Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Straight from the Mouth of Love's Justice author Joan Avery

Joan Avery was an award-winning writer/producer at a major national advertising agency for over fifteen years before she retired to raise a family and write. Joan has been blessed with a daughter, two sons and two stepsons. She and her husband now have five grandchildren. Although she has lived in the Detroit area her entire life she has traveled extensively for both work and leisure. She and her husband, an attorney, have visited many fascinating parts of the world. Joan feels her travels enrich her writing. THE WORTH BROTHERS TRILOGY takes place in three of her favorite places.
Her latest book is the historical romance, Love's Justice For More Information
Thanks for letting us interrogate interview you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

I desperately needed a creative outlet after leaving my job as a producer of TV and radio commercials to stay home with my children.

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?

Since I’m not a New York Times best seller (yet) there are few perks.  The biggest perk is knowing something that you crafted to give others pleasure is out there for the public to consume.

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

My first sale was many years ago to Harperpaperbacks and was a thrilling experience.  The cover, the feel of the paperback in my hands was exhilarating.  Needless to say, publishing has undergone (and continues to undergo) major changes.  Today, I’m pleased to be publishing in an e-pub format.  I think it allows more readers to enjoy books at a reasonable price.  This being said, I would hope there will always be a place for traditionally published books.

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? 

I have always put my family first.  It is a choice I made years ago.  Now, with my family grown I still try to write in a way that least inconveniences my husband.  Whether this has impacted my career it’s hard to say but looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?

Our poor dog was always patient and understanding.  I miss her still.

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

Luckily, I was rarely writing under a deadline and was able to keep everything up and running.

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

Getting an email from a New York editor praising my main-stream book throughout the email saying how well paced it was, how she read it in one sitting and how much she enjoyed it, only to have her add at the end that she was sorry but she didn’t buy “this kind of book.”

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

I’m not terribly tech savvy so I’ll have to pass on this.  I do know authors who are very successful in harnessing various social networks to improve their sales.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

Editors second guessing what a reader will or won’t read and trends that seem to dictate every book written must include werewolves, demons, time travel or whatever.

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?

Well, it’s certainly not for public adulation.  (Trust me there’s very little of that for the average writer.)  I know it sounds insincere but I really get a deep-seated satisfaction sharing my stories with others.  I know few writers who write only for themselves.  We write because we want to give the pleasure of a good story to others.  This is an intoxicating reason to write.  As writers, I think we’re all addicted to sharing the pleasure of a good story.

Straight From the Mouth of 'The Devil Made Me Do It' Colette Harrell

Colette (Ford) Harrell the author of the debut novel The Devil Made Me Do It is passionate about the written word. Holding a master’s degree, she is a director of human services. Her creation and implementation of a health and energy medical program stands as a best practices model. Her philosophy of service is compassionate care through a spirit of excellence. A motivational speaker, she specializes in customer and human service workshops on state and national levels.  She is cofounder of COJACK Productions, a Christian entertainment company. As an active member of her church, Kingdom Christian Center, she serves in several ministries.

Colette is a wife, mother, author, poet, songwriter, and playwright. Her novel is a delectable read, where romance, suspense, humor, and the supernatural all come together to entertain, educate, and inspire. 

A Detroit native, she currently resides in Ohio, writing with humor and compassion to engage and minister to the human heart. Her motto is: whatever you do, do it “for love alone.”

Her latest book is the inspirational fiction, The Devil Made Me Do It.
For More Information

Thanks for letting us interrogate interview you! Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

Interrogation? Well, I better fess up quick. I love to read . . . reading led to me adding new twists and turns to the stories. Finally, I had to stop messing with their goodies and just write my own. This passion just won't die. Can you get that flashlight outta my face now?

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?

I'm so new at this, it's hard to tell. There are highs and lows. This is very stressful, then exhilarating. The marketing demands have been grueling. (You mean there are no lines forming to buy my first book? No ticket parade? What!!!) This is work! The perks are the people along the way, people who I didn't even know, but who have encouraged me along the way. This has been a roller-coaster ride, and it ain't for the fainthearted.

Which route did you take—traditional or self-published—and can you give us the nitty-gritty lowdown on what that's like?

Traditional, with agent representation.There are some good people in this industry, but it's a business, not adult day care. You will learn your own voice and how to use it.You learn that if you mess up, you'll eat it. There are no do overs. Windows open and close quickly. You have to learn this business, and look out for you. Along the way, you look for ways to pay it forward. Can I get a hug?


