Home » Posts tagged 'Memoir'

Tag Archives: Memoir

Interview with Tara Edin: ‘There comes a time when being authentic is more beneficial than being flawless’

Tara is an incest, rape and sexual assault survivor, a teacher, a wife, a mother, a Reiki master, and an author.

As a rape and sexual assault survivor, who struggled for many years, yet came out on the bright side, one of Tara’s goals is to help fellow survivors feel less alone, less crazy, and more inspired.

Tara spent much of her life feeling “wrong” and being quiet due to some very tough circumstances that shook her to the core. After a spiritual awakening on one of her darkest nights, Tara began to embrace her own power to transform past trials into dreams come true.

Moonflower 2Writing her story has helped Tara retrieve her voice and find additional creative outlets. Publishing her book has simply made her story available to those who may benefit from it.

These days, Tara puts most of her energy into raising her two children, enhancing her creative life, and living her best life ever. But because she is a Survivor, Tara will always walk a healing path—healing for herself and for others.

For More Information

About the Book:

Blooming was her Birthright. Darkness the Unexpected Catalyst.

Tara is an incest, rape and sexual abuse survivor, who suffered from PTSD for many years but was misdiagnosed with mental illnesses instead. This took her down a near-fatal path ultimately ending in an accident, which nearly claimed her life at age 29. Most only know the abridged version of the story, yet the real story holds many truths and miracles that must be shared. With a second lease on life, Tara faces the sexual abuse and betrayal from her younger years with support from a compassionate zen therapist. Tara begins to recreate her life with a new spirituality that feeds her soul and encompasses her painful past, giving life to the love that has always been her birthright. With lucid prose and powerful poetry, Tara details her soul’s transformation from darkness to light, offering her readers the gifts of honesty, empathy, and empowerment.

Moonflower is Part Memoir, Part Self-Help & Part Spiritual Odyssey.

Rape, incest and sexual assault are unspoken controversial topics that still fester behind closed doors in the 21st century as survivors are still being told to “Get over it,” or worse, “It didn’t even happen.” It takes years to heal from such life-altering, traumatic experiences, and many survivors are doing this work alone. There is a great need for testimonies from those who have emerged from their ordeals stronger.

This revealing story uncovers the aftermath of abuse that often leads to unstable relationships, repeated abuse, and mental or physical disease. Although Moonflower covers difficult topics such as emotional and sexual abuse, the author sifts through these experiences to offer her readers the gifts and lessons that can be drawn from such setbacks.

There is no cookie-cutter journey to healing, but there is great power in sharing our stories. Moonflower exhibits the power of the self and spirit in the healing process. It stretches beyond what may be considered a “normal” path and braves a non-traditional spiritual road to wellness, inspiring others to broaden their perspectives of the healing experience. Readers will be inspired by Tara’s fiery spirit and deep reflective soul, cheering her on as she finds her way back to herself.

For More Information

  • Moonflower: A Memoir of Healing is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Watch the book trailer at YouTube.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

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

Moonflower: a Memoir of Healing is my first published book.

Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

I chose to self-publish because it was a more direct route, and I was interested in learning the process.

Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

Once I decided to self-publish, it took me about six months to complete the process.

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

I felt like Odysseus returning home after 20 years since I had been working on my book for over 20 years. When my e-book was live on Amazon.com, I smiled at my Moonflower page for several moments. Then celebrated over lunch with my best friend at the Cheesecake Factory.

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

I began promoting my book on my website and blog. Soon after, I followed suit with Twitter and Facebook.

Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

In publishing my first book, I have learned to let go of some of my perfectionism in order to get the job done. There is always room for revision, but there comes a time when being authentic is more beneficial than being flawless. I am now exercising my writing muscles via my blog by providing valuable, inspirational content to my growing readership. Having traveled the self-publishing route once, I am looking forward to a smoother course for my second book.

Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

I am amazed and inspired by the growing numbers of indie authors out there because of the great discipline and determination behind each and every self-published book.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

As a published author, it is extremely rewarding to know that I will make a positive difference in many lives for years to come.

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

Focus on the writing, and trust that the details will settle into place.

 

 

 

Character Interview: Camila from Faye Rapoport DesPres’ Memoir-in-Essays Message from a Blue Jay

Blue-Jay-Cover-10.2-for-webuseWe’re thrilled to have here today Camila from Faye Rapoport DesPres’ new Memoir-in-Essays, Message from a Blue Jay. Camilla is a 54-year-old accountant the Boston area, Massachusetts.

