I invite you to join discussions, it enhances the reading experience for everyone. Please share your thoughts, opinions and knowledge in a respectful manner. May we all learn something in our endeavor to educate our hearts and minds. I look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Interview with Amazon's Best Selling Author: Heather Day Gilbert #GiveAway!

I'm still out on Medical Leave. I'll be returning in SEPTEMBER. 
I was blessed to do this interview with Heather last month. I pray that if you're interested in Self Publishing that you're blessed with all her helpful tips and insights. Have a wonderful week. I'll be back to the blogging world soon!
Also, July 31st, don't miss my interview with Lawrence Namale from Life Signatures talking about my own testimony of God's goodness in helping me write.

Heather, you’re a true blessing to me as a Christian mom and writer. Your journey to being published is a testimony of God’s goodness and your determination. Thank you for taking the time to share with us about your writing career. You’ve successfully self published two books, God’s Daughter and Miranda Warning.  I don’t read much fiction, but your books, which are told in first person narrative, hold my attention. I look forward to reading more of your work. Now on to the interview:

1.        Heather, your journey to being a published author is inspiring. It’s one riddled with challenges, setbacks, and amazing blessings from God. Please share some of the highlights. 

Oh wow! There were plenty of highlights and lowlights over the course of the past 6-7 years.
Highlights were landing some great agents, getting some great editorial reviews from publishing houses, and finally, the biggest highlight of all--finally having readers! Many of my readers have followed my writing journey via Facebook or my blog and they rejoice with me at each book that is finally out in the world.

Low points were definitely those six years I felt I was in prison, waiting for God to move to get my books published, praying and feeling He wasn't hearing me (I related to Jeremiah a lot), and getting numerous rejections from Christian publishers. I kept thinking about quitting and every time God would send me a clear message not to, be it through a comment from a total stranger or encouragement from those who knew me and were praying for me. Suffice it to say, even though I felt God was hidden behind a thick cloud then, I now see He had a bigger plan for me. He knew I needed to self-publish my books. I'm an independent author on all fronts and don't like being told what genre to write and what time period is marketable. He knew I needed more freedom in my writing.

2.       On this same note, will you tell us some of the most challenging moments you’ve encountered as you’ve battled to get your books into the hands of readers?

Again, I think it was knowing I had a mission with my Viking historical, a mission that would glorify God by showing true love in marriage and Christianity's light shining in a time of paganism, and yet not seeing God bless with publication for years. Also, because there is still some pushback in Christian author circles toward self-publishing, I had all kinds of unsolicited advice about how I had to pay for professional edits (from people who had never read my book and just assumed it), or I ran into reviewers who outright won't read self-published books. There are a lot of assumptions about self-publishing, but I see Christian authors breaking down those walls with quality books that could compete in traditionally published circles nearly every month.

3.       Was there ever a time you thought about giving up? If so, what kept you going?

Definitely, as I said before. God did send rain in season, as I said above, with kind words and encouragement from various people. But feeling He wasn't moving was the hardest part. I can handle taking big leaps of faith and obeying when God tells me to move. But when I'm doing what I know He wants me to be doing and HE is not moving, then I get a little crazy. Every time I seriously considered quitting the whole writing gig, it became clear I should not and I actually COULD not.
I actually did a blogpost on this topic here.

4.       What’s one thing(s) you wish someone would have told you about Self Publishing.

How rewarding it is. That's why I'm committed to bringing helpful self-publishing info to writers who are considering it. Yes, it's not for everyone, and it takes so much work (if you don't outsource a lot), so it's like a full-time job. But for me, the rewards far outweighed any drawbacks. I was already spending all my time checking emails and waiting on the line for a publishing contract. Now my author life is no longer on hold.

5.       How do you maintain balance between being a wife, homeschooling your kids, maintaining your blog, writing/publishing books, and marketing them?

Oh, boy, I'm like the worst person to ask about balance! I'm still working on it. I'm going to try and make a time schedule next school year, for when I need to be online, school hours, etc. Marketing can truly take up my entire day if I'd let it. I'm hoping to take a break this August and just re-coup from getting two of my books and one of my aunt's books out this past year.

6.       What marketing advice do you have for new authors? What things should they avoid as well as what are some of the things that have really helped you sell your books? 

I have a lot of thoughts on generating pre and post-publication buzz on my blog here. It's actually a series for those who are thinking about self-publishing. But my two key tips are: a) don't rush the process for a quality product, and b) have early readers who can get reviews ready to roll when your book does (or even before on Goodreads). 

I also try to bring relevant marketing/publishing info specifically to self-publishers in my monthly column, every third Thursday on Novel Rocket. If you don't follow that website, you should! Great info for authors.

7.       Miranda Warning just came out. It captivated me. Tess, the main character, has a rich personality and background. Share with us how you develop your main characters. 

Oh, wow. They kind of develop themselves. I have a good idea of who my characters are when I start writing my books--it's the plotline I have to figure out. I think this is why I like writing in first-person. I can basically morph into that character's head and just say what they would say. Of course, sometimes those characters really jump the tracks and start doing/saying stuff I didn't even think they would! Ha.

 MW FB cover

8.       What books can we expect you to publish next?

I hope to complete my second and final book in my Vikings of the New World Saga, titled Forest Child, next year. After that I plan to focus on my contemporary mysteries in the Murder in the Mountains series.

 GD small

Thank you so much for letting me visit, TC! All the best with your writing!

Author Bio:
Heather Day Gilbert enjoys writing stories about authentic, believable marriages. Seventeen years of marriage to her sweet Yankee husband have given her some perspective, as well as eleven years spent homeschooling. Heather regularly posts on Novel Rocket about self-publishing.

You can find Heather at her website, Heather Day Gilbert--Author, and at her Facebook Author Page, as well as Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Goodreads. Her Viking novel, God's Daughter, is an Amazon bestseller. You can find it on Amazon and Audible.com. Her Appalachian mystery, Miranda Warning, released June 20th. 

For a chance to win a ebook copy of her book, Miranda Warning, leave a comment below. The winner will be contacted via email. Thanks so much. Also if you could, please tweet about the Give Away! 

What Questions do you have for Heather about Self Publishing? 

No comments:

Post a Comment