Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thanks for stopping by! This blog has moved to

Please check it out and don't forget to join and follow the new blog site.

Thanks so much for your readership! :)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Write YOUR Own Book Now!

Let’s Write a Book Together! How Serious Are You?
Just the mere idea of writing a book can be overwhelming when you look at all the different things involved. Nowadays it isn’t as easy as simply coming up with a great idea and writing it down; now you have to think of building a social network and performing, at minimum, 50% of the marketing. That’s minimum, remember, and that’s if you publish with a house. If you self-publish then the marketing is on you 100%. That alone can send many a promising author into a tailspin.
I’ve seen so many wanna-be writers who write the book, pass it around to a few family and friends, maybe do some light editing on in-your-face errors, and then upload it to Amazon for all the world to see, then call themselves authors.
Writing is a craft; and as with any other craft, in order to be good at it you must first learn all you can about it. There is so much more involved than just throwing some words together.
What I’d like to do over the next several posts is take you through the writing process as I’ve come to know it. My novel The Consequential Element is a good example of the kind of work you will need to do to get your novel written, published, and sold.
When I began writing my novels a few years ago, there were a lot of websites that provided wonderful encouragement with little guidance. Today, there are many websites that tell you the necessities of writing a book but still leave questions; such as:
  • You must have an eye catching book cover (how and where do I get this?)
  • You must have strong back copy (I remember thinking, what the hell is back copy?)
  •  You must have an ISBN (a what?)
  • You must have a strong story arc (hmm? What is the arc?)
  • Your first 50 pages are the most important. (Why?)
  • You must develop characters that your readers can relate to, sympathize with, love or hate (okay, but how do I develop characters?)
  • Make sure your dialogue holds up and keeps the reader’s attention (You write the way people talk, right?)
Read more on this article at my new website. Once there, don't forget to join my mailing list. See you at the new site!

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Hello everyone! Thanks for stopping by. I wanted to let you know that the NEW & IMPROVED author website and blog sites have now been completed. You can visit by going to

Favor please? Please, if I may ask, visit the site and navigate around, and then let me know if everything works for you. Are all the pictures loading correctly? Did you see an typos? Are all the links working? I'd so much appreciate it.

To show my appreciation, I'd like to offer a free copy of The Consequential Element to anyone who provides feedback. And for anyone who Subscribes to the blog, I'm offering a free Authorgraphed copy of the eBook of The Consequential Element.

I'm going to be starting a series of blog posts on how to write a book from the beginning stages on out through the end. We'll be discussing this such as:

  • Research your audience
  • Research your genre
  • Research your subject
  • Gather data
  • Start your network
  • Develop your plot
  • Develop an outline
  • Develop your characters
  • Book layout
  • How to format your book
  • Front copy
  • Your First 50 Pages
  • The Arc
  • The End
Book Design
Book cover
Back copy

I hope you Subscribe and follow along AT THE NEW SITE and participate in these posts. Whether it be to ask questions or give advice, your input is extremely valuable to us all.

See you there!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Author Interivew - L. A. Cadieux

Hello and thanks for stopping by to get to know L. A. Cadieux.
L. A. Cadieux’s debut novel ONE LIFE is being published on June 20th through Evernight Teen Publishing. She is a YA/New Adult writer and social media-aholic born in Lac La Biche, Alberta, living in Calgary, Canada. Since childhood she's been mesmerized by stories of fairy tales, knights, Greek and Roman mythology and comic book heroes. Naturally, she wanted to create her own worlds/characters and set off on a long quest to write fantasy novels. Creative, yet business minded, she went on to earn a Degree in Management from the University of Alberta Augustana, specializing in Business Economics.  She's a Project Manager by day (in IT) and by night she work on her stories. After shelving some of her earlier manuscripts she decided to focus on ONE LIFE, the first in a series of Teddy Owens Stories.  As a proud mom of two – she spends her days and nights multitasking. Random facts: Tim Hortons coffee and ketchup chips are her vices. She's also a fan of the HBO and CW Networks. Her favorite book is Jane Austen’s PRIDE & PREJUDICE.

ONE LIFE is an emotional and riveting coming of age tale of romance, lies, and difficult choices. It explores themes of self, family, duty, and betrayal.

What would you do if you were given the choice to save only one person you loved? How would you choose? Imagine this ability at the young age of only sixteen. This is Teddy Owens tragic fate. Teddy doesn’t even know what is in store for her yet. Being thrown into the dangerous underworld as the prized possession so many want to capture and exploit for their own purposes, she is forced to run to New York City’s dense backdrop at the promise of a mystery man, Leevi Koivu, who happens to be the heir to an underworld. Teddy has no choice but to trust Leevi and make an oath to him swearing her ability to save one life to him alone.

I'm so pleased to have you visit, Ms. Cadieux. Thank you for taking this time out of your busy schedule. Let's get down to business, shall we?

Dee: Is writing your full time job, or do you have a day job as well?

L.A.: I’m a Project Manager in Information Technology by day.

Dee: Do you work with an outline, or just write?

L.A.: I try to create a one or two paragraph concept before starting, but for the most part my inspiration and storylines have flowed best while sitting down at my laptop. I like to start typing and just see where the story will take me.

Dee: Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

L.A.: Seven years. That is how long it took me to sign my first publishing deal. Four years to find an agent. Seven years of rejections, three manuscripts, tears, self-doubt, and a lot of learning. I never did find an agent to represent my first manuscript, an Epic Fantasy. ONE LIFE—my second novel—was the first of my works to attract the attention of a fabulous literary agent, Marisa Corvisiero. I also wrote a sequel to ONE LIFE and hope to write a third in the series.

Dee: What do you contribute your success to?

L.A.: Any success I’ll have in my life is due to the rocky and winding road—I’ve had to work hard for any success. If my road was smooth and straight I don’t think I’d have developed a thick skin, or developed as a writer. This business likes to hand out a few hard knocks before building you up—and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The low points are important for creative growth…as much as I may not have appreciated the value of those moments right after opening another rejection letter. The truth is it’s hard to appreciate success…without knowing what it feels like to have failed.

Dee: What was your favorite part to write, and why?

L.A.: There is a scene on a patio where my main character, Teddy Owens, is standing and gazing out over Manhattan. Homesick for the Rockies, she is caught by surprise to be taken with the bustling life of the iconic city. She doesn’t realize behind her a grinning young man is leaning on a patio door watching her. When she does finally turn around to see him their personalities clash immediately—but right away there is an undeniable chemistry between them. His arrogance irks her. Her innocence intrigues him. They end up in a charming argument over the proper way to eat an Oreo cookie—I love this scene and still think of it every time I see an Oreo.

Dee: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

L.A.: My mother once told me, try to pick a career that will enable you to keep care of yourself. Naturally, I decided to be practical and earn a degree in Management, specializing in Business Economics. However it wasn't more than a couple years after graduating - much as I love my job - a little corner of my soul called out for me to create...something, anything. It's hard to believe now, but at this point I'd only written a couple short stories and a few essays. I couldn't remember having written anything longer than 30 pages!

I was 23 when I sat down at my computer to try my hand at being a novelist. At that point I couldn't fathom the incredible journey I'd started.

Dee: Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp?

L.A.: I think young girls especially are likely to feel inspired by Teddy and hopefully they will be able to see themselves in her. At first she is conflicted and slightly uncomfortable with herself. She starts off relying on people too much and then really becomes independent and strong in her ideas. I hope readers take away an appreciation for her transformation throughout the story—as she develops an enviable strength and confidence.

Dee: I have to ask: White wine or red? Vanilla ice cream or chocolate? Coffee or tea?

L.A.: Red wine—definitely red. I do love a good Malbec. Chocolate ice cream…if I’m choosing out of those two options. Coconut ice cream is my favorite. Coffee. I drink a large double-double from Tim Hortons every morning.

Dee: Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

L.A.: I’ve done my best work in coffee shops. More than a time or two my local Starbucks has seen me settle in for several hours to write.

Dee: Do you have a favorite quote?

L.A.: One of my favorite quotes comes from T.E. Lawrence, "All dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was in vanity, but the dreams of the day are dangerous, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible."

To learn more about L.A. Cadieux and her book ONE LIFE, join her on her social network at the following locations:

You can find ONE LIFE for sale on Evernight Teen website and third party retailers including Amazon, All Romance e-Books, Barnes & Noble, BookStrand, Sony, Apple iBooks, Chapters-Indigo/KOBO, Coffee Time Romance.

Again, thanks for taking the time to visit. Don't forget to leave a comment for LA. and lend your support to this wonderful author.

I wish you all the best in your scribblings.

Dee Ann

Friday, May 23, 2014

Welcome back everyone! Today we are going to discuss the Marketing, Promotion, and Advertising departments of a publishing house.