It is a pleasure to have her with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so for this interview, Camila. Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

I think I was fairly portrayed. I appear in only one essay in the book, but it is a very special essay called “The House on Amity Street.” The author portrayed the people on our street with sensitivity and awareness, and painted a good portrait of our lives in the neighborhood.

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently? 

I think she did a fine job. I am from Honduras, and she was able to build into the piece some of my beliefs and experiences, as well as some of the aspects of our friendship.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

I am a very and honest strong. I tell people what I think, and I never give up.

Worse trait?

Some people might say that telling people what I think is a bad trait! But I don’t think so.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be?

Oh, I don’t know. Maybe Sophia Vergara!

Do you have a love interest in the book?

I have been married to my husband for more than 30 years, and he also appears in that essay, but only briefly.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

This book is a memoir-in-essays, so I knew how it turns out! I live across the street from the author.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

I wouldn’t want to trade places with anyone. I am happy with who I am.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away? 

I think it really shows a lot about life, how we have to find the happy moments even when life is difficult. We have to celebrate and be happy whenever we get the chance.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?

She didn’t use my real name, which is a good thing. To protect me she also didn’t mention me in the acknowledgments. But next time, yes, I’d like that!

Thank you for this interview, Camila.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

I hope so! I am always telling Faye to write a book about my life. But if not, I hope I will show up in more essays.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Faye_B_and_W_copy
Faye Rapoport DesPres is the author of the new memoir-in-essays, Message from a Blue Jay. She earned her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the Solstice MFA Program at Pine Manor College. Her essays, fiction, poetry, and reviews have appeared in Ascent, International Gymnast Magazine, Platte Valley Review, Superstition Review, In the Arts, Fourth Genre, TheWhistling Fire, the Writer’s Chronicleand other journals and magazines. Faye was born in New York City and has lived in England, Israel, and Colorado. She currently lives in the Boston area with her husband, Jean-Paul Des Pres, and their cats. Visit her website at www.fayerapoportdespres.com. 

Facebook Blog

About the book

From an astonishing blue jay to a lone humpback whale, from the back roads of her hometown to the streets of Jerusalem and the Tower of London, debut author Faye Rapoport DesPres examines a modern life marked by a passion for the natural world, unexpected love, and shocking loss, and her search for a place she can finally call home in this beautifully crafted memoir-in-essays.

Three weeks before DesPres’s fortieth birthday, nothing about her life fit the usual mold. She is single, living in a rented house in Boulder, Colorado, fitting dance classes and nature hikes between workdays at a software start-up that soon won’t exist. While contemplating a sky still hazy from summer wildfires, she decides to take stock of her nomadic life and find the real reasons she never “settled down.” The choices she makes from that moment on lead her to retrace her steps-in the States and abroad-as she attempts to understand her life. But instead of going back, she finds herself moving forward to new love, horrible loss, and finally, in a way that she never expected, to a place she can almost call home.

Readers who love the memoirs and personal essays of rising contemporary writers such as Cheryl Strayed, Joy Castro, and Kim Dana Kupperman will appreciate Faye’s observational eye, her passion for the natural world and the creatures that inhabit it, and her search for the surprising truths behind the events of our daily lives.

Purchase on Amazon and B&N

 

High Up in the Rolling Hills by Peter Finch Book Blast – Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

ABOUT HIGH UP IN THE ROLLING HILLS

Title: High Up in the Rolling Hills

Genre: Biography/Memoir

Author: Peter Finch

Publisher: iUniverse

EBook: 204 pages

Release Date: April 24, 2013

In his youth, Peter Finch wove his way through a series of exploits and adventures. Travels took him to Canada, where a fateful encounter in the Rocky Mountains opened up new horizons. In midlife he and his wife Gundi made the shift to country living, ushering in a new phase in their life, as they set down roots in the hills and settled into a deliberately simplified lifestyle.

Peter relates how he and Gundi immersed themselves in ways guided by nature. As she created and sold glass sculptures, he sunk his hands and tools into pure glacial-till soils, sowing, planting, and growing culinary and medicinal herbs, heirloom vegetables and salad greens to take to farmers markets and restaurants in and around Toronto. Invigorated by the pleasures and health benefits of growing, selling, and eating fresh organic food, Peter reveals how he became a passionate advocate of traditional, small-scale, chemical-free farming.

