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April 2014

Writing Lessons From My Yoga Mat, Pt. 3: Strengths and Weaknesses

yogawriterOne of the things I love most about yoga is that it challenges every part of you. You need flexibility to get into poses, and strength to be able to hold them. You need balance. Patience. Mindfulness. Whatever you walk into that studio with, you will use.

Whatever you don’t have, you’ll gain.

It’s a lesson in humility for everyone.

For example, I was able to touch my toes before I tried my first pose. But within three seconds of holding downward-facing dog, my shoulder muscles were screaming. My more athletic friend had all the musculature he could want, but he was hamstrung by his, well, tight hamstrings.

Essentially, my observation has been that everyone has something they’re good at in yoga, and everyone has something they need to work to improve. You figure out your strengths. You focus on your weaknesses. And you know that your individual strengths and weaknesses are unique to your own body and your own mind. No one else will approach a pose exactly the same way you do.

But in the end, you’re all trying to get to the same place.

In writing, I’ve found the same principle to be true. Becoming a successful writer requires a command of language and story structure, untold imagination, a distinctive voice, discipline, and a host of other skills.

Personally, I think I came to the profession with a good sense of my own voice and a pretty decent grasp of English language mechanics. I had a long way to go with plotting and discipline, so over the years, those have been the things I’ve focused on.

I look for advice in online articles and blogs like this one. I read books. I seek out the input of my critique partners, who tend to have complimentary skill sets. I try to keep a healthy perspective on it all.

Sometimes, it’s tempting to look at someone else’s writing / career and envy the things that make them great. To the best of my ability, I try to keep in mind that they’ve most likely had their own trials and tribulations, and their own problem spots they’ve had to work on. Chances are, they’ve only gotten where they are because they’ve put a lot of energy into overcoming their particular weaknesses.

We all bring what we have to the table. We work together to try and gain the things we don’t.

Hopefully, eventually, we all end up at the same place.



Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost (Part I)

I flip-flopped back and forth about blogging on this topic, but if the tale of my twisty-turny road to writer self discovery can help even one writer, then I want to tell it. Also, in the same vein as JG’s post about not giving up, I share this in the name of writer honesty. I’ll post it in two parts though, because when I wander, I WAAANDER.

Part I

Some writers know their genre right out of the gate. They love a certain genre, they read a ton of it and they just know. These writers begin their journey and their voice and writing style suit their genre like a beautiful, tailor-made dress or power suit.

Obviously, I am not one of these writers.

First of all, like many people, my To Be Read pile may indicate I have personality issues. There’s romance of every subgenre and heat level, thrillers and suspense, chick-lit, post-modern literature, dark satires, and anything else that speaks to me. When I first began writing, with the tiniest twinkle of future publication in my eyes, my faves were historical romance. Lisa Kleypas and Sabrina Jeffries to be exact. (Love them!) I thought, THIS is what I should write.


For 3 whole chapters, I tried. Historical was not for me. I still love to read it and it remains a fave genre, but the accuracy, detail and research tripped me up, I obsessed over being wrong and most importantly, my voice was WAY too modern. That should’ve been the first clue to my writer identity, but…


I kept reading and found one of my favorite series of all time. It was a Paranormal Romance. I thought, Yes! This is what I love! I’ve always been a super fan of super heroes and the supernatural so this is what I should write. It’ll be aaaaaaaaaaawesome.

I wrote my first full length novel and even placed in some contests, buoying my belief I was on the right path. The caveat? That book was judged by the first 35 pages and didn’t delve into the actual para part of the paranormal. It was just normal people, having their meet cute and doing modern day stuff. Y’know…kind of exactly like a contemporary novel?


I wasn’t 100% thrilled with my first PNR, but I was ready to move forward because that’s what I do. I keep on keeping-on, even when I might be keeping-on in the wrong direction. I wrote Book 2 and while it felt better, there were still elements that weren’t nearly good enough. I know, I know – no writer ever thinks their book is perfect. However, show of hands for when we at least reach the level of “This might not suck.”

I never reached that level w/ Book 1 and 2. I struggled and kept trying to make the stories work, but they continued to feel wrong. I went to my first National convention and met all of these writers who were so happy and successful in their genre. They were writing their sixth and seventh books and I kept thinking, “I have no idea what I’m doing or what I’ll do if I have to write seven of these.” I beat myself up about it. A lot.

WHY do I feel unfulfilled? What is wrong with me? I should be happy! I love writing, so what the hell is my problem? Waaaaaaaah!

