Shades Of Romance Magazine: Tell us a little about you the person and the writer?
Cecilia Vaughn: Born under the sun-drenched skies of the Caribbean, my imagination flowered lavishly. I studied at Morgan State University and University of Miami, where I developed an adventurous spirit. Over the years, I've traveled to exotic capitals of the world and witnessed the gracefulness of people from all walks of life.
My work experience includes being a bank clerk, a beauty consultant, a teacher, and a writer. Through it all, my strong belief in the power of love became the driving force behind my mission to write, poetry, songs and romance novels--there can never be too much love! My favorite quote is John 13:34: "And now I give you a new commandment: love one another!"
In addition to writing, I enjoy being a wife, mother of three, and a homemaker. My hobbies include traveling, dancing, singing (Gospel, Handel's Messiah, and Opera) and writing poetry and songs in my garden of love.
SORM: Tell us about your book?
VAUGHN: My book is a fascinating tale of international adventure, suspense, intrigue, and PASSION. Sheba Queen Dupree, a female college professor, makes a New Year's resolution to take a sabbatical abroad and compose a cultural musical.
Traveling to the Motherland, her Aunt and Uncle welcome her to their resort on Martin's Mountain. Determined to complete her musical without distraction, she works tirelessly to accomplish her goal.
At regular intervals, she stops to savior the plush, exotic scenery of the mountain. During one of these moments of relaxation, the ancestors propel her into a spiritually passionate awakening.
Despite her firm resolve to stay focused on her musical, she is drawn into the charms of the striking Mountain man, Solomon Gregory Quinn. He successfully courts her with thrilling adventures along the nature trail filled with enchanting waterfalls, fabulous flowers, and mysterious wild life.
Eventually, she decides to return to the warmth of her family to soothe her fears about loving a foreigner. However, he follows her to her native Coastal land and presents her with a decent proposal.
Throughout the whirlwind courtship, Sheba fills the pages with sensual poetry and songs from her cultural musical and from her overwhelming romance.
Each chapter is skillfully introduced with appropriate biblical verses from the romantic Song of Songs. Finally, the reader is transported to an exhilarating climax. The book is then brought to a surprising end that leaves everyone thirsting for more!
SORM: Why did you choose to self publish?
VAUGHN: The main reason behind my self-publishing is cost. All writers should be aware of the fact that there are a surprising amount of charlatans out there who would charge astronomical amounts for services that you do not need.
SORM: What is the most gratifying thing about self-publishing?
VAUGHN: The author maintains the integrity of their work and the satisfaction of knowing that you are in charge from beginning to end.
SORM: What is the biggest problem you faced as a self-publisher?
VAUGHN: Finding printers who live up to their advertised services with specific regard to the time it takes to get the books shipped. This has been an unending source of discontent for me.
SORM: Do you want to self publish other people?
VAUGHN: All things are possible. There may come a time ten years from now when I would consider assisting other writers in this way.
SORM: Have other writers assisted you, in what ways?
VAUGHN: Other writers have provided inspirational assistance to me. As a teenage reader, I was deeply moved by the writings of Gwendolyn Brookes, Rosa Guy and Zora Neal Hurston.
SORM: How did you choose a designer for your cover?
VAUGHN: The design of my book cover came from my intimate knowledge of the characters and the story line.
SORM: Did you assemble a team to work with you (i.e. editor, printer, publicists, etc?
VAUGHN: I was blessed to be surrounded by a loyal and dedicated husband and friends all of whom are University graduates determined to get my project successfully completed. Also, I had the good fortune of working with an experienced editor of the highest caliber.
SORM: How did you decide about the pricing for your book?
VAUGHN: By examining other books in this genre and pricing it below the general rate.
SORM: What strategies did you decide to use to promote your book?
VAUGHN: With my target market being professional men and women who enjoy romance novels, I advertised directly to book clubs, numerous networking groups, friends, and family members.
SORM: What was your first book signing like?
VAUGHN: A truly exciting experience, the enthusiasm of the diverse group of mainly women assembled at the Garden Club was thrilling.
SORM: What was the most unusual place your book was sold?
VAUGHN: That would be right in my backyard across the fence to a neighbor.
SORM: How did you get your book reviewed?
VAUGHN: By utilizing the many author assistance programs provided by such entities as SORM, Writer's Network, and Black Issues.
SORM: Did you use the Internet to promote your book, if so how?
VAUGHN: The Internet is an excellent means for promotion of books. I've advertised on many websites relating to women, writers, and romance. Some of them are: SORM, NWWA, BOW, Doe Women, and Daily Divas.
SORM: What books, newsletters, articles, or websites were helpful to you?
VAUGHN: All of these avenues were helpful to me in particular, Writer's Network, SORM, Book Remarks, BWIP and BWA. They feature articles and newsletters that provide invaluable information for the aspiring writer.
SORM: What are your goals as a writer?
VAUGHN: As a writer, my goal is to continually expand my knowledge of writing and getting published successfully.
SORM: What advice would you give to the self-publishers?
VAUGHN: Stay positive, believe in your project, and get as much knowledge of the process as possible through the many websites for writers.
SORM: How can readers reach you (mail, email, website). email@example.com
SHADES OF ROMANCE MAGAZINE WOULD LIKE TO THANK MS. VAUGHN FOR THIS INTERVIEW. WE WISH YOU MANY BLESSINGS.