High Up in the Rolling Hills shares the personal journey of an independent couple as they explore the vital role of nature, creativity, and healthy food in life.

iUniverse

Pump Up Your Book and Peter are teaming up to give away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • 1 winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive each of the prizes
  • This giveaway begins April 28 and ends on May 9.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on May 10, 2014.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Character Interview: The teen Joan from author Joan Heartwell’s memoir, Hamster Island

character interviewWe’re thrilled to have here today the young Joan Heartwell from author Joan Heartwell’s new memoir, Hamster Island. Joan Heartwell is 17, a high school student living in Somewhere, New Jersey.

It is a pleasure to have her with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so for this interview, Joan. Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

I like how the author portrayed me as a hero sometimes, out to save my brother, who was developmentally disabled, from a cruel world full of ignorant kids who were willing to bully him for a laugh or two (and in one case, for a heck of a lot of money). But I hate that she had to also talk about how ashamed I felt sometimes to have a brother like him. Yes, it’s true, there were times I went out of my way to pretend I didn’t know him, but so what? Most kids would have done the same.

HamsterIsland_medDo you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?

The author went and told a story about when I was thirteen and a boy who liked me (thank God I wasn’t crazy about him) told me he cared a lot for me, in spite of the fact that his best friend’s mother said I had no personality! Now, there was no reason for that—no reason for his friend’s mother to say that and no reason for the author to repeat that story. You see, I was painfully shy at age 13, and as I had not one but two special needs siblings (my sister was just a baby then, with her circumstances yet to be revealed), oddball parents, a grandmother who was a successful kleptomaniac, and as we all lived more or less in the middle of a parking lot, I tried to keep as low a profile as I could. So yeah, it probably looked to some mothers like I didn’t have much of a personality, but really I was only protecting myself by trying to become invisible.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

I’m good at making things up.

Worse trait?

Sometimes I lie.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)? 

I like that feisty girl in Little Miss Sunshine, Abigail Breslin.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

You could say I am in love with love in this book. I expect love to save me (and I don’t want to give away the ending, but in fact it does.)

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

Chapter one.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

Geez, I wouldn’t change places with any of them. If you think I suffered having to be the middle kid between two special needs siblings, think about what it was like for my brother and sister. Think about what it was like for my parents, poor, uneducated people who didn’t know didn’t know how to work the system to provide for my siblings as well as they would have liked. No thanks. If I have to be in the book, I’m happy to be a characterization of the author’s younger self.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

Well, the author really wanted to tell two stories here, one about me growing up, or “coming of age” as she likes to say, and one about what it was like for her as an adult when she became caretaker for our siblings. So, she did something that some critics are going to complain about. She wrote the book in two parts, the longer part being the part that I’m in, which I think is the better part because it’s pretty funny in places and it reads more like fiction, and the second part, which is really a longish epilogue, describing the last few years of her life with flashbacks to incidents that are important to the story. Basically, she wrote a memoir that leaves out the middle years of her life. She says she doesn’t care. That’s the way she wanted to do it. She’s says the middle years were boring and no one would want to read about them anyway. She thinks because she’s had several novels published and she writes for a living she can break the rules. I don’t know. Maybe she can.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?

She’s a pretty good fiction writer. I think she should go back to fiction now that she got this memoir out of her system.

Thank you for this interview, Joan.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

Oh, I’ll be out there, in one form or another, forced to breathe life into various fictional characters. No rest for the weary.

Purchase HAMSTER ISLAND from Amazon B&N / OmniLit

—————————————–

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joan Heartwell makes her living as a pen for hire, writing, editing and ghostwriting for a variety of private and corporate clients. She has had four novels published under another name and has a fifth one due out later in 2014.

Connect with Joan Heartwell on the web:

www.joanheartwell.com

https://www.facebook.com/hamsterisland

Interview with Jay D Roberts, MD, Author of ‘Break the Chains, Transforming Shame into Forgiveness’

Roberts_Jay-2491-EditDr. Jay D Roberts, MD is a board-certified physiatrist, a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation. He has always been drawn to helping those with pain and wounds. He just could not heal his own. That was not until he went to prison and learned the mysterious power of forgiveness. Dr. Roberts volunteers as part of Kairos, a Christian prison ministry. He and his wife, parents of two grown sons and proud grandparents, live in Indian Wells, CA, with their dog, Milo. Break the Chains is Dr. Roberts’ first book. He is currently working on a novel, Tin Kids, a medical, political thriller about kids forced to work in tin mines.