What's the snarkiest thing you can say about the publishing industry (e.g., rejections, the long wait, etc.)?

Some people expect you to know things you don’t. It's my statistics teacher experience all over again!

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.

 I don't know, I haven't talked to them since it all started. Just kidding. I know they're proud of me. My husband and children tell me that all the time. On the other hand, getting out there can be time-consuming. I know they wish they remembered what I look like. (lol).

What was the craziest or most insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

Including this interrogation? (Btw, thanks for having me.) I don't know—it hasn't happened yet. Now, you have me excited that it will. Yea!

How about the social networks? Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

I'm new to social networking. The power it wields is mind-boggling. What's the saying? Absolute power corrupts, absolutely? It doesn't seem like I can avoid any of them. But, my favorite is reading interesting blog forums.

Book sales. Don't you just love them (or lack of)? How are you making the sales happen for you? 
As I am writing this, my book will come out in a few days. Prerelease sales have been up compared to my last book sales. (You do know, this is my first book . . . lol.)

What is one thing you'd like to jump up on the rooftop and scream about?

Social media. So important. Yet, there are those who use their power for evil. STOP!

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 previously mentioned don't matter because it's all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn't have it any other way?

Sigh . . . This is the best tea ever. The waves make it so peaceful . . . snoozzzzzze.

Oh, you had a request? Right. I have met authors I love, people in the industry who shine bright. At the end of the day, a perfect sentence in a riveting chapter makes the angst go away. Writing is what I love to do. This business is all a part of what I love. Thank you for having me. By the way, is there honey?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Straight from the Mouth of 'For Her Spy' Author Robyn DeHart


FHSO_Final1600Title: For Her Spy
Author: Robyn DeHart
Publisher: Entangled Scandalous
Pages: 83
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Ebook

He'll never forget her--but can he ever forgive her? 

England, 1814 When Winifred is rescued from her snow-stranded carriage by the notorious and reclusive Alistair, Marquess of Coventry, she is instantly drawn to him. Jilted by her betrothed and socially ruined by untrue rumors, Winifred is tired of  paying for crimes she didn't commit and decides to play the seductress London society claims she is. Thinking a night of passion shouldn’t leave any lasting effects, she instead finds her heart marked forever. Six years later, Alistair is working for the Regent as a spy. A search for Napoleon's English supporters leads him to the beguiling Winifred, recently widowed with a young son. He hasn’t forgotten how the unconventional beauty warmed his bed, and the heat between them rekindles immediately. The spymaster is determined to uncover all of plucky Winifred's secrets. Especially the one regarding her son...

For More Information

National Bestselling author, Robyn DeHart's novels have appeared in the top bestselling romance and historical romance lists. Her books have been translated into nearly a dozen languages. Her historical romantic adventure series, The Legend Hunters, were not only bestsellers, but also award-winners, snagging a Reader's Crown and a Reviewer's Choice award. She had three releases in 2013 and 2014 will see four more, all set in the popular historical romance Regency and Victorian eras. Known for her "strong dialogue and characters that leap off the page" (RT Bookclub) and her "sizzling romance" (Publishers Weekly), her books have been featured in USA Today and the Chicago Tribune. A popular writing instructor, she has given speeches at writing conferences in Los Angeles, DC, New York, Dallas, Nashville and Toronto, among many others. When not writing, you can find Robyn hanging out with her family, husband (The Professor) a university professor of Political Science and their two ridiculously beautiful and smart daughters, Busybee and Babybee as well as two spoiled-rotten cats. They live in the hill country of Texas where it's hot eight months of the year, but those big blue skies make it worth it. Sign up for Robyn's newsletter www.robyndehart.com/newsletter/ 
Her latest book is the historical romance, For Her Spy Only For More Information


Thanks for letting us interrogate interview you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

I’m compelled by story – or perhaps obsessed. I love stories, story songs, books, TV, movies, you name it, I’m addicted to stories. I’m guessing this is the main reason why I started writing.

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?

Perks? Well, I get to hang out with other writers all the time, that’s probably the best part. Most of my best friends are other writers and they’re the coolest women in the world. The demands, well, balancing deadlines with being a stay-at-home mom to littles, dealing with bad reviews, trying to make sure that each book is as good or better than the previous, and the list goes on. But I wouldn’t trade this job for anything.

