Thursday, March 28, 2013

Interview with Jackie Charley - Parent Coach

Another exciting interview coming to you from Indie Authors 4 - U  Come back every week and be sure and add us to your email list or book mark our page. Thanks and on to the Interview!

Jackie Charley tell us a little about you?
I’m a writer and a Parent Coach who helps stressed-out parents reconnect with their kids. My passion is to see parents realize their full potential as fulfilled individuals in their own right, as well as being effective in bringing up wonderful children. That’s why I felt I had to write my book.

I live in the beautiful Scottish borders with my husband, two boys, one dog and a gaggle of crazy chickens. Despite a very difficult time over the last year, my motto is still that life should always be lived with a mischievous sense of fun.

Tell us a little about your first book.
Most parenting books are only concerned with modifying a child's behavior. Unlock the Cage is different. It's as much about developing the parent, as it is about the child. Many people assume that being a parent is such an instinctive role that there's something wrong with them if they find it a struggle. They feel they are just 'muddling along', doing the best they can without understanding why they do the things they do, or how to do them better.

This book shows parents how to:
- Connect with their kids so they willingly include mum & dad in their world
- Be confident in themselves and the choices they make
- Prepare their kids for leadership; protect them from bullying, drugs, alcohol, media abuse and too much texting!
- Make time for themselves to discover how they can achieve their dreams in the midst of the chaos that is raising kids
- and so much more!

Have you always wanted to be a writer?  When did you start writing? 

I’ve always wanted to be a writer since before I could even write! When I was a toddler I used to ‘practice’ joined-up writing, filling reams and reams of paper with very grown-up looking scribble. 

Once I was at school there was no stopping me! In fact, one teacher I had was so enthusiastic about my writing that he used to get me to stay in at lunch times to write instead of going out to play. Mmmm, not sure how that would go down now!

From start to finish this book took me about a year. My co-author provided a lot of links to the research papers I based my arguments on, which saved me a huge amount of time, but then I had to trawl through them all in detail. That was tough!

What was the hardest part about the writing process? 
The hardest part was definitely turning academic studies into accessible layman’s vocabulary. The fun bit was adding my own ideas and weaving it all together.

What advice would you give aspiring writers? 
Don’t be afraid of a blank page. Scribble rubbish until all the rubbish has gone and you find yourself producing half-decent stuff. You can always edit, or even re-write, but you can’t edit a blank page.

For you personally, what is the best thing about being a writer?
What’s not to like about being a writer? (Apart from the pay!) I love that I can work when I choose, rather than having to catch a train. I love being able to take a stroll down the road if my brain feels like it’s going to explode. But perhaps most of all, I love having a legitimate reason for pouring out my ideas and playing with them.  That’s the real fun part.

What did you learn doing the KDP Select?
As this is my first published book I had no experience of using marketing through any other route so I
have nothing with which to compare it. However, since KDP does still allow you to share excerpts of the book (up to 10%) for promotional purposes I really haven’t found it a problem.

What do you think was the most helpful thing you did during the giveaway?
I learnt just how crucial online marketing is for authors and that the numbers of channels open to us for self-promotion are vast.  However, the downside is that they’re not all free!

How did you schedule your writing?
I treated writing like a full-time job – nine to five, come hell or high water.  The discipline of that approach kept me focused, although I railed against it at times. 

It wasn’t easy as two boys, hubby, dog and I were all squashed into a caravan where one space was shared by all (!), but I’d drawn out my book plan on pieces of A4 taped together, and I just ploughed through each chapter methodically until it was done.

What was the hardest part of the publishing process?
I’ve published both on Kindle and through Create Space, and both processes were fairly straightforward, except that, having gone to all the trouble of getting a professional to design the file for Create Space, they still had to tweak it when we tried to upload it for the first time.

What’s been your experience so far of the marketing process for a non-fiction book?
I’ve realized that there are fewer websites available for marketing purposes to writers of non-fiction books. It’s also harder to get book reviews because the vast majority of reviewers I have come across are biased towards fiction.  I was quite taken aback by this because, even as a reader, I much prefer non-fiction books to fiction.

What can readers expect in the future?

Well, I've enjoyed the whole process so much that readers can definitely expect more. My next project is to write a course on improving communication between parents and kids, looking at body language - how to interpret your kids' and how to make your own accessible and non-threatening so that misunderstandings and arguments become a thing of the past. Watch this space!

Thanks for joining us today.  I hope you'll check out Jackie Charley's book.  Parents these days need all the help they can get. If you want to learn more check out her website, or  twitter,  facebook

Samantha Fury is the author of the Popular Street Justice Series
she's written many articles on book covers, for Indie Authors.  
She operates several Indie Groups. Editing Services, Cover Artist, 
Helpful Indie Facebook Groups, and a wonderful Forum 
just for Indie Authors.

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