Why don’t you begin by telling us a little about yourself and why you started writing? 

I always wanted the love of my father, even just for him to like me or be proud of me. That is what drove me to be the best in what ever I did. But it did not work. He never told me once he loved me or that he was proud of me. It is “interesting” that I gravitated to treating people for their pain and wounds, while I could not heal my own.

After I was healed in 1999, I had a deep desire, passion to write, despite my head telling me not to. I ignored the feeling for a few years, but I could not extinguish the burning flame to write my story. Buddy, who you will meet in my story, kept telling me that I must write, to trust him, that everything would be okay even if I told of my past. 

Break the Chains must have been a challenging memoir to write. What compelled you to do it? 

As I have just mentioned, I felt a compelling need to write after I was healed. I tried to ignore it for years, but it would not go away. I was frightened to tell the family secret, afraid that my mother would die reading it. But I continued to feel the calling to write, and so I did.

9781627467582medDid you have a mentor who encouraged you to write it? 

Yes, I was blessed with three as they encouraged and guided me. I will use school as my explanation: Minrose was my grade school mentor, Julie my high school and college mentor, and Joan my graduate mentor. I am very proud that with their guidance I wrote all the words in my story, including the painful memories they prodded for me to express.

Who is your target audience? 

  • People needing forgiveness
  • People with history of abuse — mental & physical
  • People needing healing, or wanting it
  • People searching for a loving God, or just a God
  • People living in two cultures

What do you hope readers will get from your book? 

My hope and pray is that my story will help others to break their chains and be set free. 

What was your writing process like while writing this memoir? 

I did have a rough outline at the beginning. But as I wrote I went to places I had never planned to go. So there went the outline. I found my best writing was early in the morning, between 3am and 6am, while drinking coffee. I always prayed at the beginning of each day for God to guide me with the right words. After three hours, I would eat and get ready to go to my office. In the evenings I wrote a little, but the next day I would often not like what I had written. I sat in my home office and played the same CD over and over- “Filipino Love Songs in a Classic Piano Mood, volume 4, by Raul Sunico. It always put me in a good writing mood. On weekends I would sit out on our patio to do stream-of- conscious writing, if I was stuck (afraid of digging up an old memory). A few times, I stayed in a mountain cabin to be alone and scream if I had to. I did the more painful writings up there. I went back to the Philippines for 40 days and nights to add texture to my story. I wrote and re-wrote and re-wrote some more. 

How long did it take you to write it? 

I started about 10 years ago. But it was awful. It read like an emotionless scientific paper, so I stopped for a few years. Then I bought books on the craft of writing, attended writing workshops, and started writing again. After a year I stopped again. This time because it was too painful to write of my past shame. I could not write for two years. Three years ago, I surrendered to my burning desire to write and dove head first into my memoir. 

What was your editing process like? 

It was a great experience. I learned a lot through editing. I particularly like the exercise of “What if….,” while still staying true to the story. I thank my mentor angels for that. I admit that towards the end I did not cherish doing another re-write! 

How did you find your publisher?

After many rejections, one glorious day, one of my mentors, Joan, found my book a home with Tate Publishing & Enterprises, a Christian-based, family-owned, mainline publishing house.

I thank Dr. Tate for believing in my story and all the staff at Tate for their help in making my book a reality. 

Where is Break the Chains available? 

My book is available on AMAZON B&N / TATE PUBLISHING

What is your advice for aspiring memoir authors?

Never stop writing. Never take “no” for an answer. I was rejected — by many editors, publishers, and agents. I was even told to my face, “Even if you can write, which you can’t because you’re a doctor, and, anyway, no one will ever buy your book because you’re a nobody.” Believe in yourself. You are somebody!

I’m still learning to write, always will be. I’m currently working on my first novel, Tin Kids, about the abuse of kid in tin mines. I am pleased with it. Can’t wait to send this baby out into the world!

So continue to write daily and be patient. It will take time to birth your “baby.”

