Author Success Stories
by Kathleen D. Mailer
Today I am interviewing Dominique (Nik) Petersen. Nik's the book designer at New Author Publishing Services, the company she co-owns with her editor husband, Jens. I worked with her when she was the Vice-President, Production and Design, keeping Aurora Publishing going administratively as well as managing the work of our magazine, Today's Businesswoman. But today, I'd like to interview her as an author.
Hi, Nik, and welcome.
When did you start writing?
I've been writing on and off all of my life, but I didn't really think there was a chance to get a book published—until I started working at Aurora Publishing and you encouraged me to write a book. I finished my first in 2006.
What is the title of your first book and what's it about?
The title of the book is Girlfriends Forever! It's actually a set of 2 books—part journal, part scrapbook, and part diary—with coil bindings that allow them to lie flat for easy writing. I call it an “interactive” book set because one person fills out one book and her girlfriend/mother/daughter/grandmother/sister/aunt/cousin fills out the other. Then, at a pre-arranged date, they exchange books.
What made you write this book?
I had just become friends with a lovely woman and found myself wondering about some of her likes/ dislikes, etc. Since I live in Canada and she lives in the States, my husband suggested I write to ask her questions. It then popped into my head that this would be a great way for two people to become close by each answering questions in a journal about themselves—and at some set time in the future— exchanging journals.
Who is the typical user?
It's not just for girlfriends who want to know each other better. I've had mothers filling out books to exchange with their young daughters. My mother is filling out hers to exchange with her granddaughter. Women of ANY age enjoy filling them out, and it's a terrific way to bridge the generation gap. Daughters and granddaughters will treasure these personal revelations of the people they love the most, again and again over the years.
How are you marketing Girlfriends Forever?
My marketing has mainly been concentrated on the Internet—at my website, Facebook, and other author sites. I have recently joined Pinterest—so I'm anxious to see how that turns out.
What's next for you?
My latest book, The Dr. Hook Trivia Quiz Book, is out. Recently I wrote a book with my husband called Ideas and Tips for Marketing Your Book. It's available as a flip book on CD or an eBook, PDF version. They're available at our website: www.AuthorConsultants.org under the Marketing tab. So, what's next is a lot of book marketing!
Thanks, Nik, for being with us today. To learn more about Nik's interactive books or to order a set, visit the website at www.NikDesignsGraphics.com. You can “Like” her page at www.Facebook.com/NiksBooks.
Kathleen D. Mailer is the CEO of Aurora Publishing, the Founder/Editor-in-Chief of Today's Businesswoman magazine, Canada's leading authority on self-publishing, an author, and business coach.
Buying the VIP ticket was a joke. When I passed in my ticket and received the pink VIP wristband, they told me that the Meet and Greet with Dr. Hook had been cancelled as he didn't feel well. However, he would say hello to his fans after the concert. This meant that I was stuck there from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm. They had 2 other bands on before Dr. Hook but I wasn't interested in their music. So, I went back to the car to drop off my newly purchased T-shirt and decided to sit there and read my book until it got dark.
Spent time cooling my heels in and around the arena. Was sitting outside on a park bench when the Band arrived after 10:00. I waved as they drove past but only Tom saw me and he waved back. I watched them get out and enter the arena by a side door so decided I'd better get inside myself.
The previous band was gone but there was already a line of people across the front of the stage! I saw that there would be no way to see over their heads, if I sat in the VIP seat section (first 3 rows). And indeed, when I looked back after the concert, the seats were GONE—pushed away—as the entire audience had stood in front of the stage. I was lucky to get into the second row of people. Half-way through the concert, the 2 young women in front of me left, so I was in the first row, front and centre! What a view!
The concert was FABULOUS! After the first two songs, I heard Ray say that he had to take a breath. Guitar player, Brian, asked if he was okay and Ray replied that he was. When they started the next song, Ray must have gotten his second wind because for the rest of the concert he was in great form, even doing little dances, leading the Band, giving the downbeat for each song, and generally giving it his all. It was wonderful! Some people really laughed at the lyrics from “Freakers Ball” and some others laughed at those from “Only 16”—“I was a mere child of 16. I've aged a year since then.” Obviously, not hard-core fans! Afterward, a woman told me she had never seen Dr. Hook live before and that the concert had been fantastic. I had to agree with her.
