Hello folks! So glad you could make it by this week. We've got a very special interview we were able to capture with author Miriam Wakerly. We're certain you won't be disappointed with the outstanding and very talented writer.
But first, a tad bit of JLBC news:
Be sure to check out the Authors in the Park, and the Appearances & Book Signing Events pages here on the blog. 2013 schedules are taking shape - so you'll want to mark your calendars in case you'd happen to be in the area where the events are taking place.
AND - if you would like to be featured on the JLB Creatives Blog check out the box at the top of the right hand side bar for details. We'd love to have you!
Now, on with the show...
Meet Miriam Wakerly
A zealous fan approaches your book signing table and wants to know
everything there is to know about writing a book…right now! There’s
a long line of fans waiting, and you only have a few seconds…what one
thing would tell them to encourage them to become a writer?
ONE thing!! Oh, that is mean. OK – ‘Write from your heart but listen and learn
from others.’ Next, please!!
What kind of animals, birds, or fish do you like best? Do you have any
pets - how many do you have – and what are their names?
Nothing too strange in our house – just a series of beloved dogs and cats. We
became hooked on English Setters and are on our third, who is now 6 years old.
People say ‘if Setters had a brain they’d be dangerous!’ So wrong!!! They are
scatty, adorable puppies for at least two years, but once they mature they are the
most amenable, loving dogs imaginable and actually very trainable. Yes, they do
have a brain and they’re off the scale when it comes to gentle.
Photos are of our current blonde Setter, Poppy (pedigree:Orange Belton) in today’s snow and our lovely grey Setter, Daisy (pedigree:Blue Belton) taken in the Lake District; she said her final farewell last June.
Love and romance, paranormal, epic fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, thriller,
drama, and the list goes on. Where do your books fall as far as genre
and reading audience?
I have a problem with genre. Yes, I know labels are ‘vital’ so the reader knows
that a book does what it says on the can. Yes, I know it helps to expose an
author’s book in the Amazon category lists. These days, readers can easily get the
flavour and a taster from Amazon – provided they find the book in the first place!
Sometimes I cannot help but feel that, if you are forcing yourself to write in a
particular way to fit a mould, it is the tail wagging the dog. Please excuse my
My own ‘genre’? English village fiction with some social comment and much to
do with relationships of all kinds! Any ideas? All ages and both sexes read my
first two books with the Gypsy theme. Shades of Appley Green is probably of
more appeal to the mature woman, although the key character is a 20 – 36 year-
What are your favorite genres of books to read, and what are your
favorite genres of books to write?
I love to read books that are not too romanticised, reflect reality in a thoughtful,
imaginative way with a playful style. Such criteria may cut across genres; could
be historical, a thriller or literary. Use of language is important; page after page of
well-worn phrases can be very brain-numbing.
Social media has become a part of being an author. What are your 3
best tips of the trade for upcoming authors when it comes to building
their social media platform?
1 Be clear and fairly consistent about what marketing people like to call ‘brand’.
This is not the same as genre. I am very bad at this!
2 Make yourself interesting and informative, not selling your books all the time.
3 Don’t let it swallow up your day – it can happen all too easily.
For the first time in your writing career someone recognizes you as
their favorite author, in public. Would you panic? Smile and bask
in the moment? Blush and walk away? Invite them for coffee and
cupcakes? Scream? Run? Faint?
I would ask them why. Then sit down.
What is your favorite make-believe place you’ve ever created in a
story? Is it a town? A hide-out? A futuristic city? The possibilities are
endless! Please tell us all about your fav as we’d all love to escape with
Well, this is easy. I am not really a fantasy kind of person, but I have great fun
creating my own village of Appley Green. The boundary between Surrey and
Hampshire runs through it; I can play both God and town-planner, deciding
where to place secret rendezvous, tempting shops, bustling village halls and
What are your pet peeves – you know those little things that just drive
Of all the professions in this world you opted to be a writer. What
brought you to it?
Aged seven I’m afraid I decided I wanted to be an ‘authoress’. Never had the
confidence to go for it hell-for-leather, so long as reality involved marriage,
bringing up children and earning money! I know that’s no excuse for
procrastination! However, the jobs I had invariably involved writing – PR,
Marketing, teaching and, indeed freelance writing of (published) stories and
articles. Later in life I found space and time to produce a novel or two.
As a self-published author do you recommend having your novels
Without any doubt whatsoever, the most important final step in the process of
writing is to have others read and criticise your work. Whether you need to pay
for this depends on the kind of book and who you know!
If it is a non-fiction, specialist subject then you should harness someone who is qualified to help check facts and proofread. If it is fiction, then you may survive on the opinions of other
impartial writers and readers of your genre.
For myself, my Gypsy novels have quite a niche theme so I had a mix of about a dozen readers – from a University Professor in Romani Studies, through writerly friends to booklovers who just like
to read a good story. I listened very carefully to what they said and if the same
message came from more than two of them I took action!
Shades of Appley Green had similar treatment; writers, readers and a Parkinson’s specialist nurse all critiqued it before publication.
If you are aiming for a commercially successful book, selling trillions, then you might need the know-how of a publisher’s editor. This was never my aim; I was not prepared to make the necessary compromises (well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!!).
Thanks Miriam for being here on the JLB Creatives Blog. We have had a blast interviewing you, getting to know you better, and now we are all enthralled with wanting to read your books! Where can we find them?
In the UK my books can be bought or ordered in Waterstones bookshops.
This is my Author page on Amazon.co.uk: Miriam Wakerly UK and you may also visit my US Amazon page at: Miriam Wakerly US
If you'd to go to Amazon.com to download Kindle ebooks click here
Miriam, we can't thank you enough. Here's wishing you all the best success this world has to offer.
Just some reminders...if you'd like to be featured on the JLBC Blog, scroll to the top of the right hand column and check out how. HINT: It's really easy! Also, check out the Authors in the Park and Appearances pages to see our upcoming schedule. AND lastly, stay casual, live life to the fullest, and have a piece of chocolate for me.
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Author Janet Beasley