This interview originally appeared in Blogcritics Magazine

Hot Book of the Day: French Illusions by Linda Kovic-Skow

French IllusionsFRENCH ILLUSIONS, by Linda Kovic-Skow, Dog Ear Publishing, 272 pp., $13.97 (Kindle 99 cents).

In the summer of 1979, twenty-one-year-old Linda Kovic contracts to become an au pair for an wealthy French family in the Loire Valley. To secure the position, she pretends to speak the language, fully aware her deception will be discovered once she arrives at her destination. Based on the author’s diary, French Illusions captures Linda’s fascinating and often challenging real-life story inside and outside the Château de Montclair. The over-bearing, Madame Dubois, her accommodating husband, Monsieur Dubois, and their two children are highlighted as Linda struggles to adapt to her new environment. Continually battling the language barrier, she signs up and attends classes at the local university in the nearby town of Tours, broadening her range of experiences. When she encounters, Adam, a handsome young student, her life with the Dubois family becomes more complicated, adding fuel to her internal battle for independence.

Book Excerpt:

Part Two

Venturing Out of Songais

 

22

When my alarm sounded at 6:30, I leapt out of bed, eager for another opportunity to attend a course at the Université François-Rabelais. I wanted to make a good impression on my professors and peers, so I spent a bit more time on my appearance, brushing some blush on my cheekbones and curling my eyelashes before applying mascara. The result prompted a grin from my mirror image. Pulling on a sweater, I grabbed my purse and ran downstairs.

After I completed my usual morning routine with the children, Madame Dubois rattled off a list of chores, my pulse accelerating with concern as I listened. Has she forgotten that I’m going to Tours today?

“Wash up the dishes in the sink, change the sheets on my bed, and sweep the entranceway.”

“I have to catch the ten o’clock train, or I’ll be late for my class,” I reminded her.

“Well then, you had better get started.”

Rushing out the door an hour later, mumbling angry words, I half-jogged the road to Songais and barely arrived at the train in time.

Oooh . . . she makes me so mad!

Out of breath, I boarded the coach and found a place to sit down. Unclenching my jaw, stretching my neck right, and then left, I willed myself to relax. I was determined not to let Madame Dubois ruin my day.

As the train pulled out of Tours, the attendant, a young man about my age, sauntered down the aisle, his gaze darting back and forth as he identified new passengers. I watched him, admiring his masculine features, until he reached me. Our eyes locked, his sky blue on my moss green, and my stomach lurched.

“Vous visitez Songais?” he asked.

“Non, je suis arrivée récemment,” I said handing him my rail pass. No, I arrived recently.

He glanced at my document and leaned in closer. So close, in fact, that I smelled his cologne, musk with a hint of citrus. “Linda . . . d’où êtes-vous?” Where are you from?

“Je viens des Etats-Unis.”

He smiled and my heart fluttered. “Enchanté,” he said, and added, “Je m’appelle Renaud.”

“Enchantée,” I responded, feeling tongue-tied.

Renaud tried out his English. “How long you visiting?”

“Many months,” I muttered.

“It is wonderful!” he exclaimed, and heads turned to look at us. I felt the heat rush to my cheeks. “I go now, Linda, but I hope to see you again.”

Picking up his pace, he moved down the aisle and exited into the next coach. A few of the passengers glared at me, but I ignored them. I had enjoyed my interchange with Renaud and felt flattered to receive so much attention from such an attractive Frenchman. From now on, my rides to and from Tours might be the highlight of my day.

Purchase your copy:

AMAZON

Interview with ‘Paris Adieu’ Rozsa Gaston: ‘Just publish it yourself’

Rozsa GastonRozsa Gaston is an author who writes serious books on playful matters. She is the author of Paris Adieu, Dogsitters, Budapest Romance, Lyric, Running from Love and the soon to be released Paris Adieu sequel, Black is Not a Color Unless Worn By a Blonde.Rozsa studied European intellectual history at Yale, and then received her master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia. In between Rozsa worked as a singer/pianist all over the world. She currently lives in Connecticut with her family.

You can visit Rozsa’s website at www.parisadieu.com.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon Kindle Store| Smashwords | LinkedIn | Barnes & Noble | Official Tour Page

About Paris Adieu

Paris AdieuThe first time Ava Fodor visits Paris as a nineteen-year old au pair, her French boyfriend introduces her to the concept of being comfortable in her own skin. If only she knew how…

One Ivy League degree later, she’s back for an encounter with a Frenchman that awakens her to womanhood. If only she could stay….

