Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Chariss K. Walker, M.Msc., an award winning author, is originally from the Mississippi Delta farming area. She currently lives in Amarillo, Texas. She’s authored 23 books, 13 fiction and 10 nonfiction, and always includes something metaphysical or paranormal in all the books written. All of her books are sold worldwide in eBook, paperback, and many are in large print.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The most recent book, Purple Kitty, A Serena McKay Novel, was published in paperback on April 7, 2016. The eBook version was in a Kindle Scout campaign and published a few weeks later. Most of my books are inspired by a dream. Purple Kitty wasn’t an exception.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I write every day. I’m usually up by 3:00 or 4:00 each morning. I take my first cup of coffee to my office computer and begin. After a few hours, I stop to promote or network on social media sites, especially if I’ve just published a new book. Then, it’s back to writing.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
John D. MacDonald was my favorite mystery writer for the longest time as a young adult, especially the Travis McGee series. But, I also love many others. All books have influenced me… they took me to places I could never go, to relationships I could never have. Thank God for books… they saved my life as a child and teen. It was my escape from a harsh life. I’ve read a lot of books and there’s no way to determine how many or which ones influenced me most.
What are you working on now?
I just completed book trailers for all the fiction books I’ve written. I might produce a few more for the nonfiction books, such as Chakra Basics. I’m also working on Yellow Scarf, the second book in A Serena McKay Novels and Port City (An Alec Winters Series, Book 2). I always have ideas percolating in the back of my mind.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I can’t suggest which site is better, but I use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Goodreads. I have my own Author website too. I often buy tweet packages (Ask David and Author Shout) for special promotions. I have an author page at every site available. I use whatever I can find.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Don’t rush. The writing bug bit me in 2012 and I wrote 10 fiction books in that one year. I kept writing and writing. I didn’t pay much attention to editing or proofreading. It was like a manic writing spree where I had to get the information written. I published the books immediately and got a lot of negative feedback on the editing of the books, not the stories. Still, it couldn’t dampen my spirits. I kept writing. I took the books down, carefully edited, and then republished. Don’t make that same mistake. Make sure each book is ready, completely and utterly ready, before you present it to the world.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
“Don’t let good or bad reviews get to you and don’t buy reviews.”
Here’s why: Wait for readers to honestly publish their thoughts after reading your books. Even when you give a book away in exchange for an honest review, it doesn’t necessarily lead to an truthful opinion. People are fickle. Your words might touch a nerve in them, stir them in some way unimaginable. That’s good. If you evoke an emotion, even a negative emotion, you’re a good writer.
What are you reading now?
I read lots of nonfiction books, currently Heal Your Body A-Z by Louise L. Hayes. I’ve read it before, but went back for a refresher.
What’s next for you as a writer?
As a writer, I must do what all writers must do… I must keep writing and promoting my published books. People forget you if you’re not present every day. It’s a never-ending and constant job, certainly not for the faint-hearted.
What is your favorite book of all time?
My favorite book of all time… Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. Not because of the Civil War era or plight of slaves during that time, but the human drama and emotions were tangible.