Book Connection Interview for Written In Ruberah

Where did you grow up?

Mevagissey, Cornwall, UK

Mevagissey Harbor
Mevagissey Harbor
Mevagissey Outer Harbor

When did you begin writing?

I wrote stories as a young child and dreamed of being a writer one day. For many years I traveled the world and worked in different careers. I settled into writing full time fifteen years ago.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

My habit is to write for about three hours in the early morning. I like to edit in the afternoon. When traveling, I write anywhere I can.

What is this book about?

A woman who feels hard-wired to be with the man she loves but who cannot realize that love because of a debt she bears from a previous life in ancient Ruberah.

What inspired you to write it?

I wanted to set a novel in Cornwall, UK, where I grew up. I felt the lush countryside, the moors, and the rugged coast would feed my imagination. They did. Lovers came to mind—lovers who must time travel to the ancient past to heal a rift that prevents them from being together. I needed an immortal—a guide who would help them. I turned to an old Cornish legend that fascinated me as a child: the legend of the beautiful nymph Tamara and the giant brothers Tavy and Tawridge. Tamara lives in a cave beneath the moors with her parents. Her father forbids her to meet the giants. Tamara disobeys him. Her father catches her with the giants and punishes her by turning her into a river of tears. Tamara forms the River Tamar. As a child, I traveled back and forth to boarding school by train crossing the River Tamar. I imagined Tamara as a water spirit who helped people.

Tamar River, Cornwall
Tamar River, Cornwall

“Written in Ruberah,” is the first book in my Age of Jeweled Intelligence series about people who lived in ancient Ruberah who made sacred promises to one day make amends for the disaster that brought about the end of that land. They tossed those promises into the River of Life. Many of those old souls live on the planet today. As their promises come due they float into the River Tamar. Tamara guides those ready to fulfill them.

Who is your favorite character from the book?

Miriam, who longs to be in a loving relationship with Mitch. Miriam fears aging and the possibility of growing old alone. A little overweight, she struggles to take the pounds off only to binge eat to feed her emotions and pack them back on. Miriam is strong, humorous, and painfully vulnerable.

Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

Long and arduous. It took many drafts to weave the history of the ancient Kingdom of Ruberah into the story of Tamara and the present day lives of Miriam and Mitch.

If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?

I wrote the first two drafts of Written in Ruberah in first person from Tamara’s POV. My editor told me the story was too big for first person. If I had to do it over, I would take her advice earlier than I did.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Amazon or

Do you have a video trailer to promote your book? If yes, where can readers find it?

My website:

What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?

I’m at the beginning of that journey. Right now, I’d say having my website redesigned and going on this blog tour. I rather dreaded promoting my book but I find myself enjoying it—enjoying the connection I’m making with other writers and book lovers.

Is there one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

If you dream of being a writer, you can be a writer. The dream is telling you this. Let nothing stop you. Build the habit of writing every day. This tells your body, mind, and spirit you’re serious about this. After a while that something magical happens and you’ll find your imagination racing off, exploring possibilities you might otherwise never have considered. You’ll laugh, cry, fall in love, and kill whoever needs to be killed. Since you create all the characters you realize your protagonist could not complete his journey without having met and defeated a number of enemies along the way. This opens your compassionate nature and guides you to deal fate with an even hand. In Written in Ruberah I learned why Tamara’s father turned her into a river and how he did it. Yes, it’s just an old Cornish legend, but truth abounds in myths and legends.

I write by Rumi’s advice: “Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.”

What is up next for you?

I’m writing the next book in my Age of Jeweled Intelligence series. This story features a new main character, a seventeen-year-old boy, Ib, short for Ibiza, (Ib’s mother names all her children after the place where they were conceived), a soul-searing love story, and another adventure in ancient Ruberah.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Thank you for your kind interest in my novel. I bid you goodbye with the phrase used by those who lived ancient Ruberah. Foretune to travel well.











Mistakes I did NOT make self-publishing my first book

I did it!

I love this quote by Cynthia Heimel, playwrite, TV writer, and author of satirical books.

When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell, leap.

I’ve got skid marks on my butt from leaping around the world into different careers and into love, (anyone butt-skid-free from love, please comment.) Leaping into one recovery after another. Repeating old patterns. Leaping higher and higher. Catching the updraft of that something greater than me. Hanging on. Learning of wisdom, kindness, and the joy of just being. Landing on my feet! Writing.

Write. Leap. Skid. Get up. Write. You’ve got something to say.


Mistakes I made self-publishing my first book—#4 book blurb

The book blurb calls for detaching yourself from the story and looking at it from a sales point of view. Think about something you enjoy buying, like a pair of shoes. Designer names might intrigue you, as marketing experts link them to images of feeling glamorous, sexy, elegant, or kick-ass-combative. You’re in the mood for a certain type of shoe, but you’re not interested in how they were made and shipped to the store.

Readers are in a mood when they surf the web for a book. The new cover for my republished first novel Dream Chaser:Awakening shows a picture of lovers fading into the stars. This smacks of romance. The title above the back cover reads: “SLEEPING WITH THE CLIENT HAPPENS: A Story of Reckless Passion and Enduring Love.” The blurb itself hints at how that happens.

