Category Archives: Much Ado About Nothing

See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil.



First off, let’s take a moment to pay homage to one of my favorite movies ‘Dazed and Confused’. I love this movie. It is one of my favorites and if you can’t randomly identify or throw out quotes from this example of fine cinematic greatness, then you probably shouldn’t be my friend.

Okay, now that I have got that out of the way…

I saw something today that stunned me a bit. I was perusing the books being promoted on a few Facebook groups and I clicked on a link because the book looked interesting.

I read the synopsis and then I came to the end. I know that I am a relatively new author, but I know my way around the kindle book store and I have never ( can you hear me emphasis never?) ever, seen this before.

At the end of the book blurb, the author, wrote that if a reader is dissatisfied with the book and is tempted to give it 3 stars or less to please write her or her publisher before submitting such a review.

I’m sorry. She didn’t say please, she used the word implore. She implored you the reader not to leave a bad review.

Anyone who uses the word implore means business…that’s all I’m saying.

I was confused, shocked and I have to admit, a little amused by the plea.

I almost felt like writing a review on her book blurb. I wanted to say “Sweetie, you’re in the wrong business,” but I didn’t. Instead I have been stewing about it all afternoon.

Writing a book is hard. That is a fact that every intelligent person is aware of in this world. Publishing a book is even harder. Not only are you selling a piece of your soul for anyone to read, but you are also inviting criticism which can lead you to be brokenhearted.

It’s a terrifying proposition, but it is one you must consider before you publish. Every, single, author has had a bad review. I don’t care who you are, we all have had them and does it sting? Yes, of course, but I believe it is what also makes us be a better writer.

We all know about the buying of bogus reviews. If I see a book that has 300 four or five star reviews with not a single naysayer then I am now suspicious. I hate it. I wish I wasn’t weary, but I am now.

I wish I could speak to all the readers who didn’t like one of my books, but I can’t and you know what? It’s okay. I realize some people may not like profanity and graphic sex scenes and that’s why I write a disclaimer. If I see a review that mentions it, then I have to admit, I don’t lose sleep over their words because I’m honest about what I put out there.

My early reviews mentioned typos and whatnot so I fixed them. I read the criticism and agreed. I finally admitted that I needed help and I couldn’t do it on my own.

I took the words to heart and I am a much better writer now.

I have had two one star reviews. Now, I don’t think that’s bad considering I have published seven books, but boy it sucked to read that they thought my story was silly.

There’s no other word for it. It sucked. Big time.

Those are the times you put on your big girl panties and move on with a smile.

I’m not trying to make fun of or bash this author. I know how hard it is to get those bad reviews, but trust me when I say that at the end of the day, those reviews are what makes us stronger as authors.

There’s a part of me that wants to reach out to this author and tell her how I feel. I wish I could convey to her in the nicest way possible that frankly it sounded a bit pathetic and that she doesn’t need to persuade people to like her book, but she needs to believe it herself.

Part of being an adult is that we can move forward even after hearing or seeing something that makes us upset or hurt. We acknowledge our faults and try to use them for personal growth.

I would much rather hear a person speak the truth than listen to their lies. The thought of begging someone to like my books is ridiculous. My stories are a part of me and if you don’t like them then that’s cool.

I like them and in the end that is all that matters.

Write for yourself and no one else…have I mentioned that, like, a million times already?







Go Fund Yourself: A Realistic View on Self-Publishing Costs



So I have noticed something interesting the last few weeks and I actually took time out of my insane writing schedule to address this particular topic.

I came across several different posts on Facebook, either posted by an aspiring author or friends/family of an author, that has set up a Go Fund Me account.

I was shocked to say the least, especially after reading the more in-depth funding page that tells the story, and asks for money. I’m going to be honest, the ones set up by family or friends, are very sweet and I’m not trying to be bitchy, but some of the pleas were a little ridiculous.

I actually read one that wanted people to donate money because they needed it for an editor, a proofreader, a beta reader, and an eBook format editor. They also asked for money so that they could quit their job to focus solely on their writing.

Oh, and did I mention that most of them hadn’t actually finished writing their books yet.

Say whaaattt?

I scratched my head over this and I swear I now have a new wrinkle forming on my forehead after scrunching up my face when I read these Go Fund Me pages.

