You have been invited to share your promotional experience with others.
Your Name: Deborah DeNicola
1. Where you are from and where are you now?
I was born in Washington State, grew up in Manhasset, Long Islan, New York and spent most of my adult life in New England, Maine and Massachusetts. I’m in South Florida now, by default really, as I am caring for an elderly parent with dementia. I only intended to be here for a year but it is now going on four and I have found a life here, although all my belongings are still in storage in Boston. I’m really living in the moment and don’t know where I’ll end up. I miss New England’s intellectual climate but there is a thriving spiritual community here that has been very supportive of my work.
2. How did you get started writing?
I always wrote from the time I learned my letters. I remember a story I wrote in third grade “Krushchev and the Co-Co-Puffs” about a little girl who goes to Moscow and takes down the Iron Curtain singlehandedly by seducing the communist dictator with a sweet cereal.
I’ve always had a big imagination and I even had imaginary friends who (in retorspect) I’m not sure were imaginary. I wrote stories for a long time and in high school began writing poetry. Then in college I was a French major and I actually wrote some poems in French. But I was in and out of creative writing, and it wasn’t until my late twenties that I came forth from the poetry closet. I seemed to write because I couldn’t help it. It made me feel good. I was always a bit introverted and I amused myself with writing. Now if I’m not working on something, I get very antsy. I like to write poems late at night when the world is very silent.
Although I have also been in dozens of writing groups and enjoy participating in public events, conferences etc., writing this current memoir was a little different because I had never written about metaphysical experiences before and I was still in the academic closet. My mother’s illness and my move to Florida actually freed me to embrace the book and find a publisher.
3. What do you do when you are not writing?
All the stuff you have to do to keep living! I dance three hours a week. I have over twenty years of teaching experience, mostly independently and as adjunct faculty. I owned a bookstore for several years. Somehow I’ve never landed the job with the insurance coverage and the 401K, so I’ve lived in the moment on a wing and a prayer. I’ve been a freelance writer, book and arts reviewer, radio book reviewer, poetry and dream workshop facilitator, Writing and Literature professor. I’ve periodically been a nine to five temp employee. I’ve raised a child, led dream groups out of my home . . . and I’m an avid reader. I’d much rather read a book than go shopping, and it’s a good thing because I’ve paid the price for freedom to pursue what I love in that I have not made big bucks (yet). But tthrough synchronicity and receptivity, I have always had the means to take the next step.
4. What would readers like to know about you?
I’ve also spent many, many years studying Jungian psychology in Boston and in Zurich, and though I am not a card carrying psychologist, I do creative dream work and was trained by a Jungian mentor in a private group for many years. I am very interested in the creative unconscious and how it functions in both writing and dreams. I have written about dreams and dream image work, (see essays on my web site) and dreams play a role in my memoir, The Future That Brought Her Here.
I can lead anyone through this dream process that will unravel the meaning of his or her dream. I offer this service through my web site plus a “lighter” service for $25 I’ll respond by email to a dream.
My other job is as a writing mentor. I can also help anyone with a writing project, in all genres and at whatever stage it is at. I also offer this service through my web site, intuitivegateways.com
5. What inspired your first book?
My first book, Rainmakers, published by Coyote Love Press was a beautiful letter-press chapbook with wood cut illustrations by the artist Billy Bowman including sixteen poems from my M.F.A. thesis. I was lucky to have a small press editor befriend me in Portland, Maine where I had my bookstore and the chapbook came out right after I graduated. I still like those early poems, many were love poems. Nothing like a good or bad romance to get the muses singing, or wailing . . .
6. How many books have you written?
Seven if you count the chapbooks. (Note: a chapbook is a shorter poem printed in less than 500 copies) I have four chapbooks of poetry, two of them award winners; Rainmakers, Psyche Revisited, The Harmony of the Next and Inside Light; a full-length poetry collection from Alice James Books, Where Divinity Begins, a forthcoming full-length poetry collection (2010), Original Human (although some of the chapbook poems are in it), a memoir, The Future That Brought Her Here, and I compiled and edited an anthology of contemporary poems on Greek Mythology, entitled Orpheus & Company.
7. What are the titles of your books and what genres are they?
See previous question.
