Saturday, June 20, 2009

[Interview_1] Masimba Musodza

Zimbabwean screenwriter and author, Julius Masimba Musodza was born in 1976 and attended Avondale Primary School in Harare, and St Mary Magdalene’s High School in Nyanga.

Some of his early work appeared in school magazines as well as in the young people's newspaper, The New Generation.

After high school, Musodza majored in Screenwriting and Directing at the Vision Valley Film Video & Television Institute. He also studied with Edgar Langeveldt’s Nexus Talent Agency; the African Script Development Fund; the Zimbabwe International Film Festival and the Raindance Institute.

He sold his first screenplay in 2002 and is now working to put some of his own writing to screen as a producer/director.

In this interview, Masimba Musodza talks about his writing.

When did you start writing?

I seem to have taught myself to read and write before I started school and that scared the hell out of my folks!

I tried to get a novel published in the Pacesetters series, but that was when they stopped publishing.

I started my professional writing career around 2000 when I sold my first screenplay. I did the occasional short-story or essay in noe magazine or the other and had novel-length manuscripts piling up. But it wasn't until I came to England, and having to do the rese-rese career that I realised I had to put my name out there now or be another miserable, overworked, overqualified Zimba in London for many years to come. So, I put together some of the stories I had written over the years about the experiences of Rastafarian people in Zimbabwe and published them as an anthology.

How would you describe your writing?

I would describe it as doing the one thing that I am actually good at.

I am a Rastafarian so it is natural that I will come up with main characters who are Rastafarians or see the world with Rastafarian eyes. There is a tendancy to keep us on the periphery, except as amusing eccentrics. I am saying a Rastafarian is a person as good as the next. But I don't want to be remembered as just a Rastafarian writer. I am very mainstream.

Who is your target audience?

Anyone who takes the time to read. I see myself at this stage as writing in the dark - so I cannot define my audience, just yet. I am trying to reach as much of the world as possible, which is why I am working towards getting some of my work translated into other languages.

Of course, I do have the distinguished honour of being a pioneer in Rastafarian Literature. But I reach out to a wider readership.

Which writers influenced you most?

I have been described in one review as "the Rastafarian Hemmingway". But I cite many influences on my website... from our own [Tsitsi] Dangarembga, [M. A.] Hamutyinei... even Wilbur Smith, (though it is not very politically-correct to say that)... to the English and American writers, and the African masters, and most recently Chimamanda Adichie. The list is very long.

What are your main concerns as a writer?

Right now, I have a book being sold illegally on the internet by my former publisher.

How are you dealing with this?

What can I do? It is a small publishing house, but I am even smaller and they know that if I am to try and force them to honour their obligations, whatever it is they cough up will be swallowed by the legal costs I might have to pay. All I can do is appeal to people not to purchase any book from a company calling itself Meadow Books, Exposure Publishing or Diggory Press with my name on it as I am getting nothing for them.

How have your personal experiences influenced your writing?

I think it shows in the writing. It is fiction, but it is based on reality. Take my new detective novel, for instance. I am talking about the greed and materialism of Zimbabwean society, about the Rastafarian people's struggle for recognition as a bona fide religious and cultural community in a multi-cultural Zimbabwe, and about how Zimbabweans living abroad will have a brighter future if they return home.

What are the biggest challenges that you face?

Zimbabwe is in a straight-jacket. I am pushing boundaries on many fields, and that scares the hell out of a lot of people. Then, when you go out there, you find that the world also has deep-seated prejudices about what a Zimbabwean writer ought to be.

Despite institutional censorship in Zimbabwe, I have at my disposal the Internet. I don't have to go mainstream to be a success. Most Zimbabweans have never heard of me, but I have been well-received in Italy and Australia, among other places.

Do you write everyday?

Yes.

I spend the whole day outlining a chapter or a story. Then, after midnight when all is calm, I am at my computer and just sort of put down what I have already written in my head.

Often, I will do a chapter of each of the novels I am working on at the moment. There are always other things to write as well. Then, at around dawn, I will crawl back into bed and wake up in the morning like a normal person. (Should go down well on the first morning of matrimony...)

How many books have you written so far?

The Man who turned in to a Rastafarian, an anthology. First published in 2007 by Exposure Publishing. Republished by Lion Press. A pioneering work of Rastafari-oriented fiction.

