5 mistakes that shaped me as an author: Renata Costa’s experience

Renata Costa is a Brazilian author who dedicated her life entirely to writing. She has 8 romance novels published on AlphaNovel: Mi querido Sugar daddy, Casada por casualidad, MI PELIGRO- Encantada por el mafioso and others.

Renata has a large audience in Brazil. She has published two physical books and more than 12 e-books. She started writing just to fill her free time, and her first book became a huge success with more than 12 million hits in several countries. So, what was a hobby became a profession.

In a blog post for AlphaNovel, Renata Costa discusses the mistakes she made during her writing career. These mistakes have turned into valuable lessons, shaping her professionalism and advancing her career.

Mistake #1: Being afraid to step out of your comfort zone

I have always been passionate about adult romance books, especially those involving billionaires, teachers, marriage contracts, and similar themes. When I started writing, I naturally chose to write about what I enjoyed reading the most. As I’ve built an audience, they adapt both to my writing style and the genres I choose. Therefore, I always strive to write what my audience wants to read, but I am not afraid to step out of my comfort zone.

Writing is the key to captivating a reader; they will stay with you if they enjoy the way you write.

Mistake #2: Limiting the genres you’re writing in

I write what I would like to read. When I’m deeply engaged in writing and caught up in the scene unfolding in that book, I can already sense it will be a success.

Once I decided to write a book about reverse harem, which is widely accepted in English, but I didn’t quite adapt to it. I’m a romantic author, and having many partners for the protagonist confuses me. Nevertheless, Brazilian readers have enjoyed it.

Mistake #3: Choosing the wrong platform for publishing

If we want to be commercial authors, that is, work with writing, we need to be tuned into genres and how they stand out on each platform. Platforms in English are always changing; currently, standout genres include werewolves, monsters, mafia, reverse harem, sugar daddy, etc. In Spanish, werewolves, sugar daddies, marriage contracts, billionaires, mafia, and more varied genres are prominent compared to English. Portuguese platforms also highlight various genres, much like Spanish ones. On AlphaNovel, my books cover a variety, and I’ve noticed acceptance in many of them. I’ve already placed marriage contracts on an English-speaking platform, and readers desire them less in this language.

Currently, I work with various platforms in Spanish, English, and Portuguese. I choose those that are transparent with authors. For instance, AlphaNovel provides a dashboard where you can track the book’s growth in real time. I avoid platforms that do not offer the necessary support.

I’m enchanted with Spanish-speaking readers; they are very similar to Brazilian readers. They are participative, getting deeply involved in the plot. On AlphaNovel, I follow many comments and have a lot of fun with them. By the way, I’m grateful to this platform for introducing me to a different audience. The English-speaking audience is a bit more reserved but very detail-oriented.

Top titles from Renata Costa on AlphaNovel

Mistake #4: Failing to create a fascinating beginning

I need to create a compelling story at the beginning – this is the best promotion for a book. We need to captivate the reader at the start to keep them engaged until the end. We should introduce drama and intensity and subtly present the protagonists within the first five chapters.

My focus is on crafting an excellent book opening. If you hook the reader at the beginning, the book performs well in the algorithms and is recommended by the platform. By being highlighted, it tends to become a success.

Mistake #5: Worrying too much about others’ opinions

Believe in the potential of your story. Add some suspense at the beginning so that readers will be eager to see how the plot unfolds. I am an independent author, constantly seeking knowledge through research and by observing the audience and platforms.

Don’t worry about the opinions of others; everyone has unique perspectives, and this can affect your confidence. My biggest mistake was giving credence to others’ suggestions when the only person I should truly trust is myself.

Step out of your comfort zone and explore various genres. Craft an engaging beginning, and release your next novel on AlphaNovel, drawing insights from Renata Costa’s success, to create a bestseller!


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Decrease Risks for Your Book: Full Compliance Guide for Authors by AlphaNovel

We try to keep AlphaNovel a safe place for both writers and readers. While we understand that some stories may require spicy content to provide readers with a complete reading experience, there are rules that both authors and publishers need to adhere to.

In this article, we will share a guide on ensuring that your book complies with the App Store and Google Play rules to reduce the risk of it being deleted. Furthermore, having a compliant cover, proper annotation and first chapters increases your book’s chances of being promoted. This guide consists of two parts: the first is related to the text itself, and the second is associated with the book covers.

Our team might reach out to you if we find some non-compliant scenes in your book with suggestions on how to improve it🙌

Note: this is a long guide, but don’t feel overwhelmed. In this article, we not only cover restrictions but give you compliance suggestions also. And if you need additional guidance, you can always talk to our editors and ask for advice 🫂

How to Increase the Compliance Level of Your Book

When you’re ready to publish your new novel on AlphaNovel, please, ensure that the text complies with our guidelines, particularly the annotations and free chapters. Adhering to these guidelines will improve the chances of your book being featured on the app’s main screen and receiving promotions.

When editing the annotations and free chapters, consider whether any content might be disturbing. If so, it’s best to save these parts for later chapters.

