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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Meet Author April Michelle Davis

Please welcome author April Michelle Davis.


April, please tell us about yourself.
One day, while in middle school, my heartstrings turned away from numbers and captured the essence of grammar. As my newfound passion developed, my already cultivated fascination with princesses intensified, and I soon found myself writing A Princess in Disguise. Since then, true to the theme, I became a queen, married a king, and bore two princes. Even with the passage of time, this book has remained my first literary love, and now I am ready to share it with the world.

I earned a master’s degree in publishing from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in English from Messiah College. I also hold the following certificates: editing (University of Virginia), book publishing (University of Virginia), and professional editing (EEI Communications).

As an editor myself, I enjoy attending and participating in writers’ conferences and workshops and helping writers with their literary pursuits. I take this honor seriously and that is why I pay it forward by sharing my knowledge with others. I often speak at association meetings, writers’ groups, conferences, and colleges about writing and editing.

I has won writing contests, and books that I have edited have won awards as well. Please see www.editorialinspirations.com/about/credentials/ for my achievements. I live in Richmond, Virginia, and I’m originally from Northern Virginia.

Where can readers find you?
You can reach me through my editorial company, Editorial Inspirations (www.editorialinspirations.com).

Or connect with me through other outlets:
•           LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/aprilmichelledavis/
•           Twitter: https://twitter.com/EInspirations
•           Website: www.aprilmichelledavis.com and www.aprincessindisguise.com

How long does it take you to write A Princess in Disguise?
I began thinking about this storyline before there was even a story to write. I grew up with both my parents. After school, I enjoyed watching the Disney cartoons. As I watched Aladdin, I soon realized that the mother of Jasmine was not included in the movie nor in the cartoons, and I began to wonder why or where she was. This realization had me search storylines for the whereabouts of mothers. The mere mention of a character’s mother got my attention. Yet, I eventually set aside these ideas.

When I was in high school, I thought that my ideas could be turned into an interesting story so I began expanding on them. I wrote from my heart until I could write no more, yet the book was not finished. I let my peers read my manuscript hoping that their aspirations for me would drive me forward, yet I set my manuscript aside.

As a grown woman, I joined a book club where I meant another writer, a writer who inspired me to finish my book by the energy that she expressed through writing and the bond of our same love of writing. I finally finished my book and then the editing began. We edited the book and even had agents request and review the manuscript. Again, I set it aside.

Then in 2012, my writing partner was murdered, and I could not bear to look at my princess manuscript. In 2014, I met a man who could help me publish my manuscript and who pushed me to do it in honor of my writing partner, and I began editing the book again. Iguana Press initiated a crowdfund to see if there was interest in the story and gain initial funds for the book’s production. Midway through the crowdfunding, the campaign suddenly came to a halt as the sale of the crowdfund site fell through and all campaigns were suddenly ended. Though the remaining days of my campaign was held at another site, the momentum that had been building had ceased.

Upon completion of the campaign, the formal editing process began—with myself in the writer’s seat. With my mother as my assistant in helping to review the manuscript, we pushed the book publishing company’s editors to their limits because I would not settle for less.

My book A Princess in Disguise is about a princess on a quest. On the night of her sixteenth birthday and before her father has the chance to force her to marry a complete stranger, Princess Margaret sneaks away from the riches and safety of the palace. Torn between her fate and freedom, Princess Margaret desperately goes looking for her mother as the answer. In a quest of soul searching and physical hardships, the twist of events may take the readers by surprise, instilling a piece of the story in their hearts.

Today, I acknowledge SaraJane in my book as the lady who inspired me, my dear book club friend. A Princess in Disguise is available on Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, and through other book outlets. Or a signed copy can be ordered directly from me at aprilmichelledavis.com.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
When I am not writing, I am editing. I am a freelance editor, indexer, and proofreader, and I have owned my own editorial business since 2001. I work with authors and publishers on a variety of genres.

When I am not working, I am homeschooling my sons. We enjoy reading books and playing outdoors.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have taken my role full circle by publishing two technical books (in addition to my recent middle-grade/young-adult book): A Guide for the Freelance Indexer and Choosing an Editor: What You Need to Know. My favorite is definitely A Princess in Disguise because I was able to be creative while writing about something I love: princesses and castles.

If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Find something that you enjoy doing—something that you love doing—and then find a way to make money doing it. That will help you to not get tired of working, but to love much of what you do in life.

