Author interview with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, your Frugal Editor and Frugal Book Promoter (-:
Carolyn was raised by a depression-era mother, thus the Frugal thing. Her fiction is informed by The Place she grew up, beauty, warts and all. Utah. And, like Wendy, she loves to share and help writers promote their books. Find her frugal stuff at www.howtodoitfrugally.com and her fiction and poetry at www.carolynhoward-Johnson.com .
1. Tell us about your latest book.
It is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques . It was launched at the National Stationery Show at Javits Center in New York (about the time of last year’s Book Expo America) and is based on my many years as founder, owner and marketer for a chain of gift stores. Find it at www.budurl.com/RetailersGuide.
2. How did you get started as a writer?
I thought the boys on my high school newspaper staff were cute. We said “cute” back then, not “hot.” I wouldn’t have known from “hot.”
3. What does a typical day look like for you?
I look like a toadstool growing out of one of those ergonomic chairs that sit in front of computers. In the afternoons I got to movies, a habit born out of the days when I reviewed film for the Glendale News-Press. Movies also inform my writing.
4. Describe your workspace.
Messy, very messy. If you’d like a photo, I’ll send it to you. It was taken a couple of years ago. It’s worse now. There is still room, however, for my Great Dane to spread out on the floor.
5. Favorite books (especially for writers).
Oh, so many. Wendy, I’m reading yours. Just got it. One of my favorites these days is an e-book by Larry Brooks on story structure. www.storyfix.com. It’s the best I’ve ever seen on that subject.
6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you.
- Mmmm. I dye my hair the same color it comes out at the roots. Go figure.
- I was a redhead before I was a blonde. Wishing made it so. You can call it silver, or gray and get a swat. You can get away with “platinum,” though I still want to be “blonde.”
- I was only 18 when I started my first writing job. You can learn how I got that job by reading the fictionalized account in my novel This Is the Place. http://www.amazon.com/This-Place-Carolyn-Howard-Johnson/dp/1588513521/
7. Favorite quote
“Careers that are not fed soon die as readily as any living organism given no sustenance.”
You’ll find it on my handouts for the classes I teach at UCLA, all over my Website, in th footers of some of my books, etc.
8. Best and worst part of being a writer
Oh, gosh. Best part. I love it. It cured me of cancer.
Truly, no worse part. Truly.
9. Advice for other writers
Read. Read in your genre. Read outside of your genre. Read how-to books on every subject related to writing and the marketing of books. Read more than one on each subject. Buy books for gifts.
10. Tell us a story about your writing experience.
I love your story. It’s hard to beat. So I won’t try.
At that first job in journalism I wrote a cooking column for teenagers, using their recipes. I was also learning layout and had to write the cutlines (those little explanations beneath pictures) and it is hard to write them for one column headshots. One week I featured a brownie recipe that didn’t have to be baked from a teen in Salt Lake City. I wrote (name changed to protect the innocent), Diane Dotson . . . Easy to make while studying.” It ran in most editions. Editors caught it before the city edition hit the press. Luckily for me and for my job.
Where can people buy your books?
Oh, so many! Just know that I know my HowToDoItFrugally books will help authors make their dreams come true and that I consider even The Frugal Editor (www.budurl.com/TheFrugalEditor) important in marketing your book to a publisher, agent or anyone else. Editing is just so important. Your readers will find everything from my award-winning poetry to The Frugal Book Promoter (www.budurl.com/FrugalBkPromo) at www.howtodoitfrugally.com.