What content does AlphaNovel find prohibited in free chapters and annotation:

Realistic Depictions of Violence:

  • Physical Harm: Avoid detailed portrayals of bodily injuries, such as wounds, injuries, or dismemberment.
  • Psychological Torture: Do not include scenes that delve into psychological trauma, including prolonged mental anguish or emotional abuse.
  • Animal Cruelty: Refrain from describing animals subjected to violence or suffering.
Illegal Activities Involving Minors:

Underaged Sexual Scenes: Content depicting or describing sexual acts involving characters under 18 is strictly prohibited, regardless of context or intent. Examples include:

  • Underaged Sexual Scenes: Content depicting or describing sexual acts involving characters under 18 is strictly prohibited, regardless of context or intent. Examples include:
    • Stories featuring explicit sexual encounters between adults and minors.
    • Descriptions of underage sexual exploitation.
    • Graphic depictions of child pornography.
  • Child Abuse: Content that depicts or promotes physical, sexual, emotional, or verbal abuse of minors is prohibited. Examples include:
    • Stories featuring scenes of child physical abuse by caregivers or family members.
    • Descriptions of minors being sexually abused by adults.
    • Narratives depicting emotional manipulation of minors that promote such behavior.
Explicit Sex Content:

  • Avoid detailed descriptions of committing crimes such as murder or rape.
  • Non-consensual sex combined with physical abuse, constituting rape, is strictly prohibited.
  • Depicting sex scenes in annotations and free chapters is prohibited.

What content is strictly prohibited in any part of the book:

While in this guide, we’re focusing on the annotation and free chapters, please avoid scenes with illegal activities involving minors and underage characters, as well as non-consensual sex combined with physical abuse, constituting rape throughout the whole book.

How to Choose a Compliant Book Cover

The more your book cover complies with the rules of the App Store and Google Play – the more chances it has to end up on the first screen of the AlphaNovel app.

While choosing the book cover, the most important question you should ask yourself is “Will it attract the reader or not?”. There are a lot of cover styles, designs, and ideas to choose from. However, your ideas must follow the AlphaNovel compliance guidelines (point 6).

Below are some tips that will help you create a great cover. We’ll start with ‘Don’ts’ and after that, we will show you great cover examples you can get inspiration from.

1. Avoid Realistic Threats

Your cover should not contain scenes where people or animals are under direct physical threat, such as being held at gunpoint or facing imminent harm. While a weapon may be featured on a book cover, it should not be aimed at a person or animal. The imagery should not suggest impending violence or harm.

2. No Graphic Suffering

Steer clear of depicting the realistic suffering of victims. This includes avoiding detailed descriptions of pain, anguish, or distress.

3. Avoid any content that promotes or supports illegal activities with underaged minors

It is crucial for legal, ethical, and social reasons. It’s essential to protect minors from harm and uphold positive values.

5. Avoid promoting tobacco and alcohol consumption

Surely, your characters can drink and smoke. You can mention that in the book, but please leave these actions out of the cover.

5. Do not show a sex act scene on the cover

Sex scenes on the book cover violate App Store and Google Play content guidelines. Therefore, your book couldn’t pass their moderation. What should you do if you want to show intimacy on the cover? Scroll below to see our suggestions.

6. Do not use explicit or pornographic nudity

It is prohibited to put a man or woman in underwear on the cover of your book. The App Store and Google Play will also block this cover. Also, such a book couldn’t be promoted. For instance, you should blur nipples if you want to use a picture of a shirtless man.

7. Do not show stripping on the cover

We have already mentioned that women/men wearing underwear are not allowed. It is important to notice that scenes where people are about to take off clothes are also prohibited.

8. Showing illegal sex is prohibited

Pedophilia (sexual attraction to underaged characters), necrophilia (sexual attraction to corpses), zoophilia (sexual attraction to animals), and any non-consensual (rape) or harmful acts are strictly prohibited.

How the good book cover should look like:

Now that we have covered the restrictions, let’s talk about creating great book covers. There are many ways to showcase the dynamics between the characters and reveal the plot on your book cover. Here are some tips to help make your cover captivating!

1. Incorporating interactions between characters can make your cover more dynamic and engaging. However, ensure these interactions are appropriate and compliant.

Example: A hero and heroine standing close together, facing a common threat, or engaging in a conversation. This sets up a narrative and piques readers’ interest without violating any guidelines.

2. Kissing and hugs are allowed: romantic gestures like kissing and hugging are permissible as long as they are portrayed in a romantic context rather than a sexual one.

Example: A gentle kiss on the forehead or a heartfelt embrace can convey romance and deepen the emotional appeal of your cover without crossing into inappropriate territory.

3. Revealing clothes are welcome: characters can wear revealing clothes. Ensure the attire is tasteful and avoid nudity or visible underwear.

Example: A female character in a flowing, low-cut gown, a backless dress, or a man in an unbuttoned shirt can add allure and sophistication. Keep it elegant to maintain the novel’s appeal.

4. Highlight Specific Details from the Book: including unique elements or specific details from your story can make your cover stand out and intrigue potential readers.

Example: If your novel features a magical amulet, a haunted house, or a symbolic object, showcasing it on the cover can draw attention and hint at the plot’s uniqueness.

