Friday, March 26, 2010

Act Your Age: Why the age of your character is important

by Zetta Brown

When we create a character for our story, we usually start with a typical laundry list of traits: eye color, hair color, height, weight, gender, ethnicity, occupation. We may even go so far as to detail their habits, likes, and dislikes. But when we assign the character an age, we need to think about more than just a number.

In my experience as an editor, it is sometimes possible for me to guess if an author is older or younger than their main protagonist by the way they portray their characters. There are mistakes that belie the character’s age.

For example, I edited a manuscript where the protagonist is roughly the same age as me, but the character had certain likes and used words that are not common for someone my age. What really gave it away? The character had musical tastes that were older than her years.

There is nothing wrong about a character liking music that is older than they are. How many people today enjoy classical music that is many centuries old? But in this case, it was a valid clue that something did not quite jibe. As the story progressed, this and other details made the character come across as older than she was meant to be. I pointed this out to the author and made suggestions on how they can correct this in order to make the character more believable.

Do not think that these “chronological anachronisms” is only important for historical writing. You do not want to have your twenty-five-year-old character in 1985 describe something as having “Wow factor” when “totally bitchin’” would be more appropriate.

Personally, I think it is harder to write contemporary fiction because the changes are so subtle, whereas it is easier to show historical changes from a time decades or centuries earlier.

It does not take a huge gap in age to create a different outlook on life. Think about when you were a senior in high school and the incoming freshmen. By the time those freshmen graduated four years later, their tastes in music, movies, fashion, and language will have changed too.

When creating your character and trying to determine the character’s age, if you are not drawing from memory and personal experience, ask someone who was there, or do research at the library and the Internet.

So the next time you are creating a character’s profile, take as much care when picking your character’s age as you would their name, or at the very least, put it at the top of the “laundry list” of traits.

Zetta Brown is editor-in-chief for LL-Publications ( and was the editor of the 2009 EPPIE Winner for Best Horror Novel, Pit-Stop, by Ben Larken. She holds a B.A. in English/Creative Writing from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. She is the author of several short stories and the erotic romance novel Messalina – Devourer of Men.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Poetry Corner March 2010

Write It Out

Write out the memories
write out the pain
write out confusion
and blot out the stain

Write out the hurt
and the heartache and stress
write out the love
and the tenderness

Write out the feelings
that no one has known
write out the fears
and the hopes that have flown

Write out the nightmares
write out the dreams
sew up the broken heart
tear out the seams

Write out the tortures
that ravage your soul
write out the passion
that makes you feel whole

Write out the people
who tear at your heart
write out the friendships
that make a new start

Write out emotion
and yearning and yen
write out your life
and then write out again

Melissa Kesead Author of the Walter the Dreamer Series

My Old-Timey Road

I’m so lucky to live on my old-timey road.
Oh, the things that I see and the people I know.

Border collie waits while his best friend takes a run,
When the dog’s in the yard, I know I’ll see the man.

Two girls practice cheer-leading, and wait for their bus.
Right behind them, dear daddy keeps watch from his truck.

Little old couple fix their yard for holidays;
Christmas lights, pumpkin heads, bright red hearts, Easter eggs.

It’s doggie in the yard and Daddy in the truck.
Precious little couple hanging lights in their trees.
I’m so lucky to live on my old-timey road.
Oh, the people I know and the sights that I see.

Jan Bossing © 2010

All Night Long

You’ve been sitting in your lonely room
Staring at an empty wall,
Waiting silently and wondering
If you should or shouldn’t call.

Now it’s late and you still hesitate
To pick up the telephone.
Don’t you worry; you can take your time.
I’ll be waiting all night long.

I hate it when we disagree and
You storm out in rage
Leaving me to search my empty soul
Like a tiger in a cage.

And your words keep running through my head
Like some long-forgotten song,
When all I want to do is hold you near
And love you all night long.

Maybe I should just forget my pride
And the hurtful words you said.
I just need you back here in my arms
Before I go out of my head.

We need to make this go away.
I don’t care who’s right or wrong.
Everything I have I’ll gladly give
Just to hold you all night long.

More lyrics from Rhythmic Notions by Dennis S Martin


Cold and hard
your body
the table they’ve laid you on
Skin mottled and blue
reminds me of Italian marble
the foyer of Michael Donato’s house
that you built when I was nine
A year-and-a-half of chemotherapy
They said you had six months

Navy blue suit
from a store you wouldn’t be caught dead in
Not blue jeans
faded and torn at the knee
Not the Notre Dame sweatshirt
I gave you at nineteen
I was never a fan

Black wing tip shoes
polished like brass
look brand new
Not sneakers stained green by the grass
with no laces
easier to slip on and off
and leave by the door

I lean close and inhale
Familiar scent of Safeguard
fills my lungs
You read Green Eggs and Ham
in a voice low and soothing
small child on your lap
I fall asleep against your sweater

Evelyn T. Kalinosky

As Founder & CEO of Evelyn Kalinosky LLC, Evelyn’s coaching practice specializes in helping high-level women executives 40 and older who want to achieve a more sacred kind of success. She is currently writing a book about women navigating through midlife, and is a speaker, author and poet. Visit her at

Shades of Brown and Beige

I weave in shades of
brown and beige, earthy tones
in ecru and fallow, sienna
and raw umber; a serene canvas
to offset the tumultuous flow
of coppery auburn and
bittersweet sepia-tinged hue.

It once held black and white,
brilliant splashes of red and gold,
purple warmth and variegated shades –
the tapestry a vivid fusion, overwhelmingly
suffocating with its weight.
The colors still call to me;
the palette not yet clean.

I incrementally lose myself in shadows of brown and beige.

Pamme Boutselis is a writer from Litchfield, NH. She is a regular contributor to The Telegraph daily newspaper and other publications, a former admin of two poetry sites, and the director of programs and content for, an education and career focused social network.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

See What WITS Has "Slid" in To

Leave a comment to let us know what you think of our slide show about our team of writers, editors, book marketers, administrative assistants, transcribers, Web master, and children's manuscript critiquer.

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Does It Help to Have a Literary Agent?

by Yvonne Perry and Stephanie Gunning

If so, how do you find the right one?

I’ve asked Stephanie Gunning, a bestselling author, editor, and publishing consultant with over 25 years of experience in the book business to answer this question and here is what she wrote:

It does help to have a literary agent because an agent is constantly in touch with publishers and the needs of the marketplace. They are the sales people of our industry, a bridge between creatives and business people. They are often good developers themselves. Editorial thinkers. And they can also be great marketers. Many are escapees from publishing houses, people who rose to a certain level and wanted more creative control over their career trajectories. So they have different kinds of backgrounds. I love asking agents how they got where they are.

I recommend four main ways to find an agent. Communicate with other authors and find out if they will introduce you—hang out at industry events and speak to people. Make friends. 

Look inside the books in your category and see who represented them. You can also search for references to agents in the Literary Marketplace and Writer’s Market, two guides, which I believe are both online now. If not they are in the library.

The association of author’s representatives is also a searchable database. The website is . You can search by genre of literature. Only qualified agents are listed. Never pay potential representatives money to read for you. Agents should not be reading for authors. They earn their money by commission.

I am more of a mentor and a strategist. I say, “Do this, do that, and don’t monkey around so much,” as you find your way. I have seen many successful strategies and I am a good person to brainstorm with because of my marketing experience and editorial experience.

An agent has a responsibility to connect you with a publisher and then to make sure you honor your end of the bargain and they honor their end of the bargain. They are matchmakers and they only take on clients who they are absolutely sure they can sell, because they earn by commission.

Unlike an agent, I am paid by fee and once I am in, I am in for as long as we are agreed. I have a coaching program for book proposals called Get a Book Deal Coaching. I also do editing and ad hoc consultations. For instance if someone wants advice on finding a book distributor we might walk through the decision process together. I am good at locating appropriate resources and knowing which ones are legitimate. I help my clients shortcut their processes. I speed the learning curve. And I do this in the context of real mainstream industry practices.

We look together at the marketplace and what could be really and truly viable. During a three-month period, I walk people through several aspects of publishing a book: Mission, Editorial, Marketing, Creativity, and Relationships.

Stephanie’s Get a Book Deal Coaching Program is a powerful proven system that she strategically developed from her background as a senior acquisitions editor at Bantam-Doubleday-Dell and editor at HarperCollins Publishers. If you missed our call, The Insiders Guide to Getting a Book Deal, you can listen to the recorded call now.

I encourage you to check out Stephanie’s services for authors:

Get a Book Deal Coaching Program
7 Quick & Easy Steps to Write AND Sell Your First Book Proposal
Partner with Your Publisher
Want to Get a Book Deal in 2010?

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Book with a View March 2010

LeaveLight: A Motivational Guide to Holistic End-of-Life Planning
Authors: Marilyn L. Geary & Jacqueline Janssen
ISBN Number: 978-0-9825378-1-7
Publisher: GingerAle Press, 2010
Genre and Target Market: Mind, Body & Spirit
Pages: 220
Reviewed by: Sarah Moore for WITS

I currently sit before my computer screen presented with the challenge of reviewing one of the most beautiful books I have had the pleasure of reading in quite some time that confronts an issue most of us would rather ignore—death. The reality is that every single one of us will reach a day when we no longer exist on this earth. Why are we so afraid to discuss an activity in which everyone must participate? Perhaps it is because we fear what happens to us after we end our time in this physical realm. Perhaps we fear that nothing happens at all. However, through their new release LeaveLight: A Motivational Guide to Holistic End-of-Life Planning, authors Marilyn L. Geary and Jacqueline Janssen approach the sensitive subject of dying with compassion and what amounts to a literary embrace. It did not take much time spent in the pages of the book to discover the happiness and peace that can come with accepting and even engaging the issues that arise when we reach the end of our lives.

LeaveLight is divided into sections that allow the reader to plan for every aspect of her death, from the distribution of the physical property to the decisions concerning relationships to the way in which she wants to be remembered. And, each step is introduced with an understanding of the difficult emotions that accompany the reality of these choices. Geary and Janssen always keep the focus on the human who is behind the power of attorney paperwork and the organ donations. The authors include exercises which require the reader to focus solely on herself, if only for fifteen or twenty minutes of the day, including a quiet moment to enjoy a visual that brings peace or allowing some time to reflect on the personal meaning that a specific chair has in her life. LeaveLight ends with more than seventy pages of resources for the reader, including helpful book and internet resources and forms that will help to organize all of the end-of-life details.

One of the target audiences for LeaveLight is people with aging parents, and I am a member of that demographic. For several years, I have been searching for the “right” way to broach some difficult subjects with my parents and my efforts were always ignored with a palpable sense of discomfort concerning the topic. I believe this book may be the tool that I need to start these necessary conversations. With compassion clearly at the core of the book, my parents and I should be able to use its pages to break down the walls that have previously stalled a discussion of this inevitable journey.

While I understand this is not the intended purpose of the book, having recently experienced a painful divorce that left me the single parent of two small children, I also found applications within the text to my own life and the death of how I expected my family to develop. Who among us could not spend some more time discovering forgiveness and gratitude? These should be lifelong endeavors. I cannot say enough about LeaveLight and I sincerely hope that anyone who is searching for peace in the face of imminent death—of themselves or a loved one—will purchase this book and starting their planning today.

Lucifer Rising
Author: Barbara Fifield
ISBN Number: 978-1-4327-4478-6
Publisher:, 2009
Genre and Target Market: fiction; psychological thriller
Pages: 83
Reviewed by: Sarah Moore for WITS

Here are several elements that perhaps you never expect to find contributing to the evolution of a single story—dance lessons, Reiki healing, drug-dependent freeloaders, Italian food and, to top it all off, the rebirth of Satan into an earthly form. However, all of the factors are essential pieces of the plotline in the new release Lucifer Rising by Barbara Fifield. This short novel, which totals only eighty-three pages of text, wastes no time in taking its readers into a world of psychological depravity and dangerous charisma. If you are ready to invest your energy into a book that may leave you with a lingering feeling of discomfort and more questions left unanswered than resolved, then Lucifer Rising is for you, as it is these very elements that make this second novel by Barbara Fifield such a powerful piece.

Lucifer Rising focuses on the power wielded by Tyrell, a local religious leader who uses his magnetic personality to bring the most vulnerable members of society under his spell. He comes to the rescue of those suffering from drug addiction, abusive relationships, and loneliness with promises of healing and security. A local reporter, Elsa Eldridge, is given the task of uncovering what makes Tyrell such a popular figure and, instead of remaining an objective journalist preparing a story, finds herself in a relationship with the mysterious figure. The more time that Elsa spends with Tyrell, the more she realizes that his charm is not actually anchored in a sense of philanthropy, but a much more sinister motive.

Fifield’s extensive writing background, which includes a previous novel and published works in newspapers and literary journals, is obvious throughout the content of Lucifer Rising. She creates characters that come to life with her carefully selected language and finds a way to have her readers (at least this reader!) committed to discovering the outcome of the story within the first few pages. In Elsa, we find a woman to whom most of us can relate in some way. She is struggling through personal loss, anxious to make a name for herself in her profession, and approaches new situations with a healthy skepticism. I certainly can relate to these characteristics. Therefore, when Elsa falls under the spell of a cult leader whose intentions are endlessly more nefarious than one initially realizes, it is not impossible that readers may be able to imagine themselves in such a terrifying yet enthralling relationship.

In Lucifer Rising, Barbara Fifield has created a novel that dances around many issues surrounding religion and absolute good and evil without offering clear conclusions. Instead, her writing leaves the audience the opportunity to sit with their own emotions concerning the characters and the relationships that develop. In more than one instance, I found myself questioning how I would have reacted when confronted with the emotional and physical challenges put before Elsa Eldridge when she simply wanted to write a newspaper article. I like to think that I would have maintained more distance from the dangerous figure of Tyrell, who is revealed to be the embodiment of evil, but so goes the inexplicable power of charismatic leaders. Whether or not you believe Satan actually exists, I offer that the cult of personality in our world is undeniable and on full display in Lucifer Rising.

From Beer to Maternity
Maggie Lamond Simone
Brodman Publishing (2009)
ISBN 9780615289922
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer, PhD, for Reader Views

The author gives readers laughter, sarcasm and humor in this incredibly funny but true book. She admits that she writes today the way she wrote in college; the only difference she wasn’t drunk this time.

Ms. Simone writes what most of us, especially women, think but dare not speak out loud. She addresses topics such as: why women are jealous of each other, how men think, if one is single they are out to find Mr. Right, and being an older mother.

One of my favorite chapters was entitled “Cooties” and deals with how to tell if your date is bored, and how dating companies will check out a potential date by looking at their resume, education, credit scores, and criminal records. She tells us that we all have made stupid mistakes in our life, but do you really need all that information to consider dating someone?

Her chapter titled “Tick Tock” is one that many of us have been through. When our mother keeps pestering us as to when she is ever going to have grandchildren. Ms. Simone relates that raising children is like raising dogs - you feed them, water them and talk to them in baby talk.

Readers will find that the author is saying things we have always wanted to say or question. One will laugh, cry and make notes on witty things to say the next time one of these topics come up. From Beer to Maternity by Maggie Lamond Simone was such a funny read; once you start you can’t put it down till you reach the last page and then you want more.

The Evolutionary Glitch: Rise Above the Root of Your Problems
Dr. Albert Garoli
Loving Healing Press (2010)
ISBN 9781615990177
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views

If you’ve ever wondered why you keep recreating the same problems over and over again in your life, you will find the answer in The Evolutionary Glitch. The author, Albert Garoli, MD, has an interesting and varied background in specialties that include Internal Medicine, Ayurvedic traditional medicine, TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), Acupuncture, Electro-acupuncture, Phytopharmacology and Homotoxicology. Through his studies he developed a theory that humans have developed a “glitch” in our neural network. He states that this glitch, “…is at the root of human physical and mental suffering.”

Negative conditioning has caused many of us to develop a persona that leads us into creating negative patterns by which we live our lives. These personas are separated into six categories: The Sanguine Persona; the Lymphatic Persona; the Nervous Persona, the Melancholic Persona; the Bilious Persona and the Phlegmatic Persona. By exploring our conditioned neural networks, we can identify which persona we have embedded in ourselves, and use the techniques offered to overcome the glitches. In doing so, we will be able to live the life that we were meant to live, not the faulty one which find ourselves stuck in.

I found “The Evolutionary Glitch” to be absolutely fascinating. It is written in a manner that combines science with philosophy. Rather than calling it a “self-help” type of book, Dr. Garoli refers to it as “self-challenging.” The process of identifying our personas so that we can overcome our glitches is going to be challenging, because our personas do not necessarily want to change. Even identifying which persona we have takes some in-depth thought and discovery. However, the idea that I can get past those, “Why do I keep doing this, or thinking this way,” thoughts is incredibly appealing and makes me realize that it will be well worth the effort required so that I can live the life that I was meant to live, instead of the one that I find myself stuck in.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

What Size and Length Should a Book Be?

by Yvonne Perry

The length of a book depends upon what type of book it is and what publishing route you decide to take. If you plan to sell your work as an e-book, you can have as many or few pages as you like. You can probably do the layout yourself in Word and then convert it to a PDF. If you want to have your book printed, there are other things to consider such as the genre, weight, size, and price point of the book.

A center-stapled chapbook (quite popular with poetry, but difficult to lay out) can be printed on your home printer if you only need a few copies. If you plan to market the book, it would be more cost effective to publish it on demand with a service such as Published by Westview. In that case, you will get more bang for your buck by adding more poems and filling the book to about 100 pages.

Shipping costs are dependent upon the size and weight of the book. Weight can be cut by using thinner, uncoated paper; such is the case with mass market paperback novels. Even though they are thicker than a standard 6x9 book, six and a half by four-inch novels weigh about the same or less than their counterparts. That’s because the typical paper used for nonfiction book interiors is a 60# smooth stock, while mass-produced paperbacks are printed off-set rather than digitally. Off-set (high quantity) printing costs about 80 percent less than digital printing that produces one book at a time.

For a perfect bound (glued spine) book, you should also consider your genre. I highly recommend a strolling research through your local bookstore to see what size and page count your genre is currently averaging. A nonfiction book usually has a word count of about 82,000, which equals about 300–350 pages when printed to 6x9 standard size. This number is based on 275 words per page using 12-point type. A nonfiction book with 350 pages will have a spine width of about one-half to three-quarters of an inch.

Since novels tend to have more pages than nonfiction works, it’s not uncommon for a novel to have 500-600 pages. The font or type size in a paperback novel will be much smaller than the average self-help or how-to book. That means more words per page.

Also note the retail price of the books in your genre. You want to price your book within the genre price range in order to sell your book. If you have to mark the book up in order to make a profit, you would do well to reduce the page count and thus, the print cost. This can be achieved by using a smaller font.

Remember, books layout in blocks of four. If your book has an odd number of pages, you will undoubtedly have some blank sheets at the end. Hint: use these extra pages to market your other books or services.

Yvonne Perry is the owner of Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services. She enjoys creating Web text, business documents, résumés, and bios. She also writes articles, press releases and non-fiction books on a wide variety of topics.

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Marketing Secrets of a Bookstore

Most of us meander into a bookstore, maybe grabbing a latte from the nearby coffee vendor and sauntering up and down the aisles looking for our desired title. For the savvy author, a bookstore is a great way to not only get to know your market, but to research your competition and get a better understanding of the sales space. Since each book in your genre will tell you a little something about the author and publisher: the cover, book jacket, book size (both dimensions and page count), as well as endorsements, back cover copy, this is one of the best and least expensive ways to do your market research.

Know Your Market

First off, if you've written a book for which there is no market (read: there are no books that cater to this audience), you may have a problem. Unless you are already a brand, meaning that you're a published author with a significant following, it's unlikely that you will be able to create much momentum for a yet unserved market that a publisher will consider you. If it hasn't been written there is likely a reason why. Now there are always exceptions of course, my other book: Red Hot Internet Publicity is not a title that I would have published in 1976, mostly because there was no Internet back then.

You should fit into an existing genre and find the best one for your market. Since books can sometimes straddle different markets, a change in title can take your book for women wanting to succeed in business and move it from the business category into self-help and/or spirituality. Be clear on where your book belongs. Remember, a confused mind won't make a choice so if you confuse your reader, you're likely to lose a sale.

Who Else is Sharing Your Shelf Space?

Getting bookstore shelf space isn't easy. Generally bookstores won't keep books on their shelves that aren't selling, so getting to know books that are doing well in stores can really benefit your title as well. This is all part of your market research: know your competition and know who shares your space. This is not important just to know other competing titles, but for marketing and media positioning this is critical. Also, you should take note of all other recent titles in your category and visit their Web sites. If you're really eager to watch your competition, you could also get Google Alerts on their name or book title to see how much traction they are getting. I will usually do this for any major author in my market as well as all their book titles. Not only can you keep an eye on their hit rate, but these sites and media targets could be good for you as well.

Books that make it into and onto a shelf in a bookstore need to "look" the part. Yes, your book may be the best out there but if it doesn't meet the needs of the genre, it simply won't get put on a shelf. In order to play in the publishing sandbox you must play by the rules. While it's nice to be a maverick and to hear stories about authors who "bent the rules" and claimed success, if you read the backstory to any success, you'll find that following the rules and playing to the market is vital to success. There are 1,500 books published each day. Yes, you want to stand out, but you also want to look the part.

Bookstore checklist

Here's a checklist to get you started in your bookstore research. You'll want to expand on this as you find more titles or more ideas to research. I suggest for example adding in URL's from the book jacket so you can research the author's website, etc.
  • What genre does your book fall into?
  • Is there a sub-genre and if so, what is it? (for example, my books fall into reference/writing, writing being the sub-genre)
  • List the top five titles and authors in that market:
  • Key points each book has in common? (for example, all cookbooks you noted had nutritional analysis on each page)
Excerpted and reprinted from The Book Marketing Expert newsletter, a free e-zine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Network with Us March 2010

Get a FREE 30-day trial of Allison Maslan’s life coaching software for personal development and goal setting at

Want to learn how to get your book on the shelves at libraries? See The Savvy Book Marketer's Guide to Selling Your Book to Libraries.

Greetings, Friends and Colleagues! I invite you to read my new blog, Recipe For Life. I am very excited about this new direction with my writing, and wellness coaching and Reiki will soon follow. Please enjoy and share with others, if you feel like doing so. Love and Blessings, Barb Hunter

Schall Adams' membership site is the place for business women to connect, mentor, coach, and inspire one another. Let us help you reach your dream of becoming a writer!

Need help with using Twitter? Check out Dana Lynn Smith's Twitter Guide for Authors.

