An Interview with Cynthia White
My Quality Writing.com
Quality Writing and Services to Make a Difference
This page was last updated: August 20, 2013
Dennis: How long have you been a writer and how did you get started?
Cynthia:I began journaling and writing poetry in my youth. At the age of 30, for a lawsuit deposition a couple of years after my car wreck, I was asked to record the accident, my five months in rehabilitation, and my experience returning to the workforce. Everyone that read it encouraged me to write my story. I didn’t feel I had anything to write about, but the seed was planted. I became involved in a youth ministry and wrote their newsletters; thereafter, I began submitting articles for our church and wrote, produced, and directed several plays. I was hooked. I enrolled in writing courses by correspondence, on-line, and locally. Several of my assignments have now become children’s books and an uncompleted novel, as yet unpublished. During a two-year business venture, I wrote feature articles for our local newspaper, and began a memoir/self-help book, Views From My Chariot: A Wheelchair Oddity, published in May 2012. I began blogging, and as a follow-up to Views…, I wrote HOW TO BE THE BEST YOU, published in April 2013.
Dennis: What type of writing do you do?
Cynthia:My first two books are nonfiction; the first, memoir/self-help and the second, personal improvement, as is my blog. I’m considering a novel and submitting my children’s books for publication.
Dennis: Do you belong to any social networking sites?
Dennis: What suggestions do you have for other writers/authors?
Cynthia: Hone your craft! Write about everything. Keep a notebook for jotting down thoughts/ideas, characters, and descriptive words you like. I even keep a voice-activated recorder in bed with me. Like any endeavor at which you want to excel, writing requires vision, discipline, patience, and bulldog determination—setting your face like flint toward the realization of your project.
Dennis: What have you learned about the publishing industry that might help other authors or those who may want to be authors?
CynthiaFor 1½ years, I sent out queries and/or the requested number of pages to traditional publishers, receiving only polite refusals. That’s when I decided to try self-publishing. If you go the self-publishing route, it’s still a difficult, frustrating road. I’m not a swift typist, computer-savvy, a web designer or an internet wizard. These qualities will help tremendously in getting you on your way. After putting in the work to research, write, rewrite, rewrite, and rewrite your book, finding an excellent editor is paramount! Going through your manuscript again and again and again with editor corrections and suggestions is tedious and harrowing, but it’s a MUST-DO! You don’t want to be plagued by insecurities of your book’s imperfection. This happened to me with my first book. Unwittingly, I went through two not-so-professional (cheap) editors. Down the line after repeatedly finding errors, I lost confidence. Even though I knew the content and message were relevant, needed, and most important, I didn’t want critics to discredit it. With the completion of my second book, I decided to bite the bullet and hire a highly recommended editor to edit it and re-edit my first. Yes, it was double the money, but it re-established my pride (in both books) and taught me an expensive lesson! Another suggestion if you’re self-publishing: have an avid reader, book club friend or knowledgeable writer/friend read your manuscript BEFORE and AFTER the editor does their business. It’s so easy to miss errors, out-of-order and confusing tangents, and philosophical ramblings that have no point or never get to the point. After your project is complete, you’ll need to learn how to think like a marketer because ALL promotions are up to you.
Dennis: What kind of marketing activities have worked for you that you might suggest to others?
Cynthia:I have sold equally well with book signings and website promotions. TV interviews and newspaper articles stimulate interest, as well.
Dennis: Do you write articles? If yes, please provide some links where others can read what you have written?
Cynthia: I contributed articles in my local newspaper several years ago, but lately I have concentrated on my books and website. I do plan on submitting some magazine articles this year.
Dennis: Is there anything else you would like to add to include in this interview? Basically what would you want others to take away from this interview?
Cynthia:I believe the most important aspect of writing is motivation. Why do you write? If you can’t answer this question, you may want to begin submitting varied-themed articles in genres you think you’re interested in. Something will click. When you find you’re consumed with a topic and pique other’s interest, you will have found your niche. If you just love words and are digitally (phalanges of the hand) loquacious, you might consider hiring out as a blog writer, magazine or newspaper contributor. You never know where your path may lead or what story travels into a book!