How I became an Indie Author…
Hello. My name is Rene D. Schultz, and this is my story and how my initiation into the world of writing began and the path that has led me to five bestselling fiction novels.
Never in my life, did I ever expect to be divorced at the age of 47. As a baby boomer, I had grown up with my ideas about marriage that were shaped by TV shows, such as Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best. Then, the unthinkable thing happened. Just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, the tornado called ‘divorce’ swept me from my comfortable zone and into a world I knew nothing about. Believe me when I tell you, it was not a gentle landing either! My sons were grown and I was all alone. I was lost, emotionally stumbling, and trying to figure out just who I was after years of being ‘mom.’.
True to my personality, I jumped head first into the world of cyber dating. I very quickly learned that the rules of dating had drastically changed since I was nineteen. Internet dating is not always a fun place and not always a safe place. But, it did lead me to writing a bestselling book on many of my hilarious dating experiences.
After I won a nasty lawsuit with my publishing house, I went into seclusion for six years, but still continued to write. Only this time fiction novels and screenplays. Two years ago, by chance, I found myself in “2-friends” facebook page. There, I met two UK reviewers (Sue Ward/Philomena Callan) that were helping Indie authors by giving honest reviews on their books. Their years of experience and the hundreds of books they read was very intimidating. When they asked to read the unedited version of my first novel, Bishop Street, I hesitated. Then on a whim, I sent it to them the manuscript. I was in shock—they loved it!
With the ever-changing world of publishing that now allows Indie authors to self-publish on Amazon, I decided to give my stories a chance to be read. The rest is history. I continue to write ‘reality fiction’ and my biggest fans are those two amazing UK ladies that gave this scared Indie author the second chance in life, to have her voice heard, again.
I live in a small community just north of Los Angeles where I raised my two sons. I love to garden, try new recipes, take lots of pictures, and occasionally I enjoy a glass of wine with dear friends. I’ve never jumped out of a plane, climbed Mt. Everest, or seen the Northern Lights of Alaska. But, I have danced in the rain, sent a message in a bottle, and I’ve rode my motorcycle down The Pacific Coast Highway on sunny California days!
My passion of writing has lead me on the most amazing journey. Now, my focus is on ‘reality fiction.’ I thrive on developing strong storylines that showcase today’s contemporary lifestyles. Rags to riches, Robin Hood, and surviving the odds, seems to be my one common denominator that showcases my fascinating and diverse characters.
My name is Rene D. Schultz and I’m an Indie author who has FIVE books out, and another one just released 03-30-15. I consider myself a ‘reality fiction’ author. It’s so confusing to most authors and how to categorize their genre, myself included, so that is why I made up my own. My books don’t quite fit into contemporary women’s or mainstream fiction, although that is where they get pigeonholed! I write about characters who deal with life’s real obstacles and ultimately find a way to overcome them. My main characters could be you, me, and I know everyone can relate to them in some way. My book are emotionally driven with humor, heartache, values, mystery and a smidge of romance.
Q. Where are you from? Does the area you live in influence you writing?
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I’ve done some traveling and always love to experience other cultures and areas. Most of my books start out in California, but you will find yourself traveling to different countries and experiencing different lifestyles. I love to do extensive research, so I can bring the readers to places they have never been, and give them as much authenticity that I can.
Q. Tell us your latest news??
I just came out with my new book, yesterday! “If I Could…” is by far one of my favorites. I’m also working on a new one—“Moment of Impact.” Usually I don’t have the name for my books until they are done and I think in depth about the storyline. This time it was different. I was watching the local news channel when the commentator said, “…at the moment of impact.” I knew at that very second it was going to be the name of my next book. I jotted it down on a scrap of paper and put it on my desk. That night, as I laid in bed, my mind starting pulling together a story. This one is going to be very different than I’ve ever done.
Q. When and why did you begin writing? What inspired you to write your first book?
When I came out of a long marriage and my sons were grown, I went back to my roots and decided to do what made me happy. Only, I had no clue, it had been so long. My son was in the movie industry and worked for David Kelley on ‘The Practice.’ I told him I had a great storyline I had come up with and he suggested I write it into story form. That is how Bishop Street was hatched. I sat on it for six years, and kept writing novels and screenplays. Then one day, I went into Facebook and by accident, wound up in a UK reviewer room. That was the beginning… of my passion for writing.
Q. What book(s) / author(s) have influenced your life and writing?
The book that influenced me more than anything in my life is, “The Wizard of Oz.” I think the meaning of it is totally different looking at it through a child’s eyes, than as an adult. To me, Dorothy was starting her search in life to see where she really belonged. The yellow brick road represented her trial and tribulations, on a path we all travel down. We all have a journey in life, and we all walk down our own yellow brick road looking for happiness and a greater understanding of life. This path is filled with people we meet, obstacles that happen, and decisions that change our lives. I try to make every book I write, about someone’s journey. So far it has worked! AND you will always notice, stuck in one small sentence, in each of my books, there is a reference to ‘the wizard of oz.’
I format my stories like a rollercoaster with the ups-and-downs of life. I want each to be a journey with a life’s lesson at the end. Many of my readers/fans get that and can relate to the characters.