Uriah's Vengeance, 2009, Lion Press. The first in a series about Chenai "Ce-Ce" Chisango and her brother Farai of the Dread Eye Detective Agency. They are are assigned by the wife of a wealthy businessman to protect him from a possible attempt on his life by an extortionist. Despite their efforts, the businessman is brutally murdered in one of his homes and they have to find his killer. Clues point to a quest for revenge for a terrible wrong dating back to Zimbabwe's war for independence. However, as the brother and sister duo uncover the past, shocking discoveries suggest a motive much closer to the ethos of contemporary society - sheer avarice.

I wrote the screenplay about a decade ago. At that time, I had just finished film school and it looked like we were going to have a film and TV industry in Zimbabwe. Now, we don't even have an industry of any sort..

Mhuka Huru. Lion Press, Publishing date held back for a few months. A Shona language sci-fi/horror, weaving topical issues such as the environment and sustainable development, the spectre of global famine, the role of global food cartels and their GM crops and the mythology of the Zimbabwean people.

In the novel, villagers living around the River Hacha begin to shun it as word spreads that a mermaid now occupies one of its deep pools. So, there is no one to witness the abnormal growth of the flora and fauna in the vicinity. No one to note that even the animals are scared to go near the river, scared of the dark hulks lurking beneath the surface of the pool…

Which were the most difficult aspects of the work you put into Uriah's Vengeance?

Trying to keep in mind that most Zimbabweans haven't the foggiest about Rastafarian culture. I had to offer explanations without allowing a work of fiction to become a dictionary.

I suppose if you are trying to push down barriers of ignorance and misconception, you have to climb down from yours as well.

What will your next book be about?

Another Shona language horror, this time revolving around the subject of sexual abuse and how our justice system seems to have difficulty in dealing with abuse of this kind.

What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?

My folks finally admitting that writing is as respectable a profession as the ones they had in mind for me!

Possibly related books:

,,

Possibly related article:

[Interview] Petina Gappah, author of 'An Elegy for Easterly', Conversations with Writers, April 10, 2009.

Monday, June 15, 2009

[Interview] Michael Jodoin

Filmmaker and author, Michael Jodoin lives in South Central Kentucky.

His first book, Holy Hell was released from sonar4 publications in March 2009.

Jodoin's work includes a screenplay adaptation of Holy Hell; a vampire story, Love Sucks; and a werewolf tale, The Wolf with the Red Rose.

In this interview, he talks about his concerns as a writer.

When did you start writing?

I suppose I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I wrote short stories as a teenager, but the realities of life and parents who thought writing made a good hobby as long as I pursued a real career first pushed me off the path. I continued to write periodically, placing each completed piece in a drawer for posterity’s sake.

My wife stumbled upon my work about five or six years ago and encouraged me to seriously pursue my dream. Time to write was still at a premium until the day my wife suggested that we were in a position financially that would allow me to stop working full time and devote myself to my writing.

I think everyone who writes wants to be published. I don’t really believe that it’s a conscious decision to be published. It just sort of comes with the territory. How to go about getting published is simple. No, strike that. It isn’t really simple, it just sounds simple. At the end of the day it comes down to getting your work out there. Ideally you’d have an agent, but getting an agent to even consider your work when you’re unpublished is difficult at best. Getting a publisher to look at your work if you’re unrepresented is even harder. It’s a lot like a dog chasing its tail. The upside is that every now and then the dog catches it.

You can’t be thin-skinned. A lot of rejection comes with this gig. I once told a writing class at my stepson’s school that the first step to becoming a writer is to hang around with people who love to criticize you. Just take it on the chin. After that, date people you know are going to dump you sooner or later. Once you can take all that rejection with a grain of salt you’re ready to be a writer.

You can greatly enhance your chances of success by writing the best work possible. My suggestion would be to write what you know about. If what you want to write isn’t something you know about then find out about it. Do all the research you can regarding the subject. Even if you want to write a far-fetched sci-fi story you can find some basis in existing science that you can extrapolate on. When I wrote Holy Hell, I kept a bible on the desk just to make certain I had the right information. I also did a lot of online research.

How would you describe your writing?

The writing I’m currently doing is pretty much the same as what I’ve always done, Horror with a twist. I like to take a standard Horror theme, be it ghosts, or vampires, or werewolves and run it around a corner no one sees coming. Of course at some point in every story I have to throw a little philosophy in.