Let’s break down the actual costs, but first I’m going to tell you aspiring self-publishing authors a secret.

It didn’t cost me a damn thing to publish my first book.

Okay, now that we got that admission out of the way, let’s get into the nitty gritty.


1) The most important thing is to….drum roll, please, FINISH YOUR DAMN BOOK FIRST BEFORE YOU THINK ABOUT PUBLISHING COSTS.


Before you or anyone else of your loving family or friends sets up a Go Fund Me page, why don’t you finish writing your first draft? I get it, I really do understand what it takes to write a book. I’ve written seven and I’m almost finished with my eighth.

I have three kids. I know how hard it is to find time to write and I have been known to stay up into the wee hours of the morning because it was the only way I could get any quiet time. I know what it’s like to drag your ass out of bed after a few hours sleep.

I get it. I’m an author and guess what? There are thousands of us in this world and we all find the time to write because it’s what drives us to the brink of sleep deprivation and insanity. I’m sorry if you have a full time job, two kids, and a mortgage to pay. I know other authors who are in the same boat and they have never even thought to ask for money to help them on this journey.

But, I digress. So again finish your book first and then worry about the costs.


2) If you have finished your manuscript, then I have a tip for you. Put it in a drawer or hide the file on your computer and walk away for a few weeks or even a month.

See? I just saved you a bunch of money right there.


3) After you have taken some time off from your writing, go back over it and revise and edit several times.

Again, cost savings…huge.


4) When you are ready to throw up if you read another word you have written then you are ready to think about the future.

Now is the time to think about self-publishing vs. regular publishing. What route you decide is your decision and your decision alone.

I chose self-publishing for a few reasons.

-I was a little scared to death of submitting my work because it felt so personal to me,


-I’m a control freak.

This will take a few weeks and the thinking process is entirely free!


5) If you chose the regular route of mainstream publishing, be aware that you will need to have a query letter. This is a one page letter in which you try to sell yourself and your book.

This wonderful one page letter can also be the source of many nightmares and plunge you into the depths of self-doubt so great that you will question your ability as a writer.

Also, be aware that the unwritten rule is that you can only query one publisher or agent at a time so get comfy.


This could save you thousands because it could take you a few months or a few years before getting a contract or generate any serious interest.


6) Self-publishing cost’s are all over the spectrum. You can go high-dollar or you can find some short cuts to ease the cost.

-Editor. The average cost for an editor is about $100 a page. If you have a 300 page book it can be out of reach, especially for most first timers.

There are some ways to save though. You can check Craigslist or run an ad yourself. Always ask for references if you do this though. You can do a Google search. You can check Goodreads as well. There are several people that do this on the side and most of them seem to be graduate students in the English Literature field.

You can also check with local colleges and grade schools. Again there might be teachers that want to make a little extra cash.

There are many different software programs as well, but I stick with Word. I thought that I could edit all by myself and that was a disaster. I am lucky to have a mother who worked as a paralegal for forty years and she slashes my manuscript as good as any pro editor out there.

-Copy Editor.

I actually think a copy editor is all you need if you self-publish. They focus on grammatical errors, spelling, and punctuation.

Average cost is around $30-$50 an hour. For an 80,000 word manuscript, you’re looking at $1000-$1200.

Again, look around because you might be able to slash the cost in half.



A proofreader goes over the manuscript after the editor to see if there are any glaring mistakes.

I see no use for them. You should be able to do it yourself.


-Beta Reader.

You absolutely do not need to hire a Beta reader. If you have friends or family that you trust to give you an honest opinion of your work then that is all you need.

If you don’t want to let anyone you know read your book, then think about joining a writing group. They have them in almost any town and you can also check out your local library for book clubs that might be interested.


-eBook Format Editor.

These guys can run anywhere from $199-$1999.

Look, I’m not a computer genius, but even I was able to format my first book. It takes time to get the kinks out, but after you do one, it does get easier.


7) Marketing.

I hate promoting. I am the worst at it, but I do it from time to time…moaning and groaning

First thing you need is a website and start blogging. The cost is free, but you will have to shell out about $20 bucks a year for your domain.

Second, get on Twitter. It is the BEST place for authors. You can connect with great people who are going through the same writing woes as you and everybody I have talked with are always very supportive.

Third, start a Facebook page. That’s pretty self-explanatory.


