why did you decide to self-publish?
Self-publishing is the fastest growing segment of the publishing industry and a lot of aspiring authors, like me, find it attractive for many reasons. I chose to self-publish out of frustration with the traditional route. I tried the traditional way with my first and second book; finding an agent and publisher was hard work, and with so many queries and rejection letters, I knew it could take years to get published in the traditional way, that is, if I’m lucky. Let’s face it; the truth is it could take years to publish in the traditional way, or may never get published at all. Self-publishing is a lot of work; from writing, designing your book cover, promoting, marketing and distribution, but at the end, all subsidiary rights and any money received from the book allows me to be in control of the entire process. In addition, there were list of famous authors who began their journey with self-publishing.
How did you start writing?
I have always been a reader of fantasy books, like Hans Christiansen and Grimm’s Fairy Tales since I was twelve. I guess I was just enjoying reading them over and over. I never realized that any fantasy stories fascinated me. I didn’t do any creative writing before except when I was in high school. Who would have thought that one day, I would venture into the world as a writer? For me, learning to write has been an incredible, magical journey. I still have much to learn, and every day is always an adventure.
What genre would you say you write?
I wrote two children’s books; A Ray of Sunshine Book One and Ray and Haley in the Kingdom of the Gobtrolls Book Two. I am still working on the third and final book in the series; There’s Something About Kayla Book Three. I named the books after my three grandchildren: Ray, Haley and Kayla. The inspiration for the story came from my then-eight-year-old grandson, Ray Angelo. Inspired by the Harry Potter series, with a shirt tied around his neck like a cape, he proudly told me he had magical powers. I explored this idea with him, and now the story is a reality in these fantasy books.
I am a sucker for all those Hallmark romantic holiday movies for years—good feeling, falling in love, a happy ending love story. I didn’t read romance novels until a few years ago when I read Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie while at the doctor’s office. It made me realize that I’m a romance-genre lover at heart as well, so I wrote my first romance. I wanted it to be an exciting, yet sweet, series, concentrating more on the wanting and the conflict of getting there. Hence, Spoiled Brats Book Series was born.
Finally, I discovered I love writing short story too. I daydream and imagine many stories in my head. The idea for the Mrs. Millionaire character came to me in a dream. I based the character of Matilde ‘Tilly’ Jane Parker on my mother and used her real name of Matilde. I based the character of Vedasto on my father and used his real name of Vedasto. It worked well for me, so there was some merit on “write what you know.”
What are your tips for someone who is just starting out and wants to get their work published?
As I am also an aspiring author and still learning the ropes in publishing my work through self-publishing, don’t let rejection bring you down. Keep writing and don’t give up. Take every piece of advice and never think it doesn’t apply to you. Lastly, don’t get frustrated when you get one, two or three stars review. I know it hurts and you are not alone. Even famous authors have hundreds of one-star reviews. Strive to learn from those negative reviews and use them to improve your story. I did!
What authors, or books have influenced you?
What are you working on now?
I just finished writing Mrs. Millionaire Short Story Book Series Volume I. It contain five stories. Each completely stands on its own, without a cliffhanger. It tells the story of different characters suffering personal crises whose lives intertwine with Tilly, our protagonist, at various points and tie together into one big surprise ending.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I joined about 30 book groups on Facebook. I also have twitter account, LinkedIn, Goodreads, and my own website. I only signed up to what I can manage. I still need some time to write. Maybe I’ll venture into Instagram when I have the time.
What is your favorite book of all time?
What is one Children’s book everyone should read?
They should read, A Ray of Sunshine (formerly A Boy Named Ray). It is a story of love, respect and family values. It’s about learning, acceptance, forgiveness, and taking responsibility for our mistakes. It is a wonderful journey filled with exciting adventure and unforgettable characters that will surely become a family favorite. It is an inspiration to put our life in a whole new perspective.
If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
I would love to have a special power to heal the sick especially the children and old people. It always breaks my heart to see people suffer with their illness. If I have that kind of special power there will be no more pain and suffering in this world.
If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?
It would be my dad because I never said goodbye to him when he passed away. I would tell him how much I love him and that I was so proud that he was my dad. And then I would kiss him and I can finally say goodbye.
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your Children’s book.
What do you do in your free time?
Harry Potter or Twilight?
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
That at fifty-nine, I am still a young kid at heart. I never tire of watching Harry Potter movies and I still watch SpongeBob Square Pants because I am still holding on to the memories I had with my grandson, Ray, when he was just a little boy. He lives in California now with his parents and we are here in Las Vegas and I miss him so much.