The New Eve Fertility Method for Getting Pregnant After a Miscarriage or Stillbirth.

bridget-osho

What a pleasure it is to welcome Bridget Osho, who has just released her new book, The New Eve Fertility Method for Getting Pregnant After a Miscarriage or Stillbirth. Bridget is more than a writer, she’s a woman with a mission to help other women overcome the difficulties facing them after pregnancy loss. For any woman who has undergone this traumatic experience, this book, and perhaps the institute she founded in the UK, Cherie Mamma, may be a wonderful new direction to consider. Welcome Bridget!

Interviewer: Debbie A. McClure

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Q: What is the Cherie Mamma Institute?

A: The Cherie Mamma Institute is an organization designed to help women heal from pregnancy loss so that they can conceive healthy babies. We do this by helping them create healing lifestyles and regain their natural feminine balance, usually disrupted by pregnancy loss.

The primary mission of the Institute is to help women who have lost pregnancies grow healthy and happy families. Part of our mission also includes research into the understanding and prevention of pregnancy loss and bringing the topic into the public domain so that it stops being a taboo subject.

Q: When you lost a pregnancy at seven months gestation, that event changed your life on many levels. What would you say has been the most profound lesson you’ve learned in your journey so far?

A: My pregnancy loss led to me to seek a deeper meaning to my life, my calling, and the calling of every woman. I have learned so many life lessons on this journey, but I think that the most profound lesson I have learned is that every woman is called to achieve her emotional, mental, and physical potential. Once she does this, she can be happy and fulfilled.

I believe that it is not just that women can have it all, it is that women need to have it all, and many fertility problems would be prevented if women achieved optimal physical, mental, and emotional well-being. We cannot give what we do not have. Out of the fullness of potential we can become mums, grow our families, and make an impact in the world. That is why it is so important that women who have lost their pregnancies are given the support they need to heal and become the best versions of themselves.

Q: What unexpected lessons have you learned from the women you’ve helped?

A: I have learned that it is not enough to know what to do to help them, you also have to know how to help in a way that empowers them. Many women who have been trying to conceive or lost pregnancies would do anything to have their healthy babies, but after trying different solutions for so long with little success, they can start to lose faith in themselves, which translates to loss of faith in other solutions.

It is an unconscious way of protecting themselves from false hope. In order to help them—and this applies to everybody who needs any form of transformation, such as weight loss, career growth, etc.—one needs to help them believe in themselves again. People need to believe that what they want can still happen for them and they cannot give up. It is about empowering them with hope.

Q: When you wrote your latest book, The New Eve Fertility Method, what were you hoping to accomplish that the Institute couldn’t or hadn’t?

A: I am well aware that not every woman who needs to heal from pregnancy loss will be able to get direct support through the Institute. Through the book, more women will get to know that they can truly heal from pregnancy loss and grow their families.

Q: Could you explain what a rainbow and an angel baby are?

A: An angel baby is what some people call babies who have been lost during pregnancy. They are believed to be little angels in heaven. Some people go as far as to see them as their little guardian angels who are alive, well, and happy. It is a great source of comfort to families who have lost pregnancies if they believe in life after death. I know this helped me a lot when I lost my pregnancy. It still does.

A rainbow baby is what some people call babies conceived after a pregnancy loss and who was born alive and healthy. It denotes the rainbow after a storm in the same way we see rainbows in the sky during/after the rain.

Q: What is the difference between the method you outline in the book and other methods women may have tried?

A: There are two major differences between the New Eve Fertility Method and many other methods.

The first is the emphasis on the totality of what goes into making a woman herself. Too often other fertility methods and approaches focus mainly on the woman’s body. The New Eve Fertility Method is based on the principle that when a woman loses a pregnancy, it is her whole world that has been affected; from her mind, to her emotions, to her body, her relationships, and even her work. This method focuses on helping her to pick up the pieces in all these aspects of her life so that she can truly heal.

