AM: Thank you for sending me your book and answering some questions, Fay! How long have you been writing and is Because of Me your first novel?
FL: I have actually been writing since I learned to put letters together to form sentences. I believe storytelling was something I was born to do. Because of Me is my first published novel, but I have written many others before this one.
AM: Is there a story behind the book and how you came to write that particular story?
FL: As I said, I have always been a storyteller, so I’ve always had characters dancing around on an audition stage in my imagination. Michael Hayes is one of those characters. He seemingly came from nowhere. At least I didn’t recognize the significance of his timely audition. I remember very vividly that I was sitting on my back porch brainstorming, and Michael stepped up onto the stage with a very serious, sad face, and he told me that there’s a little boy named Cole and that this little boy wasn’t his son, but Cole was definitely born because of Michael.
After the story was written, I saw a little bit of my husband in Michael and a lot of both of my sons in Cole. I believe that my heart actually had this story planted inside as a way to tell my husband how much he is loved by his wife and by the two boys that he fathered, even when they were not his natural children. And I shake my head because it wasn’t until I’d written the story that I realized that Michael and Cole are the middle names of both of my sons, and my granddaughter’s middle name is the same as the heroine, Isabel.
What’s your favorite part of being a writer?
I love to work with other writers. I think we’re a unique sort of people. I participate in critique groups and help to mentor authors. On the other side of that, I love it when authors work with me, and I’ve had quite a few wonderful mentors myself.
I love working with other writers, too. What’s the hardest part of writing?
The hardest part of writing for me is something I don’t believe many writers like to admit. For me, I find it hard to find the time to write. I’d love to say that I sit down at my desk every day and write so many words before I do anything else. I can’t do that. I will never admit to being A.D.D., but in order to stay focused, I must have numerous projects going. What I’ve found helpful is to divide each of my projects into segments of an hour. Depending on the number of projects, I divide that by sixty, and I work so many minutes per hour on each project. At the end of the day, I’ve stayed focused because of the time constraints, and I’ve accomplished quite a few things, and writing is one of those.
That's a good method. Lately I've been more successful at actually closing FaceBook and focusing on my writing more while I'm at the computer. It's always a struggle for me, especially if I don't feel well. I know many writers have a similar challenge.
How long did the process of writing and then publishing take you, and do you have any advice for other writers who are trying to get published?
Although I’ve been writing since I was a kid, I didn’t take my writing seriously until my later twenties when I realized that God had given me a talent to use for Him. I had a few bumps in the road, and I placed a few roadblocks there myself. It took a good thirty years to find publication. So my advice to writers who are still waiting to get published—don’t stop trying. Keep learning and keep applying what you’re learning, and never stop searching for that editor or agent who believes in your work. Look at each rejection as getting one step closer to the last rejection you’ll receive for that particular manuscript.
So glad you finally found the right home for one of your books. Now that the book has been out for a little bit, how is the marketing process going?
I have been so blessed with author friends who have hosted me in blogs, interviewed me, etc., and I have worked pretty hard to get the information out about Because of Me, but, in the end, marketing is about word of mouth advertising. Recently, I had to stop and catch my breath. I’d been working very hard at pushing the story—one I believe in with all my heart. When I took a moment to think about it, I realized that I was carrying a burden I shouldn’t be shouldering. It wasn’t that marketing was hard, but keeping up with the marketing along with all of my other jobs was wearing me thin. At that point, I knew I could work myself silly, or I could stop, bow the knees of my heart, and I could ask God to direct the success of Because of Me. Since that day, I have had to take several deep breaths and remember to turn it over to God, and He has been very faithful to open the doors for me.
Blessings on the marketing and I look forward to seeing what God brings for you next. Thanks for joining us!
As always, check out more "T" blogs at www.pattywysong.com.