A handful of authors will give readers and wannabe writers a peek inside their world at Mansfield Writes! on Friday night.Hosted by the Friends of the Mansfield Public Library, the fifth annual event will feature five writers talking about how they write, how they got published and how others can get published. “I’m amazed at how much in the writing world people help each other out,” said Diane Kelly, the event’s chairperson. “You have this passion for writing and someone helps you, then some day you help someone else. It comes full circle.”Kelly would know, as the author of the humorous mystery Death & Taxes series. She has published six novels and a novella with another novella released this week.The authors at Mansfield Writes! will include former FBI agent and author Ken Aldridge, who will talk about how he got his work published; romance author Caroline Clemmons, who will speak about layering a novel; New York Times and USA Today best-selling romantic suspense author Liliana Hart, who will talk about the secrets to sizzling suspense; fantasy author Sherrel Lee, who will talk about covers that attract readers; and Kelly, who will speak about style.The event begins at 7 p.m. at the library, 104 S. Wisteria St. Admission is free, but reservations are required. Reserve a seat at www.friendsofmansfieldlibrary.org. The authors will speak on their topics, followed by a question-and-answer period and book signing. Books will be available to purchase.“They will talk about how you can have a career in writing, what it takes to get over hurdles, the latest trends and the writing craft,” Kelly said. One of those trends is self-publishing, which is flourishing, she said.“That’s the brave new world of publishing,” Kelly said. “It used to be looked down on, but now the power has shifted. The publishers used to have all the power, but now the authors have the power. The traditional bars to the industry are down. Anybody who wants to can put something out. You don’t have to write to trends anymore.”Liliana Hart discovered that.“I’ve sold a million books in two years,” Hart said. “I hit the New York Times and USA Today lists.“I’ve had traditional offers since I’ve had so much success,” she said. “I’ve turned them down. The money (with self-publishing) is much better, making 70 percent instead of 25 percent of net, which is a standard contract for traditional deals. “It’s a really interesting and fun time to be an author right now,” Hart said. “On the paperback copy you find in a store, an author makes about 50 cents, the rest goes to the publishing house and publishing process. I can charge less and I make about $4 a book. “It’s incredible,” she said. “I have a whole team of people, cover designers, editors. It’s my company.”So what advice would she give people who want to get published?“Write great books that readers want to read,” Hart said. “Romantic suspense is really big right now. Be consistent. I have eight releases this year.”
7 p.m. Friday
Mansfield Public Library
104 S. Wisteria St.
Free; reserve seats at www.friendsofmansfieldlibrary.org