Welcome to Day 1 of #NJ12DaysOfAuthors (May) Series! @AuthorFleur #DestinyAndOtherDilemmas
At the end of this series, 1 lucky visitor will win a (12) Kindle e-book pack which will include a copy of each book featured in this series + a $10 Amazon gift card! Simply leave a comment below to be entered into the drawing!
On the first day of the May “12 Days of Authors” Series… Nonnie’s gift to you…
AUTHOR, CAROLINE FLEUR!
Caroline Fleur lives in the Dallas, Texas, area with her husband and son. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as traveling through the quite easy-to-reach DFW Airport. She is passionate about writing and has a personal interest in food allergy research. Caroline hopes that in addition to reading this fun and flirty story, readers will also gain a deeper understanding of the constant balancing act that those living with food allergies have to perform. She is dedicated to the cause of food allergy awareness and an eventual cure. Not just for her son, but for all who are living with food allergies.
NJ: Hi, Caroline. Let’s jump right into your interview. Is your author name a pen name or your birth name?
Caroline: I use a pen name, which is a version of a name I have been called before, so it is very natural to me and easy to answer to
NJ: What made you decide to write under a pen name?
Caroline: All my writing involves the issue of food allergies to some degree, and I’m a very vocal food allergy advocate. My son has multiple food allergies and raising awareness is a crucial step in the process of finding a cure. Since I speak openly online, I didn’t think it was fair to use my son’s last name and risk embarrassing him. Once he graduates school, I won’t be as guarded about it as I am now.
NJ: As a very vocal mom on parenting issues, I understand totally. How long have you been writing?
Caroline: I have been writing my whole life in one way or another. I started with cartoons when I was too young to write, then short stories. I have always jotted my thoughts down in a journal, which helped me think clearly during stressful times. I had an article published in a magazine, which was exciting, but I always had the dream of writing a novel one day. When the pandemic hit, I knew it was my chance to do it!
NJ: Good for you! Are you indie or traditionally published?
Caroline: I decided not to do traditional publishing for my first book in order to learn and understand the process, but I wouldn’t rule out traditional publishing for future books. I think there are many positive aspects with both options.
BLURB: Brooke Stern seemed to have the perfect life – until she didn’t. After an unexpected turn of events that shook her marriage of fifteen years, she must navigate her new normal as a single, independent woman. Juggling her son’s food allergies, her demanding career, and a growing interest in a mysterious man, she’s determined to restart her life and find a clear path ahead. When she finally reclaims her courage, she is confronted with the harsh consequences of her choices. Any step forward is a potential risk as she tries to make the best decisions for herself and the future of her family. That is, if destiny doesn’t step in and decide for her.
NJ: I have been in this business long enough to know that quite a few readers have a purchase price point and will only spend so much on an e-book. How do you price your books and what is your logic behind the pricing?
Caroline: I spent hours researching the current price points for paperback books and eBooks in my genre. After listing books that were similar to mine, I narrowed them down to those that were a similar length (my paperback book is 396 pages) because many books are shorter. Then, I averaged those book prices and made that my price point. I felt my prices were very fair as I spent a year of my life on this project, and the paperback book costs the same or less than one mixed drink in a Dallas restaurant! The eBook is even cheaper.
NJ: I got on Twitter many years ago because my social media manager at the time, told me that I needed to be on Twitter. He did not give me an actual reason as to why (I had to learn my “why” on my own), just that I needed to be there. What was your main reason for getting on Twitter? For support? For fun?
Caroline: I was afraid to go on Twitter at first because I had only heard bad things about it. However, a good friend told me there was an entire writing community there and I decided to check it out. I was looking for other hopeful writers like me, in hopes of finding encouragement, tips and support. I also wanted to encourage others and share what I had learned. I have been thrilled with the writing community so far and had only positive experiences.
NJ: Supporting others is a huge part of my identity. I believe that when you invest your time and support in others, you find that your circle grows by leaps and bounds of others giving the same to you. When I first got involved heavily on Twitter, I was pushing others more than I was pushing myself – I continue to do so. Do you support others on social media? If so, how?
Caroline: I try to respond to people as much as possible, especially if they are having a low day. Sometimes people get rejection letters from agents, and need a boost and I try to respond right away with something positive. I also like to offer cheer and congratulations for anyone that reaches their goals or has success. I also retweet others tweets or pinned tweets frequently to support them, even if I don’t know them well.
NJ: Do you actually take the time to read tweets from others before you retweet them, or do you just hit “retweet” without ever engaging in the tweet?
Caroline: I do take the time to read tweets, blogs and even tweeted articles. I comment on them as well because I want the person to know I took the time to look at it. I also want to be sure that what I’m about to retweet is appropriate and something I truly agree with. I would add that when doing a retweet, it is important to include the original tweeter’s handle or they might not see it.
NJ: All great answers, Caroline! If you could map out the perfect way that you would want others to support you on social media, how would you ask your followers to support you? Just imagine that everyone who reads this interview will run out and follow you. How could they best support you? What would you have them do?
Caroline: I would appreciate them reaching out to respond, even if its just with a meme. I like to know who’s out there and listening, and I’m active on Twitter to show others I’m there for them as well. I appreciate retweets and quote tweets because that’s the best way to make connections with others, and spread information about important topics (for me, this is mostly food allergy related).
