BBS: Today we have the pleasure of speaking with Author Angelia Vernon Menchan. Angelia, thanks for joining us today. Please tell our readers a little bit about you.
Angelia: Hello and thanks for having me. I’ve lived in Jacksonville, Florida since 1999. I was born in Ocala, Florida, but I traveled the world with my military husband. I attended Columbus, Cameron and Chaminade Universities. I retired December 31st from the Federal Government as a Budget Analyst. Formerly a Counselor. I’ve written all my life. My genres are literary fiction, women’s fiction, romantic fiction, young adult and adult nonfiction.
BBS: It’s great that you’re a person who has traveled around the world. I think traveling creates an open-mind and a new perspective on things. Congratulations on your retirement as well! I’m sure you may have more time to devote to your writing now. As it stands, you’ve published over 34 printed books and 124 ebooks! How many of those books are your titles? And what made you also decide to help other aspiring authors?
Angelia: All the aforementioned are mine. I’ve published 17 books for other authors. Deciding to publish others was an opportunity to give back and provide voices to unknowns.
BBS: That’s amazing! Kudos to you! It’s also wonderful that you ‘pay it forward’ by helping other aspiring authors. Speaking of which, brand building is so important when it comes to selling a product, what has this journey been like for you in the publishing industry?
Angelia: It’s been good and on my own terms. I love being self-owned.
BBS: There’s nothing like being your own boss and calling all the shots. No deadlines either. LOL. How is it that you’re able to be creative and write books as well as operate a business?
Angelia: I consider it a blessing.
BBS: What inspired you to write and out of the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?
Angelia: Life inspires me. I’m very partial to my Zen Cooper and Cinnamon Black series. I’m very vested in women and they are both women who are flawed, loving and giving.
BBS: I agree with you. You know, they say art imitates life, and perhaps that’s why so many people are drawn to the arts. I’ll have to check out the series. They sound like characters I can easily connect with. So, what would you say is the common theme of your books and why?
Angelia: Self-realization, love, faith, resilience and giving back runs through everything I write.
BBS: I love books with strong themes like that. When you write, do you consider your readers or do you allow the stories to take on a life of their own?
Angelia: I always consider readers but allow my muse to lead me. I have a very loyal if not huge following. They support me.
BBS: That’s a good balance. I’m not surprised considering the huge following you have and the large body of work with themes that people can relate to. So, what is your writing kryptonite and why? As we know, nobody is perfect.
BBS: Self-promoting can be kind of tough. Do you think self-publishing is a fade or something that will be around for a while?
Angelia: I’ve been doing it 11 years. It’s how I’ll likely continue.
BBS: Congrats! It's certainly no fad for you. Obviously, you enjoy what you do and that's why you have the stay-in power and you’ve built a strong following to continue and that’s great! What areas of self-publishing would you say would make the playing field between traditionally published books more competitive and/or fair?
Angelia: Earnings make it competitive. Not sure how fair weighs in.
BBS: Earnings definitely will make it more competitive. I wish those of us who are self-published could charge a little more for our books. This way, it will help to cover the costs associated with putting out a good product. So, tell us about your latest your book. What’s it about? And how did you come up with the idea?
Angelia: How Being Broken Saved Me is a memoir. A tool I use as mentoring through reading. To assist anyone, they must know how you struggled and how you survived.
BBS: You definitely have my attention! What do you hope readers will get from your memoir?
Angelia: The understanding that trials can make us and not break us.
BBS: That's so true. The fact that you're already using your memoir as a mentoring tool means that others are benefiting and learning ways to survive and not to succumb to their circumstances. With that in mind, some authors engage with others on social media by discussing similar issues or politics, current events, do you feel it's important to engage with others about topics whether they're related to books or not? Which do you prefer?
Angelia: Engaging is my brand. I’m told that what I post or say is what draws people and then they become interested in my books. I’m good with that.
BBS: You sound like a people person, and that’s good. Engaging with others will definitely expand your brand and draw even more interest in your books. What do you think of this statement that's commonly mentioned on social media, some indie authors tend to be tougher critics on fellow indie authors, do you agree? Or disagree, explain.
Angelia: I have seen mainstream authors tougher than other indies. I’ve found many indies to be extremely supportive.
BBS: Exactly! I feel the same way! I’ve met some amazingly supportive indie authors!
Now for that fun part. It’s March Madness! Give us your Final Four favorite authors?
Angelia: James Baldwin. Colin Channer. Diane McKinney Whetstone. Nia Forrester.
BBS: Good selection! And, what do you like to do for fun?
Angelia: Read, travel, concerts.
BBS: Me too! How ironic! So, for aspiring authors, what piece of advice would you give them?
Angelia: Stay the course. Remember every book isn’t for every reader. Do your best and enjoy the process.
BBS: To readers who follow booksbyselena.com and who may be reading this, pitch them on why they should check out your catalog of books.
Angelia: My books are about love, truth, romance, and reality. Readers come away knowing and feeling the characters.
BBS: Where can readers purchase your books and connect with you on social media?
BBS: Thank you for joining us today! We wish you much-continued success!
Angelia: Thanks for having me.