Marketing, Promotion, and Advertising

This department is responsible for any promotions that the house pays for, i.e., the advertising in various media as well as the creation of sales materials. They are responsible for marketing strategy and coordinate efforts with the promotion art department. They identify the strong audiences for individual titles. These responsibilities require them to work very closely with the sales department and the advertising department to assist in creating ads for individual or list titles.

The main objective of the Marketing Department is to get the books in front of the consumer. To do this, they are involved in the support of the book sales department in getting the books into distribution channels (like bookstores) and, ultimately, in front of the customer. Since advertising is also crucial in getting the book to the consumer, Marketing works alongside the Advertising department.

The Publicity Department is distinct, in that the main purpose of this department is to get the book in front of the media (print, radio, television) in order to get it in front of the consumer. This department also works at setting up book tours and signings. This department will have a publicist who will develop a press kit (press release, bio, and any supporting materials such as an author Q & A) and photo. Sometimes this department will also provide electronic media blast emails to reach out to editors and producers to gain their interest in the book.

So what does this all mean to the self-published author who has to do all the marketing, promotion, and advertising themselves? Well, I can tell you what it doesn’t mean; it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It means a lot of work, yes, but very doable. Take notes from the big guys and tailor it down to your size and budget.

First, you have to understand what book marketing is.

In general, your main objective is to get your book in front of bookstore buyers and book distributors, libraries, gift shops, and any other channel, making sure your book is available and on display to the consumer public.

Here are a few things you can do:

Determine the potential audience/reader for the book
*  Determine the size of the market for the book
 Determine the best strategy to reach the consumer audience of interest

Once you have completed the above, next you move on to creating your marketing plan.

You want to create any sales tools for your book, such as a small poster, table cards, bookmarks, book cover cards, etc. and use these to present the book to booksellers, wholesale distributors, gift stores, libraries, and so on. Don’t forget your industry trade shows and regional independent booksellerorganizations.

Online ads are becoming more common, and are a channel that you must use. Outreach to bloggers for a blog tour, an interview, or a guest post.

Find your audience, get to know them, make friends with them, and they will reward you with their loyalty. There’s no better promotional tool than a happy reader.

It’s a road full of potholes, but the road is passable. This is something you have to do. Learn to love it. It never stops. I’m still marketing The Consequential Element each and every day. I’ve just finished my second novel, Mists of Bayou Rhyne which is now with an agent and in the revision process, and I’m about a third of the way through my third novel, Where Demons Hide – a psychological thriller. I’ve already begun the marketing development for those books. All three are different genres, so I have to research three different audiences. Talk about work! But hey, finding your niche is half the battle.

Thanks for stopping by. Don’t forget to Join My Mailing List for the latest information. Get a sneak peek into new releases, cover reveals, special “list members only” contests and giveaways for things such as a Kindle Fire HD or a N&N Nook (yep, hold those now and then), Gift Cards, and free autographed copies of my books, as well as anything else that catches my fancy for a great giveaway idea. Don’t miss out, join today!

Until next time, I wish you much success in all that you do.


Dee Ann Waite was born in Fall River, Massachusetts and grew up in a small town named Somerset; a town she relates to Stephen King's Derry, Maine. A town where the people are pleasant, the landscape well maintained, and dark secrets are kept. She currently resides along the central east coast of Florida. She released her debut novel THE CONSEQUENTIAL ELEMENT in 2013, and has recently completed her second novel MISTS OF BAYOU RHYNE which is currently being considered for agenting by the Corvisiero Literary Agency.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Breaking Down the House: Major Departments in a Publishing House

Today we are going to discuss the Creative Department and the Sales Department.

But first, I'd like to apologize for taking so long in getting this post up. I've been fighting the flu and pneumonia for the past 2.5 weeks and I am just today feeling a small amount of energy. I can tell you this - the crud sucks! And this is with both a flu and pneumonia shot. My wish for you is that you are healthy, stay healthy, and that you remember to enjoy good health.

Okay, now onward to the important stuff.


This department many times has various designers, such as, the jacket art designers, the book interior designers, and perhaps promotional art designers.

This is an extremely important department as it is this department that puts together the book's very first impression on your reader. It is the jacket cover along with the book's title that will catch your reader's eye and entice them to turn the page.

Your novel may be written by you, but it is a team effort to whip it into shape from head to toe. You supply the words; the jacket art designers give it it's best face; the book interior designers provide the best layout with things such as catchy headings, paragraph dividers, and creative page numbering; and the promotional art designers would provide design for seasonal publisher catalogs, book marketing campaigns, as well as other materials.

