Bobbie Ann Cole, AKA The Testimony Lady, is passionate about our God stories. Testifying to what He is doing in our lives is central to her writing and to her teaching. Her blog, http://testimonytrain.com, features uplifting Christian testimonies. Her free download, ‘Start Writing Your Christian Testimony’ helps those who’d like to share their stories powerfully.
Bobbie’s has had short stories published. She has received grants and awards for her prose and drama and has a background in journalism.
She also launched and ran her own company in the UK music industry for twenty-five years.
She has lived in UK, Germany, France, French West Africa, Canada and Israel. She speaks English, French and German fluently and has a working knowledge of Hebrew.
She’s a mother, grandmother and wife, currently dividing her time between Atlantic Canada and Kent, in the Garden of England.
What inspires you to write?
It was very simple to know that She Does Not Fear the Snow had to be written and the story was clear because I lived through it. God claimed me in a Jerusalem church, where, as a Jew, I wasn’t supposed to be, and laid an amazing trail of miracles that led me to meet and marry a good man of faith in Atlantic Canada. My story mirrors that of Biblical Ruth. Like her, God claimed me when I was at my lowest ebb. Like her, I declared my faith in the Land of Israel and was blessed with a new husband of faith.
Tell us about your writing process.
I have tried to write by dictating. It doesn’t work for me. Laptop is best for actual writing. Drafting goes on for the longest time in my head and then gets noted down on scraps of paper that I have trouble deciphering (or finding!) afterwards.
The most yummy part of the whole process is editing. This is when you chop it all up and put it back together again, shorter, clearer, deeper and sassier.
What advice would you give other writers?
Writing is a journey.
Sometimes you write things that won’t end up in the book but this is not a waste of time – it is part of the process of writing yourself into what it is you’re trying to say, which may only emerge as you write.
This book may not be your best work, so don’t make it your only work.
And don’t give yourself a year or any other time constraint. Do it. Getting it right will take the time it needs to take.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I didn’t seek a traditional publisher for this book.
It’s a story that God led me through and I know He wanted it out there as much as I did.
Along the way, I considered self-publishing package companies and decided it would be more cost-effective to do it myself.
I would also have my own ISBN number, rather than one from their catalogue. This seemed important, should I ever want to sign distribution contracts for other countries.
Lastly, I knew I could get the cover I wanted and the editor I wanted to work on my MSS, if I hired them myself.
I am pleased with my decision but it’s very hard work indeed to do the marketing by yourself. I have yet to find anyone else who could do this for me within an acceptable budget, and so I work at it a lot.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think we will see self-publishing continue to grow.
Traditional publishers are finding their way in a changing world. Currently, they want their authors to have platforms (ie an online presence with a large number of followers) but, any author who has this is likely to be tempted to self-publish.
The margins are much higher if you do.
I would want a traditional publisher to promise me quite a lot in support and sales push, which they are unlikely to do at this stage in my writing career.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
faith memoir, non-fiction and fiction
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
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