I’m a 44 year old mother of two awesome daughters, entrepreneur, an author, counselor and digital specialist. I was in IT, in the corporate world for 20 years before taking a leap of faith into the unknown, where I completed my BA. Psych degree, and ended up being a digital author. Who would have thought?
Tell us a little more about your dream and journey of being the first author to have your two teenage spiritual fantasy fiction novels published on MXit: The first of the Emily series poured out within 3 months, much to my surprise as I always expected to write an adult self-help book with my degree in Psychology. But having journeyed into the ‘heavens’ I guess God had a different plan, as out popped this teenage fantasy book with spiritual signposts for the younger adult. And so my journey into the publishing world started – with all the publishers I approached telling me that they wouldn’t publish local fantasy as the kids wouldn’t read it!
I didn’t believe them, and so I started wondering about how to go about doing this myself. What a learning curve. The first 50 copies I printed were appalling. The print quality was terrible, the books fell apart as soon as you opened the spine, and I found that I needed to have them professionally edited too. And so I learned. I spent some monies finding a great editor, and sourced a different supplier for print, as well as a new designer for the cover. I decided to market at schools since this was my target market all in one room, but still wondered how I could reach a broader audience.
Various ideas conspired together, and after putting a proposal together for MXIT, met them in early 2008. They loved the idea, and so the Mbooks platform was born. To date we’ve sold approximately 90000 chapters on MXIT alone, approx 1000 copies of the 1st book in schools and at bookstores, and about 750 of the second, Emily and the Sprites of Light. Which, I think is pretty incredible, since I recently heard that the average sales world-wide of a book is about 2000 (and that’s factoring in the J.K Rowling’s and Stephanie Meyers).
For the past year, we have also been loading other publisher and author books on MXIT, which are also doing very well, much to our delight. In between, I’m trying to finish writing the 3rd of the series, Emily and the Depths of Darkness.
Simply put to become the next J.K.Rowling and/or Stephanie Meyer J but actually I believe we are entering a ‘new age’, and having counseled a few teenagers in my practice, I believe that they are ‘waking up’ to, what I like to call, Life, the Universe and Everything else, much earlier than our parents or we did. This makes the teenage years a real challenge and this on top of changing hormones, seeking independence and whatever teens go through anyway. So, I’d like to be there (via my books) for every teenager (and adult, I do have some of these readers believe it or not) who needs to feel like they’re not alone.
I have many. The usual suspects, such as my mom who taught me patience and diligence, my father who was an intrepid explorer, my husband who keeps supporting me even though I keep getting rejections and then the big writers of the day as mentioned above. And last but never least, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu – humanitarians who stayed true to themselves while making a difference. I’d love to get to a point in my life where I would have made such a difference to this world (not just teens, but everyone that suffers at some time because of something – which means all of us), but not have compromised on who I am to have done it.
Personally, something not many people know about me, my alcoholism and depression. I don’t think many psychologists enter this world without having a personal reason to find out how we tick. I overcame this by reaching, what I called a ‘choice point’ – either I was going to jump off a bridge or I was going to change my life. I figured I’d give changing my life a try first. J Professionally, the rejections and No’s (that still keep coming as I try to find an international agent) – but I’ve learned to not take these personally, and keep trucking!
I am worthy. I am enough.
Life is what you make it. And my all time favourite is – be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.
To breathe in and out, in and out, make your plans and follow them through – no matter what.
Patience and persistence pays off – but enjoy the journey too.
By finding me a reputable international agent who will find me the best publishing deal overseas J.
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