The second difference that sets The New Eve Fertility Method apart is the emphasis on trying to heal naturally. Our bodies are naturally designed to conceive and give birth to healthy babies. It is when our natural balance is compromised that fertility becomes a struggle. For many women, this imbalance can be corrected naturally, and even when medical solutions are needed, a natural approach can make them even more effective.

Q: Writing a non-fiction book is quite an undertaking. What have you learned about the processes of non-fiction writing and publishing that you didn’t know before?

A: There is a lot more to writing a book than having ideas! For one, you need to make sure that you can guide a reader from little or no knowledge on the topic to being very knowledgeable. It means you need to be able to put yourself in the shoes of your reader.

Another thing is that you cannot do it on your own, you need at least another pair of eyes to read your work and you also need to have an effective marketing plan, otherwise your book will not get into the hands of the people who really need it.

Q: What do you estimate is the success/failure rate for women who come to you and the Institute for help?

A: It is difficult to look at my work in terms of rates, since women who approach us have different needs. Some women need to heal physically, e.g. improve their menstrual cycles. Some women need the emotional support to help them heal from pregnancy loss. While we support women to conceive healthy babies, our primary focus is to help them heal emotionally, physically, and mentally from pregnancy loss.

To this end, we have had women whose menstrual cycles have resumed after months of no periods, women who have conceived and delivered healthy babies, and women who feel that they have been given a new lease of life and hope.

Q: What would you say is the biggest misconception many women and health care providers believe about fertility and conception that is not true?

A: I think the biggest misconception that women and health care providers have is ignoring the influence of lifestyle in conception efforts. I have found that there is a large dependency on medications and/or supplements and not enough on wholesome diets, stress management, mental healing, and so on. I believe this is the reason so many women struggle with little success to conceive.

Q: Have you encountered any push-back from the medical community, or are they supportive of your efforts to help educate women regarding fertility and conception?

A: I have not experienced any push-back from the medical community. I am not expecting to, since my work does not replace their work. If anything, our work complements theirs. Most women who need medical solutions will benefit from the support the Institute gives in terms of stress management, natural diets, and exercises, among other things. I have had the support of a few doctors who understand what I am doing and know that women benefit from it.

Q: In your book you address fear and guilt. In your opinion, how prevalent are these feelings in women who have not been able to successfully carry a pregnancy to term? Is it a reflection of societal or personal issues?

A: Fear and guilt are very prevalent in women who have experienced pregnancy loss. There is the fear that they might never carry a baby to term and never have a baby. There is also the guilt that something they did or didn’t do contributed to the loss of their baby, since they were their baby’s primary caregivers.

In my opinion, the fear and guilt that many women after pregnancy loss experience is largely a reflection of their understanding that as a mother they feel responsible for their children. That is not a bad thing. Every mum feels this way. Most women would feel guilty if their children had an accident at home, even if it was clearly not their fault. The problem arises when the woman is not able to move on from that guilt and recognize that these problems are not their fault.

I think society can help women with this. The fact that women find it hard to talk about pregnancy loss exacerbates the fear and guilt. They can come to believe that something is really wrong with them and they just might be bad mums.

Q: What’s next for you, Bridget?

A: Simply to reach out to more women who can benefit from the New Eve Therapy Method. I am working on collaborating with more people to spread the message to every woman who has lost her pregnancy and let her know that she can still create the family she wants. I hope to do so by guest-posting, interviews like this one, seminars, and joint venture programs.

You can contact/reach Bridget at the following links:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/cheriemamma

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/the-cherie-mamma-institute

Website: www.cheriemamma.org

Twitter: @cheriemamma

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/153974096X/

 

 

 

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A Chat with Rachel McGrath

Rachel McGrath

Interviewing Rachel McGrath (http://rachelmcgrath.net/) has truly been a pleasure. Deeply introspective, Rachel isn’t afraid to share the most difficult moments of her life with her readers. Not only does she write for herself, but she writes in order to connect with others who share her experiences. Then there are her children’s books, which are delightful romps that will enchant children of various ages. A talented storyteller with a formidable heart, I’m pleased to welcome Rachel and introduce her to our global village of readers!