NJ: What is the one bit of writing advice you would give to any author, experienced or newbie?
Caroline: I would say to just sit down and write the story. Don’t worry about the entire process or you might become so overwhelmed you will never get started. Desmond Tutu said, “There’s only one way to eat an elephant, a bite at a time.” Just do today’s writing, then tomorrow’s, and so on. Eventually you will have a manuscript, which will feel amazing, and then the drafting process starts. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
NJ: Great tip! Is your reputation as a writer important to you, OR might we look up one day and find that you are in a Twitter brawl with someone?
Caroline: My reputation means everything to me because of my dedication to food allergy awareness and research. I want to be respected and taken seriously in both the writing and advocacy arenas. I have a background in family therapy intervention, which makes it easy to diffuse confrontations. I have a very, very long fuse, especially when dealing with people I don’t know well. You will never see me in a twitter brawl. Interestingly, I have never seen a Twitter brawl yet! Maybe one day I will.
NJ: “My reputation means EVERYTHING to me.” Did you hear that readers? Your reputation should mean EVERYTHING to you. Great response, Caroline! And you’ve never seen a Twitter brawl? Well, thank your lucky stars because they aren’t pretty at all. Now, in your opinion, what is the biggest difference between the writers you see today around social media, versus the writers of old?
Caroline: I think the writers of old had more freedom to write as many details as they wanted. Descriptions were everything back then, as there were no televisions or internet to look at. Stories began slower and built up, liking a roller coaster ride, which is something I love! Now people want to get to the point faster. Everyone is busier and has a phone in their hand (myself included!). I personally love the older style of writing (especially Jane Austin and Charles Dickens), so I challenged myself to still include a lot of details but add enough dialogue to keep people interested throughout the first few chapters. The details are what makes me fall in love with the characters, places and ultimately the story.
NJ: Do you value professionalism in the literary arena and worry that the lack thereof makes it harder for those of us who wish to be taken seriously in this business? Or, does the unprofessional behavior of some around social media not bother you at all?
Caroline: I think it is a delicate balance we have to walk these days. We need to be personable, but not take things too far and cross over to unprofessional. We need to be professional, but not so uptight that no one can relate to us. It is a fine line we walk, but I think most of us do it well.
NJ: If you have ever received any, how do you handle not-so-flattering reviews of your book(s)?
Caroline: I am still trying to get reviews for my book, which is very challenging! Amazon has strict rules that no friends or family can do a review, and I follow that to the letter because I don’t want to upset Amazon! If I do receive not-so-flattering reviews, I know my feelings will be hurt and I will have to digest that disappointment and move on. I think putting your work into the world takes a thick skin, and I hope mine is thick enough.
NJ: Thick skin needed indeed in this business! Well, let’s hope that after today, you will have some reviews to start to roll in. I personally will be purchasing your book as I have loved everything about your writing in just this little interview. By the way, members of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB support each other by reading and reviewing the books in our catalog. You should think about adding your name to our roster! Caroline, do you appreciate honesty regarding your writing because you know that only honest feedback allows you to grow as a writer, or are you one of those who would prefer that others lie to you and tell you only what they know you want to hear?
Caroline: I do appreciate honesty with my writing. Due to receiving honest feedback from my beta readers, I was able to adjust my manuscript (moved chapters around, removed a character and added more dialogue). The end result was so much better than the original manuscript. If I hadn’t taken their feedback to heart, my book would not be what it is today, which is something I’m very proud to have written.
OTHER QUICK FACTS ABOUT CAROLINE…
- Indie published
- Writes full-time and writes women fiction
- Only one published book to date
- Books available on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple and Tolino. The paperback book price is $10.99 and the eBook price is $7.99.
- Blog mainly revolves around food allergies – what food allergies are, what life is like in the food allergy world for a family like mine. Other times my blogs are more general, such as how to find the courage to write about deeply personal topics in a constructive way, without ranting.
- Marketing tip: I try to post on social media regularly because that is a platform the entire globe revolves around. I have asked those who know me that bought a book, to share it with just one friend, and they have. My friends have also shared my book on their social media pages (without me even asking!) and that is just free advertising, which I truly appreciate.
FOLLOW CAROLINE ON…
Guests, thank you so much for dropping by to support Caroline on Day 1 of the May “12 DAYS OF AUTHORS” Series! It would be amazing if you would support her by picking up a copy of her book above, and after reading, sharing your review to Amazon. Ensure that you leave her a comment below, and also LIKE her feature before you leave for your chance to win the grand prize package listed above! We’d both appreciate it if you would share her feature to Twitter and Facebook, as well.
To follow along with the rest of the features in this series, visit the “12 DAYS OF AUTHORS” home page! There will be a new feature tomorrow! I’d also love it if you would #follow my site, as well as following me on Twitter @NonnieJules, as my truest joy is in service to others. I’d love to support you, too!
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DISCLAIMER: Any guest material appearing at WATCH NONNIE WRITE! is not edited, proofed or changed in any manner by the the owner of this blog. Material is posted as it is written and submitted. It is not my place to make changes to someone else’s writing, as what I view as needing correcting, just might be the way the author intended the material to read.
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