I came home from Nationals and made the best decision for me. I decided to chill TFO and take some time to think deep-thinky thoughts. I read a lot, watched tons of television (including a re-watch of the entire Star Trek original 3 seasons. Not even sorry), wrote Bad Girl blog posts, wrote in my journal and I lived on Tumblr (not sorry about that either). I fed my hungry writer soul. Most importantly, I stopped beating myself up. Yes, I was wandering around, directionless, but maybe I needed to be directionless. I wasn’t under any contract, had no deadlines, there was no reason for me to be freaking the hell out like I was. I’d already rushed down paths too fast. I’d let my bull-headed determination lead the way instead of my heart.

What I needed to do was wander. I had to get off the path to The End and maybe, hopefully, find myself along the way.

Have you ever been on the wrong road in your writing? Started writing a story and a few chapters in thought, DO WAH? Zigged when you should’ve zagged? Ever had a style or voice problem? What did you do when you realized?beach footsteps

Tune in next time to read about what I found as I wandered…


Cautions on Contests

I’m just going to say it…I believe writing contests are a waste of my time.

It’s a controversial subject, I know, and it’s important to note I wasn’t always like this.  There was a time when I was in support of them, and believed they were a support for me.  But after receiving my share of both good and bad contest critiques, I’ve become a little jaded and developed a list of cautions to look over whenever I’m considering entering a contest.  I’m hoping this list will spur some sort of conversation, as I’m always interested in hearing other writers’ experiences.

So, without further delay….

Caution #1:  The contest host can be just as important as the contest category.

Back when Romantic Elements was still a part of RWA, I entered the Women’s Fiction category in my share of chapter contests.  What I didn’t realize was that even though I was entering a women’s fiction category, I was still being judged by romance writers.  Which honestly I didn’t see as a problem, being that I have the best critique partners in the world and they ALL write romance.  They understand the differences between romance and women’s fictions, so everyone should.  I mean…surely if the contest is offering a women’s fiction category, then I will be judged on the elements important in women’s fiction.  Right?  RIGHT?


This became abundantly clear as I read through one judge’s comments on a contest I entered a few years back.  She marked me down because my heroine wasn’t the “strong” type.  She was offended when under subgenre I wrote “Upmarket,” because she thought I was “putting down” the romance genre.  And she chastised me because my heroine was involved with someone else at the beginning of my manuscript.  See the problem here?  I was being judged on a set of rules that didn’t really apply to my genre.

Now, to be fair I must say that the second judge I had on that particular contest was totally clued in.  I think I just had a bad egg.  But I’m paying for good feedback, and I wouldn’t pay for a dozen eggs if I knew one was rotten.

Caution #2:  Learn to decipher feedback from opinion.  

You don’t know who’s judging your manuscript.  It could be a super critical, egotistical, jerk out to make someone feel as bad as they feel.  It could be a super nice, yet fairly distracted, mom of four reading while cooking dinner, answering homework questions, and planning a birthday party.  Or it could be a completely devoted writer/reader who understands your category perfectly and goes beyond the call of duty to be fair.  While we all hope it’s the judge behind door #3, the truth is you just don’t know.  Being the natural cynic that I am, I tend to assume the worst.

I was once ripped part by a judge because one of my characters gave a dog to his girlfriend as a gift, despite the fact that she wasn’t prepared to handle a puppy.  Nothing bad happened to the puppy, my heroine just wasn’t expecting it.  But the judge was so furious about it that she/he totally missed the symbolism of the gesture.  For all I know, this judge could’ve been the president of PITA.  Point is…this is opinion, not feedback.

Keep this in mind before you completely reconstruct your character’s demeanor or “let the dogs out” all together (hehe).  Give it some thought.  Maybe ask your critique partners for their take on it if you’re unsure of the comment being feedback or a difference in opinion.  Then decide how to handle it.


Caution #3:  There are quicker ways to get your manuscript in front of an agent. 

Most agents ask for the first so many pages as part of your query letter, so if the only reason you’re entering is because your dream agent is judging – save the cash!  It’s quicker, cheaper, and far less painful to send them a query.  And remember, your manuscript has to get through the preliminary rounds BEFORE the agent even sees it.


Caution #4:  A first place finish doesn’t mean you’ll sell.  A last place finish doesn’t mean you won’t. 

I’ve seen this many times.  There are writers who clean up in the contest circuit but can’t seem to land an agent, and there are writers who sign with an agent the day after receiving a horrible response to a contest submission.  There are probably many factors, but the one I consistently hear about is “marketability.”