When I first published Dream Chaser the blurb revealed too much of the story. By the time you’d read it you had little need to buy the book!

If you scour the blurbs of best selling authors, you’ll notice much of the copy is about the writer’s style and previous successes. The author’s name sells the book. When self-publishing a first book it’s hard to acquire an illustrious third party quote. The cover art and the blurb must attract your target reader.

I’ve by no means conquered the art of blurb writing, but I hope my take on it is helpful to you.

Recommended blog:

Coming next: Mistakes I did not make self-publishing my first novel.

Mistakes I made publishing my first book—# 3 book cover

Dream Chaser:Awakening is a paranormal romance. While on holiday in Hawaii, the main characters look through a telescope and gaze into the Milky Way. The gaseous lights of the galaxy shine back at them from millions of years in the past illuminating the eternal nature of love. As I wrote that scene that same brilliance seemed to touch my soul and shed light on my journey through time. Ah, what a lovely experience, I thought. I want everyone to have that. Hence, I chose a photo of the Milky Way for my book cover.

I offer myself as a prime example of why authors should probably not develop their own book covers. We are too close to the story. It takes a subjective eye to create a visual expression of the novel. I’ve learned that readers invest about four seconds, at most, glancing at a book before moving on to the next one. After I published Dream Chaser and as time passed, I got a nagging feeling that I was alone in my esoteric, book-cover wonderland.

In my defense, prior to taking things into my own hands, I signed up for a cover art package with my publisher. That didn’t work for me, but it does for many authors and with excellent results. A Google search reveals a wealth of information about design and designers. The more you research those the more you will know when you’re ready to enter this process.

Image  StarsBookCoverThe redesign of Dream Chaser’s cover still features the beautiful photograph of the Milky Way, but with a picture of lovers fading into the stars. With a glance, you know Dream Chaser: Awakening is a love story. You probably guessed I wouldn’t give up this photo of the galaxy. You never know, I might have been right in the first place!

Coming next: mistake—#4. The back cover blurb.

Mistakes I made publishing my first book. #2-title

I chose the title Dream Chaser and added a long subtitle: A Novel that Reaches Beyond the Veil of Time.  

The title suits my novel. The main character is a goal-oriented woman—a high-speed dream chaser, but if had I Googled Dream Chaser, I would have discovered that several successful writers had already used it. Unless you entered the whole of my title, which only my mother might do, you’d have a hard time finding my book.

Huge mistake, but self-publishing comes loaded with opportunities for those. As independent authors we work alone, buried in our stories, sometimes for years. We hire our own editors, copy editors, proofreaders, etc. We scour the Internet for publishers, reading testimonies of authors who’ve risen to best-seller status. We select a publisher and a package, rich with distribution and marketing promises. We meet online publishing—an apocalyptic switch from creative writing to hardcore, left-brain decision-making.

My title went unchecked in the sharp gearshift between writing and publishing. By the time I realized the problem, I had spent time and effort to market the novel. I had too much invested in the name Dream Chaser to change it completely, but I knew I would improve the subtitle one day.

In mid January 2014 I will republished the book as Dream Chaser:Awakening. Also correcting other mistakes I’m currently blogging about.

Advice, if I dare! Take a long pause before pushing the PUBLISH button. No matter what mistakes you make in publishing, love yourself for having written a book and for offering to share it with others. Thank your story for coming to you. Gratitude opens the doors of creation.

Helpful title blog:

Coming next: mistake#3—book cover.

Mistakes I made self-publishing my first book—#1 Genre

Five years ago, after years of longing to write a novel, I dove in and produced a first draft. I then hired a highly recommended editor and rewrote the book several times, implementing her valuable suggestions. I published a well-written and entertaining book, which garnered four five-star reviews, but I gave little thought to marketing.

Genre? Heavens no! I’ve spent a lifetime avoiding the boxes society has tried to squeeze me into in order to sell me something or tell me where I belong.

Author Platform? If I can find a carpenter.

I considered Dream Chaser:Awakening a suspense-driven love story, and so I published it as Fiction/General. Sara Jensen aims to be a woman of capital before she turns forty. Then life does it thing and she falls in love and is called upon to become a heroine of magnificent proportion. Seems normal to me, but there is a ghost in the story and an out-of body adventure into the Dark Planes, a murky place just beyond Earth. Oh! Not normal, you say.

Image At the time, blogging had not yet swept the Internet in high manic mood dishing out reams of marketing information. I published Dream Chaser under Fiction/General. Some found the book and loved it. Now, after reading numerous author advice blogs, I’m convinced my first book belongs in a genre. Dream Chaser: Awakening will be republished this month as Paranormal Romance.

Most importantly, I wouldn’t change this experience, should that be an option. I’ve learned to embrace my mistakes, to lean into them and learn. I’m publishing my second novel this month, while working on my third. We independent authors may be like needles in the giant Amazon haystack, but needles glint and glimmer. You never know when the light of your story might dazzle the eye of a reader.

Write, publish, and jump into the haystack. And, oh, yes, give careful thought to genre, preferably, of course, before you write the book.

A most helpful blog:

Next: Mistake #2 – Book title.