I would like to introduce a writer who has taken the longer route to publishing success. Dielle is her name and she has written a fascinating book called The Unknown Mother. The book has already been a success for her. What drew me to Dielle was something traditional– she found herself a publisher who signed her book and put in place the foundations for a strong and sustained career. It wasn’t a case of just chasing the money. It was about that all-important future career for her. I would like you to meet her. Join in!
A) Well, it felt surreal at first, even when I held one in my hand for the first time. I reread it after I first got a copy, and the whole time I was thinking, “Wow, this is actually good. Did I write this? I don’t remember writing that.” I have to say, the book launch party was a real hoot (is that an Americanism?), and reading passages aloud and getting applause made it all real. I am very proud to have followed this through. At so many points along the way, I could have so easily just listened to all those voices (outside and in) that said it was too hard, impossible, not worth it, etc. It was hard but not impossible…and definitely worth it.
Q) When did you become interested in writing? Has it always been something you have been interested in?
A) I’ve always loved reading and writing. I’ve heard it said our earliest happy memory is an indicator of our true path. One of my earliest happy memories is of sitting with a nursery rhyme book almost as big as I was at an aunt’s house thumbing through the silky pages and pictures pretending I could read it. I just love words!
Q) How do you enjoy the writing process? What works best for you?
A) What worked for me this time was taking non-fiction content and making a fictional story around it. I’d been trying for years to crank this information out as non-fiction. It wasn’t going anywhere. With the decision to write it as fiction, inspiration really poured through me, and I had it done in just a couple of months…well, the manuscript anyway. I actually had fun, too. Now I’m writing a non-fiction companion to the book, but it is totally different. It’s infused with the fun and creative spirit I got from writing the fiction.
Q) Do you believe that self-publishing is the future or do you think publishing houses will always have a place in publishing?
A) Things are definitely changing, aren’t they? My publishing company, John Hunt, is doing its best to change with the times, focusing more on a strong web-based presence. While I might self-publish in the future, I’m very, very glad I went with a publisher this first time around, even if it means I’m not making any money…yet. They are giving me a reach I never could have achieved on my own…at least I wouldn’t have known how. I would likely have sold to friends and family in the US and maybe someone somewhere in another country would have found me. Now I’m selling in the UK, the US, Canada…I even sold a book in Argentina! I guess each author needs to consider whether they want to make money or they want their book out there in as big a way as possible.
Q) Tell me a little about your book and why it means so much to you.
A) An Unknown Mother is about a woman’s journey to find her true voice. She’s a vocalist who is doubting her place in the world. She encounters an eccentric character named Matrina who becomes her mentor teaching her about the power of the breath, letters, words, and sound. Together, they walk through the 10 Gates of Sound. Only later is it revealed that Matrina is a Goddess, one who rules the alphabet and illusion we call reality. This book means a lot to me because it is the culmination of everything I’ve learned up to this point walking my path. It makes sense of my crazy, all-over-the-place life for me. I also love it because I still learn from reading it. It reminds me again and again to live true to myself.
Q) Has writing this book changed your life?
A) It’s made it a lot busier! It’s pushed me out of so many comfort zones, I can’t even tell you.
Q) How do you promote your work? Are you an ardent user of social media?
A) I have a website, TheUnknownMother.com, and of course, I do the social media thing…Facebook, YouTube, Twitter. I’m doing book signings, but I call them “singings” because, after all, helping people discover new ways to find their true voice is the whole point of the book. So I don’t just read and sign, I get people to use their voices. I have done one vending fair so far, I teach workshops, and will try everything else I can think of. I want this work out there. I also have a business, TheVoiceofLife.com through which I work one-on-one with clients using Transformational Voicework processes I created. I also sing professionally, write, and make art at DielleCiesco.com. So, anytime I’m out in front of people, I mention the book or have it with me.
Q) How have people reacted to your work, so far?
A) The reviews and comments I’ve received so far have been very positive. It’s not a “great work” of literature, even though it is well written; but it’s the kind of book that meets people at their current level of consciousness. For some, it is just an entertaining story with unique perspectives. For others, it triggers uncomfortable feelings because it requires a certain willingness to look within. For those with that willingness, it can be a transformative read.
Q) If you could have written any book from any time period, which would it be?
A) You mean any other book? (smiles) Maybe The Little Prince or The Alchemist. I love Paulo Coelho.
Q) Why should a reader pick your book above all others? What makes it stand out?
A) This book contains a lot of information that not many people have heard before, so it’s very interesting and refreshing and hopefully inspiring in that regard. More importantly, this book is really magical. That isn’t just a subtitle. If someone is ready to do its work, it is going to start a transformational process.
Well now we all know each other better and you have met Dielle. I think we should all go read her work… We might as well go read it now… Because in a few months it will be the craze anyway! Go get the wine out, pour a glass and enjoy!