I self published my first novel, The Consequential Element. Since I have extensive graphic design skills  (19 years worth) I drew heavily on my experience when designing the book cover. I have had much positive feedback and have even received many requests to do other's covers. If you visit my website you will also see a pre-cover for my second novel, Mists of Bayou Rhyne which I have designed, however, since I have sought the traditional route for this book, the cover is now in the hands of the publisher's creative department.


This department is critical to your book because it is what gets your book to market and into other formats and media. There are various sales departments with this division. For this section I found a wonderfully informative blog post at that thoroughly breaks down the different sections.

Digital Sales

Many large houses are increasingly hiring people to oversee the creation, marketing, and distribution of eBooks including online promotions, sales, and other digital initiatives.

Subsidiary Rights

Subsidiary rights are the rights the author grants the publisher to 'sub-license' the book for various formats and adaptations in addition to the original format.

You will find this as a part of your book contract which will outline the subsidiary rights that will be granted by agreement, as well as the percentage of the sub-license fees to be received by the publisher from any third party licensor that will go to the author.

The Subsidiary Rights department in the publishing house is charged with selling subsidiary rights to the parties who will sell them; i.e., book clubs, audiobook publishers, foreign publishers, movie producers, and the like.

There are many types of subsidiary rights, but for the sake of this post we will list only a few of the most common found in book contracts:

First Serial rights - this refers to the use of the book's content as in excerpts, condensing, digests for use in newspapers, magazines, or periodicals before the work is published in book form. This can be useful in non-fiction books and can help create the 'buzz' that is needed to prompt sales.

Second Serial rights - same as in First Serial Rights, but these are given after the work is published in book form.

There are also Trade or Mass Market Paperback rights where, if the book is in hardcover, the publisher will sell the rights for the paperback reprint, and Book Club rights where the books may be offered to the book club subscribers at an off price.

I have recently been in discussion with the creative department from a publishing house regarding the jacket for my upcoming book, Mists of Bayou Rhyne. It is an interesting experience. Although I have a pretty good idea of what I'd like the cover to look like, it seems that I will ultimately have very little say in the end product. I do have to say that I am pleased that they are taking into consideration my thoughts and suggestions, but in the end, they will prevail. :) For the better, I'm sure. It's just difficult giving up any control over my own work. After all, Mother knows best... right? hmmm

As always, I hope you found this information to be... well... informative. :) Don't forget to come back next week for the Marketing, Promotion & Advertising portion of our Breaking Down the House: Major Departments Within a Publishing House series.

Thanks for stopping by. Don't forget to Join My Mailing List for the latest information. Get a sneak peek into new releases, cover reveals, special "list members only" contests and giveaways for things such as a Kindle HD Fire or a B&N Nook (yep, hold those now and then), Gift Cards, and free autographed copies of my books, as well as anything else that catches my fancy for a great giveaway idea. Don't miss out, Join today!

Until next time, I wish you much success in all that you do.


Dee Ann Waite was born in Fall River, Massachusetts and grew up in a small town named Somerset; a town she relates to Stephen King's Derry, Maine. A town where the people are pleasant, the landscape well maintained, and dark secrets are kept. She currently resides along the central east coast of Florida. She released her debut novel THE CONSEQUENTIAL ELEMENT in 2013, and has recently completed her second novel MISTS OF BAYOU RHYNE which is currently being considered for agenting by the Corvisiero Literary Agency.

When she's not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, horseback riding, and nature. She owns a pet photography business and branches out her love for photography by visiting the Everglades and swamps in search of alligators and exotic birds. When at home, she cherishes a chilled glass of wine while sitting in her garden with her dog Dodger.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Breaking Down the House: Managing & Editorial Dept

Hi everyone! In Part 2 of this eight part series we discussed the Contracts and Legal department. In this third installment we'll discuss Breaking Down the House: the Managing and Editorial department.

I wish I had a Managing and Editorial department when I was working my novel The Consequential Element. Wearing all the necessary hats wore me out! I'm very proud of my end result, thanks to help from friends in the publishing industry. I don't envy anyone trying to do a self-published book without knowing a little something about each and ever department that is involved in getting the final product completed. If you want your book to succeed, you must acquire these skills, no exceptions. Well, of course you can hire talented people to do it for you if you have the bankroll to do so. :)

Managing & Editorial Department:

This department involves the managing editor and her/his staff. They are responsible for the manuscript from editorial through production. The managing editor works closely with the editors and production team in order to be sure that everything is on schedule. This includes not only the finished product, but also any advance materials that the sales or publicity departments may require such as ARCs.