Interviewed by Debbie A. McClure

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Q: In Finding The Rainbow ( http://www.amazon.ca/Finding-Rainbow-Rachel-McGrath/dp/1784650447/ref=sr_1_2?tag=geolinkerca-20&ie=UTF8), you talk about the heartache and trials of dealing with infertility and miscarriage. What feedback from readers have you received that has resonated the most with you?

A: The best feedback has been around the core message within Finding the Rainbow; the prevalence of hope.  I have had feedback from people who have had similar challenges, and those who have never had to face such struggles, and it has been wonderful to hear that it is a story that many felt they could connect with and understand, regardless of their own experiences.  That is truly what I had hoped. I did not want this to be a story of misery and pain, but to give a message of courage and strength; of always looking to the future to a new day, a new rainbow.

Q: What is the message you most want to convey to readers of Finding The Rainbow?

A: Many women have had to deal with miscarriage or infertility, and it is a really lonely place when you are going through that pain. I wanted to convey that it should not be a lonely place, and that there are so many people who can help, love and support you through the pain. Above it all, whilst it is an all-consuming journey, there is a path we all must follow, and that path is never clear. Some of us will reach our destination, others will need to find a different route, but we choose the path that defines our happy ending, regardless of whether it was the ending we had first hoped for.

Q: Rachel, you’ve also written several children’s books, including Mud On Your Face (http://www.amazon.ca/Mud-your-Face-Rachel-McGrath-ebook/dp/B015JPAIZ2/ref=sr_1_1?tag=geolinkerca-20&ie=UTF8), which is very different from the non-fiction genre of some of your other works. Which do you find more difficult to write and why?

A: Great question! I actually wrote Mud on your Face a few years ago, and I’ve always enjoyed writing fantasy and fiction. That is where my true storytelling nature comes into play. However, Finding the Rainbow, my memoir, was the book that made me a writer! I truly enjoyed writing it, but it was tough letting it go, opening it up to the public and exposing myself. I guess the fiction and fantasy stories are easier, as you can hide yourself behind them, rather than throwing yourself out for all to read.  I don’t regret either, but I’m certainly more comfortable with fiction.

Q: There are many challenges to indie (independent), or self-publishing. What has been the most difficult thing to learn and implement in your own journey to becoming a published writer?

A: Kindle!  Uploading onto Kindle and especially children’s books with illustrations. This in itself took longer than actually writing the book! It was completely frustrating for a very long time, and I could have paid someone to do it, but the stubborn side of me wanted to learn the process myself, and I wanted to get it right.

Q: You aren’t afraid to go deep inside yourself and share your struggles and sorrows with readers. What have you learned about yourself since beginning this journey of writing?

A: Getting my book published has given me confidence in my writing, and it has also provided some amazing new connections through a community of writers that I never knew had existed. I have always dreamed of being published, and whilst the topic of my first book is not one I would wish on anyone, it has given me a different path. I guess what I am saying, is that out of one challenge, I have found a way of channelling the pain and frustration into something that hopefully connects with people. I had to be honest, open and completely transparent in my book, Finding the Rainbow, and through that, and it has re-inspired my passion to write.

Q: What has been the most surprising thing you’ve learned about the business of writing since you began?

A: I’ve learned that the writing industry and the talent across the independent author network is incredibly vast. It has truly amazed me. On top of that, in the world of writing itself, the connections I have made and the pure generosity and friendship I have found in so many authors I have met through different social media groups, yet have never met has amazed me.

Q: Who has been your greatest mentor, either in life or in writing, and why?

A: I have many mentors in my life, but I would like to say that it is my parents who have always stood behind my dreams, no matter what. They have never stopped believing in my abilities and ambitions, and even when it meant leaving the country and living on the other side of the world, they have always supported me.

