Monday, April 30, 2012

When Your PASSION for Writing Becomes a JOB

So you've done it. You've always dreamed of being a professional writer. Of staying home writing all day and just creating wonderful worlds in your mind that allow you to pay your bills.

Was it everything you thought it would be? Or did your time to feed your passion for writing diminish into an hole of deadlines, marketing, marketing, selling, selling, finding another way to sell and to make money. Are you spending tons of time wondering, figuring, calculating if that royalty check, income from your books is going to pay your bills.


Well - bills have to get paid, the rose colored glasses have come off and now you have to produce, find interesting ways to increase your income, figure out how to pay for health insurance and just plain get your sales hustle on.

SO WHAT or HOW can you keep your passion and PAY YOUR BILLS?

1) Get your head out of the clouds and realize that to be a full-time writer - you are running a business.
2) Find your markets. So you like to write fiction (A) You write fiction (B) I edit well so I can edit for hire for other authors (C) I promo well - so I can promo for other authors (D) I love to write about local events - I can do freelance journalism (E) I love to write any story and produce many - I could ghost write *** Break up your skills and see what / which you can sell, would like to sell, to supplement income or make your writing income more viable * if you don't have a spouse that's willing to take care of all your bills or a parent that's willing to let you live with them.
3) Learn to Market your skills - Every business has to market itself, and the business of being a 'profitable' writer is that you figure out ways to market your skills for hire. Having more than one is always good - that way if you don't get a publishing deal - you can depend on income from other areas.
4) Build, hold and keep your contacts - It never hurts to know someone. People share information, job post etc - and a serious writer should be on Publishers Marketplace and other spots that post writing gigs.
5) Be good at your craft. Take time to learn it, hone it - and be diverse.

SO DOES THAT PASSION still feel like one?

For me it does, but I'm a multi-dimensional person that loves my day gig (which is a pretty cool one I must say) and love my night gig as an author, co-publisher, and marketeer.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Think Like A Man - Movie Review

I was in the mood for a good laugh and a bit of a 'Chick Flick' so I dragged my husband to see Think Like A Man and my 17yr old son.
Fandango Blurb:
Four men realize their significant others have been taking relationship tips from Steve Harvey's best-selling book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, and use the book's teachings to give the ladies a taste of their own medicine. Gabrielle Union, Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, and Taraji P. Henson star. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

My Review:
You ever get in the mood for a feel good, slightly predictable, romantic comedy? Well this is your flavor. Comedians turned lovers, prince in shining armor, and husbands - the hard way. I liked the bursting cast of funny guys, the women that have defined at least one of my friends or myself at one time. And loved the fact that yes - there was a happy ending for everyone. Also, my husband even liked it (cracked up laughing with my son at times) and my son turned to me and asked, "Do women really talk and scheme like this for a man?" I winked at him and said, "I'm not telling." So, if you want a funny date night movie, this one delivers. I give it a 3.5 out of 5 combined score with my husband and son.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Books About Graduation & Prom

Well it's coming up to that time again. Graduation and Proms abound. So I want to share some books my daughter, NYIA, teen book reviewer recommends for wanna be graduating seniors, prom goers and highschool teens.

BAD GIRL DAYS by Lissa Halls Johnson
Amazon Blurb:
What do you do when you find everything you've ever believed blown apart? The last two books in the popular Brio Girls series (When Stars Fall and Bad Girl Days) tackle the toughest of questions: Why do horrible, unexplainable things happen? and Can God really be trusted?
PROM by Laurie Halse Anderson
Amazon Blurb:
Philadelphia high school who doesn’t care about the prom. It’s pretty much the only good thing that happens there, and everyone plans to make the most of it—especially Ash’s best friend, Natalia, who’s the head of the committee and has prom stars in her eyes. Then the faculty advisor is busted for taking the prom money and Ash finds herself roped into putting together a gala dance. But she has plenty of help—from her large and loving (if exasperating!) family, from Nat’s eccentric grandmother, from the principal, from her fellow classmates. And in making the prom happen, Ash learns some surprising things about making her life happen, too.

PROM AND PREJUDICE by Elizabeth Eulberg
Amazon Blurb:
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single girl of high standing at Longbourn Academy must be in want of a prom date.
After winter break, the girls at the very prestigious Longbourn Academy become obsessed with the prom. Lizzie Bennet, who attends Longbourn on a scholarship, isn't interested in designer dresses and expensive shoes, but her best friend, Jane, might be - especially now that Charles Bingley is back from a semester in London.

