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Stories have arcs. Characters have arcs. Writers have arcs. We write, we get better at our craft. We read, we get better at our craft. We interact with other writers and our readers, we get better at our craft. Whether you are a professional writer or just starting out. Hobby or career. We are all in this together. Welcome.

Contact: Elena Hartwell - elenahartwell@gmail.com and visit me on the web at www.elenahartwell.com

Interview Part II


Scroll down to read Part I

You've self-published both of your novels, what advice can you give authors considering going this route? 
If you’re as impatient as I am regarding agents and traditional publishing, self-publishing is a great venue and no longer stigmatized by either the reading public or the publishing industry.  Case in point: Fifty Shades of Gray (which started out first as a self-published book), need I say more?

Doing it yourself takes more work (but even with traditional publishing, the author is expected to do 90% anyway), and  you can decide on your own schedule and get the book out when you want. Many sites are available, I chose Createspace, which is connected to Amazon, which as we know makes life easier for your reader to obtain the book. With these sites you can do much of the work yourself, or in my case, I chose to have design and technical assistance, because I’m not experienced in either of these areas.

In my first go-round, I didn’t utilize social media enough, which five years ago hadn’t taken over so much of our lives. I did contact women’s groups and libraries for readings and book signings and I still maintain, that the human connection is the most rewarding (next to people actually purchasing the book).

What are you working on now?
Since the book just came out, I’ve been mostly preoccupied with the launch and getting the word out.  But I’ve been playing with the idea of either writing what happened to Leah after the end of SOWN IN TEARS, or another sequel idea which I thought about when I wrote FLYING OUT OF BROOKLYN.  I considered jumping twenty years and writing about Judith and her daughter, which would bring me into another of my favorite decades, the sixties. To me, the stories of women and their path to self-discovery is unending  and every era has its own particular obstacles.

Final Words of Wisdom
If you love to write, don’t think about the end result or who your target audience is.  Write because you love it and can think of no better way to spend your time and energy.  If you love to do it you will find the time because you have to.  My doctor (who is also a friend) once said to me as I complained that I might never have thousands of readers, that in medicine if he was able to save one  life or change it for the better, that was miracle enough for him.  And I realize the pleasure I have had when a reader tells me how much they have enjoyed my book.  In Judaism, they say “if you have saved even one life, it’s as if you have saved the whole world.”  If I’ve given even one reader some pleasure or insight by something I wrote, that’s enough world-saving for me.

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