5. Use Graphic Images Over Real Photos: opting for graphic images instead of real photos can give your cover a distinct style and help it stand out among others.

Example: An illustrated scene of your characters in a significant moment, rendered in a captivating art style, can be more effective and memorable than using stock photos.

This guide is just the outline of what we’re sure will make your book comply with App Store and Google Play policies. We suggest you check each of your new books on compliance with this guide and fix the issues if you find any. Our team might reach out to you to fix some issues proactively.

If you have any questions or want to get advice on the topic of compliance, please get in touch with our support team.


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🍿Introducing DramaShorts – the short series app by the AlphaNovel team

We’ve gone from watching movies in theaters to streaming them on our TVs and laptops, and now we can enjoy full-length films on our smartphones.

AlphaNovel’s team has launched DramaShorts – a short series app where you can watch your favorite stories in a Reel-like format. Each episode is just under 2 minutes, allowing you to watch whenever you have time without the need to spend several hours in one sitting.

What can you watch already?

Our team has developed two full-length movies based on novels published on AlphaNovel.

Both of the authors had an incredible journey on AlphaNovel that not only led to the success of their novels but also resulted in getting their books adapted into a series. How cool is that? You can read the story of Goddy Francis in our blog post.

How to install DramaShorts?

You can download the app and check the series via these links:

Grab the popcorn and enjoy!

And if you happen to have any ideas for a novel that you think would make for a great short series, we would love to hear them. Feel free to share your thoughts with us!


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From Novel to Short Series: The Success Story of Goddy Francis, the Author of ‘Taming Mr.Black’

Every author deserves the spot to shine – that’s AlphaNovel’s motto. Imagine your book is published on the platform, then it reaches more than 100,000 views and in the end is adapted into the short series. That’s exactly what happened to AlphaNovel’s star author Goddy Francis – the author of ‘Taming Mr.Black’.

In this interview we’re going to talk about Goddy’s journey as the author, the characters from her book, and her success on AlphaNovel.

Attention to all the readers who enjoyed reading ‘Taming Mr. Black’! We have a special surprise for you. In just a few weeks, you will be able to watch a short series based on this book, created by AlphaNovel’s team. Keep an eye out for updates and stay tuned for more information!🤫

Goddy Francis’s Writing Career

Goddy, your most successful novels are written in the ‘Billionaire/CEO’ genre. What makes this genre appealing to you?

I mostly wrote young adult novels and horrors at the beginning. Those were my favorite genres, until I decided to try Billionaire/CEO, and was surprised it turned out well. The appealing thing about this genre is the forbidden romance: the idea of an arrogant billionaire and a feisty female lead who could either be fierce or bold.

It’s kinda romantic and enticing to see powerful and arrogant men chase after the women that stole their heart at first glance to the point they’re willing to do anything to get what they want.

Do you have a book that formed your personality or inspired you to start writing?

Before I started publishing online, I used to write novels in notebooks. The first one was titled ‘The vipers’ – the novel about greed, love, and betrayal. My classmates were eager to read it, and their feedback was encouraging! So I decided to do this more often.

And I did, buying countless notebooks, creating book covers with pencils and crayons just to make it look good. In 2016 I published my first book online on a Facebook group, and a lot of people liked it again. That was when I decided to become an author.

The Success of ‘Taming Mr.Black’

What was the initial spark or idea that led to the creation of “Taming Mr. Black”? Were there any real-life inspirations behind the characters of Killian Black and Naomi?

I don’t normally write Billionaire/CEO novels. ‘Taming Mr. Black’ happens to be my very first billionaire book, which took me 9 months to write. The writing process didn’t go smoothly: I wanted a more realistic plot twist that readers wouldn’t expect, so it took me some time to come up with the story direction.

I don’t normally have a plot before I start writing, as I write, oftentimes the plot starts coming to me. As for the characters, there was no real-life inspiration behind Killian, but for Naomi, there are some little bits of me as a person in her.

The cover of ‘Taming Mr.Black’

Both main characters undergo significant changes in the novel. Can you talk about the evolution of Killian and Naomi from the beginning to the end of the story?

Killian is a typical billionaire playboy, self-assured and arrogant. His priorities revolve around wealth, status, and with little regard for deeper connections or relationships. As the story progresses and Killian falls in love with Naomi, his love for her challenges his previously held beliefs and values. He begins to prioritize her happiness and well-being above his own desires, demonstrating a newfound sense of empathy and selflessness and he is willing to make sacrifices for the sake of their relationship.

Naomi, on the other hand, finally realizes there’s no harm in giving Killian a chance and learning to fall in love. She lets her guard down and allows herself to be vulnerable with him.

Did you anticipate ‘Taming Mr. Black’ to be one of your most successful stories? How did you feel when you realized it took off?

When a lot of people liked it, honestly speaking, I wasn’t really surprised but that doesn’t mean I was expecting it to be this popular. Most of my readers, including fans from Facebook, liked the Billionaire/CEO genre. But the turnout was unexpected, I was happy because my very first attempt at writing a CEO romance turned out great. All thanks to my readers and fans!