Until the End: The Party; The Dance; The Graduation by Christopher Pike
Amazon Blurb:
It’s the start of the school year, and the popular girls have decided to throw the best party, one their friends will never forget. But hooking up and hanging out are the farthest things from their minds when the unthinkable happens: Someone doesn't make it out of the party alive. The death is declared a suicide, but nothing quite adds up. Convinced there’s a murderer on the loose, no one knows who they can turn to or who they can trust. Nowhere is safe, not the homecoming dance, not even graduation.
The truth will terrify them, but it must be revealed. Their lives depend on it.

Enjoy NYIA (TEEN BOOK REVIEWER's) list of FAV books for High Schoolers thinking about, desiring, hoping or experiencing PROM or GRADUATION.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

PURGATORY REIGN - My New Series for 2013

Clue about my new series called PURGATORY REIGN … Here’s a tease for you…(It’s currently being reviewed by Literary Agent in hopes of a 2013 release) but you will be seeing it next year no matter what.
Seventeen-year-old Peter Saints’ life stinks. But things are about to get much worst. First, his parents are murdered in front of him. Then another victim dies in his arms.

Visions plague Peter with warnings that something wants him for a sinister cause. It desires the one thing that Peter refuses to give – his blood. Peter carries within him the one gift or curse that could unlock a secret to destroy the human race.

On the run with Angel, a girl disguised as a scruffy kid, Peter starts to unravel the mystery. It’s the one treasure the heavens sought to hide from the world. Unfortunately, when Peter finds the answer he hopes that will save them, he opens the door to a great evil that happens to be salivating to meet him.  

~by LM Preston – Purgatory Reign (coming out 2013)

Sunday, April 22, 2012


When I began as a new author I didn't understand anything about copyrights. Should I? Shouldn't I? When to do it and why I should? Oh and the Poor Man's copyright ... all that was overwhelming.

So here's the skinny on it from my experience and research.


So you just finished your first draft. It's on your computer - on googledocs and you've printed it out. Is it safe? Should you copyright it before you let anyone read it?

~NO~ Do not copyright it at this time. It's safe to prove that you've written the novel you have it on your computer, backed up as a file in your googledocs profile and have emailed it to yourself a few times. If you only have don't one of these - you have proof that the story is yours and you are protected


Now you've got a cleaned and edited manuscript, you are mailing out parts of it and your query letters with a synopsis of the entire novel to literary agents or even small publishers - SHOULD YOU COPYRIGHT now?

~NO~ You are still protected by your actions above (manuscript is saved to your computer, backed up as a file in another location - so you are safe)

Note: Now if you want to play it safe - you can file for a pre-registration of your copyright only if you are concerned someone will still it (I think it cost about $20 but check her to find out - I suggest doing it electronically since it's so easy)

YOU ARE SELF-PUBLISHING IT AND sending to Printers/Ebook Publishing

At this point if you have decided to publish it yourself in any format, after it's fully and professionally edited - then you apply for your copyright online and it will cost you $35 ( After you finish the electronic form - you upload the finished document and they will mail notification of the registration of your copyright to you.


They will handle the formal copyright registration of the book. Ask them their process.


So you forgot to do your copyright and you've already published? No fear, you can register the copyright even after the work has been published. You just have to note the published date and the other specifics for registration.


It depends. I stick with novels, short stories, poetry, and blogpost I'd like to use as articles one day.


~ If you don't mind, can you visit my daughter's new blog? 'Thoughts Of Someone Who Actually Cares'
 she's branching off and would like some great blogs to follow as well as some to follow her. So list your blog address in the comments if you don't mind.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Cabin in the Woods - Movie Review

Blurb Fandango:
Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard team up for this bloody horror satire that offers an inventive twist on the familiar stranded-in-the-woods sub-genre. As five friends pile into an RV bound for a secluded cabin far from civilization, the operators of a mysterious, high-tech control room monitor their every move while preparing an arcane ritual that dates back to the beginning of time. Shortly after arriving at the rickety cottage, Dana (Kristen Connolly) and her friends Curt (Chris Hemsworth), Jules (Anna Hutchison), Marty (Fran Kranz), and Holden (Jesse Willaims) venture into the basement and discover a little girl's diary from the early 1900s -- which recounts a series of horrifying events that unfolded precisely where the vacationing teens how stand. Before long, the nightmare comes knocking at the door -- murder gleaming from its putrid eyes and a rusty saw clenched in rotting hands. In the control room, everything is going exactly according to plan; Sitterson (Richard Jenkins) and Hadley (Bradley Whitford) are taking bets, and their supervisor Lin (Amy Acker) is monitoring every detail. But just when it looks like the show is over, an unexpected glitch threatens to topple the entire system. ~ Rovi