Q: What advice would you give to new writers who are considering self-publishing their work?

A: Self-publishing is easy, but getting your product right is really difficult. There is editing, cover design, formatting, pricing and then marketing!  My advice is do your research and spend the time getting the formatting and editing right, because reviews are everything and readers can be tough critics (as they ought to be). Cover design is so very important; it needs to be catchy, relevant and professional. I’m no expert but I love to read, and when something is not formatted, has bad editing or an unappealing cover, it really throws me off, despite everything else. Whilst it is frustrating and sometimes if you don’t have the expertise, costly, it is worth it in the long run to make the investment in your pride and joy.

Q: What mistakes have you made along the way that you’d like to help other writers avoid?

A: My biggest piece of advice is don’t get impatient. As a writer you get so excited about your work, and getting it out there, and with the mediums available for self publishing it is so easy to publish something on Amazon.  My biggest mistake was with my first children’s storybook – Wonderful World of Willow (http://www.amazon.com/Wonderful-World-Willow-Coco-Book-ebook/dp/B016J6WVH8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1449850911&sr=8-2&keywords=rachel+mcgrath).  I had not yet navigated the Kindle format for children’s books, and unfortunately when it did release, the layout was terrible!  I had to quickly take it offline, and then I must have spent at least a few weeks struggling with the technology and technical specification before it was ready again. Whilst I was lucky and not many had purchased it in those few hours it was live, it is still embarrassing.  I have learned through this to just stop, slow down, and make sure that it is perfect to your own standards, before giving it to your audience.  A week or two wait will save you so much embarrassment in the long run!

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about what you do in addition to writing?

A: I still work full time in a busy Human Resources role with a global company. I have always wanted to write, but I’m a realist, too. Writing is not a ‘money making’ business, it is a passion and an art, and whilst I would love to just focus on writing, I never want to depend on it, feel like I have to do it. I want to always love it!

Q: Was there anything you’ve done career-wise that prepared you for taking on the massive learning curve and realities of writing?

A: I think life has lent me much of the learning I needed. I always wanted to write from my early teens, but had I finished a project back then, I know it would not have been the same work that I produce today. I now have life experiences, I have travelled, been hurt, I have hurt, and I have learned so much along the way.  Everything I put into my writing is me and my emotions, and whilst it is not all a memoir, it is how I view the world today.

The other piece to writing is knowing yourself, and being confident to share who you are. Again, it is the fact that I am entirely comfortable with who I am today, which I know was not the case in my twenties.  Readers want to know the writer behind the book, and I feel that today, I am able to provide that transparency.

Q: What are your thoughts on the future of e-books or print?

A: To be honest, I have only just converted to Kindle. I still love the paperback, and I love the fact that you can have a bookcase filled with your favourite books, on display for all to see. Having said that, having a Kindle is so much better if you are travelling and for the general convenience of having your book on hand at any times you need it.  This question is a tough one for me, as I still buy a paperback when I really love the book.  I guess it is a symbol or trophy of having read something that truly touched my heart!

Q: In Unfinished Chapters ( http://www.amazon.com/Unfinished-Chapters-Christina-Hamlett/dp/1517317975/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1449851381&sr=8-5&keywords=rachel+mcgrath_) you wrote about an event that happened wherein you reflect upon a friendship that ended poorly. What did you learn from that experience, and why did you want to share it with readers?

A: This friendship was a very important one for me. I was quite shy as a child, and my holidays were always quiet, as I didn’t often have a large social network when I was very young. But my friend who came every holiday was something I looked forward to, and our friendship was genuine, despite our differences. Whilst perhaps I knew our differences may one day push us apart, when it did happen, I felt it was more my own insecurities than the friendship itself. That stuck with me. I learned from it with future friendships, but I could never change that one experience. Writing about it was perhaps my way of closing that chapter, something that has felt unfinished for a very long time.

Q: What’s next for you, Rachel?