8. Why are you specially qualified to write about this topic?
If you mean my the subjects in my memoir, The Future That Brought Her Here, my latest book, of course I am qualified to discuss my inner life, my interfaces with dreams and synchronicities, my metaphysical experiences which are unique and personal, and my research into the topics of Christian Gnosticism, Mary Magdalen, The Black Madonnas, esoteric philosophy that I’ve studied and other occult symbolic systems such as astrology, numerology and tarot. (Whew! That’s a long sentence).
I’ve studied and taught ancient world literature, English and American literature and contemporary fiction and poetry. All of these come into the book. I’m reading more about quantum physics and the interplay between religion and spirituality, the laws of manifestation, the law of attraction, the law of paradoxical intent (when you create what you don’t want) and the history of secret doctrines from Egyptian and Medieval times up on through the ages.
The book is about the growing awareness of an evolutionary leap the human species is making. There is a theory called “punctuated equilibrium” where humanity has undergone shifts of consciousness over time, such as the recognition of the bicameral mind eons ago. We are now at the end of 3 huge cycles coming together concurrently in the early part of the 21st century. I have senses now I was not aware of for most of my life. Our vibrations are speeding up, the dense body is taking in more light. Ego-based responses to situations are not as viable as they once were. The heart is being opened on a massive level. We are spiritual beings living in physicality and we are becoming more aware of that. We are eternal therefore there is not so much to fear about passing over since it is just a changing of form. I have become aware of these phenomena through experiental means. All of this is discussed in my book in much greater detail.
9. How do you manage to keep yourself focused and on track when you’re writing a book?
I go where my passion is, then I begin writing. You can start writing a book in the middle or at the end. As I see the book taking shape from the subjects that interest me then I am more consciously shaping it. I wrote a lot of this book while teaching five courses a semester and three in the summer, which meant, I had weekends, not even week nights. But I managed to get myself fellowships at writing colonies for the months of August and most of January when I didn’t have classes. I still maintained a social life but I probably don’t spend as much time watching television or cleaning my house or shopping as I could.
I also have lived alone since my son grew up. I think I just prioritized the writing. I enjoy it though it is also hard work. “There will be time for visions and revisions” as T.S. Eliott says in his poem on Prufrock. Revision is the name of the game. Writing takes a lot of time. The memoir took me eight years.
10. Do you write to make money, for the love of writing or both?
I have made some money from my writing reviews and even poems, my anthology was adopted in a lot of courses so I made some money on that book but not a lot, not enough to live on. I’ve won awards and grant money but no, it could not support me for very long.
I have to say I write for the love of writing but also because it is comes to be part of a lifestyle. Writers read other writers and are inspired by lives dedicated to words and making sense of the world with words. It deepens your living experience to reflect on it, to describe what it’s like to be in the world both physically and emotionally.
Poetry particularly looks into the value of a moment, an insight, an awareness. Images and metaphor bring together disparate things and make something new, connections, bridges. One begins to find that writing effects how you live. It’s not just about information, though there may be information and a point to make. But lyrical poetry and narrative often have more psychic information to deliver and the love of language and the surprises language creates come to be personally important.
12. What are some unique methods of marketing you have used? Which were the most successful?
The whole marketing question is difficult for me. I could not hire a publicist, way out of my price range. Small publishers don’t help much because they don’t have an advertising budget. I feel fortunate that I have always had publishers and haven’t had to pay for publishing myself, which is a bigger and bigger trend in this economy.
I did an Amazon Best Seller campaign which went against my natural grain but succeeded in getting the memoir to the #1 spot on Amazon’s best seller list for social sciences and psychology. I even have the screen shot!
But I find selling oneself very challenging. I think the success of a book like mine will have to come from word-of-mouth. The whole publishing industry is suffering in this economy. Publishing has become “Big Business” and the corporate structures decide which books will be most visible to the public, which books will make money. The publishers buy the end caps in Barnes and Nobles. They are paying for exposure. And the public, I believe, is dictated to about what to buy.
There is a catch-22 for most unknown writers in that you can’t prove you’ll be best seller until you have been one. Oprah, of course, has been a big player in making a writer’s career. Then again, imagine how many writers are trying to get Oprah’s attention. I’ve advertised some myself. I’ve done this blog tour. I’ve set up events, classes in spiritual bookstores, readings. I have a press kit. It all costs money and takes time and I’d rather be writing . . . but, of course, it’s necessary.