In the encore, the crowd started chanting “Syl-vi-a, Syl-vi-a” and sure enough, the next song was “Sylvia's Mother”. Spare me, please! However, at the end of the song, the Band went into a musical interlude, with solos by each member in turn. But Ray didn't introduce them to us so I have no idea who the bass player is!
Dr. Hook Featuring Ray Sawyer:
Kenne Cramer, guitar
Brain Davidson, guitar
Cayce Sawyer, drums
Tom Kerr, keyboard
A small group (perhaps 50) of us waited for half an hour after the concert to get autographs and to see more of Ray. ;o) He signed a few programs and T-shirts and then looked over, saw me, and said "YOU! Come over here!" and crooked his finger at me. I went over and he hugged me! He said it was nice to see me and did I have anything for him to sign. I said "No, I don't have anything with me." A woman passed up a small flyer and he signed the back. I asked him how he was and he said "Good". I said "I'm glad to hear it". Then someone asked how old he was and he said "76. I'll be 77 in February. But with all the technology and medications they have these days, I'll be here for another 10 years." I asked him if he would be doing concerts for those years and he replied "Of course". I told him they were saying this was his last one. He said no, that he would carry on, and I said "That's all I wanted to know!" and left him to the rest of the fans.
Then I floated on home. I got here at 2:00 am and my husband, Jens, was waiting up to hear all about my trip. A night to remember!
Dominique Petersen is a graphic designer living in St. Thomas, Ontario, and is the author of Dr. Hook and Me: A Fan's Journal/Scrapbook.
_Relationships are what make our world go ‘round! Everyone needs to love and be loved and there is nothing greater than to be in a loving relationship.
But what makes a loving relationship?
A good relationship is based on mutual respect. You have to LIKE the person you are with and he/she needs to be your best friend. To become/have a friend involves sharing—sharing of your time, your secrets, your support of each other, your life stories. You have to KNOW a person to be a friend. Sharing creates a bond with another human being and makes that person special.
Many people enter into a relationship/marriage with their eyes shut. Even when a warning bell goes off, they tend to ignore it because they WANT to be “in love”. Perhaps they are afraid of being alone, of not having a partner, of being thought of as not good enough to be with someone. Putting up with someone that you don’t really like is far worse than being alone! And if you are alone, you have a better chance of finding the “right” person to share your life with.
In this day and age, people have no patience. I believe that with men, the TV remote control has GREATLY contributed to this state of affairs! To get to know someone, you have to be patient, you have to TALK, you have to share your feelings, your interests, your ideas. You have to go slow, which is totally against everything else we do in our fast-paced lives.
Another thing that is needed is to feel “safe”—to let your hair down, to be honest, to be candid. Of course, with this you risk being vulnerable, and this is scary, particularity to men. It is very hard to “bare your soul”, especially when sitting talking face-to-face. Some people find it easier to talk in the dark—“pillow talk” it used to be called. Others find it easier to write to the other person. That way, you are not being “watched” while you tell secrets about yourself, and you are not saying private things “out loud”.
So many people get into relationships without even KNOWING their partners! Partners Forever? is there to cover all the angles, the things one should know about one’s partner. And it allows the couple to fill out their answers in private. Here’s how it works: each partner will have a copy of the book in which he/she will respond to the questions by filling out the pages. At a pre-arranged date, they exchange the books. While reading the other’s book, notes are made on the answers in the “Notes” section provided in the back. When they meet to discuss their answers, the notes made will help each to remember the points they wanted to raise or the questions they wanted to ask. Either, or both, may want to add to or revise their answers after the discussions.
These books are not only useful for couples about to enter a relationship, but they can also be very beneficial for couples already in a relationship. They can help open an important and helpful dialogue by making explicit what each partner really wants and expects in the relationship. This kind of openness with each other can sometimes bring to light problems that can now be resolved and help each partner on the way to meeting his/her needs.
