Thursday, March 28, 2013

Keeping Enthusiasm in Your Life

The other day was a red letter day for my daughter.  She had me take her down to the DMV.  She wanted to get her learner’s permit.

My wife and I gave her a copy of the driving rules at Christmas.  During spring break we had an opportunity to go get the learner’s permit.  One day window.

So she studied that book.  We drilled her as we drove around about what this sign meant, or what those stripes in the road meant.  So we were out of the house by 7:30 AM and had her in line before the DMV opened.

She was so nervous!  And she was so excited about going.  She passed the test she was so nervous about taking.

However, she was so excited about getting that permit.  She posted to her friends on facebook, and told everyone she saw today that she got her permit.

Kids know how to market, network, self promote.  She was so excited about things today.  All day her exuberance continued.

That got me to thinking about running a business.  Networking, promoting, marketing. getting the word out, making the sales.  The similarities were amazing.  For her, she is excited about this aspect of her life, for someone in sales, or a writer, or a small business owner, the same things apply.  Get out there and make things happen, and be enthused and excited about what you are doing.

Enthusiasm, it keeps one young.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

BRoP Interview with Kate Evangelista

Kate wraps up her five part interview here on The Write Time.

Here is where she has been this week:

Part 1 @ Terri Bruce – on Wednesday, March 20th
Part 2 @ T.W. Fendley - on Thursday, March 21st
Part 3 @Emily LaBonte - Friday, March 22nd
Part 4 @ Sandra Ulbrich Almazon - Monday, March 25
Part 5 @ Dean C. Rich - Tuesday, March 26


Words of Wisdom
  1. Tell us about your route to success – where there any bumps and bruises along the way?

When I decided to build a career as a writer, I didn’t know anything. The plan seemed daunting. I quickly learned it’s not just about writing a book. It’s about so many other things. Connecting with bloggers. Connecting with fellow authors. Marketing yourself. Editing until you don’t think you can edit anymore. Facing rejection. Like A LOT of rejection. And the waiting. That’s the hardest part, all the waiting. Even when you’re published already, there’s still a lot of waiting involved.

  1. Why did you decide to go with an indie publisher? Did you use/do you have an agent?

I used to have an agent. It didn’t work out. But it was the best thing to ever happen to me because I started getting yeses from the indie publishers I submitted to. Now all my books have homes and I can’t wait to share all of them with you.

  1. What tools are must-haves for writers?

Patience. Lots of it. Remember all the waiting I mentioned above? It’s going to test your patience to the limit. Writing is a marathon, not a sprint. J

  1. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you! The greatest joy for me is sharing my work with all of you. The characters in my head would not make their way into the world without you reading their stories.

  1. What are your current / future project(s)?

I just finished writing the sequel to Reaping Me Softly called Unreap My Heart. You have to meet Balthazar in that book. I’m also working on a super secret project that comes out in the summer. Can’t talk much about it, but I’ve been having a blast. Lots more books to come. Make sure to follow me on twitter for the latest scoop. Visit my blog too. I give the dish there.

  1. Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Dream big and follow through. Life’s too short not to be doing something that makes you happy to wake up in the mornings and excited to go to bed just so you can do it all over again. *hugs*

On the web
Facebook page:
Goodreads author page:
Twitter: @KateEvangelista


Smashwords: None that I know of. *laughs*




Reaping Me Softly:

The Book Depository


Reaping Me Softly:



What format is your book(s) available in (print, e-book, audio book, etc.)?

Print and ebook

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Power of a Drean

If you envision something, you are over halfway to achieving it.  That is the power of a dream.

When we were all a lot younger, as children we imagined all sorts of things.  “When I grow up…”
We were going to be astronauts, explorers, Captains, Doctors, World Class Athletes.  The sky was the limit, and even that didn’t hold us back.  Disney's Lion King illiterates this well.  The lion cub Simba dreams about what it will be like to be king:

Simba's dream was derailed, and our own hopes and dreams get side tracked.  Life has a way of interrupting what we would like to do.  Things didn’t always turn out the way they were supposed to.  Reality comes in.  Very often we settled for something else. We put the dream in a box, mark it "someday" and put it on a safe shelf to collect dust.

