Welcome to my Authors 40+ Series – sharing the stories of amazing authors who published their first book over the age of 40. The series features talented, experienced and inspirational writers who share their (often non-conventional!) writing and publishing journeys honestly and articulately. Next to feature, is Joanne Patterson!
1) What is the title and synopsis/premise of your first book and how old were you when you published it?
‘Rebecca Steele Chasing A Dream’. I was 74 when it was published in February 2017.
Synopsis: This is a military romance based on actual facts. Becky meets a man at an air show and her life changes forever. Follow her as she travels the countryside for stolen moments of love. She overcomes many obstacles in her path all the while developing more insights about love. She will inspire you to hold fast to your dreams and to always keep your heart open to the power of love. This is a fun read you will not soon forget.
2) Tell me about writing the book e.g. where did the idea come from / how long did it take / what did you learn along the way?
The first half of the book was written in 1971 and hidden away for over 40 years.
A friend of mine who was an editor took the manuscript and helped me rewrite and add another sub plot about country music. I had never done anything like this before and I learned a lot about myself and what determination will do. It took about a year to rewrite. The original took about three months and was typed on an old manual typewriter with carbon paper. I would come home from work at an airline job at midnight and type every night until it was finished. It was written from memory – I never took any notes or wrote anything down. I remembered every little thing.
3) Tell me about your publishing journey step by step – what happened once the book was finished?
Once the book was published I tried to learn about marketing quickly, which was impossible of course. I spent a lot of money on Facebook promos…$20 here and there that really added up at the end of the year. I can honestly say I made no money from doing them. I learned a lot about about posting on social media though and did make a profit on Kindle Unlimited with my eBook.
It was never about making money. I just wanted people to get the message in my book. I hired a personal assistant to help with ads too. That worked out pretty well. It is very difficult to be an indie author but there are many new avenues to explore now as so many authors are choosing to go the independent instead of traditional route. Because I’m older I didn’t want to spend years looking for a traditional publisher.
4) Who or what has helped you the most in becoming a published author?
My friend Kate McGahan helped me all along the way and published the book on Amazon. She knew how to do all this. I didn’t have a clue!
5) What are the main obstacles you faced / overcame when writing and publishing your book(s)?
It was difficult to rewrite the story as it brought back many memories. I forced myself to face the emotions so the story would be authentic and true. I was so young (in my twenties) when the beginning of the book happened…looking at it from a mature viewpoint, I was able share the experience and hopefully inspire other women that might have had the same experience.
6) How do you promote/advertise your book(s)?
I have paid for many promotions online and used Facebook and Amazon for ads.
7) How did you celebrate the incredible achievement of your first book being published?
Because Kate lives across the country, we were unable to celebrate together so we spent a lot of time on the phone instead!
8) What advice would you give to other authors about to begin their publishing journey?
I would tell them to get an excellent editor and find out about marketing before you publish. I was sorry I didn’t do that.
9) Where is/are your book(s) currently available to read and where can people find you online?
Book is for sale on Amazon as a paperbook, eBook or audiobook.
My book page on Facebook is www.facebook.com/rebeccasteelechasingadream.
My blog is meetjoannepatterson.blogspot.com.
10) Are you working on anything new we can look forward to in 2019?
I have sequel to Rebecca Steele Chasing A Dream half written and I am going to try writing short stories as eBooks too.
Thank you for taking part in my Authors 40+ Series Joanne! If you are an author who published their first fiction or nonfiction book over the age of 40 and would like to be featured in this blog series just like Paul, D.P., Reyna, Michael and Christina, please get in touch!