You’re manuscript may be the most well written piece of literature ever composed, but if an agent can’t sell it, it won’t matter.  On the contrary you could have some flaws in your writing, but a concept that an agent can’t walk away from.  So don’t use contest results as a gage for whether or not the manuscript is going to make it.


Caution #5:  Always remember, it’s entirely subjective!

I once received comments from a judge who stated my characters were shallow and the story didn’t pull her in.  That VERY same day, I received a request for a full from an agent who stated my partial completely pulled her in and she LOVED my characters.

Talk about good timing!

Don’t misunderstand…I’m not saying the judge didn’t know what he/she was talking about.  I’m just saying my particular manuscript wasn’t their cup of tea.  And that’s completely okay because it doesn’t need to be.  Being an agent’s cup of tea is WAY more important to me, and should be to you as well!


So there you have it, my two cents on contests.  Of course, this is just my jaded opinion and doesn’t represent fact.  What sort of experiences have you had?  Please share!  I’m truly hoping someone can inspire me to see otherwise!

Jenna P.


Editing In Color!

Recently, I attended a hands-on workshop where the presenter discussed the importance of editing in color. We were instructed to bring five different color highlighters and a red pen. First, let me start by making a confession. This wasn’t the first time I heard this similar editing technique. However, it was the first time I felt forced to try the multi-hue approach. We basically took the first few pages of our Work-In-Progress and turned the pages into neon rainbows. At least, rainbow was the goal.

color edit

  • She had us highlight dialogue in blue.
  • Internalization in yellow.
  • Emotion in pink.
  • Tension and conflict in orange.
  • Setting and descriptions in green.
  • Dialogue tags or cues we underlined in red.

So before I knew it, my pages were a picturesque burst of color.

Then we broke it down, color by color.

Reading blue only. Dialogue! What an enlightening experience. A lot of dialogue needed to be cut. Some needed rewording. I’d read the scene a million times, but until I read dialogue only, I had no idea I repeated myself. Or rattled on about unimportant things.

Pink for emotion. Visceral responses! Heart beat fast. Heart raced. Stomach knotted. In other words—clichés, clichés, clichés. I would have been the first to tell you that I changed up cliché. I added new twist to overused emotions. Nope. Not always. When I read the pink alone—you could say the blush of pink rushed to my cheeks.

Orange. Tension and conflict! I went to read the orange, but there wasn’t any. Well, maybe a few lines but not enough to keep the reader engrossed in my story. What the heck? Sure. There was conflict and tension, but it was obvious my orange high lighter needed to be put to use more.

Green. Setting and description! I had plenty of green. It was well spaced. No description dumps. My description was trickled in with just enough impact to keep the reader aware of the surroundings without skimming or yawning. Wow. I had one thing right.

Then, there was red. Tags and cues! He said, she said, way too many times. I thought I had mastered dialogue cues. Wrong.  She asked—He asked—She said with a playful grin. My dialogue cues needed to be brought to the 21st century. I needed to freshen up my writing.

Honestly, before this exercise, I thought I was writing fresh. But I wasn’t. I was writing clichéd overused, overdone mediocre. I had no idea. Then I got upset. Why didn’t I edit in color two years ago when I was first introduced to this form of editing? Laziness? Hardheaded? Who knows? However, I’m a believer now.

I encourage you to give “Editing in Color” a try. If you don’t want to print and highlight, change the font color instead. Make it your own. I’ve made adjustments that work better for me. For example, I’ve changed my hero’s dialogue to blue and my heroine’s pink. Play with the colors if it works better for you, but please, give it a try.

If your first few pages are all green with description and there isn’t any blue, something’s wrong. If you didn’t remove the lid off your orange highlighter for the first three pages, something’s wrong. Sure it’s a lot more work, but I promise you it will be worth it.

If you have anything to add, or if you decide to give it a shot, I’d love to hear about it.

Remember to dream big!



Step Back

Let’s talk books. How many books have you written?

I was once told that after 5 books, I would be able to tell the theme of my writing. Well, I’m writing my 5th manuscript now, (counting that one that resides permanently under my bed.) And, although I learned the theme of my writing some time ago, I recently discovered something else. Emotional tone.

