This is my fourth & final week of celebrating the Self-Published authors. It has been a wonderful month spotlighting self-published authors here on Hesperia Loves Books. Hopefully you’ve found their books interesting and have been motivated to add their books to your TBR and/or purchase them. I also hope that you’ll continue to support the fabulous community of the self-published/Indie author! I will continue to spotlight one author every month here and would love for you to come back and help shine the spotlight with me!
This week I’m spotlighting Sandra McGregor, author of the Duty series, which include Duty Calls, Duty Bound & Duty Free. This series spotlights the military while following three Air Force pilots through the trials of being in the military & finding love. During this weeks’ spotlight I’ll be interviewing Sandra, as well as, reviewing the books, a special Halloween themed guest post and offering you a chance to win some exciting prizes! Each day of the spotlight, Sandra will be giving away a e-copy of a book in the series. At the end of the event, a grand prize winner will be drawn for a $15 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. The contest runs from October 25 – 28 and the Rafflecopter widget is at the bottom of the post, make sure to enter!
HLB: Tell me how the idea came to you for the ‘Duty’ series?
I have a son-in-law whom I’m very proud of. He’s an Air Force pilot, recently retired, but working with a civilian contractor and still in the Pentagon. He’s a triathlete, Ironman, and a gentleman. He was my inspiration for a lot of what’s in the three books. For instance, in the third book, Duty Free, I chose for my officer to take a position training pilots in Texas because my son-in-law, (Barry “Kent” Barker of Virginia) had that assignment. Also in the third book, the pilots talk about another pilot bringing in an airplane on its belly in the sand because the hydraulics failed. My SIL had to do that in the desert.
HLB: I love reading stories where the central or main character is a member of the military. Is this your first series with this subject matter? Will there be more books in this series?
This is the first series I’ve written about military personnel. I’m very proud of our military…not to mention how proud I am of my grandson, who just got out of the Marines, and my granddaughter, who is in the Navy and stationed in Japan.
More books in the series? I’ve considered additional books, but I’ll wait a bit to see how these are received.
HLB: You chose to indie publish some of your work, does this allow you more freedom as a writer?
I’m published traditionally, under another name, and now I’m working in both areas. But to answer your question, yes, indie publishing has given me a chance to publish some stories that I wrote several years ago that didn’t fit a slot that the publishers were looking for….now they’re available and I’m very excited about that.
HLB: I asked this question & the next to Kathy Bennett, but I would love to hear your thoughts as well. I hope that through this event & others, that I can help bring awareness & much needed publicity to the self-pubbed world. What are the 3 biggest challenges that you face as a self-pubbed author?
Being just a hair techier than my cat, Jack, uploading my books and getting covers done is, by far, the biggest challenge. Fortunately, God blessed me with a husband who is not only highly techie, but patient, cooperative, willing to help, cheerleads for me…and brings me a cup of coffee in the morning. And, no, he’s not for sale. (lol) I’ve had him for several decades and I’m kinda fond of him.
Getting the word out about my books. There’s such a number of great indie books being published now, I think a lot of good books get buried quickly and unless the author is media savvy, their numbers will always remain low. The public might very well might miss a lot of great books because of only looking at the top 100 or those books with several 5-star reviews.
I’m part of the retired generation now and I’ve found that my friends have a lot more time to read, but the majority of them don’t have e-readers. That makes it a challenge for them to read my indie books. I’m glad to see e-reader prices dropping…maybe more of them will join the current trend of e-books.
HLB: If you were giving advice to an aspiring writer, who was trying to chose whether or not to self-publish, what would you tell them?
An author gains a lot of experience going through the traditional publishing process. They discover about editing, for example, that is vital if they’re going to indie publish their books. (I do an edit, then I run the story through an editing program…make the changes…then hubby does a last read.)
Once their book is as “clean” …..no grammar errors…as they can make it, then I think if they would rather indie pub than traditional publish, they they should do it. Just know in advance that you’re going to have to give up considerable time to market your book and yourself.
HLB: What are five things that you want your readers to know about you?
I love writing—it’s something that I HAVE to do.
I love readers—afterall, where would all the authors be without them?
I’ve found writing is a way to share little bits of myself with others. (my husband recognized a conversation in one of my books as sounding very familiar. His comment was: “I sure glad you don’t write erotic.”)
As a Christian, my books, although not Inspirational, will always be about families, problems and solutions so they can live happily ever after.
I love my country and my Duty series is a tribute to the miliary personnel and their families.
HLB: After reading this series I’m very interested in reading more of your work. What book or series of yours do you suggest next?
I have another series…this one suspense and about three sisters in three different professions, that will be published by the first of 2012, but in the meantime, if you’re looking for a women’s fiction, Pennies On The Dollar, if you like contemporary cowboy stories ala Texas Ranger, then I’d suggest Wrangler For Hire. But if you enjoy a bit of fantasy, time travel and parallel world style, then Into My Dreams is for you.
HLB: What, other than writing, are you passionate about?
I love to travel and I love to be with friends and family. Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming and that’s MY favorite time of year.
HLB: What is next for you? Are there any future releases that you’d like us to be aware of?
I mentioned the series about the sisters, but I’m also working on a single title that’s loosly based on my parents and how they met during WWII. It will be called Cora Jean.
HLB: What are you currently reading?
This week I’m reading The Woof in the Wedding Plans by Regina Duke (and so far I’m LOVING it) since she’s a guest on my blog this week. Also I’m reading A Knight In Cowboy Boots by Suzie Quint
Sandra McGregor was challenged by her husband in 2001 to not wait until retirement in 2005 to start writing the books he had been hearing about almost since they had been married decades earlier. Picking up the gantlet he threw down, she spent the next 8 years
honing her craft and finishing 21 manuscripts. She now lives in South Georgia with her husband and cat and enjoys reading, writing and
Just recently, she e-published six of her earlier stories, so check her site often to see what’s new! She also invites you to visit her on her blog, Life, Love and A Good Book.
I read to save my sanity, plain & simple. I am a married mother of 3 (2 of which are teenagers, yay me!) who needs an escape from the eye rolls, attitude and day to day drama that comes along with raising teenagers. Without books, I would be medicated ;)