8) Don’t quit your day job!

It can take years for an author to really make any decent money. I know that you have stars in your eyes as you type away and dream of fame and fortune, but seriously, get your head out of your ass.

Can you make a good living? Yes, you can, but it doesn’t happen overnight so before you set up a Go Fund Me page, realize that no one wants to support you financially for the next several years.

Trust me, the lure of you being an author, will wear off quick for them.


In conclusion, yes it could cost an aspiring author thousands of dollars, but it doesn’t have to! The most important worry you should have is that you finish your book. You can take several months off and still be left staring at your computer screen.

I understand that there may be some great people out there who want to help, but the greatest assistance you can give an author is your support emotionally.

I have always said that if you want to publish your book, you will find a way. I think the best part of being an author, as far as publishing goes, is figuring it all out on your own because at the end of the day, no one cares more about your book than you do.


One last note..

Finish your book first before you hit me or anyone else up for money!

I love you, but I’m writing…



Writing is something you do alone. It’s a profession for introverts who wanna tell you a story, but don’t wanna make eye contact while telling it.”

-John Green

I have started writing my new book, The Fairy Door. I am completely immersed in creating new characters, new realms, new story lines, and crazy plots that will be woven throughout this six, yes I said six, book series.

Of course I’m not ready to discuss all of it right now because I’m writing.

To those of you who may not know this, when an author is writing, we are not here on this earth with all of you. Our bodies may be present, but our minds are spinning in a million different directions.

To even carry on a conversation for more than five minutes is difficult. If we’re at the start of a chapter, we’re trying to figure out how to begin in a clever manner that will entice our readers. If we are at the end of a chapter, we are trying to weave our story so that it flows continuously to the start of the next chapter.

If we are in the middle of a chapter…well, forget about it, walk away until we emerge or initiate contact.

I’m a week and 40,000 words into my new book. That means I’m in the nitty-gritty. I’m waist deep in the creative mud and I’m not wading out any time soon.

What started in my head as a quick, fun two book series has turned into a major project that I will be engaged in for quite some time. The first book is the most important. I have to get into the background for my main characters and then I have to set up, and throw in hints about the next several books.

No big deal, right? Just another day in the life of an author.

I have used the phrase of my blog post, I love you, but I’m writing, all week. It’s so difficult to explain to people about how I feel when I’m writing. Let me be clear, I love my husband, I love my children, I love my family, and I love my small group of friends.

I want to be involved in their life and show interest, but honestly unless there is a death, bloody horrific injury, or an extreme sadness that has befallen on them, I just find it difficult to muster up any interest or appropriate response. There may be people that are hurt by that statement, but it’s honest and real.

I know how awful that sounds and I wish I didn’t even write that, but it’s true. I am a selfish, self-involved, slightly narcissistic artist. I wish I could be a better person when I write, but I haven’t found that balance yet and I’m not sure if I ever will or if I want too.

I like crawling so far into myself that its hard to get out. I enjoy the creative madness. When I slump on my bed and finally go to sleep, the exhaustion makes me feel alive because I know that the harder I push myself, the better the result will be.

To even take time to write this blog is tough, but I suppose my sense of guilt was weighing heavily on my mind.

I do believe living in your head all the time and making up stories can be dangerous to ones mental health. I am a big proponent of taking breaks in between writing and polishing up drafts, but your first draft is so important.

You want to capture the magic of your thoughts as they whirl around seductively in your mind. The tortuous groan of your keyboard only heightens your ambition and it tickles your senses.

I’m in my happy place right now. I’m writing my stories, not only for me, but for other people out there to hopefully enjoy. I wish I could sit down and have an in-depth conversation about what I am trying to achieve and what these books will be about, but I can’t right now and I hope you understand.

So in conclusion, I love you, I really do, but I’m writing. I promise to come back to the land of the living and when I do I will be better than ever!










My nemesis: Action Scenes

sword fight

Every writer has different abilities that they excel at and every writer also has areas where they will always need work.

I have no trouble rambling on with my characters inner musings and I am pretty darn good at dialogue, if I do say so myself.

The problem I have always been faced with is action. I tend to see it in my mind and skip over little details which in the end makes those scenes somewhat rushed. I have been trying harder to overcome this obstacle and with the last book in my series, The Cursed Scepter, I had to face it head on.

*Cue Eye of the Tiger*

I think what my problem is that I usually gloss over action scenes in a book. There’s a part of me that always yells, “Ok, I get it, you’re fighting, you’re punching, you’re running, e.t.c.”

But then I realized something as a writer. We are the only ones that can convey to our readers what the heck is going on and it is our duty to provide as many details as possible. I reread my first few books and I did the whole scrunched up face, hitting my head with the palm of my hand, and wincing almost in pain as I scrolled through in agony.

I have put a lot of thought into it lately and I have come up with a few tips.


1) Write as many details as possible. You can always come back later and take out any unnecessary adverbs… Actually that’s just good advice for every single line in a story.

*FYI: I am not only a comma whore, but an adverb slut as well.


2) Just because you as a writer can see it happening in your mind, doesn’t mean the reader can as well.

*Apparently when someone buys your book they do not get the mind reader decoder ring.


3) A thesaurus IS your best friend.

*There are many ‘established’ writers out there who poo-poo the thesaurus, but let me be the exception to that snotty rule and raise my hand as a proud thesaurus owner and user.


4) Keep the story moving as fast as possible. You do not want to get held up writing a scene about punching someone for three pages.

*Why is that, you might ask? Because people really don’t f-ing care that much and they will get bored. You might like writing about your beloved main character beating the crap out of someone, but chances are your reader doesn’t want to read two thousand words on an ass kicking.


5) Write what you know and if you don’t know much about full on fighting scenes (Um, did you see my hand raise again?) then either:

A) don’t include it


B) Fake it as best as you can!


The bottom line is this. Unless you have been on the front lines in the military, a professional boxer or an Ultimate fighter, chances are it might be difficult for you to write those scenes with any sense of accuracy. You might be tempted to dip your pen in the ink of plagiarism, but I really want to warn you that those things will always come back to haunt you. Stay true to yourself. I have fun writing action scenes when they involve magic and what not, but when it comes to the art of kickboxing, I’m going to leave that to the pro’s.

The Art of Taking a Break



Someone recently asked me what I had been up to lately. It seems my disappearance from the outside world has not gone unnoticed. I answered simply that I was taking a break and I was soon going to go back to work on finishing editing the fourth and final book in The Fae Witch Series, The Cursed Scepter.

It’s funny, really. After writing seven books, this was the first occurrence that my body and my brain shut down at the same time. The second I wrote out the epilogue, I turned off my laptop and I haven’t booted it up since yesterday.

I have joked that for the last three weeks I have discovered the joy of having Netflix so please leave me alone to my mindless pleasure of watching various television shows and movies that I have missed while I have been entrenched in my writing over the last two years.

I spent a whole week with my children during Spring Break doing nothing, but enjoying their company.

I have basked in the joy of sleeping and plowed through a box of photos that should have been gone through ten years ago.

In short, I have been living a quiet life while my brain recharged.

I tried to tell someone last week how I had been feeling and I think I can finally put it into words.

All my life I feel like I have lived in my head. When I finally gathered the courage to write all my stories that had been crowding my brain, everything exploded at once. I now had the fortitude to put my thoughts together so I could share them with the world and just like that, ideas and words saturated my very being.

If you want to know what it is like to be a writer, well, imagine a thousand browser tabs open on your computer at the same time. Try to picture a million words, faces, names, and plots spinning around in your head on a continuous cycle.

In short, it’s a creative dam that rushes out and never quiets. The stillness of a creek becomes a roaring river and the soft flakes of snow turn into a piercing storm of sharp ice shards.

This was the first time that the world stopped spinning rapidly and I could finally take a breath. The drive inside of me slowed and I knew that I had to bask in the peacefulness that I realized instinctively would be over soon enough.

My time out is coming to an end. I have to finish The Cursed Scepter. I also have to start on my next project which I am bursting at the seams now to write. It was originally going to be a two book series, but of course, me being me, had a flash of inspiration the other night. I now am adding two more books and the ideas and possibilities have given me the familiar goose bumps up and down my spine.

I think I pushed myself to the edge with the Skye Trilogy and The Fae Witch Series because those were the two stories that wouldn’t leave me for so long and I had to get them out before I screamed.

My screams are now sighs of happiness and instead of being sad that it’s over, I am actually content.

