Welcome to a special edition of The Fox Hole on this lovely Tuesday morning, May 11, 2010. Unfortunately, real life threw a couple of rusty bolts in the cogs, but my guest this morning despite Mother’s Day was kind enough to take the time to save my fuzzy butt. So folks grab that cup of cappuccino, a sweet sticky cinna-bun, and pull up a chair to give a warm round of applause for the lovely Ms. Jo-Anne Vandermeulen!
Welcome to ‘The Fox Hole’ Jo-Anne this is a first for me and a pleasure to interview an author who specializes in promotions along with fiction. Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself and your work?
Thank you for having me on your site…always appreciate the added exposure, the opportunity to meet new people, and interact with my followers. *waves from beautiful Courtenay, British Columbia*
I’m the founder, owner, and marketer for ‘Premium Promotional Services’ where *You Write – We Promote*; a Virtual Assistant and Marketing Coach for writers; Producer and Host for “Authors Articulating” on BTR;
Supporting writers comes naturally.
I’m the Author of two new releases:
1.) A women’s fiction (suspense/romance) Conquer All Obstacles
2.) A non-fiction resource Premium Promotional Tips for Writers.
Have you always wanted to be a writer? If so when did you start writing?
I have always wanted to write a book. When I use to experience something new or fascinating, I’d say (although not serious): “This is another chapter for my book”. For twenty years, I was a full time teacher and raised my two daughters. During those years, I was very busy. Heck, I didn’t even have time for myself.
But in April of 2006 my life drastically changed.
I went into the doctor’s office on a Wednesday and by that Friday, I was clearing out all things from my desk.
*A horrific feeling…suddenly, thrown into unexpected retirement*
That spring of 2006, my youngest daughter was nearly finished high school and both were basically independent. For the first time in my life, I found myself alone, in my home, and staring at the walls. Basically, in shock—completely devastated.
*I dropped to my knees and prayed*
That week, one of my councilors sat me down, and we began to make a list of ‘things I always wanted to do’. This was when I chuckled jokingly and said that I’ve always wanted to write a book but never had time. The councilor stopped the pen scrawling, peered up through her thick lashes and over the horn-rimmed spectacles… “Well now you have time,” she smirked.
During the summer of 2006, circumstances kept cropping-up. I met my English Professor and a new author. Suddenly, as if in a desert, and oh so thirsty, I drank each experience. I found myself absorbed in their stories, and encouraging words—prompting me to write. Butterflies swirled within my tummy, my muse began working overtime, and instead of feeling anxious and insecure…I accepted all for an inner drive to venture down the foreign path of writing.
In August of 2006, I sat down at my computer and 17 days later, completed a 100,000 word (400 page) manuscript. With no fear (or complete ignorance…lol), I submitted queries to agents from New York…and the results were unreal. Many wanted partials, some requested full, and even one legit agent wanted me to fly to Dallas to meet him at a writing conference. Gosh, I’ll never forget that day in September when the phone rang…
“Do you know where I live? I can’t just fly to Dallas?” I said.
“Well, you can always send one of your representatives,” he answered.
*yeah as if…lol*
Right then and there I knew I had what it took to write a book. But at that time, I had no idea what it would really take to publish a book. For two years, I spent my days reading all about the craft of writing and constantly writing. My devastation turned to an opportunity—an amazing venture and a truly exciting time in my life.
As a writer what inspires you?
Life experiences inspire me to write. Sometimes it is something I’ve read, and other times it is something I’ve observed.
Do you have any favorite writers?
My favorite author right now would be Joy Fielding…although, I do enjoy reading novels by Jodi Picoult. In the past, I’ve enjoyed Sidney Sheldon, Michael Crichton, Stephen King, Sydney Sheldon, Nora Roberts, and Danielle Steel.
If you could live in any time or place–where and when would you choose?
Oh this is an easy question to answer…I’d live right here and right now. Living in the moment and accepting situations as they are is the secret to peace and serenity.
Being a professional cook at one time, I have to ask this one. Do you have a favorite food?
Lol….whether it’s watching the Roughriders play football, after a round of golf/a curling game, or just getting together with friends, nothing tastes better than pizza and a beer. Now I don’t know if I should say this, but to be honest…hot pizza with a cold beer.
Hey, nothing wrong with hot pizza and a cold beer. *chuckles* Sounds like heaven to me. Now that I’ve picked your brain, can you tell us about your latest work? Don’t hold back.
My latest releases are my women’s fiction (suspense/romance) “Conquer All Obstacles” and the non-fiction “Premium Promotional Tips for Writers”. And I’m thrilled to see many many 5-star Amazon reviews for both.
With an English University Major and 2 extensive study years on the ‘Craft of Writing’, I produced “Conquer All Obstacles”. This novel is my fourth written book. (The first 3 lay dormant, under my bed.)
I wrote about a chapter a day and there are 20 chapters. Although I had a complete manuscript in less than a month, I spent the next 6 months revising the first 20 pages (about 35 times), working together with critique group members, entering contests (around 10), sending the work out to volunteer readers, submitting the first chapter to Expert Ghostwriter, Claudia Suzanne (who’s published over 100 novels) and 2008 Agent of the Year from ACFW, Kelly Mortimer. Then I hired a professional editor, Nancy Williams to complete the process.
“Conquer All Obstacles” is about:
A WOMAN WHO WANTS TO FIND LOVE … WILL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES FOR A HAPPILY-EVER-AFTER … EVEN TANGLING WITH A PSYCHOPATH … YET, LOVE HAS THE POWER TO … CONQUER ALL OBSTACLES. Middle-aged divorcee, Tara Robstead, wants more than a secret love affair with her boss, Josh Henderson. Yet, her search for a happily-ever-after costs her more than a price paid in blood-her soul is slaughtered. Now confined in a mental hospital, she must confront her greatest fears in order to break a -psychopath’s control over her fractured mind. Against the ticking clock, Josh must face his true love for Tara before it’s too late. Together, Tara and Josh can stand united to … CONQUER ALL OBSTACLES.
I knew I had to build an author platform, so I began to study the business side of writing. Again, thirsty for knowledge about marketing one-self, I drank resource books and many marketing professionals blogs…then I began condensing my newly formed information into my own posts.
“Premium Promotional Tips for Writers” is the result from an accumulation of published articles from my *Marketing Tips* blog.
Well, the response was incredible! 30,000 hits proved that the content I was providing was valuable to many. Friends turned to followers then the relationships expanded to fans—a HUGE following of appreciative viewers—a total win-win…as I feel so so good helping fellow writers.
Twice a week, for about 8 months, I’d write researched articles. When I reached over 60 articles, I had “Premium Promotional Tips for Writers” expertly edited, formatted, and published by Nancy Williams from Laurus Books.
As many readers of this book state, “Premium Promotional Tips for Writers” is filled with practical tips needed for all authors to complete the publishing process—a must needed venture if one wants to sell their books.
“Premium Promotional Tips for Writers” is:
A “must-have” ¬resource book filled with practical online marketing tips for those who have books or other products to sell. Although this book was written for writers promoting their books, these ¬promotional tips can be applied to any products you may wish to promote via the Internet. You will learn how to target your audience, create massive exposure, and drive traffic back to the site where your books or other products are sold.
I love to share my knowledge of learning and in “Premium Promotional Tips for Writers”, I hold nothing back. All secrets about online marketing—creating massive exposure are revealed. The tips will save authors tons of time and energy. Again, a win-win as any teacher or mother knows…helping others is what we’re all about.
It sounds to me like you’ve found your niche in the publishing industry. Being fairly new to publishing I have to say if a writer is serious about their success they will be looking for someone like you. You seem to have the golden touch when it comes to not only advice, but good advice about how to market and promote yourself.
Unfortunately, our time has ended, but I would like to offer a huge thank you for doing this interview on such short notice. I’ve enjoyed our time together and you are more than welcome back in the future. Thank you again and may you blessed with the success that you deserve. 🙂
For those of my readers who would like to learn more about Jo-Anne and her work check out the following links:
Publisher/s: Laurus Books – http://www.thelauruscompany.com
Free Marketing Tips – *Conquer All Obstacles* – http://www.joconquerobstacles.com
Journey To Publication – *Jo-Anne Vandermeulen* – http://www.joconquerall.com
Premium Promotional Services – *You Write – We Promote* http://www.premiumpromotions.biz
To purchase books from the author: http://www.thelauruscompany.com/store/9
Jo-Anne Vandermeulen *Conquer All Obstacles* – http://bit.ly/bdD6hX
Fans of Jo-Anne Vandermeulen *Group*- http://bit.ly/bZ5zsI
Premium Promotional Tips for Writers – http://bit.ly/cETJPG