Monday, March 31, 2008

Coffee and Ink: How a Writers Group Can Nourish Your Creativity

Anne Da Vigo will be our guest on Writers in the Sky Podcast April 4th, 2008!

Anne Da Vigo is a freelance writer, public relations professional and award-winning former journalist. She lives with her husband in Sacramento, California. Her fiction has appeared in literary magazines, and she has presented her work on Public Radio’s Valley Writers Read program. She has been a winner in the Sacramento Friends of the Library short story contest. For over a decade she has been a member of the Monday Night Writers Group, which has nourished and sustained her writing life. Anne edited and co-authored the group’s book, Coffee and Ink: How a Writers Group Can Nourish Your Creativity, which won a gold award in the Northern California Publishers and Authors annual competition.

Do you long to write but find a thousand reasons to delay? Is it difficult to sustain your creative energy? Do you want to improve your writing skills? Here's a book with a solution. Coffee and Ink: How a Writers Group Can Nourish Your Creativity shows you how to use a group to kick start your writing and keep going. The authors, veteran members of Northern California’s the Monday Night Writers Group, have over the years won awards for their short stories, poetry, and creative non-fiction. To help other writers, they’ve packed Coffee and Ink with plenty of tips and entertaining examples that will make your fingers itch to phone your writer friends and pick up a pen.

For more information, inspiration, and links, go to http://www.coffeeandink.net/


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Listening to Writers in the Sky Podcast on a computer is easy. Just click this link: http://yvonneperry.blogspot.com 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 the audio file.


For information about being a guest on Writers in the Sky Podcast, see http://www.yvonneperry.net/Writing_Packages.htm#Publicity_Packages_

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Creating an Outline for Your Book

by Carol Denbow

After you have decided on your book’s subject matter and chosen a prospective title and sub-title, it’s time to sit down and draw the outline for your book.

It is best to create your outline before you begin to write. Authors easily get off track and lose focus on their real objectives.

The benefits to outlining your story:
An outline can help the writer collect and keep information in proper order and prevent it from being repeated in a non-fiction script. With fiction writing, creating an outline helps you keep the plot in order and more easily develop your characters. Outlining your script creates an easy-to-follow roadmap to your finished and “complete” book project.

How to create a basic outline:
Every manuscript contains an introduction, information, and conclusion, in other words, a beginning, middle, and ending. To start, define each of these categories in relation to your book idea. For instance, a non-fiction book on stress relief may begin with “what is stress.” The middle text may explain “how to relieve stress.” The ending may finish with “now that you are stress free…”

For a fiction book, the beginning may open by developing your characters and their place within your story. The middle is your story line or plot, and the ending is where your story concludes.
Once you have established these elements to your book, you can begin filling in the chapter titles according to the order of your story’s events. Choose titles which are clear and define the content of that particular chapter; especially for non-fiction books. Compile your chapters and organize them in a logical order.

When your story goes in a new direction, form a new chapter or sub-chapter to avoid the sudden shift of information. Readers know when they come to a new chapter or sub-chapter; the information will evolve into something a little different. Remember, chapter tiles and sub-titles can be changed up until the time of book submission or production.

When your chapter list is complete, I suggest obtaining a large white poster board and drawing your outline on it. Leave space between the chapter titles for new sub-chapters and late add-ons. The board should be set up in your writing space. Having your outline continually in your sight will help keep you focused. As you compose your manuscript, refer to your outline often.

If you are submitting your manuscript to a traditional publishing house, they will most likely require a chapter by chapter outline of your story. The outline you build to write your manuscript will be helpful in creating a suitable outline for your publishers’ submission package. Your outline can be used to build your table of contents page as well.

Once you have a complete outline finished, it’s time to begin “filling in the blanks.” With a proper and orderly outline of your story, you can flow through your writing process with confidence and ease.

Recommended related information online:

Creating an Outline & Table of Contents
Steps to Creating a Well-Constructed Plot Outline


Carol Denbow is the author of Are You Ready to Be Your Own Boss? (2006 Plain & Simple Books, LLC); Stress Relief for the Working Stiff (summer 2008 Publish America); and A Book Inside, Writing, publishing, and selling your story (Summer 2008 Plain & Simple Books, LLC). To receive her monthly newsletter, please visit http://www.plainandsimplebooks.com/85/index.html.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Book Reviews for March 2008

A Huge Story of Redemption
Title: Woman Redeemed
Author: Christine Blake
ISBN: 978-1-4327-1583-0
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
Paperback Price/Currency: $13.95 USD
Pages: 271
Reviewer: Barbara Milbourn (2/08)

It was during Christine Blake’s pursuit of her masters in Cross-cultural Teaching at the University of San Diego that a book idea began to emerge. Now, in her historical novel, Woman Redeemed, she transports us to the rich and colorful region created and dominated by the Romans in the first century, and introduces us to Mary Magdalene in first person.
We meet Mary in a small boat with her brother Lazarus and her sister Martha as her story cleverly unravels in a series of remembrances that occur as she looks upon the disappearing shore of her homeland.

As a child, Mary believes she’s vastly different from her sister, her mother, and the other women in the fishing village of Magdala. She’s curious, with “too much spirit to satisfy [herself] among the required duties of [her] sex.” She gravitates to the marketplace like her father, and idolizes Cleopatra for her power and allure.

Three significant meetings occur in her childhood that will change the course of her life: One on a stop in Nazareth during a return trip from market, when she is given a wooden box by an elderly carpenter. Another, during Passover in Jerusalem, where she meets the mother of Jesus telling stories to a gathering of children, and finally, during this same time she meets Jesus, who is around the age of her brother.

Christine Blake, through Mary Magdalene, tells the story of every woman’s self-doubt, temptations, pain, and startling experiences against a backdrop of political ambition, splendid architecture, industry, and traditions. She brings together the intersecting lives of the Jews and Romans, fishermen and prophets, women in community and women rebels. She plants us for a while in lands and seas whose names have changed but whose struggles continue. She revives the Bible stories of our youth and stays historically accurate to both Roman and Jewish records.
While this book may look small on the outside, Christine Blake has no problem delivering a huge story of redemption on a grand historical and societal stage. Celebrate womanhood in Woman Redeemed.


Deception’s Legacy
Jacqueline G. Randolph
Fultus Corporation (2008)
ISBN 9781596821026
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (1/08)

I think that whenever an author commits to writing a series, they really have to work hard to try to make each one better than the previous one. Jacqueline Randolph has managed to do this again with “Deception’s Legacy.” I was blown away at how well she managed to capture my attention with this story. As a matter of fact, I was held captive whenever I wasn’t working, so that I could keep reading!

Deception’s Legacy” once again revisits the family of Skye and Rhys. The story covers three different time periods. The Spanish Inquisition, in the 1400s, is introduced into the story. An evil Spanish family that was involved with the torture of non-Catholics holds roles from this time on through the 2030s. Another part of the story follows what happened in 1966 when US nuclear aircraft mysteriously crashed in Spain. Members of Skye’s family are actually introduced at this time. They are heavily affected by the evil family. The effects carry forward to the year 2030. Skye is now 64. Her son Tristan has followed in her footsteps as a DEA agent. He is still a rookie at this time. He is sent to Seville to help solve an intriguing mystery regarding the same Spanish family’s influence on events that are happening at this time.

A series of events reveals a huge family mystery to Skye. Her mother is unwilling to provide her with answers that she is desperately seeking. As she ventures out to get answers on her own, she discovers links between her family and the evil Spanish family, and ties to historical events. Discovering that their son Tristan may be involved with more than he can handle, Skye and Rhys once again go undercover to unofficially assist the case.

Having read the first two books in the “Deception’s” series, Skye and Rhys have felt like family to me. I was thrilled to be able to read more about their lives, especially now that they are nearing the end, and their children are taking on their own roles in the story. You can read this book alone, and you will understand everything, but I believe that if you read the books in order, you will be more affected by the emotional intensity of the storyline. The characters will be much more known to you.

I really admired how Randolph was able to tie in the different time periods without making the story too convoluted or confusing. It was absolutely fascinating. I highly recommend “Deception’s Legacy!” I eagerly await the upcoming fourth book in the series.