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 came from traditional publishing, sold my first 4 books to Avon, then a series to Grand-Central. Most recently I’ve been publishing with Entangled and NAL. I have one short story that I did self-pub, but for the most part, I really enjoy working with publishing companies. Other writers do a great job of managing the self-pub thing, but so far I haven’t felt the desire or the confidence or whatever is required to go completely down that road.  

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?

I’m super fortunate to have a supportive family. I was actually dating my now husband when I got The Call so he’s been with me through my entire publishing career – though he missed the first several years of my trying to sell. He’s an academic and also writes/publishes, though vastly different works, but because of this he’s familiar with the demands and whatnot that go into writing. My little girls also came into our lives after I was already published so they’re used to Mommy having deadlines and needing to get work done. My oldest starts Kindergarten this year and I’m looking forward to having a little extra writing time.

Do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?

HA! Our cats are very demanding so I don’t think they’d wait for me to type. Our big boy kitty will just come sit on my arms regardless of whether or not I’m typing. He makes sure we know when he needs attention.

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

I’ve learned how to write with the distractions. Life is messy and busy and full of unexpected stuff. You have to just learn how to roll with it. Answer the phone if you must, but then get back to your work.

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

Hmmm, I’m not sure about this though once I was contacted by a woman who came across my book because her name was exactly the same as my heroine. She bought the book to give it a try because of the name coincidence.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

I don’t really look at social media as a way to promote though I do put some stuff up on my pages to let people know when I have a book out. But mostly I like to use Facebook as a way to connect with my readers/friends. And twitter is fun when you want a brief break. My favorite social media site though is Pinterest – I’m a totally pinning junkie!

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

Anytime I get fan mail. I love hearing from readers when my books touch their lives, that’s just the coolest thing ever.

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 am all for sitting at the cabana watching the waves – I love the beach, it’s my most favorite place in the world. I love sharing my characters and stories with people who fall in love with them, who go along on the journey. I love giving people a break from the mundane or from their troubles and letting them live through someone else for a while. That’s the very best.

 Amber is giving away a $15 Amazon Gift Card!

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Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $15 Amazon Gift Certificate or B&N Gift Card.
  • This giveaway begins July 21 and ends on August 1.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, August 4.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Straight from the Mouth of 'Shiloh's True Nature' D.W. Raleigh

D.W. Raleigh was born in the Delaware Valley and has spent most of his life in that region. He has attended multiple colleges and universities collecting several degrees, including an M.A. in Philosophy. After toiling away for many years in various unfulfilling jobs, he began to realize that what he really wanted to do was write. Scribbling down ideas and little short stories he eventually came up with something he wanted to share with the world. Thus, Shiloh’s True Nature was born. D.W. currently resides in Newark, Delaware with his longtime love, Judy, and their two cats, Lovie and Cheepie.

About the Book

When 12 year-old farm boy Shiloh Williams is sent to stay with his estranged grandfather, he discovers a mysterious new world inhabited by ‘Movers’. The Movers live in symbiotic harmony with one another, except one extremely powerful Mover who has stolen the town’s most precious artifact, the Eternal Flame. Shiloh investigates his supernatural surroundings, makes new friends, and begins to think of the town as home. However, just as soon as he starts to fit in, he realizes his newfound happiness is about to come to an abrupt end. One decision and one extreme consequence are all that remain.


Questionnaire:

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 always wanted to be an author, just not of fiction.  I was on my way to getting a PhD in Philosophy and thinking I’d teach and write related subject matter.  However, life pushed me in a different direction.

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? 

I don’t know what it is cracked up to be, but my life hasn’t changed much.  The first novel is coming out now and I’m working on the sequel.  Perhaps if it sells a million copies, I could answer that more colorfully. To date, I’m still waiting for perks.

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 went the traditional route after looking unsuccessfully for an agent to take on my work.  I am pleased with how things have turned out with Hobbes End, my publisher.

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 100% supportive of everything I do, writing or otherwise.

This is for pet lovers.  If you don’t own a pet, skip this question, but do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?  

I have cats, Lovie and Cheepie…they have food and water available to them at all times regardless of what I am doing.  Now, attention is another matter.  I have to keep the door closed while I am writing.  Otherwise, little feet will be traipsing across the keyboard while I try to type.

This is for plant lovers.  If you don’t own a plant, skip this question, but if you do, are they actually still alive?  

My houseplants are alive, but they never seem to thrive.  They’re always over or under watered…and the damn palm plants always seem to have those brown leaf tips.  I need to read a book on plant care.

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?  

