AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Why did you decide to self-publish?

Many aspiring authors, like myself, are drawn to self-publishing because of its rapid expansion in the publishing sector. I decided to self-publish because I was fed up with the usual publishing process. To have my first and second books published the old-fashioned way, I scoured the literary world for an agent and publisher. It was time-consuming, especially after receiving a slew of rejection letters and inquiries. Let’s face it; it might take years or never be published in the usual manner. Writing, developing your book cover, advertising, marketing, and distributing a self-published book might be a lot of effort, but all subsidiary rights and any income generated from the book allow me to be in charge of everything.

How did you start writing?

After reading Hans Christiansen and Grimm’s Fairy Tales when I was twelve, I have always been a fan of fantasy fiction. Perhaps I was simply engrossed in the process of reading them over and over again for some reason. Fantastical fiction has never crossed my mind before. Except for when I was in high school, I’d never done any creative writing before. Who would have guessed that one day I would try my hand at being a writer? Learning to write has been an awe-inspiring and amazing experience for me. There is so much I have yet to discover, and every day is a new experience.

What genre would you say you write?

A Ray of Sunshine Book One and Ray and Haley in the Kingdom of the Gobtrolls, Book Two, are the two children’s novels I authored. Book three of the series, “There’s Something About Kayla,” is still in the works. My three grandkids, Ray, Haley, and Kayla, inspired the titles of the novels. The inspiration for the story came from my then eight-year-old grandson, Ray Angelo. A fan of the Harry Potter books and movies, he boldly claimed to have magical abilities, his shirt around his neck knotted in a cape-like fashion. As a result of our discussions, the tale is now a reality in these fantastical works of fiction.

For years, those heartwarming Hallmark movies about falling in love and having a happy ending have had a special place in my heart. I had never read a romance novel until a few years back, when I picked up Jennifer Crusie’s Maybe This Time at the doctor’s office. It made me realize that I, too, am a romantic at heart, so I penned my first romance. To keep things interesting while still being heartwarming, I aimed to make the series more focused on the desire and the struggle to achieve it than on the resolution. As a result, the Spoiled Brats Book Series was created.

Finally, I found that I enjoy crafting short stories as well. Daydreaming is a favorite pastime of mine. Mrs. Millionaire’s persona was born in a dream I had. Matilde “Tilly” Jane Parker was based on my mother, and I used her real name, Matilde. Vedasto, the character I created, is named after my father, whom I idolized growing up. So, “Write what you know” has some merit after all.

What are your tips for someone who is just starting out and wants to get their work published?

As a fellow aspiring author who is still learning the ins and outs of self-publishing, I urge you not to allow rejection to get to you. You can’t stop writing, so don’t give up on yourself. Every bit of advice should be heeded, no matter how little or inconsequential it may seem. Keep in mind that a bad review isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We all feel the same way, and you are not alone. Even well-known writers receive a staggering number of one-star reviews. Learn from the bad comments and apply them to improve your writing. I understand how it feels to receive negative feedback on the work we put our sweat and blood into. You can’t, however, please everyone. Positive reviews balance negative comments, so don’t take it personally. Move on and keep doing what we enjoy. That’s what I did!

What authors, or books have influenced you?

Jennifer Crusie’s book, “Maybe This Time,” inspired my first romance novel. I like her writing style. Debbie Macomber is another author I admire. I spent my weekends watching Hallmark movies based on her books, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

What are you working on now?

I’ve just finished writing the first volume of the Mrs. Millionaire Short Story Book Series. There are a total of five tales in this collection. They all stand on their own, without any cliffhangers. It chronicles the stories of a number of people who are going through personal crises and how their stories all come together in a dramatic twist at the end of the book. UPDATE: Mrs. Millionaire Short Story Book Series Volume 1 and 2 are now available.

What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books? 

About 30 book clubs were set up on Facebook. Along with this, I maintain a presence on social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads, and my own personal website. I only agreed to participate in activities that I knew I could complete.

What is your favorite book of all time?

Hans Christensen hands down.

What is one Children’s book everyone should read?

They should read A Ray of Sunshine and Ray and Haley in the Kingdom of the Gobtrolls, both from the A Magical Storybook series.

This is a story about love, respect, and family values. It’s about embracing, accepting, forgiving, and owning up to, and learning from, our flaws. If you’re looking for a great family read, this is the one. It inspires us to look at our lives in a completely different way.

If you could have any superpower what would you choose?

The ability to heal the sick, particularly those of young people and the elderly, is something I would greatly embrace. Seeing someone suffer from their sickness always makes my heart hurt more than words can express. With my exceptional powers, there will be no more misery and suffering in this world.

If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?

My father, for the simple reason that I never said my final goodbyes to him before his death. I would tell him how much I loved him and how happy I was to be his daughter. My final goodbye would be a kiss from me to him.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your Children’s book.

This is a wonderful story to tell your children before bedtime since it teaches them about cooperation, love, and acceptance while also motivating them to do the same.

What do you do in your free time?

Spending time with my hubby is one of my favorite things to do when I’m free. He and I would put the sofa and love seat together on the weekends and spend the entire day watching Hallmark Christmas movies.

Harry Potter or Twilight?

Harry Potter, of course. My grandson, Ray, and I enjoyed watching it together, and I still have wonderful memories of it. It will always be my favorite film!

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

That, at the age of fifty-nine, I am still a kid at heart. Watching Harry Potter and SpongeBob Square Pants is a way for me to remember my grandson, Ray, when he was a little boy and to keep him close to my heart forever. Since he and his parents moved to California, I’ve been yearning for him all the time. I miss him so much.

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