However, if there is still something you really, really want to do, it can still happen.

You have to envision what it will look like.  See yourself there.  My writing buddies all want to hold their books in their hands.  I have seen a few of my online writing friends do just that.  Now writing a book is a huge undertaking and most authors fail on their first attempt, but that doesn’t stop them.  They figure out what is stopping them, and find ways around it.

That dream, that vision of holding the book keeps them going.

So, if you are going to dream, dream big.  Think about it.  Daydream about it.  Think of every aspect you can imagine and work it out.

The mind is a powerful tool, and once you’ve set your mind to it, the mind works on ways to make the dream into a reality.

Years ago homes were being built near us.  I love to walk through construction sites.  I like to see homes being built.  I can see how the plan flows, and what the home will look like.  So I asked my wife if she would go look at the homes with me.

She said something that I’ll never forget.  She said, "No."

“Why not?” I asked.

“Because you’ll start dreaming about a new house, and I’m not ready to move yet.”

Wow.  That was a complement.  I loved hearing it.

We did eventually go walking through the buildings, and yes, I did build a home and we did move.  It was a lot of fun.

In fact,  I may start thinking about a new home…

“In today’s market?  No way!”

Ah, that is what stops the dreams.  Those who do not share in your vision.  If the dream takes hold, and you feed it, your mind will find a way around In today‘s market?

Do dust off the old dreams.  Where do you want to be?  What do you need to change?
What will you change?  What are your dreams?  I’d sure like to hear about them.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Dream Catcher - How to Keep Your Dreams Your Own

DreamCatcherYears ago I worked with an American Indian.  She made dream catchers.  I asked what they were.  It is a hoop with stings and beads to make a web.  You hang it by your bed and it catches the bad dreams and lets the good dreams come in.
I liked the idea and I had her make me one.  It has feathers and beads.  Very ornate, very nice.  I liked the idea of catching good dreams and funneling out the bad.

The dreams of the night are nice, but the day dreams where you pick what you want to do, what you want to accomplish are even better.

A few months ago I joined a MLM group.  They were all about dreams.  Talking about joining up with them and working with them you will be able to make those dreams come true.  I bit, and started.  However, as time went by I could see I was sending good money after bad.  Once I was on board, the help I was expecting wasn’t there, the support wasn’t there.
So I opted out.  My point isn’t if the MLM was good or bad, it wasn’t a good fit for me.   I went on line and started the exit work, and a screen popped up and said something to the affect that the dreams I wanted to fulfill would not happen if I left.  Did I want to let go of my dreams?

I cried, “Foul!”  As in the movie Hook, when Hook calls out, “Bad form!”  How dare they use my dreams and the things I shared with them as a leverage point to get me to do something they wanted.  My leaving meant they would be losing money.

Another point I want to make about one of my dreams.  Stay with me here, it looks like I am about to go off on a tangent, but I’ll bring it together, I promise.

As many of you know, I am an aspiring writer.  I spent a lot of time working on my best selling high fantasy novel.  A year or so ago I thought I was ready to publish.  I went looking for an agent.  Well, at least I thought it would be a bestselling high fantasy novel.  I have learned I still have a lot to learn and a lot of work to do on my manuscript before it is ready to be my debut novel, and hopefully a best seller.

I made several mistakes, I wrote alone.  I had close family and friends read my work and tell me how great my writing was.  So I was surprised at all the rejection letters I received.  However, I was (and am) very determined to publish my book.

I ran across a wonderful website Agent Query Connect.  This is a fantastic forum full of knowledgeable writers and other writing industry insiders. Here I learned my mistakes.

180,000 word book is way too long especially for a debut novel.  Next, my book was not a standalone story, I had written over 400,000 words in three books!  No one is going to touch that!

I got educated on this web site.  I’ve learned you need critique partners.  People who are honest about your work, unlike family who think you are the next best seller.  You also need some good beta readers who can pick out plot holes, or grammar errors.

I say that because I want to relate an experience I just had and give a word of caution to the aspiring writers reading this.

Finding an agent/publisher/editor to publish your work is a very tough job.  Once someone agrees to publish your work, there is more effort to go through and several years before you hold your book in your hands.
Another route is self publishing.  It has many advantages, but there are some hidden dangers there.

So a few months ago I saw an online ad about formatting for an e-reader.  I thought that would be great so I clicked on the ad, thinking I was going to get a program that would format my ms into something I could put onto my nook.

I have printed my entire ms and bound them to look just a published book, page numbers, chapters, front and back, etc.  I love seeing what the book would look like.   So I was excited about taking it to the e-book.

However, the ad was for a publishing outfit.  They called and wanted to sign me up to publish my work.  They were persistent and persuasive.  I know my writing isn’t ready for publication.  I am in the process of rewriting my first book to make it a stand alone book.  I am not sure how well that project is going, my critique partners have given me a lot to digest on my first two chapters, and I am writing a new chapter to send to them.  It is slow going.  The publishing company called again wanting me to sign up.  The Representative was so busy selling me my dream about seeing my work in print they were not listening to me explain the technical issues and writing problems my book(s) have.  They just heard trilogy and three books, with another one written!  Lets get it signed up now!

I almost had to get rude on the phone when I said, “My manuscript is not ready for publication.”
Sure, I could send it out.  It will bomb the way it stands now.  I know that, but only because I’ve been working with some very talented people at AQC.  If I had clicked on that link a few years ago I would be a published author, but I would have ruined my reputation before I had a chance to make a positive impact.
This company was set to use my dreams against me.  I want to have a published book, but they wanted it on their timetable, not allowing me to work it on mine.

There is a time to pull the trigger on your dreams, a time to take action.  But let that be on your terms, not someone else’s.  They are your dreams.  Do not let someone else take your dreams hostage and use them to control you.

So I clicked good by to the MLM group.  The parting web pages to get out left a sour taste in my mouth.  “You signed up to fulfill your dreams, if you leave you leave your dreams behind.”

So make your own daydream catcher, and filter out those who would prey upon your dreams for their own gain.

Have you had any experiences where someone tried to hijack your dreams?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Blog Ring of Power Interview With Beth Barany

Today's Guest is Beth Barany.  Welcome Beth to The Write Time, and we are looking forward to your insights on writing and getting published.

Here is Beth's Schedule for the Blog Ring's interviews:

Part 1 - Monday, March 11th @ Sandra Ulbrich Almazon -
Part 2 - Tuesday, March 12th @ Dean C. Rich -
Part 3 - Wednesday, March 13th @ Terri Bruce –
Part 4 - Thursday, March 14th @ T.W. Fendley -
Part 5 - Friday, March 15th @ Emily LaBonte -

The Writing Life
1. What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine? Do you use pen and paper or computer? Work at home or at the library/Starbucks, etc.

I love this question because I’m always curious about other people’s process. My novel writing process has evolved over the years. And how I write and approach fiction is different than how I approach and write nonfiction. With nonfiction, I can more easily jump into a first draft. With fiction, I do a lot of short writings before I get to the actual first draft. My current process of fiction writing is first I get an idea and quickly write it down, usually when I’m on a bus, a train, overseas, at a cafe — you get the picture. I don’t often write these first sparks at home. Then if the idea won’t leave me I continue to write notes as they occur to me. I feel into when it’s time to write an overview of the story, and then move from handwritten notes to the computer. Then I’ll outline more, or write a short synopsis, or sometimes just start writing. By this time I'm committed to the story and make a clear and formal commitment to the story by giving myself a deadline to finish the book, and daily word count goals. Currently, for a paranormal romance novella I’m writing, my goal is 500 words a day 4 days a week. I do 90% of my first drafting into Scivener (a recent addition to my life) at neighborhood cafes. Just to spice it up, and because I’m short on time, I’m also dictating a novel, the third in my YA fantasy The Five Kingdoms series. Lastly, I’ve used NaNoWriMo for the last few years to finish novels, using the frenzied collective focus to get it done.