I was working on my final proofread of book 3 in the Tricks of the Ton series when I first noticed a pattern—a pattern that reflected my life on a really personal level. People always ask about the inspiration for a story or for characters, whether the plots parallel real life situations. And, I say they don’t. What we write is fiction, right? I always answer that I pull inspiration from random things I observe. We all do. But, then, I took a step back. Last week, when I should have been writing, I sat staring at the covers of all 3 books across the room from my desk until the colors blended together before my eyes. The characters’ struggles and desires swirling into one another just like their colorful covers. And, that’s when I saw the similarities with my life—not in the plot, but within the tone.

Under the bed manuscript- A story about being lost and searching for where…or when to belong. *grins* (It was a time travel.) I wrote this when I was trying to figure out who I was as a new mother and a writer. And, much like in the story, I found my heart in history.

Book 1- A story filled with laughter in the midst of struggle. I wrote this when my mom was very ill and my husband had recently lost his job and decided to open a small business. I had a small child and was helping care for my mom while assisting with my husband’s new business. It was a struggle, and sometimes, all that’s left is to laugh about it.

Book 2- My evil mother book. This one was darker that the one that came before it. I wrote this just after my mom passed away. I was angry. It was unfair. Even though this book has humor, the plight of the characters is torturous. I was feeling rather tortured at the time, so again, this fits.

Book 3- A story of recovery after tragedy, finding love, and choosing happiness. My husband had a new job when I wrote this. My in-laws had just moved closer to spend more time with my son. We were closing on a new house and putting pieces of our lives back together after a rough couple of years. Recovery? Um, yes. You could say that.

Even though none of these books were about my life on a plot level, they were in a larger sense. I have no idea what the book I’m writing now will contain when I step away from it in consideration one day. But, I hope it will be happy and filled with laughter and love.

So, this is about the time when you’re screaming at your computer screen, “What’s the ever lovin’ point of this rambling blog post?”

Yeah, it did get a little rambly there, didn’t it? Sorry about that. Here’s my point: whatever you write, write it with your heart. Whatever you’re going through in life, it’s going to come out in your writing, and that’s okay. Write it anyway. Write through the happy, write through the sad—just write. Whether you’re story is about a vampire or a mother of 2 kids, your emotions will bleed through into your manuscript. And, one day, years from now, you’ll look back and see your life situation shining behind the words you wrote. Or perhaps, like me, today is that day…

Have you noticed patterns in your writing? Let’s chat about it.

~ E. Michels


Down the Research Rabbit Hole

hypnotic spiralAh, plotting a new story.  The ideas, the discovery, the freshness of it all. The research! Yeah, I know I sound like a freak. But hey, it’s the truth. I love doing background research for a new project. Honestly, I think I love it a little too much. I always try to build my fictional worlds around the things that interest me, or that I’m nostalgic for, or that I want to learn more about. So research is an excuse for immersing myself deeper into what I want to think about anyway.   That’s great for authenticity, but it’s easy to go overboard, especially now. With my recent projects taking place in the 1950s, I’ve needed to read more novels and watch more movies and TV of the era to help my dialogue, research midcentury hairstyles, fashion, cars, local history……..and, now I’m down the rabbit hole. The rabbit hole is deceptive. It sucks you in without you realizing, and before you know it, you’ve lost sleep, valuable writing time, and an overall sense of what’s happening in your real life. So consider this, and learn to spot the warning signs of……..


Descending Into the Research Rabbit Hole!  Everyone’s rabbit hole varies, but my experiences go something like this:

  1. Image searches, articles for settings, historical facts, general stuff. So far, this is normal. Nothing to worry about.
  2. “What year was Breakfast at Tiffany’s published? I’ve only seen the movie, so I should probably read it.” The next day: “Damn, Capote’s an awesome writer. How can I consider myself well-read without getting all of his books on Kindle and reading them NOW?!”
  3. “What’s my heroine’s hairstyle? Cool, look at all this stuff on Pinterest! Damn, there are a lot of chicks on YouTube doing vintage hair tutorials. I really should try out a few of these myself. For realism and all. I guess I need some rollers. Ooh! A trip to Sally Beauty Supply! Awesome!”
  4. There are a lot of weird ass recipes in my Grandmother’s old cookbook from the 50s. I should make some of them. Maybe I should buy some antique jello molds! And some retro aprons! I give you (drumroll, please)….. Imperial Salad!

imperial salad What do you mean there are already lots of other people on the internet making these and blogging about it? Sigh. Late to the party again

5. Clothes for my characters? Ebay, please! I so need a crinoline.

6. Why am I broke? It’s not the end of the month yet!

7. And why is my stack of research thicker than my actual manuscript? I’m writing a novella for chrissakes! And there’s a lot of stuff in my house I didn’t have before, too!


And this, my friends, is what it looks like at the bottom of the rabbit hole. Let my experience serve as a cautionary tale! As for me, I guess I better stick with writing in this era for awhile. Learn it, live it, love it!   So tell me, have you ever fallen down the research rabbit hole? What’s the weirdest and/or funniest thing you’ve become obsessed with in the guise of research.


Don’t. Give. Up.

Depending on whether or not you follow me / this blog, you may or may not know that I finalled in the RITA’s this year. It’s incredible. Amazing. Unexpected and fantastic and the cause of so much joy and relief.

‘Relief’ may seem like a strange word to apply this situation.

But here’s the thing: unless you are one of maybe three or four of my closest confidants in the entire world, there’s something you don’t know.

And that’s that I came the closest I have ever been to quitting writing last fall.

However vocal I have been about my success, I have been exactly that silent about my failures. It’s what we all do. We say it’s about being professional. It’s about putting our best foot forward, about not coming across as crazy and negative and defeatist. But it’s a problem, because when other people only ever see the good things, it’s easy for them to imagine that there are no bad things. As a beginner starting out in this industry, or as someone who’s gotten one rejection too many, you might look at the people who are achieving the things you want for your own career, and you might think they have their lives together. That it’s smooth sailing once you finish your manuscript / contract an agent / sell your first book / win your first award.

But it’s not. There’s still crippling self-doubt, and there’s still that lingering sense that everyone else is doing better than you are, somehow. That you’re not as good as you used to be, or you lost your touch, or you’re an imposter, pretending to have a clue when you’re fumbling around blindly.

Or at least that’s how it was for me.

Last year, I could not seem to write a single word I liked. I’d had a book perform less well than I had hoped it would. I was struggling to finish rewrites on a manuscript that felt completely, totally, utterly wrong. I was convinced that no one wanted to read the ridiculous, overly esoteric crap I kept feeling like writing, and there was a part of me—a big part that just said: “No.” There wasn’t any point to what I was doing. I wasn’t any good at it anyway. I should just stop it. Go home. Get a real job.

Give. Up.

To the rest of the world, I kept up a bright face. If I had nothing nice to say, I said nothing at all. I had days at a time when I’d lurk on social media but keep my trap shut, because all that wanted to spill out of it were horrible, self-defeating things about how nothing was going my way.

I tell you this not because I want your sympathy. I tell you this because it’s how I felt. I knew it was irrational. I knew it was absurd, but none of that mattered. I felt down in the dumps. I wanted to quit.

And then three months later, my book was named a finalist in the RITAs.

By that point, my mood had started to come around anyway. Maybe it was the lengthening days, or the optimism of starting a new project. But let me tell you, nothing has ever kicked me out of the blahs the way getting that call did.

I shared my happy news with everyone I knew. But now I want to share my deeper truth: My darkest day came about three months before my brightest.

So no matter how down you’re feeling. No matter how hard this crazy, impossible, wonderful job of writing seems. No matter how low you get.

Don’t. Give. Up.

The only way to get to where you want to be is to keep moving forward.

Your brightest moment could be just around the corner.

Don’t. Give. Up.


How Fangirling Can Help Your Writing

This seemed an extremely appropriate topic for today, given that the object of my recent fangirl obsession comes to fruition tonight. Yep, that’s right, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, 8pm showing EST. I got my outfit, my earrings, my bear. I ain’t playing, people. It’s time to get my Marvel on.

catws art

But this is not the first thing I’ve fangirled (totes a legitimate verb, btw). I’m a professional.   

X-Men? I’m all in. Star Wars? Since I was seven. Star Trek? Don’t even ask unless you really want to know. It’s not only movies and television, I fangirl books as well. Black Dagger Brotherhood – loooooved them. Harry Potter – For the last four releases, I went to Target at midnight to buy my copy as soon as they unpackaged them. Then I stayed up reading until I was done.   harry-potter-book

I’m that girl, unapologetically.

But what does all of this enthusiasm and energy for someone else’s creative work mean for my work? Does my writing suffer because I’m off the scale excited for some sci-fi, fantasy and superheroes? NO.

Believe me, it’s possible that everything would be neglected in the wake of my flailing and feels, but that’s not what happens. Instead, when I’m riding a fangirl high, I’m more invested in my stories than ever.

