The Writer's Life interviews Cheryl Bannerman author of Black Child to Black Woman

Cheryl D. Bannerman is CEO of a small, 14 year old, virtual training company based out of Central New Jersey. She works out of her home office and creates classroom training materials, e-Learning Flash modules, job aides and much more for corporate employees and their clients. She holds a Bachelors degree in Business Management and a Masters degree in Project Management. She is also the (divorced) single mother of a beautiful, twelve year old girl. In her spare time she loves to read murder mysteries, watch movies, try new restaurants and cuisines, shop with her daughter, and in the summer, walk the boardwalk and take in the sun on the beach.

Welcome to The Writer's Life, Cheryl.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

A: Sure. I’ve been writing course training materials for over a decade, but this would be my first fictional book, but definitely not my last!

Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

A: Black Child to Black Woman: A Journey of Tremendous Proportions is about the story of a girl name Tara Walker who is writing in her journal to her audience, which is the reader. She documents her experiences, her family life, her triumphs, as well as her interpretation of life and the world as she saw it.

I wrote the book because it had been a long time coming and I needed to get my story out.

What kind of research was involved in writing (Black Child to Black Woman)?

A: None really. I had been documenting stories from my own childhood and experiences from friends and family for over a decade so I had plenty of material to work with!

Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?

A: It was pretty bumpy for me since I had to research and talk to experts in the field to learn how to publish a book. Then it was expensive once I decided on self-publishing and who I wanted to publish with. After that, I found it difficult to transfer my vision over to them for the cover and other design items. Not sure if I would use them again.

For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?

A: Since I self-published it was a little different. I would say once I purchased the package it was a 3 ½ month process to get the first copy in my hands.

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?

A: I don’t have an agent, no. I do use PR firms with different skill sets to help me promote my book.

Do you plan subsequent books?

A: Yes, definitely. I feel I have a lot more experiences I could incorporate into other works of fiction. I’m looking at doing a suspense thriller for my next book.

Can you describe your most favorite place to write?

A: Not really, but I do enjoy the desk by the front window of my home, watching people go by and listening to their conversations and laughter.

If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?

A: A TV spot, similar to a movie trailer. Likes James Patterson does!

How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?

A: Self-promotion is very important. It’s up to you to get the word out or your book will just sit on the shelf and collect dust right? I use Facebook, family and friends, email blasts, a web site, the Virtual Tour, and word of mouth. I will be starting in-person book signing in November.

What’s the most common reason you believe new writers give up their dream of becoming published and did you almost give up?

A: It seems so difficult and expensive. Like I said I found it daunting when I typed in Google how to publish a book and received a million results. I almost gave up right then and there. But luckily I found a few experts who guided me in the right direction, to the right documents, and I was able to find out about self-publishing. It’s the latest trend right now!

Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?

A: Write your story ‘around’ personal, and even emotional, experiences and memories (yours or someone else’s), and you can guarantee your reader will really feel it! Keep ‘em guessing all the time from chapter to chapter. Also, never say never! It can happen for you at any stage or age in your life.

Thank you for your interview, (Cheryl). I wish you much success!

A: Thank you so much!
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