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Posts Tagged ‘Sally Meadows’

JANICE: Today I’m welcoming Sally Meadows to my blog. Sally is an award-winning author and singer/songwriter. Sally, how long have you been writing and how did you come to it?

SALLY: Like many writers, I was drawn to creative writing when I was young. Beyond elementary and high school, writing continued to be an integral part of my work life. From research scientist to editor to children’s entertainer to educator to administrator, I have had the autonomy to incorporate creativity through the written word into a wide range of projects. However, it wasn’t until 2011 that I started getting serious about sending submissions to anthologies and writing contests. In 2013 I took a leap of faith and left my job at an engineering firm to focus full time on writing and music.

JANICE: Who are some of the people who most influenced your decision to write?

SALLY: I had two high school teachers English teachers—Mr. Marland and Miss Kingsbury, both of whom I adored—praise my work and encourage me. I also received the Grade 13 English award. In my first year of university, I took an English course as an elective (I was a science major), and the professor told me that I produced some of the best writing he had ever seen by a first year student. These were all things that I tucked away in my heart and which eventually confirmed for me, that when the time was right, to pursue a career in writing.

JANICE: What’s your preferred genre?

SALLY: I write in a wide range of genres, including short, inspirational true-life stories, informational articles, children’s books, and songs. I have also recently started writing fictional short stories. Part of who I am as a writer is being diverse. It would be hard to say which genre I like best, because I like them all! As the Lord leads, I challenge myself to expand into genres that are new to me.

JANICE: Why do you write?

SALLY: Writing is the best way for me to communicate my thoughts and feelings. The flow of ideas from my mind/heart/soul through my hands is my most effective way to release heartache, make sense of difficult times, raise awareness about causes dear to my heart, share the gospel, and spread joy. It’s cliché but true: I write because I must.

JANICE: How and where do you write? Are you a plotter or a pantser?

SALLY: I have a computer desk that sits in our family room with my official office close by. But I usually bring my computer up to my sunny kitchen with big windows. There is something about writing in close proximity to nature that both calms and energizes me. Although I mostly write on the computer, I occasionally hand write the first draft of an article or story. Regarding the second question, I am more of a plotter when it comes to writing short stories, articles, and children’s stories. I have a really, really good idea of what I want to write already in my mind before I sit down and write. Interestingly enough, when it comes to writing songs, I would say I’m more of a pantser. Usually, a melody line comes to me first. The majority of lyrics come only after I have worked out the entire score on the piano.

JANICE: Where do you get your ideas? What inspires you?

SALLY: For the first couple of years, I focused mainly on writing autobiographical stories. I still get inspiration from my own journey, but now I tend to take only a snippet and build a fictional story from there. My kids have always inspired me. Nature inspires me. People who are on the “fringes” and have overcome odds inspire me. I wouldn’t be the writer and songwriter I am today without the profound influence of God’s own Word and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

JANICE: You are well-versed on promotion. What are some of the best methods of promoting your work?

SALLY: As long as I can flex my creative muscles when promoting, I am willing to try anything! Earlier this year I collaborated with a number of other authors in launching the “7 Days of Great Canadian Giveaways” (for more information, see https://sallymeadows.com/blog/blog/day-one-7-days-of-great-canadian-giveaways). And when I released my new single “Holy Spirit” ((https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xL2LxARc7Kg) I had a bestselling author/illustrator design a colouring sheet as a giveaway. Both these inspired events boosted my (and the other authors’) profile. I do post quite a bit on Facebook (less often on Twitter), and I use a lot of images, usually my own photography. I also do a lot of cross-promotions. For example, my children’s picture book Beneath That Star is based on a song I wrote on my Christmas CD Red & White. But my best sales are when I do a public event—a concert or speaking engagement. This year I want to explore doing more video/live Facebook events for promotions. It’s the way to go right now in getting yourself out there.

JANICE: What are your favorite / most effective social media?

SALLY: Facebook has been my go-to for promotions, although in retrospect it has been less effective on the sales end than I would have liked. Nonetheless, it has certainly raised my profile. This year I hope to explore using Pinterest more. I am very visual and I have created a lot of images. And as mentioned above, I would like to get more into video productions.

JANICE: How do you balance professional time with personal time?

SALLY: Working from my home and being an empty nester, this is always tricky. When I am focused on a project, I could easily work all day and all evening. However, I am also aware of the need for balance. I usually go for two walks each day, and do my best to keep off computer (as much as possible) in the evenings and on the weekends.

JANICE: What are you currently reading? Do you prefer digital or print?

SALLY: I still prefer print. Like my writing, there is no one genre that I am particularly drawn to, although I mostly read Christian authors. What I do read: suspense, historical romance, contemporary drama, humorous stories, short stories, non-fiction, children’s picture books, articles, and more. I recently read your (Jan’s) latest novel In A Foreign Land as well as Esther: Royal Beauty by Angela Hunt. I’m about to start Joel C. Rosenberg’s Without Warning and Jeff Goins’ Real Artists Don’t Starve. And my Bible is always close at hand. Right now I am reading through the Book of Judges.

JANICE: What are some of your favorite things? What makes you unique?

SALLY: I love to do paper crafting and try out all kinds of different techniques and products. In fact, I have been exploring writing a craft book—I have a great title already picked out. I also like miniature things; and have been growing (go figure!) a collection of realistic-looking stuffed animals. Photography is definitely a passion. What makes me unique is that my interests and abilities are so diverse; the most common comment to me is “What haven’t you done?” I am always on the lookout to try something new. Challenging myself beyond my box is something I constantly aspire to do.

JANICE: What keeps you going in your writing career?

SALLY: As above: challenging myself. I am always stretching, always growing, and sometimes take on things that kind of terrify me.

JANICE: How is your faith reflected in your writing?

SALLY: I write for both the faith-based and mainstream markets. However, writing for the mainstream market is always informed by my faith.

JANICE: What are some things you learned from your own writing?

SALLY: I have learned that the learning never truly ends. I thought I was a good writer until I started writing full time. I still have LOTS to learn.

JANICE: What is your ultimate writing goal? And any advice for beginning writers?

SALLY: Like many writers, I have a lot of projects swirling around in my head, and I would love to see them all come to fruition one day. However, I am also being more prayerful about what project to focus on at any given time, and am open to discarding projects according to the leading of the Holy Spirit. I am ready and grateful for any doors the Lord opens. My advice (and ultimate goal) is to walk with one foot in front of the other each step of the way with eyes fixed on Jesus. He’ll get us to where you and I are to go.

Sally Meadows is a six-time national/international award-winning author and singer/songwriter. She is the author of two children’s books, The Two Trees and Beneath That Star, and has released two CDs Turn the Page and Red & White. You can connect with Sally at https://sallymeadows.com, https://facebook.com/SallyMeadowsMusic, @SallyMeadows, and sally@sallymeadows.com.

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