Hello Recovery Friends and Visitors,
Yes, it has been a while since my last post here. I had been dealing with some health issues these past months and now, I'm almsot back to 100%! I was interviewed a month ago over on Author Shout and thought I would share some of the interview so we can all catch up and see what I ahve been working on lately. I am still a passionate advocate of Gambling Addiction and Recovery, but it seems of late I have been doing a lot of writing! That is god news as it gives me another platform to Raise Awareness, Educate, and Inform th public about the "ugly side of Gambling." I hope you enjoy reading it and I'll be back with a new post for you very soon ... ODAAT & Stay Bet Free! ...Catherine :-)
INTERVIEW WITH Catherine Townsend-Lyon
"Writing is a solitary task; it is a hobby for most of us, it is funny and smooth, other times writing is like a horror, getting a smooth writing experience need a lot of patience, time and spirit to keep performing. During hard times we strive to search for an answer here and there, on all topics and LIFE"
Catherine Townsend-Lyon is a Best Selling Author of The Kodel Publishing Group with her shocking debut memoir titled; “Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat.” Catherine’s Memoir is both in-depth and raw as she takes readers on a journey of many important topics that ‘touched’ her life, starting as a little girl into adulthood.
She had taken a dark path, trying to elude the past childhood pain and traumatic events. She began using gambling as a coping skill and escape into a “dream world” to forget, if only for a few hours from the haunting memories of her childhood sexual abuse, parental verbal and physical abuse, and lived with undiagnosed mental/emotional illness for years. Shaping the “perfect storm, she became addicted to gambling with alcohol abuse. So, something like gambling to be for fun and entertainment became her worst nightmare and almost took her life, twice!
Now in recovery eleven plus years, Catherine has become well known in the addiction/recovery communities, and is a loud advocate of gambling addiction, mental health, and the expansion of Indian Casinos, State Lottery offerings, and Internet Gambing venues that needs to stop across America.
Catherine’s featured in many media and recovery publications like Columbia University’s Media Release through the 2×2 Project “Gambling with America’s Health. And most recently interviewed for Time/ Magazine online article titled "Addicted To Anticipation" She is a former writer and columnist for “In Recovery Magazine’s-The Author’s Cafe” and a freelance writer for Keys To Recovery newspaper and column "Quit To Win."
She is also an “Expert Gambling Recovery Blogger” for “Addictionland” of Founder/Author, Cate Stevens along with other recovery experts along with other recovery experts like Christopher Lawford Kennedy and Tommy Rosen.
Catherine lives in Arizona and So. Oregon. She is married to her husband for 26 years. She is a ‘Cat Lover’ and has three, Princess, Boots, and Simon Peter.She enjoys reading, cooking, gardening, and swimming. She owns an online business called: "Lyon Media, Book Promos, and Literary Consulting."
What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book(s), but nobody has? An intimate interview with Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
Why did you write and disclose personal family experiences? Were you afraid of backlash or judgment from family and others?
Well, I felt that is what writing a memoir is all about. Since my book is about my life of many topics including gambling addiction and recovery, I wanted readers to have an in-depth view of how my family life was growing up can later become some of the roots to WHY some may turn to addiction in the first place.
I, nor many do not grow up in an “angelic” family dynamic. Some grow up in a dysfunctional or abusive situations. That was some of my my experience, and later became added “fuel” to my addiction. I wanted to “set the back story” so to speak so readers had an understanding of how many of us may turn to addictions instead of knowing there are places we can get help like through counseling or therapy when your “past comes back later in life haunting you.”
As far as backlash, family needs to understand this memoir is not about them, it about how I was affected by how I was raised and disciplined. How I was also sexually abused as a little girl, and I stuffed that way for years without my parents knowing until adulthood. You will have to read my book to learn how all that turned out. I had to brave enough to share the good, the bad, and all the ugly to others who did or are going through these same issues, if you are going to write a memoir, you can not worry of backlash. I am trying to help others through my book. For me, that is what I focused on.
What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine or do you have any weird, funny, or unusual habits while writing and what are they?
Not really. My first book came very easy for me. And believe or not I hand wrote the memoir in 6 1/2 spiral notebooks by jand! At that time, I was not writing a book, I was writing for myself to heal and forgive myself and to see all that gambling addiction and alcohol abuse had taken from my life. The book part and becoming published happened a year later as “divine intervention” I always say.
