I’d like to congratulate my friend, Laura Duerrwaechter, for publishing A Kiss on the Nose, her latest book. Part memoir, A Kiss shares stories from Laura’s past life as a pet sitter. Find A Kiss on the Nose on Amazon here.
As if writing a book were not difficult enough, Laura did all the work of layout, editing and formatting by herself. Congratulations on a job well done!
Here’s an interview to discuss her latest accomplishment…
Angela: What made you decide to become a writer?
Laura: Timing was right. Passion was consuming all my leisure time. I was eating and breathing words. My Uncle Don told me I would be writing when I was maybe 7 or 8 years old. Well, I’m here to tell ya, that even late bloomers have their place in a garden. I am predominantly a poet. I think and speak in couplets and Haiku. Have done that my entire life. I sense the world vocabularily. (which by the way is a legitimate word).
Of course, your continuing education class: “Write Your Story, Use Your Words” was the leg up over the wall. And thank you, by the way, for continuing your mentorship.
Angela: I’m glad you got something out of the class. That’s what matters. How did you begin your writing career?
Laura: I began with a blog, which led to two more blogs. I blog about my unconventional spiritual connection, my pet sitting career and unrelated free verse (mostly). I submitted one of the petsitting blogs in a hospital auxiliary newsletter. That first “publication” received positive reviews. Let’s see, that was 2012?
Angela: You previously published three books of poetry, but your latest book is something completely different. Can you tell me about it and why you chose to do something outside of poetry?
Laura: Poetry flows from my veins. It’s intimate and the most authentic element of my soul. I can pen unrelated words all day long. The collection of shorts is a glimpse into the public side of me. As mentioned above, one of my blogs is dedicated to this topic, although I have included stories about MY pets, as well. In my chap books, I have included images, which is all well and fine. I believe they enhanced the experience. However, I was eager to illustrate. More about that a little later on.
I love the knowledge that a reader can connect with me by touching my words on a page. They appreciate the effort and the commitment to the process. I understand that digital accessibility is a must have for some, it’s just not my thing. I want my books to be able decompose and become part of the evolution on this planet. The books should have a shelf life (pun intended) as do I.
Angela: This is illustrated with original, full color art by Hannah Farr. How did you choose Hannah as your illustrator?
Laura: I wanted an illustrator who was established and affordable. I googled “how to hire an illustrator.” There were many qualified children’s book illustrators. I wasn’t writing a children’s book. I found her on the site “Peopleperhour.com.” Keyword search: “storyboard.” Hannah popped up with a profile which read “Pet portraiture artist.” It was kismet!
Angela: You have many stories in this book, all taken from your real life experiences as a pet sitter. What is your favorite?
Laura: Unfair question. Next?
Angela: I don’t believe in “unfair,” but I’ll let you off the hook for now. You published A Kiss on the Nose all by yourself in Word. Can you tell me about that experience?
Laura: I would have to write another book! In short, it was an amazing journey into an unknown universe. There are a couple of reasons behind this foray into the decline of my mental health. Primarily, I realized that I didn’t want to spend my social security on a traditional publishing house. Secondly, I am a control freak. When I take on a project -one that I initiate, it’s the opportunity for growth.
I have an old desktop (HP Compaq). I have a newer laptop (Apple MacBook Air). My desktop doesn’t communicate with the laptop. Word is the program I have available to me in my house when I am in my pajamas, typing at 3 in the morning. I joined the KDP community. When it was Createspace, I joined that online forum. A tremendous stream of mostly usable suggestions was helpful. What wasn’t helpful was calling KDP for assistance. You get a technician. I needed advice from the publication and editing spheres. Word is antiquated. Updates are slow. Mostly trial and error PLUS YouTube tutorials. There is a logic to using the program once you understand the steps involved in layout and format.
Laura: My attitude. I have learned patience. My purpose is now clear and I am listening to the universal voices. I hear Uncle Don saying “Well done!”
Angela: Any hints as to your next project?
Laura: A Kiss on the Nose Vol II will be out this spring. Also working on another collection of poems.
Angela: Do you feel qualified to offer advice now that you have self-published four books and contributed to one anthology?
Laura: Yes, and it is “Live your dream. No one else can do it for you.”
You can find Laura’s books on Amazon.com. Her blog can be found on “Gotwhiskers.blogspot.com“