Please join me today in welcoming my friend and bestselling author, Norma Beishir to my blog. She is going to have a re-release of Chasing The Wind, a book that has intrigue, romance and a healthy dose of religion in it. On the eve of its re-release and the sequel to it, I thought some of my friends and I would ask her some questions.
Norma, I’ve never done an interview with you before, so this is a pleasure. And, welcome to my blog. I hope that I can help get the word out about your re-release.
I thought it might be fun to do something different. A little more unconventional to the ordinary interviews I’ve done before. I decided to have some of our friends ask you some questions, along with myself. There are some things we NEED to know!
So, here we go!
1. Who are your favourite published authors and why? Have you gained inspiration from them for your works in the past?
Sidney Sheldon–I’ve always said he was my creative writing professor, he just didn’t know it. I learned more from reading his books than I could ever have learned in a course. I also love Janet Evanovich. And there’s a new author I predict will be a huge success: William Kendall.
2. Mike asked, “After publishing 14 novels traditionally and making bestseller lists, what specifically was your ‘trigger’ to decide that you wanted to go Indie?”
Two major reasons. One was the freedom to write whatever I wanted. I have manuscripts tucked away that my publisher would not put under contract. I was known for writing big, glitzy novels, very popular in the eighties. I was actually told that they rejected one of my projects because the female protagonist “wasn’t glamorous.” I counted fifteen times in one manuscript where my editor asked, “What’s she wearing?” Research was a drag–I’m not into fashion. I don’t know Donna Karan from Kmart. And spending hours reading Town & Country was not my idea of fun.
The second issue was the phoniness of the business. Don’t get me wrong–the people I worked with directly were terrific. All of them. But publishing is a business in which your value as a person is directly tied to your sales figures. The more books you sold, the more they loved you. I knew one editor who was very friendly with myself and another author who was a good friend of mine–she’d once been my agent’s assistant. Maria warned me that this woman was not a real friend. I discovered Maria was right.
And it’s not just the publishing executives. Authors have been known to stab each other in the backs on a regular basis. Unfortunately, that’s also true of some self-published authors. I suppose some people can play those games but I have no use for backstabbers or phonies. I tried to be something I wasn’t, and the results were a disaster.
3. You’re in the process of rewriting Chasing The Wind. April wanted to know, “What inspired your story of the book and its characters?”
In the spring of 1998, I saw a segment on a TV newsmagazine in which Bryant Gumbel talked to experts about the Shroud of Turin. In the interview, it was suggested that DNA from the Shroud could be used to clone Jesus Christ. That was the story I started off with–but it wasn’t working, and soon there were several books out there with the same premise, so I knew I had to take a different route. I stuck with cloning and genetic engineering, but went with something more closely resembling The Omen films.
4. Writing in the first person is my favourite way to write. I can “get” into the character easier. The original Chasing The Wind was written in the third person point of view. Why did you decide to rewrite it in multiple first person point of view?
I had never written a novel in first person and never thought I would–but my second self-published novel, Final Hours, needed to be written in first-person. I found I enjoyed it so much, I didn’t want to write any other way. The beauty of self-publishing is that if you want to rework a book, you can–and I did.
5. Of your other works, what other rewrites have you considered?
Most of my future novels will be written in first person. As for the backlist, I’ll probably leave them as they are.
6. Karla asked, “I’m curious about Collin’s involvement in the book. How did that come about, and what role did he play? What was it like collaborating with your son?
Collin started off as my researcher. Then he helped develop the storylines. It’s a very different collaboration than the one I have with William, but collaborations often take different forms. Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, authors of the Left Behind series, for example–LaHaye develops the story ideas and Jenkins does the actual writing.
7. Expanding on the above question, would you ever write another book with Collin?
I would, and I am!
8. Eve wanted to know, “How long have you been working on the rewrite of Chasing The Wind?
About a month.
9. You’re also in the process of a sequel to Chasing The Wind. Can you tell us about it?
The sequel is about a clone, Alex, who’s a brilliant artist but is tormented by terrifying visions that inspire his paintings. He’s a man who’s lived a solitary life because he feels he has to, once he learns the truth about his birth. The turning point in his life is meeting Robyn, who accepts the truth and loves him anyway.
Thank you, Norma, for stopping by. It has been a wonderful pleasure to have you visit my blog, and to do this interview for my friends and I. We look forward to the re-release of Chasing The Wind, as well as the release of Army Of Angels.