Interview with Author Marsha Casper Cook

       
       I would like to thank you for being my guest here
       on Roth’s Inspiring Books and Products for Kids.
       What a pleasure it is to get to know you better.
       You are a multi-talented writer and author. I
       would like to get to know you a bit more. So,
       I’ll ask you a few questions about your writing
       life.


       
     

  Do you consider yourself to be a born writer,
       Marsha?
       
       Actually, I don’t. I love writing but I have
       taught myself how to do screenplays and novels by
       reading books on these subjects for years. But
       for me, the best learning process was doing the
       actual writing. I think you get to be a better
       writer if you keep writing. Giving up is easy,
       staying in the game is hard, but in the end it’s
       worth it.
       
       Have you ever suffered from Writer’s Block,
       Marsha? If yes, how did you ‘cure’ it?
       
       I haven’t really had writer’s block but there are
       times when I think the project I am working on
       isn’t as good of an idea and my next project. I
       think writers do this quite a bit. If you keep
       going you will finish your project and then you
       can go on to do your next idea. And probably you
       will do the same thing over and over again. 
       
       What type of books do you mostly write, Marsha?
       
       I have written children’s books, a nonfiction
       book, and a novel. I think I have a lot of fun
       when I write children’s books but I also enjoy
       writing adult fiction because of the freedom that
       it gives you.             
       
       Can you share with us a little about your current
       book?
       
       My New book NO SHOES, NO CLUES is my favourite. I
       have written it in first person and the character
       EMELINA is a young girl who knows where she’s
       going and likes to succeed.       
       
       What type of book promotion works for you? Any
       special strategies you’d like to share?
       
       I wish I could say there was an exact strategy to
       promoting your work but there isn’t, at least not
       for me. Just when I think I have the greatest
       idea to promote myself, I find something else
       that I would like to try. There are so many ways
       to promote myself that the only way you know what
       words is if you try several. The more promoting
       you do, the better.  
       
       Do you find it hard to balance your personal
       writing time with your other job(s)?
       
       Sometimes I do. Writing is so very important to
       me I push myself to complete something every few
       months. If I don’t write, I am usually mad at
       myself and then push myself and I’m happy I did.
       
       Do you have any other works in progress Marsha?
       Can you share a little about them?
      
       I am writing a screenplay at the moment and it
       always amazes me when the story comes out with a
       beginning, middle and end. Sometimes, I feel that
       my story might be weak but if I make it to page
       25, I know I have a story and I can continue on.
       A screenplay usually has no more than 120 pages. 
       
       Tell us about your writing space?
       
       The world of children’s book publishing is
       extremely competitive, with many authors
       hesitating between trying their luck with a
       traditional publisher or self-publishing. 
       
       What advice would you offer writers who are
       oscillating between these two publishing venues
       Marsha?
       
       I think you should try to traditionally publish
       if you feel that you won’t be satisfied until you
       do. However, if you feel like you want to start a
       writing career sooner, self-publishing is the way
       to go. I think finishing a project and getting it
       published is very exciting, providing you had an
       editor to edit your book.
       

       Do you do first drafts on a computer or by hand
       Marsha?  
       
       I do both.  Usually when I start a book, I write
       by hand in a notebook and I write down
       descriptions of characters and their background.
       After that I write the story on the computer and
       I also write sections in my notebook to see if I
       developed the characters in a way to make the
       story work. 
       
       How do you see the future of book publishing,
       both traditional, electronic, and print on
       demand?
       
       I think the writing world has changed so much and
       writers have a lot more ways to publish their
       work and also to promote it. I think there will
       be a huge market for electronic publishing but I
       also think that there will always be new people
       deciding they like to hold the book or paper in
       their hand.   
       
       What is the creative process like for you Marsha?
       What happens before sitting down to write?
       
       Sometimes, I jump right into the story and then I
       hold back until I develop the story a little
       more. Usually my stories come to me in pieces,
       but I have to begin or otherwise nothing happens.
       Once I begin, my stories have their own life and
       I follow with their lead. 
       
      What voice do you find most to your liking: first
      person or third person?
      
      For children’s books, I like first person because
      I feel kids relate to the characters faster and
      they are easier to read out loud. For adults, I
      like it either way.
      
      Which known writers do you admire most?
      
      I admire anyone who finishes a book. So many
      people say they want to write a book but never do.
      If you finish a book, whether its good or bad,
      it’s still a tough process. Once you complete one
      book, even if you market the book and it doesn’t
      go too far, keep writing and one never knows who
      will be the author that makes it big.
      
      Do you participate in competitions? Have you
      received any awards?
      
      I don’t usually participate in contests but I have
      won two contests for my screenplays because
      someone else entered my scripts. I neve really
      liked competitions. I know a lot of writers like
      to do this. But, so far, it hasn’t been something
      that I have pushed myself to do. 
      
      What discipline do you impose on yourself
      regarding schedules, goals, and so on Marsha?
      
      I am very disciplined in most areas but in writing
      I find that putting so much pressure to finish
      something doesn’t add to the work. I like to have
      all the ends tied up in my books and scripts and
      sometimes that does take a little more time. I
      have learned to be patient and realize slower
      might be better.
      
      What do you surround yourself with in your work
      area in order to help you concentrate?
      
      I like to work with some noise in the background.
      Usually I have coffee and keep writing until I
      decide to take a break. Sometimes, I lose focus
      but if I finish with a few good pages, I’m
      satisfied.
      
      What do you recommend I do with all those things I
      wrote years ago but have never been able to bring
      myself to show anyone?
      
      That’s the good news about self-publishing. Take
      all your projects out and look them over. If the
      topic seems good, try to self-publish. Papers in
      drawers often make great books. Some of the
      greatest stories were self-published.
      
      Is there anything else you would like to share
      with us?
     
      Yes, keep writing and don’t give up. Have I never
      published my books, I wouldn’t be where I am
      today. It can’t be about money because this is a
      tough road. But every time someone tells me after
      they read my books, they enjoyed them, I know I
      did the right thing about self-publishing.
     
      
      I thank you Marsha for taking the time to share
      with me and my readers about being an author. You
      are a very multi-talented writer and I wish you
      much success in your writing career. 
      
      


      
      
      
      
      
      
      
      If you would like to enter to win this book by
      Marsha Casper Cook, please leave a comment. The
      cut off date is December 22nd. On December 23rd, I
      will be announcing the winner!

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About adolescentgirlsblog

I am a freelance writer for adolescent girls. I love delving into the topics of self-esteem and self-confidence for girls. I find this writing really meaningful. This blog is devoted to girls and their issues.
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