About Bobbiie Ann Cole:
My first book was “She Does Not Fear the Snow,” my story of coming to faith in a Jerusalem church where, as a Jew, I thought I wasn’t supposed to be. It was a Munce 2012 prizewinner and became an Amazon #1 bestseller. I came to faith in the Land of Israel and was blessed with a new husband of faith, like biblical Ruth. The title is inspired by Proverbs 31, a line from the description of the attributes of a good woman. It seemed an especially good fit for my title because my husband is a Canadian: actually, though, it’s a bit of a fib. I am afraid of the snow.
After we were married, we lived in Israel for 2 years. We now divide our time between Canada and my native England where our respective kids and grandkids live.
What inspires you to write?
I first began to write on the back of a report card when I was six—“Hansel and Gretel” with many misspellings. My whole life I’ve wanted to write. The pragmatism that has always served me well was a major detractor from writing success for years: why spend a lot of time writing something that might never be published?
And so I pursued a journalistic as well as a business-orientated career.
When I was 55, Jesus grabbed me in a Jerusalem church where, as a Jew, I thought I wasn’t supposed to be. He blessed me abundantly. He brought me miraculously from that church where I had gone, broken after cancer and a failed marriage and business, to a new husband of faith. I had to write “She Does Not Fear the Snow”.
A year after our marriage, my husband and I moved to Israel where we lived for 2 years. I just had to write about that, too; the joys of meeting Jesus in every lovely landscape and the challenges of living as a “defector” from Judaism in the Jewish state amongst my fellow Jews.
Tell us about your writing process.
I have structured and simplified the writing process for myself and for others. My “Disciples Indeed Workbook” helps people tell an episode from their testimony like a story, compellingly and with confidence.
I believe non-fiction relies as much on storytelling as fiction does, if you want to engage the reader. Telling episodes as creative non-fiction can move and influence. And a good overall story arc will leave the reader satisfied.
The first question I ask myself is, “What is the takeaway? What do I want my reader to know from reading this book?” This may initially result in a seemingly disparate list. Living with that for a while leads me to a premise that covers the list. The list grows into chapters and the chapters grow into sentences that cover paragraphs. As I write, I keep that premise before me: am I on subject?
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I write fiction for fun, although I have a great fiction story that will make a good follow-up to “Love Triangles, Discovering Jesus the Jew in Today’s Israel” because it is set primarily in Israel and deals with Christians and Jews trying to get along. I am hoping to find time in 2016 to give it a good rewrite and publish. It’s called “Being Lena Levi”.
What advice would you give other writers?
An editor is a priceless asset. I am not talking about merely a proof reader but someone who can give you all the feedback you need: is what I’ve said confusing? Superfluous? Too wordy? Badly expressed? Repetitive? A great editor is an absolute must have.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I didn’t have the patience to collect rejection slips and so I self-published. It’s affordable now and you get to keep a much larger portion of revenue from your work than through a traditional self-publisher. I made mistakes as I learned but I have learned and feel confident now.
If I were to publish with a traditional publisher I would want to know that a team was being put to work on my book. I see little point in them releasing it without some proper push behind it.
That said, the idea of having a team behind me is very attractive. It’s extremely hard work to self-publish.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I see print books as being here to stay for the foreseeable future. I think people expected ebooks to do away with them. But I for one spend my whole day every day in front of a screen and when I read I want to relax my eyes somewhat. I like the feel of a good book in my hands and the picture on the cover being a good size. That said, the search facility on a Kindle is great so to have both versions is probably the best of both worlds.
As for the publishing industry, it seems to be in a very sorry state of flux, as do many bookshops, particularly the independent ones. We should expect more and more consolidation which is going to mean major corporations telling us what to read and limiting our choices. In that respect, self-published books will be a huge boon to the adventurous reader.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Religion and spirituality, Christian memoir, non-fiction, investigative journalism, autobiography, travel religious
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.