My Review:
Back in the day I was a slasher flick lover, horror, spooky monster consumer looking for the next thrill. But over the years I couldn't find anything that really combined that intensity of a thriller and the gore of a slasher flick. Well when I went to see The Cabin in the Woods with my teenaged son who suffers the same affliction I was ... wow! Caught by surprise. This one really threw me for a loop. It was suspenseful. It was twisted. It had plot curves that I wasn't prepared for. It was nothing from which I'd expected. And it was pretty good. They put things together in this movie I never thought should've worked. But with the world building they did it was pulled of pretty decently. My 17yr old gave this movie a 4 out of 5 sacrifices. I gave it a 3.75 out of 5 simply because I'm probably to desensitized from years of watching horror to really be that scared anymore :-D

Monday, April 16, 2012

DID YOU OVER Book? Commit? Plan this Year?

OH BOY did I ever!!! Lol!

But I'm just that way. Always adding more and more and more to my plate. Now I'm saying - STOP :-D


So what were your original goals for the new 2012 year? Well I set out to write 3 books. Only 3. It wasn't much, it's my typical output each year for the last 3 years - BUT....


My kid is graduating from both High School and EMT certification programs. He's going to 2 proms. My youngest son is asserting his 8yr old authority in class. My day gig (mildly cover to my super hero tendencies) just promoted me, which means I get more and more work (which to be honest I love since I do enjoy my day gig a lot). My oldest daughter is running her first 5k, is starting to take track seriously, and is taking 2 college courses in the summer! My youngest daughter has decided she wanted mommy to help her write her book - and she's #1 right?

Oh, then I decided to volunteer. I became a board member of the Mid Atlantic Book Publishers Association (didn't plan that at all - but am loving it!) Oh and I volunteered to recruit Literary Agents and Editors for the Maryland Writer's Association - great fun. Oh and I'm helping out on YALITCHAT as a Moderator - love that too since I get to connect with other YA and MG writers.

Two book releases in 1 year...Oh my goodness - insane!


I did it again. I added more, and more, and more. Now I have started writing a Short Story - Flutter of Luv - and started it as an exercise for my Writing Group (oh did I forget to mention I'm in a Writing Critique Group?). Well that 1 short story has turned into 12 short stories (7 of which I'm completely finished with).

So I added that as a book release for this year - another thing to promote. Oh, and my publisher partner, he told me we are giving The Pack (Book 1) a facelift to prepare for a big promo for The Pack-Retribution (Book 2) eek!

Oh, and I volunteered to be the Twitter Chat host for MBPA, and the Events & Festivals planner, and to help out with the Speaker selection with MWA - - shoot me now!

JUST DEAL WITH IT - and start to say NO.

Well now that I started all of these balls rolling, I'm having to exercise the power of 'NO'.

I'm hoping to finish my 3 books this year, but I'm already a bit behind. Maybe I did it to take my mind off of querying of my new paranormal series? - Yeah, that's why I was so determined to keep myself busy.

I've got to finish all of my goals this year. I'm just picky that way. But next year - I'll be more realistic and slower in my taking on of projects (I hope, I really am going to try this time)

SO HOW ARE YOU DOING ON YOUR GOALS? Did Life burst in and throw you for a loop? Did you over book?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Crossed Out - by Kim Baccellia

Teen Book Reviewer, NYIA from blog: Thoughts Of Someone Who Actually Cares

Amazon Blurb: (Buy Here)
Following the light can't be that hard, right? So why don't the dead just do it and leave Stephanie Stewart alone? However nothing is ever as simple as it should be, as Stephanie learns when her hidden 'gift' becomes more than a nuisance, quickly turning into a liability. If she can't learn to trust someone with her secret, the world as she knows it will go to hell. Literally. But if she doesn't choose wisely, she might just end up learning firsthand how hard it is to follow that light. Because she's next on the list to be crossed out.