A: I have just finished and published a book of short stories – Dark & Twisty ( http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Twisty-Anthology-Rachel-McGrath-ebook/dp/B017ZIA5UE/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1449851381&sr=8-3&keywords=rachel+mcgrath), of which all profits are being donated to Worldwide Cancer Research (http://www.worldwidecancerresearch.org).  This was a project from the heart, and I wanted to dedicate something to  my father and my aunty who are both fighting cancer.

Other than that, I hope to have a children’s novel finished in early 2016, another story aimed at the seven to eleven year old age group.

I truly enjoy writing and I have so many stories inside me, so I will continue to work on new stories and hopefully they will reach the audience I am hoping for.

Thank you again for this great opportunity!

You can find out more about Rachel and connect with her here:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RJG27

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rachelmcgrathauthor/?ref=hl

Website: www.rachelmcgrath.net

Blog: www.findingtherainbow.net (the site linked to my memoir)

GooglePlus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RachelMcGrathAuthor/posts

 

 

 

 

The Baby in the Window

The_Baby_in_the_Window_FRONTwords

A Conversation with Alretha Thomas

What happens when a happily married woman, determined to have a baby, discovers that her diabolical stepdaughter is the source of her infertility issues? This chilling premise is the subject of author/actor/playwright Alretha Thomas’ newest book, The Baby in the Window, the second in a compelling four-book series.

Interviewer: Christina Hamlett

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Q: Let’s talk about how, when and where your passion for the written word was first ignited.

A: The fifth grade is where it all started! LOL. Wow, I can’t believe how long ago that was! My teacher gave us an assignment to write a short story. At the time, I was creating stories in my head, but I had never put my thoughts on paper. So needless to say, I was excited. I wrote a romantic comedy. It was about a supermarket bagboy and a young girl who was a customer. The following day my teacher told us that we all did well but that one piece stood out. My stomach flipped because I had this strange knowing feeling that she had chosen my work. I was right. While she read my story aloud, I scanned the faces of my classmates. Their wide eyes, open mouths and fits of laughter were intoxicating and validating. It was an amazing feeling and I knew at that very moment I wanted to be a writer.

Q: Were you a voracious reader growing up? If so, who were some of the authors whose work especially resonated with you and/or influenced your own style of expression?

A:  I loved to read. It was not only fun, but it allowed me to escape my dysfunctional childhood. While other kids in the projects were running after the ice cream truck, I was running after the Bookmobile! Growing up, Alice Walker, Tony Morrision, Lorraine Hansberry, Maya Angelou, and Zora Neal Hurston, wowed me, but it wasn’t until later in life that I began to develop my own voice, and I have to say the work of Terry McMillan and the late Bebe Moore Campbell influenced me greatly.

Q: I’m pleased to see that we share a common love of theater! Looking back, how has a theatrical background been instrumental in developing characters, crafting dialogue and envisioning scenes?

A: It’s been enormously helpful. Actually, before writing plays, I pursued acting and studied for several years. My acting background served me well when I began writing plays because as an actor, you have to break down the character and the scenes. In the process, you learn how to develop a character and how to structure scenes. As an actor, the first thing you ask yourself is “What is my character after?”  As an actor you know that your character should start one place and end up somewhere else. You know that there has to be drama. So when I began writing, I was aware of these elements. Every scene needs to drive the story forward. A scene has to start one place and up somewhere else. My characters have to have an objective. As an actor I read a lot of scripts—well-written scripts. So I got a sense of what realistic dialogue sounds like. It was invaluable knowledge.

Q: Which medium presents the greater challenge for you – writing a play or writing a novel?

A: Writing a novel is more challenging because it’s longer and more in-depth. For the record, I love the challenge. Writing a novel for me is definitely a labor of love. When crafting a novel, you’re creating an entire world. God did it in seven days, but I’m a mere mortal! LOL! I can complete the first draft of a play in a few weeks, but it can take up to three months to complete the first draft of a novel. The average full length play is approximately 20k words, whereas the average full length novel can run as long as 80k words.

Okay, I must include this disclaimer regarding the first book in the Cass & Nick series, Married in the Nick of Nine. I completed the first draft of this full length novel in four days! I had gotten laid off my corporate job in 2011 and that same week I was somehow compelled to query the novel. One caveat—it wasn’t complete—a definite no-no in the literary world. Never query an incomplete manuscript. I only had thirty-two pages. I queried one agent and, of course, the agent asked for the entire manuscript. This had never happened before. Usually I had to query over 300 agents to get a few responses. Crazy! So I got busy. I stayed up for four days straight writing. I was like Bradley Cooper in the movie Limitless, but instead of the fictional drug NZT, I was riding on faith and prayer. I submitted the novel, but needless to say the agent passed! I got great feedback, but no cigar. I eventually got the novel in tiptop shape and it’s since been published.

Q: What governed your decision to write a series and how was your creative approach to its structure different from that of a stand-alone novel?

A: I didn’t set-out to write a series. As mentioned, Married in the Nick of Nine was a single novel. However, after it was published, readers wanted to know what happened next with Cass & Nick. They fell in love with the couple and so did I. I had to give them more stories. So after marriage comes baby…right, The Baby in the Window. That’s the second book in the series. Being that I didn’t intend on writing a series, I approached Married in the Nick of Nine in the same way I do all of my novels.

Q: Is it imperative that someone read the first book in the series, Married in the Nick of Nine, in order to follow what’s going on?

A: I wrote The Baby in the Window as a stand-alone novel so that it can be enjoyed even if a reader doesn’t have the opportunity to read Married in the Nick of Nine. I also made a point to reference major plot points and include other pertinent information from Married in the Nick of Nine so that new readers can easily be brought up to date. However, for the ultimate ride, I’d suggest readers begin with Married in the Nick of Nine.

Q: Tell us about Cass and Nick and what makes them tick as watchable characters? Are they fashioned after anyone you know in real life?

A: Cass is a modern-day woman. She’s strong, independent, smart, owned her own home before she was married and is on the fast track at her corporate job. She’s also a strong A-type personality and that tends to get her in trouble. Sometimes she can be on the controlling side and she invariably finds out the hard way that it’s better to let go and let God when it comes to things that she cannot completely control, such as finding the perfect partner and having a baby. Cass also has a big heart and can be funny. She volunteers at a shelter for women. In terms of her humor, there’s a scene in The Baby in the Window where she’s at church and goes to the altar for prayer. A man with a receding hairline and a woman wearing a large hat approach the altar also. Cass wonders to herself if the man is praying for hair and the woman for better taste in hats.  Cass wasn’t fashioned after anyone in particular. I’d have to say she’s my fantasy woman, i.e., the woman I wish I could have been from the beginning of adulthood. I started out more like Cass’s crazy cousin Cynthia. That was in my 20’s and 30’s. Today I am more like Cass.

Nick is the kind of man I would want every woman to have. He’s real easy on the eyes, loves Cass to death, is loyal, a hard worker, but not flawless. He tends to procrastinate when it comes to making hard decisions and he hasn’t always been the most truthful man. His heart has been in the right place, but he’s made poor choices, especially when he meets Cass for the first time. But his good looks, charm, and love for Cass make it easy to look past his faults.  Nick, like Cass, isn’t based on a specific person. He is my fantasy man. Don’t laugh, but I have a serious crush on Nick!

Q: How about the diabolical stepdaughter?

A: Renee is the antagonist in The Baby in the Window. She’s thirteen going on forty with a bad attitude. In her mind, Cass is the enemy and she’s determined to get rid of her. Granted she’s been through a lot with her real mother, but she takes troubled teen to a whole ‘nother level. I try to write my characters three-dimensionally. No person is all bad or all good. So as much as the reader will grow to detest Renee, I’ve written her in such a way that there will be times when you want to not only hit her, but give her a hug.

Q: Do you already have an idea where their fictional lives will take them as the series unfolds or do you invite them to “talk” to you as you write?