‘Taming Mr.Black’ as Short Series and The Future

How do you feel about “Taming Mr. Black” being adapted into a short series? Are you excited to see your characters come to life?

This has become one of my biggest dreams as a writer. Actually, I’ve always wanted to see my characters come to life to the point I told myself that when I have enough money I would turn my books into movies. I seriously can’t wait to see it as a series. I was excited and shocked when I got an email about an adaptation of my book (The book was adapted into a short series for the new product from the AlphaNovel’s team which will be released in early May 2024 – note from the AlphaNovel team).

Killian and Naomi as seen by AI-service Midjourney

Are you currently working on any new projects or books? Can you share a bit about what fans can expect next from you?

My new book will be in the billionaire genre, it’s called “His Games, Her Rules”. The story is about an arrogant billionaire who wants the one thing he shouldn’t want, and a female lead who’s running away from her past life. She tries to fight her attraction toward the male lead only to realize he’s what she wants. This is just a sneak peak of what readers should expect. There is going to be suspense, lots of it, (I can’t do without suspense in my books, some of my readers should know that already,) cliffhangers, plot twists, and most importantly, romance.

Lastly, what advice would you give to aspiring writers who dream of having their novels published and possibly adapted into other formats?

For aspiring authors, one thing I would say is that, even though the goal is to monetize your work, that shouldn’t be the inspiration behind why you’re a writer.

Write because you love to write and create amazing ideas and stories that you are just eager to share with readers, people who are eager to read your books, and not because you want to cash out with it. And be patient. Like they say, good things come to those who wait for it.

There’s probably no better way to end this interview than to say that it’s hard to disagree with Goddy, and her success only confirms her words. If you have any suggestions for authors you would like to know more about, please send us an email with your recommendations 🙂


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Q&A With Artemas J R Broyles, the author of ‘The Blood Moon Luna’

AlphaNovel conducted a live Q&A-session with Artemas J R Broyles, the author of ‘The Blood Moon Luna’ and the whole ‘Blood Moon’ Series. She’s also the author of ‘Alpha Baylor’ and has several ongoing series on AlphaNovel including: ‘The Ancillae’s Familiar’ and ‘The Spare Mate’.

This is the transcription of the live session, during which we talked about the inspiration behind book characters and the writing processes of AlphaNovel’s talented author.

How are you balancing your writer’s life and routine daily tasks? Do you have a fixed time dedicated just to writing or is everything a little chaotic?

I’m a nurse by day, but I’m always thinking about my books. I work because I need a paycheck, but during the rest of the time – it is all writing.

What inspired you to take a leap of faith and start writing? Was it a lack of interesting stories on the market, or were you inspired by the journey of some other author?

Ironically enough, I was reading on an app, and my favorite author at the time went on hiatus because she was having some issues. I was looking around for other stories to read and did find one other author that I truly love. However, the majority of what I found wasn’t very well written and I’m like, you know what…

I have dabbled in writing off and on all my life, I took extra English classes in high school, but I just never had the courage to start. I thought, if these people can do it, so can I. And I just started the journey.

Was it easy to come up with the first story? Was it the story itself or the character that came to you first?

Not everyone knows that Alpha Baylor was technically the first book I started. It was very rough, too much fluff, not enough substance, and it actually got rejected. Looking back, it was pretty poorly written, so I put everything away, and said to myself: “Forget it, I can’t do this.” I sat down and started writing “The Blood Moon Luna”, and the rest were just kind of history from there.”

Some writers start from the end of the story, and then they develop it backwards to the beginning. Do you have your own personal approach to writing?

I cannot start writing the story until I have a book cover. Of course, the title can change, or any number of things can happen, but until I can see the book cover and see the faces of those characters, I can’t write that story. I don’t write notes, I don’t do an outline, I let it come to me. I know where the story is supposed to end, and how it gets there is — the characters, they drive it.

Let’s get to your book, and I’ll start with your biggest hit on AlphaNovel, “The Blood Moon Luna.” What did you think is so special about this book and why did it attract most fans?

From what I have been told, it is because the story is not told the same way that everyone else tells a story that I take a different approach. But everybody just seems to love that particular book. Technically, I am writing book six from these series and there’s already six completed.

Are you feeling attached to the characters you are writing about? Are you ready at any time in the future to say “goodbye” to the character you’ve spent so much time with?

They won’t be a “goodbye,” it will be more of a “see you later.” I already have the next series planned. For those who have read both series and have read far enough into the ‘Blood Moon’ Series, they know that they technically cross.

Let’s talk about ‘The Ancillae’s Familiar’ and ‘The Spare Mate.’ Can you briefly introduce to people who haven’t yet read the book in the world and the characters of these books?

I’ll go with ‘Spare Mates’ first, that’s the ongoing part of the ‘Blood Moon’ Saga. In the ‘Blood Moon Luna,’ you meet all three of the main characters for this particular book:

Charity: Sassy, has zero filter.
Jonas: Unapologetically himself and is rather flamboyant. He considers himself one of the girls most days.
Tatum: Little on the broody, nonverbal. Tatum is the Beta of the Pack.