Accomplishments by Velda Brotherton

In March, two of my books will be published by two different small presses.

First is The Boston Mountains: Lost in the Ozarks from Old American Publishing - a compilation of stories from lost communities of the Boston Mountains. These come from interviews and research over the past ten years or so. Last summer my husband and I visited these lost communities to take photos and make sure they are accessible. Included in the book are directions to each site. The stories tell how people settled in Arkansas when the Territory was opened to white settlement in 1828, how they lived, worshiped, worked and played in the remote wilderness of the rugged Arkansas Ozarks. The book contains 137 photos, some very old.

The second book is Arkansas Meals and Memories from Goldminds Publishing - a combination of 150 authentic Boston Mountain recipes and menus for two full weeks plus special foods for Dinner on the Ground during Decoration and all other holidays. Interspersed throughout the recipes are stories of growing up in the Ozarks, some as told to me by others, some my own experiences as a child living in these beautiful mountains. Many of the recipes come from my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother collected over the years and passed down to me by my mother. Others are from some of the greatest cooks in Arkansas, women who were born and raised here and learned to cook on wood cook stoves.

The Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest is open to anyone who loves expressing innermost thoughts and feelings into the beautiful art of poetry or to write a short story that is worth telling everyone! And to all who have the ability to dream. Write a poem or short story for a chance to win cash prizes. All works must be original.

Announcing our new series: The Writing Show Slush Pile Workshop

The Writing Show announces a new podcast series designed to help you practice capturing readers’ attention: “The Writing Show Slush Pile Workshop.” Inspired by literary agent Kristin Nelson’s two-page pitch sessions, Writing Show host Paula B. and freelance editor Ann Paden will play agent and comment on your anonymous submissions on the show.

We’re sure you know by now how important it is to hook a prospective agent or publisher in your first couple of pages. But if you send your work out before it’s ready, you could squander an important opportunity. Don’t risk it. Try your material out on us first—for free!

For more information, see

To All Literature Lovers in the New York City or Nearby Area

Irene Brodsky is teaching a literature class Spring semester 2010 at Brooklyn College City University of New York. The name of her class is "Plato - Trial and Death of Socrates" and is being held every Thursday from 1:30 - 2:30 p.m. in 503 Whitehead Hall. Thanks to Abe's Books, we have textbooks for only $1 each. And we are also planning a class trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the famous paintings of Socrates and have tea/coffee afterwards. Registration for my class is at 3160 Boylan Hall. For more info or travel directions to the college, please call (718) 951-5697.

Focus + Meaning + Choice = Your Desired Experiences

Is it time to learn how to more effortlessly have desired experiences in your life as a writer? Let the 4-week Reinvent Yourself coaching program or e-book of the program materials show you how. You Are More! Empowerment Coach and author Joyce Shafer ( Details at

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Calling for Submissions for April 2010 Ezine

It's time for me to start putting together the next fantastic and information-filled e-zine for April 2010. That means I need you to send me your articles, contest announcements, and brags to be included in the next issue. We have more than enough book reviews, but if I have room for them, I'll include them.

Read our guidelines for submittal here. Remember, the better your piece is written, the better attention and credibility it receives--and the less editing I have to do.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Editor's Corner March 2010

Welcome to another issue of Writers in the Sky E-zine. We are one month closer to spring and to celebrate, we have decided to put together a blog chain for St. Patrick’s Day. Would you like to join us for a round of blogging March 11 through 17?

A blog chain involves about a dozen people who have a blog and want to participate in a fun group activity. Each participant visits the blog of every person on the chain within one week of being sent the list of URLs. When visiting each blog, participants read and comment on one post they find interesting. When you leave a comment on the other eleven blogs you will in turn receive eleven comments on your own blog. And, the search engines smile upon you because this kind of activity increases your blog's popularity and raises its ranks in search engines.