The majority of the book was written late at night, so none of those things really applied.  Now, that I’m writing the second book, I seem to be working more during the day…but I’m dealing with everything okay; ignore the ringing phone, order a pizza, and tell the boss her watch is fast.

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?  I got a rejection letter from a publisher a year after I had already signed on with my current publisher, Hobbes End.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid? 

All of them and all of them.  Social media is a double-edged sword.  It helps get the word out, but it can also be an annoyance.

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?  

Interviews, networking, and word of mouth…and hopefully some really good reviews.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?  

The fantastic set of interview questions from the good people at straightfromtheauthorsmouth.blogspot.com.  If you couldn’t tell, I don’t have a great answer for that question.  However, should I have something jump up on the roof and scream about, you’ll be the first to know.


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 love creating stories and being published just validates my Walter Mitty-ness.  And, the truth is, it is all part of the scheme of things and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Straight From the Mouth of Meryl Ain, co-author of 'The Living Memories Project'


Meryl Ain holds a BA from Queens College, a MA from Columbia University Teachers College, and an Ed.D. from Hofstra University. She began her career in education as a social studies teacher before she became an administrator. She is also a freelance writer specializing in issues related to education, families, parenting, and children and has contributed to Huffington Post, Newsday, the New York Jewish Week and The New York Times. She embarked on The Living Memories Project after she lost both her father and mother within a year-and-a-half. She and her husband Stewart live on Long Island and have three sons, three daughters-in-law and three grandchildren.

For More Information



Thanks for letting us interrogate interview you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?


I didn’t want to be an author as much as I wanted to get this book published.  That may sound strange, but it makes perfect sense.  This was never about me
(or my coauthors) but about sharing, as a tribute to my mother, a message that can help anybody and (we believe) even change lives.  First, about my mother: My mom was my best friend, a reliable loving, comforting, and wise presence in my life.  I spoke to my mother several times a day. When there was a lull at work, she was the one I called. When something wonderful happened, I called her. When something challenging happened, I called her. When I needed advice, she was the one I trusted. I could always count on her to be a calm and intelligent sounding board. And, when I was bored, sad, or depressed, she would say: “Get yourself a project.” So, when she died and left a huge gap in my life, I decided my project would be to interview people about how they keep alive the memories of their loved ones. I was hoping to get ideas from them, and to heal myself.

I enlisted the support of my husband, Stewart, and my brother, Arthur, and together we captured the stories of more than 30 individuals who created tributes – big and small – as living memorials.  The project was therapeutic and cathartic for us; not only did it give us wonderful material, but it turned into an inspiring book and an amazing tribute to my mom.  

Second, the message of the book: Remembering the values and zest for life of a loved one can be as easy as hanging up their picture, playing their favorite song or wearing their favorite scarf. Loved ones die only if you let them. As Malachy McCourt puts it so memorably in Chapter One of our book, death is not fatal.  A person’s values and goals don’t have to end when he or she dies. The loved ones they leave behind are here to build upon and carry on their work.


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?


Thus far, the demands far outweigh any perks.  No one tells you when you write a book that 50% (or more) of your time will need to be spent on promoting the book if you hope to have any kind of audience for it.  We’re still in that “newly published” stage when it’s all about getting the world ready to receive what you’ve done.  When people actually start to read the book, that would be the biggest perk we could ask for  


Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like? 


It was slow going for quite a while but we were prepared for it to be.  A book such as this – which some publishers saw as a book on grief, others as a self-help book and still others as some hybrid of these or other genres – was not easy to sell.  In the end, our book was published by a small independent press, Little Miami Publishing Company, in Ohio. My brother-in-law, Howard Ain, who is a TV reporter in Cincinnati, introduced us to the publisher, Barbara Gargiulo. At the time, her mother was dying. Barbara said the book resonated with her and she decided immediately to publish it. 


What’s the snarkiest thing you can say about the publishing industry?


Publishing is a business, and most publishers are not going to take on your project unless there’s a really good expectation of turning a profit.  This means that if you’re not a celebrity or already-published author, the odds are stacked pretty heavily against you. We were told that our book was a great idea, that it was well written, and inspirational, but that we just weren’t famous enough to get a book deal.  We tried, without success, for two years with two agents who strongly believed in the book.  There seems something inherently unfair about someone’s being able to dismiss the product of several years’ work with a tersely worded form letter. Had we not found, through our own connections, an independent publisher who got the idea of the book immediately, we might still be sending out query letters.


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?


