An Interview with the Author
Questions by Edlynn Nau
1. What does your writing process look like?
Writing has always come easily to me and has been my favorite form of communication. I feel as though I can relate it to dancing—expressing myself with words that reside in my mind and flow off the tips of my fingers to create a performance. When I’m inspired, I sit and write until I’ve exhausted my idea and have nothing left to say, and then come back in a day or two to edit.
2. Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
It’s funny, but often I get my ideas while I’m sleeping and have to write it all down in bullet points when I wake up. Later, I take my scribbled notes and elaborate on them.
3. What story can you tell us that led to the writing of this book.
After majoring in English/Journalism, I did a lot of copy editing for friends and peers on their blogs, resumes, etc., and I continuously had people telling me I should write a book on how to write resumes and prepare for interviews. Of course I took it with a smile and left it at that. When my now husband, Troy, was applying for a position, he came to me and asked me to help him prepare. I jumped at the opportunity. We revised and updated his resume and then held mock interviews so he could answer questions with ease. One of the things he kept doing was fluffing up his answers which made him get stuck on his words, not remembering which question he was answering. I kept saying “don’t fluff—you’re getting stuck,” each time I would catch him. Well, I tripped over my words and said “don’t fluck it up!” –it was too good NOT to write a book for that title!
4. Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?
Dave Eggers is one of my favorite authors. Everything he has written is a part of my home library. He breaks all the rules and is able to get through to his readers to tell a story as well as challenge the way we think about the world. He uses memoirs and stories based in truth to reveal themes and information to his readers, but his words ring with so much truth!
5. If you could write a sequel to this book what would the book add? Would it be entirely different?
I enjoy writing non-fiction. I write because I have something to say. It’s a way for me to put my thoughts out there to share with others—that being said, if I were inspired to write a sequel to the book, it might be about finding the career that fits best. People all have such different talents and when tapped into, they can contribute so much back to this world. Someone once approached me and told me that I was meant for great things. The truth is that we’re all meant for great things—we just have to explore the gifts that God has given to us to make this world better!
6. You have written an excellent nuts & bolts self-help book. Have you ever entertained writing from another genre? If so, which one and what title do you see for that book?
There is another book in the works, but it’s a slow process. I’m writing a book of devotionals to share with others how God has opened my eyes to His word. There are 365 devotionals to write, but it’s coming along.
7. What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
I used say that if I could change one person’s life for the better, then my life would have meaning and purpose. What a gift to be told that your thoughts and words have helped someone else!
8. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Since writing is a hobby to take my mind into another world, if only for a moment at a time, I see myself continuing to dabble in the art of words while working excelling in my career. I hope for many things for my future, but I lay it all in God’s hands to lead me on an adventure.
9. Were you already a great writer? Have you always liked to write?
I remember my first essay that I was assigned in school –it had to be in fourth or fifth grade—and I had my dad proof read it for me. He stopped after the first paragraph and told me that it was too boring. I needed to find a way to capture the attention of my reader. After three attempts at rearranging my words and getting sent back to the computer to try again, I tried my hand at imagery. I remember my dad’s eyes lighting up and telling me that it was perfect. From then on, I always had a secret love for writing that would slowly develop over time. Writing was also a great way for me to communicate. Being somewhat introverted, I live a lot in my head. When I try to express my thoughts by speaking to someone else, it takes a longer time to find the words I want to say, I trip over my words, and I get hushed or spoken over by those with more power in their speech. For me, writing gave me a voice.
10. What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
If you have something to say, go for it!
11. Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad?
I do read my reviews. I think healthy criticism can only make me a better writer. I don’t usually respond to them as I appreciate that my work is inspiring some conversation in general. The reviewers are writers too—they have something to say.
12. What is your best marketing tip?
Come up with a great title. This world moves so quickly that books are often judged by their covers. You get a few words entice your readers—that’s it.
13. What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?
Favorite: I can say that I’m a published writer! My words will outlive me and I can leave a memory of myself behind. Least Favorite: Marketing – I wish Oprah would just discover my book and put it on her book club list.
14. Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
I wouldn’t write about anything that I didn’t know about. I write by sharing my own experiences in hopes that others can relate and gain from them.
15. Did you compare Internet Publishing with traditional publishing? What is your advice to aspiring writers?
I explored both venues of publishing, but went with online publishing. My book is printed to order and is also available on Kindle. I didn’t want to sit with 1000 books in my garage trying to sell them. My advice to aspiring writers is to go with whatever feels best, but to do research on every publishing company you come across. Make sure they are accredited and check the Better Business Bureau for reviews.
19. Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any)?
