iUniverse author Cheryl Pontius tells us about hew new book, Single Parents Unite.
Please briefly describe your book . . .
My book, Single Parents Unite, is about the joys and tribulations of raising children as a single parent. It explores the emotions, the tears, the laughter and the fun. Writing this book helped me realize the good days and times far outweighed the not so good days. I have four beautiful daughters and 12 grandchildren with two more on the way.
And can you tell us a little about yourself?
I grew up as an Army brat. I moved often – sometimes once a year, sometimes more. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, I gathered a lot of fodder for the book. My father encouraged me to write. He retired and we moved to Indiana. From high school through college and beyond, I wrote. I took the creative writing classes, wrote columns, opinion pieces, and news stories. Over time I developed my own style. In college I turned to the professors in the journalism department for help. I asked for their critiques, and boy did I get them.
Do you have any particular literary influences?
I read. Different authors and their styles. I use satire a lot. It can make light of all things. I truly believe there is an author inside most people. Fear of failure kept me from writing for a long time. Would anyone want to read it? Why would anyone want to read it? Is it any good? How much does it cost? I started the process with uncertainly and a little fear. But I stuck with writing – creative writing classes, editor of the state newspaper association and the college newspaper. Most of my material came from the kids. I can’t wait to see their reaction. I hope they laugh.
I guess my inspiration was my father who encouraged me to write. He wrote articles for the Army. When he retired he set up his own company. I’ve always been a writer in one form or another. In high school I was editor of the newspaper. I majored in journalism and minored in Spanish.
I edited a lot of different types of books by Anna Williams, the owner of Learnovation, Inc. which provides instructional materials and curriculum for gainful employment. I edited the book Self-Esteem Made Easy by Barbara Rosin. I edited Leamos/Let’s Read by Mary and Richard Behm – a guide to helping children develop a love for reading. In addition, I edited the book Active Duty, Letters to Home from Iraq – The Longest 18 Months in the Life of a National Guard Soldier – SSG Jason Adams.
I worked for the Indiana State Newspaper Association in a variety of positions, from editor of the newspaper to putting on seminars. I also worked for the High School Newspaper Association hoping to entice journalism students to pursue a career in writing.
I joined the Army for day and a half. I was writing a story about the university ROTC program and decided the best way to convey the experience was to go on a weekend survival operation with them, doing what they do. The cadets were issued an M-16. I didn’t get one.
I just never stopped writing. I love the written word. I’ll read all types of books. I get ideas from other authors. One thing I notice I do more often now is to critique books I read, particularly finding errors in spelling or grammar. I thought about sending that info to the author but decided against it. Thank goodness.
What is the one message you would like to convey to your readers?
Keep trying. I can’t tell you how many times I changed copy in my book, started over and nearly trashed the whole project. I never thought I could write a book. But with the help of iUniverse I did it.
Are there any events, marketing ideas or promotions planned for your book?
Perhaps set up a table at the city’s Farmer’s Market, talk with the library about a book signing or putting my book on display.
What was your favorite part of your publishing experience, overall and with iUniverse?
Seeing the finished product.
Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Never give up. What you have to say is important and there is a market for your book. It’s a little scary, but it’s always so fulfilling.
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