Conny Manero is the author of Waiting for Silverbird, Voice of an Angel, Kitten Diaries and Debbie. She is a contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul, Green Prints and Elite Magazine, as well as a freelance writer for Life123, Daily Glow and Sears. She also works as a volunteer fundraiser for the Toronto Cat Rescue, and is an active ten-pin bowler at a competitive level.
Debbie is a wonderful tale of a ferret who comes to live with Andrew and Charlie, the cat. Approximately 60 pages, with adorable illustrations, this a fantastic book for children – or anyone who wants to learn about having a ferret as a pet!
Tell me a bit about your book.
My latest book, Debbie, I wrote in memory of the real Debbie, a ferret we had for 7 years. When she passed away in her sleep she left a void. We had pictures and videos, but I wanted to do something more. I found that people don’t know much about ferrets, so the story tells what it’s like to have a ferret as a pet.
How did you come up with the title and storyline?
Each book was different. Both Debbie and Kitten Diaries follow real events. There was no need to make stuff up as a ferret and two kittens provided plenty of material.
Waiting for Silverbird was more complicated. The story required extensive research in the world of ballet and contemporary dancing. I was actually at work, typing up specifications for a military vehicle, when the opening line for Waiting for Silverbird come to me. I wrote it down, followed by another line and another. By the end of the day I had the first chapter. From there I wrote evenings and weekends. Writing Voice of an Angel was much the same.
Coming up with a title was easy. For all for books it was a logical choice.
How long have you been writing and what inspires you?
I have been scribbling for years. Pens and paper have always held a magical attraction.
What inspires me … busy places. Peace and quiet don’t do it for me, but give me a busy coffee shop, a restaurant or any other place with high traffic and my inspiration blossoms.
How did you get published? Why did you choose to self-publish some of your books?
Debbie was picked up by Rocking Horse Publishing, Waiting for Silverbird, Voice of an Angel and Kitten Diaries were self-published. I didn’t choose to self-publish as such, I just got tired of literary agents sending me messages such as “We’re not taking on new clients at this time” and “Your work sounds interesting but not for us”. Self-publishing does have its benefits though, the author has total creative and financial freedom.
What do you do in your spare time?
I like to read. I like to go to a bookstore, to see if my favorite authors have something new on the shelf or try a new author. I tried one or two ebooks, but this type of technology is not for me. I like the weight and smell of a book and turning pages.
My email account also keeps me quite busy. I keep in touch with friends in Canada and the States, South Africa, Belgium, Ireland, Australia and Egypt.
Other than that I spent a fair amount of time in a bowling alley. I bowl league on Wednesdays, and practice on Saturday mornings and Sunday nights. When there’s a tournament, I’m the first one to enter.
What is your writing ritual?
I don’t have one. When I sit down to write, all I do is staring at a blank page. However, if I do something that involves water, whether it’s doing dishes, washing windows or cleaning the bathroom, my inspiration goes into overdrive.
While most people I know write with a word processor, my inspiration dies in front of a computer. I prefer pen and paper, preferably blue lined, silky soft paper and a purple pen.
What book are you reading at the moment?
The Innocent by David Baldacci. Even though I mainly read women’s fiction, when I want a change, I go for suspense novels. I like a good murder now and then.
What piece of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
The same as what all other authors say … write about something you know. Nothing discredits a story more than inaccuracy. If you were to write about palm trees in New York, or mountains in Toronto, your credibility goes out the window. In addition, write about something you’re passionate about. You’re going to spend a lot of time writing, so you might as well enjoy it.
Are you working on any future novels?
I have a few ideas but I’m short on time to work them all out. Too many things like a full-time job, email conversations with friends and Facebook games get in the way. There really should be more hours in the day.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Hard to say. For one, I live day by day without worrying too much about what will happen next week or next month, never mind in 5 years time. Experience has taught me that the course of a life can change within 24 hours. So what’s the point of dreaming and making plans? Life is full is twists and turns and one better be prepared to go with the flow.
Where to find Conny:
Where to buy Conny’s books: