Today’s guest is Diana Raab, author of the poetry collection, Lust. Diana is an award-winning poet, memoirist, educator, transpersonal psychologist, and author of eight books, including four poetry collections and two memoirs, Regina’s Closet and Healing With Words. She is also editor of two anthologies, Writers and Their Notebooks and Writers on the Edge: 22 Writes Speak About Addiction and Dependency. She is advocate of writing for healing, transformation and empowerment and teaches workshop around the country. She also teaches memoir writing. She has been writing and publishing her work for more than 45 years.
Thank you for this interview, Diana. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
I just turned sixty and have been writing for over 50 years. My real passion for the written word began when my mother handed me a journal when I was ten and my grandmother had just committed suicide. She told me to pour my feelings and sadness onto the pages of my journal.
Can you tell us briefly what your book is about?
Lust is a poetry collection focusing on the lust for life, which includes passion for everything from intimacy to work.
Why did you choose your particular genre?
Poetry is a genre which succinctly and best taps into the rawest and pertinent emotions.
What was your greatest challenge writing this book?
Deciding which poems to include and which to leave out.
Are you published by a traditional house, small press or are you self-published?
Not sure I understand your distinction between traditional or small press. Do you mean large or small house and what is your number cut off? Word Tech Communications is the largest poetry press in the country, they put out the most amount of poetry books, but they are not what you would call a large press, like the big 5 in NYC.
Was it the right choice for you?
How are you promoting your book thus far?
I hired a publicist who did a great deal of media coverage for me by sending out news releases. She also set up some readings and found an actress to read the poems on Audible. That was very helpful. I got a fair amount of local coverage that is always good. When pertinent, I try to mention the book in all my blog posts which I do for Psychology Today, Huffington Post (Huff50), and BrainSpeak.
How is that going for you?
The book was released on Valentine’s Day 2014 which was a good time for a launch. Book publicity is ongoing; most important before and just after the book is released, but it’s ongoing. For poetry, readings are very important.
Can you tell us one thing you have done that actually resulted in one or more sales?
Its is difficult to monitor this. Poetry readings really help. Giving away free book marks and cards also helps.
Do you have another job besides writing?
Writing is my life. I do teach memoir and poetry workshops as well.
If you could give one book promotion tip to new authors, what would that be?
Be persistent and tenacious. Book marketing should start before the book is released and continue for many months afterwards. Always carry book copies in your car because you never know who you will run into.
What’s next for you?
I hope to turn my dissertation into a book. I always carry my journal and always crafting poetry. Some are more publishable than others. I keep busy with the three blogs I write — Psychology Today, Huffington Post (Huff50), and BrainSpeak.
Can you tell us where we can find you on the web?