1. When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

The first creative writing I did began as poems and lyrics. I started putting my thoughts and feelings into rhyme and music in grade school. To me, it felt more like what I was “supposed” to do. But I lacked confidence and often squelched that inner creative voice. It wasn’t until I nearly lost my life in 2016, that I really realized these were the passions life was all about. So, I went for it musically, and with the publication of this book.

2. How long have you been writing? How many books have you written?

I’ve been writing since childhood, however, I first wrote this book nearly 25 years ago for my two girls. This is my first and only published book to date.

3. What made you want to self-publish?

I wanted to self-publish mainly because I felt passionate about getting my book’s message out there. I truly believe each one of us has gifts to share that work together for good. And, where better to begin nurturing those passions and gifts, than with children?

4. Would you recommend new authors self-publish, and would you recommend Gatekeeper Press?

The advantages to me to self-publish were working at my own pace, total ownership of copyrights, and the ability to create illustrations I only dreamt of before. Having never attempted something like this, I had no idea what I was doing or what all would be required of me. My usual keyboard played music, it didn’t erase work. But Gatekeeper is so instructive, informative and supportive. This is a vehicle I would highly recommend to others.

5. What do you do marketing-wise to help announce and sell your books?

I started a few marketing promos across my social media sites almost one year before publication.  Family and friends seemed to enjoy being on this journey with me. I’d post a sketch or partial illustration along with updates periodically, and they really liked seeing something before publication. I waited until all copyrights were filed. These wonderful supporters were then “first to hear” when it launched.
I was contacted by Strathmore’s Who’s Who right before publication and jumped at the chance to be honored in their 2023 issue.  Collaborating with them has also broadened my internet reach. They’re currently running an online promo for me linking people to my businesses.
I specifically asked for the Who’s Who promo demographic to coincide with large cities where my book was to be displayed. Contacted by Reader’s Magnet within days of my publication, I also began a partnership with them. This resulted in my book being showcased at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and now at the Reader’s Magnet San FranciscoBook Confab, both this month in California. These are great events for exposure. Running The Who’s Who promos in Los Angeles, San Francisco and also London, St. Louis and Chicago will hopefully also direct additional internet traffic my way.
As business increases, I’m learning delegating to marketing professionals is useful. Allowing myself creative time for future projects, or expanding the market for this book, is important to me.
I keep copies of my book in my car and take those to obliging local businesses for keeping in lobbies, waiting rooms, etc.

6. What advice do you have for a new or fledgling author?

If I can do this, I really believe anyone who wants this, can too.

7. What social media platforms are you on?

Linkedin, Instagram and Facebook are my most used platforms.

8. What is the one piece of advice you wish you had known when you first started out?

This is a team effort with the greatest asset being the talented and professional people we have the privilege of working with along the way. Since I still categorize myself as starting out, I might say…enjoy! I had no idea when I began this how amazing the people I worked with would be. I think it’s vital to communicate well, be kind, listen to your gut, and appreciate each other for a really successful project.

9. What do you feel is the biggest challenge authors are facing going into 2023 (and beyond)?

Since this is my first book, I only feel I can speak to my challenges.  I had to believe enough in what I wanted to say, put the steps in motion, start learning new things, and follow through beyond publication. Challenging, but hands down one of the most gratifying projects of mine to date.

10. Have you won any awards or contests that you would like to mention?

I was honored for leadership and achievement in the 2023 Strathmore’s Who’s Who.

Please share your website/social media links below: