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Friday, January 4, 2019

Interview with Carlos Harleaux

I just wanted to thank Carlos Harleaux for being here today with us on Jagged Edge Reviews. 



Would you like to tell us a little about yourself?
Sure, of course. First, thank you for having me. I’m really honored. My name is Carlos Harleaux. I am a poet, author, blogger and publisher (CEO of 7th Sign Publishing). I’m a native of Houston, TX but I currently reside in the North Dallas area. I love to express myself creatively with writing and help others fulfill their own writing/author aspirations.

What inspired you to write?
I have always had a love for poetry, as far back as middle school. That’s the genre I initially started in. I started writing my own poems in high school as a stress reliever and a way to release some creative thoughts. I started taking it more seriously around 2006 and from there, kept writing poetry over the years. It’s one of the purest forms of writing to me, because poetry usually has no pretense. It’s raw, honest and many times healing for others to read. I stacked up hundreds of poems over time and eventually self-published my first book, Blurred Vision, in 2011. Then I branched off into fiction novels about 4 years ago, with my first novel, Fortune Cookie.

Tell us about your latest book.
My new book is Eleven: Things We Never Said. The title is a bit of a double entendre. I recently went through a divorce and this book is a collection of poems and essays detailing my feelings. Eleven represents the total time that we were together. Things We Never Said represents how often, we sugar coat our feelings in relationships to sacrifice the other person’s feelings. In the long run, it creates tension in a relationship. Had we been more direct about our fears, dislikes, etc, in the beginning, I think things would have turned out differently. 
I almost didn’t release this book, because I thought I would be putting too much of my personal business out for everyone to see. However, I went through a period of depression at the beginning of 2018 as a result of my pending divorce. Mental health is a real issue that so many people deal with in silence. Plus, there really aren’t any books out there about a male’s perspective on divorce, especially through poetry. We typically hear the woman’s side. Although my book isn’t about pointing fingers, I know it will help men (and women) who may be going through or have gone through a divorce or painful breakup. 

Did you learn anything from writing your book that was unexpected?
Yes. My biggest lesson was that the end of a relationship is much like the grieving process of the death of a loved one. There are feelings of anger, disappointment, depression, etc. All those feelings may come one at a time or all at once. I learned that I can’t rush that process. When you’ve been with someone for 11 years, you can’t just move on from that overnight.
Where can a reader purchase your book?         
Eleven: Things We Never Said is available at www.peauxeticexpressions.com, in the Shop section. All my other books and the complete 7th Sign Publishing catalog are available there as well. Plus, my books can also be purchased on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online.                                           

What is at least one thing that every writer needs to have or do?
I think it’s more important now than ever for authors to have their own sense of vision. Almost anyone can put a book out now, which is great in one sense. The other side is it floods the market and can be discouraging for new authors trying to break through and find their target audience. Develop a plan for your writing, stay the course (despite what naysayers may say) and execute it at all costs. That’s my advice. You must know your lane as a writer too. Recognize the genre and writing style that works for you. A style that is successful for one author may not be successful for another.

Are your books different than your personal favorite books by other authors?
I would say yes, in some ways. I love autobiographies from people that I admire. My latest book is probably the closest thing I’ve ever done to an autobiography, but it not about my whole life. I also enjoy other non-fiction books about psychology, such as Malcom Gladwell’s books. I rarely get to read for leisure, but I don’t typically read much fiction when I do have time. Especially when I’m writing my novels, I don’t like to read other fiction books because I don’t want to subliminally bleed other author’s ideas into my own.

What are your thoughts on self-publishing verses traditional publishing?
Self-publishing can be a great avenue for authors to see the return on their investment quicker than a traditional publisher. Traditional publishers often take large percentages of each sale and the marketing burden still lies with the author, unless they already have their own celebrity status or solid platform. Personally, I prefer the self-publishing route. I get to retain all creative control (with publishing through my own company) and keep 100% of the sales from each book. Self-publishing puts more work in the author’s court; but in the end, it’s worth it to me. My publishing company, 7th Sign Publishing, also allows all its authors to retain the creative rights and copyright to their own work, which is something traditional publishers don’t offer.

Who inspires you?
God above everyone gives me guidance on ideas for what to write, which is inspirational on its own. My family and close friends inspire me with their support and encouragement to keep going. I am also deeply inspired by people who have experienced some type of great pain, but still persevere. There’s something to be admired for resilience.

What is your biggest pet peeve?
I have a few, but one big one is when people are inconsiderate of another person’s time. Time is not just empty space. Time represents money, health and so many other facets of our life. Also, it’s something we can never get back. I can’t stand to see people be purposely disrespectful of another person’s time.

What are you currently working on?
I’m promoting the official release of Eleven: Things We Never Said. Then, I’m rounding out my novel trilogy series this April, with When The Cookie Crumbles. I recently finished my first novella, which will be released in 2020. I am also in talks with another great author for a collaborative effort. There are several exciting things going on right now. I’m blessed to have books in queue waiting to be released and still have fresh ideas coming.
Also, I have two authors with new books available now for presale (The Single Mother’s Path To Wealth by JaCoi James and Signs: What To Do Whenever You Think You Are Being Cheated On by J. Gibson). 7th Sign Publishing will be very visible in 2019.

What are you currently reading?
I am reading two books right now. One is Open Invite, by my pastor, Stephen Hayes. The other is Sharp Objects (which is now an HBO series) by Gillian Flynn.

Where readers can find you?
My social media handle is @Peauxetic for Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. I am also available on Facebook, listed under Peauxetic Expressions. Readers can also reach me through my website, www.peauxeticexpressions.com.

I've had the honor of having authors come on my blog for almost eight years now. Don't miss the blogiversery on the 8th we will be have a giveaway in celebration of the Blog's golden birthday. I appreciate every single author that has already blessed my blog and that will bless my blog in the future. You have made my dreams come true in more ways than one. Not only by your gracious presence on my blog but also by being fantastic wordsmiths.

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