A: It’s a combination of both. The characters are so real and alive to me they’re always talking to me and I’m always thinking about the next step. That’s one of the most gratifying aspects of being a writer…having the power to orchestrate lives.

Q: If Hollywood comes calling to turn Cass and Nick’s story into a feature film, who would your dream cast be?

A: At a recent book club meeting (Sistahs Read Too, in Los Angeles) that question was asked. Casting Cass and Nick isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. From a producer’s point of view I’d want to go with a name. Jennifer Hudson comes to mind. She’s the right age and has the right look. I ran across an actor the other day that could be a good Nick. His name is Lawrence Saint-Victor. But on the other hand, I’d love to have unknowns cast and surround them with named actors. The women of the book club thought a young Blair Underwood would make a great Nick.

Q: Your debut novel, Daughter Denied, was published back in 1999. What motivated you to start writing again after 14 years and how has that journey been different from your original foray into publishing?

A: After writing my first novel, I put it on the shelf and took it off the shelf for several years. During this period of vacillation, I wrote several plays that were produced in the Los Angeles area. It was Barack Obama deciding to run for president that gave me the courage to self-publish my debut novel, nine years after writing it. Once the book hit and I started getting feedback from readers, I felt like that fifth grade student again. I had to write another book. The industry has changed a great deal since 1999. I recall having to use snail mail. I spent a lot of money on postage. Most agents or publishers did not accept electronic submissions. Now it’s just the opposite. Contact information for agents and publishers was limited. Now you can find everything on the Internet. The competition was not as fierce fourteen years ago either. With the advent of E-Books, everyone is writing, has written, or wants to write a book and not everything in the market place is on a quality level.

Q: How did you go about choosing a publisher for your work?

A: My work is self-published.

Q: What do you know about publishing now that you didn’t know when you started?

A: It’s driven by the bottom line. I thought that if you had a good story and it was written fairly well, then you were guaranteed a deal. However, I was very naïve. Publishing is a business and houses want to make money. They need to know that your book is going to sell. That’s why it’s very difficult for a first-time author to land a publishing deal and easier for a well-known entertainer to get a lucrative deal, even if they have no writing credits. It’s their following that the publishers know will guarantee that the book sells.

Q: As an indie writer, how are you marketing and promoting the series so that readers will discover it?

A: I utilize social media to the max, i.e.,  Facebook and Twitter. I’m always posting about my novels. If I get a new 5-star review, I announce that. I post about book club meetings. I attend book fairs. I am currently connecting with book clubs across the country, offering complimentary books in exchange for reviews and to be added to their reading lists. I do something to market my book multiple times a day. I’ve also run commercial spots on radio stations in Los Angeles and Atlanta. I participate in Blog Talk Radio Interviews. You name, it I do it!

Q: So many aspiring writers lament that they don’t have time to write all the books bouncing around in their heads. You, however, manage to get this done despite a full-time job and a 350-mile-a-week commute. How do you do it?

A: I’ve never had writer’s block. Writing comes easily to me and it helps that I don’t have any children. My husband is a talented pianist, so while he’s on his keyboards, I’m typing away at the computer. We both put a lot of time into our passions.

Q: What would readers be most surprised to learn about you?

A: I have a 99-year-old mother-in-law who will be 100 in January 2014!

Q: What’s the one thing you wish someone had told you before you decided to become a writer?

A: Don’t become a writer. LOL! Just kidding.  I wish they had really told me how difficult it is to get an agent and a publisher. I’m sure I wouldn’t have listened anyway. I love writing. BTW, after thirteen years, I finally landed an agent. A great one at that. Stacey Donaghy of the Donaghy Literary Group.

Q: What’s your best tip to aspiring writers?

A: Never give up! It’s a cliché, but true.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?

A: I want to thank each and every person who took the time to read this interview. Thank you!

Q: Where can readers learn more about you and your work?

A:  At my author website. www.Alrethathomas.com.