Up Close & Personal with 'The Heart of a Woman' Shaneka L. McClarty

Up Close & Personal is one of The Writer’s Life newest features. Here we feature authors who don't mind spilling the beans and telling what it's really like to write, get published and sell that book.  Today's guest is Shaneka L. McClarty, author of the nonfiction, The Heart of a Woman: Reclaim, Release and Renew.  You can visit Shaneka’s website at www.therapygirl.net.

On Writing…
I have always loved writing and reading. My parents gave me my first diary when I was eight years old. I have written in a journal practically all of my life and writing seemed like a natural thing for me. I published my first book, The Heart of a Woman: Reclaim, Release and Renew, in February 2014. Since being published, I have had the opportunity to meet new people I probably would not have met before. This book has placed me on a new journey that I am excited to travel.

On Being Published…
I felt a huge sense of accomplishment after publishing this book because this was something I wanted to do for ten years or more. I have done a lot of difficult things in my life and writing this book provided me with the opportunity to stretch myself. With that, being a published author means I can do anything. I could have easily continued to provide therapy to many single and divorced women while only sharing my gift with them. For me, that wasn’t enough because I wanted more women to hear my message; especially those who wouldn’t normally go to counseling. This book captures the essence of a woman’s heart after a painful break-up. My goal was to lead the reader on a journey from pain to purpose with no more emotional sacrifices. I didn’t want this book to be about dating; this book is about personal growth and how one’s strength and self-acceptance is important to achieving a lasting and authentic relationship.

On Publishing Industry…
The publishing industry has made tremendous strides. Years ago, aspiring authors would have had to cross their fingers and hope a traditional publishing house selected their work. Now, with self-publishing, authors have control over their entire project which is empowering. I decided to self-publish because I didn’t want a traditional publishing company’s rejection to define my destiny. I wanted control over my message and how it was delivered.

Mistakes Along the Way…
I chose not to have the book title and my name on the bind of the book because it would have been too small. It was a cosmetic choice for me. I looked at both design covers and decided to go without. Some people might consider that a mistake but it wasn’t.

On Marketing…
Marketing my book has not been difficult as I have tried to be creative. In the beginning, I did some research on multiple marketing strategies. I wrote to book clubs to tell them about my book, secured radio interviews, blog interviews and I solicited my sorority sisters as marketing soldiers. Within three months, I could see the sales increase so I decided to hire Pump Up Your Book to facilitate a formal virtual blog tour for me. In addition to the various marketing methods, I will be hosting my official book launch luncheon on May 31, 2014 at Villa Christina in Atlanta.

On Goals and Dreams…
This is a thought-provoking question. My goal is to share my message with as many women as possible either through my book or speaking engagements. As it relates to success, I think it depends on how one defines success. I didn’t begin this journey with the intent on being successful or famous; I only wanted to help women heal and to empower them. If my success has to be measured, then it would surely be based on that. I want aspiring authors to have reasonable goals about their writing projects. It’s okay to want to sell a million copies; however it is important to be realistic, humble and make the message your priority. 

About the Book

Are you a single woman who is tired of the roller coaster ride of relationship problems? This book captures the essence of a woman's heart after a painful break-up. Readers are led on a journey from pain to purpose; no more dating drama and no more emotional sacrifices.

Author Shaneka L. McClarty is a licensed therapist and a relationship expert. She provides insightful steps to help women unpack their emotional baggage, reclaim the strength that's needed to walk away and re-position their hearts for authentic love with a real man. Get ready to open up your heart to reclaim your power, release the pain and renew your mind to get the man that you want.

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