They have been nothing but supportive. They have encouraged us every step of the way. And they are thrilled that we were able to harness our grief and create something that not only helped us, but hopefully will inspire and comfort others as well.


How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?


We are promoting it through Facebook, Twitter and a blog tour.  We’re getting favorable responses everywhere, so no complaints.  It’s too early to tell what effect all of this social mediating will have on book sales.


Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?


In addition to Facebook, Twitter and a blog tour, we’re promoting the book on our website and through traditional media. We have also scheduled a number of speaking and book signing events. In addition, we are partnering with relevant charities and non-profits to present programs about the message of our book. For example, on April 23, we are participating in a benefit for LI Cares with special guest singer/songwriter Jen Chapin, who tells how she keeps alive the memory of her father, Harry Chapin, through her music and work on behalf of the hungry.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Straight from the Mouth of 'Tanner Builds a Block Tower' Anita Banks

Anita Banks is the newly published children's picture book author of Tanner Builds a Block Tower from Wee Creek Press. She lives in North Alabama as a wife, mother and grandmother.  She is preparing now for retirement by chasing her dream of full time writing. Visit http://www.anitabanks.com

Find out about her book on Amazon.

Questionnaire:

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?

It has been my secret dream since junior high school, when I was in a creative writing class. A dream that was buried when life and family took over.

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?

It is all too new for me, everything is exciting and fun. The demands  have been adjusting my time, since I already have a full schedule, to make writing a priority. That has been the hardest thing to do. Some days it just doesn't happen.

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

Savvy Authors was having a pitch contest and I pitched my story to an editor for Wee Creek Press, Melanie Billings. They are a small traditional publisher. She asked to read the story and then made the offer. 
  
Woohoo. I was excited to say the least, that was September last year, and the book is now available this June, on Amazon and B&N.   

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 children are grown with their own families, so I didn't have that to  contend with. I kept my writing a secret from everyone I knew, until I got the offer from the publisher. So everyone was surprised about my accomplishment.

This is for plant lovers. Are they actually still alive?

Plants, yes. But I can only keep African Violets alive. Everything else I've tried doesn't make it.

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?
Keeping the secret, when I wanted to share what I had been up to. But my fear, and self doubt plagued me to keep silent.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

I'm still learning how to use them. My day job keeps me busy for nine hours each day, it's hard to devote the time I would like. Alas, the dream for full time writing. Twitter is what I am trying to figure out.

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

It's newly released. So here's hoping for success.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

I did it!!!!!!! Dreams can come true!!!

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?

It is such an accomplishment, that's so hard to explain.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Straight from the Mouth of Making Lemonade with Ben author Katherine Perreth




Katherine holds UW-Madison Social Work and Sociology degrees, is a reporter for her hometown newspaper, the Middleton Times Tribune, and conducts a class on reminiscence writing. In addition, in her role as administrative staff with WESLI (an ESL school on Madison’s capitol square), she deals in chalk. And paper. Oodles of paper. She recently took an EmptyNester Victory Tour with her husband of 28 years, but hasn’t yet changed the locks on their home. Their three kids can still get in. Her latest books is Making Lemonade with Ben: The Audacity to Cope Drop by to pay her visit at: www.katherineperreth.com.

Facebook Goodreads

Thanks for letting us interrogate interview you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

         Who said I ever “wanted” to be an author? Right back atcha, Mr. or Ms. Sassypants interrogator! (You originally had the mot juste.)

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 that about two billion pounds worth of words are now out of my system. Each word weighs differently, you know, and they can compound pretty quickly. For example, the sentence, “I found Ben in a coma when he was seven,” weighs exactly 50 million pounds. Whereas, “The Madison Children’s Museum hired 23-year-old Ben as a one-handed juggler, then selected him to represent the museum at a national award ceremony typically attended by the First Lady,” although a much longer sentence, really only weighs five pounds.

         The demands are that I must self-promote, something I’m not fond of.

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

         With the help of a professional editor and an author’s group, I chose self-publishing. I am somewhat of a control-freak, borne of living a life where I have often felt I had zero control or choice. In order for me to get the book written, given my subject matter, I needed to retain complete creative control. That included the book’s cover. I had always known what it would be. The picture of Ben running through a field with a butterfly net was taken by my mother. It’s been a family treasure as it shows the right side of his body properly working, and encapsulates boyhood Ben BC (before coma): legs always on the go, often in search of insects.

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?