Poodles, Tigers, Monsters & You
L.W. Lewis
Red Pumpkin Press (2007)
ISBN 9780971157217
Reviewed by Maya Landers (age 10) for Reader Views (12/07)

“Poodles, Tigers, Monsters & You,” by L. W. Lewis, is a funny book full of poems that both my brother and I enjoyed fully. Humor is prevalent throughout the book, making it an entertaining read.

This would be a great read-aloud book, because the rhythm is enjoyable, and there is ever-present humor in all of the verses. Also, most of the poems are short, making it wonderful bedtime book. When you begin to read a poem, it appears serious, but there is always a funny twist at the end, making the poem seem much more comical than at first glance.

The illustrations are laugh-provoking, showing the offspring of a poodle and a tiger, pictures of green-toothed monsters, and a barbequed Barbie, and many, many others, all just as hilarious.
One of Lewis’s poems, titled “The Lion and the Zebra,”goes like this:

“The lion and the zebra got married,
And the wedding turned out fine.
But they weren’t married very long,
Only until dinnertime.”

This shows how the book would also be good for beginning readers, because they could enjoy the poem without having to work too hard. Some of the poems are longer, but they are just as easy to understand.

As I read these poems, I was reminded of Shel Silverstein, because at first glance the verses look like nonsense, but then they start to make sense—not in a serious way, of course.
There is no consistent plot or character that runs throughout this book. For instance, we do not see the same characters repeating, and some poems are in first person, some in third person, and some even in second person. The characters are not consistent, but they do all have the same voice--humorous and amusing, with a communicative aspect that will please all readers.
If you have read and enjoyed “The Tickle Tree,” also by L.W. Lewis, you will love this book. I couldn’t say that it was funnier, but it was just as entertaining.

I would recommend “Poodles, Tigers, Monsters & You” to my friends as an alternative to more serious literature, or to my younger brother or one of his friends as a beginning reader book.


Count the Part that’s in my Head
Book Title: Some of the Parts
Author: Gerry Rzeppa
ISBN 13: 978-1-934478-01-1
Publisher: Sunray Publishing
Pages: 45
Reviewer: Yvonne Perry www.yvonneperry.net

Have you ever struggled to open one of those bottles that have a child-safety cap? Sometimes we adults have trouble opening the bottles designed to keep children from getting into something harmful; even though what is contained inside may be for their benefit if properly administered. The topic of death and afterlife is something most people do not wish to discuss with children. In fact, they do not wish to discuss it at all, with anyone.

Some of the Parts is a book written for children, but its very grown up message will not be grasped by everyone. Even though the poetic, rhyming book only takes a few minutes to get into, the benefits will last a lifetime—and not just this lifetime. The book is about life after death told in the form of a riddle that creates an entertaining story. Maker allows us free will to choose our own path. Maker shows us wisdom to guide our daily lives. Maker is there for us when we leave this body of dust and ash and will teach us what is really important.

The illustrations in the book are simple but they help to convey the meaning, or perhaps they are there to hide the secrets of the soul. What are the chips of tile supposed to represent? Who is the old fool? What tray is furthest to the south? What are the staff, cape, and beard supposed to mean? Can you solve the math problem? Was the storm real or imagined? Whatever your interpretation of the message, you can rest assured that you will take from the pages more than your logical mind can absorb. Its message speaks to the ever-living spirit.

Even the book’s title is a play on words. If said aloud, “Some of the Parts” could be heard as “sums of the parts.” The book is divided into parts: first part, second part, third part, the sad part, the better part, and the future part. The message is the sum of the parts.

That’s not all that is concealed in the book. I love the hidden picture of the baby boy. It only took a few seconds before his sweet face appeared. The face is that of the author’s son. He was born to him by his wife when she was nearly 60 years old. That in itself is a mystery—a miracle to remind us that anything is possible to those who think it is.

Some of the Parts is a deep, intricate work of art. The expensive stock and quality printing provide a backdrop that allows Rzeppa to tell a story, without telling the reader what to believe. He only tells what is possible. He allows the reader to make up her own mind about death, life and all its mystery.

Even if children do not understand the entire story, they will be touched by the spirit of love in which it is written. “You’re never by yourself, my son, as long as you are known. That which never dies is fashioned out of thought.” Our loved ones are only a thought away.

It's a beautiful hardcover book I will want to read again and again. Its rhythmic and lyrical style is fun to read aloud. I can't wait to share it with my grandson and hear what he has to say about it. To a child, so much is taught; from a child, so much is wrought.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Learn to write a query letter on our podcast this week

Without a doubt, the two most feared words in any writer’s vocabulary are “query letter.” That’s understandable. Writing a query letter falls into the realm of the unknown—scary territory. Yet, every writer who wants to sell their work to an agent, editor, or publisher must venture into this fearful place and write a query letter. Because they aren’t clear about the purpose of the query and don’t know exactly how to craft it, writers inevitably set themselves up to receive the standard rejection letter. Nobody likes rejection, particularly writers, who tend to take it personally (even though it’s not!).

For a list of agents accepting manuscripts, see www.agentquery.com

Click here to listen. to Part 1..

Today, Friday, March 28, we are privileged to learn the #1 secret about writing query letters. Molly Nickell is a marketing coach, former publisher and Time-Life editor. In her March 28th pod cast with Yvonne Perry, Molli will tell it all regarding the current state of the book publishing business and what writers must do in today’s competitive market to get their work published.

Click here to listen to Part 2...

Former publisher, Time-Life editor and five-times published author, Molli Nickell, has created a one-of-a-kind website teaching writers to craft effective marketing documents. Having spent 11 years reading queries and book proposals, she knows what works and what doesn’t. The site offers evaluated query letters in different genre as well as guidance on how writers can make the vital shift from “teller” to “seller.” Insider information and marketing tips help writers craft query letters that motivate agents, editors, and/or publishers to respond with, “Yes, please send us your manuscript.” The site offers FREE query letter evaluations!

Molli Nickell has been helping writers get published since 1998. Find her online at www.getpublishednow.biz.

Click here to listen to Part 3...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Poems by Writers in the Sky Subscribers

The Referee
by Timothy J. Stewart
© 1996 F&F Enterprises

Hey Ref, didn’t you see that muggin’,
He made a fist and hit me just like that,
Well, I guess you probably didn’t see it,
You couldn’t get there ‘cause you are so doggone fat.

Now Ref, what about that travel,
Gosh he walked halfway from here to Tennessee,
You ought to put that pea back in your whistle,
What do you mean you’re giving me a ‘T’?

Hey Player-
Want a little cheese with your whine,
How about you shut up and play the game.
If you use the talent that God gave you,
You may find you’ll never play the same.

So you just dribble, shoot and rebound.
I’ll make the calls that I see.
While you, my friend are playing,
I am getting paid to referee.

The Coach
Hey Ref, free eye exams at Wal-Mart,
With discounts on your favorite frame,
And if you get some glasses,
Then, we might both be seeing the same game.

And Ref, while you’re there at Wal-Mart
You really ought to stop and look,
In the literary section,
To see if you can find a rule book.

Hey Coach-
Want a little cheese with your whine,
How about you shut up and coach the game.
If you coach the talent that God gave you,
You may find they’ll never play the same.

So you just sit there nice and quiet.
I’ll make the calls that I see.
While you, my friend are coaching,
I am getting paid to referee.

The Fan-
Hey Ref, where’d you get your license,
At some school for the blind,
If all the calls were equal,
We probably wouldn’t really seem to mind.

But all the calls are going their way.
We can’t seem to get a break.
The only reason that they are winning,
Is that all of you zebras are on the take.

Hey Fans-
Want a little cheese with your whine,
How about you shut up and watch the game.
If you watch the talent that God put here,
You may find they’ll never look the same.

So you just root and cheer and holler.
I’ll make the calls that I see.
While you, my friend paid to get here,
I am getting paid to referee.

Not enough to put up with fools like you,
But I am getting paid to referee



Spirit’s Song
By Hal Manogue

Continuous roots mesh
Within me
Interlocking consciousness awakens
To the sound of forgiveness
Ripening seeds of desire
Fall freely through the
Fertile soil of oneness
And plant themselves in reality

Each self dances in endless harmony
Rotating partners hold patterns
Of remembering tightly in place
As the wind of change
Blows its spirit song
Through the tree of life
I taste one fruit of gratitude
And one sip of life
In the cup
Of being human

Howard (Hal) Thomas Manogue, was born in Philadelphia, and is a forerunner to the Indigo children, a now age term for misfit with an intuitive nature, a desire to know his truth with a gift of giving and sharing. Hal retired from the shoe industry after 35 years of sole searching, and discovered his real soul. He enjoys art, music, philosophy, psychology, nature and people. His poems have been published by: Mystic Pop Magazine, Children Of The New Earth Magazine, New Age Tribune, Seasons Of The Soul Newsletters, Lightship News and Writers In The Sky Newsletters. His essays can be found on www.ezinearticles.com and www.selfgrowth.com. Be sure to visit Hal’s Blog http://halmanogue.blogspot.com/ and Web site www.shortsleeves.net.

Lovingly

He touches her hand and
She gently responds by
Opening her velvet fingers
Extending her heart to
His all-familiar palm.
She reads his thoughts.

Not a word need pass between
As their pulse becomes one,
Their eyes intertwine,
Two souls lost in time and
For one fleeting moment
Each one is the other.
No questions.

Walking together hand in hand
Down pathways familiar
Recalling the past
Greeting old friends as
They stroll through the park
Passing a bit of their time.

Quiet and still at
The end of the game
Sitting together, alone in the dark.
Leisurely, lovingly
Lost in contentment.
No need for words.
They’d just get in the way.

Dennis Martin began writing plays and submitting them to the local playwright’s festival when he turned 40 years old. He has written 13 plays –several of which have been presented as staged readings in the Baltimore Playwright’s Festival. Dennis has written over 800 poems and self-published a book of poems titled “Love and Passions” available at www.iuniverse.com and major online bookstores as well as 6 other poetry collections and 3 novels available at www.lulu.com/dsmartin. Read more about Dennis at http://www.iwritesome.com or blog with him at http://iwritesome.blogspot.com.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Border's Bookstore Soon to Offer Self-publishing via Lulu.com

Borders is teaming up with self-publishing company Lulu.com to extend its services to customers that would like to create their own book. The service will soon be available at a kiosk inside Border's Bookstores and will allow your self-published books to be on the shelves at Border's.
Right now, the test Digital Center is in Ann Arbor, MI, but 13 additional concept stores will soon be offered nationwide.

Read more about the Border's/Lulu partnership ...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Writers in the Sky Flying High with Contest Winner

Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services based in Nashville, Tennessee presents cash prize to Alan B. Robbins Reader Views Literary Awards contest winner for the Best Creative Writing of the Year.

On March 19, 2009, the finalists who participated in Reader Views Literary Awards hosted by Irene Watson, the owner of Reader Views, were presented with awards and cash prizes totaling over $6,000.

New York author Alan B. Robbins won the $100 cash prize awarded by Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services (www.writersinthesky.com). His book, Stories at the Edge of Time (ISBN 9780595471072), was published by iUniverse in 2007.

“When Irene approached me last year about participating, I was delighted to present an incentive to encourage self-published writers to submit their work for review and critique,” says Yvonne Perry, the owner of Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services. “Contests are a great way for writers to gain merit for their skill and generate public interest in their books.”

The team of professionals at Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services provides editing, ghostwriting and proofreading for individuals and businesses.

Each book, whether it gets a review or not, will be issued a critique in the form of a tear sheet that the author may use for marketing purposes. The reviews are posted on Reader Views www.readerviews.com as well as Reader Views’ weblog and amazon.com. The nineteen attention-grabbing stories of Robbins’ book held the interest of reviewer Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson throughout the entire collection and met the criteria required for the award: that the book have original, imaginative and creative use of words that create vivid mental pictures of scenes and characters.

“The stories are diverse and extremely engaging,” writes Olivera. “Most of them seem to deal with time, be it the passage of time, the relativity of it or some other aspect of it. They are all fresh and very different from each other, yet linked by superb writing and boundless imagination…all of those stories… enchanted me, amused me and made me wonder.” You may read the entire review for Alan's book at http://www.readerviews.com/ReviewRobbinsStoriesAtThe.html. You may read an interview with the author at http://www.readerviews.com/InterviewRobbins.html

Reader Views Literary Awards accepted fiction and nonfiction submissions from authors regardless of residency; however, the books had to be published in the English language and targeted for the North American market with a 2008 copyright date. Work published by major book publishers, their subsidiaries, or their imprints were not eligible.

“Reader Views reviews more than 2,000 books per year from budding authors who have worked hard to achieve their dream of being published,” Reader Views Managing Editor Irene Watson says. “Our Annual Literary Awards recognize the very best of these up-and-coming authors, all talented writers who we know have very promising writing careers ahead of them.”

All initial judging was done by reviewers from Reader Views who are experts in their fields as well as avid readers. Judging criteria included content/originality, presentation/design, innovation, social relevance, and production quality. Five semi-finalists in each category were determined by a point system. Final judging was determined by a jury of judges. Three semi-finalists were chosen in each fiction and non-fiction category. First and second place winners were awarded in each category. Third place received an honorable mention. One finalist, the top score in each area, was chosen in each regional and global category and received a certificate.

The contest is an annual event. Authors interested in Annual Literary Awards 2008 contest may download a registration form on Reader Views’ website: http://www.readerviews.com/Awards.html.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The #1 Secret of Writing a Successful Query Letter


By Molli Nickell

Without a doubt, the two most feared words in any writer’s vocabulary are “query letter.” That’s understandable. Writing a query letter falls into the realm of the unknown—scary territory. Yet, every writer who wants to sell their work to an agent, editor, or publisher must venture into this fearful place and write a query letter. Because they aren’t clear about the purpose of the query and don’t know exactly how to craft it, writers inevitably set themselves up to receive the standard rejection letter. Nobody likes rejection, particularly writers, who tend to take it personally (even though it’s not).

In order to conquer query letter writing fear, I suggest you learn to apply the #1 secret of writing a successful query letter. This will improve your odds of receiving the coveted response of “yes, send your manuscript,” instead of the dreaded, “no thanks, not right for us.”

However, there is one necessary and simple step required before you learn the #1 secret. Give yourself a round of applause for having completed a manuscript (for a book or magazine article) that’s worthy of being published. You’ve written, re-written and polished your work until it glows in the dark. Acknowledge this huge accomplishment! Yea for you!

Now, to sell your glowing manuscript to an agent, editor or publisher, you’ll need to shift gears and focus on “selling” instead of “telling.” This is key to becoming a published author. If you don’t know how to sell, no problem—you can learn. You can acquire the selling skills you need. Look at what you’ve already learned to do: write words, string them together into sentences, group sentences into paragraphs, build bridges between the paragraphs and continue with this sequence until you have completed a manuscript. Pretty amazing!

Now, the #1 secret. Ask any salesperson to describe the most important aspect of approaching a prospect to sell them anything from umbrellas to diamonds to surf boards. Their response will be: speak in the terms of the prospect’s interests. In other words, tell or show them the benefits they’ll derive when they buy the product being offered. For example, the umbrella salesperson opens and closes the umbrella effortlessly while describing its strength, coverage and speedy drying time. These benefits (demonstrated and spoken) address the prospect’s bottom-line question of, “What’s in it for me?”

All agents, editors, and publisher have the same bottom line: sales. They’re interested in manuscripts that will generate profits. So, just like the umbrella salesperson, demonstrate your writing skills (in 20 seconds or less) and begin your query by leaping right into your story. In two brilliantly written paragraphs, introduce the protagonist, the challenge, the emotions of dealing with the challenge and the actions that follow. At the end of your second paragraph, leave the agent, editor, or publisher wanting to know, “what happens next?”

Every carefully chosen word in your third paragraph (about your background) and fourth paragraph (about the market) further convinces the reader you’re a skillful writer with a manuscript that will generate sales. When they finish jumping up and down with excitement over having discovered a potential new talent, they’ll request to read your manuscript. Congratulations! Your query letter has fulfilled its purpose: moving your glow-in-the-dark manuscript from your desk into the hands of an interested agent, editor or publisher.

