The cover makes the book look more erotic than romance. Is it?
The cover is probably more provocative then the story, although the love scenes in the story are hot and uninhibited. There is romance, attraction and a strong story line with the sex. The sex scenes are totally character driven, and they fit well.
How many unpublished books do you have lurking under your bed?
I have one more in the works. It’s another contemporary romance story, What Love Was…
A follow on from SAS, or totally different characters and storyline?
No, this is a totally different story. Two couples find out their baby girls were switched at birth. The story will actually touch three generations, and will probably be a series. We shall have to see.
It sounds like a disturbing theme. How’d you come up with that idea?
The inspiration came from a greeting card for a baby shower. On the front was a baby wrapped in swaddling, on the inside the card just had one line. It said, “You only thought you knew what love was.” As a Mom I knew exactly what those words meant. My son is the light of my life. One of the main characters in this story has to decide to save her life, or the life of her unborn baby.
How far are you into it?
I have two chapters just about completed. I have it set up so I can change the beginning. It’s a story about Isabel and Sophia who were switched at birth, but do not discover the truth until they are grown. Their lives merge, and become intertwined where they find out the true meaning of what love really is. It’s based on loving a child more then you love yourself.
How did you find your publisher?
I didn’t. My book was a three-year project. Two years into writing it, I was diagnosed with an aggressive rare type of lung cancer. So I didn’t have time to fool with publishers or rejections, because I did not know how much time I’d left. My book kept me going (along with my love of life) so I decided to self-publish. Sixteen months after being diagnosed, I am getting clear tests. I am blessed. Every day I pray for time to accomplish all the things I still want to do, and I thank God for getting me through this.
Amen to that! So you never had the heartbreak of dealing with rejection letters?
I only sent out one query, and when the rejection letter came I decided I did not have time to fool with that. I think agents basically operate like an employment service. If they get a job order for a book that matches your query you are in luck because of timing. If not you are rejected, and the next month a job order may come in to match yours. Button line is you are a day late, or should I say early. Besides, I was not sure I had the time left in this wonderful world to deal with rejections. I think every writer needs to keep in mind that whoever is reading your book, an agent, editor or publisher, that is only one person and it might not be their cup of tea. That doesn’t mean you don’t have a darn good book that others will love. One person’s opinion does not make a majority.
So, who did you self-publish with?
I used Createspace which is owned by Amazon who in turn owns Kindle. Create Space will let you publish on Kindle or a paperback free on the condition you do your own formatting.
And that was the downside?
No, the formatting for the paperback is relatively easy. There is a program you can get for $32 that is an add-on to Microsoft Word that will format to their specifications.
Kindle and the eBooks was another story. The formatting was confusing. But you can get an account with Smashwords for free, and they will publish your book with Sony and the other eReaders. There are about five or six formats that must be done. Each eReader is different including Kindle.
Luckily, I found a guy through Smashwords that would format my book for me for $60. It was well worth it and only took about a week. Once he completed the formatting you submit them to Kindle and Smashwords yourself.
I needed a glass of wine when that was complete!
What about pricing?
With Createspace you set your sale price, and they do print-on-demand with the paperback. You are allowed to buy your own books at cost, which is a nice benefit. They have a very easy outline to follow to complete the process. Your profit is determined by the size of the book, and where you want it sold. If you elect to let it go on the standard bookstore special order lists then your profit drops considerably. In fact, mine would have been 29 cents a sold book. With this option your book is not put in a book store, it is merely available on a special order list. Heck, a customer can do that on Amazon! The negative with Amazon is your book is so buried it is hard to get an audience, unless you do it yourself. As we know, we are not allowed to talk to the customers, not even answer a question if asked directly. The other negative I found with Createspace is some print errors in the final book that were not in the proof. They weren’t a “deal killer”, but they were there.
Your cover is amazing, how did you arrange for that to be done?
Oh yes, the cover, what fun. I did it myself for a total cost of $10.00. That was like putting frosting on your cake that baked beautifully, and smells delicious. I purchased the picture on a royalty free site, and then produced the copy in Microsoft Publisher. It took me about five evenings of searching for the right picture. I knew instantly it was the right one. I saved it in a little lesser resolution then Create Space suggested because I wanted the faded illusion, and it worked.
How do your juggle a writing schedule?
I am retired, so I am fortunate to make my own schedule. I had my ups and downs with time during surgery and feeling bad, but I spend more time at it now then I probably should.
Have you never written before now? Or has it always been a dream that you never thought you’d accomplish?
I was in an executive position prior to retiring, and everyone used to ask me to write their letters. I dabbled with journals over the years, and then as my career expanded I was working Washington DC, Virginia, and Maryland and had properties all over Israel. Most of them were in Jerusalem. So I wrote a book about the experience. It was not a book to publish, just a book to pass down to my grandchildren about my experience. After I retired, I got the bug and played with it. I bought every book I could find on the subject, and watched every video on the Internet. I was fascinated.
What’s the best/worst part of being a writer?
Two things are bad, or at least frustrating, comas and the critics.
The two Cs! Comas are my downfall. I use White Smoke, which is a grammar check and heaven sent. It’s cheap too! http://www.whitesmoke.com/
And the critics? Have you have many?
Writers take far too much abuse. When you think of the time, and creativity they put into a story it is mind-boggling. They deserve so much more credit than they get. Many people that review books have never written a paragraph in their life. That might be a slight exaggeration, but people should think twice before giving their critical views. One person’s junk is another’s treasure.
Every story isn’t right for every person, so just admit it’s a personal preference. Don’t take the author apart.
My son said, “Mom, it’s your story if they don’t like it, they can write their own.” He’s such a sweetheart. I always taught him there were critics in the world and then there were people that did things. Be the doer, not the talker. The best thing is looking at the finished product, and knowing you did the entire creation yourself. The characters and players will always own a piece of your heart.
Fantastic advice there. And on a lighter note, what is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
I like late evening when it’s too late to do what I should have done during the day.
Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer.