Me: Renee-Ann, thank you so much for today. I appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to join us. Readers, if you have questions or comments for Renee-Ann, she is standing by her computer, ready to connect with you!
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Author of the Month: Meet Renee-Ann Giggie
As promised, the third Wednesday of the month I feature a fellow author. Today I had the joy of interviewing Renee-Ann Giggie. Two years ago, Renee-Ann appeared as a guest blogger on A Novel Creation talking about indie publishing. We met at my first-ever writing conference and have supported each other in our writing efforts ever since. Networking. Powerful stuff.
Me: How did you come up with the title for your newest release? (I’m grinning here.)
Renee-Ann: Well…I had a contest and if memory serves me right, YOU won. (She laughs) My novels are standalone, but each of the titles are similar as though they were a series. The first was Stella’s Plea, the second is Emma’s Prayer, and the next will be Charlie’s Plight.
Me: I did. I won! I wasn’t looking for praise there, but I do think the contest was a great way to connect your readers to your book. What led you to become an author?
Renee-Ann: My mom was a newspaper reporter so one could say I inherited the ‘writing bug’. As a teen, I always said I’d be a writer someday. It took longer than I hoped… but I did it!
Me: Tell us how you finally got started.
Renee-Ann: I entered the NaNoWriMo challenge, where you have to write 50,000 words in 30 days (three pages a day). Falling in love with my characters along the way, I met the challenge, hired a professional editor, and after months of edits and rewrites, I self-published Stella’s Plea.
Me: I love it! I know other authors who have jumpstarted their writing by participating in NaNoWriMo. And for those of you new to writing, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and takes place in November. Check out their website for more info. Now, Renee-Ann, NaNoWriMo certainly keeps you on task during the month, but how do you stay focused and maintain that writing discipline on a regular basis?
Renee-Ann: Oh, that’s a hard one but it doesn’t have to be. I look at it as I would my full time job. When I go to work in the morning (yes I still hold a full time job in an office), I do what needs to be done or my boss won’t be happy. The same goes with writing. I sit at my desk and put fingers to keyboard. Turn off Facebook, email, and whatever else keeps you from writing. If my boss saw me checking Facebook instead of doing my job, he wouldn’t like that. Same thing with writing. Discipline is key.
Me: Where do you get your story ideas?
Renee-Ann: People. Watching and listening to others in the stores, on the street, and well, everywhere. Then I turn to God for the inspiration, and how to develop those ideas.
Me: And I know you incorporate your knowledge of the deaf community in your work. I think that is incredible. I’ve read both Stella’s Plea and Emma’s Prayer. Both are excellent.
Renee-Ann: Ah, thank you.
Me: So what advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
Renee-Ann: Don’t quit. We’ve all heard it before but perseverance pays off. The temptation to give up comes to everyone, especially when we hit writers block. The way I look at it is that, if bestselling authors can get writers block yet they continue to write amazing novels, it can happen to me too. If you really want it, keep pushing. Remember you’re not alone. And then learn how to market your work. At first I had no idea how to sell my book. I’ve always said: Writing is hard. Editing is harder. Marketing is the hardest.
Me: Good advice. And so true. Okay, one last question. Would you tell us a little about your latest book?
Renee-Ann: I would love to…Emma’s Prayer deals with a teen mom who puts her son up for adoption but soon changes her mind. Her pain, her longing for that child, and the guilt of putting him up is more than she can bear and she wants him back.
Across town a childless couple are waiting to adopt and they’re delighted when a baby boy is placed in their arms. Is heartache inevitable?
And, oh, yes, I’m on track to publish the third book, Charlie’s Plight in 2017.