13. Do you sell through a website? If so, what’s the address? If not, why not?
My web site is www.intuitivegateways.com and has links to the publisher and amazon.com (which discounts the books). I sell services through my web site and I may eventually sell my books there but I have to buy the books (at a discount) from my publisher and I’d just as soon not have to fulfill mail orders. To increase visibility, I’ve just created a blog on dreams, which I may expand to other spiritual topics. I want to educate people on the shifting paradigm so I will continue teaching spirituality. Right now there is a FREE MP3 download of my poetry on my web site. I may sell in eventuallly.
14. Where can people order your books?
All the major distributors have the memoir. People can order my poetry books from their publishers or at any bookstore if it is not stocked, or at the online stores: Barnes and Nobles online, Borders online, Amazon online. The major distributor for my publisher is redwheelweiser.com.
15. What format are your books – e-book, print, audio etc?
Print. Though I do have the MP3 audio of my love poetry “Poetry to the Beloved” on my web site for a FREE download. I am thinking of doing the book on audio, I need to find a company that helps me do that.
16. Will you write more books?
I think I will always write more books. Right now I am compiling a book of essays right now entitled “Cinderella Rocketing; Essays on Creative Dream Work.” Several of the essays have been published in journals.The title essay is forthcoming in the journal Tiferet, another is soon to be published online at OM Magazine put out by Humanityhealing.com. I have the poetry book coming out in 2010. And I am always writing poems and submitting them to journals. Many are in online journals or archives at this time. People can google my name and find man poems in online journals.
17. What do you have in the works now?
In addition to the essays I’m compiling, I also have 100 pages of a novel, written in 1999- 2000, but have not gone back to it yet. It would be nice to have an agent to work with on that.
I would like to finish it but I’m more concerned with advancing my career as a dream worker and spiritual teacher right now.
18. What does the future hold for you and your books?
I don’t know truthfully. I hope to keep teaching independently and do more public spaeking. I assume as we are all evolving that I will be evolving too. Many of us know our purpose is to wake up humanity and be a teacher of healing work as people will need to know how to integrate the new energies on the planet.
19. What was the most successful thing you did to promote your books?
So far it was the Amazon blast. I am going to do some google ads but haven’t had time to learn about that yet. Maybe Facebook too. I am focusing on the Internet because my services are there. THe blog tour has been wonderful. i love responding to the questions and hosts like Phil Harris ask really interesting, intense questions. I also had a chance to write an essay “Why the Current Economic Crisis is a Good Thing” which should be on http://blog.voiceoftheangels.com Monday, 11/22.
20. What was the least successful thing you did to promote your books?
Advertise, one shot here and there. I don’t have a good measure of results for this. I’ll have a full page ad in the literary journal Tiferet along with my essay. It’s hard to know where to put an ad when you can’t do a whole campaign.
22. What makes this book special to you?
It’s my life! And I’ve had some miracles . . . and this awakening is everybody’s destiny sooner or later.
23. What sort of comments have you gotten about the content of the book?
Mostly wonderful comments. Many good reviews from both professional reviewers and customers. Surprisingly no one has debunked my metaphysical experiences! Maybe I’ve had the right audience thus far. The book is still quite new. I have 15 raves for customer reviews on Amazon, a book club that loved it and I’m leaving for Boston to have three book events after Thanksgiving.
24. What makes this a book that other people MUST read and WHY?
Mine is one of many current books that speaks of a global shifting paradigm at this point in human history. The subtitle, “memoir of a call to awaken” demonstrates that it’s a personal book, but it’s also a call to the collective. The coming age has been called a return of “The Golden Age,” humankind before the so-called “fall.” Through many strains of many religions and philosophies, this time has been prophesied.
I had no intention of becoming a “light-worker” or “way-shower” until I began having some strange metaphysical experiences. My quest to find out what was happening to me led me down all the roads the book explores and convinced me there is indeed something new going on on this planet.
In the process of my exploration I found thousands of people on the same page. Intuitively people are opening to more psychic power and understanding of this emerging age where equality and the connection of all of us to one another will become evident. The archetypal energy of Mary Magdalen seems to have emerged collectively with many other men and women too. She brings a message of the return of the atrophied feminine “way of knowing.”
The powers that be have kept us feeling separate and in fear. The old dogmas of traditional religions no longer hold. People are freeing themselves from the bondage of guilt, unworthiness and powerlessness.
The coming transition is likely to be bumpy since the mainstream media is owned by the corporate world and the powerful conglomerates will horde their power until they have no choice but to be over-ridden with collective consensus. We’ve already seen a lot of crumbling power but hopefully people will be awakening in greater numbers to the new energy on earth.
