"Share The Wealth" Welcomes DANITA CAHILL
Today I bid a warm welcome to, Danita Cahill. Tell us a little about yourself, Danita.
Thanks for having me as a guest, Anna. I’m a wife, mother, alpaca rancher and master gardener.
I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was 14, which is the year I shared some free-verse poetry with my English teacher. He turned the poetry in to the local weekly paper – the Coastal Currents in Waldport, Oregon. What a nice surprise when they printed all three poems over the following weeks. I saw my byline and I was hooked! I sold my flute and bought a word processor, determined to be a writer.
Have you had other careers before becoming a writer?
I owned and operated a seasonal retail nursery/greenhouse business called DanCin’ Bloomers Greenhouse in Shedd, Oregon for 12 years. During the bedding-plant off season I was a painter for a cottage industry called Short Subjects – which is pretty funny since I am 5’10”! We made miniature porcelain scenes that were sold in galleries around the country. As a teenager I worked at two fish plants. Now there’s a glamorous job! I was a volunteer deputy for six years with the Linn County Sheriff’s Office Mounted Posse. Among other duties, the posse does wilderness search and rescue on horseback.
Are you a full time writer or do you have a “day job”?
I am a full time writer and photographer. I do freelance assignments for newspapers and magazines. Two of the newspapers I worked most frequently for just closed their doors last month. I’m still a little in mourning, not only for the loss of work, but for the loss of the community newspapers. There really is nothing else that can take their place. But on a positive note, it opened up more time for me to work on book projects.
Tell us about your current series/WIP.
I’m working on a short romance novel with paranormal elements, working title DAISIES ARE TRUE. I hope to have it up and available for Kindle by March.
Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
Story ideas often come from dreams. DAISIES ARE TRUE was inspired by a good dream, while the concept for MIST came from a nightmare.
What was the deciding factor in self-publishing your book(s)? Did you decide on ebook or print only or both?
I tried the traditional find-an-agent and send-out-query-letters-to-editors routine. The process is so slow and disheartening I simply ran out of patience. And I liked the idea of having control over my work – control to choose how the story goes, the cover, the price, all that.
I’ve had several stories and a photo go into non-fiction anthologies published nationally by a big publisher, but MIST was my first foray into self-publishing. It’s definitely a learn-as-you-go experience.
How long have your book(s) been out?
MIST was published for Kindle in mid-October, 2012. I went through Amazon’s CreateSpace for paperback POD. Paperbacks became available the first week of December, 2012.
I had a big launch party in mid-November with music, food, wine and a “fortuneteller.” A friend took pre-orders for paperbacks. I’ll be doing my first book signing for MIST with that friend, Paty Jager and another author, Anna Brentwood on January 19 at Jan’s Paperback Books in Aloha, Oregon. I’m pretty pumped!
All self-pubbed books are rumoured to be shoddily edited. What do you say to that?
I say have an editor read through your book, whether it’s an editor friend or someone hired. Also, find some good critique partners so you can exchange work, get advice and catch one another’s typos.
Was your road to publication difficult or a walk in the park?
Ha! I can’t think of a single author I know who would say the publication path is a stroll through the park. It’s a path paved with indecision, self-doubt and disappointments. But it’s also gratifying and makes you feel pretty darn proud of yourself for persevering to the end of the trail.
Give us an elevator pitch for your book.
MIST is about a young widow, an old flame, a fortune teller and a pack of evil, red-eyed dogs. It’s a supernatural thriller with strong romantic elements.
Thanks for sharing your journey with us, Danita. Good luck with your book. I look forward to the release of Daisies are True.