2. How do you balance writing with other aspects of your life?

With difficulty! LOL Actually, I’ve recently gone through a big Aha around this. I love doing multiple things at once (Gemini! Squirrel!) And, or But! I wasn’t getting the most important aspect of my writing done: the deep editing required to get the book out the door. So, balance for me is really about boundaries. I recently moved things around and most importantly said No! to things so that I could make time to get the editing done. For the first drafts, I make time before my work day (I work for myself!) to get in my 500 words. And, on my 9-minute commute to the cafe I dictate that third book in my YA fantasy series. So, balance is really about scheduling and boundaries!

3. How much time per day do you spend on your writing?

On my writing days, which is 4 to 6 days a week, I spend about 30 minutes to 2 hours. Depends on a lot of things: other comittments, mental focus and stamina, inspiration, the weather.

4. What has been the most surprising reaction to something you’ve written?

Ironically, I’m always surprised at my good reviews, especially the ones that say that the reader stayed up all night to finish my book. I’ve worked so hard to create the story trance, and yet am always surprised that I’ve succeeded! LOL

5. How do you deal with rejection and/or negative reviews?

I’m able to either laugh or be puzzled by negative reviews. This is because by the time I’ve gone through the crucible of editing and intense feedback from my critique partners and beta readers, and released the book (I’m self-published so far) I feel removed from the book and pretty much at peace with it — knowing that it’s the best that I could make it at the time, and the book is what it is — take it or leave it.

Here's how you can get in touch with me and learn more about my books.

Contact Information: Beth Barany, Email:

Facebook page:
Goodreads author page:

Is your book in print, ebook or both? Both!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Beware of the Dream Slayers

I'm back.  I'm back from my self imposed blogging hiatus.  I've worked on my own priorities and found that blogging really is a higher priority for me than I had realized.  So I've dusted of my laptop and made my way back to The Write Time ready to share thoughts and tips once again.  Thanks for waiting.

Did you know you do not need to keep a lid on a bucket of crabs to keep the critters in place? Not one crab will ever get out of a pail full of crabs.  No, not one.

The reason that no crab ever gets out is because if one gets near the top another crab reaches up and pulls it down so it can climb on top and begin to climb out, only to be pulled down by another crab below.

Life can be like a bucket of crabs.  We all have dreams, plans, goals, expectations, and desires.  It seems when someone begins to get ahead someone else comes along and shoots them down.

Lots of reasons, jealousy, greed, envy, just to list a few that come to mind.  Case in point, Jennifer Lawrence and her post Oscar press conference.  Someone asked her if she was peaking too soon.

Someone didn’t like the fact that she is so successful at such a young age.  Other folks reach up and try and pull you down.  They have not achieved their dreams, for what ever reason, so they take pot shots at other people’s dreams.

I know I’ve put my own dreams on a shelf.  My current job demands a lot of my time.  I’ve dreamed of publishing a book.  I’ve learned that my writing has a long way to go and a lot of work is still needed on my manuscript before I dare try and get it published.  Yet, it is still my dream.  I try and spend a little bit of time on that project everyday.  I share this because a lot of people have told me, “Oh, you’ll never be able to publish a book.”  They mean well. (At least I hope they mean well.)

However, good intentioned or not I call these people Dream Slayers.  As a youth I had all sorts of plans and expectations.  As life goes along and more and more responsibilities pile up, and more things demand my attention, my dreams take a back seat.

Then other folks give advice, and room for my dreams get pushed out.  Then there were life’s inevitable set backs.  Trying to come back from those, then the dreams are put on a shelf.  Dust accumulates on the boxes the dreams are stored in, and then cobwebs form.

After time the dreams fade to memories.  The Dream Slayers win and you are left with disappointments and regrets.

Time to fight back.  Be brave and get dreams back.  Do not let the Dream Slayers steal your hopes, your goals.

I failed more spelling tests than I care to admit.  My English grades were not the best.  But I have a passion to tell stories, to share my thoughts.  Writing is the only way I can do that.  I had many people tell me not to bother, but I’ve worked on spelling and grammar.  The stories are finding there way to paper.  Someday….
My dream is alive and well, and the Dream Slayers can just go attack someone else.

How do you keep your dreams alive?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Blog Ring of Power Interview with Kristi Petersen Schoonover

Well Kristi has been on all the power blogs and ends up here at The Write Time.

Kristi Petersen Schoonover's Pushcart-nominated psychological horror novel Bad Apple has been called “deeply disturbing in the best way possible,” by SciFi Saturday Night. Her short fiction has appeared in Carpe Articulum, The Adirondack Review, Barbaric Yawp, The Illuminata, Morpheus Tales, New Witch Magazine, Toasted Cheese, The Smoking Poet, The Battered Suitcase, and a host of others, including several anthologies. She is the recipient of three Norman Mailer Writers Colony Winter Residencies and is an editor for Read Short Fiction ( She lives in the Connecticut woods with her housemate, Charles, three cats--Poe, Mikey, and Kali--and her husband, paranormal investigator and occult specialist Nathan Schoonover of The Ghostman & Demon Hunter Show ( She has a passion for ghost stories, marine life, and Tarot cards and still sleeps with the lights on.

Part 1 - Wednesday, February 27th @ Terri Bruce –
Part 2 - Thursday, February 28th @ T.W. Fendley -
Part 3 - Friday, March 1st @ Emily LaBonte -
Part 4 Monday, March 4th @ Sandra Ulbrich Almazon -

Why did you decide to go with an indie publisher? Did you use/do you have an agent?
Small houses have passion, quality, and the love of fresh stories at the hearts of their business models, and they’re willing to take risks. That’s where I want to be.

What are the most important elements of good writing?
I could go on and on about all the obvious things like solid characterization, grammar and the like—and all of those things are important, but they’re givens. To me, the most important element of good writing is perfected single effect.

What tools are must-haves for writers?
Perseverance, a thirst for improvement, focus, and the willingness to put your writing ahead of everything else in your life.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Yes: thank you for being so loyal!

What are your current / future project(s)?
I don’t talk about anything I’m working on until it’s hammered out in first draft form, because I’ve always believed that as long as it’s unspoken, it maintains its energy so I can finish it. Talking about it seems to almost guarantee I’ll lose interest or I’ll forget what I was trying to do—I compare it to letting the air out of a balloon. I will say, though, that on a personal level, 2013 is the year of less and more—I’m bowing out of many things I was doing, among them Scary Scribes, because I just want to go back to the glory days in which my writing career was only writing and critiquing and not doing all this extraneous stuff for the sake of getting my name out there; all of that is really impeding practicing my craft.

After an unfortunate incident on a Maine apple orchard, precocious teen Scree is left with a father she’s not sure is hers, a never-ending list of chores and her flaky brother’s baby. In a noble move to save the child from an existence like her own, Scree flees to a glitzy resort teeming with young men just ripe for the picking. But even as life with baby becomes all she’d dreamed, Dali-esque visions begin to leach through the gold paint…

Fans of The Haunting of Hill House, The Lovely Bones, and Carrie shouldn't miss Bad Apple--a dark, surreal ride that proves not all things in an orchard are safe to pick.

Please let us know where your readers can stalk you:
Facebook page:
Goodreads author page:
Twitter: @KPSchoonover

What format is your book(s) available in (print, e-book, audio book, etc.)?
Bad Apple is available in all formats, both print and e-book, and is available wherever you purchase your books.