Wednesday, October 19, 2016

PUYB Virtual Book Club Chats with William Hazelgrove, author of MADAM PRESIDENT: THE SECRET PRESIDENCY OF EDITH WILSON



William Elliott Hazelgrove is the best-selling author of thirteen novels, Ripples, Tobacco Sticks, Mica Highways, Rocket Man, The Pitcher, Real Santa, Jackpine and The Pitcher 2. His books have received starred reviews in Publisher Weekly and Booklist, Book of the Month Selections, Junior Library Guild Selections, ALA Editors Choice Awards and optioned for the movies. He was the Ernest Hemingway Writer in Residence where he wrote in the attic of Ernest Hemingway's birthplace. He has written articles and reviews for USA Today and other publications. He has been the subject of interviews in NPR's All Things Considered along with features in The New York Times, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Richmond Times Dispatch, USA Today, People, Channel 11, NBC, WBEZ, WGN. The Pitcher is a Junior Library Guild Selection and was chosen Book of the Year by Books and Authors. net. His next book Jackpine will be out Spring 2014 with Koehler Books. A follow up novel Real Santa will be out fall of 2014. Madam President The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson will be out Fall 2016. Storyline optioned the movie rights. Forging a President How the West Created Teddy Roosevelt will be out May 2017.

He runs a political cultural blog, The View From Hemingway's Attic.

For More Information
About the Book:

After President Woodrow Wilson suffered a paralyzing stroke in the fall of 1919, his wife, First Lady Edith Wilson, began to handle the day-to-day responsibilities of the Executive Office. Mrs. Wilson had had little formal education and had only been married to President Wilson for four years; yet, in the tenuous peace following the end of World War I, Mrs. Wilson dedicated herself to managing the
office of the President, reading all correspondence intended for her bedridden husband. Though her Oval Office authority was acknowledged in Washington, D.C. circles at the time--one senator called her "the Presidentress who had fulfilled the dream of suffragettes by changing her title from First Lady to Acting First Man"--her legacy as "First Woman President" is now largely forgotten.

William Hazelgrove's Madam President is a vivid, engaging portrait of the woman who became the acting President of the
United States in 1919, months before women officially won the right to vote. Movie Rights Optioned by Storyline Entertainment.

For More Information

  • Madam President: The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Before you started writing your book, what kind of research did you do to prepare yourself?

First I had to read all the biographies I could get my hands on about Edith Wilson and Woodrow Wilson. Then I went to The Papers of Woodrow Wilson. This is where I found most of my information and I was able to put together the chronology of Edith Wilson running the White House for two years. I then read Edith Wilson memoir written in 1939 which gave her take on her role in the White House. Then I jumped off the cliff and began writing.

Did you pursue publishers or did you opt to self-pub?

My agent shopped it to several publishers and Regnery snapped it up on a two book deal.

If self-published, did you hire someone to format the ebook version for you or did you do it yourself?  Can you tell us what that was like?

I always used traditional publishers

If published by a publisher, what was your deciding factor in going with them?

They offered to get behind the book and they are very strong in media promotion. Also their editing has been superb.

If published by a publisher, are you happy with the price they chose?

Whatever price they choose I am happy with. With a book like Madam President The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson  the readers are used to paying hardcover prices for non fiction.

Did you purposefully choose a distinct month to release your book?  Why?

Yes I did. Because of the subject matter of the first woman president I wanted it to coincide with the election. So the book is coming out in October which is really perfect as we might just elect a woman president. Little do people know the first woman president reigned almost a hundred years before.

How did you choose your cover?

I didn’t the publisher did but I think the photograph shows the relationship between Wilson and Edith. They were very modern in their working relationship.

Did you write your book, then revise or revise as you went?

I always finish a first draft and then go back. You want to get it all down first and then go back and begin all the welding, rewriting, molding, chiseling that is required to turn something from a block of wood into a book.

Did you come up with special swag for your book and how are you using it to help get the word out about your book? 

I have not but I should come up with some swag. I am swag deficient.

Did you consider making or hiring someone to make a book trailer for your book? 

If so, what’s the link?

I have not as of yet but I am working on it. Here is a link to Edith Wilson’s story on Youtube

What’s your opinion on giving your book away to sell other copies of your book?

Because it is a hardcover I can only give away the pdf. But yes I agree with the concept. I have given away hundreds of  my other books.

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do before their book is released?

Social Media. Blog. Facebook. Twitter
Set up as many speaking engagements as you can.
Go see your local bookstores and libraries.

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do after their book is released?

Media as much as you can.
Keep up the social media.
Use book subscription sites
Do book signings where you can.

What kind of pre-promotion did you do before the book came out? 

My book isn’t out but I do facebook ads, blog, twitter, subscription sites, google adwords, facebook marketing.

Do you have a long term plan with your book?

Just do as much media as long as I can.

What would you like to say to your readers and fans about your book?

We are at a very interesting point in our national history. The First Woman President is a possibility. Madam President The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson gives us insight as to how we got here and it is an amazing story of one woman’s grit and determination when all was against her.






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