Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Interview with author Yvonne Perry
Today my blog guest is author, Yvonne Perry. Yvonne, please tell us a bit about yourself and your writing career.
1. How long have you been writing and what made you decide to become a writer?
I have loved to write for as long as I can remember, but I never thought about being a writer until I was working a corporate job that I hated. In fact, actually calling myself a writer took about a year because I had never seen myself in that role before 2002. That’s when I became close friends with Bernice Burns; we were co-workers at the time. She and I devised a plan whereby we would both escape the 9-to-5 rat race. We set our goals to leave our full-time jobs within one year. We were both attending college classes at the time, and I was writing a book and taking online writing classes. Bernice was taking courses in accounting and studying to get her real estate license. She knew what she wanted to do, but I kind of got pushed into making up something—anything—as my “get-out-of-jail” plan. I loved writing, so I said, “I’ll start a freelance writing business!” Bernice held me to it. Each week, we held accountability meetings that included pep talks and butt kicking—whichever was called for to keep us on track. Our goal-setting venture did not stop with establishing ourselves in new careers. To this day, Bernice and I still meet, email, or call one another at least once per week to discuss our short- and long-term goals and what we did to try to reach them.
2. Are you a full-time or part-time writer, and how do you organize your writing time?
I am a full-time ghostwriter, editor, proofreader, and book marketer. I still work 9 to 5—many days much longer than eight hours—but I’m doing what I love and feel called to. I write my weekly goals in my planner and refuse to leave my office until I have accomplished 90 to 95 percent of everything I have on my docket that day.
3. What is your writing process?
Baby steps make milestones. If you have a big writing project, break it down into manageable parts so you can see some progress daily without being overwhelmed. Procrastinating will not bring the results you desire. Daily mini feats will assure you reach your goal.
4. What prompted you to write about your grandson?
I began writing The Sid Series ~ A Collection of Holistic Stories for Children (ISBN: 9780982572207) as I spent time with my grandson when he was very young. It was mainly for me to remember some of the cute things he said, but he was also manifesting a strong spiritual intellect. I soon found myself learning some profound spiritual lessons from this little boy who called himself an “old soul.” I decided to publish the stories to share these profound messages with other children and parents.
5. I understand that Sid has some “special” gifts; could you tell me about them?
Sid was able to communicate with me telepathically from the time he was born. He exhibited the gift of premonition at about age nine months; he channeled his higher self at age three; he related his ability to see spirits and used a magic potion to heal a crippled dog at age four. When he would spend the night at my house, he would wake up with nightmares. From the descriptions he gave me, and from what my inner guidance was telling me, I was aware that his astral spirit was traveling to dark realms. Rather than discourage him from his astral travel, we created a mantra that we repeated before he went to bed: “Thank you, angels and guides for letting my spirit visit only the realms of highest light and love and travel only to safe places filled with loving beings who love and care about me.” Sid will be nine years old in February. He is now able to bi-locate. His spirit makes visits to his parents’ room while his body is fast asleep in his bed. We might not have known this if Sid’s mom weren’t so open to his gifts or if she weren’t able to see spirits. Sidney is still very much in touch with his inner guidance, but he now receives most of his messages through dreams. He related one of his dreams to me when I interviewed him on my podcast. http://www.audioacrobat.com/play/WXGR2zYW
6. One review site I saw referred to The Sid Series as a “book for spiritually gifted children.” How do you feel non-spiritual children and their parents will relate to the book?
The stories are for any child because they all deal with the similar issues regardless of whether or not they exhibit psychic gifts. For example, any child who has lost a pet will relate to “Puppy Love.” Those who have been “bumped” by a new baby will gain understanding from “Making Room for Brother.” Any child who is afraid of thunder and lightning will appreciate “A Stormy Adventure.” There’s also a story about accepting and appreciating diversity, another about recycling, and a story about telling the truth. The purpose of this unique collection of stories is to teach life lessons, expand our awareness, and tell us something about ourselves.
7. Why did you choose to self-publish these stories and did you try to have them published through a traditional publisher?
I did not try to have them published. I wanted them published right away rather than query, wait, and be rejected. I knew I would have to do most of the marketing no matter how I published, so I decided to publish them myself and not have to share a large percentage of the profits with a publisher.
8. What is your marketing plan for The Sid Series?
I have just completed a 30-day virtual book tour in which I visited more than 25 blogs. The tour schedule (http://tinyurl.com/SidTour) has links to all the places where I shared unique content on a variety of topics related to The Sid Series.
Since these 12 stories deal with topics that children and many adults have a difficult time understanding and believing, I have launched a community project—an art and talent showcase—that allows children to share life lessons. Children are encouraged to write their own story or create artwork that demonstrates what they have learned by reading The Sid Series. Every participant will get a free copy of the e-book comprised of the art and stories created by the children.
The art showcase is NOT a contest! Children will not be judged or rejected for their heart-felt creativity. Instead, every story, artwork, and audio will be recognized and everyone's talent will be included in a community e-book that can be shared with family and friends. Each participant will get a free copy of the e-book comprised of the art and stories created by participating children. See art showcase guidelines. http://writersinthesky.com/art-showcase.html#showcase_guidelines
9. What other types of writing do you do?
I am a freelance writer and editor. I am the owner of Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services based in Nashville, Tennessee. My team and I have written/edited more than forty books for a variety of clients on many different topics. We also write articles, Web text, biographical sketches, resumes, book proposals, query letters, marketing copy, and business documents. I have written several books and e-books under my own name. Those are available at http://writersinthesky.com/books-by-yvonne.html.
10. Where can people find out more about you and your work?
http://writersinthesky.com or http://yvonneperry.blogspot.com. I’m also on Twitter @writersinthesky.
11. Any tips for new writers who want to write for children? We have just brought on a new team member, Rachelle Burk. She has tons of experience in critiquing children’s manuscripts. Her critiques include feedback on formatting, choice of title, target age length, opening paragraph and conclusion, dialogue, believability, character development, voice, rhyme and meter (if applicable), illustrations (if applicable), as well as line by line comments within the text. Authors get advice about grammar, word choices, sentence length, and structure. I highly recommend her http://witsforkidswritercritiques.blogspot.com/. Also, Suzanne Lieurance has a radio show with lots of advice for children’s writers. See http://writingforchildrencenter.com/ for more details and to learn about the National Writing for Children Center.
Thank you, Yvonne, for being my guest today and for sharing your thoughts with me and my readers.
It was my pleasure, Penny. Thank you for having me on your blog today and for the wonderful review you wrote for The Sid Series.