Thursday, October 29, 2009
Interview with Author Carol Sue Gershman
Constantly reinventing herself, Carol Sue Gershman enrolled in a Dade County, Miami memoir writing class as a complete novice. After two short semesters she emerged as a author. While she considers Miami and New York City her home, she has given up both and has hit the road! She is following the route of her book reliving the cities and states she wrote about in her memoir promoting her story.
Welcome to The Writer's Life, Carol Sue. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
I began writing at the age of 71 turning my three page Adventure in Love Story into 325 page book in nine months. That was two years ago and I was a complete novice. One day there was a knock on the door. It was the management saying water was coming from my apartment. I said, “Not here.” I turned around and saw water covering the floor almost to my feet; I was so absorbed in writing that I never noticed!
Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?
I wrote it because my lover walked out on me and I wanted to get him back. I took all of my negative energy and pain and turned it into writing. Instead, what developed was a sexy, racy, inspiring memoir. I wrote about life from marriage to grandchildren, to divorce to travel and obsession. I wrote in flashbacks in a narrative style.
What kind of research was involved in writing The Jewish Lady,The Black Man and The Road Trip?
There was little research as my book is a memoir. I told my story. However, I did further research the cities, states that we visited on our road trip elaborating on their history.
Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?
Oh my goodness. Really bumpy. I am a self published author, and have done every inch of it myself. By that I mean, from writing (excluding editing, as my grammar and spelling needed professional help) fonts, lay out, the front and back cover design. Then came the choosing of the right printing company, the editing of the book with my editor, the countless changes,and the biggest one of all, the process of promoting. It is a huge, difficult endless, but worthwhile endeavor that takes an enormous amount of work time and love.
For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?
It took me nine months morning noon and night with no contract except the contract I made with myself to shock my lover with the story I wrote about us.
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?
Good question. No, I do not have an agent am sure if I had an agent my life would have been much easier. However, in my case and at my age, waiting around for an agent to say yes, was not something I wanted to do. I was seriously anxious to get my book right out there and nowadays with self publishing one can achieve that goal. I have since written a press release on “Who needs an agent or a publisher,” which I hope will be published.
Do you plan subsequent books?
Absolutely. Self help books are important in today's world, so am thinking of that or else another true life story.
Can you describe your most favorite place to write?
For me on my computer at home on my bed. When I travel, I take a big yellow pad along as I did on a cruise on deck. I am unstoppable.
If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?
A large PR agency who specializes in book promotion; not any PR agency because when it comes to a book, it is a different story. I would put my book cover on buses, subways, billboards too.
How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?
It is all about self promotion and while I said I would invest in a good PR agency, it would still be up to me. I like doing home parties, talking to congregations, endless book store signings, radio, libraries, and presently I have hit the road on an extensive three month book tour, re-living all of the cities and states that I wrote about in my memoir
What’s the most common reason you believe new writers give up their dream of becoming published and did you almost give up?
For most people, it is extremely difficult to find an agent, as it was for me. So I went the self publishing route. Then comes the money issue to self publish. I never would have given up until it was published.
Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?
If you really want to get a book out there by all means save your money until you can afford to self publish or pursue, pursue an agent. Please do not give up your dream.
Thank you for your interview, Carol Sue. I wish you much success!