In this particular book, I’ve already dropped one bombshell with the unexpected unliving of a very beloved character. However, I didn’t leave everyone hanging but you have to tune in and read to find out how I fixed that particular problem.”

And then, ‘The Ancillae’s Familiar:’

Ricci is a very strong-natured female lead who’s been through a lot, and there are some very interesting Vampires that she ends up encountering. One in particular that she’s going to connect with first above all, and that’s because he wants a ‘Familiar’ after all this time. Essentially, a ‘familiar’ is a loyal animal companion who is protective of a Vampire if they go dormant. They don’t do it often but on the rare occasion that they do, that ‘Familiar’ becomes their protector, and when he finds a wolf, he makes her his own.

Can you share the mistakes you made along your writing journey, both in terms of writing and in terms of publishing the book?

Don’t be afraid to have others read things before you publish, and be open to criticism.

It’s proven that you don’t actually need to be printed to be a successful author, but still, have you felt sentimental when you first saw your text printed as a hard book?

I did! I cried for a while when I first saw the ‘Blood Moon Luna’ printed as a hard book. And each time one of them comes, I’m so excited for a new one to come.

The final question is for anyone who is not familiar with you. Can you tell them what book of yours should they choose to start to get to know your stories?

My advice is if you want to read the book depending on spice level because one series is spicier than the other, then I am going to tell you to read ‘Baylor’ before anything.

However, Baylor is less spicy because Baylor starts off as a 16-year-old boy. But if you are going to want the spice level, I’m going to say start with ‘Alpha Keiren’s Mate’ which is actually the prequel to the ‘Blood Moon Luna’ and it tells how everything began before it began. And then, legitimately, ‘Alpha Keiran’s Mate’ ends the day before the ‘Blood Moon Luna’ starts, so it flows right into the next book.”

If you haven’t read Artemas’ books yet, we strongly encourage you to do so. We at the same time are looking forward to seeing more of her works on AlphaNovel.


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Character Forge: How Leeka created Victor and Alina in “The Mating Run”

Well-written characters are crucial for readers to connect emotionally with a story. A character’s backstory, motives, and personality play a significant role in this connection as readers will either love or hate them. You can’t feel indifferent when characters are crafted with care and attention to detail.

In the new blog series on AlphaNovel called the ‘Character Forge’, we will discuss the process of creating compelling characters. We will explore what distinguishes a great character and how to develop realistic protagonists, villains, friends, and lovers.

For the first episode of ‘Character Forge’, we interviewed Leeka, the author of “The Mating Run” and “Tale As Old As Time“. Leeka is not only a writer, but she also holds a degree in psychology, so understanding human nature – is her professional skill.

During our conversation, we asked Leeka about her process for developing characters in her stories, read it below⭐

Pick two of your favorite characters from your books. How do they stand out from the others?

Alina Mockett

Alina Mockett is the main character of the “Mating Run”. She’s a woman who is indecisive about her ambitions and lacks a clear vision for her life. To have some control over her life, she decided to take part in the Mating Run, where at least one choice would be handed to her on a silver platter.

Alina is an optimistic and energetic person, always seeing the bright side of things, although her best friend Ettie believes it may not always be the best mindset. In general, she displays empathy and friendliness towards those she comes across, and she is always willing to aid or stand up for anyone who treats her with kindness or requires assistance. In games such as the Mating Run, displaying kindness can be both advantageous and disadvantageous to winning, which Alina is bound to experience.

At first glance, Alina Mockett may seem unremarkable, but she has a strong determination to survive when faced with adversity. Being in the presence of her friend Ettie, who possesses both intelligence and beauty, has always made her feel inadequate. When the story begins and the two characters find themselves in conflict, Alina’s jealousy, despite her attempts to suppress it, escalates dramatically. As a result, her inferiority complex and jealousy heavily influence her choices throughout the story, and this is not a beneficial combination.

Victor Craft

Victor Craft is one of the supporting characters of the Mating Run. He’s the son of the Alpha of Springcrest Pack, and is famous for his charm and charisma. While he presents himself as carefree and jovial, there is often a hidden darkness lurking beneath his facade of artificial kindness. Despite his laid-back demeanour, he maintains a constant state of alertness, skilfully manipulating his words to get whatever it is he pleases. His goal is to break free from the life his father has meticulously planned for him, and he is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve it. That’s why he opted to join the Mating Run, even though it goes against the established rules.

Victor Craft displays charm towards those he can benefit from while being openly mocking, loud, and sarcastic towards others. Seeking to avoid the obligations thrust upon him and rebel against the life his father had mapped out, he disregarded the rules and enrolled himself in the Mating Run. He knows very well that his name gives him an advantage in how people treat him, and he is more than willing to take advantage of it and manipulate situations to get what he desires.

In the course of the story, he consistently makes choices that are both questionable and truly terrible – but if we were in his position, we would most likely make the same decisions. Victor Craft, as his name implies, is the most probable character to emerge victorious among all the characters in the story.