TEEN Book REVIEWER, NYIA's comments:

Stephanie is a character I'd like for a friend. She is sassy, a little pessimistic and determined to do what she thinks is right - most of the time. I have always wondered about the people who made the crosses on the sides of the road. Now after reading this book I do think of them and look at them a whole lot differently then before. Of the male characters I can't really say I liked one more than the other. I pretty much connected with Stephanie the most. The air of tension and mystery had me turning the pages and I finished this book feeling satisfied. I give it a 4 out of 5 crosses.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mirror Mirror - Movie Review


One of the most beloved stories of all time is coming to life in the motion picture event for the whole family, Mirror Mirror. A fresh and funny retelling of the Snow White legend, Mirror Mirror features breakout star Lily Collins as Snow White, a princess in exile, and Oscar®-winner Julia Roberts as the evil Queen who ruthlessly rules her captured kingdom. Seven courageous rebel dwarfs join forces with Snow White as she fights to reclaim her birthright and win her Prince in this magical comedy filled with jealousy, romance, and betrayal that will capture the hearts and imaginations of audiences the world over. The film also stars Armie Hammer as the Prince, and Nathan Lane as the hapless and bungling servant to the Queen.

My Review:

I'm a sucker for a good fairytale. And so are my kids. Julia Roberts did a peachy job in this one and Lily Collins was cute. I prefer the older version of Snow White but this one was light and refreshing. My kids laughed at certain parts. Me not so much it was a bit corny. The imagery was cute though and the story was light. Some adult laughs in there that made me smile. My kids (daughters) gave it a 4 out of 5 apples. I gave it a 3 out of 5 apples. There was a twist at the end that may put you off but overall enjoyable.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


This is a struggle that many writers of Middle Grade and Young Adult literature must have. We see it in the movies all the time. You take your kid to see a Disney Movie like, TANGLED or SNOW WHITE and find that there is entertainment value for both adults and kids.


Considering that most authors have to go through a vetting process of getting their manuscript to a Literary Agent who then reads and re-pitches it to an editor at a Publishing house. The editor at the publishing house reads it and then re-pitches it to the publisher to purchase.

All of these adults are reading your book that you meant for a Young Adult or Middle Grade kid to enjoy. And trust me kids and adults have very different reading perspectives.

KIDS like it but ADULTS don't

There are many cases where my kids love a book or a movie that I dislike because doesn't have the same type of substance that I'd want. There are also certain types of things I enjoy in which they read because it has a little something in it for my adult self also. Whether it's the adventure, the action, the young romance or the intelligence of the character.


In order to meet that TRANSITION status of super love from both your audiences - because as a YA and MG author I've realized now that I have two audiences - I have the adult audience that reads YA and MG. Then there is the actual audience of Middle graders (11yrs-14yrs) and Young Adult (14yrs-17yrs) to focus on.

How does one author find that same mix?


Should we? Put a lot for our kid audience in there -and consider a bit for our adult gatekeepers? Adult readers that want to relive their youth in books? What is the proper mix?

Honestly, I can't say I've figured it out yet. My teen beta readers (of which I'm lucky to have a good number) want action, adventure, a smudge of romance and more action. My adult readers want a slower pace in order to catch on to the story, figure out where they are and to savor the moments.

WHAT ARE YOUR ADULT EXPECTATIONS OF MG? or YA? and HOW DOES YOUR TASTE DIFFER from the intended audience of the genre of books you read?

Just remember while writing you will never make every reader happy, but as an artist of words we authors do try :-D

Sunday, April 8, 2012

My Blog Tour Starts Today

Yippee! What a way to start Spring Break!

The Virtual Tour for EXPLORER X-BETA starts today! Prizes, free books and just plain cyber fun!

Virtual Tour Schedule for Explorer X-Beta More Prizes More Fun:

April 8th: Mariah @ A Readers Adventure
April 8th: The Plot Thickens
9th: Angie @ My Four Monkeys
10th: Glenda @ Book Reader's Heaven
11th: Krystal @ Live To Read
12th: Nicole @ Purple Peguin Reviews
13th: Shelia @ Shelia Deeth
14th: Luke @ Luke Reviews
15th: Andrea @ So Many Books, So Little Time
16th: Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! (Guest Post Only)
17th: Dee @ Book Zone

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Way to Grow Your Indie-Small Press

You heard that saying, "Rome wasn't built in a day."

Well it's true about ANY business and most businesses take about 3 years to show what their true potential is. Three years to know it's market, to fine-tune it's product and to be comfortable with who they are.


