Wow! This is our 10th author interview blog! I can't believe how quickly time flies! Today's interview is with author Misty Black, author of several book series and some are also available in Spanish!
Hi Misty. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
M: I’m a mother of three. My husband and I recently celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary. I have a degree in business and loved working in finance, but I found my true passion in writing and publishing children’s books.
I enjoy picture books as much as my children do, if not more! Why? Because a good book can take you anywhere in the world! (no need to get out of bed!)? And isn’t bed just the perfect place to read? When I’m not busy winning my husband and kids at board games or ignoring the garden weeds, I like to think of new stories. I usually jot the ideas down wherever I can find.
What inspired and motivated you to write your first book and how long did it take from the initial idea to publishing?
M: My children are my inspiration. I’ve been writing children’s stories for years. I would use pictures of my kids as the illustrations and then give the books to family and friends as gifts. A couple of years ago, I decided to get serious about publishing. I started with a poem/story I had written for my mom. She had passed away from cancer, but I wanted to capture the hope I always felt while she was sick that one day she would get better. So When You Feel Better was born. That book took about 8 months from start to finish.
Oh that sounds like a beautiful book! I'll have to check it out!
What are some of the challenges you have encountered on your author and self-publishing journey? How did you overcome them?
M: Marketing myself and my books has always been a challenge for me. It’s so hard for me to put myself out there. But I’m getting better at it. In 2020, I focused on the production of books and was able to publish 8 in English and 2 in Spanish that year. This year, I’m focusing on marketing, and the results are paying off. Marketing is so important.
Marketing is definitely challenging! I still don't know how to do it!
What has been the most rewarding experience since publishing your first book?
M: I think one of my most rewarding moments was when my daughter brought my book home from school. She had checked it out from the library. I didn’t even know they had my books there. Another fun moment was reading one of my books at my daughter’s school. The proud look on her face was so priceless.
That must have been a great feeling!
Have you had any negative experiences or disappointing moments throughout your publishing journey? How did you handle them?
M: Sure, I think everyone has. But I’d rather not focus on the negative. I’ve learned something valuable from each difficult experience and have become better because of it. No one’s journey is perfect. The important thing is to learn and grow along the way. And there are so many more good experiences than bad. I have made life long friends in this business. I get to talk to and work with extremely talented people everyday. It’s a blessing.
What advice would you give to other aspiring writers or authors?
M: If you really want it, go for it. Work harder than you ever expected to. Anything is possible with enough courage and hard work.
What are some of your hobbies besides reading or writing?
M: Playing board games, camping, hiking, and family get togethers. Being surrounded by people I love is happiness to me.
What does ‘a day in the life of an author’ look like? Describe your typical day.
M: I do this author gig full-time. Well, as full-time as I can while still being a mom. So if I’m not helping kids get ready for school, driving carpool, or helping them with homework, I’m at my computer working during the day. I do take time off to exercise or go out to lunch with friends once in awhile.
What’s the best thing someone has said about your book? Or something they said that made you really happy.
M: This was one of my favorite reviews I ever got. Someone I didn’t know told me to never stop writing. I wish I knew Bill so I could thank him.
Bill: 5.0 out of 5 stars Don't stop writing!!
I think your words are heartfelt, truly inspirational especially now, during the pandemic. You are teaching people that life should be about sharing & caring, to be kind to one another, to listen more than voicing opinions especially when depression hits! The illustrations are wonderful & fitting as well. I've already shared with some friends who have family far away including new grandbabies but they cannot be with them. Your books can bring closeness to so many. I remember when my little girl was about 14 & I bought "I'll love you forever" by Robert Munsch. The same book carried over to my Grandchildren. There is a picture in his book that shows the once baby, now a grown man, holding his elderly mother & singing to her as she sang to him. This past June, I saw the same picture only it was my husband carrying his mother following a fall. After she passed, we reminded our children of the words in the song. I believe you & your books will have the same effect on countless others because if parents & grandparents continue to carry on the tradition of reading to the children, they will remember your words & the positive impact they can have by keeping your words within their hearts as they also remember the special person who read the story to them. Thank you for sharing.
What are you working on now? What’s your next book about?
M: My next book is Bubble Head, It’s Time for Bed. It’s about a boy and his nightly adventures in the bubble bath. It’s full of imagination and so much fun. If your child likes dinosaurs, monsters, and lots of adventure, they’ll love this book. It’s going to be a series with Bubble Head, BOOO and Bubble Head, Ho Ho Ho in illustrations right now.
Can't wait to read it!
Thank you so much for sharing your experience and books with us.
Check out the video to see some of Misty's books!
Connect with Misty and find out more about her and her books at these links below.
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