We will become aware that we are not alone in the universe and that the earth has a new consciousness that will no longer support war and inequity and evil. We have all lived many lives, been the victims and the victimizers. Forgiveness and self-forgiveness will level the playing field. The sooner people wake up, the easier it will be to go through this transition. That’s why people need to read my book, and/or the many other books announcing these same messages.
25. What people NEED to read this book and WHY?
Everyone needs to find their own resonance with whichever authors and books appeal to them with these messages of universal oneness and spirituality and solidarity through out humankind. There are many modes of releasing the fear and horror that we have absorbed in our bodies as well as our minds. We all need to be active in a spiritual practice to adjust our bodies to the new light we are living in. The human body is changing as well.
I wrote my book specifically for skeptics because I was not into these ideas at all until the eighties. I was an academic. There are many routes into the new esoteric age. Mine was partially through poetry. I hope to speak to people who were like myself, very much convinced that 3-D reality was all there was. I know now this is no longer true. I know we are going to a 5-D reality. If people don’t know they will be shocked into it and fear is going to be rampant. There are facets of our society that are deliberately trying to keep us in the fear mode. My book does not provide a roadmap but it is a good introduction.
26. What sparks your creativity? Any tips to help others spark their own creativity?
Play. Music. Extreme emotions. Nature. Letting go. I’ve had the experience of teaching teachers of elementary and secondary school to write poetry in order to teach poetry in their classrooms. Many are terrified of poetry or writing in general. When I can trick them into an exercise they find they can write poetry. Everyone is creative. Unfortunately we’ve had an education system that underemphasizes the value of the creative arts. My advice to those who want to be creative is to find a model and imitate, find a mentor and work with them, or rather, play with them. Creativity is pleasurable. People are afraid of being judged and they judge themselves. You have to have the courage to put the inner critic aside and take risks at playing.
27. What do you think motivates people to become authors? What motivated you to get into this unusual industry?
Like I said, It just happened naturally growing up. I didn’t decide to become a writer. I just wrote. When I found ways to study it further, I naturally gravitated toward them. I read. You really should read if you are writing. There is an ever-evolving literary tradition you need to be aware of. People who fall in love with reading at an early age are often moved to write. You can break from it but you should know something of the tradition. There are movements in literature just as there are in art or music. At some point, when I couldn’t get a tenured job in the academically competitive city of Boston, I realized I wanted to put more energy into my writing, and more aggressively try to publish.
28. Tell me about the most unusual things you have done to promote any books?
I can’t think of anything terribly unusual . . . yet. If you have an idea, please let me know!
29. If a potential reader thinks that your book wouldn’t interest them, what would you say to convince them to buy? I’m thinking something better than “Its the greatest book ever.” Give me something more specific
I am hoping this book tells its story convincingly to any serious reader of contemporary literature. This book appeals to people who like drama and lyrical writing, who are interested in the history of Christianity and esoteric philosophy but I don’t want to promote it that way. I want to promote it as a personal awakening to people who don’t know what that is, and then have them discover that they are awakening as well..
Then again,on some levels I don’t care about convincing some readers to read my book. There are many others books on these topics I could recommend. My book is very personal and it is a woman’s story, (though already a number of male readers have been complimentary and supportive after having read it.) People who can’t abide personal pain stories won’t want to read it. People who dislike poetry may not like it either. But if I have a potential reader who isn’t interested, I tell them the world is changing and they better find out about that or they won’t be prepared at all for the coming changes.
30. Why does the topic of your book interest you? Why would it interest potential readers? Give us a hook to reel in new readers.
Do you want a better world? Do you want peace, happiness, love, abundance, success? Do you care about the earth, the climate, equal distribution of food? The future your children will inherit?
There is a lot of old indoctrination, fear and pain to be released before that’s possible. Releasing and healing from what we’ve been indoctrinated with is a process that can take awhile. The mind has to learn to think differently, new neural pathways need to be created and we need to unlearn what we’ve been told because it no longer is true.
People need to get started healing. We can have all of those good things we never imagined we could have. We can rid the world of war. Read my book. Learn how.
Deborah DeNicola is an award-winning poet, author and professor. In The Future That Brought Her Here she weaves together the Catholic faith of her childhood with many other spiritual traditions, along with her knowledge of history, Jungian psychology, and quantum physics. For more information about this blog tour, see: http://virtualblogtour.blogspot.com/2009/10/future-that-brought-her-here-by-deborah.html