I’d like to think that audiences of all ages can enjoy my work, but I tend to write for the 18 to 24-year-old audience. Possibly even to the 24 to 34-year-olds. I think they ‘get it’ more. Also I believe they are more willing to question what really is the ‘norm’ even in Horror.

Which authors influenced you most?

OK. This is going to sound really weird, but one of the greatest influences to my writing has been Douglas Adams. I know he didn’t write Horror, but his style is infectious. His work is fun to read, it’s funny and it definitely takes twists and turns that keep the reader off balance.

I guess it was that level of unpredictability that gave it the influence it’s had on my work.

How have your personal experiences influenced your writing?

A writer’s personal experiences are what gives him or her that perspective to see the direction a particular piece should take. I don’t think all of my work necessarily has one direction. I’ve done a lot of different things from being a carpenter to farming to research and development for a plastic company. I’ve gone from the top of the heap to the bottom of the barrel. Your personal experiences give your writing direction, but if they’re varied enough there is no one direction for everything you write.

What are your main concerns as a writer?

I think my main concern is the aforementioned predictability. I never want my writing to become standard fare. The best way to deal with that is to know your genre. If you think hard enough you’ll find a place that no one else has ventured to.

Probably the biggest challenge I face is balancing my writing with every day life. I tend to get like a bulldog with a bone when I start writing something. Putting my work aside to deal with the things that confront all of us daily, even time with the family, is tough for me. Fortunately I have a very understanding wife who has a unique way of bringing me back to reality, even on the most intense of days.

Do you write everyday?

I do try to write every day.

Generally I start by reading the last few pages I wrote the day before. I find it helps to set the mood. I also surround my office with pictures or symbols that represent the essence of the story I’m telling.

I make an effort to end my writing day at a preset time, but if I’m on a roll I tend to keep going till I’ve reached a point that feels comfortable for me to stop. Also the sound of my wife yelling, “You don’t have to write the whole damned thing today,” will bring me to a screeching halt.

How many books have you written so far?

Holy Hell is actually the first book I’ve ever written that has been published. It was published by sonar4 publications and released in March 2009.

I wrote one other book entitled The Wolf with the Red Rose, a werewolf tale, which resides in the drawer that my wife stumbled upon.

I found that I preferred writing screenplays as opposed to books. While I am bound by a confidentiality agreement I can tell you that I have one screenplay, tentatively entitled The Curse of Bootlegger’s Marsh in pre-production at this time and soon to begin principal photography as well as two other screenplays picked up by the same production company.

This is not to say that I’ll never write another book. I fully intend to. Who knows, I may even dust off The Wolf with the Red Rose and have a go at it.

What is your latest book about?

As I said before I write screenplays, but I do have a first draft of the second installment of Holy Hell entitled Holy Hell: Aftermath. I always saw the story of Jackson and Christ as a trilogy. I can’t say how long it took to write because as far as I’m concerned a first draft is just that and the book isn’t finished until I’m completely happy with it.

As for choosing a publisher, you don’t. At least not at first. You can choose who you send it to, but who picks it up is a crap shoot. You can only hope to be as lucky as I and have someone of Shells Walter’s caliber (editor of sonar4 publications) take your work on. She is an unstoppable force of nature.

As for the advantages and disadvantages, the advantages are too numerous to list and I have yet to find a disadvantage. I can only tell you to trust your publisher’s judgment. This is what they do. You write, they publish. It’s as simple as that.

Which aspects of the work you put into the book were most difficult?

I put a lot of myself into the characters in Holy Hell. Some of that wasn’t easy to see or say. Not all of the characters started out as ‘nice guys.’ We all have inner demons we do battle with on a daily basis, but being honest about it, even in a work of fiction, is tough.

However, when it was all said and done, writing Holy Hell was cathartic.

What did you enjoy most?

Telling a story that actually had a point, that made a statement, was very cool. Holy Hell is about change, forgiveness and acceptance. The fact that people get that, judging from the response I’ve gotten, without feeling like they were being preached to is very satisfying.

What sets Holy Hell apart from other things you've written?

It isn’t Horror in the strictest sense. Holy Hell is religious fantasy/horror. It could best be described as The Da Vinci Code meets Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Nothing like anything else I’ve written.

In what way is it similar?

It has that twist to it, it has a sense of humor, albeit dark in places, and it has characters that you really do care about.

What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?

I’d have to say that my most significant achievement as a writer is that I’ve found myself and the joy of having a job that I love waking up to every morning. That said I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the fact that I owe a great deal of that to my wife, Donna, for her faith and support.

