I am an author, public speaker, and blogger living in Sarasota FL. I climbed my first mountain, Mount Washington in NH, in 1974. Since that initial ascent, I have climbed twenty of the forty 4,000-foot mountains in New England. In September and October 2011 at the age of 61, I hiked my first long walk: the Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile pilgrimage across northern Spain, also known as The Way or The Way of St. James and which is now designated a European Cultural Itinerary.
In 2013, I will do two Caminos: the first, by bicycle from Barcelona to Santiago; the second, by foot from Lisbon, Portugal, to Santiago.
What inspires you to write?
For my first book, the women pilgrims (hikers) I met were very unusual and their amazing stories; their stories, along with my adventures, were my inspiration.
Tell us about your writing process.
As a first time writer, it was difficult finding my voice. When I first started writing my book, I wrote in third person, past tense. About half way through, I decided that the tone was too stilted and restrictive. I switched to first person, present tense and found it much easier to be open and to reveal my inner thoughts. Developing a rapport with my reader is something I continually strive for.
I write a minimum of 750 words everyday. I am very exacting, always searching for the correct word or better way of expressing myself. Transitions are important to me, and I work to provide an easy and logical flow for the reader.
Since I wrote a Memoir, I did not use an outline. Instead, I used my journal, photos, and maps to write the book.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write from the heart, it makes all the difference. Use a copy editor; don’t embarrass yourself with a poorly-written book.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
As an unknown, I felt I had a better chance by indie publishing than traditional publishing. I published my book on CreateSpace on June 25, 2012 and then shortly afterwards with KDP, Kindle Direct Publishing. The book is now available on most online booksellers.
One of the deciding factors was that, even with a traditional publisher, I would have to do most of the marketing myself. I recommend that new authors start developing an author’s platform before the release of the book, building up the readership so that there is a ready market when the book becomes available.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think that indie publishing is a boon for writers, especially for those who write well, use an editor, and market their books. I think that offering free books is a great disadvantage to indie writers, unless it is the first book in a series. Otherwise, it devalues the worth of the book. Additionally, many people download free books, but never read them.
What do you use?
What genres do you write?
Memoir, non-fiction narrative, non-fiction travel
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print