Welcome to my blog Nicole. Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions about yourself, your writing career, motivational speaking, radio show, and books.
Congratulations on your book ‘So He Cheated, Now What?
Q. Tell us about your latest work—title, genre, etc. — and why you wrote it?
A. So He Cheated, Now What? is my personal testimony of overcoming an affair in my marriage. After being married for 8 years and just after having our 3rd child my husband had an affair. An affair that produced a child.
Throughout the process I went through so many emotions, pain and grief.
I blamed myself, was depressed and basically suffered in silence. I went through a battle within myself. I felt helpless and alone. My husband and reconciled and decided to rebuild our marriage. In the midst of the pain I found myself and my purpose. My purpose is to help others that are suffering in silence. I wrote the book so other women don’t feel alone. Infidelity occurs every day. Contrary to what many believe, a large number of women (and men) stay. The book helps couples rebuild after an affair. It also navigates the women through the rebuilding phase.
Q What draws you to your genre(s)? Why is this type of story compelling to you?
A. It’s my personal story. I am a strong believer in sharing our personal testimony with others. We don’t go through trials and tribulations for ourself. We go through so that we can help someone else. People need to know they are not alone. I want them to know that they too, can make it. After the tears, after the pain and shame - They can live again, laugh again - Breathe Again!
Q. What is your writing process like? Do you map the whole thing out or do you just let it unfold?
A. Initially I just wrote. Putting my feelings and thoughts on paper was my personal therapy sessions. (And it was free) Each time I share my story a part of me is healed. After writing I then went back and created an outline, chapters, table of contents etc…
Q. What kind of research was involved?
A. Non- Fiction
Q. How much of YOU makes it into your characters?
A. It’s all me in this book.
My second book, “It’s Not My Fault” is a work of fiction inspired by people and situations I see each and every day.
Q. How do you balance the need to have time to write with the needs of family, society, etc.?
A. This is tough. I am a wife, mother, volunteer, minister, author, business Owner and encourager. I have to steal time to write. I try and get it in where it fits in. Weekends and evening are the only good time I have to write. I have taken a day or two off and locked myself away in my office, turned on my classical music and just wrote.
Q. Have there been any authors in particular, that inspired your writing?
A. There are so many authors that inspire me. Iyanla Vanzant, Vanessa Miller, Joyce Meyer and Stacey Hawkins Adams are a few that come to mind.
Q. Is there a story you want to tell behind or about your work(s)?
A. I write with a purpose in mind. Each time I write it is to encourage motivate or inspire someone. People often say there is a message in the music, but I say there is always a message in my writing. My goal is for the reader to say, “If she made it, I can too.”
Q. What other projects are you currently working on or about to start?
A. In 2006 I founded Breathe Again Magazine Online to help encourage, inspire and motivate women (and men) that have overcome adversity. So many people feel alone in their struggle or their storm. The stories on www.breatheagainmagazine.org identify with all types of people. We may be different but we all have one thing in common. Pain! We hurt the same. A broken heart is a broken heart. It doesn’t matter if you work in Hollywood or at Hardees. In addition to the magazine, we are reaching people all over the world via internet radio. Every Thursday, I am the host of Breathe Again Magazine - the Radio Show. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/breatheagainmagazine Where we interview guests that have gone from victim to VICTORIOUS.
Q. Nicole, please could you tell our readers more about your speaking engagements.
A. I speak to inspire and encourage my attendees. I share my testimony, provide motivational speeches, conduct workshops, speak at churches, marriage conferences and women gatherings. My husband and I conduct tele-seminars and on site workshops titled, “Why Should I Stay?“ specifically for couples. I thoroughly enjoy speaking. I am on a mission to make a difference and I am doing that each and everyday. I made it and I want other women that they too, can make it!
Q Could you share some of your marketing strategies? Which ones are the most effective in your opinion?
A. Social Media- Facebook, Twitter and You Tube. enewsletter, book signings, radio shows, article writings, speaking engagements. My most effective avenue of marketing is social media and speaking engagements. In order to be effective you must be consistent and provide useful content. Don’t sell - tell.
Q. What would be the top five, (or 3 or 1 or however many) things you would tell aspiring authors?
A. 1. Don’t Give Up - Keep moving forward. As long as you are moving, keep going. It may seem like it’s not paying off but just stay at it. Focus on just 2 or 3 marketing avenues. When you try to do it all, you just get lost.
2. Repurpose your content. If you are speaking, tape it and show clips. Take photos.
3. Ask for testimonials.
Q. What do you do for fun when not writing, at speaking engagements, hosting your radio show, and all the working aspects of your life?
A. For fun I enjoy spending time with my family. We laugh a lot. I also enjoy acting- being involved in skits and short plays allows be to someone else for a short period of time. I love the arts and theater. ( that was my first love growing up ) But my secret pass time is yard sales ,consignment shops and thrift stores. Love, Love, Love this! I am just thrilled when I find something for $2 and I should have paid $50 for it. I come home and share my “great” find and unfortunately, no one in my home shares my enthusiasm.. ( lol ) They just look at me like I’m crazy. But that’s okay, because this is one thing I have all to myself!!
Good luck with your current and future publications.
For more information: Nicole Cleveland
Purchase: So He Cheated, Now What?
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, www.sohecheated.com
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