If your mind is what you want stimulated, and your heart is what you want captured, Once You’ve Touched The Heart is where you need to go.
Iris Bolling was born in Richmond, Virginia. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Management and has worked with the Commonwealth of Virginia for the past 25 years. Iris has one son, Jon-Christopher and her great-niece Champaine.
To combine the areas in her life she enjoys the most, education, politics and romance, she penned her first manuscript, Once You’ve Touched the Heart, which was released in March 2008 and her second, The Heart of Him was released November 2008. Her passions are reading, writing, sports and politics.
For more information please visit; http://www.irisbolling.com/.
What would you like readers to take away from your book?
After reading Once You’ve Touched The Heart I want readers to believe that true love does exist. That there is strength in integrity and following what you know in your heart is right regardless of the cost. And finally see that the good guy does not always finish last. I also want them to understanding the power of family and true friends.
Why did you choose to write this book?
This book was written in 2005 when I was disillusioned with our television programming and wanted something with a little more substance. My son became frustrated with my complaining and said, if you don’t like what’s on television change it. Agreeing with his solution, I sat down and began writing. I wanted to see characters with integrity and substance. It was important for me to develop men who cared not only about themselves but their community, family and friends as well. Thus the Harrison family and friends were born.
What did you learn while writing this book?
Research is the key to credibility. Since this series (The Heart Series) is based on a political career, a number of hours were put into researching political campaigns, gang interactions and our criminal court system. Pulling it all together was a learning experience.
What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
It’s a process. The story may flow through your mind, but getting it from your mind to paper and then published is a process. It cannot and should not be rushed.
What is the best lesson you have learned from another writer?
Never give up. If one door is closed, keep going until you find one that is opened.
What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?
Staying true to my characters, not being influenced by others opinions on how they believe your story should go.
Why did you choose to self publish?
I did not want my story shortened. I know a number of people that say a romance novel should fit into a certain number of pages. Well my story did not. But I believed in my story and did not want to short change the readers to force it to fit. So I decided to self-publish. It gave me complete control of the final product.
Did you try the traditional publishing route before you chose to self-publish?
Not really. I worked with a vanity press and was disappointed with the turnout. Then I decided to do the project myself. It wasn’t easy. I was given two books, “The Writer’s Market” and “The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing” and used that as my guide throughout the project. I did submit to several agents and soon discovered the glitch in the publishing system. You rarely get an agent without being published and you rarely get published without an agent. I would love to write for Kimini Press one day.
What were some of the mistakes you made with your first book, and what did you learn from those mistakes?
I underestimated the importance of editing. I will never do that again. Regardless of how good a story may be the editing can interfere with the enjoyment of reader. The problem for me is I’m a writer, not an editor and sometimes others will not put in the effort needed to ensure your product is the best it can be. Always get a professional to handle the editing on your product.
What financial and artistic considerations should you keep in mind before you begin?
Take all the cost factors under advisement before you start to self-publish. Don’t just calculate the cost of printing, editing, cover and page design, include the cost to promote, market, traveling hotel stays, mailing promotional material, shipping books to customers, the cost to have your books on Amazon or B&N. Self- Publishing is not for the weak at heart and it is not a quick turnaround, it is an investment in YOU. That’s the financial piece; artistically believe in your work enough to invest in YOU.
What was your greatest challenge in self-promoting your book?
My greatest challenge was and still is learning the dos and don’ts of the industry, marketing, promoting, networking, networking and networking some more.
What is something readers would be surprised you do?
Get very nervous when I have to talk about me.
What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?
1. How to market and promote my books.
2. How to network effectively.
3. The legal aspects of the publishing industry.
How do you reach new readers?
Usually through book clubs, book conference, book signings, advertisements, but mostly word of mouth. I dab a little with some of the social sites, when time permits.
If you could have dinner with 3 authors to talk with about their writing (living or deceased) who would you invite and why?
Beverly Jenkins – The historical research and character development in her stories are amazing. Brenda Jackson –She does a wonderful job keeping her characters fresh in every series she writes. Julie Garwood – Adds a touch of humor to her stories that I admire.
Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?
Do write every day.
Don’t ever allow anyone to step on your dreams, regardless of what your dreams may be.
Our theme for this month is Family Literacy, what do you do to promote literacy in your family?
Everyone in my household are readers. My niece read series related to teen-age issues. For my son it’s the news, he very heavy into politics and for my sweetie it’s the bible. As for me I love suspense filled romance and historical romance novels with knights, barons, kings and castles.
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
My mailing address is: Iris Bolling c/o Siri Enterprises
P.O. Box 27991
Richmond, Virginia 23261
My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
My website is: http://www.irisbolling.com/ and http://www.sirient.com/
Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?
The Heart of Him is the second installment of The Heart series. Ashley Harrison sets her sights on James Brooks and sparks began to fly. This heartwarming story will have you laughing, cheering and wondering when someone will back-hand the Senator’s daughter, stomp the brother and kill the ex- boyfriend, just to put them all out of their misery .Just as “forever after” is within James and Ashley’s grasp the past comes back to haunt them threatening serious damage to a political campaign, an innocent child and Ashley’s life.
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