What is an ARC? ARC means Advance Reader's Copy. They are used by publishing houses to gain early readers and to create pre-publication excitement from booksellers and publicity venues. These books are not for resale. They resemble the final book copy, have a near final book jacket, and usually contain promotional material. ARCs are expensive to produce and distribute so the publishing houses usually reserve these for the big releases.

Managing editors further handle not only the copyediting process, but most of the scheduling for the manuscript as well. What this means is that they develop in-house procedures so that they can control the workflow and schedules of freelance copyeditors, proofreaders, and indexers as well as the production schedule.

Daily functions of the Managing and Editorial department may be:

* Negotiating signed agreements
* Drawing up production schedules
* Review of the entire work before heading to production
* Hiring and overseeing the work schedules of freelance copyeditors, proofreaders, and indexers
* Overseeing the jacket and front matter by proofreading before sending to production
* Preparing the manuscript for setting once it is author-reviewed and copyedited
* If ARCs are involved, reviewing the sample designs
* Transferring the corrections made by the authors to the manuscript

Tara Powers at W. W. Norton & Co. did a very nice article at YPG. I loved how thorough she described the reasons behind the necessity for this department, and the detailed description of the overall functions. Check it out to get a sneak peek behind the scenes of what is involved in the life of the managing and editorial department and see how the guts and the glory of your manuscript come together to create a masterpiece - your masterpiece.

My second novel, Mists of Bayou Rhyne, is now with an agent out of N.Y., Marisa Corvisiero with Corvisiero Literary Agency who has shown a VERY huge interest in this book. We are working together to firm things up and to get the book in the best possible shape for presentation to the publishing houses.  Wish me luck!

Thanks for stopping by. Don't forget to Join My Mailing List for the latest information. Get a sneak peek into new releases, cover reveals, special "list members only" contests and giveaways for things such as a Kindle HD Fire or a B&N Nook (yep, hold those now and then), Gift Cards, and free autographed copies of my books, as well as anything else that catches my fancy for a great giveaway idea. Don't miss out, Join today!

Until next time, I wish you all the best success in your writing.

Dee Ann

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Breaking Down the House: Contracts and Legal Department

Hi everyone. In part 1 we talked about the different departments within a publishing house. This week we are going to review the Contracts and Legal Department of a publishing house.

A book contract is the legal binding agreement between an author and the publisher.

This is a most critical part for an author. Book publishing is considered to be of intellectual property and as such, this area is key in benefiting the author’s best interest. Editors and agents, as well as rights (foreign and sibsidiary) and design staff work closely with this department to negotiate and draft the best possible terms for you, the author.

The legal department is also tasked with reviewing the contracts, as well as keeping the house free from lawsuits from author errors, such as libel, fraud, and other things like if a book is about the FBI, CIA, or any other governmental organization.

Of note for self-publishers: when writing The Consequential Element, I had to do extensive inquiries into these organizations since some of the elements within the book are CIA and U.S. Embassy related. I sought legal advice from a lawyer who deals with this sort of stuff to be sure that I wouldn’t be creating any future legal issues for myself. The advice I received was priceless considering what could potentially have happened out of ignorance. I highly suggest all self-publishers to meet with an attorney at least once to determine if legal representation would be beneficial. I believe you’ll find out it is.

The contracts department will generate a draft contract once there are agreed-to terms of the book deal. The publisher will then submit this draft contract to the author’s agent for review.

Keep in mind that the publisher may use a standard boilerplate contract based on the publisher’s general policies for the type of book being submitted. A publisher may have many types of boilerplate contracts to use for various types of books and the contracts department will select the best contract for your book.

The agent will review the draft contract and then negotiate the changes on behalf of the author. During this time, the agent will address such things as the upfront advance, royalties, and subsidiary rights to name a few.

Once everything is ironed out and agreed upon by all parties, the publisher executes the final version of the contract, the agent approves it, the author signs it, and it is returned to the publishing house for final signatures. At this point the contract is considered executed.