“Victor is known for his thoughtful approach to decision-making, unlike Alina, whose choices are primarily influenced by her emotions. While Victor may be considered the smarter of the two, it is Alina’s relatable actions that truly resonate with readers”.


What’s the origin story of the character you feel is the most complex one?

The way I initially imagined Victor Craft, in my mind, I did not portray him as an antagonist. I still don’t consider him to be an antagonist. The characters in my novel, ‘The Mating Run’, are designed to act as their own antagonists, mirroring the concept of survival of the fittest. Victor was born out of my desire to create a character that would encapsulate the darkest aspects of mankind, those individuals willing to manipulate and harm others to fulfill their ambitions. While it may not be the conventional choice, could you honestly say you wouldn’t do the same in times of extreme difficulty?

To develop Victor’s character, I immersed myself in numerous survival horror books, including works such as ‘Lord of the Flies’ by William Golding and ‘The Grace Year’ by Kim Liggett. I particularly relished the opportunity to craft a character who defies conventional expectations and isn’t confined to doing only good deeds.

How do you balance the mix of flaws and strengths in a character to create someone who feels real and deeply human?

It may sound cliché, but the characters I write are often a mix of the complex ones I’ve encountered in various forms of media. I tend to dislike reading about characters in books who are overly nice and allow themselves to be taken advantage of. And I absolutely enjoy characters who are not burdened with sad backstories and are purely wicked for the sake of it.

“I believe that some individuals are naturally inclined towards evil, without any external influences leading to their behavior. Additionally, I believe that the people we admire for their kindness and pleasantness are harboring inner frustrations, just waiting for that one trigger that will unleash their true emotions”.


Contemplating these two factors during the process of character creation simplifies the task of developing individuals who can exhibit both kindness and cruelty. Allow yourself to showcase the vulnerabilities and weaknesses of your character without fear. Characters become relatable and human through their imperfections. Readers connect more with characters who go through challenges and mess things up, just like they do. In this manner, one can create a more compelling narrative by intertwining a character’s weaknesses with their strengths.

Take Victor Craft, for instance, who is highly manipulative to achieve his desires – he may find it challenging to trust others or accept assistance, as he assumes others share his mindset.

The depth of a character is often revealed through their relationships with others. How do you craft these interactions to reveal more about the character’s nature, fears, desires, and the world they inhabit?

My intention from the beginning was to include four distinct individuals in this story, each having their own unique experiences. It’s a given that in games such as the Mating Run, there will be winners and losers. All of them can’t have positive experiences, especially during games like this where they are at their lowest point. It’s easier for them to fail rather than succeed. They prioritize survival above all else, and their interactions reflect this.

The romantic and dramatic elements of the story typically take a backseat, while the excitement of pursuit takes center stage for my readers. The majority of their interactions are determined by their current position in the game; when they sense they are on the verge of winning, I prompt them to concentrate solely on themselves. And when the character feels like they are about to die, I make them so detestable that even the readers feel frustrated with them.

Every character has a life beyond what is shown on the page. Could you share an aspect or backstory of your character that didn’t make it into the final draft but influences how you think about them?

I didn’t focus too heavily on Victor’s difficulties with his father, as I believe in portraying them through actions rather than explicitly describing them. For Victor, his desire to discover his true self, following years of his father’s constant instructions and guidance, resulted in rebellious behavior. I cannot determine if he does these behaviors because he finds them enjoyable or simply to further frustrate his father.

The continuous demand for exceptional performance and the weight of others’ expectations have a profound influence on his actions. As a result, he tends to go against the established norms, as he is the type of person who would choose to endure extreme difficulties rather than submit to imposed authority.

This is the first article in a series of conversations with AlphaNovel’s authors about the characters from their books. In the next article, we’ll talk not about characters but the art of creating catchy cliffhangers. Each month we’ll invite a new AlphaNovel author to talk about their craft and experience. If you have any suggestions for authors you would like to know more about, please send us an email with your recommendations 🙂


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What Should I Write In The ‘About Yourself’ Section?

Crafting an effective “About Yourself” section in your author’s profile is crucial for making a great impression on your readers. This section provides a unique opportunity to connect with your audience, allowing them to get to know you as a person, not just as a writer.

So perhaps you are confused about what to write in the ‘About yourself section?’ Here are some essential tips and guidelines to consider when writing this section.

1. Be genuine and personable

When writing about yourself, be authentic and open. Share personal stories or experiences that have shaped you as a writer. This helps to establish a more personal connection with your readers.

2. Highlight your expertise and interests

Describe what types of stories inspire you, the genres you typically write in, and any other creative pursuits or hobbies you have. This helps readers understand your background and what they can expect from your work.

3. Keep it concise and engaging

While it’s important to share relevant details about yourself, avoid being overly verbose. It’s best to keep things concise and engaging. Consider using a storytelling approach to draw readers in.

For example:

“From a young age, I knew that words had the power to transport people to new worlds and evoke emotions. As I grew older, my passion for writing evolved into a career, where I’ve had the privilege of crafting compelling narratives and engaging readers through captivating storytelling.”

Remember, the key is to provide a glimpse of your personality and professional expertise without overwhelming the reader with excessive details.

