Author Interview: Wendi Finn


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It’s been said that writers must first be readers. Do you enjoy reading?

I love to read! My favorite genres are romance and historical romance. There is enough drama in my own life, so I really look for fun reads with a happy ending. If one of the characters has a quirky or funny personality, all the better!

Lately I’ve also become intrigued with non-fiction books and memoirs. Having been a gymnast for 18 years, I’ve read Dominique Moceanu’s and Jennifer Sey’s Chalked Up. Both were extremely enlightening. I’ve also recently read Unbroken, which is just an amazing tale of a young Olympic hero turned World War II POW. I am currently reading Power of Habit.

How many books have you written, and how many of them have been published?
I have drafted four books. One Fateful Night was published in February of 2012 and the sequel, A Leap of Fate, is scheduled to be released in June of this year. Growing up as a young gymnast, if the word gymnastics was printed, I read it. Unfortunately, even today, there are very few stories with gymnasts as primary characters and even fewer where the character is actually portrayed training. Once I retired from the sport I set my sights on writing a fun romantic read with an Olympic level gymnast as the story’s primary character.

One Fateful Night and A Leap of Fate have been very popular with gym-moms and fans of the Summer Olympics. I have yet been able to tap the NCAA market, but my fingers are crossed, 2013 will be the year! I plan to continue to donate at least a portion of the proceeds from both books to charities, such as The James Cancer Research Hospital and Children’s Hospital Ronald McDonald House. In A Leap of Fate the primary characters are collegiate athletes competing for Alabama. Thus, I think the series will be a perfect fit.

I have also drafted a non-fiction book on technology security that is currently with my illustrator. This book has the look and feel of a workbook. It is geared toward our younger generations growing up in a new age world. The book is meant to be read and the assignments completed in a group setting where thoughts and responses are shared between parents, educators and children. At a much younger age, our children need to be aware of on-line threats. They also need to understand how postings on social media can impact their image. Kids being kids, don’t think about the future, but now more than ever, it’s important they do so. Human Resources and Collegiate Administration departments are now reviewing canidate’s Facebook pages and Tweets. Image is everything and it’s important we all make sure our social media sites are a positive reflection.

 

What one piece of advice would you give to a beginning writer?

I strongly encourage my children to read and write. The more I read, the easier the words flow when I write. Your writing doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, keep and expand upon what you love and scrap the rest. When I write, I try to give my readers more of “the good stuff.” If you’ve written a story that you love, don’t be afraid to share it with the rest of the world. Worst case, you learn something new.

My primary job is in the realm of accounting and technology. Since One Fateful Night was published I have gained an infinite amount of knowledge. Editing, publishing, marketing, blogging, website design–the list goes on and on. Having a book published is not easy, but it is an incredible journey.

I received offers from three small publishing companies for <One Fateful Night, but decided to publish with CreateSpace. My decision was influenced by a number of other authors, some of which self-published and others who were published by well known publishing houses. I learned that in the end, you the author are responsible for marketing and distributing your work. Since I am donating the proceeds to charity, I wanted to maximize the offering. CreateSpace makes the publishing process easy, offers formatting and marketing services, options for assistance in creating a unique cover and pays a 70% royalty.

Lastly, be sure to publish an electronic version of your book on both Kindle and Nook. To date nearly 90% of my sales have been electronic downloads. Once your book is formatted for publishing with CreateSpace, they will provide you with an electronic copy. This file is easy to format for electronic publication.

 

Do you like the promotional aspect of being a writer? What are your best promotional tools?

I have loved the promotional aspect of writing, as it has partnered me with so many wonderful organizations. To date 100% of the proceeds from One Fateful Night have been donated to organizations including The James Cancer Research Hospital, American Cancer Society, Westerville City School Athletics, UMDF, UIC Women’s Gymnastics and The Ronald McDonald House. Working on campaigns with these organizations have created a number of promotional opportunities.

 

What do you do when you are not writing? Do you have any hobbies?

I own a consulting firm, IS Security Solutions, LLC. I work with publically traded clients to assist with Sarbanes Oxley compliance and process reengineering. I have been a member of the Columbus Chapter’s ISACA Board for the past two years and I teach Accounting Information Systems at Franklin University.

Aside from writing, I enjoy trying new things. I have participated in two triathlons, ran a 15k, gone snowboarding and wake boarding with my boys, driven a snow mobile through the mountains of Tahoe and a ski mobile through the waves of the Gulf of Mexico. I am currently learning how to play the guitar with my youngest son.

One Fateful Night, Support The James Cancer Research Hospital and purchase a copy today! Available in paperback, Kindle and Nook.

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