For further information, please see:

Caroline Bookbinder – Lawyers Reading Books?
Negotiating Book Contract Terms and Royalties
Managing Intellectual Property in the Book Publishing Industry

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you find this information helpful. Don't forget to join my mailing list for the latest information. My mailing list is used to advise my list members FIRST of special events, provide sneak peaks into upcoming new releases, share cover reveals, hold special "list members only" contests and giveaways for things such as a Kindle HD Fire or Nook giveaway (yep, hold those now and then), Gift Cards of various values, and free autographed copies of my books, as well as anything else that catches my fancy for a great giveaway idea. Don't miss out!

Until next time, I wish you all the very best in your writing success. :)

Dee Ann

Monday, February 17, 2014

Breaking Down the Major Depts in a Publishing House

Getting published with a publishing house is many an author's goal, however, once their book is accepted by a house the author realizes a whole new set of fears.

What does this mean? What happens to your book once it goes behind those closed doors of the publishing house? And you thought you'd already been through the scary part, didn't you?

It doesn't have to be scary. With a little understanding, you should be able to look at it for what it is...a business deal. You're the author; you do have a say in things to some degree, as long as it's conveyed in an intelligent and educated manner.

This is the first of an eight part series that I'm doing on breaking down the most important departments of a publishing house. Of course, they have the common departments as most businesses do such as IT, human resources, and website maintenance, but I won't get into those areas. I'm going to stick to:

1. Editorial Department
2. Contracts and Legal Department
3. Managing Editorial & Production
4. Creative Department
5. Sales
6. Marketing, Promotion, and Advertising
7. Publicity
8. Finance & Accounting


The book publisher’s editors perform all the duties necessary to acquire and edit books and see them through to publication, including dealing with literary agents, authors and interfacing with the breadth of the book publishers other staff.

Editorial Director/Editor-In-Chief - oversees the editors.

Editors - If you're under the impression that the editor's main job is to correct grammar, then you're not alone. But the editor's job is so much more than that.

The editor not only acquires the book from the agent, they must then read it and determine if it is good enough to present to the acquisitions committee. If the editor gets the 'go' from the committee, the editor then negotiates the author's contract with the agent.

Further, the editor continues to work with the author to assure that the manuscript meets expectations. They will stay in communications with the author to be sure that timelines are met; and if there is to be a delay, the editor will notify the editorial department as well as the Editorial Director.

The editor performs the necessary editing processes for grammar and such. The book is then distributed to the marketing, publicity and sales departments and the editor becomes the advocate for the book in such a way that they need to relate to these departments the value and potential within the marketplace.

Editorial Assistant – Each editor relies heavily on their editorial assistant to provide services such as administrative duties, correspondence and communications, scheduling, etc.

Something to take away from here: Remember that this is a very subjective business. The editor must decide whether or not your book is ‘good enough’ to move on through the publishing house. This, of course, is the editor’s opinion. Always believe in yourself and your work.

My next post will cover the basics of the Contracts and Legal Departments.

Until then, I wish you all the best success in your writing.

Dee Ann

Helpful Links:

Self Editing for Fiction Writers
Editors on Editing
What Editors Want: A Must Read for Writers Submitting to Magazines
What US Editors Want 2014

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Author Interview - Jan Marquart

Thanks for checking in. Today, I'm sharing my blog with a special lady, Jan Marquart, CEO of About The Author Network. Jan has graciously agreed to guest post on my blog to offer her wisdom and insight into a writer's life, and to provide an opportunity for writers to tap into some valuable information.

Dee Ann: Jan, welcome.

Jan: Hi Dee Ann. Thanks for having me as your guest.

Dee Ann: Tell us a little about what it is you do.

Jan: Writing the visionary stories that live within takes strength of spirit. Honest writing is not for sissies. As CEO and Founder of About the Author Network, author of eleven books, and 93 daily journals, the writing process has been part of my life since 1972. I coach writers and promote their books on: My personal writing site is: where you can check out all my books and receive copies of my blog.

Today, I'd like to talk to writers about how to decide if their manuscript is ready.

Is Your Manuscript Ready?

Having been hired as an editor for emerging authors over the last two decades I can say that there are certain errors I repeatedly see. I’d like you to check over your manuscript in case these issues apply to what you have written.

1. The focus is fractured. This means that a book has two genres mixed up together. Example: a survival story has self-help tips mixed in with the author’s actual survival story. If your writing has vacillated between telling the story and giving advice, both sections will lose the reader’s focus. Ask yourself – do you want to tell your survival story or are you writing a survival manual? One focuses on you and the other on the reader.

