Yolande Brener is an English writer living in New York, author of the memoir, Holy Candy: Why I Joined A Cult And Married A Stranger. She has worked as an actress, filmmaker, singer in an all-girl band, and disciple of an alleged Messiah. Her essays have been published in New York Press, nerve.com, Strange Angels, State of Art and Harlem World. Her film scripts have been funded by the British Film Institute and the Arts Council of Great Britain. She won the 2010 NYC Parks Department Poems in the Park competition. Her memoir, Holy Candy, won First Place in the 2014 Writer's Digest Self-Published eBook Awards. She is currently writing her first novel.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
More than anything, I wanted to work with a big publisher and have a team making my book the best it could be. But after years of trying to get published through traditional channels, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Over the years, I got a lot of interest from many agents, and worked with two of them, both of whom were great, particularly Marc Gerald of the Agency Group. I also got a few offers from indie publishers, but--on expert advice--I decided to self publish. Serendipitously, last year I was reunited with Danielle Imara, a friend from art school in England who had also written a fantastic memoir called Crack. We decided to work together to publish our books. Our daily chats about our progress were invaluable, and without her I would not have had the courage to do this.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has expanded my audience to a larger number of channels. I've only recently come to Smashwords so I have yet to see how many of my new potential readers will purchase my book.
What is the purpose of life?
Is there a spiritual world?
Does true love exist?
The desire to find answers to these questions led Yolande Brener to embark on a bizarre, 15-year odyssey in a cult and to participate in one of the largest mass marriages in history. Spooky, riveting, and utterly believable, this award-winning memoir will keep you reading well into the night.