Once you’ve mastered query letter composition, you’ll enjoy the process of writing it. You’ll write queries that generate positive responses. This will propel you along a path which eventually will require the purchase of “Published Author” business cards and new luggage for your book promo tour.

Former publisher, Time-Life editor and five-times published author, Molli Nickell, has created a one-of-a-kind website teaching writers to craft effective marketing documents. Having spent 11 years reading queries and book proposals, she knows what works and what doesn’t. The site offers evaluated query letters in different genre as well as guidance on how writers can make the vital shift from “teller” to “seller.” Insider information and marketing tips help writers craft query letters that motivate agents, editors, and/or publishers to respond with, “Yes, please send us your manuscript.” The site offers FREE query letter evaluations!

In her March 20th podcast with Yvonne Perry, Molli will “tell it all” regarding the current state of the book publishing business and what writers must do in today’s competitive market to get their work published.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

How to Write Faster!

By Suzanne Lieurance

People are always asking me how they can write faster! It seems that every project they accept takes much more time than they would like. So how can they get their writing assignments finished in less time?

Well, here is what I tell them to do to write faster:

1. Focus on one project at a time. If you're constantly thinking about all the things you need to accomplish each day, your mind never settles down to the writing project at hand. Let everything else go when you sit down to write. Just write. Don't answer the phone. Don't check your email. Don't try to multitask when you write.

2. When writing nonfiction, it helps to come up with a structure for your article, topic, paragraph, etc. before you sit down to write. For me, if I get a jazzy title for my article, then the lead sentence, and then figure out a structure for the article, I then can create some subtopic headings. Once I have all those things in place, the article seems to write itself.

3. When writing fiction, chunk the action out into scenes. When you sit down to write, tell yourself you are going to write only a certain number of scenes that day. Outline the scenes ahead of time, then when it's time to sit down and write out the scenes, you are good to go!

4. Every day when you get ready to finish that day's writing session, be sure you KNOW what you will start writing the next day. That way, you won't have to sit down and stare at a blank computer screen tomorrow. You'll be able to get to work immediately because you'll know where to start.

5. If you find you're spending hours at the computer with nothing to show for it, stop. Get up and do something else. Take a walk, take a bath, do some stretches, go out for a cup of coffee. Your subconscious will still be working on the writing project that is giving you trouble. Come back to it in an hour or so and you'll probably start to make some progress.

You can start writing faster today if you just follow these tips.

Try it.

The Morning Nudge is sent each morning to subscribers of Suzanne Lieurance’s list. Her words to inspire are to motivate you to get a little writing done each day. This excerpt was featured on February 14, 2008. To become a subscriber, email Suzanne at suzannelieurance at hotmail dot com or visit her Web site: http://www.workingwriterscoach.com.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Writing Podcast interviews Dottie Randazzo

TGI Friday! We have uploaded a new show our podcast this week! Dottie Randazzo joins us on Writers in the Sky Podcast to discuss her book Are You a Spiritual Hypochondriac?

This book discussion led Yvonne and Dottie to give personal commentary on their church experiences and the harmful effects of religion. Learn about the bravery it took for them to leave the situation and discover their own personal beliefs.

Click here to listen to Part 1.

Are You a Spiritual Hypochondriac?

Are you known to go from book to book, from guru to guru, from organization to organization?

Are you doing this for spiritual efficiency? Would you know if you were a Spiritual Hypochondriac?

Click here to listen to Part 2 and learn how Dottie is marketing her book online after unsuccessfully spending $55,000 on conventional marketing techniques.

What if there wasn't anything else for you to learn? What if the mere fact that you know right from wrong is all that is necessary? Are the spiritual things you are doing for spiritual efficiency or are you preparing for judgment day? If there will be no speaking at the Pearly White Gates, will your actions in this lifetime get you in?

Dottie Randazzo was born knowing her soul’s agenda was to write. At an early age she knew how life worked. Like most people, around the age of 15 she lost sight of her soul’s agenda and began to carve a path that was dictated by external forces. As an adult Dottie has owned and operated many successful businesses. She attributes her success to the knowledge that she knew at an early age about how life worked. A few years ago the muffled sound of her soul’s agenda began to roar. There could be no more denying what her soul’s purpose was.

Visit Dottie's website at www.lulu.com/dottierandazzo. The book is available on http://www.amazon.com/ and http://www.barnesnoble.com/


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Listening to Writers in the Sky Podcast on a computer is easy. Just click this link: http://yvonneperry.blogspot.com/ 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 the audio file.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Third Eye

by Mary E. Martin

After I had written probably the sixth or seventh draft of Conduct in Question, the first in The Osgoode Trilogy, I submitted the book to a publisher. Instead of receiving the usual “not for our list” letter, this publisher actually took the trouble of writing me a letter filled with [as it turned out] excellent advice.

Although the characters were intriguing and the story exciting, the plot lines [of which there were three] did not hang together. Elated that this publisher had actually read the book, I embarked on an analysis of my novel from that perspective. And guess what? He was right. The plots did not hang together. It was then that I began to develop the third eye.

Writing is an extremely long journey filled with numerous pot holes, to say nothing of ditches and sewers. When we begin, we take great satisfaction in having written a first sentence, which hopefully catches the reader’s eye and leads up to the HOOK. Yes, I’ve read most of the books on how to write a best seller and even gone to some writers’ classes and conferences. The paragraphs follow one by one and soon the first brilliant chapter is complete. Now, surely, one is a writer.

You are proud of your dialogue and admire your descriptions of character and setting. [I did puzzle over how setting could really be a character in my novel, but I persevered.] You study how to tighten up the “soggy, drooping” centre of the novel and how to build an effective climax. Surely, by now, you’ve written a best seller!

But, as I learned, from this kindly publisher, something structural was missing. Somehow, in this analytical process, it occurred to me that I was not considering the effect I was producing upon the reader. This is akin to the painter who cannot seem to lift his nose from the canvas. But a painter can put down his brush and step back. He can view his painting from every imaginable angle and at any distance he likes. Not so easy for the novelist, who has lost herself in the thickets of sentences and paragraphs so delightfully constructed. In fact, she may have painted herself into many corners without knowing it.

And so, how could I get my nose off the page and see the whole thing? For me, such a task was tantamount to climbing Mt. Olympus, but that was exactly where I needed to be—above the work and looking down on all the intricacies of plot and character interaction. Did all the various parts add up to a convincing cohesive whole for a reader other than me? Again, I think a painter or sculptor would have an easier job of this, simply because he can physically get a better view. But the writer has to get his distance through mental gymnastics. Some find that if they put the manuscript in a drawer, for a month or two, they can achieve that perspective.

I cannot tell anyone else how to do this. I am simply pointing out that all writers have to learn how. As for me, I did not realize the necessity of this step until I received that publisher’s letter.

One of the most helpful resources was a book by Robert McKee, entitled Story, Substance, Structure, Style, and the principles of Screenwriting. My copy is heavily marked with red and blue pen and yellow marker. He examines the structure of story-telling from every conceivable angle, taking you through the elements of stories and the principles of their design—all with reference to innumerable Hollywood films. Is this useful to a novelist? You bet it is! With the principles of story design set out, you are well equipped to start your climb up Mt. Olympus.

Mary E. Martin grew up in Toronto where she began practicing law in a small estates firm. In 1999, she became a full time writer and photographer. Her own writing The Osgoode Trilogy, in the legal suspense genre, was greatly inspired by her law practice of twenty-eight years, which she says gave her a window on the world and humanity. Visit Mary at www.theosgoodetrilogy.com and www.authorsden.com/maryemartin

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Me, a Junkie?

Title: Are You a Spiritual Hypochondriac?
Author: Dottie Randazzo
ISBN: 978-0-6151-8006-9
Publisher: Creative Dreaming
Reviewer: Yvonne Perry www.yvonneperry.net

If you wear your Awanas shirt on days other than Awanas meeting days, you might be a spiritual hypochondriac.

If you go to church five times a week, you might be a spiritual hypochondriac.