4. Connect with your readers

Encourage interaction by inviting readers to reach out to you with questions or feedback through the comment section. This can help foster a sense of community and engagement around your work.

Great ‘About Yourself’ section examples from the AlphaNovel authors

5. Update periodically

As your writing career evolves, so too will your personal story. Be sure to revisit and update your “About Yourself” section periodically to reflect any changes or new developments in your life and writing journey.

By following these tips, you can create an “About Yourself” section that effectively introduces you to your readers and sets a welcoming tone for your author profile. Always remember that the ultimate goal is to establish a genuine connection with your audience and showcase the unique aspects of your writing persona 💜


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Inside the Mind of Eliza Selmer: An Exclusive Interview with AlphaNovel Star Author

AlphaNovel is launching a series of interviews with our most successful writers. In this series we’re going to talk about their professional journeys, sources of inspiration and, of course, the business-side of building a career as a writer.

The heroine of our first interview is AlphaNovel author Eliza Selmer. Eliza resides along the East Coast in a small tourist town called Myrtle Beach. She has been writing now for about 2 years and has managed to complete 15 books, most of which can be found on online reading platforms.

Elize wrote her first book at 14, something about creating her own worlds has always spoken to her and pushed her to want to share those worlds and the people that reside within them with others. Though fantasy is and always will be her first love, she has written multiple paranormal romance stories filled with action, conspiracy, and steam.

Now, let’s explore the questions that delve deeper into the mind of Eliza Selmar.

Q: What was your writing process like for “Forced To Be His Bride? Fated To Be His Mate”? Did you follow a specific routine or have any unique techniques?

A: When it comes to writing a book, I generally go in with an idea of how I want the story to go. It was the same with “Forced To Be His Bride”. I knew I wanted to write a book about two individuals meeting under bad circumstances and then realizing they were always meant to be. As for techniques, my only technique is to see where the story goes😃

Q: Were there any specific research methods or resources that you found particularly helpful while writing “Forced To Be His Bride. Fated To Be His Mate”?

A: There wasn’t. When it comes to writing, I’m a go with the flow type of person, and I just hope for the best.

Q: How did you handle any challenges or writer’s block during the writing process?

A: I usually write more than one book at a time. So, when I would hit a block I would switch to another story for the time being until I could figure out where I wanted to go with my next chapter/chapters of Forced To Be His Bride.

Q: Are there any specific strategies that you believe contributed to the success of your best-selling book?

A: I think the best strategy is knowing what the readers look for in a book and applying it. When I first started, I bombed, truly not going to lie. So, after that, I played around with ideas and concepts until I found what readers were drawn to.

Q: What have been some of the highlights of your journey as an AlphaNovel author?

A: Two of the biggest highlights are how amazing AlphaNovel editors have been. The second is how vocal the reader base is. If only all of you knew huge encouraging your comments have been to me.

Q: Have you collaborated with other authors on AlphaNovel? If so, what was that experience like?

A: I haven’t, but I’m not opposed to doing so in the future.

Q: Can you share a fun or memorable moment from your journey as an author?

A: Honestly, writing the stories and seeing them come to life is the best part of being an author. Not to mention, seeing readers truly become invested in the stories and characters. That is the most memorable part of doing all this and putting my work into the world.

Eliza Selmer’s stories have had a significant influence on the world of writing. We look forward to immersing ourselves in her future works and experiencing more of her storytelling.

This is the first interview in a series of conversations with AlphaNovel’s star authors. Each month, we will be featuring the most popular, productive, and unique writers whose work is available in our app. If you have any suggestions for authors you would like to read, please send us an email with your recommendations 🙂


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AlphaNovel is looking for Spanish Authors!

Hola, dear authors! AlphaNovel introduced its Spanish vertical last year, and now we’re gearing up to give it a significant boost. Here’s why this should catch your interest.

With over 500 million Spanish speakers worldwide, our goal is to reach them all and convert them into avid readers of your novels on the AlphaNovel app. Join us on this exciting journey.

Why should you do that?

  • Since the launch of the Spanish vertical, our reader base has grown to tens of thousands of people who are eager to dive into new content and explore fresh stories!
  • Your book has more chances of being discovered since the competition for promotion slots in the app is less than for English novels.
  • Our creative laboratory is ramping up marketing efforts for Spanish books, increasing the likelihood of your book being promoted across our channels.

How can you apply and what should you know?

  • If you already have a book in Spanish, simply visit your writer’s profile and apply for a contract for your novel. If you don’t have one yet, you can translate it using online tools and then have a native speaker proofread the novel.
  • For now, Monthly Attendance Bonus is not available for books written in Spanish;
  • All other bonuses and conditions remain the same as for English books.

If you are eager to showcase your novel written in Spanish on AlphaNovel – this is your chance to shine, don’t hesitate and submit it today! We can’t wait to read what you have to share with the world.


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Building Suspense in Billionaire or CEO narratives

Have you ever pondered the question: “How can I establish a sense of suspense and captivate my readers in billionaire narratives or billionaire romance stories? Ensuring that my readers are captivated and are on the edge of their seats eagerly anticipating what will unfold from the very beginning until the very end”. Rest assured, we have the perfect solution for you.