Possibly related books:

,,

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

[Interview] Christian Ward

In 2006, Christian Ward published The Grammarian and Other Poems (PDF) (Lily Press, 2006). This was followed by five more poetry chapbooks, among them, Goddess & Other Poems (PDF) (Scars Publications, 2007), The Sea (PDF) (Scars Publications, 2007) and Dark Matter Lullabies (Why Vandalism?, 2008).

His latest chapbook, Bone Transmissions was released from Maverick Duck Press in 2009.

His work has also been featured in journals that include Sage Trail, Grasslimb, Sein Und Werden, Envoi and The Emerson Review.

When did you start writing?

I first started writing when I was a child and stopped for a while when I started secondary school, resuming at 24, when I was at university.

Being a writer was a childhood ambition. I remember reading an illustrated version of Robinson Crusoe when I was a boy and wanting to write the same kind of wonderful stories as [Daniel] Defoe did. It wasn’t until I reached my mid-twenties that I started to make it happen.

I sent out pieces to smaller journals such as Iota and Other Poetry to build up a portfolio, giving me the confidence to try larger, more established, journals such as Poetry Wales and The Kenyon Review (US).

I also discovered the internet in a big way. I found that using networking sites such as Myspace and Facebook were a great way to meet new readers and build up a following.

How would you describe your writing?

The poetry I write is based on my experiences and observations in my day to day life. I’ve found William Carlos Williams’ ethos “"No ideas but in things" -- see the world as it is -- to be inspirational and have tried to incorporate that idea in my work.

My literary criticism consists mainly of book reviews and I intend to start writing essays on literature in the near future.

I have also begun to get involved with translating poetry and my translation of Edith Södergran’s, “Stars”, appears in the February issue of elimae.

Who is your target audience?

People who enjoy poetry, as well as those who enjoy a good read.

I try and write for as broad an audience as I can because I want my work to be enjoyed by as many people as possible. If you write within a niche, you not only limit your audience but run the risk of being pigeonholed.

Which authors influenced you most?

Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath and Tobias Hill have influenced my poetry the most.

Reading Elizabeth Bishop when I first started to write seriously was a revelation. Poems like “The Fish”, for instance, struck me with their intricate level of detail. It made me feel as if I had stepped into the world Bishop had described, becoming part of the landscape.

The novelist Jeannette Winterson once wrote in The Times that she goes to poetry for the same way that “some people grab an espresso; for an energy shot [...]” Sylvia Plath’s poetry, for me, is that hit of espresso. Her poems have such intensity and such powerful metaphors they give me a jolt. Her skill at crafting metaphors has influenced me enormously.

The poet Tobias Hill has a knack for bringing out the extraordinary in the ordinary. Many of his poems are observations of places and things we are familiar with -- shops, subway stations, parks, streets. He takes these things and brings out their hidden qualities, something I’ve tried to do with my own writing.

How have your personal experiences influenced your writing?

Personal experiences have shaped my writing. Putting down these experiences on paper has been incredibly therapeutic. They also allow me to keep memories alive, which I think is important as you get older and the brain starts to deteriorate.

What are your main concerns as a writer?

I have two main concerns: writer’s block and self doubt.

The first is frustrating and I’ve dealt with it by allowing myself to write whatever I want.

The second issue is something we all experience as writers. Sometimes writing can get you down and you start to question your own ability. You become tired of your craft.

I’ve found that it’s helpful to always remember why you’re writing and to spend some time on yourself, doing an activity which relaxes you.

What are the biggest challenges that you face?

Procrastinating. I tend to put off things a lot of the time and deal with it by working to a schedule and making lists.

Do you write everyday?

I write everyday. Each session starts by brainstorming an idea, perhaps something I’ve seen or thought about. I’ll slowly develop this into an outline of a poem before writing a draft. I’ll take a break before editing and will edit the piece a few times before I’m happy to call it a day.

How many books have you written so far?

I’ve written six chapbooks of poetry so far:

Bone Transmissions (Maverick Duck Press, March 2009), Slippage (Erbacce Press, April 2008), Goddess & Other Poems (Scars Publications, 2007), The Sea (Scars Publications, 2007), The Grammarian and Other Poems (Lily Press, 2006), was my first chapbook.

Dark Matter Lullabies (Why Vandalism?, 2008), differs from the others in that it is a chapbook of experimental poetry.

