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Interview with Jackie M. Johnson: ‘Getting rid of fear and believing in yourself really helps.’

Jackie M. Johnson is an author and freelance writer. Her first book, Power Prayers for Women, has touched the lives of nearly 200,000 readers. When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton is Empty, a helpful resource for singles who need healing from a relationship breakup, was released in May 2010. She has also written articles, poetry, and hundreds of devotionals. A native of Milwaukee, Jackie lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Visit her encouragement blog, A New Day Café, at anewdaycafe.blogspot.com or website at http://www.jackiejohnsoncreative.com/

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Jackie.  Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

A: It’s good to be here. I’ve written two books: Power Prayers for Women (Barbour Publishing) was released in 2007, and When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton is Empty (Moody Publishing) came out in May 2010.

Q: What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?

A: My first book was Power Prayers for Women. The publisher chose the name, as it often goes, but it packs a punch in four words.

Q: For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?

A: My first book was published by a mainstream publisher. I had a few rejections. 

Q: How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?

A: Sure, you feel a bit discouraged. But I’m always hopeful. I have a lot of passion and tenacity, and I believe that every “no” brings you one step closer to your final “yes.”

Q: When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them? 

A: Basically, I sent letters to a number of publishers I was interested in working with (this was before you needed an agent to get a publishers attention) and I collaborated with the one who wanted to work with me. Power Prayers for Women was published by Barbour Publishing in Ohio. They have an excellent reputation in the industry for high quality work, integrity, and distribution success.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

A: Elated! Being a published author was a lifelong goal, so I was very happy when I got the phone call for my first book deal. I celebrated by going out for dinner with close friends. They brought me balloons, flowers, and cards—and shared my joy!

Q: What was the first thing you did as far as promotion when you were published for the first time?

A: I called a local radio station and booked an interview. Every May there is a National Day of Prayer in America, so I asked the station manager if he’d be interested in doing an interview since the topic of my book was prayer.

Q: If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?

A: No. Things seemed to be working well on the path I’ve taken.

Q: Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?

A: Yes, my second book When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton is Empty just came out in May. I feel I’ve grown in my writing because I’ve learned to write “tighter” and say things more succinctly. Editors have helped me grow, too, because they encourage you to use the best word possible (“be specific, not generic”) and to get to your point quickly. I think it’s always wise to polish your writing craft and desire to become a better writer.

Q: Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up?  What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?

A: Getting rid of fear and believing in yourself really helps. I would have sent letters to publishers sooner. Years ago I didn’t have the confidence that I was good enough; now I know better. If you have something to say, and can present it well, then you need to just get out there and pursue publication. Have courage and press on!

Q: What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?

A: I’m certainly pleased with achieving nearly 200,000 in sales for my first book. But touching the lives of readers is what really gets me. Like the young woman in India who wrote to let me know how much my book helped her. Or, the woman on FaceBook who said that she’d only read the Introduction but already she was reduced to tears because the book was speaking to her need.

Q: If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?

A: I would own a large spa in a resort location (perhaps by the ocean), oversee the work, and find joy in people coming to it weary and leaving replenished.

Q: Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?

A: Interesting idea to combine both worlds.  I am an author. For now, I will go to spas not run them. 

Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?

A: Content. Joyful. Connected with people who are life-giving and hope-filled, like me.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

A: Yes. Persevere. Hone your craft. Strive to be a better writer. Go to writer’s conferences. Join writer’s groups and get feedback. Write what you love. Believe in your dream. Have courage and lots of tenacity. You know what they say, “Success happens when Preparation meets Opportunity.” So, go get ready!

Interview with Dorothea Hover-Kramer, Author of SECOND CHANCE AT YOUR DREAM

Dorothea Hover-KramerDorothea Hover-Kramer, Ed.D. RN, CNS, DCEP has been a psychotherapist in private practice for over 30 years and combines her career as a psychologist with a background as a clinical nurse specialist. She co-founded the international Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology (ACEP), served as its past president and was instrumental in designing and implementing its certification program. She is a designated diplomate in comprehensive energy psychology (DCEP).

Dr. Dorothea is also the author of six books about energy therapies including her most recent, Second Chance at Your Dream (2009), and Healing Touch: a guidebook for practitioners (2002), Creative Energies: integrative energy psychotherapy for self-expression and healing (2002), and Creating Right Relationships: a practical guide to ethics in energy therapies (2007).

Dorothea is especially committed to bringing insights from the field of Energy Psychology to those facing the challenges and opportunities of the second half of life. She wants to help unleash the creative potential in every person and to encourage learning from pain’s lessons to overcome human suffering. Her new book, Second Chance at Your Dream (2009) is filled with over fifty energy-related exercises for accessing creativity and well-being. You can visit Dorothea’s website at www.secondchancedream.com.

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Second Chance at Your DreamWelcome to Beyond the Books, Dorothea. Can you tell us whether you are published for the first time or multi-published? Can you give us the title(s) of your book(s)?

Listed in bio above

What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?

Healing Touch: A resource for healthcare professionals (1996, Delmar International)

For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?

I wrote a book of poetry in 1983. I thought was wonderful but ended up paying a vanity press to publish it. After that I self-published poetry and travel books.

How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?

Rejections are hard—I always felt I was rejected. But I kept myself going with energy therapy methods which I have taught since 1989.

When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?

Actually, they chose me because a book on the increasingly known Healing Touch program was needed and they as t healthcare text publishers approached the director of the program about a book. I was the only one t in the group who had written anything, so she chose me for the project.

How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

I jumped up and down and decided to write another book pronto.

What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

Nothing, I assumed people would find the book.

If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?

It would have been interesting to seek a more trade oriented publisher and do more marketing myself.

Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?

Second Chance Dream is my sixth book and I’m working on #7. I think I’ve become more eloquent and my thesaurus is just about worn out. I learned to respect other people’s writing styles and appreciate what a copy editor can do.

Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up?

Don’t try to write the first chapter first. I got so bogged down there and trying to think in a linear way. What kind of mistakes could you have avoided? Writing every thought down as soon as I get the outline for the book clear in my head.

What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?

Co-founding the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology, writing its certification programs and presenting at its conference over the past 11 years.

If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?

I always wanted to be soprano or a cello player. Maybe next life.

Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?

Combined it all thank goodness.

How do you see yourself in ten years?

Getting better and wiser and probably still writing.

Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Keep on practicing. Start with articles, even for the newspaper or letters to the editor. Watch your interest in something build. Nothing is waste because the brain is a hologram.

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