New Interview With the Fantastic Traci Sanders!

I am thrilled to have with us again, the lovely and talented Traci Sanders. Traci Sanders is a multi-genre, multi-award-winning author of ten published titles, with contributions to three anthologies. An avid blogger and supporter of Indie authors, she writes parenting, children’s, romance, and nonfiction guides.

Her ultimate goal is to provide great stories and quality content for dedicated readers, whether through her own writing or editing works by other authors.

Today, we’ll be talking about her newest novels which aids the author in the editing process. But! Are also encouraging and helpful to the aspiring author.

Traci, we’re so glad you’re here again. There’s a lot of questions I’d like to ask you, so let’s get started!

1. There is so much to know and learn about editing. How long did it take you to write these novels regarding editing?
This entire book series is based on a year-long blog segment where I offered tips on all aspects of the writing and publishing industry. So, you could say it took me a year to conduct the research and write these books. 😊

2. How important is it for writers to get that editor?
Professional editing is a crucial aspect of producing a high quality book. I would even say it’s more important than formatting or cover design, in some cases. Many readers judge a book by its cover, but some just want what’s inside.

3. What are some mistakes editors make?
It’s important to realize that NO editor is perfect. They all miss things, usually small things like an extra space, or a common word like “quite” being mistaken for “quiet”. That’s one of my faux pas, anyway. As humans, we are fallible and we miss common things that we’re used to hearing all the time. Our brains don’t always register the difference when we’re reading or editing. That’s why it’s crucial that you, as the author, read over your editor’s comments carefully, and be proactive. Try to catch anything he or she misses. You both have the same goal in mind: to produce the best story possible. As long as you learn something, you’re always becoming better at your craft.

4. What awards have you won?
My romance novella Unsevered won Best Second Chance Romance from Bottles and Books Readers’ Favorite Awards and Bronze from eLit Awards. My debut novella When Darkness Breaks won Best Romance Novella from Bottles and Book Readers’ Favorite Awards. They were both nominated for other awards, but didn’t place. I haven’t taken the time to enter any of my other titles in competitions.

5. Tell us if you can, how can an author identify a true writing contest among the false, on the internet?
First, it’s important to know that writing contests and award contests cost money. There is always a fee.
In my opinion, the ones that are quality are those such as Readers’ Favorite and local awards’ programs and contests, especially the ones that offer true feedback on your stories, not just prizes.

6. Okay, since you are an author and an editor, I’ve always wondered, do you edit in your mind while reading a book?
Oh my gosh, yes! And it’s a blessing and a curse. Every book I read, I want to send the author a note to let them know what tiny errors I found in their books, not to insult them or make them feel bad, but because I would want to know about my errors. I want my work to be as close to perfect as possible. Most authors appreciate that I do this. Now that I’ve learned all the editing tricks that I’ve acquired so far, I find it extremely difficult to take off my editor hat and simply enjoy a story. Like I said, a blessing and a curse.

7. Is it a desire to see writers succeed and improve in their craft?
I’ve been a people pleaser, and an advocate for the underdog, for my entire life. So, yes, I’m always willing to help others succeed, even to the detriment of my own success. It’s just the way I was raised. It brings me great joy to help others.

8. In your opinion, what percentage of writers can actually edit their own work?
Most writers can PRE-edit their work, and should, but every author is usually too close to his or her own work to edit objectively. An extra set of “trained” eyes always makes a difference. I even hire professional editors for my books.

9. As an editor, what do you typically notice a writer has problems with? i.e. Spelling, tense, dialogue, sentence structure…
The biggest two issues I see involve tense change and sentence structure. Spelling and grammar issues are easy to fix, and most experienced writers have learned the basic grammar rules. But, things like hanging modifiers and overwriting are not as easy to recognize for some.

10. How many novels do you typically edit within a month?
I just started editing full-time this year, but I’d say I can get at least three edits done per month.

11. Will we be seeing another editing book collection in the future?
Probably not. I covered a plethora of topics in this series, that go above and beyond what most will find on their own, without searching a multitude of sources, which is quite time consuming. Unless the grammar rules change dramatically, this is THE go-to set that every author can use to improve his or her writing dramatically.

12. What education have you had to aid in your editing?
I’m self-taught, but I’ve trained under some extremely talented editors, who’ve shown me the ropes. Plus, I’ve always had a firm grasp on grammar and a love of word play, so this feels like a natural progression in my career.

13. If someone has a desire to edit, what sort of tips can you relay to them?
Read, read, read. Books, blog posts, and tutorial guides. Learn the mechanics of writing, then practice them. Do reworks of your own writing. Pay attention to pauses in writing and structure of dialogue.

