Interview with June Ahern

Published 2015-02-04.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Yes, where I was born and where I grew up greatly influenced my writing as well as my life overall. I was born in Glasgow, Scotland and at the age of six emigrated to San Francisco, California. We were but the very few Scottish families in the district of San Francisco I grew up in, which was (is) called Eureka Valley. The residents at that time were working class Irish, Italians and Scandinavians. Location wise it sits approximately in the heart of of San Francisco. Most will know the area as well-known areas known to “The Castro.” Like many immigrants, we kept to our Scottish language and cultures. I grew up listening to stories of “back home” and “the war” (that being the World War II.) The stories were funny (as are the Scots) and also sad, as is life. When I came of age during the 1960's my neighborhood, like all of San Francisco, changed rapidly. It wasn't long before I was hanging out on Castro Street with the hippies and the gays, something that shocked the many older residents. Later, I frequented Harvey Milk's photo shop as I was very into taking photographs. The rapid social and political changes of the '60's and '70's had a huge impact upon my role as a woman and with my religious teachings. All of this is reflected in my writings in both my paranormal non-fictions and novels. The flavor, history and happenings of my great city San Francisco and the connection to Scotland carried my imagination to create lively stories about strong, rebellious women.
When did you first start writing?
Let me say first, I never thought of myself as a writer, let alone an author. My real artistic talent is drawing, which I still I love to do. My first recognized writing won me an award and $25! A big deal in 1963. It was an essay I wrote in eighth grade about what it meant to become a United States citizen. It wasn't until 1984 did I write a few unpublished short stories and a stage play for a college class. In the late '80's a friend encouraged me to write a book about psychic readings. She said it would validate me more so professionally. So I did and she published the small paperback. To this day (under a new title) it continues to sell. Also about that time, an article was published that I wrote for a psychic newsletter about psychic hotlines. Not until this book came under a new title and an ebook was it included. Writing became a pleasure to share what I had been studying and learning with the metaphysics and paranormal. As I learned to navigate around the Internet I wrote articles for on-line sites and created a blog, again from the advise of a computer smart friend. My writing heart is still in stage and screenplays thus my first novel was born. I wrote The Skye in June first as a screenplay; a tribute to my sisters. If not for an author friend recommending I write the novel to the screenplay to create more attention, I don't believe I would have embarked on that goal. It was published in 2008 and followed in 2012 by my second novel, also written first as a screenplay upon the request of a Scottish actress. Since then, my latest book is again a non-fiction paranormal.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book, "How to Talk with Spirits. Seances. Mediums. Ghost Hunts" was written upon a request from a client, who didn't let up on me. I told him there's thousands of books on this subject, but since I had been his psychic reader and medium for years, he insisted I write my own. Hence, the latest book. But a more interesting story, I think, is my how my latest novel, "City of Redemption" came to be. When in Los Angels for a stage reading of my first novel, "The Skye in June" the casting call brought in a young Scottish actress who fell in love with the book's mother character. Still, she felt the age difference might not work for her. Although, ready to pitch it to her agent and a producer, she asked if I would write a screenplay role just for her. She and I talked a lot after that about the story line and role and the project started. Unfortunately, my sister died unexpectedly and I lost heart in writing. Two years later I finally took up pen (keyboard) and finished the screenplay, as well as the novel. Contacting the actress I learned she was knee-deep in projects and not interested at this time. All in all it is good. I loved being back in the writing saddle, happy with the results and the screenplay did receive attention for some directors and producers. One can only hope, si?
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Can I blame on my impatience? That and my personality to explore and experience on my own supported my survival as an Indie writer. The first Indie book, the consumer's guide, was meant to grow my profession reputation and opportunities in my field. I was invited to be on radio and the television talk show, "People are Talkilng." My professional reputation grew positively and successfully. With my fiction writing: Honestly, I fell in love with my novel's characters and was so eager to share them that after a few attempts of getting an agent, I decided to self-publish. I had a lot of support from family, friends and clients eager as me to read the book. My confidence the story would be well-received had me ordering 2,000 copies right out the gate. HA! Little did I realize how much work marketing would become. I just about sold or used for promotional purposes,mall of those copies. Trust when I say it take courage to blast out into the print world as an Indie; that and energy and money to market yourself. If you believe you have something worthwhile to share, the guts to carry it off, I say why wait?. Go for it.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords for my first go at ebook and wow! I learned a lot and am still learning the importance of formatting. It gave me more opportunity and support to offer my books to a variety of ebook devices. Although, I left for a while, I'm back because, for one reason, readers don't all have only one kind of reading device. I want a bigger market and Smashwords offers that.
