About the Book:
Irene Watson's pretentious life could go no further until she faced her past. Her moving and inspiring memoir begins at the end, in a recovery center, where she has gone to understand a childhood fraught with abuse, guilt and uncertainty. Her powerful story is a testament that it’s never too late to change your life, never too late to heal.
You can purchase your copy of THE SITTING SWING at Amazon, the author’s website, and other fine retail outlets.
Welcome to The Writer's Life, Irene. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
My life has taken me on many paths, with breakthrough results and exemplar growth, to find my authentic and true self. I’ve designed and facilitated workshops and retreats throughout the
I started writing my book in 2004, and had the first edition published in 2005. It was my first attempt to publish and I used a subsidy press. Since then I learned so much – my goodness, did I learn! (Laughs) A traditional publisher picked up my book; it was revised and much was added to make it what it is now.
Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?
I had a story to tell, and I felt my story was going to help others heal from dysfunctional experiences in their childhood. I believe it’s never too late to find a way to re-write our scripts passed down for generations. By telling my story, I feel it gives hope to others.
What kind of research was involved in writing “The Sitting Swing: Finding Wisdom to Know the Difference”?
Since it was my own story much of it came from my own memory. The portions that depict the recovery center, my experience there, and the didactics came from the notes I took while there.
How much input did you have into the design of your book cover?
Not, much. I handed it over to the cover designer and she came up with the cover. I was fully satisfied and thrilled with her choice.
Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?
The first time around for this book was bumpy. I sent out 147 query letters and finally got a bite from a subsidy press. At that time I didn’t know the difference between traditional and subsidy press publishing. Although the subsidy press owner was supportive, I soon realized all the cons to it. The book was also badly edited by them and I didn’t realize that until after it was published. As soon as I found out of the editing issues I put a stop to selling.
However, even though it had major issues, the book won an Honorable Mention – Regional from IPPY, and I did get a review from Publishers Weekly.
About two years later I was offered publication by a traditional publisher. The original manuscript went through two major edits, and a number of minor ones. We added things like a readers guide, resources, bibliography, a subtitle, and of course an afterword. We changed the cover, the print style, etc.
The Sitting Swing: Finding Wisdom to Know the Difference took on a new life.
For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?
About 6 months with the traditional publisher. We didn’t bother making ARCs and galleys to send out because I had already received major reviews. Normally, it takes longer because of the importance of sending out the book for pre-pub reviews.
Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?
I acted as my own agent because that’s what I do. I believe it is necessary to have one, but, that said, shopping for an agent is extremely important. The first question that needs to be asked of the agent is: Do you have a close relationship with publishers? This is very important. Agents come a dime a dozen and most send in queries to the publisher no different than an author would. Most traditional publishers only work with agents they’ve established a relationship with.
Do you plan subsequent books?
Maybe. Right now I don’t have anything in mind except I am an co-editor of one book “The Story that Must be Told: True Tales of Transformation” and I’m going to co-edit another that will include 30+ publishing secrets from experts in the field.
Are you a morning writer or a night writer?
I’m an inspirational writer – it could be in the morning, night, or even in the middle of the night. I don’t have a set pattern of writing; I just write when I’m inspired.
If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?
Wow, that’s quite a question. I would probably create an infomercial.
How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?
It’s one of the most important and the most difficult things to do. Things I’ve done: Reader Views (www.readerviews.com) and Rebecca’s Reads (www.rebeccasreads) features; blog tour; my personal blog; Amazon book launch; news releases; direct media contact; direct target contact; and I’m still in the process of finding ways to promote my book. I’ve also sent a copy to various treatment centers, as well as other centers I feel would be a good target. I also had my own personal book launch party.
Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?
Never loose sight of the big picture, create the vision, and go for it!
Thank you for coming, Irene. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?
My official website is www.irenewatson.com. There you can link to my blog. If the book is purchased through my site I will autograph it and pay the shipping. The Sitting Swing: Finding Wisdom to Know the Difference is also available through local and online sellers.