I'm very happy to welcome, Carolyn Ridder Aspensen, an author and fellow Chicklit Goddess to my blog today. Welcome, Carolyn.
- Please can you describe ‘Unfinished Business’ in twenty words? An emotional rollercoaster ride for a new and reluctant psychic medium whose dead mother's still a part of her life. (Eep! That was hard. And not a very good tenth attempt, either!)
- What is your writing process, are you a plotter, or do you start with an idea and see where the story takes you as you write? I start with an idea. I tried the outline thing and found I didn't follow what I wrote and because I'm so anal retentive, I had to go back and CORRECT the outline to match what I'd changed in the book. Plus, I only outlined the first three chapters and realized it was a waste of time. It worked well with that book. The second one seems a teeny tiny bit more complicated (because the first one was largely based on my real life experiences and the second one is totally fictionalized). I'm also mindmapping the general story for my third book, not in this series. It's a 'cozy' mystery and requires a bit more planning. I don't like the planning. I know I'm going to change it but at least it will give me a general plan.
- What inspired you to write ‘Unfinished Business’? Since the book is largely based on events of my life it was that. My mother had recently died of lung cancer and I wanted to find a way to keep her alive for me. The character of Fran in the book is very much my mother, with only slight exaggerations.
- What is the best/worst experience you’ve had when self-publishing? Formatting and neck/shoulder issues. I have this special gift. I can break anything technology based. I can literally walk by a fax or copy machine and watch it crumble as I pass. No, I'm not joking. I once went to a psychic who told me I had a ridiculously strong energy field and she asked if things break around me. They do. Needless to say, that issue has dug deeper over the years and I find I can mess up any document better than anyone I know. Formatting is horrible. As for the neck and shoulder, so much time typing has made the degenerative disk disease I have even worse. It's lovely.
- What’s the most important advice you would give a writer who might be considering self-publishing? Before you even begin to type, research what you need to do and start out doing it the right way. From marketing to social media, to formatting, to how to plot a book...there is so much online now that it's not nearly as hard as it was a few years ago but you'll definitely save yourself a lot of time if you get all of your ducks in a row before you start.
- What are you working on at the moment? A few things, actually. I'm still marketing like crazy to sell Unfinished Business, which did actually make it to the top 400 on Amazon's bestseller list with a top out at 13 in the paranormal genre so I'm very excited about that. I'm also finishing up the second book in the series, Unbreakable Bonds. I'm waiting to get a copy of my novella Santa's Gift back from my editor. I'm working with a few other authors to put together a Holiday themed chick lit compilation book where all of the proceeds will go to a cancer charity. That should be available for pre-order in November and like I said, I've got a cozy mystery in the works. I'm really excited to start on that but have tasked myself to finish Unbreakable Bonds (and the edits it will need) before I truly start that one. It's motivation to get moving, that's for sure.
Thanks, Carolyn. You can buy 'Unfinished Business' from here for the Nook, here for the Kindle US, and here if you live in the UK.
An Angela Panther Novel
Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
Sometimes the dead need our help and sometimes, we need theirs
ANGELA PANTHER HAS A PERFECT LIFE: A lovely home, an attentive, successful husband, two reasonably behaved children, a devoted dog and a lot of coffee and cupcakes. But while her life might border on mundane, she's got it under control. Until her mother, Fran dies-and returns as a ghost. It seems Fran's got some unfinished business and she's determined to get it done.
Now Fran's got some nifty celestial superpowers and isn't opposed to using them to levy a little ghostly retribution on her granddaughter's frienemies and even her own daughter, which doesn't make Angela happy.
While Angela's shocked and grateful to have her mother back, she's not thrilled about the portal to the afterlife Fran opened upon her return. Now every ghost in town is knockin' on Angela's psychic door, looking for help-and it's a royal pain in the butt.
Now Angela's got to find a way to balance her family life with her new gift and keep her mother in line. And it's a lot for one woman to handle.
Carolyn Ridder Aspenson tackles, with comic cleverness, the serious subjects of mother-daughter relationships, death and raising teenagers in this smart, funny take on the love of family and the uncontrollable paths our lives take.
"It's about ghosts, the love of family, the never-ending love of mothers and daughters...add some humor and it's the perfect combination of adult/chick- lit/paranormal (all in one book)." - The Book Trollop
"Aspenson hits the ground running with her debut novel and carries the reader along on a rollicking adventure highlighting both the joys and conflicts of mother-daughter relationships." - Katrina Rasbold