Guest Post – Anna Markland


Indie Publishing Opens The Door To Second Career

I spent most of my professional life as an educator. It was a rewarding career, both financially and emotionally, but after 25 years I burned out.

About 20 years ago, my cousin wrote a historical romance and became an overnight success—NY times bestseller among her accomplishments. I remember reading that book from cover to cover in one sitting! She has since authored many wonderful books.

The thought always niggled at the back of my mind—I could write a book, too. Many people have that ambition and do nothing about it, put off in part, I believe, by the prospect of trying to sell their idea to a large publisher. This is perhaps truer of writers of romance than any other genre.

Anyway, keyboard in hand, I embarked upon writing a romance, essentially for my own satisfaction. I chose the medieval period because, as an amateur genealogist, I cherished a dream of tracing my own English roots back to the Norman Conquest—an impossibility since I am not descended from nobility! So I made up a family.

I based the plot on an incident that actually happened to a Norman noblewoman, and before I knew it I had written over 200,000 words.

I entered a lot of RWA sponsored contests, which I would heartily recommend to anyone embarking on a career writing romance. I learned a great deal from the comments and suggestions of the judges.

I sent off a few query letters, but no takers. Medieval romance did not seem to be at the top of anyone’s priority list!

I toyed (for about 5 seconds) with the idea of starting from scratch and trying some of the more popular (at that time) genres—like paranormal and steam punk, but decided to stick with medieval.

In the meanwhile I gradually became aware of the revolution taking place in the publishing world, thanks to the Amazon kindle device.

I decided my novel was too long, had too many heroes and heroines, and too much you know what. (Did I mention it was a romance?) I reworked it into four books, and published them as a series in quick succession on Amazon. What was there to lose? I figured I was way too old to wait years for some big name publisher to accept my work.

My dream was to sell 100 books in a year. As of today I have published 14 novels, all revolving around or branching off from the original family in the first series. I’ve sold over 33000 copies. It’s a thrill to receive emails from readers telling me how much they enjoy following my families. The royalties are nice too!

It used to be that people had one lifelong career, retiring with a gold watch, or something similar. I think those days are long gone. Technology has made it possible for people to reinvent themselves over and over if they wish.

By taking a chance, I discovered a talent I did not know I had! I can tell a good story! Sometimes when I re-read my own work I am wonderstruck at where the ideas came from!

If you’re thinking of writing and publishing a book—go for it. Just make sure you get it edited and critiqued by a few people whose opinion you trust before you take the plunge.

Pat has asked me what the best and worst aspects of self publishing are. I love having the ultimate control of my content, covers, pricing, and platforms (Amazon, Kobo, Nook, Apple etc.) Amazon facilitates paperback copies through its company CreateSpace. They print my books on demand when someone places an order on Amazon, thus eliminating the need for me to print and stockpile hundreds of books.

The major drawback to self publishing is the inability to have print books distributed to bricks and mortar stores, although some independently published authors, for example Bella André, have succeeded in securing contracts with publishers for print books while maintaining control of the digital version.

I often joke that if only my heroes and heroines had revealed their stories to me in chronological order, it would have made life easier for my readers. Here’s a handy list.

Conquering Passion

If Love Dares Enough

Defiant Passion

A Man of Value

Dark Irish Knight

Haunted Knights

Passion in the Blood

Dark and Bright

The Winds of the Heavens

Dance of Love

Carried Away

Sweet Taste of Love

Wild Viking Princess

Hearts and Crowns

Hearts and Crowns is the story of Gallien, grandson of the hero of the original Montbryce Legacy series. Gallien is a widower who has sworn never to wed again after a catastrophic marriage to a shrew who betrayed him with another man. You know the old saying, Once bitten…twice shy.

Peridotte de Pontrouge, an Angevin, has long dreamed of marrying Geoffrey of Anjou, the son of her Count, but her hopes are dashed when he is betrothed to the daughter of King Henry of England. This diplomatic revolution forces Gallien and Peri to marry against their will, despite the long standing hatred between Normans and Angevins.

Can love overcome bitterness and hatred?


I was born in England, but I’ve lived most of my life in Canada. I have a keen interest in genealogy and this has had a tremendous influence on my stories. I write medieval romance about family honor, ancestry, and roots. My novels are intimate love stories filled with passion and adventure. Following a fruitful career in teaching, I transformed my love of writing and history into works of fiction. One of the things I enjoy most about writing historical romance is the in-depth research necessary to provide readers with an authentic medieval experience. And I love happy endings! I hope you get as much pleasure from reading my books as I do writing them.

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8 thoughts on “Guest Post – Anna Markland

  1. That’s awesome Anna, it’s great to hear of a success story in the Indie world. From my research I’ve found that most do ok, very few do really well, this gives us aspiring authors hope :)

  2. Thank you for your comments Jo-Ann, Jacquie and Susan. Have to say VIC RWA has played a big role in the development of my writing skills.

  3. A wonderful post Anna! You grabbed your dream and made it a reality. You have written so much in such a short time. I’m in awe. I’m also impressed with your ability to write in two different countries.
    As a person who attempts the same scenario, (not in Panama though) you are an inspiration to me. All the best with your writing journey.

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