2. Because some concepts are difficult to describe, a problem or experience is often written in language that doesn’t quite hit the mark. This happens when authors have experienced painful situations and can’t quite drop down to the true level of their suffering. Shallow writing will leave the reader frustrated.

3. Often manuscripts repeat the message of a book throughout chapters leaving the reader wondering where the book is heading. The message of the book should be a developed plot. This development is what keeps the reader on track as to why they are reading it in the first place. This problem usually occurs when authors are too impatient to slow down and develop their manuscripts.

There is often a good backstory to why these problems exist. Sometimes the writer is inexperienced in the craft of writing but even with that issue, an author can be inexperienced in craft but still give an accurate message. Readers will pick up if the theme of the book is cutting them short of the reward for reading. What is probably being exposed is that the author is fearful of slowing the process. This happens when the pain in the plot is something the writer wants to share but not deeply enough to re-enter their pain to do so. This choice will turn around to bite them quickly if a manuscript gets published without correction for these issues. Readers don’t like feeling cheated. If they are going to travel the journey with an author they want to be taken to the depths so they can enjoy the rewards of triumph.

When a manuscript is fractured the author has short-circuited it from one of healing to one of helping someone else. I’ve seen this many times. When language doesn’t quite hit the mark it could be that the author cannot think of the right word but words aren’t that complicated. Again, writers will often skirt the depth of pain because let’s face it, it is painful. But if the story is planned for publication readers will know that the author chickened out just when the meat of the story was about to fall into place.

Sometimes the meat of the story is avoided, especially in memoirs, because there is a fear that someone they love will be hurt and will respond by ending the relationship. This is a real life complication that often gets in the way of writing a fully developed and well-edited manuscript.

In my latest book, A Writer’s Wisdom, I address ten commonly asked questions by writers to help guide them not only to finish their writing projects, but to give them the understanding, patience, editing, and care that any work of art deserves. A book is a piece of creativity and it cannot be rushed, its meaning cannot be shortened or avoided, and the anger of loved ones cannot be allowed to control how the piece is written.

            The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.
                                  Ray Bradbury

  • Excerpt from A Writer's Wisdom:

Readers read to understand the parts of life they don’t understand. They want writers to be their heroes and they trust them to reveal the wisdom they are too afraid to learn for themselves. Readers want proof that there is a way out of conflict, to find love, to become successful. They yearn to understand their own grief, sadness, and suffering. Fantasy is wonderful but even fantasy has to have a true emotional content. If characters of fantasy do not resemble the truth about life no one will believe them.

Readers not only want to hold hands with the writer when they jump into the deep end, readers also want writers to throw them a life raft. They want to hear how life really is and how they can be saved from it. They do not want to hear lies about what they are living and trust me, readers know when writers are lying.

Write a salvation story.

Find writers who have written what you love to read and stay close to them. Read everything they have written.

Then write for yourself.
                                                                                                p. 103 A Writer’s Wisdom
For those who are interested in hearing Jan speak on writing and its power of healing, here is a link you can go to:

To become a member of About the Author Network you can fill out the Author/Writer Membership
Forms under Membership on the menu bar on the site: The cost
is still a low $19.97 a month and the site has many pages for authors and their books. There is a link on the menu bar titled Audios that viewers can listen to if they want to hear interviews Jan has facilitated with authors along with other information on writing. Jan's personal writing site is: On this site there are links to her books, blogs, and videos.
For anyone wanting to email Jan, they can do so at:

Other Links To Jan:

Jan, again, thank you so much for stopping by and offering some great advice to our readers. It's been a pleasure having you.

And thanks to all my readers for sharing with us today. Got questions? Ask away! Don't forget to leave a comment. We love it when you do. :)

Until next time, I wish you all the best success in your writing.

Dee Ann

Monday, January 13, 2014

Stina Lindenblatt - Interview

Welcome everyone. Please join me in welcoming Stina Lindenblatt, author of Tell Me When, a New Adult novel that is due to be released on January 20, 2014. Read the interview, then mark this eBook for purchase! You're going to love this story.

Here's the blurb:

Amber Scott Should be enjoying life as a college freshman. She should be pursuing her dream of becoming a veterinarian. She should be working hard to make sense of her precalculus math class.

She shouldn't be waking up her college roommate with screaming nightmares. She shouldn't be flashing back, reliving the three weeks of hell she barely survived last year. And she definitely shouldn't be spending time with sexy player Marcus Reid.