14. In your book, “Beyond the Book”, what are a few marketing details readers can expect to learn?
Oh my goodness. There aren’t a few. It’s over 300 pages of out-of-the-box ideas for marketing your books, networking with other authors to build your brand, and tips on producing high quality books. It’s truly a great resource. Even I refer back to my tips!

15. “Before You Publish” is a wonderful tool-since I’ve read about half of it- I see it’s a great aid for those who are aspiring authors. What are a few tips readers may learn in this helpful book?
This is more of a “let me look this up” type of reference book, rather than a “read cover to cover” title. I incorporate a ton of grammar topics – common spelling errors and word-usage errors, and even creative-writing tips. Basically, this book covers all aspects of the writing portion of publishing.

16. In “Living the Write Life”, what are a few tips authors can learn from this book?
Even though this is my shortest book, I’m probably most proud of this one because it’s a guide for life as an author. It includes answers and suggestions for things like: how to be inspired to write, 7 stretches for writers, and how to respond to the dreaded question – “How much do you make with your books?”

17. I love to play a fun game on my blog so readers and fellow authors can learn more about you, and what sorts of things you enjoy and love. So, let’s begin! Writing or editing??
Writing is more fun, for sure. But, editing makes me feel more accomplished.

18. Coffee or espresso?
Coffee

19. Reading in the morning, afternoon or evening?
Evening

20. Playing with your kids, or taking a nap?-no we won’t hold it against you if you pick a nap! HA!
I don’t take naps.

21. Beta reading or editing?
Editing

22. Writing or marketing?
Writing

23. Lake or the ocean?
Ocean

24. Swimming or sun bathing?
Sun bathing

25. Thunderstorms or snow storm?
Thunderstorms

26. Spring or summer?
Spring. I hate sweating.

27. Texting or talking on the phone?
Texting, unless I have a good bit of time to spare. I do love hearing people’s voices.

28. What’s your favorite color?
Purple

29. What is your favorite comfort food?
Strawberry short cake, which isn’t easy to find around here, so if I want it, I have to make it. My mama used to make me one every year on my birthday.

30. Chocolate or white chocolate?
Chocolate

31. How many kids do you have?

Three – 19, 17, and 11

32. Tell your readers one of the funniest things your kids have done?
Wasn’t funny at the time, but, my boys painted my entire house with chocolate syrup while I was working at home one day. They were two and four … and hungry, apparently. This story actually turned into a children’s book for me.

33. I’m excited to hear of your blog tour and we wish you only the best. Give us the details of where you will be heading so readers may join you and snatch one or ALL of these books?
You can always check my blog http://www.awordwithtraci.com. I’ll be announcing each stop there each day.

34. Where can we find a list of all of your novels, including these three “new” releases-which I’m dying to own in paperback?
My Amazon page:
https://www.amazon.com/Traci-M.-Sanders/e/B00BA9VUUY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1490804598&sr=8-1

35. Is there anything you’d love to relay to your readers, before we say goodbye?
My ultimate advice would be DON’T SETTLE FOR STATUS QUO. Sure, you can produce a so-so book and maybe get a few 3-4-star reviews, OR, you can take the time learn the rules of grammar and mechanics, and produce an outstanding story that readers won’t be able to forget.

Even though I wrote short romance novellas, and some of the reviews from my readers mentioned that fact, NONE of them really said they felt cheated, because I offered a compelling story. You won’t be remembered for your book’s page count, but you will be remembered for the emotions you brought about for that reader who “needed” that book at that very moment, even if this person didn’t know it.

This has been a fun and one of the most helpful interviews I’ve had. I’m so thankful you stopped by Traci! I and everyone else congratulate you on these new releases and I’m so grateful you’ve written them. I’ll be purchasing all in paperback!

Guys, this has been another AMAZING interview with a wonderful and talented author. Stay tuned for more interviews and give this blog a follow to stay connected.

You Want to Stay Tuned For This Interview!

Hey all! I’m super excited because in a few days, there will be a wonderful author interview with the talented author and editor, Traci Sanders! She has a blog tour coming up that you don’t want to miss including several prizes!
<em*ONE unsigned paperback copy of Before You Publish – Volume I

*ONE unsigned paperback copy of Beyond The Book – Volume II

To enter, all you have to do is email me a proof of purchase of a digital copy of either of these two books during the tour.

I will draw TWO winners total, at the end of the tour.

Please email your proof of purchase (can be a screenshot) to tsanderspublishing@yahoo.com

For years, she’s been a devoted editor backing and helping fellow authors, and now she has written these new novels which you definitely want to pick up!

Stay tuned, follow and share because you need to read this interview!!

This Week’s Author Spotlight We Have Seven Steps!

Author Photo

Welcome and we’re back with an all new author’s spotlight with the lovely Seven Steps! Seven thanks for coming and joining us this week! I’m excited at some of the topics we’re tackling so let’s get started!

