About Yvonne deSousa:
Yvonne deSousa has worked as a street sweeper, a shell seller, a babysitter, a candy peddler, and a guest house manager, all before the age of sixteen. Later on she worked as a waitress, sales clerk, library assistant, victim’s advocate, and at the front desk of a doctor’s
Two years before Yvonne’s diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, a relative volunteered her to write an article for a local newspaper. Little did she know it was the beginning of a writing career. When MS threatened to turn her into a lunatic, she started writing more frequently and quickly discovered that writing about the insanity that is MS was helping to keep her sane.
Her work has appeared on CapeWomenOnline.com, and in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Finding My Faith and Something On Our Minds, Volumes 1 and 2. Yvonne also writes a weekly blog on www.yvonnedesousa.com the website that uses a giggle stick to beat up on MS. Since finishing MS Madness! A “Giggle More, Cry Less” Story of Multiple Sclerosis, she has started presenting programs designed to help others use humor to help cope with
Yvonne enjoys writing, laughing, and resting. She lives by her personal mottos, “how you deal affects how you feel” and “my MS is not your MS and your MS is weird!”
What inspires you to write?
The craziness of life is what inspires me. When something happens in my world that’s too insane to believe, I have to write about it to try to make sense of it. Usually after writing about that event I’m still confused bu,t if I’m lucky, I’ve at least made myself laugh a bit. And laughing is huge in our crazy world!!
Tell us about your writing process.
I have to sit down and just start typing. I don’t worry about mistakes or grammar but just power through to get the thought down. Then I re-read and edit and edit some more, over and over again. Funny thing, I do my best thinking in the shower. I hope that’s not too much information. Many, many times I have come up with a chunk of writing in the shower and then thrown on a bathrobe and hit the computer, still completely wet. I don’t know why this is but the shower is such a great place for me to concentrate that I have started going into the shower with an idea in my head. More often than not, I work it out while I’m in there. I come out clean and jazzed with the idea formed and ready to go. My play, “The Best Birthday Ever” was completely written in the shower.
What advice would you give other writers?
1. Listen to everything everyone tells you.
2. Ignore everything everyone tells you.
Confused? Here’s the thing-I’ve seen so many writers ignore the advice over and over because the advice wasn’t what they wanted to hear. You are going to get input you don’t like. Listen to it. Especially if it comes from several sources. On the other hand though, I’ve taken advice that was detrimental because I felt the person giving the advice was smarter or more successful than I was. You are the filter and ultimately, good or bad, this is your work. If it truly doesn’t feel right then it’s probably not a good suggestion for you. But at the same time, don’t be so stubborn that you miss the information you need to hear.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
After I had finished “MS Madness!” I was fortunate to have a well established agent take a look. She was very encouraging but wanted me to build my platform before going forward. I spent a year doing that and then contacted her again. She was still interested but was too busy to take on my book at that time. She recommended me to an agent friend who asked for the first two chapters only. It took that agent 8 months to reject “MS Madness!” based on those chapters. Rejections in this process are inevitable but what was so frustrating was the length of time it took for that rejection over such a short selection of the manuscript. Another agent who had encouraged me to query her never got back to me at all. At the same time, I attended a seminar on self-publishing where I met a small publisher I felt a connection with. It was the combination of all of the above that lead me to go the self-publishing route with SDP Publishing.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I’m no longer worried about the rumors that books are on their way out. While I think e-books are more popular, I think there will always be readers who want a physical book in their hands. I AM worried about the ability of new authors to promote their self-published books. Luckily, we are seeing more outlets who promote self-published authors and I hope that continues. I believe there is some substandard work that it traditionally published as well as some high quality work that is self-published. I worry about how readers will be able to sort through the wheat and the chafe so to speak.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?: Humor, memoir, nonfiction
What formats are your books in?: 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.