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Jan 23

"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.

18 comments

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  1. mjdresselbooks

    I hope your recent book signing went well! You’re doing great marketing because I see this book at a lot of places online. I come across so many authors who also share a love of photography. It must be because it’s another form of creativity. It’s my second love as well. Good luck with Mist!

  2. cahillphotojournalism.com

    Thanks for the marketing compliment mj! That’s a good thing to hear. I’m so new at this indie thing I’m playing it by ear! And interesting that so many authors are also photographers. I’ve found many are also cover designers or graphic artists, too. I think you’re right – it’s another form of creativity. We creatives are not happy unless we’re creating, are we?

    Thanks so much for hosting me today, Anna!

    Danita Cahill

  3. cahillphotojournalism.com

    PS. The book signing was wonderful! The owner of the book store had done a fantastic job of promoting the event. Their was a steady stream of readers, friends and family that came through the bookstore, visited and bought books. The other two authors and I had so much fun, chatting, laughing and eating goodies! We also sold quite a few books, which was just a bonus!

    Danita Cahill

    1. cahillphotojournalism.com

      Oops! There was a steady stream…

      Note to self: Always proofread before hitting the publish button.

      Danita

  4. Paty Jager

    This was a fun interview to read. Thank you Anna and Danita.

    Mist is a great book that gets you to thinking about more than the scary parts. And, yes, the book signing was fun!

  5. Barrie

    Hi Danita! What great interview questions and answers. I read Mist and loved it. I only wish I’d be able to attend your book launch!

  6. cahillphotojournalism.com

    Thanks Paty! And it was a fun book signing. I want to do another like that soon!

    Barrie – thanks and yes, I wish you didn’t live so dang far away. We will get together one of these days.

    Danita

  7. Maureen McGowan

    Fabulous interview! It is disheartening to hear that so many small town newspapers are going. 🙁

  8. cahillphotojournalism.com

    PS – I keep thinking of things I meant to say…

    I mentioned in the interview that two newspapers I worked for closed. Yesterday I interviewed with the communities editor of another group of newspapers. She gave me the choice of two jobs – full-time reporter for one paper, or freelance writer/photographer for two+ papers. I’ve worked full-time as a crime reporter at a daily. It was exciting, but I was too metally exhausted to pursue any other writing projects. I know that would happen again. So, you guessed it – I chose the freelance job. Yay! I’m no longer partially unemployed.

    Danita

    1. cahillphotojournalism.com

      Metally exhausted? Who wrote that? ha!
      Danita

  9. cahillphotojournalism.com

    Thanks Maureen! Good news is the two community newspapers I just signed on with as feature writer seem to be still going strong. The history value of newspapers cannot be under rated. Think of when you want to research how a town was 50-100 years ago, where do you look? In the newspaper archives. When these newspapers are forced to close their doors because of financial issues, there is nothing to take their place. My message? Subscribe to and support your local papers. Okay, stepping off my soapbox now. ; )

    Danita

  10. Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel

    Hi, Danita! Pleased to hear you have a couple other newspapers you will be doing freelance work for–I so enjoy your articles. And great you will still have time to work on other projects too!

  11. cahillphotojournalism.com

    Thanks Genene! Sure appreciate you stopping in and commenting.

    Danita

  12. Karen Duvall

    Great interview, Danita! I didn’t know you used to own a nursery. My husband would be so envious. Our house looks like an indoor jungle because of him. I appreciate the greenery, but he goes overboard. 🙂 Best of luck with the book!

  13. Misty Simon

    Danita! What a great interview! I love that your stories come from dreams. Mist was a page turner and I’m ure Daisies wil be too!

  14. cahillphotojournalism.com

    Thanks Karen! My nursery was called DanCin’ Bloomers Greenhouse (I started with a partner named Cindy, thus the Dan and Cin part). I did that from 1986-1999. It was a ton of work, but also a ton of fun. That’s nice your hubby has a green thumb.

    Danita

  15. cahillphotojournalism.com

    Thanks, Misty! Daisies has a nice paranormal element, not a scary book.
    Danita

  16. cahillphotojournalism.com

    Thanks again for having me, Anna. What a fun time I had. I would be honored to guest here again, if you’ll have me.

    Thanks to everyone who stopped by. A special thanks to all those who commented!

    Danita

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