If have you have framed your VBS awards and baptism certificates and have them hanging on your wall, you might be a spiritual hypochondriac.

If you are waiting on God to fix all the problems you have created for yourself, you may be a spiritual hypochondriac. (You may be co-dependent too, but that’s another book.)

Been there, done that, got the tee-shirt, and gave it to another poor, lost sinner.

This book may have been written by Dottie Randazzo, but she stole my life story. I was a spiritual hypochondriac as I wandered for 40 years in the wilderness of organized religion. I always felt broken and in need of fixing, so I was constantly seeking the venue of a healing service, spiritual guru, or my next spiritual experience. I knew the scriptures and could quote chapter and verse to anyone who asked—even to those who didn’t ask. I was an evangelical Bible-thumper and I figured that if I was a broken wretch, then so was everyone else and we all needed to be saved. Saved from what? The only thing I needed saving from was myself and my religious addiction. I didn’t know it at the time. My reality checks bounced on the way to the bank. T’was blind, but, now I see.

All this searching was part of my quest to find out exactly what I did believe. For me, it was a method of madness for finding and owning my spiritual truth, which finally led me to leave organized religion altogether. This intense seeking was fine for a while, but it was not a good thing to continue indefinitely. The high did not and could not last, and I was never satisfied. Neither was Dottie and she wrote a book about this condition called spiritual hypochondria.

I like Randazzo’s style of writing. It is very succinct, short, and sweet. She gives her message to the reader in high-dose one-page entries that make us stop and think, “Why am I doing this to myself? Am I not okay like I am? Is good enough EVER good enough? Isn’t it okay to be human?”

Dottie asks some profound questions in her book. “You will have your Bible and/or beads with you, ready for the judgment when you get to heaven, won’t you?” “What if you get to the pearly gates and all these trophies don’t mean a thing?” “What if you are already exactly the way you are supposed to be?” “What if you are already perfect?” “What if you are only here to experience life with joy?” Wasted trip, huh? No, we learn from our mistakes and that is what Dottie is trying to tell us. Every experience, even the ones that seem to indicate failure, can serve a higher purpose: to know that you are one with your creator and have never been separated.

“Instead of using one spray for ants, another for flies, and another for bugs, let’s just use a blanket bomb and deal with it in one shot.” Randazzo’s humor has hit the nail on the head, and her book serves as a wakeup call to those who are still working their way back to wholeness. Use it as a daily devotional. Use it as a fly-swatter, but do use it and allow it to transform you. Let this author’s humor remind you that being human is not something to be ashamed of.

I still have my Sunday School perfect attendance pin in my jewelry box where it reminds me of how my parents raised me. I plan to put Dottie’s book in there beside it to remind me of how far I have come. From one reformed spiritual hypochondriac to another, thanks, Dottie!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Writing Life: How to Write an Effective Speech

By JJ Murphy

Speeches are heard rather than read, so to keep your listening audience engaged your speech must be well organized and easy to understand.

1. How do you want your listeners to react? Why are you making this speech? Are you providing information for people planning to vote in an election? Are you asking listeners to consider a new perspective on an existing product or issue? Are you honoring or eulogizing someone your listeners love or revere? Know what you want your listeners to do before you begin.

2. Who is your audience? What do your listeners have in common? Are they all the same age or gender? Are they students, colleagues or teammates? The tone you choose, the language you use and the information you share will depend on who is listening and what they already know about the topic.

3. Grab their attention. You may be an expert on your subject, but if you don’t hook your audience with a good opening, they may lose interest early in your speech. Provide an anecdote that will resonate with your listeners, open with a shocking statistic or ask a direct question? Your goal is to captivate your listeners.

4. Cut to the chase. Get right to the point of your speech to keep people listening. Make it easy for people to understand what you are talking about and why it is important to them. You should be able to summarize your speech in one sentence.

5. Make your speech easy to follow. Use previews and summaries. State the points you intend to cover, cover these points and summarize the points. For example, I’m here to talk to you about four strategies to protect the environment . . . , list the strategies, and end with, I’ve spoken to you about the four strategies to protect our environment, now I hope you can see . . . . When making a transition you might say, One fact that supports my main point . . . , or Another study that supports my argument . . . .

6. Keep sentences short and words clear. People will not have a chance to go back and review what you just said. Use active verbs, repeat proper names or use nouns instead of pronouns like they or this.

7. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Advertises know that for key words to stick in our minds, these words need to be repeated. If there are certain key words that drive your point home, use the same word or phrase, rather than a variety of words. If you are talking about the threats to our environment, repeat environment, rather than saying ecology or ecosystem.

8. Keep your audience involved. People don’t respond to statistics; use a colorful analogy or anecdote to show, rather than tell an important fact. Speak a bit more slowly and enunciate each word. Be sure your tone is appropriate for the speech; you will use your voice differently when appealing to a listener’s logic or reason, than when appealing to a listener’s emotions.
9. Know when to quit. If you are supposed to speak for three minutes, end on time or a little early. Plan your conclusion by restating your main points without repeating them, as illustrated in item 5 above.

10. Call to action. This is the time to urge your audience to take a specific action, such as cast their vote, test a product/service or donate time/money. Your goal is to relate the purpose of your speech directly to a listener’s life and connect each person to a larger issue.
Writing is only one part of the speech. You need to practice reading your speech out loud. Listen for where you trip or stumble. That might be evidence of an unclear thought, a tongue-twister or a stray tangent. If you have listeners, watch for their responses. When do they chuckle or nod; when do they fidget or doze off? If you are alone, tape record your voice and practice in the mirror. Stick with your time limit.

You care about your topic, so enjoy the process of sharing your passion by speaking to people who have assembled to listen to what you have to say.

JJ Murphy is a nature writer, blogging hiker, locavore curriculum creator and tree-hugger currently based in Harriman, NY. Visit http://www.writerbynature.com for more information on JJ's writing services and her favorite places for gear and supplies.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Are You a Spritual Hypochondriac?

Dottie Randazzo will be joining us on Writers in the Sky Podcast this Friday, March 21, 2008.

This author lost $55,000 promoting her first two books the conventional way. Today, she uses only online avenues to promote her books. From her story, learn how to promote your book the easy and much less expensive way, as well as what NOT to do.

Dottie Randazzo was born knowing her soul’s agenda was to write. At an early age she knew how life worked. Like most people, around the age of 15 she lost sight of her soul’s agenda and began to carve a path that was dictated by external forces. As an adult Dottie has owned and operated many successful businesses. She attributes her success to the knowledge that she knew at an early age about how life worked. A few years ago the muffled sound of her soul’s agenda began to roar. There could be no more denying what her soul’s purpose was. After hearing this interview, I'm sure you will agree she has found her path. Dottie is the author of 15 books.

Are You a Spiritual Hypochondriac?

Are you known to go from book to book, from guru to guru, from organization to organization?

Are you doing this for spiritual efficiency? Would you know if you were a Spiritual Hypochondriac?

What if there wasn't anything else for you to learn? What if the mere fact that you know right from wrong is all that is necessary? Are the spiritual things you are doing for spiritual efficiency or are you preparing for judgment day? If there will be no speaking at the Pearly White Gates, will your actions in this lifetime get you in?

The URL is www.lulu.com/dottierandazzo

The book is available on http://www.amazon.com/ and http://www.barnesnoble.com/


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Listening to Writers in the Sky Podcast on a computer is easy. Just click this link: http://yvonneperry.blogspot.com 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 the audio file.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Dr. Monica Anderson--Dentist turns novelist

TGI Friday! I have uploaded a new show to my podcast this week! Dr. Monica “Dr. Moe” Anderson will be joining us today on Writers in the Sky Podcast.

Monica “Dr. Moe” Anderson, DDS is an author, publisher, motivational speaker, and Doctor of Dental Surgery. Her debut novel, When A Sistah’s Fed Up was a national bestseller. She has also authored two non-fiction books: Black English Vernacular and Mom, Are We There Yet? Her short stories are included in four anthologies.

Click here to listen to Part 1...

Her Bachelor of Arts degree bears the gold seal of Baylor University, and her doctorate is from the University Of Minnesota School Of Dentistry.

