Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Day Guest Author: Peggy McAloon

Peggy was born in a small farming community in southeastern Iowa. She began piano lessons when she was only five and was playing the organ for church services when she was nine. She attended the University of Northern Iowa where she met her husband. Her career in commercial credit included being a speaker, trainer, and national sales manager. She wrote and published “The Art of Business Credit Investigation” in the ‘90’s and has been a contributor to numerous magazines and newspapers throughout her career. 

Peggy and her husband are both now retired and living in Wisconsin where she is active in water conservation efforts. The couple loves to travel and have taken two shelter dogs into their home in the past two years. Peggy has been an avid reader since childhood and reads all genres. “Books are the perfect escape when life becomes a bit sticky!” She is an avid spokesperson for the protection and safety of children, making that the central focus of this year’s release of Elle Burton and the Reflective Portals. Her own struggles with abuse, disability, and depression allow her to connect with her target audience to help them find hope in a world they often feel is hopeless. 

Welcome to Adventures in Publishing Peggy  and thanks for helping me with the Swim Season Pubslush campaign. To get started I thought I'd ask you a couple of questions about high school and sports, since that's what the book is about, and then we'll move on to your marketing tips for authors and your book projects. At the end of our interview Peggy has a very special gift or all of you.

Thank you so much for inviting me to visit your site Marianne. Elle Burton and the Reflective Portals - Lessons from Fiori is the first book in a coming of age fantasy series about a young girl who is enticed by winged creatures from another dimension to help them protect the children of Earth.

Records indicate that nearly six million children are abused in this country every year. Whatever we’re doing isn’t working. I became committed to the idea of writing a series of books for kids to inspire them to ask for help if in trouble and to recognize when social injustices are affecting their friends. Elle is the kind of role model every parent wants their child to become as she stands up for her friends.

Most of us have strong feelings about our high school experience. Was yours a yay or a nay? Please explain.

My own school years were filled with successes and challenges. The bullying became less frequent in high school but the most popular girls made it very clear I was not an active part of the “inner-circle”. Instead of being invited to parties, I spent most of my time at home curled up on the sofa experiencing adventures far beyond my living room through the characters in the books I loved. I was active in choir, band, Stepperettes Dance Routine (never a cheerleader), theater, speech, and of course the piano and organ.

Did you play sports in high school? If yes, which one(s) and how did it work out for you? If not, do you have children who play sports?
I was never involved in sports. I had rheumatic fever when I was in first grade and the doctors would not allow me to go outside to play or even go to gym classes for years to protect my heart. As a result, my coordination is horrific to this day. I was always the last one to be picked when I reached junior high and was finally allowed to participate. I missed that important growth phase of developing motor control as a child. Those experiences encouraged my determination my own children would never be outsiders. They were urged to participate in any sport they were interested in. We lived in Minnesota at the time and ice hockey became the sport of choice for the boys. My oldest son’s greatest achievement was an article on the front page of the newspaper. It described him in 6th grade when as goalie, he held the best team in our conference to only two goals in a final match. We still lost but for that one game he was a hero to everyone in town.

I'm using Publish to help build an audience for my next noel. Pubslush is a global marketing platform to assist authors with pre-publication publicity and sales. Do you have any key marketing tips for authors?

I had an extremely profitable launch of a business reference guide in the ‘90’s but the Elle book is my first novel. I wish I’d known about pubslush and other pre-launch tools like pre-release orders before my book was published. I became so buried in the edits, cover art, etc., that I did absolutely nothing before the book came out. My best solution is to find people who already have an established blog in your topic and do guest blogging. This allows you to take advantage of their readership. It takes far too long to build a following on a website if you don’t already have one built when your book is released. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start one slowly, but do devote more time to guest blogging as you build your new site for broader exposure.

Can you tell us about your latest project?
My author friends have not only been supportive but also an impressive force to keep me moving. They convinced me to sign up for NaNoWriMo this November. I’m writing a cozy mystery about a young reporter from Iowa. Jess Gantry is more like me than any character I have ever created. Since the book is in its infancy, I think the title will be “Secrets of the Lake” – A Jess Gantry book. All things are open to change as it goes thru editing and publishing.

Where can we learn more about you and your books? 
You can find me at
My holiday gift to all of you is a free pdf download on my website during the month of December of Elle Burton and the Reflective Portals. (Parents, be sure to download the discussion sheet under the books tab on my website so you can help your own child understand and stand-up to the social injustices they see each day. Elle confronts bullying in the book and this is a topic that affects every family during a child’s school years.) Amazon also has the 276-page soft-cover book at a giveaway price of $1.99 for Christmas, but hurry, I don’t know how long it will stay that low.

You my purchase Elle Burton and the Reflective Portals on:
Copies are also available on the Peggy's website.

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