As writers we are told to create a social media presence before we are even published. Many writers wonder how and why when they don’t know when they’ll be published. It’s a frustrating catch 22. Luckily for me, I had a blog before I was published in romance because of my history books. This made it somewhat easier for me when “Riding for Love” was released.
But I also had to get started with a Facebook author page, Twitter, Goodreads, etc, etc, etc. Many of us authors wonder which is the best, what more can we do, and if all this time on social media is actually paying off. Again, frustrating.
Most of the published authors I know are very supportive of each other. The authors at both my publishers tweet each others’ work, interview each other and help each other with questions on promotion.
But what about the writers who aren’t published, yet are told to put themselves out there? I have a friend (well actually I have a lot of friends), but this particular friend has signed a contract with The Wild Rose Press. I’m watching her trying to get started on the whole promotion circus, since she didn’t know to do anything before getting “the call.”
That got me thinking about what I can do to help her and other writers who are working hard at their craft and hoping they’ll get that call. So, I came up with the idea of interviewing these writers. I don’t want to ignore my friends who are published, so I’ll throw some of them in, too.
One day, when having lunch with a friend, we came up with a long list of questions I could ask. I’m not going to use all the questions or these interviews will go on forever. Then I decided to use my writers’ group as my first ones to interview. I hate to use the term guinea pigs, but that is what they will be for this new project.
And someday, and I hope someday soon, I’ll be able to report that these writers will have the word “published” after their names and I can interview them on their new journey.
Deb Waite answered my questions quickly, so she has the dubious distinction of being the first to be on my blog. While Deb is not published in romance, she recently self-published a wonderful book about her cats. The book, “Cat Tales, Mews by Gracie,” was published last fall.
Deb tell us about your book. Thanks, Tina. My mother suffers from SADD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. After my father died, she was truly depressed. I started writing letters to her from the point of view of my cat, Gracie and her friend, Maggie. My mother then started answering the letters to the cats. With the encouragement of my family and friends, I put the letters into a book. I had a lovely artist illustrate the book.
I have the book and it is well-written and funny.
Besides “Cat Tales,” tell me about how you got started writing. Who inspired you to write?
I don’t think anyone in particular inspired me to write, although I had lots of encouragement from my parents and husband. I’ve been writing in some form or the other since high school. When I moved to Chicago, I wrote letters to my mom because she was sad. I was the first one to “leave town,” and she was so nervous about me being so far from home. I tried to make my day-to-day life enjoyable, so I always wrote funny, happy letters to her.
I imagine she enjoyed those letters, too. And as all of us in our writers’ group know, you have a terrific sense of humor. You’re stories keep us in stitches.
Have you ever submitted any or your work? Yes, I submitted a manuscript, but received one of those rejection letters. How did you feel or handle the letter? Actually, I was very excited. Mostly because it didn’t make it to the bottom of a slush pile. Although it was not something the publisher could not use (my audience was probably wrong), I did get some great advice written in the margins! I felt very lucky!
How will you celebrate when you get “the call” instead of a rejection letter? I’ll probably have a good stiff drink! Hope I’m invited to help celebrate.
Since I mentioned our group before, we know you belong to a writers’ group. How does this help you?
I’ve belonged to our group for years. The women are extremely helpful and supportive. Without the support and encouragement from them, I probably would not continue with my craft.
Do you go to conferences? I attend our Wisconsin Romance Writers of America Conference with the girls from our group. Our group has started having our own retreats each fall. It’s a great time to write and have fun with my friends. Going to Romance Writers of America’s National Conference is on my list of goals, but I have yet had the opportunity to attend one.
What do you like to do when not at your day job or writing? I enjoy quilting, needlepoint, cooking, gardening, reading and being with my family. I have two daughters, two granddaughters and a grandson.Tell me about where you write, when you write, what you wear when you write, if you play music. Do you use a computer or do you write long-hand? I have a day job, so I try to squeeze in writing time when I can. I’m a morning person, so that’s when I like to write. I have an office at home, which I try to keep organized. There is a large window with a view to our back yard. We live in the country so the view is peaceful. I also like to go out and write in our gazebo. I like to play soft music when I write, something soothing, but not elevator music. I love Native American music, and I really like the CD “Out of Africa.” I definitely use a computer and write long-hand only if I must. I think faster than I can write, and I find that writing by hand slows me down, which can be annoying and frustrating. I thought the serene and tranquil place I write would be distracting with the birds chirping and the deer, fox, turkeys, pheasants, and other wild creatures come to visit. However, it’s nice to leave the world of other voices and hear the unknown ramblings from animals that visit.
Do you set goals? What are they? We set writing goals each month at our meetings. It helps keep us on track. My goal right now is to finish my romance novel and keep writing my short memoir stories.
Tell us about your Work in Progress. I have a romance novel that I’m trying to get to “the end.” I’m not sure if I would label it time travel or parallel lives.
What do you like to read? Do you have any favorite authors? What books do you have on your keeper shelves? I like to read mysteries or books from authors like Mauve Binchey or Rosamunde Pilcher. My keeper shelves contain my favorite mystery authors and my favorite author friends like Beth and Tina! Thanks, Deb. I appreciate that. Someday you’ll be on my keeper shelf. I just know it.
Thank you, Tina for having me on your blog today.
Here is the link to Deb’s book: http://www.amazon.com/Cat-Tales-Mews-By-Gracie/dp/098903300