Mary Ellen Ciganovich was born in Batavia,New York and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Diagnosed with Epilepsy at the age of 6 and Multiple Sclerosis in 1986 she has overcome this and more to share the wisdom found in Healing Words, Life Lessons to Inspire!
1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most? What about being a writer frustrates you the most?
I always knew I was supposed to write a book and since I taught middle school for about 15 years, I thought I was supposed to write about how to make the “Teaching” profession better. I began this project and struggled trying to write about it. Anytime you struggle with something you are trying to accomplish it is God’s way of saying that you are on the wrong path. When I began writing my “Truth” books everything flowed smoothly.
I love teaching, writing and speaking about the Truths I write about as they are so powerful and will assist anyone on their life journey.
The most frustrating part of writing is marketing and getting your finished book in people’s hands. It is also frustrating when they absolutely love your book yet will not take a moment to review it.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
“Healing Words, Life Lessons to Inspire” https://www.amazon.com/dp/b08b33y8jd
This is a short book of 102 vignettes meant to wake people up to their own choices instead of blaming others.
“T.R.U.T.H Taking Responsibility Unleashes True Healing” https://www.amazon.com/dp/1728842883
This is a book of 366 Truths to guide you through any day or year as you walk your life path. There are 366 for everyone born on leap year! This book not only contains Truths, but these Truths are also explained as you read about that daily Truth.
This is my latest book and is composed of 120 new Truths to teach you how to think and see your life differently.
You can find out all about me on my website at www.askmaryellen.com
Or on these other platforms:
3) What projects are you currently working on?
Right now, I have two new books outlined that will complete the “Truth Lives” series. I hope to have them completed and available to everyone by Fall 2022
4) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
All of my books have won awards for being the top spiritual books all people should read. I was nominated for the Woman of the Year 2021 by the Celebrate You – Women Embracing Wellness organization.
In the next five years I will complete the projects God wants me to complete.
5) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career?
I know any rejection moves you that much closer to success.
6) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel?
My books are not novels they are inspirational, Motivational and spiritual books to guide people and teach people to drop fear and always come from a loving response.
I write as I hear these Truths, since I have Multiple Sclerosis, I try to write in the mornings.
I do write my books long hand on yellow legal pads then transpose them to a word file.
It took me 6 days to complete “Healing Words Life Lessons to Inspire, 7 months to write T.R.U.T.H Taking Responsibility Unleashes True Healing and about one month to write “Truth Lives”.
7) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
No it is never to late to begin and complete something you believe in and any writer has the ability to be successful. Again No I do not think a late start would hinder anything as long as the writer believes in their project.
8) Are you an avid reader and have you always been? What’s the first book you ever read that really touched you emotionally and moved you? Who is your favorite author? What book are you currently reading?
I grew up being an avid reader and always enjoyed reading the classics. (Louisa May Alcott, Charlotte Bronte, Mark Twain, Nathaniel Hawthorne, etc.)
First book – being a Tom boy I enjoyed Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain’s short stories
Right now, I am so busy writing that I do not have time to read.
9) The Pandemic was a challenging time for some writers and creative individuals but also for others it was time that they needed to focus on their creative passions. Which side of that spectrum do you fall on? Are there any lessons or nuggets of wisdom that you gained during the Pandemic that help you within your writing career? Did the quarantine stifle your creativity or did it make you even more driven to get things done?
I took the time during the Pandemic to learn about myself and how I can do things differently. Working out at home instead of paying for a gym. Doing my own nails and hair instead of paying others. I still continue these practices now as it saves tons of money and gives me more time to write.
Also, during the Pandemic I had many clients that I worked with on zoom or Skype to calm their worries and anxieties.
The wisdom that came out of the Pandemic for everyone is to always be aware of yourself first so you can quit blaming others for the choices you yourself make.
“Truth Lives” was born out of my quiet time so I guess the Pandemic gave me time to be more creative.
10) What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry as it is being represented today? Do you lean more towards traditional publishing or self-publishing as a preference? Does being a hybrid author interest you?
The publishing industry is all about money which I can understand except when they take your money and sign a contract, they should follow through with marketing your book. I paid one publisher who went bankrupt a week before they were supposed to launch my book. I had to start all over. My second publisher did a good job until it came to marketing which they said was all up to me, even though their contract said they handled everything.
My last three books were self-published through Amazon and I have sold more books, received more interviews and gained more reviews than ever. Also the price was so affordable! I highly recommend self-publishing.
11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
Writing these Truths is my purpose. These Truths teach me and inspire me as much as they inspire others. Writing these Truths assists me to help my clients. They help me to be peaceful as I drop my fears and walk in unconditional love with no motives, no judgments and no expectations of anyone especially myself.