Q. Tell us about your characters and how they came to be? Have they been in your head for a long time?
I love my characters-each and every one. Each one has a reason and meaning for being in the story. I may not know that for a while, but eventually they will carry a strong voice. I don’t know how or why they come to be. I wish I could explain it, but when I sit down to write, I don’t use a storyline, or an outline, or any notes. I just let my head/heart talk as my fingers run across the keyboard. It sounds crazy but I hear authors say this all the time and I can definitely relate, “…my characters talk to me. They tell me what they want to do…”
Q. What motivates you to write?
ALL my readers, reviewer’s kind words, and the ability to connect with people’s feelings that touch their hearts. Most of all… I cry at reviews like this:
“Each one has a message, a moral and an eye opening experience occur that really makes the reader stop and take a minute to process, think and reflect. She is able to take the most upsetting, real moments that someone can experience and show readers how to understand that they are not alone, that there are worse things that can happen and that each moment in life is a moment that they should cherish no matter how hard it is. She is able to capture people’s emotions in a real way and she shows others how to help them through. Every time I read a book by her I feel like I have learned something, I have gotten more than a just an amazing story, I have gotten advice, inspiration and at times an outlet for my emotions. I know, I know – that sounds weird, but read one of her books and you will instantly understand. Her books are a major source of inspiration to me. Her books are realistic, her characters unique and her storyline will leave the reader guessing right up to the end.”
Q. What is the hardest part of writing?
Feeling the pain of my characters as they travel on their journeys. I feel all the emotional tugs that the readers feel. It pains me to let go of them when the story is over. It’s like saying good-bye to an old friend.
Q. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that with every review I feel blessed. Having readers acknowledge what I write and being able to entertain them is that constant inspiration that keeps me writing.
Q. Where do you get your ideas?
They just come to me at the oddest times. I see something on the news, or I hear someone talking or just from years of life’s experiences. Most of the time in a bubble bath after a long day.
Q. What does your family think of your writing?
My sons are really proud of me.
Q. What is the best advice you would give to inspiring authors?
Write from your heart, let the words flow, and never look back. Learn from your mistakes, listen to the reviews, make those corrections, and never give up!
Q. What book are you reading now?
I know I’m going to get a lot of ‘gasps’ from this answer. I don’t read much anymore. I find all my time is used to write, or sit online promoting my books on social media. Promoting your books is very time-consuming. If I were to pick an author it would be Kristin Hannah, Diane Chamberlain, Catherine Ryan Hyde, and Jodi Picoult. I am compared to these authors all the time by reviewers.
BISHOP STREET-AMAZON: http://goo.gl/Hs5Xvd
HOUSE OF STONE-AMAZON: http://goo.gl/9zC8ZS
DONE DEAL-AMAZON: http://goo.gl/W55uKJ
BROKEN IMAGE-AMAZON: http://goo.gl/sOlq8X
IF I COULD-AMAZON: http://goo.gl/UeffUZ
SEARCHING4MRRIGHT.COM –AMAZON: http://goo.gl/cZdPdG
BISHOP STREET: “The test of life is not meant to break you, but to make you stronger…” This is a story of four powerful childhood friendships that become twisted with lies and deceit after they leave Bishop Street Orphanage. Twenty years later, Maggie seeks redemption and hires Damon Depre a private investigator to find her friends and uncover the truth. He starts her down a twisted path that will test her strength of character to its breaking point. Does she find more than just her friends…
HOUSE OF STONE: Sequel to Bishop Street: The four orphans from Bishop Street: Maggie, Lucy, Elizabeth, and Randolph are back together as they challenge themselves to let go of their past. New obstacles become more complicated and unpredictable then they could ever imagine. Unexpected love, a devastating flood, and a major earthquake threaten their futures, as lives are lost and their worst fears test their strength of survival, once again.
DONE DEAL: It’s an inspiring book about a woman doesn’t understand why the pharmaceuticals are holding back ‘orphan’ drugs that can save lives. Why insurance companies won’t pay to keep patients alive? And… why the government is closing its ‘blind eyes.’ Cissy goes on a quest to find these answers and what she discovers is shocking. With an anger that leaves her cynical, and with time running out, she sets out to ‘right a wrong.’ This is an amazing woman with a journey that will have you standing up and cheering…
BROKEN IMAGE: Women are constantly pressured with the overwhelming message that achieving ‘perfect beauty’ is mandatory to be accepted and successful.
Mercedes survived a childhood with a hateful and mentally ill mother who constantly called her an ‘ugly duckling.’ Now, at twenty-nine, she’s a brilliant financial icon in Beverly Hills. She knew she was not beautiful, or stunning, or even close to either. She was plain, simple, and ordinary. Take this journey with Mercedes and her four friends who live in a city that judges a woman solely by her outside and not her inside. Will the pressure to obtain beauty become her downfall? Will Mercedes be forced to face decisions that would change her life forever? Or will reality raise its ugly head and teach her the biggest lesson of her life?
If I Could… : My newest novel. At nineteen, Ema Vaduva was pregnant when she was forced to leave Romania. For twenty-eight years, Ema and her daughter, Daniela, reclusively lived a quiet and modest life. They were inseparable until one fatal day—Ema dies. That horrible day would change Dani’s life forever. Then one afternoon while cleaning out her mother’s closet, she finds a brown box. Are secret clues to her mother’s past tucked inside? Alone and desperate, and with nothing else to lose, Dani’s goes in search of answers. Why did her mother leave Romania? Did she have any family? Was she really her mother? Who was her father and why had Ema never talked about him? Will that brown box hold the answers to Ema’s past and Dani’s future…?
“Author Rene Schultz has done it once again! She has created a story so rich with love, loss, friendship and hope that it feels like I am a part of the story.” ~Stephenee Carsten – REVIEWER
“You can read it as a standalone book, or I would tell you to read Bishop Street where the story begins.” ~AJ Book review club
“Rene Schultz is a master storyteller. With a compassionate touch, Ms. Schultz also weaves in social issues and their aftermath, including homelessness, addiction, and abandoned children.” ~Jada Ryker – AUTHOR
“This author brings out emotions in me that aren’t easily displayed. There were times when I was biting my nails; times when I was crying buckets; and times when I was scared. Each character has now got a place in my heart, as this lovely unique author, Rene Schultz.” ~Sue Ward-2-Friends / UK REVIEWER
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