Author Interview, Marquita Herald

Posted on Friday, May 16, 2014 12:00 AM

Hello Everyone!

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Marquita Herald author of Stepping Stones to Emotional Resilience.
Hi Marquita, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
What inspired you to write your book?
I write about emotional resilience, and that interest represents a life-long passion. A lot of people grow up in dysfunctional families, in fact I often joke about how fear didn’t just run in my family - it galloped. At some point as a kid I became fascinated watching the people around me deal with fear and trauma and curious about why people react so differently to similar difficulties.
What brought it all together for me was a man I met several years ago by the name of W. Mitchell. Mitchell has overcome not one, but two horrific accidents that left him in a wheel chair, the fingers burned off his hands, and scars over most of his body. Mitchell’s motto is “It’s not what happens to you, it’s what you do about it.” He not only helped me understand the power of emotional resilience but inspired me to share the value of cultivating these characteristics with others.
Later, when I decided to try my hand at writing a book, there really was no question that it would be about the benefits of emotional resilience.
Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
I am pretty single minded in my passion about personal freedom and accepting the power and authority we each have to create our own live experience, so this is the central theme in all of my writing.
How much research do you do?
I work hard to keep up with the latest studies in the various areas of emotional resilience so I read a lot of research - piles and piles of studies. Not the most exciting material, and sometimes I have to reread a report a few times before I get all the technical jargon, but we’re talking people’s lives, so it’s important to me that the advice I share with my readers is based on proven scientific research. I also follow several personal development journals, and of course I’m active in social media which helps me to stay current on trends.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
No matter where I am in the world I naturally wake up on or before 4am, in fact I haven’t owned an alarm clock in years. My morning routine is always pretty much the same let my dog out, check email and the news over coffee and then I write until noon. Later in the day I work on my blog or other business related activities.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Writing in the self-help genre is tricky because you can’t just write what inspires you. You have to constantly monitor trends to see what issues people are grappling with and then - if it fits with your particular niche - come up with realistic ways to solve problems and offer encouragement.
At best self-help can inspire a reader to take action and provide a path, but ultimately it’s up to each of us to take that first step and it all boils down to how motivated someone is to make the most of their life.

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
I don’t really believe in writer’s block. Are there days I have to struggle for the right words - absolutely! But I treat writing as a business and that means not waiting for inspiration or until I feel like writing. I write every day whether the mood is there or not. The funny thing is I find that the more I write, the better I write.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I am a voracious reader and usually go through at least 3 to 4 books a week. By necessity a lot of my reading is non-fiction and related to research, so for leisure I prefer to give my brain a break and enjoy mystery/thrillers. There are probably a dozen authors I follow regularly but my favorites are James Rollins, David Rollins (no relation), Robert Crais and Tess Gerritsen.
For your own reading, do you prefer eBooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
These days I almost exclusively read eBooks because I live on an Island and when Border’s closed that left ordering books online. Paying shipping fees and having to wait for the book to come in the mail isn’t an attractive option so I ended up buying my first Kindle. I will still order a real book occasionally when I come across something special I want to add to my “reread” collection, but I admit I love the convenience of being able to download and start reading a book in a couple of minutes.
What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
For me there was never a question but that I would go the self-publishing route for my books. I love the flexibility and the opportunity to create my own destiny, I have a sales and marketing background so that’s made a big difference, and then there’s the fact I’m something of a control freak.
Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
I think free book promotions work as long as they are used strategically, for example as a way for a new author to get their name in front of new readers, or to break into a new market. Another good use is as a lead-in to a series or to indirectly introduce other books by the author. For example at the end of each of my books is a preview of another of my books with a link to that sales page. I rarely offer my books for free anymore, but I do periodically run bargain promotions and find that sales for my other books tend to peak at the same time.
How do you relax?
In my past life I was blessed to have a successful travel industry career that took me around the world and over the years the urge to travel has never diminished. I love exploring new places, doesn’t matter if it’s a road trip across the country, a trek on the Bullet Train across Japan, or poking around ancient ruins in Pompeii. Otherwise, I enjoy reading; spending quiet time with close friends and hiking around our Island with my dog Lucy.
What is your favorite inspirational quote?
My favorite quote reflects my philosophy on life. “There is only one success - to be able to spend your life in your own way.” ~Christopher Morley
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Don’t wait until you’re ready to push the publish button to start thinking about how you’re going to get your book into the hands of readers. As tempting as it is to avoid having to invest time building a platform, without a ready audience it’s really going to be tough to sell enough books to make a difference to you emotionally or financially. It takes time, but it really isn’t hard in fact I wrote a book on building a platform for beginners that I use with the first time authors I’ve mentored.
What are you working on at the minute?
I started out in life as an artist, but in college the notion of joining the ranks of starving artists didn’t quite cut it for me, so I gave it up in favor of a more practical career in sales and marketing. But one of my dreams has always been to write and illustrate a book and that’s what I’m working on now. If all goes as planned A Rainbow in Your Pocket will be published in June.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
The best place to follow and connect with me is through my website, Emotionally Resilient Living. In addition to the latest news on my books and bi-weekly articles I have a lot in the works there including upcoming workshops and in July I’ll be launching a quarterly digital magazine.

Amazon Author Page:
Global Book Link for Stepping Stones:

Loren Mathis

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