Author of the Month
I chose nonfiction business author Charlene Davis as my Author of the Month because of her impressive list of books, diversity of interests, and helpful attitude toward others. Sheís a generous source of information as an authority toward her readers and as an accomplished author toward new and aspiring writers.
Leslie: How did your writing career begin?
Charlene: After my son was born in 1996, I enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom for a few years before stepping out on the slippery slope of freelancing. Using my background as a legal assistant, I initially worked as a freelance administrator for different organizations and companies. I found myself writing a lot of content for their newsletters and websites, which sparked my interest to look into business writing.
I started building my portfolio through online freelance sites like Elance.com. Although the pay was not great, I gained invaluable experience. I wrote in a lot of different genres before I found my niche in business and start-up ventures. Then in 2004, my friend and mentor, Jacquelyn Lynn (Leslie's Myshelf Author of the Month selection in December 2007), invited me to work on a book project with her through Entrepreneur. That turned out to be a great turning point for me. My sixth book with Entrepreneur, Design and Launch an Online Travel Business in a Week, came out in July.
Leslie: Tell me about the books youíve written.
Charlene: The books I have written are about different types of start-up ventures and how people can start and build a specific type of business. My newest book, Design and Launch an Online Travel Business in a Week, is different from others I have written in that it focuses exclusively on how to start a business virtually overnight. Most people who read this book will have a strong interest in traveling—whether itís family destinations, cruises for singles, or organizing business events. The book is unique in that it is not about how to own and operate a travel agency, which requires an entirely different set of rules to get up and running. Instead, the book teaches travel enthusiasts how to quickly and efficiently set up an exciting online business by learning how to proficiently and advantageously master the web.
Leslie: What's next for you?
Charlene: While writing the Online Travel Business book I gained so much great knowledge about how to start and run an online business that I decided to apply some of those techniques to my personal recipe website at BusyMomsRecipes.com. It has been well worth the effort as my subscriber list has grown and the dividends are paying off. A new cookbook is even in the works! I also continue to do business writing through articles and web content for other clients.
Leslie: How do you juggle your other responsibilities with your writing?
Charlene: Iím a very list-oriented person and I manage my calendar and to-do lists on the computer and my iPhone. Plus, Iíve learned the art of saying, "No." It was actually hard for me to do that initially, but once I stopped letting myself get overtaxed it became easier.
Leslie: What's the most rewarding part of being an author/writer?
Charlene: One of the best moments as a writer was in a group Bible study, and a woman new to the group started enthusiastically talking about a book she was reading. She wanted to start a home-business and didnít know how to go about it until she bought this book. It turned out to be one of MY books! This woman had no idea who I was until I started enthusiastically clapping with delight. I thought it was one of the best compliments I had ever received.
Leslie: What advice would you give to other people who would like to write nonfiction books?
Charlene: Network, network, network! Different people can provide different resources and connections. Join writersí groups, business organizations, and online discussion forums.
Leslie: What are you most proud of about your writing career?
Charlene: The most rewarding thing is that through the books I have written, I have been able to provide helpful information other people have been able to use and apply to their lives and businesses. Itís a wonderful feeling knowing when someone has benefited from my advice.
Start Your Own Senior Services Business (Entrepreneur Press, 2nd edition, due in 2009)
2009's Honorary List