Friday, September 30, 2011

The Cobras: A Written Interview with Author Jim Daddio

Writers in the Sky is pleased to welcome author Jim Daddio in a written interview about his most recent novel, The Cobras.

Vonnie Faroqui: Some of the first questions that fans usually want to ask have to do with that moment of discovery, when you first knew that you wanted to be a writer; in part, because writing is one of those creative vocations that so many of us aspire too. Do you think of writing and being an author as a special calling or your purpose in life?
Jim Daddio: Writing is a passion. If a person believes in themselves and has a story to tell, fiction or non-fiction, it is important to find the tools to write it.

Faroqui: When did you first know you were a writer? How did you know?
Daddio: I was always told that I told a great story, that and in my business life, I was considered very creative in my ideas. I put the two together.

Faroqui: How do you find ideas for your books? How do you find inspiration, fill your creative well, so to speak . . ?
Daddio: I seem to always have ideas running through my mind. I try hard to create a different story or approach. My goal is always to create a fiction story that feels real to the reader.

Faroqui: What is it like to get that creative burst that evolves into a novel? How was that for you? What inspired you to write The Cobras?
Daddio: I was inspired to write The Cobras from people I've met over the years and the stories they've told me. I also did research on the FBI and law enforcement and created an FBI Agent from a composite of stories and my imagination.

Faroqui: Did you spend much time considering who you were writing for, or did you write for yourself?
Daddio: I would love to say that all readers would enjoy The Cobras, but it is a man's book. The Stuart News said, "The language is frank and the violence is central in this fast-paced thriller."

Faroqui: If you were to characterize your writing style how would you describe yourself? I try to develop stories about people that the reader can identify with.
Daddio: I want the reader to follow the characters throughout the story and understand the decisions they make, good or bad, and the consequences they face.

Faroqui: Some people believe that in order to be truly creative a person has to be tormented, or have deep inner turmoil? What do you think of that notion?
Daddio: Again writing is a joy and passion. If that's what drives a writer then the person's personal life shouldn't matter. This is especially for fiction. A non-fiction story can come from personal tragedy or turmoil in their life.

Faroqui: What experience in life has been the most helpful in preparing you as a writer?
Daddio: I've always traveled in my business life. Therefore I've had the opportunity to meet so many different people and be in so many places that the stories were always in front of me. It's taking all that and tying it together with imagination and the writer's privilege to embellish . . . (Ha, Ha.)

Faroqui: Do you have any advice to offer others, the would-be-writers out there, which might help them on their way?
Daddio: I have three rules; 1. It's called The End. Write it, finish it and have it edited. 2.) Understand your audience and find a publisher that matches your genre. 3.) Have a plan to market and promote your work. Don't count on the publisher on doing that for you.

Faroqui: Do you have anything you would like to share with your readers, thoughts, thanks, or news about upcoming books?
Daddio: I wrote a romance book with a humorous touch. I will be publishing it on an e-book only site. It is called The Choice. I tested it with three female readers and the response has been very satisfying. I also have signed with an agent to place a murder mystery, The Privileged.

Faroqui: What books have you written and where can your books be purchased?
Daddio: I have written a trilogy featuring a PI, Art Decco. "The Wind" on, "Las Vegas Dead" at and "Heaven or Hell-A Story of Human Trafficking" at wings-epress and

Faroqui: Do you have an author's website where fans can follow your work?
Daddio: Yes, I do and thank you for asking, it is

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Can We Have Her Back Now?

Reading Rand as Literature, not Politics
by Dana Micheli

Much has been made of the resurgence of Ayn Rand in the past few years, particularly on the political landscape. Her work, most notably Atlas Shrugged, has been appropriated by the political right and vilified by the left. It has also caused a stir among religious conservatives, who may agree with her politically, but abhor her atheism. Everyone, it seems, has an opinion about her, whether or not they have read her work.

Certainly, Rand put herself in this position: after writing Atlas Shrugged, she turned primarily to writing about her political/economic philosophy, Objectivism. Since her death, this philosophy has been promoted by the Ayn Rand Institute and others who feel as she did.

I had, of course, heard of Rand, and had seen the thick volumes on bookstore shelves my whole life. But I was never tempted to read them. In fact, I'd never so much as read the back to see what they were about. (I am ashamed to say, part of the reason for this is that I did not care for the cover art!) In short, I looked at her books as something I would have been forced to read in school.

Then this "resurgence" began. Suddenly, Rand's name was everywhere. It was mentioned on cable news, countless blogs, and even a popular TV show I watch, but always in a political—rather than a literary—context. I was intrigued, and the next time I was in Barnes & Noble, I bought The Fountainhead. It wasn't long before I knew it to be an eye-opener; but it had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with the beauty of Rand's prose.
The Fountainhead is nearly 700 pages, yet not a single word is wasted. Its world is so real, I felt like I was stepping into the New York of the 1920s and '30s every time I opened it. The characters leapt from the page, so much so that I felt like I had known them for years, and intimately. She was quoted as saying that the novel's hero, architect Howard Roark, is her composite of the "ideal man." Whether or not that is true, he is definitely my opinion of the perfectly drawn literary character. You may love him or hate him, but to remain indifferent to him is impossible.

I realize that these days it is difficult for people to aside their political views, but in this case it is well worth the effort. Regardless of your feelings on Rand as a political figure, you will fall in love with her fiction.
Dana Micheli is a freelance writer, editor, proofreader and journalist. She has written and edited works of fiction and nonfiction, including novels (ghostwritten), news articles, resumes, business plans, and restaurant reviews. She also researched and wrote the legal and housing sections of New York: The Complete Resident's Guide (Explorer Publishing). Dana has a B.A. in English from Southern Connecticut University and a Juris Doctor from New York Law School. She lives in New York City.

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Friday, September 23, 2011

The Grammar Hero is in the House! Say What?

By Kristen House
Last night, I made fried chicken for supper. It's my husband's favorite meal, and he dug into dinner with gusto. Unfortunately for him, fried chicken is also our dog's favorite meal. She sat by the table and whined while he chewed on his chicken until her begging was too much for him to handle.

"Go lay down," he said, pointing to her dog bed.

"Ahem," I said, after swallowing a bite of mashed potatoes. "I think you mean lie."

"I'm not lying," he said.

"No, no," I said. "Lie is a complete verb. It means that the dog is doing something to herself—like in this case. She is putting herself into bed, so she is lying down. Lay, on the other hand, means the dog would be acting on something or someone else. It needs a direct object to make sense. Maybe if you said, "Go lay this chicken bone on the table," that would be an appropriate use of the verb."

"Well," he said, "does the lesson come with supper, or does it cost extra?"

"For you," I said, "it's fee!"
Grammar Girl to the rescue!
  • Lie
  • Lay
Kristen House is an Adjunct Instructor of Writing at Belmont University, and the Chief Executive Muse of A Novel Idea. She writes fiction every day for hours, even when there isn't anything to write about. Kristen lives in Nashville with her husband, Andrew, sons, Holden and Shephard, and a yippy little dog named Osie.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Track Changes Feature

If you and someone else are working on your document and you want to see the changes each of you have made, you will want to go to the Review tab and select the Track Changes icon before you begin editing. This will cause all deletions to appear as strikethroughs. Any new words added will be in a different color font. You may accept or reject each change individually by right clicking on the desired text and right clicking to access the menu.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

When is the Best Time to Think about Giving Up as a Writer?

by Yvonne Perry

JR: When is the best time to think about giving up as a writer?

YP: Never! A writer can't stop writing and feel that her life is in perfect order. We artistic types must write or do something creative to keep our second chakra open and the intense energy flowing. However, if you are referring to being a freelance writer trying to earn a living by writing, there are some checkpoints to consider. I'll touch on these in your next question.

JR: How do you really know if you have talent or if you're just wasting your time?

YP: I must have quit and questioned my sanity at least twice a week when I first started my freelance writing business. I was feeling like a fish out of water because I was no longer getting a regular paycheck I was accustomed to having. But, I'm very glad I persevered.

Every writer has talent that can be improved upon, but what's equally important is whether or not you have the discipline to stay the course and the knowledge to run a business. That doesn't mean you are wasting your time by trying. Additional education may remedy your frustration.

By being open to feedback and constructive criticism you can get a feel for how your audience is receiving the writing you are producing. Seeing clients return for second and third projects is another way to note this. If you take offense to suggestions for improvement, you will not progress as quickly. The red pen from an editor can be one of the best teaching tools available to any writer.

On the financial side, it can take several years before a newbie freelance writer actually starts to turn a profit. This is mainly due to set up costs and the time needed to market and establish your platform or online presence. Your first year may bring very little revenue because of the time you will need to spend building your portfolio and preparing to receive clients. If you already have a huge following on social networking sites, you are ahead of someone who doesn't. However, if all you've been Tweeting (Twitter) and talking about on Facebook is negative or personal, or if you have not been diligent about using correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation on these sites, you still may not have an audience that will trust your ability to write for them.

Once your business, online presence, and portfolio (writing samples) have been established you should be able to find clients with proper marketing.

JR: How do you balance being a writer and doing your day job?

YP: Freelance writing has been my day job for seven years, but prior to going full time as a writer, I worked at corporate job. I handled business set up in the evenings. This included researching the writing industry, taking writing classes, and creating my logo, Web site, and business cards, as well as seeking clients and learning to set prices for projects. By the time, I left my day job, I was ready to open my doors for business.

JR: How do you beat procrastination?

YP: By waiting to see what happens next. Just kidding! I believe in the law of attraction and that I am the creator of my life. Therefore, I have the incentive to take action and do whatever is necessary when the opportunity arises rather than waiting until later. I rarely let anything sit on my desk for more than 24 hours. If you really have a problem with procrastination, perhaps being a business owner is not the best career choice for you. From what I've noted, people do not tend to procrastinate on projects when they enjoy their work.

Recently, I have shifted my focus to writing and marketing my own books that help people find peace as they progress on their spiritual path (see While I still maintain ownership and business oversight for Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services (, I no longer write for clients—unless someone should query me for a project I cannot refuse! J

JR: How do you make your writing different than anyone else's?

YP: There may be many books on the market on the topics that I address, but everyone's point of view and method of presentation is unique. My writing is straightforward and I don't mind sharing my heart when I know it will benefit others. While my writing is filled with personal stories that bring practical application to the things I present in my books, it is supported with comprehensive research, which lends credibility to my work. I also pay close attention to details and do my best to offer a product that has been edited and carefully proofread.

Yvonne Perry is a metaphysical author, spiritual coach, and teacher who helps others learn about oneness with Spirit through her books, teaching, and speaking. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Metaphysic from the American Institute of Holistic Theology. Yvonne is the author of several books. More Than Meets the Eye: True Stories about Death, Dying and Afterlife addresses suicide, near-death experience, end of life decisions, euthanasia, and spirit visits from the "deceased." ( The Sid Series ~ A Collection of Holistic Stories for Children provides a role model for parents while entertaining children with stories that teach life lessons ( Her latest book, Whose Stuff Is This? Finding Freedom from the Thoughts, Feelings, and Energy of Those Around You, is a resource for sensitive people who have been unknowingly carrying energetic burdens that belong to someone else.

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Need Help with Your Wedding Toast?

Have you been chosen as the best man or maid/matron of honor for a wedding? Does the thought of making that special toast to the bride and groom at the rehearsal dinner or reception leave you shaking in your rental shoes?

Look no further! There is a solution that will alleviate the stress that goes along with making wedding toasts. Tracey L. Brackett, owner of The Feather Walker Customized Writing Services, is now working in collaboration with Writers in the Sky to offer this unique service at a price that you can afford.

Tracey started writing poetry at the tender age of seven. Her love for words and rhyme has led to having over thirty poems, songs, and prose in her portfolio. To learn more about Tracey, visit

One brief consultation with Tracey will allow her to create a personal poem or prose for your wedding toast that you and the wedding party will love!So, if you have trouble with words and need a ghostwriter, contact Tracey through Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services contact page.  Located in Nashville, Tracey serves all metropolitan areas within a thirty-mile radius.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Editor's Corner September 2011

The grandkids have gone back to school and my favorite time of the year is coming to an end. Yes, I'm one of the few people who love sunny days with temperatures ranging from the upper-80s to the mid-90s. But, I also love fall which means I have the coming season to look forward to.