But engineering student Marcus is the only one keeping Amber from failing her math course, so she grudgingly lets him into her life. She never expects the king of hookups will share his painful past. Or that she'll tell him her secrets in return, opening up and trusting him in a way she thought she'd never be able to again.

When their fragile future together is threatened by a stalker Amber thought was locked away for good, Marcus is determined to protect her - and Amber is determined to protect Marcus...even if that means pushing him away.

Okay, now on to the interview. Stina, thanks so much for visiting today. It's been a pleasure getting to know a bit about you and your novel Tell Me When.

1. How did you choose the genre you write in?

I used to write Young Adult books, until a friend introduced me to Easy by Tammara Webber. It was my first introduction to New Adult and I loved it. Since my characters have always been seventeen years old, it wsn't a huge stretch to have a heroine who was a year older. And the best part was I could finally write a contemporary romance. I've always wanted to write romance, but it tended to be just an element in my YA stories.

2. Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

Tell Me When is about a college junior (Amber Scott) who was stalked and kidnapped during her senior year of high school. She was held captive for almost three weeks, and now struggles with nightmares and flashbacks from her ordeal. Her PTSD is getting in her way of achieving the grade she needs to pass her pre-calculus math class, which is a pre-requisite for veterinarian school. Enter Marcus Reid. He's the sexy engineering student who wants to add her to his list of conquests - and her only chance of passing her class. It's a story about finding hope and love following a traumatic experience.

3. Is there anything in your book based on real life experiences, or purely all imagination?

Mst of the story is purely imaginary (with a hardy dose of inspiration from Criminal Minds), but it was also inspired by a real life experience. I had to deal with a stalker while in university. It was nothing like what Amber experienced, but it was enough to freak me out.

4. What was your favorite part to write, and why?

This would be the sex scene between Amber and Marcus. It was challenging to write because Amber had been raped while she was held captive (prior to the start of the book). It's not enough to have a good looking guy who happens to rock in the kissing department, and then expect her to be instantly over what happened to her. That doesn't happen in real life and it shouldn't happen in fiction. Add to this is the knowledge that Marcus knows what happened to Amber, and the result is one intense scene where they make love and connect at an entirely new level.

5. How did you come up with the title?

Tell Me When comes from a line in the novel. Things are getting steamy between Amber and Marcus, and he tells her to let him know when she wants to stop. The novel had been titled something else originally, but Carina wanted me to change it. I sent them a list of potential titles and they loved the meaning behind Tell Me When.

What project are you working on now?

I'm working on the sequel to Tell Me When, which is tentatively titled Let Me Know. Tell Me When is a standalone novel, but there were a few things that I was unable to tie up in the book, and that led to the sequel.

I'm also working on a New Adult contemporary romance that was inspired by my experiences in Finland while I was in university. That's all I can say about it for now.

7. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Don't expect your first novel to be publishable. By the time most debut authors are published, they have written at least one other book prior. In many cases, they've written several. It takes a while to learn the craft. There's nothing shameful about writing several books before you're published either traditionally or self-published.

8. What would you way is an interesting writing quirk of yours?

When I get stuck with my story or characterizations, I go for a run or a walk. That happened during Tell Me When. My editor wanted me to make one character more dimensional. I didn't know what to do, so I went for a long walk and came up with the solution. Fortunately I had my iPod Touch with me so I was able to jot down my ideas. This is harder to do while running. It once took me two days to scrub the ink off my legs after I tried writing the notes on my calves. Yeah, not the brightest of ideas during short season.

9. Did you find writing any particular part of the book challenging as far as being emotionally or psychologically stressful?

The topic alone made for one emotionally tough story to write, but not just because of what happened to Amber. Marcus's back story is also gut wrenching. I cried every time I edited one particular scene. It was the same scene that caused my editor to tear up when she first read the book.

10. What motivates you to write?

I love writing fiction, especially novels. My characters don't seem to want to shut up. The other thing that motivates me to write is the thought that my stories might make a difference in someone's life in one way or another. That's my biggest aspiration.

Well, that about wraps it up. It's been an absolute pleasure meeting you, Stina, and I hope to be able to interview you again for your next novel. Keep 'em coming!

Tell Me When can be purchased at Amazon and at Barnes & Noble. Invest the few bucks for the eBook. You'll be glad you did. Maybe Stina will inspire you to write your next New Adult novel.

Don't forget to leave a comment and let Stina know what you thought of the interview. She loves to hear from you.

Until next time, I wish you the best in your writing success.

Dee Ann