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Sunday, March 4, 2012

How to Get on the News Without Committing Murder

Welcome to my blog Beverly. Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions about yourself, your book, and your business.

Q. Tell us about your latest worktitle, genre, etc. and why you wrote it?
A. My latest book is called: How to Get on the News Without Committing Murder. Subtitle: 8 Killer Tips for a Positive Media Image at Midlife. This is my first business book. The first three were, what I call, personal journey non-fiction books which basically tell my life stories.
This book was written for folks like me, who have either transitioned from or are in the process of transitioning from corporate America. It’s a different ball game when you’re older and trying to get your name out there to promote what you do. As a veteran journalist with more than 30 years in the business, I know what it takes to get the media’s attention so I decided to share that knowledge in a book.

Q What draws you to your genre(s)? Why is this type of story compelling to you?
A. As a baby boomer, I write about subjects and issues affecting my generation. It is my intention to use my life experiences as a testimony for others to let them know if I can survive all of the craziness and drama I’ve been through, they can too. I think of myself as a “voice for the voiceless.” Some women are afraid to publicly discuss certain issues but when I write about it, they contact me and tell me how much they appreciate saying what they’ve been feeling. I do believe God is using me through my writing and public speaking.

Q. What is your writing process like? Do you map the whole thing out or do you just let it unfold?
A. The writing process has been different for each book. The first book actually started as a journal where I was rambling about different issues going on in my world at the time---menopause, dating again after 40, working for younger bosses, etc. The second book was the result of a writing contest so that was a collaborative effort with other writers. The third book was the result of a lie I told my doctor that almost cost me my life. Don’t Ask and I Won’t Have to Lie probably would’ve never been written had that incident not occurred. My new book is the result of all of my working knowledge as a journalist.

Q. What kind of research was involved in writing your book?
A. For my first book I did quite a bit of research on menopause since I was diagnosed as being in the early stages of it. I wanted to gather as much information as I could in order to better understand what I was going through and to be able to share relevant information with my readers. For my new book, I didn’t have to do much research because they information in the book comes from my expertise as a journalist.

I did have to contact some people to make sure it was okay to use their quotes and portions of their articles.

Q. How much of YOU makes it into your characters?
A. Since I’m a personal journey storyteller, it’s always all about ME 

Q. How do you balance the need to have time to write with the needs of family, society, etc.?
A. That is always a challenge. I am the full-time caregiver for my five-year-old grandson while his mother is away at college. My husband works out of town during the week so I have to try to get everything I need done between the times my grandson goes to school and returns home. That is an ongoing challenge every day. Plus he has homework, choir practice and soccer practice so I’m constantly doing something from the time I get up until the time I go to bed.

Thank God for Facebook because that’s how I stay in touch with friends these days!

Q. When you are able to take time away from your business what do you do for fun and relaxation?
A. I used to bowl in a league and that was always fun. Although I don’t participate in a league anymore, I still enjoy hanging out with the family and showing off my skills 
Sometimes, my husband and I will just get away for a weekend trip where it’s just us and that’s ALWAYS fun! I still feel like a newlywed since we’ve only been married for five years and we currently have a commuter marriage.

Q. Have there been any authors in particular, that inspired your writing?
A. Years before I wrote my first book, I read a book called You’ve Got to Be Kidding…I Thought This WAS the Great Tribulation by Cathy Lechner. I absolutely loved her writing style and how she spoke to my heart. When I wrote Whatever! A Baby Boomer’s Journey into Middle Age, I patterned my writing style like hers in the sense that I wanted my book to be reflective of my voice. I wanted readers to feel as if I were right there in the room with them sharing my stories. I’ve also been blessed to have an Editor who allows my “voice” to come through.

Q.  What is the most positive experience in your writing process?
A. The most positive experience I get in the writing process is when the words just flow like running water. I don’t have to stress about what to say next. The words just come to me.
The most positive experience I’ve received from the writing process is having readers tell me how much they enjoyed my work and read it from cover to cover without putting it down.

Q.  What is the hardest part of writing for you?
A. For me, the hardest part has been my concentration. I have a tendency to become easily distracted. For example, if the phone rings while I’m writing I am inclined to answer it as opposed to letting it go to voicemail. When my grandson is around, my life is not my own so if I have a thought, I’ll write it down and put it away until I can get back to it when no one else is around. I have gotten better at dealing with distractions but it’s still a work in progress.