How do you balance a life outside of writing with deadlines and writing muses?
My husband is my IT person so he understands my business and he strives to make my business processes efficient and reliable. He is also very respectful and supportive of my time by sharing in childrearing and household responsibilities. My mom is my assistant. As my assistant, she writes and edits articles for my newsletter, finds avenues to market my books, orchestrates book signings, and is my go to person. I have an intern who helps me compile the newsletter each month. These key people in my work and personal life allow me to work and play hard. Without them, balancing my work and personal life would be much more difficult and look very different.

What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work?
A Princess in Disguise is a fairy tale about a princess, but it is not written in the typical style with a helpless princess who needs a prince charming to live happily ever after. This book teaches our young adults that being true to yourself does not mean to be selfish and without consideration of others but instead to consider the whole situation and then make the best choice based on that information. The princess in this book has a burning desire and determination to take her dreams and turn them into something that is self-fulling yet beneficial for the people who live in her kingdom. This is a book that can be also read and enjoyed by parents and their children.

Tell us about your latest release. 

A Princess in Disguise by April Michelle Davis


On the night of her sixteenth birthday and before her father has the chance to force her to marry a complete stranger, Princess Margaret sneaks away from the riches and safety of the palace. Torn between her fate and freedom, Princess Margaret desperately goes looking for her mother as the answer. In a quest of soul searching and physical hardships, the twist of events may take the readers by surprise, instilling a piece of the story in their hearts.  

Excerpt

“Margaret.” It was Eleanor. “Margaret. Let me in. I need to speak with you.”
When I opened the door, she walked to my bed and sat, directly facing me and my
dresser. “Margaret, do you miss Mother?”
Eleanor sat on the edge of my bed with her feet dangling over the side. She
twirled a ringlet of her hair with her left hand as she always did when she was in
deep thought—well, deep thought for her.
I was leaning against the dresser trying to cover the fact that it was
sticking further out on one side, but I was still shocked by Eleanor’s question.
We never spoke of Mother. “Yes, I miss her, but I do not know what I miss because I
never knew her. I think I miss what I would have known, and I miss not knowing her
love.”
“I wish she were here. Why did she leave, Margaret? Did we do something
wrong to make her mad at us?”
I was having trouble responding to Eleanor’s queries but not because of the
position I was standing in. I had always thought she hated Mother for abandoning us,
but here she was with mixed emotions.
“I do not believe we did anything wrong, for we were too young when she left.
We were babies; we could not even walk.” I tried to sound confident, though I
sometimes wondered the same.
“I used to think that, but now I am not sure.”
“We did nothing wrong, and deep down you know that. Besides, we do not
need her anymore. Soon each of us shall be off on our own adventures.”
“Thank you, Margaret. I feel better. I guess I was just having doubts
because tonight is such a big night. I know you are against these marriages, and
I would prefer to marry for love, but as princesses, this is our duty. We have a
responsibility, Margaret. We have such easy lives. We do not have to work, and
we have so much more than our subjects. Our purpose is to become wives, bear
sons, and make peace with other kingdoms. We are needed to prevent wars and to
bring new wealth to our kingdom, but our main goal as princesses is to get married and have male heirs.”
“Eleanor, it is just that I have dreamed since I was a little girl that I would be swept off my feet by a handsome man I loved, not forced into a marriage with a stranger I may never love nor dream about.”
Eleanor had stood and moved closer to the door, but then she turned to me. She could easily see the displacement of my dresser if she noticed. “Oh, you left your birthday gift from Father on the table at lunch. I did not open it. Would you like me to stay while you open it?” She handed me the small box.
“No, I do not need you to stay while I open the box. Thank you for bringing it to me. I guess I forgot it when I stormed out.”
“Yes, but this marriage is our duty. By doing what is right, we will be happy.” She paused as if she were about to say more, but then changed her mind. “I shall let you be so you can prepare for the ball.” Eleanor walked over to me, gave me a hug, and left. She did not seem to notice how crooked my dresser was, or that I remained in front of it during our entire conversation.
I centered my dresser on the wall and pulled out the bags from under the bed. Why was it my duty to give up love? Should I not have the same rights my people have? I was not a servant to be traded like an animal at the marketplace. I was ready to leave. I opened my door and peeked down the hallway. No servants or sisters were in sight. I entered the hall and ran toward the steps.

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