Her latest book is the women’s fiction, Winter at the Beach.
Website Link: http://www.sheilasplace.com
Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/_Sheila_Roberts?lang=en
Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/funwithsheila/
Thanks for letting us interrogate you! Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?
I’d always been making stuff up, even as a kid, writing stories and then torturing my third grade class by making them listen to me read my brilliant creations. I used to put myself to sleep telling me bedtime stories. I thought that was normal!
Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be? I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?
The perks are the joy of getting to see your tale wrapped up in a pretty book cover, of getting to hang out with readers. The demands? The dreaded deadline. When an author’s on deadline the rest of her life comes to a screeching halt.
Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?
I’m happy being traditionally published, although I’ve put a few things up on my own. The beauty of being with a publisher is having a whole team behind you – editor, copy editor, art department, marketing, sales. I know a lot of authors are doing all this on their own these days, but that’s a lot of work. Instead of having that delegated for you so you can write and enjoy book signings and blog tours, you have to do everything. My hair’s already gray enough, thank you.
What’s the snarkiest thing you can say about the publishing industry?
Want to be traditionally published? Prepare to starve. It can take years to get an agent and then a book deal. We go months in between paychecks. When our money comes it comes in big chunks, which makes getting home loans interesting. (Bankers think we’re either drug lords or that we’re laundering money.)
Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?
My family is great. My husband is my business partner and handles my (drug lord) money, takes care of travel arrangements, works the camera when I have Facebook live events, and, along with my daughter and her kids, shows up at all my book signings.
What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?
My big brother started coming to my book signings in disguise. One time he came as a little old lady. I totally didn’t recognize him. Another time he was a Mario-styled handyman. Once he showed up at a Barnes and Noble as a deranged heckler. I kept trying to ignore the guy but he wouldn’t go away. The staff almost called the police on him. Happily for him, I finally realized who he was and they heard the laughter and figured out it was a joke. Darn. It would have made an even better story if the cops had showed up.
How about the social networks? Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?
I love Facebook. We have fun on my like page (Fun with Sheila – check it out!). And I like keeping up with what everyone’s doing. Twitter? Not so much. I’m a lousy tweeter.
Book sales. Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)? How are you making the sales happen for you?
A lot of hard work! I sponsor a lot of on line parties, festivals and contests. Book sales don’t magically happen, believe me. An author has to work hard to earn her readers. And then she has to work hard to keep them by giving them something they’ll enjoy reading. I try hard to make my books worth a reader’s time.
What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?
How long it takes to get paid. Want a weekly salary? Don’t become an author. J In fact, don’t become an author for money at all. Those of us who write do it because we love it. There’s the bottom line.
Okay, too much sugar for you today! Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in. Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?
I think you summed up beautifully. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have a great publisher and work with some fabulous people. I still enjoy spinning a yarn and I sure enjoy hanging out with readers. I’m truly thankful to be able to do what I’m doing. And now, forget the tea. Where’s the chocolate?!