This fall brings a lot of exciting activities to my calendar. This month, we kick off a free 4-week teleseminar, "Empaths Shifting into 2012: Helping Energy-sensitive People Understand Their Spiritual Role on Earth." More than 300 people have registered for this online telesummit. Be sure to read the press release in this issue to learn more about this event.

I've taken The Sid Series ~ A Collection of Holistic Stories for Children to another level and created a course to help parents, teachers, and guardians of spiritually advanced children.

I plan to start writing another book as soon as the empath telesummit is complete. My working title is Shifting into Purer Consciousness: How to Embrace and Integrate Multidimensional Frequencies. Looks like I'll have another blog to maintain! That's because each book I have written has its own blog from which I launch my virtual tour, disseminate information on the topic of my book, and offer a point of purchase. This is a vital part of each of my book marketing campaigns. If you need help with marketing your book, please contact Vonnie or Dana or see our author publicity services at .

Jeff Rivera, Editor-in-Chief at Gatekeepers Post ( asked me to answer a few questions for a blog interview. I ended up sharing some good information for writers; so, I've decided to share my answers with you in this issue.

Enjoy the articles and tidbits in this e-zine, and be sure to share the subscription link with your friends: .

Yvonne Perry,
Owner of Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Empaths Shifting into 2012: A Telesummit to Help Energy-sensitive People Understand Their Spiritual Role on Earth

Two empathic authors, Yvonne Perry and Dr. Caron Goode, have organized an event offering eight hours of free training for people who are emotionally oversensitive.

The excitement is building for a free teleconference to kick off the grand opening of and empower people to walk in oneness as they help facilitate humanity's shift into higher consciousness. The purpose of this telesummit is to help people understand the science of the predicted 2012 shift already in progress, and how this is affecting all people—especially empaths.

Each of the four calls (September 6, 13, 20, & 27) in this telesummit will teach participants how to ground and center their energy, obtain clarity, and enact self-care while assisting in the Earth's transformation. Each content-rich call will last about two hours in order to allow two speakers to make presentations and listeners to ask questions.

There will be a panel of eight experts (two each week) who will speak about how catastrophic world events are affecting lightworkers and empaths and what to expect as 2012 draws nigh. We won't leave you wondering what to do about the grief and discomfort you are experiencing; we will give you tips for getting free from detrimental energy and staying joyfully clear as you follow your spiritual path.

The virtual online event will be held all four Tuesdays in September 2011. Go to and enter your email address to get more information and a reminder about the event fall.

Here is the lineup of speakers and topics for training summit:

September 6 @ 3 p.m. CDT
  • Reiki and Level II Acutonics practitioner Kate Garvey is the founder and director of the Institute of Sound Healing teaching. She has conducted workshops at the Indigenous Grandmother's Gatherings. Her presentation is "Self-Care, Healing, and the Shift: Walking Between Worlds, Our Sacred Call, Response Vs. Reaction, the Good of All, the Speed of Transitions, and Keeping Your Sanity." "

