Italy, Australia, France, London…
Judging by her traveling agenda for 2018, Anna Todd might as well be an international rock star. And in the contemporary romance novel realm, she actually is.
Todd, bestselling author of the “After” series will be touring around the world to promote her upcoming book “The Spring Girls.”
And if social media popularity is any indicator of success, she’ll probably be greeted by an enthusiastic cohort of fans. Close to a million people follow her on Facebook and another 400,000 on Instagram.
But you don’t have to be a romance buff to appreciate Todd’s unique trajectory in the literary world.
It all started with the social storytelling platform Wattpad.
Not sure what that is? Back in the day, Todd didn’t either:
“It was a place I couldn’t have even dreamed existed with people just like me, an entire world of people who read and write on the internet. I found a community, a home really. And I wrote. And wrote. And wrote and then wrote some more. I couldn’t stop.”
Her devoted tribe on Wattpad now consists of 1.3 million followers.
Wattpad has been around for over a decade. What started as a mobile reading app that allowed people to share their writing on mobile devices, has slowly evolved into a global community of now more than 60 million. Its mostly female users are hooked on romance and the paranormal stories.
Along the years, some of those stories landed publishing deals with the likes of HarperCollins and Random House.
In 2014, Todd shook hands with Simon & Schuster for the “After” series, now translated into over 30 languages.
For someone who’s one of France’s top three authors in 2016, Todd sounds pretty humble: “I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, you guys have changed my life and I am living my dream because of YOU! Guys, I just published our eighth book and I’m working on my tenth right now,” she writes on her website.
So how does one write 10 books?
For Todd, the answer is from the comfort of her L.A. home, that she shares with her high school sweetheart. But coffee shops, she says, are her go-to places to write.
“For me the daily habit that has been best for me is making sure that every day, I get up, get dressed and head out into the world. I mostly work from home, but I love to write from coffee shops because I am inspired by the people around me.”
Paying attention to whatever is happening around us at any given moment, Todd says, can help us develop kindness and patience. And it definitely helps develop new characters. “I love to see people interacting, the way that they carry themselves, the way that they talk to each other and about their lives.”
Watch Anna explaining why she steers clear of the happy ending cliche of romance novels.
Snacks From Influencers is a series asking social media influencers for advice on self-improvement. Responses are edited for space and clarity.