Sunday, April 3, 2022

Interview With Author Sheila VanZile

1. What motivated you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and turning it into this book?  When my journey of awakening began to gather steam, folks started telling me there was a book. I resisted for almost a year, but then I was introduced to an inspired writing coach. We met for about an hour, and she said, "Sheila, this book is already written, you just need to bring it in." And she was right. I started writing in August of 2020, and the complete draft was done by December.

2. What is it about and who is it for?  The target audience for the book is women 55-70's, however, younger women have approached me to let me know for them it is a cautionary tale. The death of a distant, love-withholding mother sets the stage for a woman’s trans - formation. In the place of grief, there is guilty relief. Unsettled and unhappy, the author turns 60, and a retreat on the Oregon coast inspires her to take stock and start living a life of her design. Decades of her life had been motivated by what she “should” do. After a childhood largely devoid of any opportunity to get or have what she wanted, a lifetime of decisions and their unintended consequences followed. Self-neglect resulted in bad marriages, toxic friendships, childhood trauma, and a dry, unfulfilling career. As the veneer of a seemingly perfect life cracks, her awareness expands. Exploration turns to wonder, with opportunities presenting themselves like a waterfall. She begins to see spiritual breadcrumbs, croutons, and the occasional slice of bread. The distance between the early days of her journey and triumphant awakening begins to narrow. The spontaneous purchase of an ancient house in France delights and brightens her outlook. Things really start to percolate when she relegates her career to the backseat. Joy and awakening take over the story, and you are invited to join in. We explore forgiveness, trust, faith, self-love, grief, hope, and much more. You know you are not alone. And we celebrate our stepping into the light. Together. The author offers this guided journey filled with lessons, meditations, glorious stories of the French countryside, and more. Her story is quite possibly your story.  

3. What takeaways might the reader will be left with after reading it?  We are never too old to embrace and follow the path to a life that we want, and that we are not alone.

4.  How did you decide on your book’s title and cover design?  For the cover, I was aided by the amazing Yvonne Fetig Roehler of the firm I self-published with, Jenkins Group. I had a vision of a weathered journal that would sit by my bed or desk, so the colors embrace that vision, and it is accented by the "stitching" around the cover. The purple blends from the top to reflect the spiritual components of the journey.  And the waterfall was an obvious visual! And I love how the sub-title cascades down it.  The title came from some earlier writing, and I used the phrase "Little did I know I had started a waterfall." And it stuck as the theme for the book. 

5. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers? Just write. Don't edit. There's lots of time for that later. Don't filter. Don't judge. Just write.  

6. What trends in the book world do you see -- and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading? Since this is my debut work, I don't have a lot of perspective on this question. However, when researching for opportunities to be published vs. self-publishing, I became aware that much of the work I was doing to attract a publisher for my "proof of concept" actually set me up for the framework of pursuing my own marketing plan if I self-published. Since I have a business background and the resources to do that, I chose that route. While my book isn't print on demand, I know many fellow authors that are prolific because of the simplicity of choosing that method of publishing.  

7. What challenges did you overcome to write this book? I can't say I really had any challenges. Once I started writing in earnest, the book pretty much flowed out of me. Now, of course, the editing process changed its structure, but the book remained intact to my vision.  

8. How would you describe your writing style? Conversational and inquisitive while offering insights and perspectives to challenge the reader into their own internal reflections.  

9. If people can buy or read one book this week or month, why should it be yours? It is the gift to yourself that will keep on giving. As a guided journal, it is intended to sit on your nightstand or desk for a period of weeks or months, encouraging you to choose a lesson a week and journal for your own awakening journey. And, you will find comfort in the knowledge that you have the power to choose the path that you walk, and that you can write your own next triumphant chapter. You are not alone.

About The Author: Sheila VanZile joined the first generation of career women in the 1970s, emerging from their homes gifted with the ability to juggle real careers and family. She served as a high-level executive, business owner, community volunteer and gracious hostess, but the truth beneath her seemingly successful and satisfying life was a different story. Dissatisfied, unfulfilled at 60 and having neglected her own needs for decades, Sheila suffered toxic relationships and embarked on a journey that she hopes will spark a deliberate and fruitful search for your style of awakening, too. Please see for more information:


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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2022. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This blog, with over 4,000 posts over the past decade, was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Susan RoAne, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, IBPA, Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult: 


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