Monday, July 25, 2011

World of Writing

-- World of Writing --

As many of our readers are aware we like to have occasional interviews with other writers, who can offer interesting insight into the career. Today we have Susan Ross - a former elementary teacher. She has self-published four books: The Great Bellybutton Cover-up. Say Please to the Honeybees, The Kit Kat Caper, and The Rose and the Lily. Susan writes with a sense of adventure, with a humorous edge – but also with a legacy in mind; her passion is to leave special life messages within each book. For instance in the latest release, The Rose and the Lily, Susan shows that character is more important that physical beauty. She lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband, Nathan, and a menagerie of animals. Visit her anytime at:
Q: Tell us something about yourself. 

I have a great sense of humor (slightly dark). I am an animal lover. I presently live with a teeny, tiny dog, a bunny (which was dumped at the side of the road) and two formerly stray cats. I love gardening and am launching The Rose and the Lily in conjunction with the up-coming Garden Gates Open gardening tour. (It will take weeks to get my garden ready.) 

Q: Did you choose writing as a profession, or did it choose you? 

It chose me. I was a storyteller at different venues. One day a woman came up to me and suggested I write my stories down for future grandchildren. Then I saw The Bucket List and knew I needed to get serious. You never know how much time you have left. (Now, that’s a cheery thought.) 

Q: What are common mistakes authors make? 

My biggest mistake was ordering too many books in an attempt to keep the unit cost down. It left me with lots of books and no money. Initially I did runs of 500, which was fine. I strongly suggest that you not order more than 1,000 books at a time. In general, however, I think the biggest mistake is to publish your book before having people from your target audience (not friends or family) read the book and give you feedback. I read all my manuscripts to 100’s of children to get their input and reactions before publishing. I scrapped one book because of it. 

Q: What are your greatest obstacles and motivators when it comes to writing?

My greatest obstacle is my terrible spelling and errors that manage to sneak past spell-check. Grammar and punctuation are killers too. My motivators are ideas. Ideas can come from articles in the paper, events, or just the meandering of my own thoughts.
Q: What is your favorite memory in your career as a writer? 

My favourite memory is holding my first published book, The Great Bellybutton Cover-up, in my hands. It was wonderful! There is nothing to compare to the pride of accomplishment (although making a little profit is a close second).  

Q: What do you think about self-publishing? 

I think self-publishing is a wonderful way to fulfill your dream of having your book published, keeping in mind that it is a lot of hard work, expensive and time-consuming venture. However, I like the fact that I have control of the illustrations and the ultimate decisions regarding editing. Of course, if the book is a flop, I have no one to blame but myself. 

 Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, information about their radio program, newsletter, blog, and more at: * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, or visiting the Brummet's Store - every sale raises funds for charity as well!

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