Here, we will look at ways to create excitement in stories and build suspense in stories involving billionaire or CEO characters. We’ll give easy-to-understand tips and clear detailed explanations on how to do this effectively.

1. Introduce a mysterious past

One effective way to build suspense in billionaire or CEO romance stories is to give the main character a mysterious past. Unveiling fragments of their history throughout the narrative will create intrigue and keep readers engrossed adding depth and complexity to their portrayal.

Remember, in storytelling, a character’s warmth or coldness often stems from their internal struggles, past experiences, and hidden secrets. Let’s explore how a hidden secret or traumatic event could impact the warmth or coldness of a character, using an example for illustration.

Effect on Coldness

If a character’s hidden secret or traumatic event fundamentally alters their worldview, it may lead to a more guarded and cold demeanor. For example, a billionaire protagonist who discovers a betrayal by a trusted ally may become more distant and distrustful, leading to a colder overall portrayal as they struggle to come to terms with the betrayal and its impact on their life and business.


In the TV series “Billions” the character Bobby Axelrod, a billionaire hedge fund manager, is initially portrayed as shrewd and calculating, with a seemingly warm exterior. However, as the series progresses, revelations about his past and personal betrayals lead to a gradual hardening of his character, resulting in a colder and more guarded portrayal. His past experiences and hidden secrets contribute to his increasingly ruthless and cold behavior.

Bobby Axelrod, “Billions”

Whether the revelation softens or hardens the character, it provides an opportunity for readers to delve into the intricacies of the protagonist’s psyche, creating a compelling and multi-dimensional narrative.

2. Develop complex characters

Building suspense requires well-developed and multifaceted characters. Delve into their motivations, desires, and fears, going beyond their wealth or status. Create internal conflicts that challenge their choices and relationships, keeping readers guessing about their true intentions. By making their personalities nuanced, readers will be invested in their journey and eager to uncover their true selves.

One way of developing complex characters is to challenge their choices and relationships. By introducing conflicting interests, rivalries, or unexpected alliances, you create a web of intrigue and uncertainty. The protagonist may be torn between their love interest and a business deal that could make or break their success. This conflict forces them to make difficult choices that not only impact their personal relationships but also keep readers on the edge of their seats, eager to uncover the outcome.

NB: ‘By creating obstacles that seem unconquerable, you generate suspense and keep readers invested in the outcome.’

Furthermore, giving characters nuanced personalities adds layers to their development. They can have strengths and flaws, vulnerabilities and defenses, making them relatable and human. The billionaire or CEO character may appear cold and unfeeling on the surface, but beneath that facade, they may harbor deep-seated insecurities or a fear of being vulnerable. By gradually revealing these layers, readers become emotionally invested in their journey and are eager to witness their growth and transformation.

3. Employ a slow-burn romance

A slow-burn romance builds anticipation and suspense as the relationship between the billionaire or CEO character and their love interest unfolds gradually. By teasing readers with fleeting moments, stolen glances, and unresolved tension, you can create a magnetic pull that keeps them eagerly turning the pages. The slow development of the romance will heighten readers’ desire to see the characters finally come together.

NB: As the story progresses, there is an opportunity to cultivate a gradual and intense romantic connection between the characters. However, in the initial chapters, focus on captivating the readers by dropping hints of a potential romance between the main characters. This will keep the readers engaged and eager to see how their relationship progresses over time.

4. Incorporate atmospheric settings

The setting plays a crucial role in building suspense. Choose opulent and extravagant locations, such as luxurious mansions, high-end hotels, or exclusive parties, to emphasize the billionaire or CEO lifestyle. Use vivid descriptions to transport readers into these atmospheric settings, heightening the anticipation and creating an immersive experience.

Additionally, atmospheric settings can create a sense of isolation or confinement, amplifying the tension. A remote private island, a secluded mansion nestled in the mountains, or a high-security underground bunker all provide a sense of seclusion and create a feeling of being trapped or cut off from the outside world. This isolation intensifies the stakes and leaves readers wondering what dangers or secrets lie in wait.

Furthermore, incorporating atmospheric elements such as inclement weather, eerie sounds, or unusual occurrences adds another layer of suspense. A thunderstorm raging outside the protagonist’s lavish estate, strange noises echoing through the halls, or unexplained phenomena heighten the sense of unease and keep readers guessing about what will happen next.

5. Include elements of danger or mystery

Introducing elements of danger or mystery adds an extra layer of suspense. This could involve a threat to the protagonist’s life, a business deal with high stakes, or a mysterious stranger who seems to know more than they should. These elements will keep readers hooked and eager to discover the resolution of the danger or mystery.

In conclusion, creating suspense in romance stories involving billionaire or CEO characters requires careful planning and execution. By employing techniques such as introducing a mysterious past, developing complex characters, utilizing unexpected twists, and incorporating atmospheric settings, you can keep readers engaged and eager to uncover the story.

We eagerly await the opportunity to dive into the worlds you create, eager to see how you will mesmerize your readers with your storytelling prowess🥰.


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