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

**********

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/

 

 

 

Advertisements

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

*********

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

 

 

 

 

A Jealous God

Dee_&_Charlie_with_AJG

It’s the worst nightmare of any pregnant woman – to hear the sobering news on her baby’s much awaited day of delivery, “There’s something wrong.” When a pair of lawyers starts searching for clues to infant deformities, they uncover a searing mystery which makes them question everything they ever thought they knew about the concept of free will. Such is the premise of A Jealous God, a contemporary cozy mystery (and the first of a new series) penned by Dee Wilbur.

Interestingly, this is the second time my cyber-path has crossed that of the “Dee Wilbur” author team. While doing interviews and research for an article about creative approaches to book promotion, I learned that the writers put their talents as tour guides to clever use and offer Richmond (Texas) tours of sites referenced in the plot, concluding with a Dutch-treat lunch at the characters’ favorite restaurant. Check it out at: http://fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/2013/09/25/book-tour-a-jealous-god-by-dee-wilbur-tour-dates-11113-to-112913-medical-mystery.

Interviewer: Christina Hamlett

**********

Q: “Dee Wilbur” is actually the pseudonym of two talented writers – Charlie Yates and Dee Pipes. So let’s start with a discussion of how your creative process works; specifically, who writes what?

Dee: Well, there are two of us writing each book and answering questions to this interview as well.  I’ll let Charlie explain.

Charlie: There are two of us, each half an author. I generally work out the plot and write a fifty to seventy page outline of the story. Dee takes that, improves the descriptions of the scenery, spruces up the dialogue, supplies motives for the actions of the characters, and in general, makes the book readable. We meet face-to-face once each week, send frequent e-mails, and usually talk once each day.

Q: What were your respective writing backgrounds prior to deciding to collaborate?

Dee:  After college, I worked at the Journal of Southern History (the academic publication of the Southern Historical Association) as an editorial assistant back when there were real galleys, page proofs, and typewriters.  My experience at the Journal gave me great respect for fact checking, attention to spelling names, and a delight in the printed word.  After the Journal, I worked as a technical editor at Texas Instruments and then as a technical writer at Compaq Computer Corporation.  I consider developing the Compaq DeskPro 386 Technical Reference Manual my biggest writing accomplishment while at Compaq

Charlie: I had published about twenty scientific articles in various journals. The topics were either in endocrinology or radiology. I contributed to one chapter in a book on parathyroid hormone function.

Q: What surprised you the most about writing your first novel, A Jealous God?

Charlie: The most surprising thing about writing our first novel was the thought that you could make your characters say and do whatever you wanted them to. This was quickly followed by the realization that their actions had to be reasonable and consistent. So even as an author you weren’t completely free. Despite all our work and the work of three other proof-readers, we still had two errors go through. “Rue” should have been “roux” and . . . I’ll let you read the book and see if you catch the other one.

Dee: I was surprised at the amount of work necessary after we had finished the manuscript. We had a wonderful editor and incorporating his comments wasn’t particularly hard, but the proofing, re-proofing, and chasing down details took a lot of effort.

Q: What governed your decision to make A Jealous God a series?

Charlie: An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Dee doesn’t want me to work with the devil. She says she fills that role. So when I finished my part of A Jealous God, she said to start on something new and quit bothering her to finish her part.  Thus came about Justice Perverted.

Dee:  Readers were delighted with Daphne and wanted to know what happened to her.  Several characters seemed to have more to say, so we let them.  The difficulties of writing a series, such as making sure that we keep recurring characters consistent, especially their names, are much more easily overcome than the challenges of starting another book with all of the environment to develop.

Q: What are some of the challenges involved in writing a series versus a stand-alone title?

Dee: I still work full time running a consulting firm, And Take Names. Charlie is retired, writes faster than I do, and has more time on his hands. So when he finished his work on the first book, and was tapping his fingers so that I would hurry on my part, I innocently told him to start on something else. After we published the second book, Justice Perverted, our publisher said that she felt that a third book in the series would establish the series and we could do something else and then come back to the Richmond Series. Unfortunately the third book, A Foolish Plucking, ended with a cliffhanger, so after many threats from our readers we had to quickly publish the fourth book in the series, Ravening Wolves.

Charlie: In writing a series you have to be sure that details match. This is especially hard for us in regard to names. We can’t get away with glaring errors as did A. Conan Doyle having Dr. Watson get shot in two different places while he was in India in two different books. Ralph Waldo Emerson said,” A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds and little statesmen,” but consistency can be the nemesis of an author writing a series.

Q: Where do you get the ideas for your plots?

Dee: We put Charlie in a dark room for ten minutes by himself after feeding him spicy food.

Charlie: That’s close to the truth, but really I look at the world around me, and I let my mind drift. For instance, in A Jealous God, I remembered an old industrial plant I had seen as a child south of Richmond. I always wondered what they made there. So I decided they must have made “nerve gas,” and the story just evolved. I saw that my high school football team had a bright young coach and some excellent players. Why couldn’t they be the Texas AAAA State Football Champs? So began Ravening Wolves.

Q: Settings of books often play as important a role in the plot’s development as the characters themselves. Tell us how you went about choosing your locations.

Charlie: I had heard the old admonition: Write about what you know. I know a lot about Richmond. It’s a weird and wonderful place. Hey! Why not?