Q.  Do you have a favorite place where you like to write?
A. Anywhere that’s quiet.

Q.  What do you read for fun when you’re not writing?
A. I read a lot of inspirational, self-help books because they help inspire me to persevere in whatever trials and struggles I may be dealing with. I tend to read a select few over and over again.

Q. Is there a story you want to tell behind or about your work(s)?
A. When I left my last television news job in corporate America at the age of 49, I had no idea what I was going to do with the rest of my life but I knew I didn’t want to return to the rat race so to speak. I decided to use my expertise as a journalist to help others with their self promotion efforts. The new book is a part of that.

Q. What other projects are you currently working on or about to start?
A. I currently teach a monthly media workshop in my local community and I will be releasing another book in 2013 called: Make Your Mess Your MESS-age. It’s another non- fiction personal journey book.

Q. Have you ever wanted to or thought of writing a fictional book? If so, what in genre and what is/was your inspiration?
A. A. To be perfectly honest, I have never considered writing a fictional book.

Q Could you share some of your marketing strategies?  Which ones are the most effective in your opinion?
A. As a media trainer, I say it’s all about creating a buzz. There are a number of ways to do it. Online and offline networking has been very effective for me as well as public speaking. Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook have made it possible to connect with others around the globe but, in connecting, you must still build a relationship. I think one of the major mistakes people make in social media is constantly pushing their products or services on others without really taking the time to get to know anything about the people they’re coming in contact with. People are more likely to do business with those they know, like and trust so it’s important to take the time to nurture relationships.

Collaborations also work. Teaming up with other respected people in your field carries a lot of weight and can open up doors to an all new clientele.

Conducting training seminars and workshops allows others to see you as the expert and if you’re good at presenting, the more likely you are to gain new customers or clients.

Q. What would be the top five, (or 3 or 1 or however many) things you would tell aspiring authors?
  1. Hire an Editor. Even I, as a veteran journalist, have an Editor because it’s always good to have a second set of eyes to go over your grammar and spelling.
  2. Don’t get hung up on having to have so many pages to complete your book. My first book had 108 pages. I initially thought that was way too short but a good friend and fellow author told me not to worry about it. “When you’re done, you’re done!” That book went on to become an Amazon Best Seller and I had many people tell me they read it from cover to cover in one sitting and thoroughly enjoyed it.
  3. Create an outline. Once you have an idea for a book, create an outline of the different topics you plan to discuss in the book or how you would like it to flow.
  4. Every time you have a thought for your book, write it down. I have scribbled notes on napkins, envelopes and my leg (while driving). I then got smart and purchased a mini tape recorder so I could capture my thoughts anywhere at any time.
  5. Get a fellow author to be a mentor. Get someone who will hold you accountable, read your work and inspire you.
  6. Writer’s Block happens to everyone. Don’t let it discourage you. Put the manuscript away until you become inspired again. I went three or four months before I starting writing again on my third book. I had so many other distractions going on at the time and couldn’t wrap my head around my manuscript so I put it aside until I cleared up some of the distractions.
  7. Set a deadline for publication. Give yourself a reasonable amount of time but hold your own feet to the fire as well as having your mentor do it also.
  8. Start creating a buzz about your book BEFORE it goes to the publisher. Build excitement and anticipation for your book.
Thank you very much for this opportunity to sharing my writing journey with you and I hope you will purchase a copy of How to Get on the News Without Committing Murder.

Q. When you are able to take time away from your business what do you do for fun and relaxation?

A. I used to bowl in a league and that was always fun. Although I don’t participate in a league anymore, I still enjoy hanging out with the family and showing off my skills 
Sometimes, my husband and I will just get away for a weekend trip where it’s just us and that’s ALWAYS fun! I still feel like a newlywed since we’ve only been married for five years and we currently have a commuter marriage.

Again, thanks Beverly for taking the time to share your knowledge with us. We appreciate you and your work.

Good luck with your current and future publications.

For more information:

Purchase: Amazon, B&N, website


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  1. BeverlyM said...

    Thank you for inviting me to be interviewed on your blog.

    March 10, 2012 10:50 AM

  2. You are very welcome Beverly! I have enjoyed interviewing you and learning all about your book and business. I hope we can keep in contact.


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