 September 13 @ 3 p.m. CDT
  • Dr. Tom Goode of the International Breath Institute will teach Full Wave Breathing as a simple but powerful way to process physical changes in the bodies and maintain all aspects of health. Tom is the author of seven books on holistic living. His most recent is Breathe and Grow Rich—Self Care to Enrich Your Whole Life.
  • Jenna Forrest is the developer of where sensitive empaths can learn to master their innate sensory intelligence through tangible empowerment practices and profound healing techniques. She is the author of two books about growing up as a sensitive person. She will present "Climbing the Stairway to Mastery & Illumination: Recognizing the Stages of Consciousness, Spiritual Purification and the Creation of a New Planetary Paradigm of Love."
    September 20 @ 3 p.m. CDT
  • Suzy Miller is the visionary founder of Blue Star Brilliance LLC and author of Awesomism: A New Way to Understand the Diagnosis of Autism. After a 22-year career as a pediatric speech language pathologist, Suzy met a four-year old child diagnosed with autism who was destined to change not only the way she viewed autism, but life in general. She will be presenting "Autism: A Postive Step in Human Evolution."
  • Dr. Caron Goode, the author of Raising Intuitive Children and Kids who See Ghosts~ Guide Them through Their Fear, will present information about working with intuitive children who have the gift of empathy. Gain easy and useful tools to help empower children who don't fit the stereotype that most educational systems cater to.
  • September 27 @ 8 p.m. CDT
  • Empaths have a mission to fulfill as they allow their bodies to receive higher vibrating energy from the ascended masters of wisdom and step it down to the general population. Dr. Michael R. Smith, author of Navigating 2012: Thriving in Earth's New Age, will teach how to ground these higher energies into the body and use the body as a tool of perception.  
  • Metaphysical empath coach, Yvonne Perry, is the primary author of Whose Stuff Is This? Finding Freedom from the Thoughts, Feelings, and Energy of Those around You. She will speak about why forgiveness is so important to empaths who want to stay clear of negativity and align with higher frequencies in order to accomplish their life's mission. She will present "There are No Victims! Helping Empaths to See Themselves as Empowered Beings of Light."
Coaches, consultants, caregivers, parents, doctors, nurses, counselors and therapists—any heart-centered support persons or service professionals who need help with emotional clarity, being grounded, and not taking on the pains and emotions of others will appreciate the information offered in this free tele-summit. Empathic people will learn to see the gift of empathy as their greatest empowerment tool in supporting resilience and in deepening and living an inspired life.

Go to and enter your email address to get the log-in link and passcode to join this online telesummit. Each of the four content-rich calls will last about 1.5 hours in order to allow two speakers to make presentations and answer your questions.

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

WITS Annoucements

Check out the e-books designed especially to help authors promote their books online.

Congratulations to David Lafferty, whose first novel, Walking on Hot Blacktop, is now available at the beautiful Landmark Bookstore in Franklin. Walking on Hot Blacktop is the moving story of Danny and Steve, two Middle Eastern-American teens whose friendship sustains them through the challenges of fitting in at an American high school.

Walking on Hot Blacktop is also available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and ibooks.

Learn more at

Each story in The Sid Series ~ A Collection of Holistic Stories for Children focuses on life skills such as environmental awareness, helping others, being true to one's self, overcoming fear, and following inner guidance.


"Empaths Shifting into 2012: A Telesummit to Help Energy-sensitive People Understand Their Spiritual Role on Earth" is scheduled for four consecutive Tuesdays this September. There will be eight panelists sharing more than 12 hours of useful information about helping humanity shift into higher consciousness. More info at

If you have books, Bibles, church hymnals, genealogy papers, newspapers, tabloids, or courthouse record books that you want to preserve, give James Jackson a call at (318) 995-6800. See before and after photos of some miraculous transformations at .
Whose Stuff Is This? Finding Freedom from the Thoughts, Feelings, and Energy of Those Around You is a guidebook for empathic people who have been unknowingly carrying energetic burdens that belong to someone else. See all purchasing options at .
Read the first chapter for free and then decide if you want to download the 3-hour-long mp3 audio book of More Than Meets the Eye ~ True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife for only $7.00 ( ). This work is also available in print and for the Kindle Reader.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

WITS Podcast September Shows

Writers in the Sky Podcast is a talk show about writing, publishing, and book marketing. All shows are archived for listening online at

September 2: Dana Micheli speaks with Sharon Rhodes about Family Secrets, her gripping novel about the secrets we keep to protect those we love.

September 16: Sheree Rogers speaks with Dana Micheli about Who Will Cry for Me?—an inspirational memoir about her triumph over childhood abuse and abandonment.

September 23: Ginger Culolo speaks with Dana Micheli about her fascinating book, Dog Tags: The History, Personal Stories, Cultural Impact and Future of Military Identification.

September 30: Romina Wilcox speaks with Dana Micheli about The Calendar, a political thriller that is simply impossible to put down.

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