When we started our small independent press I was super excited. But my partner made it clear that we would take it slow. Create a business milestone for each year. Our goals for our first year are different than many small presses or indies are that you see around on the internet who start off as mainly small or indie ebook publishers. We had big dreams of breaking into the 'trade' and establishing ourselves as a small press that had books in bookstores, libraries, and other outlets.

How did we do that? Well we joined Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) and started networking, learning how to build in that direction. We had to give our business a presence of its own and Phenomenal One Press was beginning to gain that. In addition we decided to wait before presenting our company's product to the trade via Publishers Marketplace and Foreign Rights fairs because we wanted to have more products available for presentation when bringing up our publishing page on Publishers Marketplace, PubMatch, and pursuing subsidiary rights or Foreign rights sales.

Another friend of ours started theirs small indie publishing company focused on the end consumer (reader) market and started publishing their content or books in only ebook formats since that format was cheaper for publishing. Then they waited until their books gained popularity before offering Paperbook formats. Since then she now offers her book in hardcover formats and audio books. But she added a format each year.


Most serious businesses start with a business plan - or goal sheet for what they hope to accomplish. Ours was initially a tall order for our first year. Produce 2 books in non-competing genre, promote them and become known in our regional area as a small press. You know what ... we did it. Not only that, we did more. But the great part was, independent book publishers were becoming more visible and there was a realization that they all weren't bad.

Also, with being a member of IBPA, Maryland Writers Association and Mid Atlantic Book Publishers Association I began meeting people who owned small independent presses like mine or that 'self-published' like we were doing and they found considerable success and acceptance within their markets by doing so. That was the support that our small independent press needed.


This year we are starting our two-year establishment plan. We finally think we are ready to present our products more seriously to the trade. Now we are on Publishers Marketplace. And this year will be pursuing sales of our books for Subsidiary Rights and Foreign Rights. Which we've been studying up on for the last year.

Also, now I am the Vice President of MBPA (Mid Atlantic Book Publishers) and I believe whole-heartedly in sharing the knowledge. And am working with our board members to have a Subsidiary Rights Fair we are planning for June 2nd the weekend before BEA to prepare our members for the coming Foreign Rights Fairs coming up later this year. Our president, Mary Shafer did an amazing feet and invited some very knowledgeable people to our meeting to teach us about pursuing these exciting avenues towards sales.

Now we are walking taller. We've come a long way. In the next year we are hoping to add additional authors to the fold. 2013 proves to be exciting. But we still have some growth.

SO, if you SELF-PUBLISH, start a SMALL PRESS or want to,

Goals on how you are going to grow your business? If you don't join others that can help you, mentor you, and encourage your business. And remember, a PUBLISHER is someone that edits, prepares, and presents items for sale.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Introducing Nyia's Blog!

Hello my friends!

My Teen Book Reviewer, NYIA has grown up and started her own blog.

Please visit it and follow to show support for her year of guest posting her reviews of YA books from a Teen reader's perspective.
THOUGHTS OF SOMEONE WHO ACTUALLY CARES is the name of her new blog.

Here's the link:

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Wrath Of The Titans - Movie Review


A decade after his defeat of the monstrous Kraken, Perseus-the demigod son of Zeus-is attempting to live a quieter life as the sole parent to his 10-year old son, Helius. Meanwhile, a struggle for supremacy rages between the gods and the Titans. Dangerously weakened by humanity's lack of devotion, the gods are losing control of the imprisoned Titans and their leader, Kronos. The Titans' strength grows stronger as Zeus' remaining godly powers are siphoned, and hell is unleashed on earth. Enlisting the help of the warrior Queen Andromeda, Poseidon's demigod son, Argenor, and fallen god Hephaestus, Perseus bravely embarks on a quest into the underworld to rescue Zeus, overthrow the Titans and save mankind. In 3D at select locations.

My Review:

I must say I didn't have any real expectations going to check this movie out. But I did want to see it because I love Greek Mythology. We didn't even pay to see the 3D version. The story starts out interesting enough. Where Perseus is working the fishing business with his son. There is unrest in the underworld and Zeus son is jealous of Perseus. He works to deceive Zeus, kill off the other gods and let free Kronos. Now here's where it gets good. The special effects, the depth you see of Perseus and Argenor ... my goodness. I really enjoyed this movie. I give it 3.75 gods out of 5. Entertaining, great special effects and decent depth of characters too!