Hoy, boy! Do I have a special guest for you today, gang! I am honored to be hosting Nonnie Jules, the woman whose vision became Rave Reviews Book Club. Please welcome the president of RRBC and the founding member/president of the Rave Writers International Society of Authors! I’m thrilled to have her here today for an awesome Q&A and personal post!
How long have you been writing?
This will sound cliché, but I really have been writing all my life, at least since the 3rd grade. I became a published author in 2012.
How many books have you authored? Please share the titles of up to three.
I have authored 3 books, and co-authored one. The titles are “THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS,” “DAYDREAM’S DAUGHTER, NIGHTMARE’S FRIEND,” and “SUGARCOATIN’ IS FOR CANDY & PACIFYIN’ IS FOR KIDS.” I can’t list the co-authored title because the question asks that I list only 3, but I’m sure you can find it…it is one of my favorites.
Do you have a writing schedule?
Yes, in my mind and in my dreams. Running an organization as streamlined and professional as RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, consumes so much of my time, that none of you could even imagine my life. It is so extremely important to me that we succeed here, and also, that we do it in a manner conducive to the way that I live my life. I spend truly almost my every waking moment devoted to this club and the success of our members, and because of that, my own writing time has suffered. That being said, this year I have vowed to adhere to a strict writing schedule and so far so good. I won’t share it yet, though. Let’s see how it goes.
You’re a member of RAVE WRITERS – INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AUTHORS (RWISA). Why do you think you were accepted into this exclusive group?
Well, if you want honesty, I was accepted because I created it. BUT, if I had not been the founder of this amazing group, I would hope that my acceptance was based purely on my dedication to the perfection of writing, in all areas.
Modesty aside, what separates your writing from the millions of other writers in the world?
Believe me, I have no problem being honest about who I am, and my abilities, as everyone else should feel. I’m not sure that I can answer that question right now, so let me think on it. I do know that I can tell the pants off of a story. In plain English, I’m a good story-teller, but I can’t say that separates me from the other good story-tellers out there. I mean, I’m in awe of so many of our members and their writing, that sometimes they can make me feel as if I don’t belong alongside them. Gwen Plano, Peggy Hattendorf, Rhani D’Chae, John F., Beem Weeks, Wendy Scott, Rea Nolan Martin…and there are so many others that I have yet to read, that I just feel deep in my heart their work is going to be so enjoyable for me, too. I can’t wait to sink my teeth into some Jan Sikes, Mae Clair, John Howell, A. M. Manay, Yvette Calleiro, Natalie Ducey, Ron Yates, and even more that I haven’t listed (so please don’t be offended if I missed your name…I still want to dig into your work!) Shirley Harris-Slaughter’s first book was so detailed, I was blown away, and Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko, has me wanting to live inside her head, because of her book LEGENDS. I mean, these people leave me awe-struck!
If you could spend a day picking the brain of one author, who would that be?
If I could spend the day picking an author’s brain, it would have to be RHANI D’CHAE’S. Why? Rhani leaves me speechless with her story-lines! I read her books and I’m left wondering, “Now who could think of something like that?” She also works with a deficit in that her eye-sight is slowly leaving her, yet her writing in her books, is almost impeccable.
Are you a die-hard INDIE writer who loves having complete control of your work, or, if you were offered a publishing contract today, would you sign on the dotted line?
I am such a control-freak (I’m sure none of you have ever noticed this), that I just can’t imagine giving up control of my work. Now, as most of my peers have responded, it would have to be a darned good contract, but I’m going a step further in saying, I’d still have to be in control of my writing, my covers, etc. It’s not about the money with me.
As an author, where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself spending all my waking moments in my writing room, after having found THE MOST PERFECT and THE MOST EFFICIENT person to run RRBC and all its affiliates. Let’s all pray on that for me.
What is the ONE tool that has been the most beneficial tool in the marketing of your books?
How else can I answer this other than to say the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB has been IT for me! There is no way that my books would have been read and reviewed as they have been, or garnered the attention that they have, without the support of this organization behind them. I’m shocked that so many others didn’t credit the club for the same reason. C’mon, let’s give credit where credit is due.
Name one writer that you know of, member or non-member of RRBC, who you feel should be added to the RWISA Roster of elite members? Why?
D.L. Finn is high on my list right now, and I think she will be there soon. Her writing, just in one of her books that I’ve seen…can anyone say “flawless?”
What is the one piece of advice that you could share that would be most valuable for those aspiring to not only be writers, but those aspiring to be great writers?
READ, READ, READ and stop believing all the hype! If you can’t or won’t read, then I don’t trust that you can write. AND, I’ve said quite often, some of us are so quick to believe every “good” review we’re given, and then we’re shocked when an honest one rolls around. We get upset and the truth stings. Learn to discern which reviews you should take to heart and those that should be thrown out with the trash. Believe it or not, more people are telling you that your book is good (when it’s not) because they’re afraid of sharing their honest opinion publicly, for many reasons. Rest assured, I am not one of those people. Ask around.
Do you believe that writers who churn out several books a year are really putting out quality work?
Unless it is all they’re doing, eating, sleeping, drinking, and peeing words, no, I don’t believe that it is quality that’s being churned. I have noticed some that put out books so quickly, simply because they’d like to be able to profess that “I’ve written 15 books, etc.” In their minds, they think having several books published, makes them more credible as a writer. Again, people, stop believing the hype. I’m sure of their reason, because every time they speak, they’re quick to share with you that magic number.
If you had promised your fans a book by a certain date only to find that your book wasn’t the best it could be, would you go ahead and publish your book just to meet that self-imposed deadline and deliver as promised, or, would you disappoint your fans and shelve the book until it was absolutely ready? No matter your reason, please explain why?
You know, I once wrote a poem called “We Live, We Learn, We Grow.” When I published my first novel, I was trying to meet a deadline…I failed at meeting that first deadline, but I came pretty close to the second one. I didn’t know any better at the time, but let me share this, I am re-editing that book as we speak, and will be replacing it shortly with the un-rushed version. I got it. I took my own advice that I’m always sharing, and I’m big enough to say that since I first published, I’ve Lived, I’ve Learned and I’ve Grown…immensely! Mind you, if I weren’t presiding over this extremely busy book club, these things would have definitely been done a lot sooner. So, you see, I’m so busy making everyone else’s books grand, that I’ve forgotten I need to take the time to do the same for my own.
In your opinion, what makes a book “a great book?”
To me, a great book is one with a storyline so good, so well-written and so well-told, that I want to see it on the big screen! Notice I’ve highlighted the so well-written part of this.
If you received a review of your book which stated that there were editing & proofing “issues,” what’s the first thing you would do? And the second?
Let me give you all the steps. The first thing I’d do, would be to thank the person who was sharing this info with me, then immediately head to find some of their published work, to ensure that they were credible. Remember, I always say, there are some you should take to heart, and there are some you should ignore. Reason being, if you can’t write and all of your published work is a mess, you can’t critique anyone else’s work. I’ve seen some horrible reviews given to some books and the reviewer couldn’t write to save his/her on life. Do you think I’m taking to heart their opinion of my work? NO! Moving on, the next thing I’d do, would be to head to re-read my own book, from start to finish. IF I did find that there was some validity to their claim, I would begin the work of the re-edit. IF the hiccups that were pointed out were so bad that they might affect the enjoyment of the read for another, I would pull it immediately until it was completely ready. As I said, I’m a MUCH BETTER WRITER now than I was when I first published and am not at all ashamed to say, that I’m going thru some re-edits as we speak.
I hope you enjoyed Nonnie’s interview and post. I encourage you to check out her books:
Connect with Nonnie on Twitter (@NonnieJules)
Or her blogs:
Watch Nonnie Write
Books by Nonnie
Thank you for supporting our RWISA RAVE WRITERS-INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AUTHORS Members! Please follow and support the entire tour by visiting 4WillsPub.