In 1996, she became the first African-American columnist for the Arlington Star-Telegram. She was a freelance, weekly columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, a leading Texas newspaper, for eight years. Her favorite topics are parenting, humor and lifestyle issues. Her editorials have appeared in various newspapers across the country including: the Seattle Times, the San Jose Mercury News, the Courier-Journal of Louisville, KY, the Minnesota Viking Update, the Cincinnati Bengal Update, and the Marshall News Messenger. In 1999, the staff of the Fort Worth Weekly named her “Best Columnist” in Tarrant County.

Click here to listen to Part 2...

Dr. Moe is the former host of Perpetual Moe-tion, a weekly cable television talk show. The Texas native was also the co-owner and business manager of a General Nutrition Centers franchise for seven years.

She is a third generation member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and a graduate of Leadership Arlington. She donates her time and resources to countless nonprofit endeavors in her community.

Dr. Moe has been the recipient of numerous awards, including: Outstanding Young Women of America, the "Outstanding Young Alumni" Award from the Alumni Association of Baylor University, the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Fort Worth Independent School District, and the Millennium Award for Medicine from Altrusa International, Inc.

Dr. Moe lives in Arlington, Texas. She has two extraordinarily handsome sons and a pathetic pet plant named Ivy.

The following is the synopsis for her latest novel, I Stand Accused.

Deep in the heart of Jefferson, Texas lies the secret to the mysterious nightmares tormenting James Adams, a handsome, successful eye doctor.

As the eldest of nine children, he's been the head of the family since the brutal murder of his womanizing father during his senior year of high school. He thought he put that day and his difficult childhood behind him when he left his hometown.

Now, his siblings are grown and everyone is dysfunctional except James--he thinks--until chance reunites him with his sexy, high school sweetheart, Tracy. Along with Tracy, comes a host of problems. A jealous woman starts rumors about his sexuality. His mother begins dating a man he doesn't approve of and one of his brothers is arrested on serious charges. While James struggles to balance the demands of his family, work, and Tracy, the past comes knocking--threatening his future.

Encouraged by his best friend, certified “playa” and cosmetics consultant, Ren Kinney, James steps into a risky mental maze of love and lies to discover what really happened the day his daddy died.

For more visit: http://www.drmoeanderson.com/

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Listening to Writers in the Sky Podcast on a computer is easy. Just click this link: http://yvonneperry.blogspot.com/ and go to my blog. On the right side bar 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 the audio file.


For information about being a guest on Writers in the Sky Podcast, see http://www.yvonneperry.net/Writing_Packages.htm#Publicity_Packages_

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Huge Story of Redemption

Title: Woman Redeemed
Author: Christine Blake
ISBN: 978-1-4327-1583
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
Paperback Price/Currency: $13.95 USD
Pages:271
Reviewer: Barbara Milbourn

It was during Christine Blake’s pursuit of her masters in Cross-cultural Teaching at the University of San Diego that a book idea began to emerge. Now, in her historical novel, Woman Redeemed, she transports us to the rich and colorful region created and dominated by the Romans in the first century, and introduces us to Mary Magdalene in first person.

We meet Mary in a small boat with her brother Lazarus and her sister Martha as her story cleverly unravels in a series of remembrances that occur as she looks upon the disappearing shore of her homeland.

As a child, Mary believes she’s vastly different from her sister, her mother, and the other women in the fishing village of Magdala. She’s curious, with “too much spirit to satisfy [herself] among the required duties of [her] sex.” She gravitates to the marketplace like her father, and idolizes Cleopatra for her power and allure.

Three significant meetings occur in her childhood that will change the course of her life: One on a stop in Nazareth during a return trip from market, when she is given a wooden box by an elderly carpenter. Another, during Passover in Jerusalem, where she meets the mother of Jesus telling stories to a gathering of children, and finally, during this same time she meets Jesus, who is around the age of her brother.

Christine Blake, through Mary Magdalene, tells the story of every woman’s self-doubt, temptations, pain, and startling experiences against a backdrop of political ambition, splendid architecture, industry, and traditions. She brings together the intersecting lives of the Jews and Romans, fishermen and prophets, women in community and women rebels. She plants us for a while in lands and seas whose names have changed but whose struggles continue. She revives the Bible stories of our youth and stays historically accurate to both Roman and Jewish records.

While this book may look small on the outside, Christine Blake has no problem delivering a huge story of redemption on a grand historical and societal stage. Celebrate womanhood in Woman Redeemed.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

NETWORK WITH US!

Add your announcement to our newsletter or brag about your writing accomplishment. Tell us about your book or business. Share information and ideas or send articles or advertorial for the next issue to writersinthesky at comcast dot net.

March 3-7, 2008
Nikki Leigh, author of Book Promo 101, is visiting the Coffee Time Romance forums to discuss her book and to talk with authors about ways to promote their books. She will visit the forums throughout the week to answer your questions. The link is http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/board/. For more information about the content of Book Promo 101, feel free to visit www.nikkileigh.com/book_promo_101.htm

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No Shadows Left Behind - A book that will make you question… that will make you feel…

By Tina-Sue Ducross

There is no escape from the shadows of the past. At least, not for Melissa…Terrorizing dreams, panic attacks, and everyday interactions bring back a past that she thought was dead and gone. As a teacher, Melissa sees signs that one of her students, Christy Kade, is coping with the very same struggle. As Melissa tries to decide if she should intervene in Christy's life, she realizes how hard it must have been for people surrounding her to come to her rescue.

Christy is enduring abuse from her father. She lives in fear and silence daily. As she gains a desperately-needed friendship, Christy begins to believe in herself and to find the courage to reach out for help. As the school year progresses, both Christy and Melissa learn to trust others and begin to find their inner strength. As our heroines open themselves up to the lessons taught to them by their loved ones, they grow in ways they’d never thought possible.

Broken lives can be mended; joy can be found. Ugly things do happen behind closed doors, but help—and hope—exist.

U.S.: $15.00 Bulk discounts available Canada: $20.00
Release Date: May 1, 2008
Publisher: Harris Innovations
623 E. Church St. Galion, OH 44833
harrisinnovations@yahoo.com

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Please check out Gail Fonda’s new "Just Ask Gail" column on www.DreamwalkerGroup.com.

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Free Report Helps Authors Create the Exposure that Sells Books

Here’s a great free resource for you authors looking to generate more excitement for your books. Beyond the Press Release: 10 Exciting Book Buzz Ideas That Will Take You to the Top offers 10 foolproof – yet practical – ideas you can use to get publicity for your book. The ideas can be used for all types of books, whether they have been available for weeks, months or even years, to generate free media exposure. To get the free special report, go to http://www.buildbookbuzz.com.

(NOTE TO EDITORS: To receive an editorial preview copy of the special report, please send a request to Sandra Beckwith sb@buildbookbuzz.com (585-377-2768) and we will e-mail the PDF file to you.

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March 26, 2008

Shri Henkel (aka Nikki Leigh) is participating in a panel for the Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville, VA on Wednesday March 26th at 4:00 PM.

Why We Write; What We Write by Wendy Devere-Austin (Dead on Cue), Tulley Holland (Moneybags), Frank Machovec (Divine Spark), Janet A. Martin (The Christmas Swap), Shri Henkel (365 Foolish Mistakes Smart Managers Make).

Hosted by Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society, Piedmont Council of the Arts, and Senior Center.
Moderator: Stephen Pfleiderer.

Northside Library, 300 Albemarle Square, Charlottesville, VA (434)973-7893. For full details, see http://www.vabook.org/site08/program/view.php?day=2008-03-26.

In addition, Nikki will be in attendance at the Festival of the Book, Crime Wave sessions at the Omni Hotel on Saturday March 29, 2006.

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We've been published!!!

Just wanted to let everyone know our book, A Timeless Journey, has been published and is listed on www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com; among other sites. You can also check us out on our web site www.RhodesJourney.com. Please feel free to write us a review - as long as it is a 5 star J. Pass this along to all your friends!