When linking blogs, it’s a good idea to connect with ones that are similar in theme or subject matter. If you have a blog with a “green” environmental focus, or one about leprechauns (or any magical being), springtime, beer, or anything to do with St. Paddy’s Day, let us know and we'll include you in this fun activity and help you promote your blog and writing. You may sign up for the next blog chain by selecting "WITS Special Event" when you use the contact page of our Web site.

If you missed “The Insiders Guide to Getting a Book Deal” with Stephanie Gunning, you may listen to the
recorded call on how to get a book deal now:

Stephanie Gunning is a bestselling author, editor, and publishing consultant with over 25 years of experience in the book business. Her Get a Book Deal Coaching Program is a powerful proven system that she strategically developed from her background as a senior acquisitions editor at Bantam-Doubleday-Dell and editor at HarperCollins Publishers, and her subsequent career helping create, place, and market books for dozens of non-fiction writers, including New York Times and national bestselling authors Gregg Braden, Arielle Ford, Ruby Payne, and Hale Dwoskin, among others.

During our call, Stephanie shared some valuable information and answered questions about the following:

* What makes an author or a book concept attractive to a publisher?

* The way publishers run their numbers when deciding how much to pay an author for a book project they want to acquire

* Book advances and book contract * Does it help to have an agent? If so, how do you find the right one?

* How does a publishing consultant differ from an agent?

* Why you need to write a book proposal

* Why you should never pay literary representatives money to read for you

She also mentioned the association of author’s representatives, a database where you can search for a literary agent by genre of literature. That Web site is . Only qualified agents are listed.

Want to Get a Book Deal in 2010? Stephanie will work one-on-one privately to coach you to help create your book proposal.

I appreciate your contributions and thank Barbara Milbourn for proofreading this month's e-zine.

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Podcast Schedule for March 2010

Listening to Writers in the Sky Podcast on a computer is easy. Just click this link: and go to my blog. On the right sidebar there is a list of archived shows. Click on the interview you would like to hear and it will open a post that has a link to open the audio file. For information about being a guest on Writers in the Sky Podcast, see

March 5

Author Jennifer Chase will discuss her new novel Dead Game. Jennifer has an educational background in forensics and criminal psychology, which she brings to her writing. Emily Stone and her partner, Rick Lopez, try to track down a serial killer who has been terrorizing followers of a certain online networking group, but they end up becoming targets themselves. Chase will be discussing why she decided to focus on the online community as her chosen environment, what she learned about the writing and marketing process that she was able to apply the second-time around.

March 12

Marilyn Geary and Jacqueline Jannsen sit down with Sarah Moore to discuss their book LeaveLight: A Motivational Guide to Holistic End-of-Life Planning. This book is designed for those who are facing death, or who are planning to assist a loved one through the dying process. While providing all of the necessary checklists and forms, LeaveLight also offers readers the opportunity to reflect and focus on their own spirituality. The authors will be sharing how their own backgrounds led them to write this book, how they see its content being used, and why death is such a difficult subject to address in our culture.

March 19

Lewis Tagliaferre to discuss his book Voices of Sedona. Tagliaferre lost his wife to cancer several years ago and went searching for a way to cope with his grief. During a business trip to Sedona, the spirit of Sedona Schnebly introduced herself and, over the course of subsequent visits, put him in touch with other spiritual teachers. Through these channeled teaching episodes, Tagliaferre learned the five universal principles that now comprise the philosophy known as Theofatalism.

March 26

Bestselling author, editor, and publishing consultant Stephanie Gunning has developed a coaching program to help authors land a book deal, and she draws on her experience as a senior acquisitions editor at Bantam-Doubleday-Dell and editor at HarperCollins Publishers to create her winning ideas. During her interview, Ms. Gunning will be discussing what makes a book concept attractive to an editor, why to write an effective book proposal, and what is involved in book contracts and advances. To learn more Stephanie Gunning and the services she offers, please visit her Web site.