The books can be brought out now and then to see what progress is being/is not being made. Answers can be added to/revised over the years as well.
Here's to meaningful relationships!
Dominique Petersen is a graphic designer living in St. Thomas, Ontario, and is the author of the interactive book set, Partners Forever?
Being a writer, I thoroughly enjoy connecting and meeting other writers. I meet my fellow writers through various channels online via social media, friends and colleagues. I decided how I could do this while I am getting to know them better is to introduce these talented writers to you too.
Below is my interview with fellow writer Dominique Petersen.
Please share with us a little bit about yourself.
My husband and I have our own company, New Author Publishing Services, to help authors through the book publishing process. He is an editor and I am a book designer. Previously, I provided my design services to other publishing companies. Seeing everyone else following their dreams encouraged me to follow mine and I now have 4 of my own books published.
When did you begin your writing?
I finished my first interactive book, “Girlfriends Forever!” in 2006, then the follow-up, “Partners Forever?” in 2007. The booklet, “Bonding with Your Partner: 2 Dozen Ways to Deepen Your Relationship” was completed in 2009 and my latest, “Dr. Hook and Me: A Fan’s Journal/Scrapbook” was completed last Spring.
Please tell us about your latest book.
"Dr. Hook and Me” took over a year to write and collect up and put my material in chronological order. Then the manuscript went to the editor and I had several sections sent back for adding to and rewriting. The editing process took just over a year to complete. I then formatted the book, which took several months because it is filled with things like photos and graphics, letters, newspaper clippings, and concert tickets — and is 200 pages long! However, it was a lot of fun putting it together. I wanted it to sound like a journal and have a scrapbook look to it.
Why did you choose to write this book?
I was the Moderator of the online Dr. Hook Featuring Ray Sawyer Fan Club for 7 years and wrote and posted reports on the concerts I attended. Several people said that they loved reading my reports and one woman egged me on to use them in a book about Dr. Hook. Since there are no books written about this band, and since I have been a fan for 40 years, I thought it would be a good topic to write about.
Who is your book geared towards? What is it about?
My book is basically for fans of the band. However, people who have barely heard of the band have also read and enjoyed it. It tells the story of how someone (me) becomes a fan, how if affects her life, what happens when she meets other fans, members of the band — and Dr. Hook himself. So it’s not a biography of the band, but actually a story from a fan’s perspective.
Do you incorporate social media (twitter, facebook, linkedin) for your writing and/ or book?
You can find me on LinkedIn at: http://ca.linkedin.com/in/dominiquepetersen and Facebook at: www.facebook.com/NiksBooks. I'm coming up to 1,500 fans on my Facebook page now!
When it comes to social media — do you prefer one platform over the others? Why?
I like Facebook better than LinkedIn because it is more informal and I can interact with people right on the Wall.
Where can people purchase your books?
At my website.
I’ve been so busy marketing “Dr. Hook and Me” that I haven’t had a chance to even think about the next book. I would like to publish another though. It’s one of those things that you can easily become addicted to. You start with one and before you know it, you have a half-dozen books out there!
How can others contact you?
I’m at NikDesignsGraphics@yahoo.ca or they can join my Facebook page — and feel free to post on the Wall!
_ A couple of years ago, I attended my high school reunion. To my surprise, I ran into a woman whom I hadn't seen in 40 years! We hugged, got teary-eyed with joy, and spent most of the afternoon together recalling all the fun and heartaches we'd shared as best girlfriends in high school. When we parted, we promised to keep in touch. What a great day that was! In one afternoon we were able to recapture that close relationship we had had in those important teenage years.
That encounter got me thinking about the importance of relationships, especially our relationships with other women. Girlfriends, daughters, granddaughters, daughters-in-law, sisters, sisters-in-law, mothers, grandmothers, aunties, nieces, cousins, and extended family, all are so valuable and bless our lives. It takes another woman to listen to and understand our woes. Perhaps because she is a woman, she feels it in her soul when we share ourselves with her!Husbands and boyfriends may come and go in life, but girlfriends always seem to stick by us. What is cozier than a night in with your girlfriends, watching a “chick flick” and passing around a box of Kleenex—and a box of chocolates!
