Red was building Napoleons…raspberry Napoleons…when she heard the faint lilt of zydeco coming from the café. Who was sitting in the Coffee Shoppe with a group of the regulars? Someone from home: Karen Jourden. She popped the Napoleons in the case and headed out with a pair of cuppas to talk about politics, poetry and pushing.
M3: Karen, tell the M3 Readers how your agent would describe you.
KJ: Karen Jourden was born in Louisiana in 1951. She received a BA in business administration from Adams State College and an associate’s degree in office technology from Trinidad State Jr. College. Jourden lives in Colorado with her husband, Don W. Fisher, a retired disabled veteran of the US Navy.
M3: Before we get to the fun questions, who do you have to thank?
KJ: I thank God for my mom, who died of colon cancer, and my husband. I thank my mother who taught me to keep my eyes open and my husband who kept telling me I could do this.
M3: A good nudge every now and then is good. Where did you begin, before he started pushing?
KJ: Because English was not my subject I had never thought of writing. I was encouraged to submit my poems by a co-worker. To my surprise, two of my poems were put in Creative Arts & Science Enterprises’ book Inspiration in Ink.
M3: Poetry is a good thing. With your non-traditional start, tell me if you have a bone to pick with the industry.
KJ: No, I have had a great experience with iUniverse.
M3: You built some great relationships with your colleagues.
KJ: Well, I hope they enjoy working with me as much as I have enjoyed working with them. They have been very helpful and have had great suggestions. I thank them for their professionalism and patience.
M3: It can be a tough road, and very time consuming. Have you had any triumphs over the industry yet?
KJ: I had no idea what went into getting a book published. I think I read my book a million times. At least it felt that way. It takes cooperation and patience on both sides. Although they probably had to have more patience with me than me with them.
M3: I think writing for that long was your exercise of patience. Should the M3 Readers be interested in your day job?
KJ: People know you have to pay for this somehow! I babysit. No great paycheck there, but they are great kids. I used to be a substitute teacher.
M3: I am sensing a love of children or a streak of masochism. (Laughs) Did the economy change the way you pursued your book?
KJ: Yes, it did because we had to move, and I lost some of my references and had to do extra research which of course took more time. In addition, I added to the narrative some current events.
M3: I think we would all rather be flogged than move. With all of your busyness and research, do you ever take a break?
KJ: I did take breaks to take care of family. Sometimes, it helps to clear your mind. Some of the breaks were longer than I wanted, but then life happens.
M3: In between life moments is where you find the time to write?
KJ: That’s why it took so long! It was hard to find the time. I started my book in 1995.
M3: (Laughs) Add perseverance to your CV. Quite a few Indie authors feel like the traditional publishing industry gives them the stink eye. Do you agree?
KJ: Yes, and unfortunately people do too. You would be surprised what you can find out there if you do not limit yourself. However, I have heard people say that movies or books not from a well-known industry or person will not be good.
M3: Good thing my bookshelf cannot hear that! What are you working on right now?
KJ: Well I had to split my book in half because it was too big. So I guess I will see if people will read a non-famous person’s book before I publish the rest.
M3: I have a few of those…I make them into series. Since this is your debut book, do you have any advice for newbies?
KJ: Yes, do not give up.
M3: Simple, but very good advice. So, tell me a secret. What is it you would probably wish I kept to myself?
KJ: I had actually written most of the book with pen and paper before I used a computer. I lost some of my notes when we moved. I am still trying to get the hang of Twitter.
M3: You and about two-thirds of the universe. Now, let’s look at the flip side. What makes Why I Am an Independent Conservative different from all the rest of the books in its genre?
KJ: I tried to show a progression from colonies to where we are now and why. However, the main goal was to get people to think and not just take people at their word. I encourage the reader to do research just like my mother encouraged me.
M3: I can really appreciate that. I seem to challenge people as a matter of habit. Besides your mother’s influence, what is there about this book which is close to your heart?
KJ: Do you have all day? (Laughs) I’ll try and put it in a nut shell. It burdens my soul the direction our country is going in education. I look at my grandkids and know they will not be taught what they should know like other kids in our country.
M3: I homeschool, so I get that. Getting your book out there is how you want to change the country. Tell me how important you personal social media marketing is to the success of your book.
KJ: Wow, that is a good question. It has its pro and cons. Marketing takes a lot of time. I would not mind having a professional, but then sometimes you cannot afford to go that route. The good thing about self-marketing is no one knows you as well as you know yourself.
M3: Market the book to M3 in 15 words or less.
KJ: It is an eye-opening book that encourages people to do research.
M3: Good luck with the sequel, Karen.
Darling M3 Readers,
Please take a few moments to check out Karen Jourden and Why I Am an Independent Conservative. Visit Karen’s blog to learn more about the author and her books. Follow her on Twitter for the latest on her upcoming books. Her book is available through Barnes & Noble and iUniverse, as well.
Thank you for your constant support of the talented M3 Coffee Shoppe authors. When you tweet and +1 this post, please use the hashtags #authors, #books and #WW.
(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2012
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