As an author in this economy, you have to come up with creative ways to market a self-published book. While book tours are a great way to connect with your readers, they aren’t the most affordable method of promotion. However, technology has made it possible for an alternative.
Take note from self-publishing Outskirts Press author, Lisa J. Schuster, who is taking her latest book, Service Station Angel, on tour – a virtual book tour, that is. She will be featured on several blogs over the weeks and months ahead so keep your eyes peeled to learn more about her and her book.
Luckily for us, Lisa was kind enough to answer a few questions as the tour was getting started so that we can give you a sneak peek into the mind of the creator of The Service Station Angel.
OP: Tell us a little bit about Service Station Angel. What is it about?
LJS: Ernie Price is a middle-aged, humble-hearted man who owns and operates a service station in a rural Midwest town in Upper Michigan, back in a time when full service was the only service, and you got your windows cleaned and your tires pumped for free.
Ernie’s life has been a reflection of God’s love, giving of himself fully and graciously to people in the community and his church. Whether as music director for the children’s choir or hosting the yearly Christmas party for the less-fortunate children in town, Ernie impacted lives and was loved by many.
When trouble rocks the small town and Ernie is physically incapacitated to offer his help, the community is left to pick up the pieces, mourn, and move on, while Ernie wrestles with the spiritual questions of his accident:
My glimpse of heaven is for what purpose on earth?
Why do I feel compelled to help this stranger know the love of the Lord?
Who is this stranger anyway?
“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” – Ephesians 4:2 (NLT)
OP: Why did you decide to write this story?
LJS: I grew up in the small town of Hubbell, Michigan and there was a gentleman in town that was my mentor. His name was Ernie Poisson and he taught me how to appreciate and love music and theater, but more importantly he taught me how to love Jesus. Like my main male character in the book, Ernie Price, they share similar life stories of working at a service station, being a children’s choir director and spent countless hours refurbishing used toys for the annual Christmas party for the needy children in town. My mentor Ernie touched so many lives with his goodness and grace that I felt it necessary to include his likeness in my story. Because it is fiction, not everything about my book character Ernie Price is true. But the themes of love, faithful forgiveness and spiritual destiny will touch the hearts of my readers in a real way.
OP: What types of readers would be interested in this story?
LJS: I believe it will make a significant impact on Christian readers as well as “seekers” who are questioning their faith and who God is. Men and women, adult and teen would enjoy it. The reader will be gripped with emotion of either cheering the characters on or sharing in their grief by the shedding of tears.
OP: What is special about your book? What differentiates it from other books in the same category?
LJS: Since my mentor Ernie was also my choir director, he impressed on me a passion for music and performing arts. I have included many songs that we enjoyed singing together, both hymns and Christmas carols. Using lyrics intertwined with scripture in my book helps to tell a poignant story that pulls the reader into the small town nostalgia, the conflict that arises and the joy that comes!
Many people in my small hometown and around the Upper Peninsula of Michigan knew Ernie, and will never forget his kindness and compassion. They continue to tell stories to their children and grandchildren, and he is remembered as a legend. On November 9, 2013, only twenty days before my novel was published, my real Service Station Angel, Ernie Poisson- passed away. Having already dedicated my novel to him while it was in production, I was stunned and saddened at his passing. I so looked forward to presenting him with the book we had spoken of. But like a big theme in my book, (God’s plan is purposeful and planned), that was not how it was to play out. Ernie is now with the Lord and his loved ones, living out the heaven scene I ironically described for my character in the book.
OP: Have you published any other books? Do you plan to publish more?
LJS: Service Station Angel is my debut novel. I do intend to write another Christian novel, one is already in the works!
OP: Thanks for your time, Lisa! We look forward to learning more about you as you visit other bloggers!
Faith, family and friends inspired me to write again and God nudged me to publish my first novel, Service Station Angel. I believe the words in this book are my service to you, so that you may find joy and comfort during a season of time when you need it most. May your hand reach up towards His so that you may touch another with Jesus’ abundant love. Share His love often and build the heavenly kingdom!
For more information or to contact the author, visit www.outskirtspress.com/servicestationangel
This author purchased the Virtual Book Tour marketing option, which allows self-publishing authors to connect with bloggers and harness the power of the blogosphere by taking their book on the “virtual road”. Learn more about this service by visiting your Publishing Center and reviewing the available marketing options.
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