Hi Bernadette Marie, thank you for agreeing to this interview.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
I’m a Colorado native. My husband and I have been married for 23 years and we have 5 hockey playing sons. I’m a full-time author, CEO of 5 Prince Publishing, Private Moments Publishing, and Illumination Author Events. I love yoga and eating good food…so it’s a wash. Love Colorado, so beautiful.
Discuss your newest book.
My newest book, WALKER BRIDE, is the 3rd book in my Walker Family series. The Walker Family series is based around two sides of the Walker family, and this book is Pearl Walker’s story.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I remember falling in love with the TV miniseries which were based on books, when I was about 13. I decided I wanted to write the books that became the mini-series, and then of course star in them..
What are your current projects?
Currently I am finishing up the 4th Walker Book, WANDERLUST. I’m also working on the 2nd book in the Denver Brides trilogy. Also, I’m working on a 3 book mini-series withing my Aspen Creek series. Whew, busy little beaver!
What books have most influenced your life most?
They’d be the ones that made me fall in l’ve with reading. Those are THE THORN BIRDS and IF TOMORROW COMES.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Again, it was the mini-series aspect. So my friends and I wrote letters in notebooks, but we were characters. Eventually I took my character and began to write her story. I’ve never published that first book, but it’s being rewritten into that mini-series for my Aspen Creek series.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
The main female character in my up coming WANDERLUST, is special because she comes from Lucca, Italy. I fell in love with Lucca on a trip there last year, so I had to write about it.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
In all of my books I try to portray the thought, be true to you. Also, all of my females are strong, because women are strong, physically and mentally. Also, most of my male characters are gentle. I want women to know that men can be sensitive too. Breaking sterotypes, love it.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
This is always hard for me because I don’t see real people in my characters. Well…except at some point, all of my male characters come across to me as John Corbett.
When did you decide to become a writer?
When I was 13 years old. I knew it was what I wanted to do.
Why do you write?
I write because if feeds my soul. I can’t go without writing. My head spins out of control if I don’t write. I’m obsessed.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
Because I knew I could and someone said it was good. That fed me for years and years.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
I write full-time.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
For me, it’s stopping. I usually fall asleep with my hands on the keys.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
The hardest part about WALKER BRIDE, was keeping everyone important to someone else’s story. That’s the hardest part when you write family series.
What is the easiest thing about writing?
Editing. You can’t find your own mistakes. Agreed
What book are you reading now?
Nora Roberts, BLOOD MAJICK
What is one random thing about you?
My neck is always cold so I often have scarves on even if I don’t have on a coat.
What is your preferred medium of writing? Pen and paper or strictly tablet and computer?
My trusty laptop.
What does your writing process look like?
I just go with the flow. I don’t have to give it much thought to get a book going or finished. And I write all the time, so as for a process, it’s whenever I’m not driving.
Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
I think the only strange thing I do is make a lot of faces at the computer to try and get an expression down, but I know all authors do that.
How important are names to you in your books?
They are very important. Each character is a child to the author. You want a name that means something and you don’t mind typing a thousand times. Kind of like naming a child, I’ve heard before you decide on a name to say it in different ways to make sure you can live with it.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
After 26 books, I suppose it would be trying to keep everything fresh.
Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future?
Do not accept a contract proposal from a publishing house that comes after you. Authors approach publishing houses, not the other way around.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
Don’t hold back from doing something because of the time it will take. Time will pass anyway.
What is your favorite book and why?
My favorite book would be IF TOMORROW COMES by Sidney Sheldon. I just fell in love with it and have read it multiple times. Every part of it sticks with me.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never, ever, ever give up on your dream of writing if that’s what you want to do. And no one gets to make the decision to go forward or backward but you.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I’m usually watching my kids play hockey.
From where do you gain your inspiration?
Everything inspires me, but country music has the most influence. Finally someone else who likes country music!
What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
I’m a huge advocate for self-publishing, even though I’m a publisher. Being in control of your creative process is wonderful, however, the downside is you have to maintain persistence. It’s a whole lot of work! I’m not saying agents aren’t important, and I think there are certain genres where they are more important, but I think the industry has changed enough that if you can cut out that middle man the profit is greater that’s coming to you.
How do you market your books?
I do a lot of social media…a lot!
Why did you choose this route?
I chose this route because I wanted control. If I made mistakes, they were mine. If I failed it was my own fault. But I succeeded.
Would you or do you use a PR agency?
I have used big PR agencies in the past, but for romance, I think that using the smaller ones that utilize social media are very worth the money, if they are organized and have a good following.
Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
If you stop talking about them, they stop looking for them. The best marketing tool is to keep writing. Who cares if you’ve only written one book if they’ve read it. People want more if they enjoyed it.
What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?
Sadly, a lot more than I do writing. I’d say at 1/4 of my day is spent marketing.
What do you do to get book reviews?
I have always been very lucky in this aspect. I have an established reader base and reviews come quickly and are plentiful. But blog tours, beta readers, and street teams are great for getting reviews.
How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?
It’s been fairly easy for e.
Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?
As I stated before, blog tours, beta readers, and street teams are great places to get reviews.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
They’re all good. Bad reviews sometimes point out legit items that need fixed. Yes, most the time they are not even real reviews. But I don’t read reviews. Reviews are for the reader, not the author. I’ve had some stellar 1-star reviews and some really bad 5 star reviews. You can’t get caught up on them or you’ll stop writing.
Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you?
I can’t think of any.
What’s your views on social media for marketing?
Social media marketing in today’s society is crucial!
Which social network worked best for you?
Facebook has been a gem.
Any tips on what to do and what not to do?
Do not over do the memes!!! After a while your audience just keeps scrolling by. Don’t whine about your views either.
Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?
We do press releases and host release parties for our book launches. And yes, they work well.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
I’d love to meet Oprah. I’m just very inspired by her.
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
Harry Potter! I love seeing the success it has had and what has come from it. (But I can’t make stuff up like that.)
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Let people read your work and send it out! Stop editing it. You need to puke out your story, polish it once, and then send it off.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
They can find me here: