Kafe Castro, discusses her book, her journey as a writer, and self-publishing on Kindle.
DAVID WISEHART: What can you tell us about Kafe Castro?
CHRISTINA FIFIELD-WINN: Kafe Castro is the first story in my Coffee Break Series. These reads are designed to entertain and amuse booklovers on a coffee break or at lunch. In this particular piece, the main character has moved to Denmark (for a guy!) and on a routine trip to the dentist, she is given a bit too much laughing gas. She becomes partially paralyzed and increasingly high. She drags the reader through her sexy drug hazed past right into the middle of her uncertain present. I hear that many of my readers are enjoying this story on their Kindles as they wait their turn at the dentist office…really!
DAVID WISEHART: How do you develop and differentiate your characters?
CHRISTINA FIFIELD-WINN: My characters are based mostly upon people I know or people I have met briefly. I think about what they would do, think, or say under the extreme circumstances I put them in, and they develop and differentiate themselves essentially.
DAVID WISEHART: Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?
CHRISTINA FIFIELD-WINN: The person who loves to laugh, and who can appreciate that without the quirkiness of life, we’d all be really bored.
DAVID WISEHART: What was your journey as a writer?
CHRISTINA FIFIELD-WINN: I used to work for the NY Times. I would stand at a table in a warehouse for 8-12 hours putting together the sections of the Sunday paper. There were very few women that worked there with me, and we got tired of the guys telling dirty jokes all day long, so I began relaying the week’s events to anyone who would listen. Although no one believed that these weird things actually happened to me, everyone got a kick out of hearing about them. They told me I had a great imagination. One day, my friend, Christine, told me that I should write my stories down, so I did. I sent them off to writing contests and won two awards right away.
DAVID WISEHART: What is your writing process?
CHRISTINA FIFIELD-WINN: I take an experience from my life, combine it with information I’ve borrowed from other people’s lives, add a dash of embellishment, and a sprinkle of humor, and voila! I mix this recipe together every night while my kids shower and my husband listens patiently as I agonize over the blend I’ve created.
DAVID WISEHART: What authors most inspire you?
CHRISTINA FIFIELD-WINN: Tama Janowitz and Augusten Burroughs have greatly influenced and inspired me to tell the stories that are often everyday occurrences for me. Their brand of wit and eye for eccentricity is very appealing.
DAVID WISEHART: What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you'd written yourself?
CHRISTINA FIFIELD-WINN: None. I believe that we’re all doing and creating the work we were meant to do. Kudos to all of their/our successes… But, the “gun to my head” answer is any of the blockbusters that would’ve made me rich enough to be able to stay home and create full time.
DAVID WISEHART: How have you marketed and promoted your work?
CHRISTINA FIFIELD-WINN: I’ve done the traditional social networking and web advertising through my blog and other outlets like Facebook Ads, but I’ve also tried to think outside of the box a little bit. I hand out business cards with my site and a story blurb printed on it. I’ve passed out flyers, and right now I’m creating interviews with the minor characters in my book that tell their side of what was going on in Kafe Castro. They will be available to viewers on YouTube when they’re complete.
DAVID WISEHART: Why publish on Kindle?
CHRISTINA FIFIELD-WINN: Why not? The Kindle is easy, cute, and quickly becoming the print book of the new millennium. Also, this is my opportunity to unleash the control freak that has been repressed all of these years due to societal stigma. To quote the movie Pretty Woman, “I decide, okay? I say who, I say when…I say how much…” Ok maybe that last part wasn’t from the movie, but you get the idea.
DAVID WISEHART: What advice would you give to a first-time author thinking of self-publishing on Kindle?
CHRISTINA FIFIELD-WINN: It would be so nice to create a great piece of writing and to think that all of the other ebooks would part and make way for the readers to notice your story among thousands, but once the art is produced, the real work begins. Be prepared to become an expert in marketing, either through trial and error or by researching so much that you (a) sell a couple of stories or (b) find someone who is great at marketing and will do it for you at a decent price. Either way, you will learn that there is more to being a self-publishing author than just writing the story. And while you’re at it, have FUN, FUN, FUN! Get creative!
DAVID WISEHART: Thanks, and best of luck with your books.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Her off kilter muses have graciously guided her into the awards arena, most notably, Wordsmitten Storycove for her flash fiction story, “Sunday Drives Done Mojo Style.” Her notoriety earned her a short stint as an English teacher character in the Gil Thorp comic strip.
During her rare moments of free time, she is putting the finishing touches on her novella, Suki.
She lives in New York with her three brilliant children and her handsome husband who is affectionately known as El Jefe.
Read her blog.
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