Please welcome Waletta Mason Dunn as my featured author of today.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Waletta Mason Dunn. I’ve been married for thirty-three years and blessed with two beautiful children. I am the author of the three Christian novels.
What do you do when you are not writing?
When I am not writing, I can be found reading, playing scrabble or solving a crossword puzzle.
Do you have a day job as well?
During the day, I work at Florida A&M University as a Senior Student Services Officer.
When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I’ve been writing since I was a child. After 4 years of putting pen to paper, I completed my first book in 2013.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
Christ is the center of my life. I am not perfect, but I am forgiven. I chose to write Christian Fiction, so I could share my testimony and be a blessing to those in need of help.
Where do you get your ideas?
The ideas for my books are from my life experiences. For instance, More Than Sisters, my first novel, is about three sisters who struggle to stay together after the death of their parents. My mother died when I was 18 months old and my father died when I was 9 years old. My oldest sister promised to my mother on her dying bed that she would take care of us. More Than Sisters is based on the experiences of my own childhood.
Do you ever experience writer’s block?
I have experienced writer’s block. I use those opportunities to work on other writing projects while I wait for God to give me the story He wants me to write.
Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I start every project with an outline. It’s like driving across country with a map. The map keeps me on track. I may stop and shop for a little while or spend a little more time in an unplanned place along the way. But eventually, I refer to my map and towards the intended destination. The outline keeps me going in the right direction. I make changes along the way, but I come back to the outline and back on track.
Is there any author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
I have been influenced by my award-winning sister, screen and play write, Judi Ann Mason (“Sister Act II; Back in The Habit”, “A Different World”, “I’ll Fly Away”). Judi always encouraged me to pursue my dream of becoming an author.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
The most challenging part of getting my first book published was writing about the pains of my past. For instance, it was difficult to reflect on the fact that I have no memory of my mother. Also, it wasn’t easy recalling some of the ways I acted out after the death of my father. But we are blessed to be a blessing. If being transparent about my story can help someone, then it was worth all the challenges.
If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
If I had to do it over again, I would learn more about the basics of writing a novel. I would not reinvent the wheel and would learn from the mistakes of others.
How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
I market my work through social media, vending events, book events, speaking engagements and word-of-mouth. I find that word-of-mouth works well. Readers tend to know other readers and will express their approval with great passion. But I also love to market in places that put me in touch with readers. My most successful events have been when I am face-to-face with readers.
Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
My books are self-published. So, when I get ready to publish, I just do it.
Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
Book 4 is the story of three women dealing with three real life issues – infertility, fibroids and sexual harassment.
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
This book is based on my life experiences.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
In More Than Sisters, I enjoyed writing about the good times I had with my father. It was nice to re-live those moments.
How did you come up with the title?
The title More Than Sisters, describes the transition in the relationship with my oldest sister.
What project are you working on now?
Besides my fourth book, I am working on a journal. Looking forward to publishing them both before the end of the year.
Will you have a new book coming out soon?
My fourth book should be published before the end of the year.
Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
I plan to revisit the three sisters. I love working with flawed characters who find salvation in Jesus Christ.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
The toughest criticism I have been given as an author is that I don’t talk enough about my books. I appreciate the constructive criticism and I seek to talk about my books whenever I can.
What has been the best compliment?
The best compliment for me is when one of my readers loved my book enough to tell someone else about it.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
My advice to aspiring writers is to never give up, keep writing and continue to improve your craft.
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Thank you everyone for your support. Let’s stay connected. Reach out to me on my website
More Than Sisters
A riveting family drama about a young woman’s struggle to save her sisters. http://amzn.to/2hLQnEY
An inspiring story about a jilted man’s resolve to forgive his father. http://amzn.to/2iB979P
A Family Dilemma
A passionate story about a desperate woman’s quest to understand her traumatic childhood.