How do you manage to balance your time between family, friends, and writing?
Prayer, lots of prayers. It was harder when I tried to do it on my own. But when I decided the first thing I do every morning is give the day to God and ask Him to do with it as He wills, I can go with the flow a lot better. Things are scheduled, but if something else comes along I don't fret. But you have to learn the difference between when God is changing your day and when the devil just wants to keep you from accomplishing something God wants you to do. That is why prayer is so important. The devil hates to see us pray and he hates to see us give things over to God. There is calm in the will of God, even if the world is collapsing around you. There is chaos outside of God's will, even if things are going well. And when things are going well and you are in the will of God that is beyond amazingly joyous!
If you could spend one hour with just one person, whom would you choose?
Dead or alive? If alive I spend more than an hour with the people I care to spend an hour with, if dead it would be George MacDonald, my spiritual father.
Do you have any advice for writers who are striving to be published?
Write and believe that your experiences are unique to you. Believe that you have a story to tell that no one else would write exactly the same way, even if given the same story plot. Your life impacts your writing. Most writers now will need to self-publish to write the way they want to write. For every dream story of a writer making it big, there are so many others who have had their hearts and hopes broken by the publishing business. But thankfully today there are so many more opportunities to get published with the internet, with e-books, audiobooks etc. Self-publishing means you believe in yourself enough to put your own money on the line. If you don't believe in yourself no one else will. If you are in it for money alone, it is a hard job you are choosing. It is rare that you will be making what you want from writing. Most people have to do something else most of their life, but they write because they are writers and they write whether they are paid to do it or not.
When I finished the Soaring Free Trilogy I went looking for a publisher. My biggest problem when thinking about putting my work out there, was having someone else “mess” with it. It was my work, my words, my story and I knew best how I wanted it told. Thirteen years ago in my search I came across Sci Fi Arizona and Michael McCollum. Before e-books were much more than a concept, he formed Sci Fi Arizona, that is where I first found him. He was published in the traditional way, in the beginning, but he formed his own author-owned bookstore on the Internet. I corresponded with him, asking him about his business with the thought of doing something like it myself. He was very helpful and we sent e-mails back and forth. He had already been thinking of opening his resources to other writers wanting to do the same thing as he was doing. The Soaring Free Trilogy was first published under Sci Fi Arizona under a section on his site called Author's Showcase. It wasn't long before he formed Third Millennium Publishing, a cooperative of online writers and resources. There are probably a lot of other places out there, but I have been so pleased working with Michael McCollum and Third Millennium Publishing that I would recommend it as an option to anyone looking to get their book published.
Thank you, Nelani, for such answering my questions in such an interesting way.
If you wish to obtain a copy of Soaring Free for your own reading enjoyment, you may visit the author's website at 3mpub.com/nettrour/.
If you would like a copy of Arcan's Revenge for your own reading pleasure, I have placed an Amazon link for this book below.