15 January, 2013

Interview with author Shirley Corder, Part 2

Yesterday we heard from my friend and author, Shirley Corder, who's recently had her first book Strength Renewed published. Here is the rest of my interview with her:

So, how is the journey going (post publication)?

Great—and tough. 

Great, in that Strength Renewed appears to be selling well. I am thrilled with the number of testimonies I'm receiving from people who have been blessed in some way by the material. I have also had a lot of speaking engagements since the launch of the book. People who looked at me skeptically when I said I was a writer now take me seriously. And that's a good feeling.

Tough, because I have to follow it up—and I can't rely on another trip to a writer's conference. I sold Strength Renewed without an agent. But I am now actively looking for an agent for my next work.

One of the things that scares me about the idea of writing a book is all the self promoting work that an author must do these days. How's that been going?

Yes, I find this hard. To my surprise, I'm enjoying the public speaking and that seems to be going well. It helps that the book itself is popular. But I find it difficult promoting myself. For example, I am thinking of setting up a book tour covering part of South Africa for May next year. I am praying for contacts in each city who will catch the vision and set up speaking appointments for me on my behalf!

How has the book been received by your family and friends who knew you at the time of the cancer?

Incredibly well! I'm amazed at the enthusiasm, despite the fact that I had to change names of all except for my closest family and friends.

And so, are you already thinking about your next book? Any hints on what you might tackle?

LOL! You know me, Wendy! I have three on the go. Reason is I'm not sure which one is the "right one". My first priority is a book for the family and friends of people with cancer, offering advice and support. I plan to publish this initially as an electronic book for Kindle to see how it goes. I also have two devotional books on the go, one on the life of Hannah, and one showing God at work in an "ordinary life".

This blog is about the ordinary things this family does in the midst of something of an extraordinary situation. Can you debunk something of the myth for us, that writers live extraordinary lives?

I also had this picture of writers, especially best-selling authors, being different to "ordinary people". Then I went to my first writers' conference. I was asked to get up on the stage (because I came from South Africa) and share my testimony. I noticed an "ordinary lady" in the front row laughing at something I said (or maybe it was at my accent!). Imagine my surprise after I sat down, when she took my place on the stage. She turned out to be the one and only Francine Rivers! I had a number of chats with her over the next few days, as we both had grandbabies of the same age. She was a wife, a mother, and a proud granny. An ordinary person, but oh what a lovely lady.

I live in South Africa. For people from other countries that seems like a novelty. They see me as unusual. But I'm an ordinary person living an ordinary life, in what for me is usually an ordinary country. (Sometimes maybe not!)

Thank you so much for these questions, Wendy. It's been fun chatting to you like this.

Thank you Shirley, for taking the time to answer my questions in such depth. Thank you too, for "going before me" in this writing journey. I wish you all the best as you continue on your journey.

Shirley Corder is a registered nurse, pastor’s wife and cancer survivor. She lives near the sea in Port Elizabeth, South Africa with her husband, Rob. She is author of “Strength Renewed: Meditations for your Journey through Breast Cancer”, contributing author to ten other books, and has published hundreds of other articles internationally.  You can read more about her journey to publication at her website, http://www/shirleycorder.com.

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