Love, Marcelle Webster and Karen Rhodes

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Skyline Review

You can now purchase Barbara Watkins’ short story, “Deadly Addiction” in Skyline Review. If you order now from them the shipping is free. Skyline Review is refreshing—it's elegant and easy to hold and carry with you. 6 x 9 perfect bound - 200 pages of luscious literature. $16.00 USD shipped. Purchase Skyline Review 2008 First Edition on http://waterforestpress.com Water Forest Press Sky Store and on www.newyorkskylinereview.com. Email SkyWriterr@aol.com for information on how to purchase by mail with a check or money order.

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Are you a Diabetic Facing Possible Limb Amputation?

Dr. Mark Hinkes is looking for stories from caregivers and patients with diabetes for his book, Keep the Leg You Stand On. This book is focused on prevention of foot ulcers and lower extremity amputations. Anyone willing to share their experience with diabetes/amputation may contact Dr. Hinkes at drhinkes@gmail.com. Read more about the forthcoming book on Amputation Prevention Partners’ Website: www.amuptationprevention.com

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Poetry Contest

Skyline Review’s poetry contest is on Water Forest Press. http://waterforestpress.com/PoetryCollectionContest/PoetryCollectionLotto.htm

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Roger Ellerton, PhD, CMC is the author of Live Your Dreams Let Reality Catch Up: NLP and Common Sense for Coaches, Managers and You (www.live-your-dreams.biz). He recently sold the English language rights for the Indian subcontinent to Manjul Publishing House, Bhopal, India and the Romanian language rights to Curtea Veche Publishing, Bucharest, Romania. He is also the author of the e-book Live Your Dreams Let Reality catch Up: 5 Step Action Plan.

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Contest and Prizes for Writers

Our third monthly Global Short Story Competition is open for entries, an exciting opportunity for undiscovered writers everywhere. Our previous UK competitions attracted writers from Asia, Europe, Australia and the United States as well as aspiring authors all across the UK and Ireland. So, we got to thinking that the time was ripe for a truly global short story competition, designed to discover exciting new talent.

This competition will seek to find, and celebrate writing talent. The closing day for each competition is the last day of the month. Writers wishing to find out more about the competition, or send entries, should visit www.globalshortstories.net

Those who would rather post their entries, rather than go through the Web site entry system, can send them direct to 18 Milbank Court, Darlington, Co Durham DL3 9PF marked Global Short Story Competition, and containing the entry fee. Email john.dean@certys.co.uk if you need more information.

Yours faithfully, John Dean (Competition Administrator)

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Pam S Thibodeaux’s new short story eBook, A Hero for Jessica (a White Miniature Rose) will be available on March 26 from The Wild Rose Press! Download for only $3 at http://www.thewildrosepress.com.

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Author Association Website, AuthorsOntheNet.com, Launches to Help Authors Publish and Promote books

AuthorsOnTheNet.com, a website supporting writers who want to self-publish books, is very pleased to announce the launch of their website which will make it easier for authors all over the world to get their work published and promoted. An extension of their self-publishing company ZDocs, AuthorsOnTheNet.com features a wide range of helpful book publishing and promoting tools to help all kinds of authors with self book publishing as well as marketing their published work to their audiences.

Previously focusing on helping writers self-publish books cost-effectively, ZDocs’ President Phil Davis was inspired to create the site when an author asked him one day why the company could not help him sell his books. Over time, Mr. Davis continued to hear from authors asking him the same question and he decided to use the power of the Internet to help authors sell, promote, and market their work to their audiences. After conducting extensive research on the best ways to provide additional support to his clients, he discovered a wealth of cost-effective promotional options online which included:

  • Podcasting
  • Blogging
  • Social Networking
  • Online Press Releases
  • Online Book Clubs

The new site features tutorials, videos, forums where authors can share self-publishing ideas, guided tours on how to find and use the self-publishing resources on the site, and a wide range of promotional materials to help authors connect with their audiences. Site visitors can also register to join Authors On the Net as Associates for access to additional resources and promotional materials.

Intended to bridge the gap between writing and self-publishing a book and selling a book, AuthorsOnThenet.com is an online coaching system to guide authors through the process of marketing their self-published books. Any authors interested in these services are encouraged to visit www.AuthorsOnThe Net.com.

Phone Philip Davis at 866-669-3627 or email him at info@authorsonthenet.com

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Do You Love Children's Books?

Then listen to Book Bites for Kids, every weekday afternoon at 2:00 central time, LIVE on blogtalkradio.com. Host, Suzanne Lieurance, interviews a different successful children's book author and/or illustrator every day to find out what makes them tick. Call in and ask a question or make a comment during the show at 646-716-9239.

Lieurance is always looking for guests, so contact her at suzannelieurance@hotmail.com if you've written a children's book that you'd like to promote on Book Bites for Kids. Please send a review copy of your book (via regular mail since UPS will NOT deliver to a P.O. Box) to:

Book Bites for Kids
P.O. Box 8422
Kansas City, MO 64114

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Cherie Burbach has received the 2008 Allbooks Review Editor's Choice Award for poetry for her latest work, Father’s Eyes. Allbooks reviews books from North America, Australia, France, South Korea, Israel, China and Great Britain as well as several other International countries.

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Marketing coach, former publisher and Time-Life editor, Molli Nickell, offers FREE query letter evaluations at www.getpublishednow.biz –a first-of-its-kind teaching website offering evaluated query letters to study, as well as marketing tips to help writers get published.

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Images in Scarlet by Samantha Lee (that's also Velda Brotherton) is a BackInPrint book through Authors Guild. It is available at Barnes and Noble and iUniverse online. For those who want to read historical romances, this is a good opportunity. I know you'll like this story of Allison Caine, a young woman photographer who leaves Missouri after the Civil War to photograph her way west to Santa Fe. Adventures find her around every corner, and along every road. In the hideout camp of Jesse and Frank James, there's some picture-taking and a bit of danger. Along the way west she rescues an abused woman and falls in love with a wandering stranger in search of his past. Visit Velda, the author of Fly with the Mourning Dove at www.veldabrotherton.com or blog with her at vbrotherton.blogspot.com or velda-brotherton.blogspot.com.

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Steven Clark Bradley's books are about issues that will make you think and reevaluate the things you've never questioned before. Steven's three novels are listed here with excerpts from each. Below you will find a description of each of his novels.

Nimrod Rising ISBN: 1424189853. Have you ever felt that the world was guided in ways that are beyond man’s control? The constant changes in the world since the time of Nimrod 4000 years ago until today and all the events that have shaken the world have been to bring the universe back into the hands of the Prince of Darkness, Lucia, a world that he had ruled with his Watchers before it was all ripped from his grasp when man was created. Nimrod Rising paints a diabolical picture of how the Prince of Darkness executes his evil plot to take the world back by force and destroy civilization in the process. From the Great Builder Nimrod in 4000 BC to today, 666 generations later, you can ride the storm of Nimrod Rising and experience the death of a world and the birth pangs of another. You will swear it is really upon us!

StillBorn! ISBN: 1424130735. When two brothers are separated from birth they usually find great joy when at last they discover each other. It is not always so harmonious, though. StillBorn explores what can happen when an Illegal adoption causes twins to be born without love and sold without remorse. When one is rejected because of a physical defect and left in an orphanage without identity and the other is adopted in his place into a wonderful life, the result is one of bitterness and ruthless revenge. When they
grow up and find each other, a game of revenge and death is played out. See what a life of pain, suffering and abuse can do when vengeance becomes a driving motivation and humanity is shouting, StillBorn!

Probable Cause ISBN: 1424117313. Have you ever wished you could simply decide the best way to correct a serious wrong done to you? Chief Inspector Corbett (Core) Mandeville was the best of the best in solving the worst crimes in his state, until now. This time, he has an uncanny affinity with a killer who has more than one attitude in common with his own. This time the crime was too close to Core's own heart for comfort. This killer had a reason for what he was doing and Core understood it as though it were he himself was stepping out and taking justice into his own hands. Get into the mind of the killer and the cop as both find a relationship that makes for exciting, lethal and profound actions of vengeance and justice. You'll have fun trying to figure out the crime. You may be amazed how similar they both can be when all their actions are based on Probable Cause!

