Thursday, July 11, 2013

Straight From the Mouth of 'Traveling for Love' Becky Due


Becky Due is the new voice of women’s fiction. She has the courage, honesty and writing style for today’s busy women, and she does not cringe away from hard issues. She will leave you feeling strong, self-confident, independent, and in control of your life.

Her books have won, and been finalists in, several independent competitions including the 2011 National Indie Excellence Awards, 2010 Indie Excellence Awards and the 2009 IPPY Awards.

Her novels are not the same story with different characters; she has the ability to cross genres from light-hearted romance to heart-racing suspense to keep her readers entertained and inspired.

Becky has been a guest on national TV and radio programs, and the subject of numerous newspaper and national magazine articles for empowering women with her books. She has served as a guest speaker at Women’s Resource Centers, Shelters, Colleges and High Schools throughout the United States. Becky has had extensive training at Victim Services, worked the 24-Hour Sexual Assault Crisis-Line and was a Victim’s Advocate where she offered one-on-one assistance and support to rape victims. In 2007, she started Women Going Forward, the first national women’s telephone support group, which ran for almost two years. After receiving much recognition for her books, Becky’s focus turned back to her writing and empowering women with her novels.

Her latest book is the women’s fiction, Traveling for Love: Searching for Self, Hoping for Love.

Visit her website at www.BeckyDue.com.

Connect & Socialize with Becky:

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?

That’s a great question. I want to say that I never thought about being an author until it started happening, as if out of my control, but I think deep down I knew I would be a writer.Truthfully, being a free-spirited life lover, I had some incredible experiences that I didn’t want to forget, so I started to write them down. Some of those memorable moments made their way into my first manuscript and with tons of encouragement from people I admired and respected, I made the jump. I’ve never looked back.

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 basically my own boss, self-employed and I love this aspect of my career, but on some days I wish I had a nine to five, collected a paycheck and could leave work at work. In my world, I feel like I work twenty-four-seven, taking notes in the middle of the night, looking for some paper at Walmart so I can jot down a great idea, only planning activities I think will be inspiring, and driving down the road talking into my phone recorder so I don’t forget the wording of a sentence. It never ends, but I love it. I’m fairly introverted so having a career where the majority of the work is done alone is a plus. The down side of being an introverted author is that the marketing and promotion part of the business is challenging. I love what I do and I believe the perks will always outweigh the demands.
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 seems I did everything backward. I started by looking for an agent and going the traditional route with my first novel, The Gentlemen’s Club. I had 8 interested agents but they all told me to have the manuscript professionally edited. I couldn’t afford a professional editor so my book sat on a shelf until I was in a better financial position. A couple years had passed and I didn’t want to start over again, looking for an agent, so I began working with an editor, started my own publishing company, and published several books. Traveling for Love is the first book published by another company. Because of the changing times in publishing, this has been a wonderful move for me. Luckily, I maintain all the rights and can control the price point of the ebooks, which I happily made available for only 99¢. I’ve also published all of my novels on audio; I love to listen to novels while I’m stuck in traffic. Although I have moved toward the eproducts, loving the quick ease of receiving a book I want to read within seconds, my books are available in paperback. I still love to hold a book in my hands.  I’ve never been happier with the business side of writing because I’m able to focus on my favorite part—writing.
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 lucky I live alone so I don’t have to put anybody through this crazy career of mine. But I do have wonderful friends, great support and a team of people in the business who are always there for me. Every day gets a little better.

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?

For the most part, they are fed on time. If I’m distracted, my pug will dig on my arm to remind to feed her or she’ll just sit by my desk and stare at me. That’s a crazy feeling to have your dog stare at you; she knows how to run the show.

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?

Fortunately, writing is my only job. I live alone, so I only have to take care of my cat, my dog and myself. When I’m in my writing zone,I don’t answer the phone, the door or hang out with friends. Sometimes I don’t even shower or leave the house, other than to walk my dog. I’ve been writing long enough that all of my friends and family understand my process. I am blessed to have such great people in my corner.

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

Looking back, I realize now that having eight agents interested in my first book is not the norm. I didn’t appreciate how important that was, and I missed an incredible opportunity.

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

I could go crazy trying to keep up with all of the social networks so I’ve narrowed it down to Twitter, Facebook, I have a website with great information and I blog empowering, inspiring posts a couple times a week. Oh, and if you join my Facebook page you’ll receive my blog posts and you’re automatically entered to win free books in our monthly giveaway. By limiting my online posts, I’m not overwhelmed and I’m able to focus on my next book without feeling overwhelmed.

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

Wow. This is a tricky question which might need a long detailed answer—I’ll try to sum it up. I’ve made so many mistakes and I’ve wasted a lot of money. I was very na├»ve with big plans and big ideas. I was bombarded by websites, emails, conventions, and conference calls from people trying to help—but also trying to make a buck. It takes so much money to print and warehouse books, postage, marketing, PR and all the miscellaneous spending. 

I’ve learned a lot and I’m finally on the right path. So in a nutshell, I’ve found a few marketing strategies that are inexpensive and I’m comfortable doing. I’ve narrow it down, so I’m not so overwhelmed trying to do everything. And because of the changing publishing industry, I’m focused on selling quality eproducts at a price everybody can afford, such as ebooks, audio books and apps. I’m reaching so many wonderful readers… I’m very excited about the future.

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

I’m a calm, mellow person, but I want people to read my books! J They are easy to read, page turners with short chapters—for us busy women. Perfect novels while you’re on a plane, in the bath or sitting by the pool. My books have great characters, so if you’re short on friends, my books give you some amazing, fun, strong girlfriends to hang with. And there just might be one sentence in each book that will change your life for the better.   

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 everything about being an author, even the torturous parts. I love creating stories and I especially love when people read and enjoy my stories. There is nothing better in the world. Though I have many friends, I’m kind of a loner, somewhat introverted. To me finding my passion and becoming an author was all about finding the place where I fit in. Being an author allows me to honor my introspective personality.

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