Today when not nurturing young minds, HBF enjoys travel, photography, culinary arts, and the cinema. The Cohen Brothers and Tyler Perry are among her favorite artistic contributors.
You can find HBF Teacher online at http://www.noteachersleftbehind.info.
Welcome to The Writer's Life, HBF (Hopeful But Frustrated) Teacher. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
I’m a middle school teacher who is happily married with two children, two cats, and a dog. I have been writing since I was about six. I started writing when my class put on the play, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Because there were few parts, I didn’t get a role so I wrote my own version of the fairytale called Snow White and the Thirteen Dwarfs so everyone would have a part.
Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?
No Teachers Left Behind gives voice to the frustrations of a public education middle school staff. The teachers only want to make a difference, but they are prevented from doing their jobs by unsupportive administrators, offensive parents, and disruptive students. My own personal frustrations, as a teacher, led me to write this novel.
_____________________What kind of research was involved in writing No Teachers Left Behind?
I didn’t have to step outside of my day job to write No Teachers Left Behind. As a teacher, I’m on the front line everyday. I deal with the parents, the students, and the administrators. My co-workers and I also share stories.
How much input did you have into the design of your book cover?
I pretty much created the cover myself, with the aid of a publishing program. The cover represents isolation, something many teachers feel.
Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?
The road to publication is always hard with the writing, editing, critiquing, more editing, more writing, cover design, marketing, etc., but once you get your book out there, there is no better feeling in the world, than having a hard copy of your baby in your hands.
For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?
Since I went to CreateSpace, a division of Amazon, it didn’t take long at all. You upload your book, design your cover, answer a few questions, and the first step is done. In a couple of days, your proof is ready for order. Once you view your proof, you can decide when your book is ready for sale or you can make changes. I made a copy of changes, after seeing my proof, and then “No Teachers Left Behind” was ready for sale. The whole process might have taken me two weeks.
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 don’t have an agent, although I do think it would be great to have an agent. Agents can unlock doors for you and get your books in front of publishers. Of course, agents also want their cut so that would be the only drawback.
Do I think you need to have an agent to be successful? No, I don’t think you need an agent to be successful. I think you’ll have to work harder if you don’t an agent, but even writers with agents, have to work hard.
Do you plan subsequent books?
Yes, I’m always thinking of the next book. Right now, there is a sequel to No Teachers Left Behind on the drawing board.
Are you a morning writer or a night writer?
I write both early in the morning and late at night. During the normal work day, I’m teaching, so my students get all my attention and then my other “regular hours” are spent with my family. Even though writing is my first love, it has to happen in my “down time”.
If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?
I would invest in more promotional materials to give out to prospective customers. People won’t buy your book if they don’t know about it.
How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?
I think self- promotion is very important. Most books are sold either through word of mouth or word of type (as I call the Internet Conversations). Right now, I’m working on a blog tour with this great firm called “Pump Up Your Book Promotion”. The No Teachers Left Behind website is always promoting its namesake. I also engage in online social networking using FaceBook, MySpace, and Twitter. Offline, I promote my book through postcard distribution and social networking.
Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?
If being a published writer is your dream, then pursue it. Dreams can come true.
Thank you for coming, HBF. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?
Readers can contact me at http://www.noteachersleftbehind.info. No Teachers Left Behind can also be purchased twenty four hours a day at Amazon.com