About Laura Hedgecock:
Laura Hedgecock is an author, freelance writer, speaker, and blogger. Her newly released book, MEMORIES OF ME: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO TELLING AND SHARING THE STORIES OF YOUR LIFE, stems from a gift left by her grandmother. Shortly before her death, Hazel Crymes passed on an old spiral notebook filled with a lifetime of memories and stories, which she dubbed her “Treasure Chest of Memories.” MEMORIES OF ME guides and empowers memory collectors with down-to-earth, practical advice and creative ideas.
When she’s not writing or playing webmaster, Ms. Hedgecock enjoys spending time with her husband and two soon-to-be-adult sons, (and her Springer Spaniel), playing soccer, nature photography, and finding her roots—which might explain her messy house.
What inspires you to write?
Part of my “what” is a “who.” My grandmother wasn’t a writer, but she wrote stories beautiful stories. As I have followed her example, I’ve come to embrace a dream that she didn’t dare dream for herself.
For me, writing was an avocation long before I came to consider it a vocation. At my core, I have a passion for story telling: true, fictional, my own, or other people’s stories. It’s just my “thing.”
Tell us about your writing process.
My muse is fickle and easily distracted, but when we get in a zone, it’s hard to break away. I like my outlines to be loose structures. Even with guideline in place, I constantly re-consider my organization. Although that sounds indecisive, it allows me to balance creativity with planning.
I’m still learning to fully utilize it, but I find Scrivener a wonderful tool. It lets you keep an overview of your project while you develop tangents, research ideas, and delve into the details.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I’m working on my first fiction project, and the answer is yes. The reason I’m still re-writing was that my characters went off script and developed plots of their own.
What advice would you give other writers?
Prepare yourself for the journey; surround yourself with supporters and good resources. Go to Writers Conferences and network with others. The more you understand about the landscape, the easier you’ll find it navigate.
Once you have a book ready for the market, don’t confuse your work for your value. Like a child, you’ll find it the best schools and playmates for your book. However, bringing a book to market is a business. People that like it or reject it are making business decisions, not putting a value stamp on you!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I really would encourage authors, especially those with a smaller platform, to explore smaller publishers along with the options of securing an agent or self-publishing. The nature of my book had a lot to do with my choice of going with a small house. My book was a niche book and I was able to find a publisher that served that niche well. In addition, they had access to distribution channels that I wouldn’t.
Having my book in print was also a factor. I felt strongly that my book would appeal to an older audience that would not be content with eBooks.
Of course, my final consideration was my own expertise and confidence. My book carries some emotional significance to my family, so getting it successfully to market outweighed the downsides of having a smaller royalty and giving up creative control.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
In some ways, self-publishing has leveled the playing field for aspiring authors. However, there are too many books that are rushed to market without professional editing and artwork. I think the industry is ripe for setting some standards–an UL listing for authors.
So far as traditional publishing is concerned, I’m discouraged by the closing of brick and mortar stores and the big houses’ bias towards celebrity books.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?: Non-fiction, Fiction
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print