It's time to announce the winner. Diane Amy, come on down! Please email me your snail mail address to kurro07(@)gmail.com
At the beginning of December I was sitting at one of my craft shows, bored out of my skull! The customers were trickling in and no one really buying anything - at least not from me. I passed a little time by knitting, seeing how I was and still am quite low on hats to sell. Over all it was starting to feel like a waste of time and money. Then the vendor next to me got there.
She had a small suitcase and small table she decorated modestly, displaying her items for sale. The items were books and that meant I had to look closer. We talked a little, she asked if I liked to read and I shyly admitted I was trying to publish a story. I asked how she published her books and her answer was, "I self published." Bells and whistles went off in my head at that. I had to ask her questions, find out more! If not for myself but for my blog. Self publishing was something I was hearing about more and more and I wanted to find information on that as well as traditional publishing. I went back to my table, grabbed my notebook and jotted a few questions. I told her I wanted to feature her on my blog and would she please answer the questions. She said yes and went to writing, stopping frequently to talk to people who bought her book. (By the end of the craft show her suitcase was nearly bare - you would have thought she was a best selling NY Times author by the way people snatched the books up.) My plan was to post the interview and contest around Christmas.
Which didn't happen. Shortly after my boyfriend and I learned we were moving and her book I bought to offer as a prize got packed away. Now we're moved into our new apartment and I found the book I've been wanting to blog about for weeks. So here it is, the book: Rapunzel's Window by Cheryl Lanning.
Patrica Lynne: When did you start writing?
Cheryl: I began to want to express myself in words when I was six. I wrote a play, The Christmas Spirit. I misspelled spirit as spirt.
PL: What made you decide/inspired you to write Rapunzel's Window?
Cheryl: I always wanted to write a novel and had a vague idea. As I wrote it, it became plain. A man who was a journalist was my main character because I believe you should write about something you know. I taught journalism for 23 years.
PL: What challenges did you face when deciding to self-publish"
Cheryl: Finding out how publishing works! When you finish the writing, you have to market your book and for this you need the advice of a professional. Every idea must come from you and a professional editor.
PL: Any advice or resourses?
Cheryl: Take apart the books you had. How does the author present chracters - as they really are and as they talk, setting - where and when, the plot - what happens when and in what order?
She also told me to make my characters real, give them history and favorite pastimes or pet peeves. A piece of advice I have seen a lot and use myself. She also recommended Googling Writer's Market a tool she had found helpful. She was a wonderful lady to talk to, full of encouragement and hope. Not a bad writer either, I peeked in Rapunzel's Window and read the first chapter and the images her words put in my head were clear as day, I could see the scene play out before me. I wanted to continue but the book is a prize, the winner earning the right to crack the spine.
For more information on Cheryl and her books (Rapunzel's Window is the first in a trilogy,) check out her website Potagannssing Bay Publishing.