Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Conversation with Michelle Beber, author of 'Angels, Angels, Everywhere' #childrensbook

Michelle Beber has certifications as an Angel Intuitive and Angel Oracle Card Reader from renowned "angel lady," Doreen Virtue, as well as certifications as a Spiritual Teacher and Archangel Life Coach from Doreen's son, Charles Virtue.

In 2008, Michelle's life changed when she attended a spiritual retreat and learned about angels and how they communicate through repetitive number sequences known as "angel numbers." Little did she know that this insight would lead her on an amazing spiritual journey that would directly connect her with angels and result in the discovery of her life purpose.

Always grateful for the spiritual guidance she has received, Michelle looks forward to sharing the knowledge she has gained to inspire others, especially children. Michelle is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

Her latest book is the juvenile fiction/children’s picture book, Angels, Angels, Everywhere.

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Welcome to our blog, Michelle!  I love anything angels. Can you tell us what your book is about?

Angels, Angels, Everywhere lets children know that they are never alone, that they have an angelic support system around them 24/7, and that they are unconditionally loved at all times.  The book was designed as a tool to help children work through the various emotions they might encounter as they go through life’s ups and downs.

The book covers emotions such as fear, sadness, anger, and loneliness, but it also lets children know
that angels celebrate with them when they’re proud of an accomplishment and when they’re happy.  The text is written in delightful rhythm and rhyme, and each of the beautiful illustrations captures every emotion perfectly.

By keeping the book non-denominational, I wanted it to be easily accessible to all religious groups and even to those who might not be religious at all.  By making the illustrations racially diverse, every child will be able to see himself or herself within the book’s pages.

Why did you write your book, Angels, Angels, Everywhere?

I wrote Angels, Angels, Everywhere to inspire children to have faith and trust in angels to help and comfort them.  By letting children know they can ask angels for help, it empowers them and gives them confidence to face life’s challenges.

I know writers who love to write children's books have an uphill battle getting their books published. Is it hard to get a children’s picture book published in your experience?

If I were to have gone the traditional route, I’m sure it would’ve been very competitive, and there’s probably a good chance my manuscript might’ve ended up in the “slush” pile never seeing the light of day, or it might’ve taken years to attract the right publisher.

My passion to deliver my message was pushing me, so I chose to self-publish with a vanity publisher, Balboa Press, which is the self-publishing division of Hay House Publishing.  Hay House is the largest self-help publisher in the world, and I wanted to align myself with a company who shared my spiritual and metaphysical philosophy.

How about getting the word out about your book? Is it hard to promote a children’s picture book and where do you start?

I don’t think it’s difficult to promote anything with all the resources that exist.  The first thing I did, which was highly recommended, was set up an Amazon Author Central page since Amazon is the largest retailer of books in the world.

Also, social media is a great place to tell people about your book, but you can’t just sell, sell, sell.  You need to provide something of value to your audience and develop a genuine connection.  For instance, I post inspirational and motivational messages, and surprisingly, I’ve met lots of like-minded people.  I used to think social media was a big waste of time, but now I love it!

Being on Twitter led to an appearance on a blog talk radio show so you never know when or where an opportunity might present itself.  Be open to all possibilities.

You can also take part in a local event, do a reading at a bookstore, or participate in a book festival.  Near the end of last year, I happened to see an advertisement for a local author event that was going to be held at a nearby library, so I entered the competition.  In addition to providing a copy of my book and a headshot, I had to pay an entry fee of $25.00.  I was selected and was able to be part of a panel discussion, read to children, and sell books.  It was a great first time experience.

There is a wealth of information on the internet devoted to marketing and promoting your book as well as lots of “how to” books.  I recommend research, research, research!  It’s your “best friend.”  As they say, knowledge is power.

Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?

I don’t think there’s a writer out there who hasn’t suffered from writer’s block.  If I find I’m struggling, I put it away and look at it another time.  Sometimes, that’s an hour later; sometimes, it’s the next day; and sometimes, it’s a week later.  I’ve always been able to get past it.  Patience is the key.

What do you like the most about being an author?

My favorite part about being an author is the actual creation process.  I love “molding the clay” and then admiring the finished work.  Also, I’m very grateful that my words are going to make a difference in the lives of children.

What is the most pivotal point of a writer’s life?

I think most people would say holding their first book in their hands, but for me it was finishing my first manuscript and knowing it could help children.  It was then that I truly felt like I was born to write and the reason why I was here.

What kind of advice would you give other authors?

First and foremost, always write from your heart, and never give up on your dream of publishing your first book.  Success is made of hard work, determination, and patience.  It can take a long time to put your book into the marketplace, but once you do, it’s the most gratifying feeling you’ll ever have.

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