Tell us a little bit about yourself, your books and any new projects you are working on.
My name is Corine Channell, widowed mother of six, grandmother of ten and I have a BA in Creative Writing. I regularly blog for GODTV and currently I am a late-in-life author, though just on time. Timing is everything and to write my books, I had to walk the journey. I wrote two books, Beyond the Bolted Door and The Road Beyond the Bolted Door. The first is my story of facing my past history of sexual abuse in my teenage years, a secret long buried though continuously polluting my life. Facing my painful shame was the first step to healing, and the second book is my story of the emotional healing. First it hurts – then it heals – that is the same with any of our wounds, physical or mental. My third and final book in this trilogy will be about writing a different ending to my story – I am not defined by my past anymore, and now I get to intentionally leave something beautiful behind. We all do. I will keep blogging and keep writing other books when these three are completed. I will leave this life someday, pen in hand.
1. When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I have loved to write for as long as I can remember. To be a writer? I never saw that coming. I never planned on writing books. And now? I can’t stop.
2. How long have you been writing? How many books have you written?
I knew I loved writing in elementary school when I would write poems. In high school I was in a poetry club and active in creating newsletter entries. As a young mom I was a Music teacher and would write my own musicals and plays. I loved to write songs, poems, anything! I started writing eBooks as a paying job in 2014. I didn’t realize I could even do that – they are in Kindle form online. I enjoyed that so much. In 2018 someone from GODTV read one of my posts on Facebook and privately messaged me if I would be interested in blogging for them. Four years and 178 blogs later, my blogs started to morph into places for my story to emerge – like a butterfly from its cocoon. I have self published two books (so far).
3. What made you want to self-publish?
That’s a great question – honestly probably not thinking the big publishing powers to be would ever look at my writing. So, I got some opinions from friends and decided to just try to do it myself. (though I have since learned, yes that initial decision was mine – but the journey of it I did not take alone.)
4. Would you recommend new authors self-publish, and would you recommend Gatekeeper Press?
I think for anyone starting out that self-publishing is the way to go. However, I looked into a lot of other distributors before I found this one and looking back, man – more expensive and more complicated. Speaking for myself, I can’t believe there could be a better publishing company than Gatekeeper Press. I found them on my own. It was their mantra that sealed the deal for me: “Where authors are family.” And the feather pen I loved just because it was vintage. Gatekeeper struck me as such a good name for someone I am about to trust my heart with – my story in word form is my heart. I feel they have held to that name and kept my story safe. I would 100% recommend them to any and all new authors – or old authors. (pun intended)
5. What do you do marketing-wise to help announce and sell your books?
Marketing was and is not my forte, so I have to try and fail, and wing it and attempt things outside my box. I definitely use email blasts, social media (Facebook and Instagram), writing blogs around my books and posting on GODTV (per their idea), giving away books to gain an audience, involving readers to give me back reviews and then adding them into my books.
6. What advice do you have for a new or fledgling author?
My biggest piece of advice to anyone who feels even the smallest desire to write is just to START. It may be a profound thought you have – write it down. It may be a simple concept – write it down. Start writing and don’t stop; the story you want to tell wants out, remember that. Whether it’s a cookbook or your own biography, it is waiting in the wings – waiting to take flight. I recommend you get a journal – a cool one, and a feather pen. Because, why not? Make this a big deal for yourself – create yourself a space to write and writing utensils and a writer’s coffee cup. Set the atmosphere. Just start.
7. What social media platforms are you on?
I am probably not on enough social media platforms because due to the subject matter of my books I really had some anxiety about how far I was going to take this. I am on Instagram and Facebook. I have a biography and blogs on Amazon (a page you can follow) and an author page on GODTV.
8. What is the one piece of advice you wish you had known when you first started out?
I probably just wish I had been a bit more open to marketing techniques and not so apprehensive about books that have actually been well received. Other than that, nothing. It has been an incredible learning experience.
9. What do you feel is the biggest challenge authors are facing going into 2021 (and beyond)?
I think maybe one of the biggest challenges facing all authors is actual books. People are getting so used to electronic everything, that even books themselves could become obsolete. Libraries are a big deal, and we need to support them and contribute to them, and we as authors need to preserve the love of books for the generations to come. If we have the heart and the passion to write, and something to say – we must. If we don’t, it is a story lost or a piece of history never recorded. Nothing like a book in hand.
10. Have you won any awards or contests that you would like to mention?
That is an interesting question to me – no I have not, is my answer. I really don’t see that as something that is likely to happen, but I am okay with that. My story has a particular audience and is not for everyone. I could say that I have been granted permission to send my books into women’s prisons, a rape/crisis center, a rehabilitation home, other countries and a sex trafficking victim’s foundation. This is all the award I need. We will all write for different reasons, none of them wrong. This is mine.
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