Steven Clark Bradley's novels are available at: Amazon.com, booksamillion.com and powells.com

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Would you like a chance to interview authors? Would you like to get some promotion for your blog or Website? Nikki Leigh has openings for virtual book tour hosts. All you need is a blog, a newsletter or a Website. You may email Nikki for more details at nikki_leigh22939@yahoo.com. For information about promotional service available from Nikki Leigh - you can visit www.nikkileigh.com/promo.htm.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I Stand Accused by Dr. Monica Anderson

Dr. Monica “Dr. Moe” Anderson will be joining us on Writers in the Sky Podcast March 14th, 2008!

Monica “Dr. Moe” Anderson, DDS is an author, publisher, motivational speaker, and Doctor of Dental Surgery. Her debut novel, When A Sistah’s Fed Up was a national bestseller. She has also authored two non-fiction books: Black English Vernacular and Mom, Are We There Yet? Her short stories are included in four anthologies.



Her Bachelor of Arts degree bears the gold seal of Baylor University, and her doctorate is from the University Of Minnesota School Of Dentistry.


In 1996, she became the first African-American columnist for the Arlington Star-Telegram. She was a freelance, weekly columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, a leading Texas newspaper, for eight years. Her favorite topics are parenting, humor and lifestyle issues. Her editorials have appeared in various newspapers across the country including: the Seattle Times, the San Jose Mercury News, the Courier-Journal of Louisville, KY, the Minnesota Viking Update, the Cincinnati Bengal Update, and the Marshall News Messenger. In 1999, the staff of the Fort Worth Weekly named her “Best Columnist” in Tarrant County.


Dr. Moe is the former host of Perpetual Moe-tion, a weekly cable television talk show. The Texas native was also the co-owner and business manager of a General Nutrition Centers franchise for seven years.


She is a third generation member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and a graduate of Leadership Arlington. She donates her time and resources to countless nonprofit endeavors in her community.

Dr. Moe has been the recipient of numerous awards, including: Outstanding Young Women of America, the "Outstanding Young Alumni" Award from the Alumni Association of Baylor University, the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Fort Worth Independent School District, and the Millennium Award for Medicine from Altrusa International, Inc.


Dr. Moe lives in Arlington, Texas. She has two extraordinarily handsome sons and a pathetic pet plant named Ivy.

The following is the synopsis for her latest novel, I Stand Accused.


Deep in the heart of Jefferson, Texas lies the secret to the mysterious nightmares tormenting James Adams, a handsome, successful eye doctor.

As the eldest of nine children, he's been the head of the family since the brutal murder of his womanizing father during his senior year of high school. He thought he put that day and his difficult childhood behind him when he left his hometown.

Now, his siblings are grown and everyone is dysfunctional except James--he thinks--until chance reunites him with his sexy, high school sweetheart, Tracy. Along with Tracy, comes a host of problems. A jealous woman starts rumors about his sexuality. His mother begins dating a man he doesn't approve of and one of his brothers is arrested on serious charges. While James struggles to balance the demands of his family, work, and Tracy, the past comes knocking--threatening his future.

Encouraged by his best friend, certified “playa” and cosmetics consultant, Ren Kinney, James steps into a risky mental maze of love and lies to discover what really happened the day his daddy died.

For more visit: http://www.drmoeanderson.com/

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Listening to Writers in the Sky Podcast on a computer is easy. Just click this link: http://yvonneperry.blogspot.com/ and go to my blog. On the right side bar 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 the audio file.


For information about being a guest on Writers in the Sky Podcast, see http://www.yvonneperry.net/Writing_Packages.htm#Publicity_Packages_

Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Third Eye

by Mary E. Martin

After I had written probably the sixth or seventh draft of Conduct in Question, the first in The Osgoode Trilogy, I submitted the book to a publisher. Instead of receiving the usual “not for our list” letter, this publisher actually took the trouble of writing me a letter filled with [as it turned out] excellent advice.

Although the characters were intriguing and the story exciting, the plot lines [of which there were three] did not hang together. Elated that this publisher had actually read the book, I embarked on an analysis of my novel from that perspective. And guess what? He was right. The plots did not hang together. It was then that I began to develop the third eye.

Writing is an extremely long journey filled with numerous pot holes, to say nothing of ditches and sewers. When we begin, we take great satisfaction in having written a first sentence, which hopefully catches the reader’s eye and leads up to the HOOK. Yes, I’ve read most of the books on how to write a best seller and even gone to some writers’ classes and conferences. The paragraphs follow one by one and soon the first brilliant chapter is complete. Now, surely, one is a writer.

You are proud of your dialogue and admire your descriptions of character and setting. [I did puzzle over how setting could really be a character in my novel, but I persevered.] You study how to tighten up the “soggy, drooping” centre of the novel and how to build an effective climax. Surely, by now, you’ve written a best seller!

But, as I learned, from this kindly publisher, something structural was missing. Somehow, in this analytical process, it occurred to me that I was not considering the effect I was producing upon the reader. This is akin to the painter who cannot seem to lift his nose from the canvas. But a painter can put down his brush and step back. He can view his painting from every imaginable angle and at any distance he likes. Not so easy for the novelist, who has lost herself in the thickets of sentences and paragraphs so delightfully constructed. In fact, she may have painted herself into many corners without knowing it.

And so, how could I get my nose off the page and see the whole thing? For me, such a task was tantamount to climbing Mt. Olympus, but that was exactly where I needed to be—above the work and looking down on all the intricacies of plot and character interaction. Did all the various parts add up to a convincing cohesive whole for a reader other than me? Again, I think a painter or sculptor would have an easier job of this, simply because he can physically get a better view. But the writer has to get his distance through mental gymnastics. Some find that if they put the manuscript in a drawer, for a month or two, they can achieve that perspective.

I cannot tell anyone else how to do this. I am simply pointing out that all writers have to learn how. As for me, I did not realize the necessity of this step until I received that publisher’s letter.

One of the most helpful resources was a book by Robert McKee, entitled Story, Substance, Structure, Style, and the principles of Screenwriting. My copy is heavily marked with red and blue pen and yellow marker. He examines the structure of story-telling from every conceivable angle, taking you through the elements of stories and the principles of their design—all with reference to innumerable Hollywood films. Is this useful to a novelist? You bet it is! With the principles of story design set out, you are well equipped to start your climb up Mt. Olympus.

Mary E. Martin grew up in Toronto where she began practicing law in a small estates firm. In 1999, she became a full time writer and photographer. Her own writing The Osgoode Trilogy, in the legal suspense genre, was greatly inspired by her law practice of twenty-eight years, which she says gave her a window on the world and humanity. Visit Mary at www.theosgoodetrilogy.com and www.authorsden.com/maryemartin

Writing Newsletter released

Author's Corner by Yvonne Perry

The March issue of Writers in the Sky Newsletter may be read online at http://www.yvonneperry.net.

Whether you are a publisher, author, or a writer-wanna-be, this e-zine is for you. Here, you will find articles, announcements, book reviews, poetry, and information about the craft and business of writing, publishing and book marketing written by our readers. Our goal is to connect the writing and publishing community through networking that benefits both. Please forward this ezine to anyone you know who might enjoy its contents. This is our fourth year to publish this ezine happily allowing you to network with others in the book industry.

For those who are new to the list, Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services is based in Nashville, Tennessee and offers ghostwriting and editing to clients all over the U.S. This newsletter is part of our three-fold information-sharing resource outlet. We also have a podcast and a blog where you will find even more material about writing, publishing and marketing books. Our podcast is archived on our blog which may be accessed in the contact area below.

If you are not currently a subscriber to our free newsletter about writing, publishing and book marketing, you may subscribe at https://app.quicksizzle.com/survey.aspx?sfid=13065.

We hope you will participate in the Annual Literary Awards 2008 contest. The annual literary awards were established to honor writers who self-published or had their books published by a small press, university press, or independent book publisher geared for the North American reading audience. POD books are accepted. Details at http://www.readerviews.com/Awards.html. Writers in the Sky is pleased to award the winner with a $100 cash prize for the Best Creative Writing of the Year.

Yvonne Perry
Web site: http://www.yvonneperry.net
Blog Site: http://yvonneperry.blogspot.com