With many letters after her name and a ton of student loan debt, she is always working to pay the bills. While she enjoys her day job, her passion is writing, and she uses her spare time writing or working on her social website for women, www.Chiczofrenic.com. She is hoping to sell enough of her books to buy her own private island and retire.
Laina is currently living in Indiana, with her family, and is always writing something, whether it’s blogs, articles, business journals and books or ideas for her next novel. She is continuously doing what she loves which is writing or drinking coffee. You can learn more about her on her website at www.lainaturner.com, follow her on twitter @lturnermolaski, facebook www.facebook.com/lainaturner or www.facebook.com/chiczofrenic
Why did you become a non-fiction writer…was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
I have always wanted to be a writer and because I enjoy experiencing a variety of things I enjoy writing about a variety of things. I am also a college professor by day and I think that also inspires me to write about nonfiction. I like true stories.
What was the inspiration for your latest work of non-fiction?
This book, Chiczofrenia – crazy is an art form, evolved out of a difficult time in my life. I started writing as a therapeutic process and when discussing it with a friend of mine she suggested that I turn it in a book. That I surely wasn’t the only women to feel the way I was feeling and maybe it would be helpful for others to read what I was going through.
What was the most interesting research you had to do for any of your books?
For Chiczofrenia, I asked for other women to contribute. I wanted to get women from all walks of life that did have similar obstacles in life with a positive outcome. I felt this would enhance the audience for my book. Make it more meaningful. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting so many amazing women.
Where do you go to do your research?
I use a lot of social networks. From Linked In, to Facebook, tSocialmoms.com. I also use HARO (Help a reporter out). I asked my current network who they might know that fits the demographic of who I am looking for. I have been amazed time and time again at how many people out there are willing to share.
How do you go from an idea for a book to its completion? Is the process the same for every book you write? How long does it take you to write a book?
I don’t know if it’s because of my academic background or not but I am one of those who writes from an outline. I get my idea then I brainstorm other ideas and start to try and organize the thoughts. I then just start writing to the outline. I go start to finish on the outline making notes of other tangent ideas I have to come back to. When I have finished that first rough, rough draft I then re-read seeing where I can fit those “tangent “ ideas and start the process over. I followed this method when writing my dissertation, nonfiction, and fiction books. It just works for me.
Are you currently working on any new book projects?
Yes. I am very passionate about promoting awareness for the disease Multiple Sclerosis and am putting the finishing details on a book of stories from people with MS. The purpose of this book is to hopefully inspire and educate others. The book will be released March 14th, 2011 in conjunction with national MS week.
Do you have any advice for beginning writers on how to write a non-fiction book? Do you have any advice for them regarding promoting that book once published?
My biggest pieces of advice would be research and don’t be afraid to ask for help. With nonfiction I feel you need to be passionate about your subject matter and be able to convey that to your reader. Knowing as much as you can makes you knowledgeable and confident.
Promotion wise you first need to have a platform to accompany your book. Start working that platform, getting your name out there, and make people aware as soon as you start the book writing process. Do NOT wait until your book is done to start this. You want to get people excited and build your credibility for the topic. You can’t start that soon enough.
What’s your writing schedule like? When do you find time to write?
I do have a full-time job as a college professor so I write during what I like to call second shift, which starts about 9:30pm after my kids are in bed. I am more creative early in the morning so I do my brainstorming then and then buckle down and crank out the words at night.
How did you find your publisher? What was your journey to publication like?
After much research and soliciting advice from agents and publishers at conferences I decided to go my own way and I formed a publishing company called Five Seas Ink. My original intent was to just publish my own works but have since picked up other authors. I will be publishing two authors this spring and have a few more interested. I am a business woman and knew I could take my business skill and apply it to my book selling. I spend just as much time, if not more, on the marketing and promoting of my work (and soon others). It is hard but worth it. My biggest piece of advice here is no matter if you self publish or go the traditional route don’t give up. It’s hard but if you are persistent it will pay off.
Do you have any writing idiosyncrasies?
I edit in long hand and it can’t be in blue or black ink. I like color. Especially green fine tip sharpies.
What’s the most challenging aspect of writing for you?
Right now it’s time. I would spend all my time on it if I could but I can’t. Yet. I am determined to create success this year that will allow me to write as my full time job.
Please share some information on your books. We’d love to find out more about your work.
Stilettos and Scoundrels
Presley Thurman, a sassy, thirty-something red head, was looking to reinvent herself. She didn’t allow the fact she was recently fired to bother her - she was ready to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a writer. Presley was a lover of shopping and Starbucks, and even though she sometimes had bad taste in men, she always had great taste in clothes.
However, the new writing job turned into something unexpected when the U.S. Senator she was slated to write about was murdered - in her home town! Presley was determined (not to mention curious) to find the killer and write her story. After all, she couldn’t afford her shoe habit without a job and she was certainly not one to shy away from danger. Presley was able to discover the Senator’s wife, Helen, had been having an affair… with her best friend’s boyfriend! Did Helen kill the Senator? Or was it the Senator’s love of gambling that got him killed? And what was Cooper’s secret tie to the mob boss Garrison Palazzo?
E-Book: $9.95 available on Kindle and iTunes
www.lainaturner.com, www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com
Chiczofrenia– crazy is an art form– released January 2011.
Chiczofrenic is the term for the woman who is purposeful and intentional in how crazy her life may be. The goal with this book is to recognize many women drive themselves crazy, intentionally, by trying to be all they can. I firmly believe we can have it all. A great relationship, being a great mom, keeping a good house (if that’s important to you), being a career woman, following your dreams, working out, eating right, and many more. Women seem to have the knack for how to manage it all and not go crazy. Women seem to always take on more and more…and are successful at it.
Women have tried forever to pretend they fit in the norm even when the norm wasn’t what they wanted. I want women to embrace that more - without caring what anyone thinks. Learn to laugh at your own craziness and be cool at the same time. Be the strong individual you want to be while looking like a million bucks.
Being a woman is difficult and is a constant evolution and journey of self-discovery. It’s not always an easy journey and through the process you realize everyone has her own issues. Her own brand of crazy, which is my own kind of normal. Crazy but embracing it.
Book: $14.95 Available on www.lainaturner.com, www.amazon.com
E-Book: $9.95 Available on Kindle and Smashwords
The MS Project – raising awareness for Multiple Sclerosis – due out March 2011.
A collection of stories of people afflicted by MS or who have loved ones afflicted. This book is meant to be informational regarding the disease as experienced by real people and to showcase the amazing strength people find when facing adversity. A portion of proceeds will go to the MS Society.
Book: $14.95 www.lainaturner.com, www.amazon.com
But It’s my Business
A necessary business owner’s field guide to avoiding the common pitfalls of owning and running a business, this book is filled with real stories relevant to any business owner. But It's My Business takes a practical, upbeat and candid look at why, as a business owner, you need to follow some rules but others are made to be broken. It also discusses how to get the biggest bang for your buck in areas such as your employees, your online presence, creating a brand, and leveraging your finances.
ISBN #: 0-578-03430-1
E-book $3.00 available on Kindle
www.lainaturner.com, www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com
Laina, thank you so much for stopping by today. I enjoyed our conversation and loved learning more about you and your work.