Friday, December 9, 2022

Book Tour + #Giveaway: Spiritual Writing by Deborah Levine Herman @SpiritualAgent @RABTBookTours


From Inspiration to Publication

2nd Edition

Inspiration & Personal Growth, Publishers & Publishing Industry

Date Published: 12.05.2022

Publisher: Micro Publishing Media

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Spiritual Writing from Inspiration to Publication 2nd Edition is an inspiring, motivating, and captivating look at the spiritual life and the falling to write. It is based on the premise that there are writers who write because they want to and those who write because they have to. Spiritual writers are drawn to the process by a sense of mission. However, the spiritual writer’s mission and the realities of publishing are often at odds. This unique book provides the nuts and bolts and dos and don’ts of how to get published in this often-misunderstood arena. The author updated this second edition to include the digital world and the expanded opportunities this brings for nontraditional publishing.

Interview with Deborah Herman 

    If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

    My younger writing self was very concerned about not fulfilling my mission. As a spiritually motivated writer, I saw my goals as part of a mission. Therefore, if I didn't perform, I was failing on a much larger scale than if it was just for myself.

    The best advice I would give to my younger writing self would be to be patient and kind to myself. Writing is a path just like maturation. You may be born with talent, but the experience will nurture and develop it. I watched my children struggle with the expectation to be great at something they needed to learn.

    I would caution my younger writing self not to compare myself to others. I remember going to writer's conferences as a neophyte and becoming intimidated by people asking me, "so, what have you written? Have you had anything published?" All new writers are insecure, and it is best to isolate yourself in a bubble of positivity. If you focus on the process, the rest will take care of itself.


    What are the most important magazines for writers to subscribe to?Physical magazines are less critical today than when I was starting. The digital world provides online communities and great blogs that will provide the information you could only find in magazines in the past. However, I still enjoy the experience of a good magazine and recommend the magazine produced by the Independent Book Publisher's Association, IBPA. There are many member benefits for authors, but the magazine is available to nonmembers.

    I also recommend Publishers Weekly to learn about the industry and the trends.

    My other recommendation is for writers to pay attention to pop culture. I am an admitted reader of the tabloids. This behavior may hurt the sensibilities of the dedicated literati. Still, it has helped me stay abreast of what interests the public and gives me a good taste of harmless gossip.

    I also suggest a diverse knowledge of magazines related to your writing niche. Writing is part of the equation. Marketing is the other. Writers need to know where their audience hangs out. Magazines are, by nature, places where like-minded people find the subjects they love best.


    What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters?

    I am primarily a nonfiction writer but now specialize in creative nonfiction and memoir. I have yet to write my memoir, so my work has brought other people's stories to life.

    Writing about someone is a sacred trust. If you are writing fiction, you are using characters as references, just as an artist would use a photograph to form the inspiration for a creative piece.

    When writing creative nonfiction, it is essential to stay true to the character's authentic voice. Character development is an art and engages all the senses. When writing a memoir, you can make it clear it is from your point of view. You don't want to libel someone or become meanspirited because it is not a good reflection on you and will not add to your story.

    There are legal and moral implications to how you describe the real people in your book. However, if these characters are essential to your telling the story, you can disguise their identity. I have seen memoir writers want to sanitize their books at the last minute for fear of repercussions. If you are being authentic, you need to be bold; however, if you defame someone with the written word, you can be sued for libel, especially if the claims are untrue and your objective was malicious.

    What is the first book that made you cry?

    I can't remember the first book that made me cry, but I know I cried while writing the last chapter of my collaboration, Member of the Family, the memoir of Dianne Lake, the youngest member of the Manson family cult. Dianne's story of standing up to Manson in court and realizing she was also a victim touched me deeply.


    Does writing energize or exhaust you?

    When I am truly in the zone of writing, I feel energized. However, it can be grueling. I had a 90-day deadline for the book Member of the Family and worked some long hours.

    Rewriting the second edition of Spiritual Writing from Inspiration to Publication was also exhausting because it was so important to me to get it right. It is a second edition, but every word is new.


    Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

    I can't relate to delivering something to readers because they want it if it is not original. I am aware of topics that would interest readers, but if I don't resonate with it and bring something of myself to the work, I will not do a good job.

    It is always essential to write from the perspective of what is in it for the reader. Therefore, when writing prescriptive nonfiction, I construct my outline in a way that will inform and that will be logical. A writer takes a reader on a journey and is the navigator. In that sense, writers need to consistently light the way with a structure that will not cause the reader to get lost in the weeds.

    Many writers try to follow trends they think will bring them publishing deals. However, my Spiritual Writing book stresses that starting from the inner voice, interest, and passion is better.

    Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

    I always loved books. When other children were outside playing adventure games, I was inside playing library while color coding my books.

    I remember the first book I could read and how when the letters and words made sense it opened up an entire world for me.

    I grew up in a relatively small town, and each summer, they had a library program where you would get stickers for the number of books you read. I made sure to earn those stickers.

    My writing came by accident. I didn't plan on becoming a writer. While in law school, I would go to a comedy club at night where my brother was performing. The club owner asked me to interview the comics and write articles for a free entertainment magazine, and I found something I loved to do. Eventually, I did a dual degree with the graduate school of journalism and, after a few years of law practice, moved into writing full-time.

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Marcy Meyer said...

This sounds like a great book. I think the cover looks good. Love the coloring.

Stormy Vixen said...

Congratulations on your release of Spiritual Writing, Deborah, I enjoyed reading the interview and getting to know a little about you and your book sounds like a great read!

Thanks for sharing it with me and have a magical holiday season!

Cami RABT said...

Thank you for hosting!

Sara said...

Thank you