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Interview with Lillian Cauldwell

You were formerly an instructor at Long Story Short School of Writing teaching several courses: Interviewing, Pre-Marketing Plan for Books, Internet Talk Radio, and Podcasting as well as a consultant for authors who require help marketing and promoting their book(s) and selves. What effects has this experience had on your own writing career?
It has done nothing for my writing career. As an author, I'm not as well known as the owner of an Internet talk radio station. My reputation in the media field is due to my owning and running a station based on three criteria. My writing is separate from the station. I found out that I'm better at marketing and promoting other authors, individuals, and other companies that I can for myself. My writing improves because I keep writing articles, newsletters and blogs.

Do you think it's important for writers to take courses like these? why?
I believe that self-educating is one way of staying current and keeping abreast of what's offered in the writing field. Most authors write in a vacumn, that is their writing is solitary except for the times they go out and do research for their book(s) fiction or non-fiction. Taking writing courses enables an author to keep improving their skills, techniques, and networking with other authors, agents, publishers, publicisits so that they don't lose sight of their writing objectives and goals.

You have your own radio station, Passionate Internet Voices Talk Radio, Inc. Tell us a bit about the show.
I started Passionate Internet Voices Talk Radio for three major reasons: to help market and promote published mid-list and unknown authors to the media and the world; to provide a conduit for voices not otherwise heard in this noisy celebrity, sports, and political driven world; and to provide educational and quality content to the listeners so they can turn around and use this information immediately in their spiritual, personal, and business lives. I realized that the majority of voices in this country and in the world weren't being heard. I wanted to provide an environment where these voices could be heard so that it could help them and the listeners find each other.

Your book Sacred Honor sees Benjamin Thompson, a Loyalist spy in 1776, time travel to 2776, to steal the Declaration of Independence. What kind of research did you do for this book?
I went to several different libraries in the Cleveland, OH and Ann Arbor, MI. I visited historical museums, did genealogical searches for some of the historical characters, studied a lot of history books, and used the Internet quite a bit. It took me five years of research before I started writing an outline draft for the book.

Was it easier writing about the past or the future? why?
It's not easy writing about the past or the future. For the past, you must keep in mind that the political, social, cultural, and economical climate is different than it is in the 21st century. At all times, the author must write knowing this information and keeping their historical and made-up characters true-to-life. The author must be accurate in retelling the story no matter how they might rearrange history to suit their story line. In writing about the future, the author must make the characters believable in their actions and behavior. There are certain understoods when writing about the future: science, technology, culture, and society. However, human nature itself doesn't change. Behavior remains the same. Motives, jealousies, emotions, they all exact the same type of humaness that doesn't change. People in the 22nd century will still act and react the same as if they are in the 14th century. I found for myself that it wasn't any easier writing in the past or in the future.

Your latest book Anna Mae Mysteries -The Golden Treasure sees Three 'tween sneaker sleuths face the unsolved mystery of Jefferson Davis'lost gold treasure with a little bit of help from a ghostly black fist and divining rods. Quite different from your other book. How did your writing process change?
For young adults, I found that imagery and logic dictated how I set up the book. I took advice my son, a well-known graphic artist and set up the book the way screenwriters set up their scripts for film. What is called "Storybook" format. Each picture tells a distinct story. The plot is laid out and the author sticks to that main plot. Subplots are written around that one central storyline. As your writing progresses, each scene is independent of the other until you piece the different stories together. That's how I wrote Anne Mae. First, I wanted a title that said it all. Anne Mae Mysteries. Then, I wanted to identify what particular mystery that Anna Mae, her brother and best friend would solve, The Golden Treasure. My next move was to identify the two storylines and connect them together. "Pit Bull" the school bully and the Black Fist, dropping paper clues to Anna Mae, her brother and best friend. Each frame of the story came to life as I pieced the different clues or puzzle pieces together.
For Sacred Honor, I wrote the book based on historical research and a what if question. I did not do that with The Anna Mae Mysteries: The Golden Treasure.

Who are you published with? Why did you choose them for your books?
The book is published by Star Publish. I choose Star Publish because it was an Independent publisher. It has a good reputation in the publishing field, and most important their marketing director, Janet E. Smith, is the only marketing person that I know who gets print-on-demand books into the major bookchain stores that don't normally stock print-on-demand books.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
Anything else you'd like to add?
You can find my radio station, Passionate Internet Voices Talk Radio at http://internetvoicesradio.com.
Please check it out especially if you're an author and want your voice heard.
Writing is a gradual process. Like all processes, it sometimes take a long time to build a solid foundation and get recognized by the world. To be a successful author doesn't necessarily mean rich and famous. To be a successful author means that you've finished what you've written, written from the heart, and be satisfied that you've done a good job. Fame and money are nice, but not all authors will ever attain that goal. It requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and luck. My husband calls writing a crap shoot. He's right. It just depends on who picks up your book, likes it, and then decides to push it.

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