career. I do think there’s some truth to the saying of not wanting to see how the sausage is made though. There are some harsh realities about the industry that it might be nice to be a bit more ignorant about, but I don’t think that would help me in the long term. I never got to be that wide-eyed debut author, but I also didn’t get the heartbreak that usually follows that phase.

If you could give authors one piece of social media advice, what would it be?

Pick one thing you like and focus on it, find a platform that suits your work and your personality and treat it as a long game of forging connections rather than a short-term effort to use social media as a megaphone to promote yourself.

What is the most significant change in your writing from your first book to now?

I think I’ve been able to widen the scope of my work and spend time researching things like alpine ski racing that I don’t much about, which has been really fun. Writing what you know is great, but you can always be expanding on the “what you know” part of the equation. The more I’ve been able to focus on writing as my main source of income, the more ambitious I’ve been able to be with my work.

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