Originally from frosty Winnipeg, Manitoba in central Canada, where the average low temperature in January is -7F, Marlene Zefferys, who self-published her latest novel Softly Fall the Snowbirds, knows what it’s like to want to escape to warmer climes along with thousands of other “snowbirds.” Snowbirds are people—typically retirees—from Canada and northern US states who, like their winged compatriots, prefer to winter in the south. “My husband gave me the inspiration that started this adventure with retirees in Phoenix, golfing, and the lifestyle.” She adds with a smile, “It was fun to write.”
Yes, we think Marlene had a lot of fun with this book! Peering behind the palm fronds of Arizona, Marlene’s new novel Softly Fall the Snowbirds sets out to show that “real life in these communities is nothing like the brochures.” In the novel, a fictitious couple, Jane and Jack, go to visit Jane’s sister Irene in her Phoenix gated community, where she discovers that “resentment, sexual jealously, envy, and dark secrets seethe just below the surface” of the happy façade. You’ll have to read the book to find out more, but safe to say there is trouble afoot on the golf course!
Besides having fun, Marlene has some serious aspirations. “I want to become a best-selling author and give lectures on many subjects,” says Marlene, who is already working on her next book, a non-fiction work. As an author of twelve books, Marlene has several genres on the market, mostly non-fiction. Tears in the Rainforest was Marlene’s first novel, and Marlene has also published a number of health-related eBooks. Says Marlene, “I have had several books published by different publishing houses, and found that it was difficult to retain my ownership of the books. After doing my research, my best resource was 1106 Design for the final stages of publishing Softly Fall the Snowbirds.”
1106 Design was thrilled to assist Marlene to publish her book independently, and provided Marlene with cover design, editing, proofreading, page design, in addition to writing the blurb on the back cover. Looking back on the process to prepare the book for publication, Marlene reflects that the most challenging part was “getting the tenses correct in the story” and making sure that “everything flows.” She laughs and comments, “After nine proofs, the book was finally finished! 1106 Design was most helpful. They were always available for a consultation whenever I required it. I plan on using 1106 Design for my next novel, which is almost ready to go.”
Even after nine proofs, Marlene says it’s all worth it. “Seeing the book on Amazon, with a fantastic cover, is a great feeling, especially after all the editing and months of work and many choices to make.” Marlene comments that she is breathing easier now that the book is complete and on Amazon.
Ever the realist, Marlene reflects that it’s not easy to self-publish. “It takes work to produce a finished book. Publishing houses do all the work for you, but the author still has many things to decide before a book is published.” Marlene admits that she used a self-publishing house many years ago and made some “expensive errors that were reflected in the process.” She continues, “After publishing twelve books and making many mistakes along the way, I can now work my way through the task with confidence and knowledge about the publishing industry. I am still learning, and anytime I need assistance, I turn to 1106 Design.”
Marlene advises those authors who are new to self-publishing to learn all they can before deciding to self-publish. “You will have to make many decisions on your book before it is published. Go through the process with a dummy sample and see what is required and how to choose the best title for your book. Go slowly and take your time; rushing will cause mistakes. Rely on people in the business who will give you good advice.”
Very good advice indeed Marlene. Good luck with Softly Falls the Snowbirds, and by the way, here’s one question we didn’t ask: Will you be spending your winters in a Phoenix retirement community any time soon?
Book title and subtitle: Softly Fall the Snowbirds
Author: Marlene Zefferys