How did you choose a publisher for BoneTransmissions?

My latest chapbook, Bone Transmissions, is a mixture of poems about my experiences and observations about nature and people. The book did not take long to put together but some of the poems took several months to write.

It is being published in March 2009 by Maverick Duck Press. I chose this publisher because they were young and exciting and I wanted to be a part of that.

There is always a risk with some unproven publishers that your work won’t sell or find an audience. This isn’t the case with Maverick Duck Press, which has been growing steadily since it was founded in 2005.

What did you find most difficult about the work you put into the book?

I had a large selection of poems to choose from, and I found it difficult to pick out the ones that I thought would be suitable. There were so many I wanted to include but couldn’t because of the limitations of space.

In the end I decided to choose a selection that had been published in journals and add a few pieces that hadn’t, creating a varied mix of work.

What did you enjoy most?

The brainstorming sessions were pretty fun; I enjoyed looking at the different ways of describing a subject.

What sets Bone Transmissions apart from other things you've written?

The poems in the book are the ones I’m most proud of. They represent a maturity of style which has been developed over a number of years.

In what way is it similar to the others?

It covers similar subjects to my other chapbooks, especially with the poems that are about my experiences.

What will your next book be about?

I’m currently working on a full length poetry collection entitled A Brief History of Electricity, which is named after my poem of the same name that will be appearing in the Indian journal Pratilipi in March.

It will contain new material, as well as older poems.

What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?

Appearing in journals such as The Kenyon Review. The journey to where I am now as a writer has often been difficult and I sometimes doubted my ability to get my work up to a level where it would appear in places like that. It’s a wonderful feeling seeing my name there.

Possibly related books:

,,

Related articles:

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

[Interview] Carol Denbow

In 2006, Carol Denbow self-published her first book, Are You Ready to be Your Own Boss?

She followed this up with Stress Relief for the Working Stiff (Publish America, 2008), A Book Inside: How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story (Plain & Simple Books, LLC., 2008), How to Organize a Virtual Book Tour (eBook through Plain & Simple Books, LLC., 2008) and The Writer Within (Plain & Simple Books, LLC., 2008).

In this interview, Carol Denbow talks about her writing:

What are your main concerns as a writer?

The same as every other published author out there -- selling books. Secondly, is my writing good enough?

How I deal with these issues?

For one, I spend three or four hours everyday on the Internet marketing my books and sleepless nights trying to dream up new ways to do that successfully. As far as further developing my writing skills to perfection, I’m just doing the dreaming part of it. Mostly I read good work and try to pull the lessons from it as best I can.

My biggest challenge is one I face everyday -- to keep trying.

With near 300,000 new books released each year in the U.S. alone, there is some fierce competition out there. I think new authors are shocked at how difficult book selling is and how few books they sell -- me included. I try to remind myself daily that books really do sell just one-at-a-time.

Do you write everyday?

I do write everyday -- but not always books. I write articles, blog posts, and tons of emails to keep my titles up-to-date.

Some days, I will wake up with the burning desire to write a new book. When this happens, I take my muse and run with it! I once wrote a book in two days. Another time, when I wanted to try my hand at fiction, I drove up the coast to a beachside hotel and locked myself in silence for four days. During that time, I wrote about a third of an awesome crime novel with a twisted and suspenseful plot. Unfortunately, since then I haven’t had the “quiet time” I feel I need to finish the book -- pity.

How many books have you written so far?

To date, I have written five books and contributed to several other wonderful publications.

My first book, Are You Ready to be Your Own Boss? was released in 2006 through a publishing house I founded, Plain & Simple Books, LLC. I’m thrilled with the feedback I’ve received from this book. Many who have read it, have succeeded in creating very prosperous businesses they enjoy. Others have shied away from their business plans after reading the book; which was probably a good choice for them.

In 2008, Stress Relief for the Working Stiff was released by Publish America, followed by A Book Inside: How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story (Plain & Simple Books, LLC.), and How to Organize a Virtual Book Tour (eBook through Plain & Simple Books, LLC.).

My personal favorite and best seller is A Book Inside. That book has helped many a writer complete and publish their books -- that’s exciting for me!

With the help and contributions of several other very talented authors, I released The Writer Within through Plain & Simple Books, LLC. in late 2008. This short eBook is one full of inspirational articles and is offered free for the asking.

What would you say A Book Inside is about?

