Monday, June 08, 2009
FEATURED AUTHOR: Iris Celeste
Iris Celeste spent endless hours as a child being entertained through her books. Writing became her chosen method of expression and with that her debut novel Praise Your Way Through was brought to life. She writes a weekly column As a Woman Thinketh for Big Time Publishing Magazine, as well as, being a contributing writer for Victorious Magazine.
Praise Your Way Through is a Christian Fiction novel detailing the lives of four characters from very different backgrounds and the challenges they encounter from day to day. From adultery, hidden childhood wounds, abandonment issues, wavering faith and everything in between. When all hell breaks loose the crucial question is will they have the courage and faith to listen to God's direction or will they simply continue to take matters into their own hands?
What would you like readers to take away from your book?
Well, I think the most important thing I want readers to take away from my novel is that they don't have to go at life alone. Stop struggling and start praying. God will send help your way in whatever form you need it.
Why did you choose to write this book?
The book actually chose me! I tried suppressing it, ignoring it, running from it; but the characters kept calling my name. They had a story to tell.
What did you learn while writing this book?
I learned that life is good when we use God's road map. While writing the story I was able to let go of a lot of emotional baggage that was holding me down...bitterness and unforgiveness. I now embrace and accept the fearfully and wonderfully made woman God created me to be.
What was your favorite scene/chapter from the book?
Wow! That's hard. I love the book as a whole, but I will have to say I really like the humorous scenes between the characters. One being because I'm silly! Two because even though the story is Christian Fiction, I wanted the characters to be as real and relatable as everyday people. I'm saved, but I'm also quite nutty...in a good way.
What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
That it's more than a notion and much harder than it looks. But to hear someone comment that they were blessed and inspired by something I've written makes it all worth it.
What is the best lesson you have learned from another writer?
Be authentic by using my own voice. I can't write like J.D. Mason or Carleen Brice. I can only be Iris. Anything less is a counterfeit.
What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?
You have to develop tough skin, because not everyone is going to like your work.
What is something readers would be surprised you do?
I love watching reality shows. People fascinate me!
What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?
I wish I would have known to market myself and my book beforehand, network and not to be afraid to ask for help.
How do you reach new readers?
Actually I write a weekly column at http://www.freewebs.com/btpmagazine/asawomanthinketh.htm and that is how most of my new readers find me. So check me out.
If you could have dinner with 3 authors to talk with about their writing (living or deceased) who would you invite and why?
Darnella Ford, because I love her writing style. She is poetry in motion. Octavia Butler, I would just love to get inside her head and pick her brain. Her writing has the ability to transport you into another world. Victoria Christopher Murray, simply because I love her and her spirit. She's my shero!
Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?
Don't quit and just do it.
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
I love receiving emails and my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
My website is www.irisceleste.com.
Our theme for this month is REACHING YOUR GOALS. What steps should a writer take to reach their goals?
Write the vision. Write it down and keep writing. Surrounding yourself with a great support system is also key. We all need our own personal cheering squad.
Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?
I'm currently working on the sequel to Praise Your Way Through. Taste and See guarantees to deliver and evoke every emotion as you continue to follow Tamara, Samuel, Sheila and Leon's journey.
- I believe in promoting authors and their books. Let me introduce you and your books to online readers.
I'm also a happily married mother of three who's trying to break into the Christian writing field. The writing road can be rocky.
I’m available for:
Online promotion coaching
Contact me at:email@example.com