Being an Indie Author is tough. There are so many of us out there and we work tirelessly in hopes of reaching as many people possible without the benefit of outside help.

We cannot lose sight though of what’s important and that is our stories that we want to be told in the best way possible. To do that we need to take care of ourselves and our spirit. I have learned that sometimes taking a break is easier said than done, but when I get the chance again, you’re darn sure I’m going to take it and enjoy it to the fullest.

Now, it’s time to get back to work…



Are writers crazy?



Are writers crazy? This is the question that I am pondering as I sit here itching to start my next book.

I finished the third book in The Fae Witch Series, The Cursed Dagger, this weekend. It has been an emotional rollercoaster and I am happy to be done with it because I need to get the story out of my head.

I always promote the steadfast rule of taking some time off, but I have a big problem.

I want to start work on the fourth and final novel of the series, The Cursed Scepter, right now. I cannot wait to continue this journey with the characters I have come to love. I want to write out their ending and have everyone else enjoy the completed story.

I also have a secret, a huge fat secret.

I have two other storylines in my head. One is a paranormal trilogy that I have been dreaming up for a long time and the other is something a little different, something outside my comfort zone.

I have decided to join in the fray and write my own contemporary novel.

There I said it out loud for all the world to hear.

A story hit me out of the blue a few months ago when I was going through my ‘I must read all the unread books on my kindle or I will die’ phase.

I read some truly wonderful, sexy books and I also read some what the hell was this person thinking when they wrote this and why on earth does it have all these five star ratings novels.

I get it fellow writers. Everyone is jumping on the fifty shades bandwagon and hoping for that bestseller and movie deal, but seriously? Some of these stories are ridiculous and quite frankly, have we lost the art of character development?

Do not get me started on the 60-80 page books that offer little substance.

I have written about my wariness of these short stories and if I read another book that goes like this I’m going to scream:

‘Hi, oh my God, I want you, lets have sex, I can’t be in a relationship, I can’t live without you, they fall in love and live happily ever after.’

Here’s the deal, I need more. I want to immerse myself in the train wreck that someone has created and watch every little detail unfold in front of me. I want to stay up late until my eyes are burning out their sockets. I want to feel and go through all of it, and I can’t do that in thirty minutes.

I’m not trying to put anyone down, but I have to be honest. I know that some people enjoy short stories or novellas because they don’t have time to invest in a good, long read, but I am not of those people because I literally have a need to be involved a lot longer otherwise you’ll lose me before I even get started.

This story has hit me like a freight train and I cant get it out of my mind. I have to write it or else it will fester inside of me. I started writing paranormal romance so that I could infuse a sense of realism into the completely unrealistic.

I want to do that now with a contemporary romance. I want to write about a real woman who is not going to put up with any domineering man and his penchant for BDSM. I want someone who is going to question this lifestyle realistically and not just go along for the ride.

Do you know why?

Because I have questions about all of this and I hope when I write the story those things will become clear to me. I want to write about real people that are not emotionally or physically scarred from a traumatic childhood event, but are somewhat normal and are the kind of people that I would be friends with.

So I came up with a plan. I am going to finish book four of my series shortly. After that is done I am going to try and write book one of my contemporary series and book one of my paranormal series.

I know, I can hear the groans from the peanut gallery. Are you nuts? Do you want your arm, neck and shoulder ever to heal?

Yes, I am crazy. I think all good writers have to be to write a book. I also believe that if we don’t write the stories in our head then how will we live with ourselves.

I love it when people tell me to take a break. I laugh it off because to try and explain the crazy will get me committed.

I don’t want to take a break. I want to write my stories and share them. I waited a very long time to do this and now that I am, I cannot stop my fingers from typing or my brain from creating.

As I was contemplating all of this today, I read a quote from the author Jodi Picoult… I know, I just totally rhymed there, right?

This quote sums up my feelings and instead of having diarrhea of the blog I should have just said this in the beginning:


I write because I can’t NOT write…If I have an idea circling in my brain and I can’t get it out, it begins to poison my waking existence, until I’m unable to function in polite company or even hold a simple conversation.’


Thank you.

That is exactly how I feel and I’m sure it is a quote that resonates with all of us crazy writers.

It’s not something we can control. The need to create is unlike any thing else imaginable. It seeps from our pores and it bleeds from our fingers as we write. We cry and we laugh. We become every character, even the psychos, because in the end, that is who we are and we can’t stop it nor do we want to.

