Hi guys! My guest today is not only the co-writer of several books but also a blogger, media guru, editor, and general all-round author’s best friend. It’s the wonderful Julie Gerber!
Hi Julie! Tell us a bit about yourself.
I live in South Georgia, but I am planning to move to Florida soon. I love to read and I love the beach. I have coauthored two books and have my first solo book in the works. I own Away We Go Media Author Services and I have been managing social media and promotions for authors for about five years.
Have you always wanted to write books? What made you start?
I never really thought I would write a book. The opportunity landed in front of me and now the writing bug has taken hold. The first book I coauthored was for a client. The second was written with one of my first clients. We wrote Navigating Indieworld to share our combined knowledge of writing and marketing books.
What are your favourite genres to read and write?
My favorites are anything end of the world, apocolyptic thrillers and crime. I also love historical romances and suspense. I enjoyed writing the self help book, Navigating Indieworld because it felt like two friends sitting down together and being real. It has humor sprinkled throughout. I felt like our personalities came out in that book.
Tell us more about Away We Go Media.
Away We Go Media is my baby. I have worked for the last few years helping indie authors build social media platforms and relationships with their readers. I help build their brands, market books, and I offer beta reading services. Beta reading is my favorite part of the job. I enjoy reading a book, pointing out ways to make the book better, and seeing how my input alters a book’s direction.
Who is your favourite fictional character and why?
This is a tough one. I really loved Scarlett O’hara. She may have been spoiled, but her character grew and she knew how to get things done. I adore her.
What do you think makes a great beta reader?
I think a great beta reader has the ability to give input without moving the author away from the book they want to write. A beta reader knows how to take what is given and build on that. I think some beta readers want to rewrite things and make them their own. They put too much of themselves into the book when it isn’t their book. A good beta reader will allow and author to make the existing book better so the author still recognizes the completed book when it is all said and done.
If you could choose any book to be made into a movie, which would it be?
I would love to see Brood X by Michael Phillip Cash made into a movie. To me, it is the perfect book for a movie. If I had multiple choices, Affliction Z by LT Ryan and Slow Burn by Bobby Adair are close seconds. I loved those series!
Tell us about your latest release!
Social media guru, Julie A. Gerber and award-winning author of forty-three best-selling books, Carole P. Roman, team up to travel the winding road of self-publishing, promoting, and marketing a book. Join these two experts as they share their vast store of experience in an easy to read book.
Learn why you need a beta reader and the importance of a good editor. Make a list of what you need to do when choosing an illustrator. Compare the many ways to promote your book.
Navigating Indieworld will end up being your travel guide as you journey from writer to published author.
Read Chapter One
Let’s start with Genesis, the beginning, the tiny seed of an idea that roots itself in your brain crying out to be nurtured.
It ignites with a spark, the light that illuminates the recesses of your mind, making the wheels start to whirl feverously.
The thoughts refuse to be extinguished. They needle, interrupting your daily chores, making you stare off into space and think. You shelve it; you have too much to do, but it percolates, the “what ifs” bubbling up until they erupt in a cataclysmic explosion that finally forces you to take your computer in hand and gaze at the white screen that turns your face red with the heat of embarrassment. Can you do this?
Writing a book is subjective. It’s a highly personal experience. You are taking your deepest thoughts, your fears, perceptions and laying them out like a smorgasbord for the world to read, peruse, and finally, judge you based on their personal point of view. Sometimes they are brutal, flaying the words from your book like a marauder. Other times, you will strike a communal chord, touching their heart and soul in the most intimate way. Either way, it is one of the most rewarding experiences in the world.
Your subject or story means everything to you. You can plot and plan, but somehow they take on a life of their own. Don’t obsess about what you are writing. You may find that like the childhood game of telephone, your book has morphed somehow and is a completely different story from where you began. In the end, it won’t matter; keep the momentum going, and let it develop organically. Once your characters take the lead, it becomes their story and not yours. Push to the finish line. As soon as you complete it, you’ll find out that is when the hard work really starts. Jump into the world of indie writers.
You will find plenty of experts to help you take your project from idea to a finished work of art. Amazon and the internet are filled with books to help you through the nuts and bolts of writing a book.
I got started writing when most people are thinking about jettisoning work and lightening their load. My sons dared me to take on the challenge. After all, I had talked about it my entire life. It was a long time dream, put on the back burner, the demands of family and business eclipsing my passion.
I didn’t know where to begin. My son urged me to sit and start writing. You don’t need special tools or carved out time. It could be while you’re waiting for the kids at practice, when you are on the train, or in my case, at my desk, in the office, before everyone arrived to begin the workday.
Experts say, write about what you know. I don’t agree with that. Write about what you want to know. Write about what you love or hate. Write about what you want. If we all wrote about what we know, do you think there would be so many choices on Amazon in science fiction or fantasy?
All that matters is you enjoy it and finish it. You could be the one to make a fortune and become the next literary breakout. Maybe you won’t. Either way, you are leaving a permanent marker that you were here. You are sending out a piece of yourself to our vast universe to mingle with other notions. Perhaps you are going to change the world. Uh oh, did I make you feel self-conscious?
Don’t be intimidated by the thoughts rushing through your head! Once you start, your imagination will take on a life of its own.
You can’t do it, you tell yourself. You feel stupid. It’s silly, a childish daydream, you are thinking, but still your fingers type. You are so lost in research; nobody can have a coherent conversation with you. You’re discovering things you’ve never known before.
Your spouse is annoyed; the kids are hungry; the boss is mad; you missed a deadline for work. It doesn’t matter. All that counts are the words flowing from your speeding fingers, your shoulders shaking with mirth at your humor. It will start to take shape; the paragraphs will add up, and a story will emerge. Enjoy the sting behind your eyes at the sad turn of events for Brad, Thad, Emily, or Justin. The thrill of a chase or the crazy quilt of twists you are creating.
Check the word count. Fifteen hundred words. Is that dawn peeking under the shades? Sixty-five hundred by the following weekend. You hit twenty thousand yesterday. Did you share your creation with anyone? Did you tell your bus driver you are writing a book?
You do sleep; you still eat; you continue to perform your day job. Mindless activities like laundry are a welcome relief as you plot and plan, playing out scenarios in your mind. You function in a Twilight Zone of want. You want to complete the next chapter; you want to tie the threads together; you want to – finish? The computer waits on the table, mocking you, daring you to continue.
Reread or not to reread – you can. Don’t let it stop you. Don’t overthink it, yet they’ll be others who will do that for you. Today you’re like a dynamo. Just finish the darn thing!
The story is taking shape; your characters have a personality – you love them; no, maybe you hate them. They are as real to you as the faces you are cleaning up after dinner and the soft cheeks you kiss goodnight. You return to your computer with ice-cream or popcorn, whatever your comfort food of choice and continue.
So it begins, your opus, your work of art. The shaping and molding of words to echo your thoughts, your deepest, love/fear, hate/joy – it doesn’t matter. It’s yours, and it’s here. You read it multiple times, but you need to have another opinion. It could be your spouse, lover, or friend, but the time has come to share your creation with someone who promises to be honest. It’s time to launch this baby into orbit.
To Do List:
1 – Write your book.
What was your favourite part of writing it?
Writing with Carole. She has become one of my best friends over the years and I finally had the chance to meet her in person last June. We had the best time writing this book!