A Book Inside was out in September 2008. The title tells the content. This book is an accumulation of all I had learned and experienced during my book writing and publishing period of the previous four years. I didn’t submit the manuscript for this book to any traditional publishers. Not because of a fear of rejection, but because my experience with being traditionally published was negative in many ways.

I enjoy the “start to finish” of book publishing as well as the complete do-it-yourself process. In other words, I write, edit (hire out professionally), design and layout, print and sell my own books. It’s possible I am a control freak, but more likely I give myself the opportunity to present a polished and professional book of which I net more money per copy than a traditionally or Pod published author.

Which aspect of the work you put into the book was most difficult?

For non-fiction book writing, research is likely the most difficult aspect in preparation for publishing; that’s no different for me. My note pages for one book can be four inches thick. When you are writing a reference book, it’s extremely important to have your sources correct and organized, as they should be included in the contents of your finished book.

What did you enjoy most?

Even though I expressed, above, the difficulty of accurate research, I still find this part of my projects to be the most interesting and enjoyable; only second to the day I sold my first copy to someone other than a friend or family member.

I love to learn new things and research presents that opportunity.

What sets A Book Inside apart from other things you've written?

What can I say other than it’s quite possibly my best work. I get emails from writers who have ordered my book and they are so excited to finally be on the right track.

My first book was fulfilling in that I was privileged to meet new business owners who were fulfilling their dreams because of my book. But the number of responses from A Book Inside has been overwhelming and even more satisfying to me.

The satisfaction of knowing I’ve helped someone achieve their dream always gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling. I plan to reach for that same goal in my future releases.

What will your next book be about?

The competition for book sales is fierce. My next book is tentatively titled, 101 Ways to Market Your Book For Free (or really cheap). I have never spent a dime on book promotion yet my sales ranking is 200% better than the average author. There are numerous ways to promote for free; authors just need to know how to locate those free resources. I plan to show them in this new book. Respectfully, I’m guessing it will be released within the next two months.

How would you describe your writing?

I hope this doesn’t sound egotistical, but I like to help. I’m a volunteer for Hospice, I teach, train others, and enjoy communicating. All my books are categorized as self-help for the novice. Whether it be business start-up, dealing with the stress that follows, or writing one's own book -- my books are all references to the “best method” of fulfillment.

Writing isn’t something I planned or practiced like many other authors; it just happened one day. I was a self-employed single woman trying to make it in a primarily male dominated business. I struggled with this obvious obstacle as well as the complicated quest all self-employed persons attempt -- business success. Along the journey, I tried to think of how a small business owner could have a better chance to succeed; what would that take? I began to write and soon I was knee deep in my first-to-be book.

After nearly two years, my first writing project was complete. From there, the long and difficult publishing process began. Receiving at least five heart breaking rejection letters from traditional publishers, I made the decision to self-publish the book. Self-publishing requires a tremendous amount of research and planning -- just like the business did.

We all need a kick at some point to take the gamble and reach for our dreams. Had I not kicked myself in the fanny, I would never have accomplished what I have. Who is my target audience? -- the world! Those who dream of achievement, reaching the goal, leaving a legacy.

Which authors influenced you most?

I’d love to join the popular group and say [J. K.] Rowling or [Stephen] King, but I can’t. Influence is a mild word in relation to the inspiration I once (and still do) receive from a rather unknown author. When I was ready to quit, and that was pretty early in this career, it was a lady named Yvonne Perry who boosted my confidence and inspired me to push on. What began as most likely a “hit” to obtain my business (Yvonne is a writing coach, ghost writer, and editor), evolved into a life-long friendship and respect for her. No, she didn’t get my business, but she deserved to.

Have your personal experiences influenced your writing in any way?

Wow, I think I explained part of this in the first question. But influence is defiantly why we all start and complete our writing projects. If the inspiration runs out, we end up with numerous incomplete projects in our closets. My husband watched painfully as I learned the lessons of book publishing by trial and error. After my second book was traditional published, he said, “I really think you should consider sharing all you’ve learned through a new book on writing and publishing.”

Bingo!

My best book was born. I just love that guy -- he’s so smart!

What has been your most significant achievement as a writer?

We all have dreams, and the realistic dreamers like myself shoot for the lower placed stars in the sky. I love being a writer. But the greatest achievement to date is that in the process of book publishing, I have been blessed to have gained the respect and friendship of some very talented and wonderful authors to whom I am grateful. Maybe they are the stars higher up?

Possibly related books:

,,