Thursday, December 27, 2007
FEATURED AUTHOR: Vina St. Fran
Vina St. Fran is the author of “One Foot Outside The Door”, her first novel published by Zam Publishing. She lives in the Midwest part of the United States. Vina has an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and a MBA in Strategic Management and is currently enrolled in a PHD program. She discovered and started writing at the tender age of seven. Writing is her passion and she is currently hard at work on her second novel that will be a follow-up to One Foot Outside The Door as part of a three series trilogy.
What would you like your readers to take away from your book?
I think as a writer it is important to enlighten a reader as they go on the journey with you in getting to know your story. I want my readers to enjoy One Foot Outside The Door, yet feel they have grown as a result of reading the book. I mean, in life, there are so many things that we think are good for us, but then we get hit with a curveball and find that everything wasn’t what we thought it would be. The biggest take away point is to keep an open mind and to expect the unexpected when it pertains to life and definitely love.
What have you learned throughout the process of writing, pitching - and now, promoting your book?
I have been writing for quite some time, so that aspect is quite natural to me. There is a lot of work that goes into pitching and promoting your product. Additionally, having an Internet presence is a must. I have a publicist that I am working with in 2008 and I am quite excited about that! I think that it is a learning experience to try to do as much as you can on your own, but if you have the financial resources, it is good to partner with someone who can help you. This affords me the opportunity of concentrating on what I do best, which is writing.
What are three things you wish you'd known before you reached where you are now?
The first thing is what a joy self-publishing is. I say that because I pitched my book to so many agents who offered to take me on as a client but they really didn’t follow through which is why I decided to go it on my own. The second thing is both writing and self-publishing are time consuming. You really have to be organized and have great time management skills to keep everything in order. Lastly, as both a reader and a writer, there is nothing more frustrating than seeing African-American or authors of color that are marketed into one category because they happen to be a minority. There are a wide array of authors who are writing stories that are edgier and don’t fall into traditional categories and as a result of that, they have a harder time marketing their book.
What aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?
Freedom is the biggest gift I receive as a writer. I can explore any avenue, and express myself just as freely as I choose to do so. Having creative freedom also keeps you stimulated, which is what you need to keep the creative juices flowing while inventing great stories and strong characters. What I hate most about writing is it indeed is a lonely profession. This means there are lots of things that I have to put on hold when I am working on a project for an indefinite period of time. As a writer, there are many periods of isolation that you go through in order to bring a book to life. I have a great support network of friends and family who are understanding and that is tremendous.
What's your secret to balancing career and family?
I have two secrets I'll share. A great bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot in the cabinet to help me chill out is one way that helps me destress. I’m pretty involved with my family and prioritizing helps me balance my career and family life. 2008 will be quite a busy year for me and I anticipate that maintaining this won’t be much of an issue.
One Foot Outside The Door
Cyndarella Worthy is a beautiful, 30-something African-American woman who owns a successful minority advertising agency in Southfield, Michigan. About to marry Thad Mitchell, Cyn has a blast from the past in the form of her high school sweetheart and first love, Bashar Bazzi, an Iraqi gentleman who comes back with an agenda of his own for his former lover. Will she ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after, or find herself back in circulation?
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