What do your fans mean to you?
Respect and gratitude. I greatly respect every person who has taken a chance with my Indie books with the many choices of books and authors available to have chosen me. I am humbled by their words of encouragement, interest and sharing of their own experiences. I get many more emails than website comments and reviews shown from readers who ask for more or just to tell me how much my books have meant to them. I'm quite blown away that I even have fans. A following. Who would have thought?
What are you working on next?
Upon popular demand - the many email and in the reviews, I'm still working on my sequel to my first novel, "The Skye in June." I have the first few chapters written, an outline, I know where I"m going, and now to settle down to finish it. Between it's debut I have written a screenplay, a novel and my second how-to. My grandchildren list has grown, and my book travels have finally loosened up a bit. Oh, how I want to write another screenplay - too!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Gotta get up, lots to do, people to see, places to go and wondering how the day will be. I have a full life, even in my semi-retirement. There's a novel to finish, a blog to write, people to market to, a horse to care for and grandchildren to play with. Did I mention lunching with friends?
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Ever since I was a little girl, I love to create stories. My mother was an inspired storytelling. Her made-up tales and reading from books were our bedtime joy! When I was younger I liked to draw people and animals most and as I drew them I would create their stories. But to specifically remember the first story I wrote down and completed, it was 1984, a short story about a young woman taking a bus to and from work, down the steep hills to work at a make-up department in a big store and up the hill to dull, unhappy home. I have it in my files somewhere. Most my writings are my own entertainment. If another likes it too, great! It's a win-win.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Before I completed my first novel I joined in a monthly writer's group named, The Wild Writing Women. They had different speakers in the book industry at each meeting. In one I heard, books don't sell books, people sell books. I took that to heart and found it to be true. Authors do need to get out there - book events, industry conventions, author meetings, and seek to secure radio spots, television interviews and most of all, talk to people about your books. It's not easy, I know, but that is what has sold my books. Have a platform. What else makes you interesting? What have you done that listeners want to know aobut? I have a strong platform because of my successful profession as a psychic medium. I've taught through the Learning Annex, which always sells books. Many people have supported my writings by hosting book parties, telling others, and even selling my books for me in their stores! Amazing! At books events attendees love my Scottish characters the best, can't wait to talk about San Francisco, and all of that brings an interest to who I am! With that comes book sales. I used to feel shy about talking up my books. Now, I talk about them, but not overly or bragging, just the facts, mam. This is the best marketing advice I can give.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Books by This Author

How To Talk With Spirits: Séances • Mediums • Ghost Hunts
Price: $2.55 $1.27 USD. (50% off until March 9!) Words: 58,980. Language: American English. Published: February 9, 2015 . Categories: Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Body, mind, & spirit » Parapsychology / general, Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Body, mind, & spirit » Parapsychology / general
(5.00 from 5 reviews)
How dead are the "dead" if we can talk to them? While skeptics deny spirit communication can happen, the public is eager to know more about the subject. The book is an informative book explaining how to effectively explore the possibilities of communicating with the dead in safe and healing ways. June's ESP Quiz will reveal your psychic abilities.
City of Redemption
Price: $2.55 $1.27 USD. (50% off until March 9!) Words: 72,100. Language: English. Published: May 8, 2012 . Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Historical » USA
(4.67 from 3 reviews)
Flower Power explodes into fire power when a lonely young woman becomes embroiled in drugs, gunrunning and a plot to bring down the Black Panther during the Summer of Love. Liz Mackay grieving the loss of her murdered son and abandonment by her husband travels to San Francisco for a fresh start, joins a commune of oddly matched members and soon is entangled in the dark underbelly of the times.
The Timeless Counselor: The Best Guide to a Successful Psychic Reading
Price: $2.44 $1.22 USD. (50% off until March 9!) Words: 46,340. Language: English. Published: January 6, 2011 . Categories: Nonfiction » New Age » Fortune telling
(4.98 from 44 reviews)
The Timeless Counselor: The Best Guide to a Successful Psychic Reading is a complete consumer's guide for receiving the greatest benefits from a psychic reading. You'll learn how such things as ask questions to gain detailed answers; use the information after successfully; choose a reader best suited for you; avoid scammers; learn about your psychic skills with June's ESP Quiz and so much more .