Since she was young, Carole P. Roman has always had a strong desire to be a writer. In the course of her career she has published over thirty five children’s books including: The Captain No Beard Series, Whaley’s Big Adventure, and Rocket-Bye.
Fascinated by the historical fiction genre, she love to incorporate themes of world cultures and customs in her books in order to educate kids more about history. When she’s not working on writing projects, you can find her traveling or watching shows on Broadway.
Rachel Moulden/IndieReader (RM): Carole, you have a very interesting background when comes to indie publishing. What was the main driving force on wanting to become an author? Did you always have a passion for writing or did it come later in life?
Carole P. Roman (CPR): I always wanted to be a writer. I self-published a historical romance back in the seventies when I was younger. It’s still on Amazon today. I think I sold one copy. It was the days before CreateSpace and I didn’t know anything about promotion or marketing. I learned that much later on while working in our family business. The writing bug was always there and until my sons dared me in a contest, I never thought I’d write another book, no less in the genre I picked.
RM: You have published over thirty-five children’s books in your career. What made you choose to write children’s books as opposed to adult books, etc.?
CPR: I couldn’t come up with anything I could connect with. I have gone through my entire life reading different genres, historical fiction being my favorite. I had to come into work the next day with something to show I had started a book. Captain No Beard made his appearance and the story took off. It is based on a game I played with my grandchildren and somehow people connected with the innocence of it.
The non-fiction series are born from my love of sharing information on those subjects. I am fascinated by history, culture, and customs. I like to explore the similarities and differences, and then discuss them. I can relate what kids want to learn about and able to make them sit up and want to learn more. It was a well-appreciated gift when I was a substitute teacher. I was the most requested teacher in three schools.
RM: What is the most enjoyable aspect of writing children’s books? And are there any stories/concepts you have brewing in your mind that you haven’t already written?
CPR: Nothing brews for long, because I start writing as soon as an idea surfaces. At my age, you have to do it before you forget it! I love watching children’s faces when I read to them. I enjoy hearing how a story captured their imagination. It’s special when a parent writes and says not only did my child enjoy your book, but I did too and we spent the next day talking about it.
I have completed and will be publishing my first early reader chapter book. It’s called Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag. I can’t wait to see if kids and parents enjoy it.
RM: What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
CPR: Getting the books out into the public. As indies, we have no voice and are competing with big-time publishing companies that can afford to promote their books. There are a lot of indie works that publishing houses wouldn’t consider doing that are sometimes richer and more diverse than you can imagine.
Another challenging part is formatting and making sure we get all the mistakes. I read only what I think I‘m supposed to see and despite two beta readers and three editors, we still miss things. Fortunately, with self-publishing we can fix any errors.
RM: What series and/or book has been the most favorite out of all your works to write and why? Do you have a favorite character from that book or series?
CPR: I wrote two books in particular as love letters to my grandchildren. Rocket-Bye is a lovely little bedtime verse book I wrote for my grandsons, and Can a Princess Be a Firefighter? was written for my granddaughters. Each book is intensely personal for me and my loved ones. Women, in particular have reacted to the princess book because it encourages girls to reach for their dreams and not let anything get in their way. Rocket-Bye is about my love for the cosmos and is a dream trip to the stars.
RM: Tell us a little about yourself. Do you have any hobbies you enjoy when you’re not busy writing?
CPR: I work full-time with my family in a world-wide business. We travel together and spend time in Orlando, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. I love ballet and the opera, Broadway shows and I love to read. My favorite activity is being with my family.
RM: Why do you think children’s literature is so essential in a child’s life?
CPR: It is important in so many ways. Reading opens a world for children. Sometimes they need the exposure of different lives and it’s a way for them to experience life. Other times, a book can show them they are not alone when they read about a character they can identify with. If you have a book, you are never lonely.
RM: Promotion is an essential part of indie publishing in order to get your work out to the general masses. Can you share three key tips that helped you along your career path?
CPR: Find magazines and blog sites that speak to your audience and figure a budget to invest with them. If nobody hears about your book, it will not get read.
Read and review other books in your genre. Become an expert. If people like your review, they may seek out your books. This is an inexpensive way to promote yourself.
Find reputable sites like Indie Reader and enter your book in their award contests. Thousands of books are entered. If you win, it validates your work. It proves you have something extraordinary. Don’t underestimate the power of those shiny emblems.
RM: A lot of creative writers or people that want to jump into publishing have a general fear of being rejected or things not going as planned. What would be your advice to help them conquer their fears?
CPR: Go out there and send your work to as many people as you can. The first one star reviews are painful, but when you see them vastly outnumbered by accolades and awards, that negative review will become less important. You have to develop a thick skin. Remember, if you don’t promote, no one will do it for you and your book will not get noticed in the vast amount books published. If you choose not to market your books, that’s fine. Understand then, that you are writing for yourself, your family or a small audience. If you are looking to make a living, you have to tackle those fears.
RM: Do you have any new projects in works at the moment?
CPR: If You Were Me and Lived in…Cuba is almost finished. My first early reader chapter book, Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag is due to be published next week. Just published If You Were Me and Lived in…The Ancient Mayan Empire, and If You Were Me and Lived in…Germany.