In this post, we review Dr. Angela Lauria’s Book Journeys interview with author Cynthia MacGregor, author of Predator Proof Your Child: What You Need to Know to Protect Your Child.
Unlike most of the other authors interviewed by Angela, Cynthia isn’t a first-time author; indeed, over the course of the last twenty years or so, she has written over a hundred books. As Cynthia herself mentioned, she had been writing ever since she learned how to spell the word “cat,” and she experienced success early on when, at the age of nine, she wrote a play that was presented at her summer camp. Writing is now Cynthia’s whole life, with her waking up at 5am to start writing and finishing up at around 5pm, seven days a week.
With regards to Predator Proof Your Child, Cynthia mentioned her own experiences with sexual abuse, and Cynthia, who grew up in a good middle-class environment, points out that sexual abuse can take place even in the “nicest” of families, as she had a grandfather that was overly physically familiar with her, a grandfather who was a business owner. She also mentioned that the book was an outgrowth of her wanting to collaborate with the publishing house Familius, which focuses on family-oriented topics.
Cynthia published her first book with Berkley, and while she isn’t a publicity hog by nature she didn’t particularly take to the feeling of being just another writer of the publishing house. She prefers to publish with smaller publishers, giving her experience with Impact Publishers as an example of a publishing house with which she has had a good experience with.
Cynthia mentioned that not all publishers are on the up and up, and gave, as an example, her experience with a Canadian publisher of children’s books, which didn’t send her royalty statements or payments out when these should have been sent out; Cynthia remarked that her experience with that publisher was “horrible.” Cynthia recommends going online to Editors and Predators to see which publishing companies don’t treat their writers right.
Even though she has already published hundreds of books, Cynthia still does work for others, such as writing student handbooks, advertisements, press releases, promotions and even ghostwriting books for other people. Cynthia notes that writing for herself is satisfying, but writing for others is what puts money in her pocket, and when she writes a book she does so only one book at any single time to keep these “straight in my head,” although she also does other writing projects simultaneously. The books she has written have also made her credible enough to be the host of her own show on local TV for two years, a show aimed at single parents of all sorts called Solo Parenting.
For would-be authors who want to write their own book, Cynthia recommends that they not just talk about it but actually sit down and write their book out.