I am almost done with book two, but I am also co-writing another memoir, so it will release before mine. I did release a new compilation book with several other others and Dr. Rev. Kevin Coughlin in Dec. 2017 titled; "TEN THE HARD WAY: True Stories of Addiction and Recovery" and Thank goodness I have an exceptional editor, as my own second book is also hand written! The only weird thing, I love writing when it’s raining. But I am not an outline or draft type of writer. I just let the words flow out of me onto paper and by rhe seat of my pants!
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
I can thankfully say no to this question. One of the best pieces of advice I had received from another writer was, “write what you know.”
Unfortunately, I know too much about gambling addiction, recovery, mental health challenges, and childhood trauma. All these topics have ‘touched’ my life and I advocate about them passionately …
What is the single most important piece of advice for aspiring authors?
I pass on what was told to me in the above answer “write what you know" or write what you "feel passionate about.” If you love animals? Write an animal children’s book. If you have an open imagination? Write a thriller or mystery. An action or adventure story.
"I am a writer and published author by accident” ~Catherine Lyon
I feel funny giving other aspiring writers and authors advice. I am a book promoter for many fine authors of all genres as well, so one piece of advice I can give to first-time authors? Your book takes many hours, days, and months to promote. Book sales and book reviews will not happen overnight, so don’t give up or get discouraged. KEEP witing and keep promoting your books!
What are your current/future projects?
I am currently co-writing with former NFL pro from the Denver Broncos, Mr. Vance Johnson. We writing his story/memoir and legacy. It has been an amazing experience thus far. My second book is almost complete and will be a follow up to my memoir. It will be serious, have musings, and ramblings about sharing more of my mental health and childhood trauma side of things and how to "Let The Shit Go!" ... Lol.
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
I actually started my current book out with "the reasons how and why" I came to start writing in the first place. It was about a suicide of a woman I read about in our local newspaper when I lived in So. Oregon all year round. But, no spoilers here. LOL.
You'll need to read my book/memoir titled; ‘Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat,’ which is now listed here on "Author Shout" and available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-a-Million.
Again, I write what I know…. Lol. Balance is a challenge for me to fit my own writing time in as I book promote for many other authors and writing another book with someone. It is why it has taken me MANY years to get my next book done and published. So I am still a “two book wonder” at this point.
What do you think is the future for independent authors and do you think it will continue to be easy for anyone to be a published author?
Well, we all know indie and self-published authors are changing the landscape of the “traditional” way authors get published these days. You no longer have to be published by one of the big publishing houses anymore. Now, thats not to say there are some self-published or indie books that may not be very appealing. (No offense to authors). As I have read a few myself and the authors are no writers, LOL.
However, there are awesome writers and authors producing some fantastic written works and it is refreshing to see that all authors can now be noticed and praised for work well done! That is part of the change with being able to self-publish. I have promoted and worked with authors that were picked up and offered publishing contracts, so the traditional publishing houses are finding many good writers and authors. That is a great thing.
Are you traditional or self-published, and what process did you go through to get your book published?
My current book was picked up by a publishing firm. But my publisher is a smaller independent publisher, however, I received an awesome offer when it came to my royalty share. The Kodel Group, Steve Laible is more like a “self-publish” helper. I had an editor and book cover designer for my current book already, so they just did my format, typesetting, and upload through Amazon’s Create Space for the paperback, and KDP for my e-book.
Going this route was the least expensive way to publish. Now most publishers won’t do any book promoting, marketing for authors except maybe send out a press release about the new book, so authors Beware …And be ready to promote your books on your own. I do all my own book promoting throughout social media, PR releases through NPR and PRNewsWire, and use a few places that promote for me in mainstream media and get my books into bookstores. Authors can promote for free at many book sites or place low-cost book ads like right here on Author Shout.
Have you ever changed a title, book cover, or even the content of your book after it was published? What was that process like?
No. The only change or difference that I made was to my book cover. I have two different covers that are the same but different in the colors. My e-book cover has different colors then the paperback as I wanted my e-book cover to have more vibrant Las Vegas catching colors. That was about the only change.
What opportunities have being an author presented you with and share those memories? (i.e. travel, friends, events, speaking, etc..)
Being a person who maintains recovery from gambling addiction and alcohol for a little over eleven years now, publishing my book was my way of helping others with the same issues and problems as I have and was the only way I knew how to help others by sharing my voice and my story to give others HOPE that they to can recover from this cunning and devastating addiction known as gambling addiction.
Many blessings and doors have opened for me to share my voice and have a platform to help inform, educate, and raise awareness of addicted and problem gambling. I want those who have never been touched by addictions have more understanding, compassion, and empathy for those who suffer. The opportunities for writing recovery articles, writing with others, and for many publications has been 10 fold! Most have come from people seeing and reading my book, an interview, or hearing me on a radio show or podcast.
I had for two years became a recovery columnist for a premier magazine called; “In Recovery Magazine.” My column was called; “The Author’s Cafe." I am also a writer for a recovery newspaper out of So. California called; "Keys To Recovery Newspaper" and I am an expert gambling addiction and recovery blogger on “Addictionland.” That is just the tip of the iceberg as I have a few more, but I am "blessed, humbled and thankful" for all the opportunities that have come my way. These offerings help keep me in recovery as well.
What are your marketing, advertising, promotion strategies and which one(s) have worked the best for you? If you had to share your most valuable promotion tip, what would that be?
Now this question is an easy answer! Lol. Layer low-cost book ads for your books on several places like right here on Author Shout.
Since I market, promote, and advertise books for authors for living and as my online business, I have a page of what I offer to autors and writers in promoting and marketing their books and I set up all their social media accounts as well. The details are on my website: "Lyon Media, Book Promotions, and Literary Consulting." It is my business and home of "Cat Lyon's Reading and Writing Den."
I began my online business in order to help new authors learn ‘how and where’ to promote their books. Many just hire me to do it for them so they can just focus on writing more books and most of the sitesuse or promote on are free I place layered low-cost book ads and maybe run for them a E-book promotion. There is no shortage of authors needing help as they continue to write more books or meet the publishing deadlines, and why among other reasons they hire me to promote their books for them.
My number one valuable tip? Layer your book ads when your book first releases. Do a Beta Reader program to reviews prior to release like on Netgalley. That way you will find your readership. Use many book promo sites like Awesomegang.com or Bookgoodies.net . . . Just a couple of my other “go to places.”
If you are a self-published author, which platform do you prefer? (Amazon, Smashwords, Lulu, Author House, or something not mentioned), and why?
My book is listed on Amazon, Amazon Kindle, Author House, Barnes & Noble, and Books-a-million. Smashwords is very helpful if you want to get your books listed as e-books, or as they call them, Nooks. AND? Once you are in their database? You can request to have a Author book signing and apperance at any barnes and Noble!
What is your biggest fear about having a book published?
This question goes back to how I answered your very First Question.
I sat on my manuscript for almost a year because of fear. It is more difficult being afraid of how readers would react to my memoir as it is based on truth and is a real story and facts. I also had some fear about what my family would think even though I have been estranged from them for years. But I decided it wasn’t for or about them. My book was about healing and forgiveness for me and insight for readers.
What is the intended audience for you book?
People in or reaching out to recover from gambling addiction, awareness of mental health, and those who had been sexually or physically abused, went through childhood trauma. Also for readers who want more understanding about these issues.
If you had the chance to get one message out there to reach readers all over the world, what would that message be?
A message of HOPE to others who suffer from addiction of any kind. We can recover no matter how bad or how far addiction has taken you. We all have that tiny sliver of light within us to turn our lives around if we want it bad enough.
Lastly, do you find it easier to connect with your readers with the advances in technology we have today like social media? What platform do you prefer, and why?
The Internet has changed not only the landscape of how authors can easily promote their books throughout social media, but the Internet has also changed the face of recovery in how people can find information to get help from addiction and recovery support.
As a book promoter and as my in-home business, the Internet has allowed me to work from home and make an income as I still suffer with Agoraphobia, Bipolar Mood Disorder and sometimes the side effects from my medications make it hard to work in a place of employment. It has also changed the way we do many things for school, work, and book selling and for the publishing industry. I focus much of my attention when reaching out and advocating is through social media and my Recovery Blog and all are invited to come visit and learn more about gambling addiction on "Let Recovery Start Here" ...