Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A novel of secret obsession and a contest

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.

I hope you enjoy Cheryl's journey and as incentive to comment I will be giving away a signed copy of Rapunzel's Window, a couple of bookmarks with character list and a yummy recipe for chocolate cake! Contest open until Jan 31st.

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.

17 comments:

  1. what an interesting read, you had me hooked and involved all the way through. the contest idea is very good as well .. keep up the good work and may your writing be the prize or the item for sale in someone else's encounter .. cheers alan

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am going to find out everything about self publishing now! Thanks a ton for this.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've heard so many mixed views on self publishing. I'm still unsure myself.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What an interesting read! Thanks for the info. I have been pondering self publishing as well. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Interesting interview! I've been thinking a lot about self publishing and I also have heard mixed reviews. But it's definitely worth looking into.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I believe there is no such thing as a chance meeting. You and Cheryl were meant to meet!

    ReplyDelete
  7. What are the costs associated with self-publishing, and print run volumes?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Publishing is such a scary thing - but its not what it used to be, for sure. In fact, once upon a time I'd have never thought about self-publishing, and now its something I'm actively researching.

    Thanks for the interview - its always great to hear (read) new opinions and little insights from someone who has already walked the road I hope to travel.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Jim, I googled your question! This link provides some good info and sound advice in terms of pricing ad cost.
    http://www.selfpublishebooks.com/cost-of-self-publishing.html
    Of course that's not taking into account hiring an editor (which I would recommend - you want to put the best product out there) Plus that's for a physical book, I imagine it costs a bit different for ebooks.
    I'm just breaking the surface on self publishing with no rush (My book is still being edited and isn't ready for any sort of publishing.)

    ReplyDelete
  10. So are you considering it (self publishing) or are you still going to go the traditional way first?!?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks for sharing this, Patricia. I think self-publishing is taking off and here to stay. I'm still trying to take the traditional route, but my motto, "Never say never."

    ReplyDelete
  12. Cath, I'm w/ Margaret on this. I'm going to try traditional first but am open to self-publishing.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Self/Vanity publishing is a good fall back. I haven't used it, but I always keep it in reserve as an option. I have two writing projects (a novel and a children's book) that I'm working on. The book business can be tough when you're looking for a publisher without representation.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I enjoy your reads here. Crawling your articles here.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sounds like you had an interesting conversation with Cheryl. That was a nice interview.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Love this. I think that the old expression should be changed to: Self-Publish or Perish. So that obviously tells you where I stand. It's nice to have the power for a change. It also means that there's a lot more muck to wade through to find a good book, but I guess that's the minor price we pay for free enterprise.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Well said, Diane ... self-publishing does mean there's "a lot more muck to wade through to find a good book". Fortunately or unfortunately, the traditional route of publishing typically ensures that the book is worthy of the time and money spent getting it to press. Any delusional 'writer' can self-publish ... and the book could very well be CRAP. Personally, I like the gatekeeping effect that an agent, editor and publisher provide. Just my humble opinion.

    ReplyDelete