Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
My past holds much pain and abuse, but it did not stop me from being the woman I am today by changing my life and building the future I wanted. Life was certainly no easy ride for me. To say I had a hard life as a child and a young adult, is an understatement.
At some point in my life, I had no money, no job, no food, no real friends, no love and no home to live in. I lived in a disgustingly tiny room above a pub out of pure misery. When I was beaten into a coma, I decided I had enough and made a plan to change my life.
I guess now you can call me a serial entrepreneur. Since I started my business life, I quickly learned that I have a keen eye for gaps in the market and subsequently I have started up several businesses. I have achieved recognition as a Bestselling Author for one of my Internet marketing books.
I have written 5 business books, all about Internet marketing or work from home topics. I have also recently written one novel, based on a true story: my personal life story.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is “No Fourth River”. It is a novel, based on a true story: my personal life story.
There are three influencing factors that made me decide to write my story.
1) My husband and daughters kept telling me, over the years, that I should write a book about my life and also make a movie about my life.
2) I don’t usually share my story with others. However, sometimes when I unintentionally mention things from my past, people are intrigued. They want to know more about my life. I’ve often been told that I should write a book because my struggles would resonate with others and my life story could be an inspiration.
3) When I spoke on stage during an Internet marketing event, I spoke about some of my past failures and my violent marriage. People would often burst into tears during my speeches and I almost always received a standing ovation at the end. People would come up to me after my speech to thank me for sharing my story and to tell me how inspired they were. That moment was when I decided to write my life story. I didn’t realize until then that my life story was an inspiration to others. Very shortly after that, I started writing No Fourth River.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I like to write as I would speak. People seem to love my writing style. If I would write a book about “How to publish a book”, I might start like this: “Well, congratulations to you! You’ve written a book. NOW, what are you going to do? Can’t see the wood for the trees? Don’t worry, once you’ve read this book, you will see the wood AND the trees clearly.”
I quickly write what I want to say in extremely simple English. When everything is written, I go over it all again and write everything in much better English, inserting some “intellectual” words sporadically and think a lot more about word choices.
In general, I am not a lover of fancy writing. You know, when you read a sentence and you have to read it again to make sure you understood what was actually said. Being a time management freak, reading the same thing twice doesn’t work for me and I get annoyed with that style of writing. Guess whatever floats your boat is appropriate here.
I always write in my office, where I can open the door, summer or winter, as I love writing in a room where the temperature is very low. I am talking 15 to 16 degrees Fahrenheit low. Guess you could call that an unusual writing habit. Due to too much stress as a child and young adult, my temperature control is totally out of sync. I explain the causes of this in more detail in my novel.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Zig Ziglar, John Green, Danielle Steel & Cathy Glass are a few authors I enjoy reading and I like their writing style as well as the stories they tell.
What are you working on now?
I have taken on a member of staff especially to market/promote my novel No Fourth River. However, at the moment, I am spending a considerate amount of time doing research myself. The novel market is new to me so there is a lot to be learned. One of the difficult things is to determine which ones are the misleading websites with promises and no results and which ones are the websites to be listed on, as an author, and achieve results and converted sales.
I am also studying the best way to find a traditional publisher for my novel.
When I am not working on marketing my novel, I work on my publishing business or I keep an eye on how my other businesses are doing. I constantly make spreadsheets with potential new businesses I want to set up.
I am also investigating how to turn my book into a movie.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I am afraid I cannot answer that question accurately in relation to my novel as I am still in the process of learning a lot about the novel market. In one year or so, I am pretty sure I can answer that question.
I have never done any promotions for my Internet marketing books because they have always sold based on their relevant keywords. I do have a big list of subscribers so each time I publish a new book, I immediately sell a lot of books by simply sending an email to my subscribers.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Keep writing! Get your book out there! You can keep tweaking it forever. It has never been easier for anybody to publish a book. You no longer need a lot of money to publish a book with a worldwide audience thanks to the book distribution power of the Internet.
Spend a lot of money on a qualified proofreader.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
I assume we are talking business advice here. I can’t pinpoint it to one single advice but these rules are, I believe, very important if you want to achieve something in life:
Believe in yourself.
Don’t take no for an answer.
Never give up.
Don’t let your past define your future.
Work hard to achieve your goals.
What are you reading now?
I am reading “How to sell your idea to Hollywood”. I want to see my novel No Fourth River as a TV series or on the Big Screen as a movie. I don’t know much about it and in order to maximize my success, I have bought 5 books about the subject.
It’s something I always do when I want to learn something new: buy books, listen to audiobooks, etc. I will then filter out the steps and advice I don’t believe in or that is total nonsense to me and apply what I think will work, after carefully analysing all aspects and apply what is left over.
I am also reading books about social media, which I don’t know much about, to find out what will work best as marketing strategies for my novel.
What’s next for you as a writer?
When my book No Fourth River is a success, I know I will find it very hard to resist writing a second novel. Perhaps I will write a fiction novel or somebody else’s true life story.
I am also considering publishing the 300 plus love poems and letters between by second husband and myself, which we started writing to each other over 30 years ago.
I am also planning to write a book on “How to self-publish a book” and another one on “How to market your novel”. The latter will contain all the steps I have made to make my novel a success. I believe there is a gap in the market for such a book.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
– No Fourth River. Reading that book will always bring a smile to my face, no matter how often I read the parts starting when I met my second husband.
– War and Peace. I have always wanted to read the book but never had the time to finish this monster of a book.
– Jane Eyre. Just never got around to reading it.