Five years later, Ava returns to Paris as a singer/pianist. She falls for Arnaud, whose frequent travel tortures her. While he’s away, a surprising stranger helps Ava on her journey to self-discovery. Armed with the lessons Paris has taught her, she bids adieu to Arnaud, Pierre and her very first love – the City of Light.

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

Paris Adieu, which came out in December, 2011, is my first published book.

Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

My agent, Sharon Belcastro of Belcastro Agency, published Paris Adieu in eBook format after shopping the manuscript for a year to traditional publishing houses and not securing a deal. She loved the story and knew female readers would respond to it, so she brought it out herself on Amazon.com for Kindle, BarnesandNoble.com for Nook, and Smashwords.com for all eBook formats. She’s now bringing it out in a print-on-demand edition for Amazon.com.

Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

I didn’t sign a contract with a traditional publishing house. However I signed on with my agent in November of 2010 and Paris Adieu was published thirteen months later. We made the decision to go with self-publishing in September 2011. The book came out three months later. Not bad, and much faster than traditional publishing house timelines.

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

 I was dizzy with disbelief. After writing five novels over the past six years, I could hardly believe the day had come when my work was finally out there for the public to read and evaluate.

We celebrated by going out to dinner with my line editor, Laura Brengelman, who did an exceptional job cleaning up the Paris Adieu manuscript and making it sparkle.

She then made my soul sparkle with her excitement and enthusiasm over my publishing debut. Thank you, Laura!  I might add, entirely beside the point, that we dined at a very trendy tequila bar and restaurant where they placed a silver bowl filled with dry ice on our table then poured a shot of tequila over it. Now that’s atmosphere!

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

I had five hundred bookmarks made up with the Paris Adieu cover image on them and a favorable quote on the book from New York Times bestselling author, Victoria Kann, who wrote Pinkalicious, Purplicious, Silverlicious and Goldilicious and whose musical, Pinkalicious the Musical has been playing off-Broadway in New York and Toronto for over five years.

Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

I’ve become extremely aware of the weight of every word I disseminate on the Internet. My brand, my platform, my image is now being built on-line, word by word, phrase by phrase. It’s important to me to offer consistency to my readers in order to build their support. Readers who enjoy Paris Adieu will most likely enjoy the continuing adventures of its main character, Ava Fodor, in its sequel, Black is not a Color Unless Worn by a Blonde, coming in fall 2012; then Sense of Touch, out in 2013.

Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

The publishing industry has not yet amazed me. The domain of cyberspace has. I published my first quote (“I don’t pretend to be an ordinary housewife,” by Elizabeth Taylor) on my FineWinesFineQuotes.com blog site a year ago and within seconds, an artist in San Diego responded.  I ran around the house for the next quarter hour letting everyone know how excited I was to receive feedback from across the country so immediately. It was amazing.

It still is!  A few months later I posted a quote by Rabindranath Tagore (“By plucking her petals, you do not gather the beauty of the flower.”) Within minutes, I’d received a comment from a man in New Delhi, India. Wow. I get ridiculously excited when I hear from like-minded people in other parts of the world.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

I now have a voice, a platform. When people ask what I do, and I tell them I write, my heart no longer sinks when they follow up with the inevitable question, “Have you published?”

Now I say “Yes,” and hand them a Paris Adieu bookmark. It’s a functional, practical gift whether they might wish to read the book or not, and it gets the  conversation rolling.

Before, when “No” was the answer to the “Have you published?” question, the conversation more or less died a slow death with uncomfortable follow up questions such as “How long have you been writing?” or something along the lines of “My brother-in-law is writing a book too.” He’s also fooling himself that he’s a writer always seemed to be the sub-text. Now there’s no more sub-text. I’m a published author.

Nothing succeeds like success itself. Nothing says “published” like publishing.  You’re either on the map or you’re not. If you’re not on the map yet, see my answer to the question below.

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

Complete your projects. Don’t start a manuscript, lay it aside then start another one. Get into the habit of completing whatever writing project you begin. It’s a good discipline to follow and sooner or later one of your completed projects will be good enough to publish. If no one else thinks so, just publish it yourself. Then you’re on your way!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 152 other followers

%d bloggers like this: