Carren, can you tell us about your latest book, A Writer's Journey: What to Know Before, During, and After Writing a Book?
My hopes are that this book will empower and inspire the inner writer in each of us. The nuts and bolts of how to organize, discipline yourself, improve your writing, find an agent, get your book published, and then market it, are all there. The chapters, peppered with anecdotal experiences, simple exercises, and key concepts, will serve as a road map for the reader. My perspective is down-to-earth and to the point. I traveled this path to becoming a published writer and you can too.
The book was inspired by a class you were teaching, was it not? Can you tell us how the project progressed from a seed of an idea to the book on the shelves today?
While I had written a few small pieces, and, occasionally, had one published, joining the International Women’s Writing Guild was the turning point in my writing life. It was in that positive environment, that I began to believe that I could actually write a book. And I did. My first book, Married Women Who Love Women, sold at auction to a major publishing house. And last year the second edition was released.
Based on my journey from neophyte writer to successfully published author and marketer, I decided to share what I had learned along the way. Women came to my workshops with lots of questions and I realized their questions fell into three catagories: “What to Know Before, During and After Writing a Book.” Every year I had more information to share and eventually not enough class time in which to share it. That was when I realized, “I have so much information. Why not put it all into a book?” and thus was born my latest book, A Writer’s Journey, What to Know Before, During, and After Writing a Book.
What do you hope this book will offer emerging writers?
I was told, while in college, that some people were writers and others were not and that I was not a writer. I believed the English professor who said that and my secret dream of being a writer was crushed. It took me fifteen years to pick up a pen after hearing those negative words. I hope to let everyone who has a dream of writing know that their dream is possible and can be a reality.
You've said that joining the International Women's Writing Guild was the turning point in your career. What can you tell us about your involvement with the Guild and why it was so influential in your writing career?
I would describe the guild, especially the summer conference that it offers, as a place where you are surrounded by positive energy. Just imagine yourself in a place where the words "no," "you can't" and "impossible" don't exist. The guild was created for the personal and professional empowerment of women through writing. It supports the joyful camaraderie that comes from shared interests of a woman's writing community.
If you could share one tip today for emerging writers, something they should know before writing a book, what would it be?
Writing is hard work. The major part of writing is rewriting, but you're in good company. Every writer starts the same way - with a blank page. Also, the writer who is persistent is the one who succeeds.
Where can readers learn more about you and your work?
My website is http://www.carrenstrock.com/. My book, A Writer's Journey: What to Know Before, During and After Writing a Book, can be purchased through any of the on-line bookstores or directly through me on my website. My first book, Married Women Who Love Women, is also available through any of the on-line bookstores. I am available to speak to groups for the cost of travel and accommodations alone, in those situations where an honorarium would create a hardship for the group and its members.
And, dear reader, thank you for visiting the blog. This Friday, I’ll be sharing some writing news and upcoming events.
See you next time...