         For about 12 months I wrote like a madwoman. Writing the sweet story of the fall of 2011, how the trip to D.C. unfolded, was pure joy. Especially recording fresh dialogue – yes, we actually said those things. Of course, not everyone in the house was thrilled with obnoxiously accurate reporting. My then-16-year-old daughter remarked snarkily, “Oh! Look, Mom. It’s another conversation, better write that down!”
         I deserved it. (Yes, we are friends again.)


Do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?

         More to the point, do I actually get my food on time? Does my bladder get regular attention or does it have to wait until I type just one more word? Ditto for personal hygiene and water. (In a pinch, this can also be the answer to what my family really felt about my writing Making Lemonade With Ben.)

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

         Easy. I didn’t answer the phone, I cooked family dinners at half-strength while muttering to myself about word choice, and I slept with my boss. My various responsibilities at the English school my husband directs allow for a flexible schedule. I also feature write as I please for my hometown newspaper and lead a group of older women in reminiscence writing.

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

         The Fleuron Fiasco of December 2012. I had found a version of the Celtic trinity online for free to use as breaks within chapters. The first time the publisher submitted it for my proof I said aloud, “Tiny Christmas trees?” The second time, I clenched my lips, or teeth, or both, and marched down the hallway to my co-worker. Just handed her the print-out of the proof and she said, “The nuclear symbol?” After three weeks, whatever nasty communication was going on between my computer and theirs settled down. Celtic trinity it is!

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

         The social networks are killing me. Literally. I cannot handle the screen time and frustration stemming from a non-tech-savvy brain. (You may have noticed the blue lines across this interview – not sure where they came from or how to get rid of them, despite my following the step-by-step extermination process I found online. I’d use Raid but I don’t like toxic chemicals in the home.) Making Lemonade With Ben has a Facebook page, is on Goodreads and Amazon, I have a web site (shambles that it may be), I’m on LinkedIn and I check these as infrequently as possible.

         I am much better in person, speaking to groups with Ben about the book and mental illness.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?
        
         Now we’re getting somewhere. The stigma that comes with mental illness. In many ways, mental illness is just like physical illness. It’s nothing new, nothing to be ashamed about, is a global concern, and can be a killer— just like physical illness. Even if we can’t be “fixed,” the choices we make can either alleviate or exacerbate our illnesses, physical and mental. There is a measure of empowerment in that.
         And powerful good can happen when a community values all of her citizens through intentional employers, like the Madison Children’s Museum, and by offering proper mental illness treatment. Ben’s life bears witness to that.
         Ben is a member of Yahara House, our local Clubhouse model of mental illness treatment, support and recovery. I believe this approach, espoused by Clubhouse International, is critical. The Yahara House motto is: “Yahara House Works!” And it does. http://www.iccd.org
         There. I was serious for a whole three ’graphs!



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?

         The best thing? I did it. It’s done. And I don’t have to do it again!

         I wrote about our lives and in so doing I’ve been able to help others. I know this because strangers contact me to tell me so. It’s up to word-of-mouth now, I can’t stomach much more self-promotion! Now, gimme that chamomile and I’ll head to my back yard corner of refuge with my husband. Ta much!


Making Lemonade with Ben
With deftly wielded humor and heart-wrenching candor, Katherine Perreth vividly recounts the myriad physical, mental, emotional and spiritual repercussions stemming from her son’s massive brain hemorrhage. Seven-year-old Ben suffers numerous disabilities and, later, mental health challenges. Yet, love wins. Making Lemonade With Ben is a compelling Cinderella story tracing sixteen years of Ben’s life. It begins with the night a University of Wisconsin Hospital neurosurgeon saved Ben, and follows Ben through young adulthood. Although he encounters years of substantial obstacles, in 2011 his never-say-die cheery attitude and uber-outgoing ways ultimately carry him to Washington D.C. There he represents the Madison Children’s Museum, his employer, at a national award ceremony. Wearing his ankle-foot-orthosis with a smiley face on the back, Ben juggles one-handed everywhere he goes, accomplishing his life goal: “Make humanity smile.” Universal themes of perseverance and compassion encourage readers to contemplate contemporary issues: mental illness treatment, recovery and stigma, the role of intentional employers in the lives of those with disabilities, and the success that can occur when a community values all of her citizens. 


Katherine is giving away a Kindle Paperwhite!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • This giveaway begins April 21  and ends on July 1, 2014.
  • Winners will be contacted via email by August 1, 2014.
  • Winner has 72 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!