That is our secret.

This year is going to be insane in the membrane, but I can’t wait to see how it ends.





Diary of an angry Indie Author.


Have you ever heard of the ten minute rule? You know the one where you should wait ten minutes before responding to something on the internet?

Well last night that rule went from ten minutes to twenty and guess what? I still could not stop my blood from boiling as I read a pretty scathing article about authors who use the lovely free promo days that Amazon KDP gifts us self-published writers who are struggling to make it in this publishing world.

The article was on the website and it was written by a guest blogger, Rhonda Penders, who is the president and editor-in-chief of The Wild Rose Press, INC.

In this article, Ms. Penders explains about the merits of not giving your book away. I am always excited to read anything I can about marketing since it is not my forte but what I read literally insulted me on every level.

I am going to start with why I think she is truly mad.

It’s a tough time in publishing for authors but the answer isn’t giving it away. To me that’s the same as giving up.”

Is it really a tough time in the publishing world or is it a tough time for mainstream authors and their publishers? I have read countless articles about the explosion of the eBook and how it is wrecking havoc on established authors. We have all seen the rising prices of print books because of the new convenience and lower prices of digital eReaders.

So I asked myself is this article really about how awful the use and rise of free promo days or is there something else in play here?

I think that Indie authors have started to cut a big chunk into Ms. Penders profits, as well as other publishing houses and it really is starting to tick her off. She was persuaded to write this article because of the negative impact free giveaways were having on her authors royalty checks and it says so in the fine print up top. I may be wrong and if I am then I apologize, but let’s look at some of the other quotes from the article.

When a writer devalues her work to the point of giving her book away, isn’t that what she is really doing? Just giving it away as if it were nothing?”

or my favorite:

“I have to wonder if an author is so desperate to have someone, anyone, read her book, that she’s passing them out like pamphlets on the street corner.”

How. Dare. You.

I am a relatively new author who uses free promos days and I look forward to them. It’s not because I devalue my work nor is it because I am desperate but it’s because I have to use any and all tools at my disposal to get my work out there.

I do not have the luxury of a publisher or an agent. I chose this route because frankly I like to be my own boss and since I am the writer, publisher and agent, I have to do everything in my power to promote my book.

I didn’t get into this for fame and fortune. I started writing because it is my passion and I knew it would take a long time to get any recognition. Being an Indie author is not a get rich quick scheme and if you’re doing it for that then maybe you should rethink this profession.

I fully understand that there are some pretty crappy free books out there but for every hundred there is that one diamond in the rough that gives you goose bumps.

To have someone say that it devalues my work pretty much cuts me like a knife. I work my ass off and I know plenty of other Indie authors that do the same. We are not pounding away on our keyboards so that we can make a fortune.

We do it because we believe in ourselves and we want to share our stories because that is what keeps us going late at night.

I tallied up my numbers the other day and I was overwhelmed when I realized that I had over 20,000 downloads in my first year. Were most of those from free promos? Yes, but in the last few months I have seen my royalties triple after every promotion. All of my books have been on the free best seller lists and am I ashamed of that? No, why should I be? I don’t go around announcing it all the time because as most of my faithful readers know, self-promotion is not my thing. Am I happy that I was able to reach that many people?

Hell yeah!

I could not believe some of the replies to Ms. Penders article. I shook my head in disbelief at what some of the other authors wrote. They sounded so bitter and I actually felt sorry for a majority of them.

I refuse to apologize for being an Indie author and for using free promo days. I was disappointed in this article and for a moment Ms. Penders made me feel almost like I should hang my head in shame. I then started to feel insulted and devalued, not because of my actions, but by her words.

This is a tough business and I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that we should try to support one another not tear each other down. It’s not easy writing a book and it’s certainly not easy putting it out there for the world to read. I know that there is discrimination against us self-published authors, but to insinuate that because we give our book away that we are somehow giving up on ourselves is irresponsible and degrading.

I wish Ms. Penders had reached out to the community and sought different opinions before she wrote her article. Maybe then she would have understood our struggles and our shared passion for our craft.

I’m not writing this to bash her or any other publisher but when you write something that is so scathing and hurtful, I feel that you should be prepared for an appropriate response.