Everyone, I have a new author to introduce to mandythebookworm – Lorena Bathey. Please give her a big round of applause and enjoy her guest post. Once you’ve read this be sure to check out her author profile by clicking here where you can find out more about her and her book.
Welcome aboard, Lorena, and thanks for posting!!
I’m Lorena Bathey, an Indie Author. What is that exactly? I decided to eschew the traditional world of agent/publishing house and do everything myself. Sounds daunting, huh? Sometimes it can be if you don’t decide how being a success occurs.
I love to read, which is why I probably write. And like you I often wonder what my favorite authors are like in person. Do they have a funny laugh? Do they like chocolate? What kind of personality do they have and is it like their characters? So when Mandy allowed me to guest blog on her wonderful site she told me to do whatever I wanted and then showed me that any question was a good one. Because I liked her ideas, I decided to answer them…like an impromptu author’s interview.
I’d also like to put out to all of Mandy’s followers to send in your own questions and I’d be glad to answer them. I’m pretty forthright and I don’t shock easily so ask away.
* How you are going on holiday soon and where you will be going or if posting after your holiday where you went and what you did?
Well I am going on my first vacation in several years. And it just so happens that it is the first vacation for the love of my life and my kids all together. We are visiting my nation’s capital, Washington D.C. It is cherry blossom time and since my other love is photography I am thrilled to be able to take pictures when the flowers are blooming. Even more, I’m excited to have some time off after finishing my novel to relax, laugh, and see the sights like a tourist.
* Where your favourite place to holiday is?
This is an easy question…Italy! I love Italy. My first book, Happy Beginnings: How I Became My Own Fairy Godmother told of my travels to Italy after my separation from my husband. It was the perfect land to be alone and yet be around people. I walked, talked in Italian, and ate like a crazy person. Gelato every day..twice a day : ) My dream is to live there six months out of the year and learn to be fluent in Italian learning from the Italian people.
* What you like doing in your spare time?
I recently started getting serious about photography. My love gave me a new camera…the fancy kind…for Christmas and I have been enjoying capturing all different kinds of scenes. When I take pictures it’s a Zen moment where I focus (not my strong suit) and get lost in the moment. It’s very clearing for me and I think I’m pretty good. (Check out my images at http://www.facebook.com/lmbathey )
* Pets if you have any?
I don’t have any pets at the moment. But I know that one day I will own a dog named George. He will be a huge Newfoundland. It’s funny but I could see his face (and his big head lying on my lap when I write) but I didn’t know what type of dog he was. So I wrote big, dark dog and Newfoundland came up and I screamed, “Its George!”
* When you began to write and why?
Ohh…this is a bit longer of an answer. I have always written in journal format and even some poems but it wasn’t until my Mom passed away from cancer in 2001, my dad remarried within six months, and my husband left which left me facing my biggest fear – being alone. Other than my kids I had lost all the foundation and stability of my life. So I began to write about what I was seeing about me, who I was, what I didn’t like about getting stuck in roles, living for everyone else’s happiness and before I knew it I had eighteen chapters and a really great book telling about starting over. I called it Happy Beginnings: How I Became My Own Fairy Godmother and a career in self-help began.
I started speaking to women’s groups, giving conferences, doing one to one work with women who didn’t know that making yourself happy is something you need to do yourself and not wait for things to happen to you. During this time I got this person in my head and started writing it down and before I knew it I had written half a novel. But I set it aside for five years until one day I got another thought and finished the rest in nine months.
After that ideas or characters would hit me and I would see it like a movie played out in my mind so I had to write it down. Now I have nine novels percolating in my writing queue and every one of them I plan to write a screenplay for too.
* Where you see yourself in 10 years?
With many New York Times Bestsellers, most of my books made into movies that are produced by creatively authentic Hollywood people (is that possible?), living with the love of my life in our house called 100 Acre Woods and visiting Italy for months at a time. Surrounded by family, kids, grandbabies, and George with no regrets, some bumps and bruises, but a great big smile on my face!
* How you think electronic books have changed things?
It has and will continue to revolutionize the world of publishing. The old school type of publishing is not necessary to be successful as an author. And the cost factor for only having to upload a file rather than print books is huge. For the industry it allows a lot of really talented people to get a chance to show the world their work. But it also allows a lot of untalented and not detail oriented writers to also publish their work.
For now the concept of self-publishing is not completely accepted and when I say I’m an Indie author I still can get wrinkled up noses. But not as much. I will say that I will always have print copies of my book. I love books. The feel, smell, look of books is more than just something to read, it’s an experience…and not to sound trite…but an adventure.
But I believe that there are some pitfalls to electronic books. As I said before many individuals just want to publish and don’t take the time to make sure the quality is there. That is a big scar in the industry. But as you see more and more successful, I mean successful in the traditional publishing world, giving up contract and doing it themselves you know that this is something. The profits will come if you do the hard work. And I believe that the day of the agents and publishers making all the money while the talent does all the work are over.
* How you go about promoting your work?
Well, with this novel I have spent a lot of time getting familiar with the social networking world. I was already a huge Facebook fan but then I stretched it out to look more at the world of writing. There is so much available. But mostly I love to form relationships. To help each other out. So I did the legwork looking for Book Review Bloggers that had reviews, bios, and a feel I liked and contacted them. These heroes of the Indie Author world have no idea how you can make our day by being excited about our work. Mandy, has been phenomenal about that.
I had my own radio show, done talk shows on the West and East coast, been the speaker at conferences so I am not shy about talking about myself. It is a huge thing if you can sell yourself. And I never have trouble talking, ha! My first book I sold on airplanes, in stores, out to dinner. Because it’s my passion it’s easy to get me going on writing.
* Your favourite book when you were young and/or your favourite book now?
I read a lot when I was a kid because I was an only child so it was a great way to escape. But the one book that I believe made a huge impact on me was when I was about twelve years old. My Mom and I were going to visit England with my Aunt. Before we left my Aunt gave me the book, Katherine, by Anya Seaton. It’s the story of The Duke of Lancaster, John of Gaunt and his illicit love affair with Katherine Swynford. Their relationship and subsequent marriage made up the line of the Tudors, Stewarts and even the royal family now. It is historical fiction, which I still love, and so because it was based on fact those people came up during our trip.
I remember asking all the time, “Was John of Gaunt here?” and getting excited about seeing places I had just read about in the most romantic and wonderful of ways. I ended up reading every book by Anya Seaton and visiting the other places she wrote about later in life.
The funny thing is that until I was writing this article I never knew she was American. I just assumed she was British because she writes it with such truth.
(Anya Seaton, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anya_Seton)
*Something close to your heart?
Well this is a big question and my mind is racing to nail down one thing. I think the biggest thing that comes to mind is the needs that kids from the ages of 9 to 18 need. I believe that our future generations are lost a bit. With all the upheaval of divorce, societal pressure, and lack of interest these kids don’t get the opportunity to know who they are, what they need to become, and how to do it. When I was still doing my Fairy Godmother work I developed a program called “U Got the Power.”
This program was based on the three “R’s” of life…Respect, Reaction, Responsibility. These three words can create a whole new way to look at life, how you treat others, and what is in your hands to change.
I plan to go back some day and bring this to fruition. I would love to see this on an international level and the concept is not hard. Afterschool every week for an hour the kids come with questions that they put in a hat. Every class a question is drawn and discussed. This means no one has to be embarrassed by asking a question and chances are many kids have the same question. Then we would put the three “R’s” to the answer.