When Shimeka McFadden sat down to write “Skeletons,” she was not aiming to tell a story about your average secrets. The three women we meet in this story could tell a whole book alone on each of their set of lies. Not only has she captured her readers with this page turner but her readers are getting the word out and it shows by her eBook sales. Climbing the “Best Seller Rank” in the Kindle Store as a self-published author, Shimeka McFadden is learning the ropes at a great pace.
Being from the same small town with the same profession, I had a chance to get inside Shimeka’s head about her process and the aftermath of when the book is done.
- “Skeletons” is about three women whose lives have been turned upside down from their pasts. How did these three women’s stories come to your mind?
When creating their secrets I had to think about my own relationship deal breakers and one of them was infidelity. However, women and men cheat for different reasons so when I created Santana’s skeleton I had to give the back story as to why she was cheating that involved me getting deeper into Santana’s current situation and how this lead her to live a lie instead of facing the truth with her husband.
Jovanna’s skeleton is that of a secret past life that she was so ashamed of that she’d do any and everything to keep that skeleton from getting out of the closet. We have all done things in our past that we may not be so proud of, but for some the shame that comes along with the secret is just too much to bear and that is when they fight tooth and nail to keep that secret from being revealed to anyone.
Asteria’s secret is more of a secret of deception and jealously. Oftentimes jealousy can cause a person to do some downright ugly things to someone that they love.
In my book not only will the reader get the drama of the skeletons hidden in the ladies’ closets, but also the reader will get an understand of how and why things can start to turn ugly.
2. At one point during your writing process did you know that you would self-published instead of going the traditional route?
I started writing Skeletons six years ago and during the writing process I thought that once I was finished I was going to shop it around and get a major deal right away. Then reality hit me after my 20th rejection letter. The reality that getting published was very difficult, even Stephen King’s best seller, Carrie, was rejected more than 30 times! Then I ran across a blog by self-published best-selling author J.A Konrath called “A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing” where he talks about self-publishing and how it was changing the way authors got their work into their reader’s hands. I was blown away because only a few years ago self-publishing was frowned upon and it was too expensive. That is when I began researching and I spent hours reading blogs from that of Konrath and Joel Friedlander and learning about Amanda Hocking and Vicki Stringer. That is when I had an epiphany that maybe I could succeed at getting Skeletons in reader’s hands by self-publishing.
3. Your blog, “Six Kids and a Pen”…how do you find the time?
With six active children from 17 years old to 19 months old time is one thing that I do not have enough of. Then I think, I am giving the same twenty-four hours as anyone else in history from Benjamin Franklin to Barrack Obama and if they can find the time to do what it was that they did then I can find the time to do what I needed to do as well. I live a life of no excuses and if I used the excuse of having six children as a reason not to fulfill my dreams then how can I be an example to those six children to fulfill their own dreams? I want my kids to say, “If my mom could do it…” I found the time to make my dream a reality. If that meant getting up at 5am before everyone else then so be it. If that meant retreating into the bathroom to write with a pen and paper only to type it out later then so be it. If realizing my dream meant that I had to tell the kids or my husband no every once in a while then that is what I did. There would be times that I was at the grocery store and an idea popped into my head and I’d pull out my voice recorder to speak it until I got home then that is what I did. Thankfully I have a very strong support system of my husband, my sister, mother and father as well as my in laws who would take the three smaller kids for me while I finished up what I needed to do sometimes.
4. What do you think has been your most successful marketing tip with self-publishing?
I studied marketing in high school as well as in college and all of that I learned did not help when it comes to marketing my book. The most successful tip that I have when marketing a book is to create a buzz about your book months before your book even comes out. Get people talking about it, get them excited about it. Give them a teaser chapter (make sure that it isn’t giving away too much, but just enough to leave them wanting more). In my blog I would tie each post with something about my book and what my characters were dealing with.
5. As far as self-marketing, what do you feel doesn’t work for you?
I hate to say this but I am not a people person. Don’t get me wrong, I am a very sweet person, but I have a hard time approaching people about Skeletons. My husband and I went to a mall to sell my book and he sold more than I did because he sold me and my book shamelessly whereas I kind of hung out in the background or I seemed nervous and awkward around people. That is kind of crazy for someone who took public speaking courses and was asked twice to speak in front of a seminar. I don’t like talking about myself because I don’t like to come off to arrogant and that hurts my interaction with people that I meet on the street. I am working on it trust me.
6. What’s next for Shimeka McFadden?
Currently I am working on my sophomore book called All That Glitters and it will be released early 2012. All That Glitters is a book about an R & B singer who is on top of his game when it comes to his career, but it is his personal life that is falling apart. I am writing this book to shed some light on the fact that people fall in love with these celebrities only to forget that they are only human and what you see on the television is just an image that they are selling.
7. Where can your readers reach you?
I can be reached on my Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/skeletons or they can shoot me an email at http://email@example.com. They can also check out my blog at www.blogspot.com/sixkidsandapen.com and I am also on twitter @sixkids_pen
You can get “Skeletons” by Shimeka McFadden on Kindle or Nook. The paperback is also available through Amazon.