1. What really inspired you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and conveying it into a book?
This book actually started as a journal that I wrote in every day. It helped my frame of mind at a time when I was at the lowest point in my life. It was therapy for me. Once I moved past the sadness to acceptance, I made a conscious decision to let go of the past. I decided not to allow my previous relationship to keep me from looking for love a second time around. In my travels, I came across many men and women going through what I had gone through. I was saddened by the many men and women who would not date due to the fear of having their heart broken or a loss by divorce or death. I found myself encouraging them to put their fear aside in hopes of finding love again. Several of them have found love again and are now married or living with their partner. Seatbelt Required, is the book my experiences inspired me to write, in the hope that I can help others. I am and always will be as hopelessly romantic as ever.
2. What is it about and whom do you believe is your targeted reader?
Part memoir, part guide, it is a manual to help the over thirty-five single navigate their sudden entry into the adventurous world of modern day dating. It opens with the breakdown of my own marriage, past divorce and loss to new pastures. Beyond my own experiences, I offer plenty of practical advice about the do’s and don’ts of dating, Signs he is “Right’ for you and signs he is ‘Wrong’ for you, tips for a successful online dating experience, what men and women are looking for in a partner and my favorite Chapter 27 Funny, Embarrassing, Best, and Worst Date Stories.
My targeted reader is the over thirty-five single male & female who is considering dating.
3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book? I hope this book inspires them to put their fears aside and jump in. I am passionate in my belief that being in the right relationship with the right person is a wonderful, magical thing. All things in life have their ups and downs: jobs, family relationships, friendships, hobbies etc. Taking a chance to find love is so worth the risk!
What should remain with them- Courage and hope! I understand what they’re going through…I’ve been there. Many of us have found ourselves at a place we did not expect to be, but you are here, and it is the now. And now is all we have! Today is a new day that holds endless opportunities if we open our hearts and take a chance. It takes courage each time we dare to open a new door, but we must first close the door on yesterday. And no matter how dark it gets, there is happiness for those who don’t give up on finding it!
4. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow readers!
Live, love and let go of your past. Don’t let your past define you but instead refine you!
Each and every one of us are in charge of our future. The days ahead will be what you make them. You are in the driver’s seat, and whether the road ahead is smooth or bumpy, I encourage anyone that is fearful about dating to navigate their way through it…one date at a time!
5. What trends in the book world do you see and where do you think the book publishing industry
We see a rise in sales on mobile devices. More and more readers are using their tablets and mobile devices. The possible shifts from physical bookstores to the modern readers using iBooks. Ebooks are dominating the sales in books.
There is a big increase in self-publishing. The Indie movement has empowered authors. The Indie author has the advantage because they can publish globally immediately. The traditional publishers are still trying to ignore the rise of self-published books even though they continue to loom over their heads.
Amazon $ sales of e-book show Self-published/ Indie published are taking almost half the market share. They are earning nearly half of the total author revenue from genre fiction sales on Amazon.
6. What great challenges did you have in writing your book?
The first would be not to embarrass my two adult children. Let’s face it, most kids do not want to hear about their parents dating experiences. My son told me up front… Mom, I’m so proud of you, but I will not be reading it. While on the other hand my daughter did read it and loved it!
Another challenge was sharing with my readers the breakdown of my marriage. I’m a very private person, but I felt it was very important for my readers to be able to connect with me on a personnel note. Sharing with them my own story of where I was then and where I am now shows them how your life can change for the better if you have the courage to fight for your happiness.
7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours?
Seatbelt Required reaches out on a very real, personable level using humor and truth to guide my readers. The response to my book has been very positive! I wish I had read a book like this when I returned back on the dating scene after my 28 year marriage ended. It would have helped prepare me and lessen the anxiety I felt starting out. This book takes both a funny & honest peek into the world of middle-age dating. It talks the many benefits of dating including the undeniable health benefits. It also talks about the not-so positive reality that is associated with dating. No sugarcoating here…it tells the good, the bad, and the ugly truth about middle-age dating and why you still should date.