This is my first published book. I’ve had many articles published for various newsletters, newspapers and magazines in the past, but nothing to this caliber.
20. What were you like at school?
I was an overachiever. I was good at school and wanted to excel. I’ve always loved English. I used to participate in Oral Language competitions in Elementary and Jr. High school, and even composed my own piece for competition. I could work well with words—I was good with words. I didn’t have the athletic body and wasn’t able to make the cut for school sports, so I found a venue that would make me stand out.
21. Were you good at English?
Yes. I crave literature and loved reading any book I could get my hands on. I was probably one of the only students that would read every book assigned and highlight or underline different sections while making notes in the margins. Shakespeare is a favorite of mine. He’s so ironic and twisted. The stories that people think he wrote about undying love are really satires about lust and stupidity. Once you unlock his box of words, you’re introduced to whole new themes and meanings of his work.
22. What are your ambitions for your writing career?
My ambition for writing is only to be heard. I hope that someone hears me and can learn from my words to better their own experiences.
23. Where can we buy or see your new book? (* include American, European and any other relevant links. Promotions or prices can be included, as well as ISBN).
www.Amazon.com, https://www.createspace.com/4731732, barnesandnoble.com, library of Congress ISBN/EAN13:1497463459 / 9781497463455
24. How much research do you do?
My book is based on my own experiences, so it is based in personal research. Beyond that, I’ve also read many books of the same genre to understand my competition as well as be able to write what hasn’t already been written.
25. When did you decide to become a writer?
The pen and paper chose me.
26. What made you decide to sit down and actually start writing something in earnest?
My book started as just writing down my opinions and experiences with things, not even thinking that I would write enough to publish a book. I continued to write and write and found it relaxing to get my thoughts out. Soon enough, I had a book!
27. Do you have a special time to write or how is/was your day structured for this new book?
I write whenever I can grab a moment. I don’t make myself sit down and write if I’m not feeling it. For this new book of devotionals, my ideas usually come to me when I’m listening to a pastor’s homily, or reading passages in the Bible. Words strike me in different ways than they do others, so it’s exciting for me to elaborate and point out things that others might not pick up on.
28. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
I’ve worn out the keys on my computer keyboard, but I do like writing longhand once in a while. I have notebooks full of notes, quotes and small paragraphs of ideas.
29. What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
The writing came very easy to me. The hardest part of the process was to give the final approval for my publisher to move forward. Once your words are public, they can be seen and criticized by everyone. Since words are such a big part of me, it’s dangerous to put yourself out there like that for judgement.
30. What is the easiest thing about writing?
Saying anything you want to say without other people interrupting you.
31. Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
Take a break and pick up a book. Reading someone else’s work has often inspired my own thoughts to stir and motivates me to write.
32. For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
Traditional books all the way! I love the smell of books from the library, or freshly printed material. I love holding it my hand and flipping each page to continue the story. I grin when my arm gets tired of holding up the book as I read in bed.
33. Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Yes. It needs to capture attention while giving a strong first impression. I ended up going with a blue cover because that color signifies trustworthiness and practicality to the subconscious.
34. What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
Self-publishing was a way for me, an unknown author, to get my words out to the world. Since publishing houses today rely on the notoriety of the author to sell the book, my book would have been tossed aside quickly. I don’t write to make any money, so self-publishing just gave me the opportunity to share my story. If writing for money, a publishing house might be a better way to go. They will want your book to sell as they get a cut of the proceeds, so they’ll market it and find ways to get it out to more people.
35. Why do you think that other well written books just don’t sell?
We are a generation of television and computers. Books that deserve to be read are now passed over for quick updates and tweets of limited words. This generation has even reduced their attention span to posting only pictures to get their point across and commenting on those pictures with hashtags and incomplete sentences. We also live in a world where EVERYONE can be a celebrity and we’re more interested in reality (or not-so-realistic) shows or the latest celebrity faux pas instead of engaging our minds in old fashioned literature.
36. Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
I’ve given some books away for free, but only with the intention that the recipient would read it and gain valuable knowledge. I don’t write for money, I write so others may be enlightened or changed through my work.
37. What is your favourite motivational phrase.
“The world will be a much better place when the love of power is replaced by the power of love” ~ Anonymous
38. What is your favourite book and why?
Captivating by John and Staci Eldridge –this book is about the wonderful joys of being a woman in God’s image. It helps to understand why we are so beautifully made and are perfect as we are.
39. What is your favourite quote?
“I only know that I know nothing” – Socrates
40. What advice would you give to your younger self?
Laugh loudly, smile often, and dream big.
41. Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Shakespeare would have to be my first choice. I imagine he’d be a hoot to converse with over a cup of coffee….then maybe Michael Jackson