Welcome to the spotlight Carmina Edwards! Below is her wonderful interview. Readers feel free to post any questions and Carmina Edwards will answer them for you. You want to get to know this wonderful author!
1.) What made you want to be a writer?
Hi Aimee, thank you for inviting me for an interview. I began to read at a very young age and was an avid bookworm by the time I started school at the age of four. I had a vivid imagination even then and used to love English class assignments by the time I was ten or eleven and even more so once I started secondary school at the age of twelve. My essays became novellas.
2.) What genre’s do you write or delve into?
My first book is a biography. (An undisclosed person)…… My second is a continuation of the first one and a third for sure will follow, maybe even a fourth one. However, I used to write a lot of fiction mystery stories, though never published any of them…….Yet! I have more books rattling round my head trying to get out. They are mostly fiction, one devotional and testimonial. I also love to write Science fiction, but with Christian overtones.
3.) Tell us about your novel and if how it’s available. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, paperback etc.)
Okay, so my first novel, “A Door Cracked Open” is available on Amazon, both in paperback and Kindle formats. It can also be ordered through any bookstore worldwide. It tells of the struggles of a young girl brought up in an atheist home and yet despite that, she found God and determined to make something of her life, following God’s call, she persevered against the odds to break free from what she’d always known and kept going. Her “ordinary” life becomes an “extraordinary” one in terms of experiences and blessings along with many obstacles to contend with.
4.) What audience do you want to reach and why?
My audience is mixed. It’s biographical but also a Christian tale. It’s not written specifically for Christian readers though many of my readers are. One of my readers left me a 5 star review on Amazon saying she only ever reads the likes of Stephen King, yet tried my book and couldn’t put it down! It’s a pretty versatile kind of read.
5.) What kind of impact ‘if any’ do you want your book to have on the next generation?
I doubt that my writing will have ANY impact on the next generation, but especially with the first book, many teenagers may be able to relate with what I wrote. I would love for it to help them in some way. I particularly hope that through reading it, they will see how God had His hand on me all through this and the next 2 books and give hope to many.
6.) Which part of the publishing process do you detest most?
Oh that’s kinda funny. I am the most computer illiterate person on the planet. I just about get my manuscript typed up and sent to my editor. When she returns it edited…..well I got lost. She talked me through how to do it. I guess I’d have to say that the editing is my least favorite part. My first book went through so many edits while I was working with a different editor. Then I found the one I have now and it went much more quickly and smoothly. This second book is being edited as I write and she has made the whole process a painless one.
7.) Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet etc.
Oh, I need total silence in order to write. Having said that, if I go out and have to wait for a bus for a couple of hours, I pull out my paper and pencil from my bag and I somehow write and type it up when I get back to my laptop. I couldn’t write out too often though. If music is playing, I can’t write at all.
8.) Do you need special treats or goodies to help you write?
Lovely question, this one. Well……owing to my current situation, money to buy treats and goodies does not exist, so no, right now I don’t have any to assist me in my writing. I crave those goodies all the time though. Coffee….I do have that and I will drink it from the moment I wake, to the moment I go to sleep. I have to have my coffee or I don’t function…..simple as that. What I NEED too, is chocolate and bags of hard candy! I can’t get those two items though so this book is being written on “fumes” so to speak.
9.) Which do you prefer the most, traditional or self-publishing and why?
I always thought I would prefer traditional publishing. However, over the last couple of years, finding how actually, there is very little difference in terms of what the author has to do. An agent (traditionally finds a deal with a publisher for the author), but the author still has to do most of the marketing and PR stuff, so I decided not to go that way. As a traditionally published author, you lose (in many cases), most of your rights, you pay a big percentage to the agent/publisher and then still have to do most of the work yourself. I can’t see the point. I opted for self publishing in the end. Having said that…….remember how I said I am totally illiterate on the computer? Dealing with the formatting and publishers etc…………in came my wonderful editor who did it for me! I will have to learn how to do it if I continue to be self-published. I’m not totally against traditional publishing, but I’d need to be offered a pretty good deal to be interested, I think.
10.) What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel? IF it’s too personal just make a generalized statement if you can.
I made the mistake of not finding the right editor in the beginning. I had no idea of how any of this writing thing worked before. I’d only written for myself and never tried to publish until last year, so was unaware of the process and believed all the delaying tactics my first editor used. My current editor stepped in at a moment’s notice and began to work with me. The difference was like night and day. I am happy now, but I think finding the right person to work with is the hardest thing in the whole process.
11.) When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?
Ah. That’d be my editor and a handful of amazing friends.
12.) How do you market your novel?
Marketing is no easy feat. Since November, I have used Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to advertise it. Now remember I am no good with computers so…….still finding my way around the land of tweeting and linking! My book was published in November 2015 and in the first month, I had four book signings in Oregon, USA. I am hoping to do more of those here in the UK. Contacting the newspapers and radio stations, yet to hear from them. One major bookstore in the UK is now stocking my book, but that’s as far as I have gotten with the marketing thing.