Dee: When we first met and decided to write a book together, I immediately left on a trip with my mother-in-law. I told Charlie to have an outline of the book ready when I returned. I thought we were going to write a book on cognitive psychology. When I returned, he presented me with a seventy page outline of A Jealous God. The book was set in Richmond, Texas, the small town where Charlie lives, so I was trapped. By the third book, A Foolish Plucking, Charlie had taken all the heat from the home town crowd, and he was ready to share the fun.  I grew up in Liberty, Texas, another small Texas town. So part of the story takes place in Liberty.

Q: If Hollywood came calling, who would your dream cast be for your first book?

Charlie: I haven’t been to a movie in more than twenty-five years. I kept getting my feet stuck on the floor where soda and candy had been spilled. My reluctance aside, we have a screenplay for A Jealous God ready for their call.

Dee:  Like Charlie, I don’t have the repertoire of actors to try to choose, but I do know we would definitely answer the phone!  I imagine characters clearly and with some detail which made watching Gone with the Wind awful because the Tarleton twins were all wrong.  And, if I make a mistake like I did with John Grisham’s The Firm and think that Mitchell McDeere is to break the race barrier at the law firm, then I am really surprised when the movie stars Tom Cruise and not Denzel Washington.  We are not the right people to talk about casting.  Now you understand that we don’t work from story boards created with magazine pictures.

Q: What has the feedback been from your readers?

Charlie: The response from readers that are still speaking to me has been excellent. Residents of Richmond have been delighted by the description of places they recognize. Many people have volunteered that they are pleased to have been chosen as a model for one of the characters. I don’t pop their balloons. If she thinks that she’s the model for Sandy, who am I to spoil her dream?

Dee: Recently at Bouchercon, the mystery conference, I was being introduced to a friend of a friend.  My friend said “She writes as Dee Wilbur,” and the other woman said, “I’ve read her books.”  It was a wonderful experience!!

Charlie: A dear ninety-four-year-old lady from my church called me over one Sunday after Sunday school class. She said, “I bought your book and read it. I enjoyed the story, but you used too many dirty words!” A close friend who is a Methodist minister had his wife read him all the sex scenes so that he could tell anyone who asked, “No, I didn’t read that.”

Q: What part of the writing process is the most fun?

Dee: Buying new fountain pens and new colors of inks.  I enjoy creating the timeline for all of the characters.  Even though we struggle with names and naming characters, I enjoy that part, too.  I save all sorts of programs with lists of names so that I can recombine them to make character names.

Charlie: The most fun is figuring out the surprise endings for the books. I start with the ending and then work backward through the story to the beginning. The second most fun part is finding the title of the book. All our titles for the Richmond Series are based on Bible verses. The novels are not religious stories, but we always feel that there’s a Bible verse that is appropriate and catches the essence of the story.

Q: Alfred Hitchcock was a master at making cameo appearances in all of his movies. Does Dee Wilbur employ any signature tricks or insider jokes that we should know about?

Dee:  Yes, we do. With A Jealous God a frog played an important role and in all the books since we have had something about some sort of frog.  In one of them Cato, the lab, eats a frog (or several) and has to go to the vet.

Charlie: Yes. I am a retired physician. When my oldest son was ill, he called from his home about two hundred and fifty miles away to get a diagnosis and treatment for his illness. When he didn’t believe what I told him (which turned out to be correct), he called a college classmate of his who was a doctor for a second opinion. Now whenever he calls for a diagnosis, I asked him what his friend had suggested. I used his friend’s name as the name of the doctor in our novels. Also, my wife is the world’s greatest Statler Brothers fan. I had just purchased a set of Statler Brothers Christmas ornaments for her so I had a character purchase some for his wife.

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

Charlie: We wrote one hundred query letters attempting to get an agent. We got one hundred rapid rejections. We changed the first page of our query letter to say, “This book is the story you have been waiting for. It will make your career. It has so much sex in it that when it is made into a movie it will get a strong R rating. When it is made into a T.V. series, it will be listed as TV-MA-14 with parental discretion strongly advised.” We sent out ten copies. Within two weeks we had five requests for the first three chapters. Two weeks later we had three requests for the entire book. Within two weeks we had contracts offered by two agents. Your success depends on the way you advertise.

Dee:  We started with the agent because we heard that no publishers were reading manuscripts privately submitted.  We have since learned that there are several (if not many) publishers that don’t require an agent.

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

Charlie: Publishers promise to help you with publicity, but in general, they don’t do much. They also move very slowly.

Dee:  Publishing includes many things:  cover design, layout design, editing, printing, and getting placement in book stores.  We thought that they also did book tours, promotions, and lots of help.  That’s not where publishing today is for the majority of new authors.  The editing is still great and we love our covers.

Q: What are you currently reading and how has writing changed your reading habits?

Dee: I’m reading Called Out of Darkness by Anne Rice; I have read and delighted in her descriptions and sensual landscapes in Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt and thought I would like to read more of her non-paranormal. I am eagerly awaiting Book 3 of the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. And, I’m reading Some of My Best Friends Are Black: The Strange Story of Integration in America and the Fault in Our Stars.  As an author, I pay special attention to series and to how authors treat their characters.  I enjoy reading tricky series (see Harkness above), and I want to read respectful authors.  I understand that typos that aren’t misspellings happen, but I really lose patience with a confusion of “to, too, and two.”  I’m not sure I was this picky before A Jealous God.

Charlie: I am reading Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences by John R. Hibbing, Kevin B. Smith, and John R. Alford. I just finished W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton, and I am eagerly awaiting The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly. I read very differently now. I get very annoyed with writers who have their characters do unrealistic, out-of-character actions. I can’t stand errors in fact, even in a work of fiction. Are you too lazy to look it up?

A Jealous God is available on Amazon and published by BookSurge.