A good relationship is based on mutual respect and trust. To be a friend involves sharing—sharing your time, your secrets, your support, and your life stories. You have to KNOW a person to be a friend. Sharing creates a bond with another woman and makes her special.
Close relationships enhance our lives and keep us healthy. A study done by Harvard researchers showed that people who have relationships of friendship, love, or other positive bonding, experience emotions that positively affect their immune systems. Strong friendships help to protect us against stress, depression, anxiety, and some forms of mental illness, according to the Mayo Clinic. It is known that people who frequently interact with others, whether face-to-face, or by phone, mail or email, live longer and healthier lives than those who live in isolation. Sociable people get sick less often and recover faster when they do fall ill.
Sometimes our relationships are interrupted when our girlfriends take different paths—get married, have children, or move away. Jeffrey Zazlow, in his book The Girls from Ames, followed the lives of 11 women for 40 years. He found that although these women moved apart, they managed to maintain their friendships. Not only that, their friendships sustained them through stressful times in their lives, such as battling cancer, losing a job, or going through a divorce. Again and again, they supported each other with phone calls, gifts, and emails.
Girlfriends are there for each other, no matter how much time and how many miles separate them.
Here’s to Meaningful Relationships!
Dominique Petersen is a graphic designer living in St. Thomas, Ontario, and is the author of the interactive book set, Girlfriends Forever!
I Wanna Make The Women Tremble
Here's the keyboard player, Billy Francis, singing one of his best. From 1977's album, "Making Love and Music".
Up On the Mountain
Hot lickin' and finger pickin'. From 1976's "A Little Bit More" album.
DR. HOOK AND ME--
A Fan's Journal/Scrapbook
Concerts in Toronto, Mid-70s, Early 80s
I was lucky to be living in Toronto during those years because Ray and “the rest of the fellas” played there quite often and I attended as many concerts as I could.
The most memorable gig for me was a night in 1974 at the El Mocambo on Spadina Avenue. The El Mo, as it was affectionately called, was an old three-story building, within a long row of buildings. It was set up as a nightclub in the 1940s and started playing blues and rock 'n' roll in 1972. Out in front was the original cheesy neon sign in the shape of a palm tree with the words El Mocambo (which means road house) running vertically down the tree trunk. This was THE place to be, THE venue for live music in Toronto in the late '70s. The ground floor provided competition to the Silver Dollar Room and Grossman's Tavern. Both of these clubs were located a block on either side of the El Mo. If a band was really good (i.e. brought in the money), they would graduate from playing on the first floor and be asked to play upstairs on the second. The most famous act to play on the second floor was the Rolling Stones in 1977. The Prime Minister's wife, Margaret Trudeau, was there that night, dancing to the music. The concert was recorded and later released as the Stones' “Love You Live” album. Many other bands recorded their concerts there too and put out albums, usually called “Live at the El Mocambo”. It was here that I finally got to meet my heartthrob in person.
As usual, a group of us were seated at a large table in front of the stage. Sitting beside me were a couple of guys I didn’t know. One of them had a Polaroid camera which took and developed photos on the spot. During one of the band breaks, I asked him if he would take a photo of Ray for me. In return, I would give him all the money I had with me—$5.00. This was a pretty good fee (at that time) for one photo! He agreed and we went upstairs to the hall outside the dressing room.
We asked the roadie standing in the hall if he would go into the dressing room and ask Ray if he would mind having his picture taken. He went in and a couple of minutes later Ray came out. He did all the talking because I was stunned—a deer caught in the headlights would best describe me. Ray grabbed my hand and pulled me over to him, put his arm around me and posed for the picture. My heart was pounding so hard I could barely breathe. Afterwards, I patted him on the front of the shoulder and said “Thanks, Ray”, which was about the only thing I could choke out. Mannnn—that $5.00 was well spent! I was only hoping for a picture of Ray, but he got me in it too—“cheek to cheek” with The Man! What a night!
Dominique Petersen is a graphic designer living in St. Thomas, Ontario, and is the author of Dr. Hook and Me: A Fan's Journal/Scrapbook.
Dominique (Nik) Petersen