Interview with Author C.J. Althammer
C.J. is the author of “Oh…What Will I Be”. An endearing picture book that focuses on an inquisitive child deciding on what they want to be when they grow up alongside the support of an understanding parent.
C.J. chose to “self publish” through FriesenPress and shares her experience of writing through to publishing with us below.
Here is what one of her reviewers said about the book
C.J. Althammer Books for Sale
Oh...What Will I Be?
What Inspired you to write?
There were really two inspirations that lead to me writing “Oh…what will I be?”.
My husband and I had just started the in-vitro process and there were several different thoughts and emotions running through my mind. “Will I be a good mom? What values do I want to convey? How do I ensure I’m raising them “right”?”… when the clutter in my brain cleared I ultimately decided, my child is going to be who THEY are and all I really want is for , him or her to know, “whatever you do, wherever you go, whoever you become, you will always be, my number one.”
As for the little boy in my book “Benjamin”, this character was whole heartedly inspired by my nephew. Big dreams and aspirations, sweet to the core. My nephew and Benjamin are one in the same.
How did you get your first book Noticed?
When I decided I wanted to publish “Oh…what will I be?”, I looked into several (twenty two, to be exact) traditional publishers and not one was accepting unsolicited manuscripts.
I decided that bump in the road wasn’t going to hold me back from achieving my dream of being a published author. To every problem, there’s a solution!
So, I decided to “self-publish” with Friesen Press, and I am happy I did. Road blocks are meant to go around, not stop you!
What one bit of advice would you want to give yourself when first starting out?
Remember the first manuscript for any book, be it your first or fiftieth, the first draft of your manuscript is just for YOU.
When you feel you’ve completed that step in the process, set your manuscript aside for a week, or two, or three, then come back to it. Read through it and make changes. Once you’ve completed that, show it to a couple close friends and/or family, and get their feedback. Remember, your first manuscript isn’t good, it’s not the end product, and that is ok!
Achieving greatness doesn’t just happen, it’s a process that takes relentless efforts, but once achieved, its one of the best feelings in the world.
Do you think of this as a full time career or a Hobby with ambitions?
I built a career that was financially lucrative and extremely stressful. For years I had been looking at different options to change my career path and once “Oh…what will I be?” was published and I had a physical copy in my hands, I decided writing is what I was going to do full-time.
It was definitely a scary decision to leave what I knew and had worked hard for over the course of fifteen years, but my husband is very supportive and I haven’t regretted a moment of my decision to write full time.
My second children’s book “Unlikely Friends” is currently in the publishing process!
Which Author do you admire the most?
There are many great authors but I most admire J.K. Rowling, she is not only a brilliant writer but her story to becoming an author is truly inspirational.
Finally, What one bit of advice will help anyone Lvl-up their work?
I have had several individuals approach me and say, “You’re such an inspiration. I’d love to write, I wish I could be a writer.” YOU CAN! If writing is something you aspire to do, make time, write!
Writing doesn’t mean you have to spend a bunch of money or quit your job to do it, it means you have to make it a priority.
Thank you CJ!
Some fantastic insights there and some great advice on sticking with your idea, but being adaptable to make it into a manuscript.