UPDATED TO REFLECT OCTOBER 15, 2019 on Blogspot
Word Press With Lawrence Wray Interview Questions- My Answers For The Interview Coming In The Future!
You can now click on the above “LISTEN ON SPOTIFY” (WHEN AVAILABLE) to hear this in audio!
Here are some of the questions I have filled out for an interview with author, Lawrence Wray.
Here is the format.
I am keeping it that way so fellow authors can copy and paste it for their use. It may not stay that way as I see it when posted. You can cut and paste and work on your own interview. There are a lot of questions to fill out so pace yourself and take your time! I hope to help some fellow authors out getting the exposure they need for their book.
Good luck to all!
I’ve decided to throw my hat in the ring and do some author interviews on my blog. I’m aiming at one per week, so first come first served.
Email the finished interview to firstname.lastname@example.org
If there are any questions that you would like to have included, just put them in. I don’t expect to have to edit anything, so if I do find something that needs looking at, I’ll let you know before I post and we’ll talk it through. Please provide up to 5 photographs. (Author, books, etc) Book blurb, etc., get it out of your system. Everything welcome.
Lets get that author/book out there folks. . . . . . * All sections marked with an asterisk will be deleted before uploading. . . . . .
Welcome all, Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Leslie M Jasper, author of Construction Tales: Volume I: A Woman’s Journey to Become an Electrician
Hi Leslie, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background? I started my electrical career, at 17 years old, in the U.S. Navy as a construction electrician in the Seabees. I have been a union electrician for the past 23+ years. For the past six+ years, I got the opportunity to transition into the office and train to become a CAD operator working on some electrical engineer. I started working closely with my project manager learning those tasks as well. I went in that direction to work on a few projects as a project manager. I am now going into safety arena. I work within the five bouroughs of New York City, Westchester County, and Fairfield County in Connecticut. In addition, I have worked for seven years as a writing coach and instructor for Empire College in New York City.
What were you like at school? I was the quiet and shy band nerd who enjoyed an educational challenge. It took me 20 years to go back and finally get my MBA. I also have an OSHA 502 certification- meaning I can teach and offer OSHA 10 and 30 cards.
Were you good at English? It is fair to say I was since I had a very good GPA in school.
What are your ambitions for your writing career? I would like to write at least four more books for the Construction Tales series and a fiction book about a little girl who struggled within an abusive home life to become a successful self-made millionaire. I would like to write a few memoirs for some of my interesting friends as well once retired.
Which writers inspire you? I enjoyed reading V.C. Andrews and Stephen King as a teen and young adult. I have not been able to find time to dig more deeper into writers since I am usually very busy. I do have a tendency to read and assortment of work that is thought provoking and maybe controversial.
So, what have you written? I have written the first volume of my Construction Tales series. My first book is entitled, Construction Tales: Volume I: A Woman’s Journey to Become an Electrician. Nine months later I edited my teen version of the book. It is entitled, Construction Tales: A Young Person’s Guide to Accomplish Anything in Life.
These books will cover my journey to becoming an electrician in New York.
Where can we buy or see them?
(Adult)Amazon link (available in paperback and Kindle worldwide): http://www.amazon.com/Construction-Tales-Womans-Journey-Electrician/dp/1467960160/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1455470817&sr=8-2&keywords=construction+tales Barnes & Noble link
(available in paperback and Nook worldwide):
iTunes link (available 52 countries worldwide):
(Teen)Amazon link (available in paperback/Kindle worldwide):
Barnes & Noble link (available in paperback and Nook worldwide):
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
In this book, I am the main character. What makes my character so special is because I step foot into a male-dominated work environment and attempt to learn a trade. I worked hard and earned a great working reputation despite the lack of a warm embrace from some co-workers. I am attempting to do something few women are brave enough to do.
What are you working on at the minute? I have been very busy promoting my first (teen and adult version) book. I started writing Volume 2 that is entitled, Construction Tales: My Illuminated Path Continues… I need to carve out more time to write the book.
What’s it about? Volume 2 offers more construction stories in different environments as well as what it was like working outside on the railroad in the winter while pregnant.
What genre are your books? I would say inspirational and self-help books.
What draws you to this genre? The fact that I was working in a field that is very difficult and managing very challenging people. I offer guidance on how to naviagate this treacherous field of business.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book? I have thought about someone in between Jennifer Garner and Melissa McCarthy would be a fun and zestful choices for that role.
How much research do you do? Very little research was done- I just have to remember what happened 20 years ago.
Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers? No, not yet.
When did you decide to become a writer? My first stint of huge unemployment while working with the tools. I had plenty of time on my hands to try my hand at it.
Why do you write? I wanted to share my story in an effort to demonstrate it is difficult to get into this business but it can be done. I am a part of women’s history and it was important to preserve those periods of time.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? The great recession of 2008 brought on my need to start writing. I was thinking that there are probably few books out there that showcase women in construction.
Do you write full-time or part-time? I write when I can find blocks of time to putting my story on paper.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? I will think of a funny story and write a short story and post on my Facebook book page. I will then go back and expand on the moment in time with more details and feelings during that snapshot in time. I then carve out a small block of time and then go back to other tasks.
Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?
No I do not write every day. I do write short stories on my lunch break or while walking on the treadmill during the first 15 minutes of my cardio routine. I must then find a nice quiet time to write more in-depth.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
I think a great goal would be to get a 1,000 words in per day. In reality, I probably do 250 words a day. I am heavily involved in social media book promotions. I really need to work on beefing up my daily word content. For now, my writing is on the back burner.
Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
On my computer. I try on my iPad or G9 but it is not very efficient.
Where do the your ideas come from?
The jobsites from the past and my crazy work coworkers!
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I think of a funny story then write it out. I go back and expand on it big time.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I have evolved creatively through my journey of obtaining a college education. This process opens your mind and allows new ideas to come in fluidly.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Finding time to do it! I have a few things on my plate that take up blocks of time.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Remembering funny old stories from jobs in the past.
What is the easiest thing about writing?
Coming up with a story and running with it. I naturally like to offer “too many details” in the real world.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
If that was my only task, maybe a month. Juggling it in between jobs, it could take a couple of years. It depends on how bad I want it finished.
Do you ever get writer’s Block?
Sometimes, hard to remember some great and crazy events on jobs in the past.
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
I would say walk away from it. When an idea pops up, it will be in the shower or driving. Just find the next free moment and jot it down.
If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it?
This book is the first part of my Construction Tales series. I have written about what it was like to become a female electrician in New York. I have 23+ years and counting of stories to tell. I have co-workers who have offered to share some of their stories as well. I share my personal journey and challenges I endured and overcame during that time period.
What are your thoughts on writing a book series.
In my situation, it is great! I cannot fit and remember all the stories to put them into just one book. I don’t pressure myself too much. I write the stories and come back to them to expand when I am ready.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I have little time to do personal reading. I was once commuting hours to New York City so I was reading current events and a few books during the long ride in. I was reading some success stories from Jack Welch as well as some self-help inspirational books. I have also read some books about fellow women in the trades.
For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or traditional paper/hard back books?
I definitely prefer to have the book in my hand while reading. I am not a fan of the e-book just yet.
What book/s are you reading at present?
I have dived into yet didn’t fully finish the book entitled, The Joy of Plumbing by Hattie Hasan. It is about a group of women plumbers in business together in England. Lately, I have been studying safety related material for some upcoming exams.
Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
Oh no! That process is painful! I would much rather have someone else edit it for me. I had to help editing with this book and I will make sure I have help on the next book!
Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
When I helped edit the last time, I spent almost the entire summer of 2013 going over it multiple times. I will not do it alone with my editor again! I will let and editor handle the entire process!
Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?
My book was edited by a family member, Jeanine Larkin. I chose her since she is family and offered to help me on the process.
Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about.
The book cover has a pink hard had with a pair of pliers and screwdriver shaped together in a phallic symbol. I wanted someone to immediately recognize that the book is about a woman electrician. My “mom figure” told me to put the phallic symbol on the hard hat so in case someone doesn’t get the symbolism.
Who designed your book cover/s?
My brother-in-law Nick Jasper. I told him what I wanted and he made it happen for me.
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
I definitely think it does. I know I would pass by an unknown author if the book cover was not alluring to me.
How are you publishing this book and why?
I published through Createspace since my book falls into a category that publishers do not normally know how to market to audience. Instead of waiting for a publishing house to find it interesting, I decided to take matters into my own hands.
What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
One main advantage to self-publishing is that you can make it happen where it was not a possibility before.
The main disadvantage is that you must work super hard to make it known to audiences.
How do you market your books?
I make it happen through TONS of social media exposure. I abuse hashtags for many big book fair events. I reach out to as many libraries, book clubs, and people accepting interviews as I can.
Why did you choose this route?
I chose this route since it is the cheapest way to promote my book. I must keep my costs down.
Would you or do you use a PR agency?
I don’t currently have one at the moment. I would like to have one if one becomes available.
Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
Use every tool out there available. If you want to use more, ask many people. Join forces with other authors and join marketing forces with them.
What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?
At the moment, all my writing time is devoted to marketing.
What do you do to get book reviews?
At the moment, I have offered my book to a few friends in exchange for a review. Some people have failed to complete their end of the bargain. My book ends up as a dusty old book sitting somewhere solo.
How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?
I would say it is decent for the adult version. I have one for the teen version so that needs help tremendously!
Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?
I thought about a free book in exchange for a review. That has not been as fruitful as I had hoped. I will have to come up with something else.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
Both are good to serve as guides for writing the next book! I had one somewhat bad mention so I fixed it in the teen book.
Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you?
One of my buddies private messaged me after seeing the book, buying it, and reading it. He said I made him look like a real asshole in the book. I said the good thing is that no one knows who it is but you. I told him to wear it if the shoe fits. It was a very funny conversation.
What’s your views on social media for marketing?
I think it is a fabulous and cheap way to market and promote the book!
Which social network worked best for you?
My Facebook book page is definitely my best vehicle for posting book material and reaching people who would be interested in my book. Twitter feels good too.
Any tips on what to do and what not to do?
I would say don’t pay to get published when you have the marketing world of Amazon already at your fingertips. It gets printed, shipped, and funds are collected while you carry on with your life. A royalty check just pops up in your bank account.
Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?
I have not explored those venues yet. I have worked with The Combined Book Exhibit to create a book trailer and the promotion that comes with that exposure. I did promote through the Virtual Book Café and did go on internet radio along with other book interviews that were loaded to YouTube. I would not say I received tremendous book sales and cannot retire or quit my job from it- maybe just known amongst people who read various avenues on the internet.
Did you get interviewed by local press/radio for your book launch?
No, I did not do that. I will be sure to do those marketing steps for when I launch Volume 2. I am a rookie to marketing. However, I am learning fast on how to proceed. I do seize opportunities when they present themselves. I did get an opportunity, Summer of 2019, to go on #SecondShiftRadio on #TuneIn internet radio and do an interview. I am returning to chat with House & Kyle this upcoming Sunday (Oct 2019).
Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales?
Abusing the designated hashtag, for a book fair event, on Twitter for an event did have a huge impact. I kind of felt bad when I received complaints from a few librarians attending an event that I was clogging up their feeds with my book trailer.
Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future?
I probably have that are yet to be discovered. I didn’t market before the book launched is one mistake. I don’t think I need to sign up and pay for every book fair out there. I did that with little results. I will try to market as cheap as possible from now on!
Why do you think that other well written books just don’t sell?
Perhaps the right readers do not know the books exist. Not everyone has access to major tv network channels.
What do you think of “trailers” for books?
I think they are a fabulous marketing tool. Once you have one, you can keep using it at different venues for a long time.
Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book/s?
Yes, I do have one. It was created by The Combined Book Exhibit and ran in both NYC’s Book Expo America and the San Francisco book fair. I will probably do it for future book fairs in the future.
Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
I hear that it is a good marketing tool. I donate copies every so often to different events. I have donated free copies for a few Independent Author Book Expos I had previously attended and other promo events.
Here is the book trailer for Construction Tales:
Did you format your own book?
I used the Createspace template to format my book. That way it can be uploaded for Amazon for sale.
In what formats is your book available?
Available in paperback, Kindle, Nook, Audible, and iTunes worldwide
If formatted by someone else, how did you select them and what was your experience?
I used the formats offered through Createspace, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble and I have no complaints at the moment.
How do you relax?
I have a difficult time relaxing. I would say my best methods are to meditate nightly, go to the beach, go away somewhere peaceful, or on a cruise ship.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
Go Hard or Go Home!
What is your favorite positive saying?
You are the captain of your own ship.
What is your favorite book and why?
I would have to say it is Flowers in the Attic. I read it as a teenager and for some reason it was my favorite for many years later.
What is your favorite quote?
“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”- Nelson Mandela
What is your favorite film and why?
I would say The Bone Collector is my all time favorite since I have a huge interest in forensice science.
Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?
I see myself older, wiser, with a man who has a good & loving soul, a couple of years more experience within the business side of the electrical industry, more accomplished in my goals, and closer to retirement!
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would tell myself to not get so worried about stuff. God has a plan so when things happen it is for the best.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
I would like to meet Sheryl Sandberg who is the author of “Lean In”. I would like to meet her since she is strong, energetic, and a smart leader in business. I share being a widow with her so I can relate to that issue in her life.
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
I would like to be the author of “Lean In” since I would like to write a book about being a successful executive who inspires other people to figure out how to find balance and live your best life that works for you.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
I would say pick up some mentors in the business and ask alot of questions. If you don’t know about something, find out by asking around until you find someone who knows. Then make yourself available to help others.
Where do you see publishing going in the future?
I see more works of literature from different sources becoming available. Perhaps the normally closed publishing world will dedicate a part of themselves to searching and reaching out to writers who pick up major steam in the social media world.
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
I did sign up on an international platform, IPR License out of England, for an gaining international interest in my book.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Leslie-M.-Jasper/e/B00LSRKAKO
Book Links: http://www.iprlicense.com/Profile
Tumblr: Search for LeslieMJasper
(* Any order you like and if I’ve missed anything, just type it in.) Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview. Please share this interview with fellow readers and authors.
As always, thanks for stopping by!
Leslie M Jasper
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