13.) Who is the first person who reads your finished manuscripts?
With my first book, I had several readers though they never read the final edited version, that was my editor. This second book…..everything has happened so quickly and it won’t be sat on shelves for years before rewriting so my editor is the first to see any of the writing on this one. She will be the first to read the edited version too.
14.) Tell us all about your very first book signing. Take us there with your description of people, place, food, décor etc.
My first book signing took place in Roseburg, Oregon, USA. Black Friday was the day and I was privileged to be given a table in the middle of a shopping mall. I had bought white tablecloths and with my display of books and a glass dish (bought in a thrift store), a mixture of peppermint candy and striped candy canes to offer to those visiting the mall that day, I sat and waited. Unfortunately, with most of the shop units in the mall vacant, not many people frequent the place. It felt like a mini ghost town and the smell of toasted sandwiches not far from my table lured me over from time to time. They served coffee, that was the important thing for me. Anyone who knows me will tell you I am rarely seen without a cup of coffee in my hand! Because the large crowds I thought there might be out shopping there on that day failed to exist, it did mean that I got to talk a lot with those who did show up. Apart from talking about my book and signing some copies, I got to meet some interesting people willing to tell me their stories.
It was a learning curve for me though. and some new friends from Roseburg made the experience a great one. Their support and friendship on the day was amazing. I nickname my friend Carolyn my “American PR Manager.” As I sat talking with folk and signing, she stood a little way from the table calling out to people who thought they might get away without even looking at my display of books. She brought them into whichever conversation was going on at the time and most of them didn’t leave until they had purchased their signed copy. Now I’m a first time author, an unknown, was over 7,000 miles from home, not even from the USA, let-a-lone their town. Why would they want to read my book? After chatting, they wanted to know more.
I may not have sold a huge amount of books at my first book signing, but I got to meet some lovely people in a town I felt at home in. It was an occasion for storytelling and sharing with people who’s own stories touched me deeply.
15.) Since my blog is part about the supernatural and paranormal, do you believe in the supernatural or paranormal realm? Even if it’s not your genre.
Some years ago, I would have said that I don’t believe in the paranormal. I would be lying if I tried to claim that now though> Over the years, I have had a few experiences which I cannot dismiss as anything but. Supernatural for me…..that would be God moments. I have had so many of those throughout my life.
16.) Do you believe in the existence of Jesus and Satan??
Oh yes. Absolutely.
17.) What sorts of things do you enjoy when you aren’t writing?
When I’m not writing, I love to read, knit or spend time with my children and friends.
18.) Tell your readers what your favorite food and color is. I know this may seem silly but allow your readers to know more about you.
My favorite color has always been blue. Now food….that’s a tricky thing. There are many dishes I love and I may not eat much, but I do love food. I think if I have to pick one dish, it has to be something a friend cooked for me when I visited Louisiana back in September. Cajun Gumbo dish……..Never had anything like it before. It totally hit the spot for me. Been craving it ever since!
19.) What kind of advice can you give to other either aspiring authors or published authors?
Oh that’s a tough one. Writing can be a very lonely road to travel, mine has been much of the time. I was blessed with a few friends and family (in-laws) and my children, who kept encouraging me to continue. I think the only piece of advise I can really offer is that no matter what, NEVER give up. It’s been your dream to write? Then write. Don’t quit. That’s been my motto in life with everything.
20.) Do you doubt yourself at times? When you do what helps you get over the slump?
Oh I doubt myself ALL the time. Much of this stems back from childhood maybe, I don’t know. I have never believed in me enough I guess. When I do have one of those slumps, a few of my friends talk me into continuing and if I am made to feel accountable, that gets me going again. The kind comments they make about my writing spurs me back on and I take off again for a while, a hermit, with my laptop!
21.) When is the release of your next novel? Name genre or if it’s part of a series.
My next novel? I am currently writing that one now. My dead-line is the end of May and I hope to have it published in June. It is the second in the “World Cracked Open” series, so a continuation of the first one. (Biography).
22.) Where can we find your author page of your work to follow you and purchase your awesome book?
I have an Author Page on Facebook.
My book “A Door Cracked Open” is available in paperback and Kindle, on Amazon.com and worldwide.
I am trying to get my website built too, but that may take a little while. (I am stuck, because it’s computer stuff)! I will have a Blog running on there when it’s finished, so that my readers can join me there.
Many thanks Aimee for interviewing me. It’s been fun.
I hope this interview helped and blessed you as it did me. We wish Carmina Edwards all the blessings in her novel and future novels. I encourage you to follow her author page and keep tabs on what she has!
She’s here so feel free to ask her any questions especially regarding the wonderful book that I definitely have to add to my reading list!
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