I am: Deanna but you could call me Jan Karon if you’d like.
My best trait:I’m totally transparent.
My bad habit: I’m totally transparent.
Qualities I admire:Integrity
What I like to read:Good literature, especially historical fiction well-written
What I write:Everything; short stories, picture books, middle grade historical fiction, YA nonfiction biography and fiction
What I watch:You mean on TV? Uh, sometimes I watch the listings scrolling. The first of the year I’ll watch Downton Abbey.
My family: My husband Dave (married 52 years), our seven children and their spouses and our eleven grandchildren and one great grand, and my mom, 92 years.
My favorite food, snack, or beverage: I like eggs. I love Coke.
What I love to do:be with my dog, write, read, walk
What I admire:Selfless acts and kindness
What makes me happy:Getting up each day, going to bed every night and everything in between.
What makes me sad:Some of what happens in between
I believe: the words I profess in the Nicene Creed
Betty: Thanks, Deanna. Some of your answers left me giggling.
For more information, keep reading!
“We skate deliberately over the wide dangerous cracks, where lesser skaters might fall and never recover …”
Gina Mangalli, niece of a mafia don, has dreams of Olympic gold as a figure skater. When tragedy strikes, her life spins out of control, and then a rash decision changes Gina’s life forever.
The burden of guilt causes a spiral that carries her further from the life she had always dreamed for herself. Have things gone too far? Can her hopes and dreams be restored or is it too late?
Welcome to Authorview! For the next few months, I’m going to post an interview with a different author every Tuesday. The questions are always the same, but their answers will sometimes be vastly different, and so much fun!
An Army brat turned Floridian, Hallee finally settled in central Kentucky with her family so that she could enjoy the beautiful changing of the seasons. She enjoys the roller-coaster ride thrills that life with a National Guard husband, a teenaged daughter, and two elementary aged sons delivers.
A prolific writer, when she’s not penning novels, she blogs about all things cooking and homemaking at Hallee the Homemaker(tm) (http://www.halleethehomemaker.com). Her passion for cooking spurred her to launch a whole food, real food “Parody” cookbook series. In addition to nutritious, Biblically grounded recipes, readers will find that each cookbook also confronts some controversial aspect of secular pop culture.
Hallee is a member of the Published Author Network (PAN) of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) where she serves as a long time board member in the Faith, Hope, & Love chapter. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the American Christian Writers (ACW) as well as being a member of Novelists, Inc. (NINC).
Hallee loves coffee, campy action movies, and regular date nights with her husband. Above all else, she loves God with all of her heart, soul, mind, and strength; has been redeemed by the blood of Christ; and relies on the presence of the Holy Spirit to guide her. She prays her work here on earth is a blessing to you and would love to hear from you. You can reach Hallee at email@example.com
Release date: September 15, 2014
Now available for preorder
Marie Gilbert flees France after the Gestapo arrest her father. In London, Marie is recruited into an experimental all-female cohort dubbed the Virtues, a collection of seven extraordinary women with highly specialized skills.
Known only by her code name, TEMPERANCE, she is trained to operate a wireless radio and returns to her beloved France. As the H-hour to execute a daring mission draws near, Marie plays a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with the unrelenting and merciless young Nazi forces that surround her.
Nicola Martinez is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Pelican Book Group where she is blessed to work with a group of talented authors and staff.
I’m so pleased she agreed to an interview. This month, I’ve talked to publishers who have started their own companies. How many of you have thought of doing the same thing? An intriguing idea, but a lot of work is involved. Work, prayer, and a learning process, every step of the way.
I hope you enjoy reading Nicola’s answers to my questions. Feel free to ask questions in the comment section. And check out the websites given on each of these interviews. Some of them contain guidelines for you to submit your query letters or manuscripts.
Betty: Why did you decide to start your own publishing company?
Nicola: Starting a publishing company was a desire I had many years before Pelican Book Group came to fruition, but ultimately, I see Pelican as a ministry–a way to bring the Gospel to people in an entertaining and approachable manner.
Betty: How did you begin? (Research? Study? Jump in and learn along the way?)
Nicola: I have to say I began by “all of the above.” I always do a lot of research of the market specifically and of business strategies in general–even today. But when it came down to it, I did rather just “jump in.” But, I didn’t just jump in without any relevant skills. I acquired many skills through a series of life experiences that seemed unrelated at the time because Pelican wasn’t even a thought back then.Through different employment opportunities, I learned hands-on about bookkeeping, taxes, business management, customer and employee relations, advertising and marketing, branding. Years before Pelican Book Group, I was self-employed and owned both a print shop and a Christian bookstore, so I got a taste of that part of the industry from graphic design to production, to retail. I’m a published author, and spent many years as an editor–first for a newspaper and then for a book publisher before Pelican Book Group launched. And, then there’s the fact that I’m a mother, so we know how to do everything, anyway, right? I could go on and on, but ultimately, a lot of what I needed to know was floating around in the vast, sometimes seemingly empty, expanse of my brain. 🙂 God prepared it all and then pulled it together. (Well, He’s still pulling it all together. We are a work in progress.)
Betty: What are some of the obstacles you have encountered?
Nicola: The greatest obstacle I’ve encountered–and one I think every small publisher and indie-author has to face–is that of discoverability. Reaching readers (and convincing them to purchase one of our stories) when there are so many titles published each day is a constant battle (So if you’re so inclined, please do “shout about us from the rooftops!”). Then, there are always the “normal” obstacles of technical glitches, personal illness, encountering the unscrupulous, etc. All-in-all, however, I think we’re pretty blessed that things run as smoothly as they do. We put out approximately four titles per month utilizing a very small staff. We have a process, we put out quality stories, and the obstacles, I give to the Lord to deal with. He’s better at that than I am. (although, sometimes I do have to scream and pout for a minute. We call it “Whiny Tuesday.”)
Betty: How do you stand out from other small publishers?
Nicola: I’m not sure how to answer that question accurately. I don’t try to stand out–just to stand firm. Perhaps other Christian publishers try to do the same, and if so, Pelican isn’t really standing out from those others. In standing firm, though, I do my best to uphold the Gospel in my life, business, and in the books we publish (I believe there’s a trickle-down to living for Christ: Our books can’t witness to the Truth, if I, as an individual, am not doing so in my own life); so I try to keep my focus on what He wants, not what I want. I believe the rest — the standing out from others, garnering readers, etc. — follows all that and will happen naturally as God wills it.
Betty: Everyone always likes to share their horror stories, so let’s go another way. What has been your greatest blessing since you started your publishing company?
Nicola: There are so many blessings, I’m not sure I can pin-point a “greatest.” Working with talented authors and staff is a huge blessing. If I didn’t have excellent, moral people to work with, I’d probably go insane. Then there’s the awesome blessing of hearing from readers who feel blessed themselves by our books, and of authors who are realizing a dream by being published. And, of course, there are untold and countless blessings that come from the peace of knowing we’re doing something for Him and because of Him.
Thank you so much, Nicola Martinez, for participating in my interview. Readers, you can find more information about Nicola, her companies, and books at these sites:
Pelican Book Group (website)
Straight to the Books – see what they have available!
FUN. There will be giveaways. I love giveaways. At least one of the publishers has already requested to give away a book, so watch for it. Leave a comment there for a chance to win a book.