I’ve also noticed two things with this most recent fangirl frenzy:

  1. My excitement over this movie, the comic book story line, the characters (OMG the conflicted characters!!!) teasers and trailers has only made me more excited about my story telling. I want to write something entertaining and compelling, something people will be eager to read. I want to produce a book that will cause laughs, throat lumps and seal claps by The End. I don’t know if readers will smile and seal clap as much as I will tonight, but I’d be thrilled if they came anywhere close. If I can have readers who love my story even half as much I love the Winter Soldier story, I’ll take it. SOLD! To the lady in the Bucky T-shirt.
  2. I can use my giddiness as an effective rewards system for being productive. This is probably letting my fan crazy show, but is that really so secret? No, I didn’t think so. Moving on… Let’s say I know a sneak peak or trailer is going to be released one night; I set a goal with watching that trailer as the reward. Write 2,000 words, finish a chapter, write a blog entry, edit a manuscript or critique – whatever it is I want to accomplish – I have to accomplish it and then I can watch the trailer. Turns out, I’ll far exceed my goal because the prize on the horizon shines like a gleaming shield in the rubble of a fallen city. …Too much??? I don’t even care! 🙂

I’d love to know what you love. Maybe it’s shoe shopping or reality TV. Those can be used as prizes too. What rewards do you give yourself for a job well done? What do you fangirl and how can it be a positive influence on your writing?

More importantly, What Would Steve Rogers Do?




It’s Easy! The Top Ten Secrets to Successful Publishing: A Special Guest Post

Well, first of all, hello! My name is Leonidas L. Carroll and I’m glad Momma finally asked me to contribute something to this blog. I admit, I’ve learned a lot following it. From that, and from sitting next to momma as she writes, I’ve learned…writing is easy! You think your thoughts and then you type them! On a computer! In no time at all, I finished my first book. In fact, I learned so much, I even published it!

So you know, I’ve got some real ruff knowledge to impart. You can learn from my experiences right here, today! I present to you:

Eat Poop Sniff

Leonidas L. Carroll’s Top Ten Secrets to Success in Publishing!

  1. Critique partners will just steal your ideas. Never show your manuscript to anybody. It’s a dog-eat dog world out there, sho’ ‘nuff!
  2.  Spell check is for sissies. If you’re really creative like me, you can make up your oun spellingz for werdzz!
  3. Only query one agent at a time. That way you won’t have to let the others down when your dream agent replies with an offer. Nobody likes to be left out. You know how it feels when everyone goes somewhere exciting for the day and leaves you at home with only a bowl of dry-ass generic kibbies. Don’t do it to an agent—it’s mean!
  4. Word count suggestions are just that — suggestions. Any agent will jump at the chance to represent a double-length manuscript. It’s like two books for the price of one! In fact, my book is three books in one! Each section of Eat, Poop, Sniff is its own 100,000 word masterpiece!
  5. Give your queries the personal touch by including a family photo, your complete medical history, and a letter of recommendation from your high school English teacher. I like to scent-mark mine specially!
  6. Whenever you’re with a group of writers, howl about yourself and your writing NONE STOP. Don’t let them get a bark in. This way you’re spreading the word of your colossal awesomeness and building a ruff fan base!
  7. You know characters are the most important part of your story! Let your readers rrreally get to know them! Begin your manuscript with the main character waking up, staring out the window, and thinking about her life story up to that point.  Start the action 3 to 4 chapters later. I like to list everything they eat, too. And don’t forget the trips to the fire hydrant.  After all, that’s what everyone wants to know!
  8. When pitching your manuscript in person to an agent or editor, they really like Yo Mama jokes to break the ice before you begin your pitch. When in doubt, always go with the classic sign of respect: roll over and pee!
  9. Now, let’s get to haterz. If your a genoius like me, you will have them, and you know haterz be hatin’. If you get a negative online review, be sure to start a flame war in the comments. Show them your bark IS as bad as your bite! You’ll change their minds AND get publicity!
  10. Also, make sure the hero of your story is an idealized version of yourself. Write what you know! Be sure to check out my next release, What’s That Smell? (Book One in the Lionel LaRue Poodle detective series….out this summer—Preorder Your Copy Today!)

Thank you for having me here today, Momma and you other ladies. So remember, buy my book!!!! And if you want to know what inspires me, follow me out on Pinterest!


P.S. I know you all have learned a lot here, and your ideas probably aren’t as good as mine, but go ahead and tell me some of your publishing secrets in the comments. I won’t bite!


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