What made you want to be a writer? I was an avid reader growing up. I remember my father and I hanging out in bookstores for hours. It was a natural progression for me to become a writer and to tell the stories that I didn’t see written growing up.

Tell us your book’s genre? I write Science Fiction Romance.

Tell us about your book and how it’s available. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, paperback etc.) The Slave Planet is set in an Earth colony stationed on the planet Venus. Over time, women have taken over the government and enslaved all men. The main character is a woman named Nadira who has fallen in love with her slave, Kiln. When she is elected to the High Council, she becomes caught up in a crooked politician’s murderous scheme. The collateral is her slave, Kiln. The story follows Nadira in her quest to get Kiln back by any means necessary.

How important is it to read books when you want to be an author? Reading books when you’re an author is like studying biology before you become a doctor. It is indispensable. You must read if you write. There is no way around it.

I personally love how you add characters that are a black woman and a white man. How did you decide to write a book about an inter-racial couple? I am an African American woman, and I have always been attracted to other races. I think that my preference just comes out in my writing. It is also important to me to make sure that my books are as diverse as possible. I want to write in a way that anyone can relate and everyone feels included.

Which character do you identify with most in your novel? Definitely Nadira. I am a hopeless romantic and I go against the grain, just like her. I’m also stubborn, head strong, and have a nervous tick where I rub my stomach. Hmmm… maybe Nadira is more like me then I thought.

Is there a message you’d like to send through your book? Love conquers all.

What made you want to add a very difficult issue such as slavery in your novel? I thought that it would be a unique perspective on the slavery issue. Having white males be slaves to black women is a trope that I have never seen before, and I love the uniqueness of it.

Which part of the publishing process do you detest most? Marketing. I’d rather spend time writing more books then constantly trying to promote myself. I’m an introvert, so putting myself out there is hard for me.

Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet etc. I need it to be quiet with no interruptions. My favorite writing times are in my car during my lunch break, and while my husband plays video games. He normally plays with a headset on, so I can sit in the recliner and really get stuff done. I usually listen to whales singing or animal sounds. I know, it’s weird.

What is one goody you must have at your desk when you’re writing? A wrist rest.

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. My own self-doubt. Its one thing to read what you wrote and say that is good. It’s another thing to put yourself out there for the world to judge. But, I ripped the Band-Aid off and I’m glad I did.

When you need some extra encouragement, who do you turn to? I have great friends on Facebook who give me the extra push that I need when I need it.

How do you market your book? I like to use different book related blogs and websites.

Has readers every contacted you? If so, tell us what they said. I have had good feedback from readers who’ve told me that they enjoyed my book and that they are looking for the next one. It’s really flattering and humbling when anyone says that they have read anything that I’ve written.

Who do you trust to read your finished books before publication? My beta readers and my editor.

Tell us all about your very first book signing. Take us there with your description of people, place, food, décor etc. I have never had a book signing but I hope to have one in the future.

What do you enjoy when you’re not writing? I love hanging out with my family. We are really big movie buffs, and we especially love Disney movies. I also am a bit of a wine connoisseur. Well, not a connoisseur. Maybe a wine connoisseur in training. Who am I kidding? I just like to drink wine!

Tell your readers what your favorite food and color is. Let them in to just who Seven Steps is. Baked Macaroni and Cheese and the color blue.

Tell us your favorite novel? The Air He Breathes by Brittinay Cherry.

Now a fun game I’ll ask what your preference. Let your readers know what you love.

A walk in the park or a stroll around town? A stroll around town. I’d love to take in the sights.

Ice cream or frozen yogurt? Ice Cream.

Cool whip or real whip cream? Is there a difference?

Sci-fi novels or romance novels? Oohh, can I have both? No? Ok, romance.

Orange juice or milk? Orange juice all the way.

Cold cereal or hot cereal?? Hot cereal, particularly oatmeal.

Kindle or paperback novels? Nothing beats a good paperback.

Are there any mistakes you made with your first book? I wish I had gotten a better editor / proofreader.

What kind of advice can you give to other either aspiring authors? Write every day. Read every day.

When in doubt, who do you trust to help you out? My family.

When is the release of your next novel? Name genre or if it’s part of a series. If your book is part of a series tell the readers about the others that are out for sale. My next novel is a clean contemporary rock star romance, titled THE LAST ROCK KING. It is a stand-alone.

Where can we find your author page of your work to follow you and purchase your awesome book? On my website, http://www.sevenstepsauthor.com

The_slave_planet

I don’t know about all of you but my reading list is growing lol. Thank you Seven Steps! I look forward to interviewing you again when your next novel is released.
Everyone, follow along for next week’s author’s spotlight. Who will it be??? What genre?