My most recent book is called Your Book in 100 Days. I wrote this book with my friend and colleague Bert Verdonck, who is a very successful coach and trainer. The book helps aspiring authors get excited and make a good start on their book. It also provides information on writing and publishing, which could save a new author a lot of time, heartache and money. It is written in a conversational style, as if you are at one of our workshops.
Tell us something about yourself.
I was born in the U.S. and have been writing since the age of 6. My first ‘books’ were printed by my 1st grade teacher. I have won awards and have received great reviews, but the best feedback to me is when someone says ‘your book really helped me.’
What inspired you to write this book?
Bert and I see a lot of people who say they are going to write a book, or they are in the process of writing a book, and yet they never seem to finish. It is our belief (borne out by experience) that a good non-fiction book of up to 200 pages can be completed in just 100 days.
How did you choose the title?
We want to provoke people to discover that it is actually possible to complete a book fast – if you have the right information, resources and motivation.
What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?
Well, this might sound like cheating but I published it at my own successful publishing company, Ecademy Press. I mean, I couldn’t very well publish with anyone else, could I? But I do understand that people get frustrated and confused when looking for a publisher. There are so many great ways to publish nowadays that no one has to let obstacles stop them. If any readers would like a free copy of my ebook on publishing options, they simply need to email email@example.com with the subject line ‘free ebook please’.
Do you have any writing rituals?
When I am working on a book, I treat it like a business project – which it is. I schedule about 10 hours per week for my writing and then I am vigilant about keeping those appointments with myself. I happen to like writing in the morning, when the house is quiet. During my last project, I worked my way through a box of peppermint tea and another box of brown rice tea!
How do you come up with the names for your characters?
My first book, A Dance in the Desert, is the story of a young man in the prime of his life who suddenly develops epilepsy. The characters just came to me during the planning stage, and then the descriptions evolved as I was writing the book.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
I wasted 10 years, trying to find a traditional publisher, before finally working with a cooperative publisher (one who splits the risk and the rewards with the author). During the 10 years when nothing was happening, I really felt bad because the book is a tribute to two friends of mine who died from epilepsy-related causes. I give half the proceeds to charity, but of course, while there was no book, I wasn’t able to fulfill my dream.
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
I would work closely with a cooperative publisher and I would have much better and stronger marketing plan than I had at the beginning. I see a lot of authors heave a sigh of relief when their book is published, and they don’t always realise that the work and the fun is only just starting with the book launch. If the author does nothing, book sales do not tend to go anywhere.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?
I like good fiction, with a sense of humour. I adore Penny Vincenzi’s books and I used to consume the Catherine Alliott books. I wish they would both get on with it and write some more!
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I have outlined the sequel to A Dance in the Desert, and I have another leadership book in the works, to follow on from 24 Carat Bold. I can’t tell you much about those yet. Sorry!
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Decide if you are serious about it. If not, that’s fine, then there’s no pressure or expectation. There is nothing wrong with writing for fun! If you are serious about bringing out a good book quickly, get some help! There are plenty of resources available, from books and dvd’s to group courses and workshops, and even private coaching. Ask yourself what the repercussions would be if the book were still not in print 12-18 months from now…
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
For 24 Carat Bold and Your Book in 100 Days, the perfect reader is someone who has a message to share and would like to write and publish their story, but they lack information or motivation. In particular, the books are very popular amongst business leaders and entrepreneurs who want to establish themselves as ‘thought leaders’ in their field, by writing a publishing good books about their expertise.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
Please do check out www.bookmidwife.com, where you will find out a lot more about me and my philosophy of encouraging thought leadership. You will also be able to see books written by a large number of my clients over the years.