Carol, it's wonderful to have you here. I know you're a busy lady. Please give us a brief bio.
I am the founder of Plain & Simple Books Publishing as well as the author of six non-fiction books since 2006. I have been interviewed online, in print, radio, and television. Some of my books include Are You Ready to Be Your Own Boss?, Stress Relief for the Working Stiff, and A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story, a popular book with aspiring as well as seasoned authors.
I am the proud mom of two wonderful grown children. I live on a farm with my husband Craig just outside the small community of North Bend, Oregon. In addition to farming, writing, and publishing, Craig and I are the proprietors of The Clubhouse, a restaurant at Watson Ranch Golf Course.
Yum! I'll have to tell my husband about that. He heads west to pheasant hunt every year.
When did the writing bug bite, and in what genre(s)?
It was never a dream of mine as it is for most writers. I had started up and operated a small business. After slamming into so many walls along the way, I saw a need for a simplified small business start-up book. Voila! Are You Ready to be Your Own Boss? was finished just two years following my retirement.
When you started writing, what goals did you want to accomplish? Is there a message you want readers to grasp?
Back then, only to see a book in print. Nowadays, I truly enjoy helping writers achieve the same goal. Book writing is a business, but more importantly, a writer should embrace the experience and joyful accomplishment of seeing their book in print. If your heart and pen are ready to write—do it, and finish it!
Briefly tell us about your latest book. Series or stand-alone?
100 Ways to Market Your Book for Free (or really cheap) is a collection of helpful tips for published authors who are frustrated with rejection and stagnancy in the traditional book selling markets.
Let’s face it, the Barnes & Nobles of the world are not willing to put your first-time author book on the shelf next to the Rowling series, and The New York Times is even less likely to include your book on their bestsellers list. So where does one market their new release without the growing price tag associated with old-time marketing strategies?
My newest release is an e-book with built-in links to the places and avenues where new authors can create a buzz about their books without spending thousands of dollars to do so. It is also a “living” book where readers who locate additional resources they would like to share with other readers can submit their new finds to be included in this regularly updated book. Those who purchase the e-book can re-order it for free with these latest updates included. So the book is never outdated and we can share our ideas with each other, endlessly.
How do you determine voice in your writing?
I write non-fiction, although I do have an un-finished murder mystery hiding in my computer waiting to be born again. With my non-fiction books, I write from the heart; say it the way it is. I never attempt to use “big words.” Most of us are not college educated and have a need for plain and simple language which everyone is able to comprehend and easily follow.
The murder mystery I started (sad to say, 6 months ago), is only at 10,000 words. But those were written all at one sitting. I locked myself into a beach house up north and committed to seeing if I could even attempt writing fiction. Happy to say, I think it’s pretty good. I feel as if the non-fiction writing I have done in simple text has really prepared me for creating and speaking for my characters in the unfinished book. I strongly suggest new writers attempt non-fiction prior to fiction book writing to gain this insight and advance their writing skills.
How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?
Maybe this is not the appropriate answer to the question posed, but all that come to mind is that, as a writer, I am blessed to have the perfect writing environment at hand. Where I live it is quiet and peaceful. My desk is set against a window looking out to a stunning valley and river view. I doubt there could be a better place to focus and create.
Perhaps I need to come for a visit. LOL
What are your current projects?
After publishing my first two business-related books, my loving hubby convinced me to write a book about my publishing experience. A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story has been my biggest success (released last November). So the journey has begun and nowadays I write specifically about and for this industry. My latest release of course is the e-book, 100 Ways to Market Your book for Free (or really cheap).
But I am hoping to draw back some and attempt to continue where I left off with the murder mystery. I might need to go back to that beach house!
Come on over to eastern North Carolina!
Where can folks learn more about your books and events?
I have a personal Website for writers and authors which include pages about my books. Viewers can visit that site at http://www.AuthorsBox.com. I also have a very popular Blog for writers and authors at http://abookinside.blogspot.com/. This Blog is regularly updated and loaded with tips and information on book writing and publishing.
Carol, thank you so much for all you do for other writers. It has been a pleasure to interview you!