Friday, September 28, 2012

Guest Post by April Trent!!!

It is Friday again, and that means is it time for Guest Blog Friday!!  April and I are FB friends!  She is a fellow writer, who one of my former teachers suggest I friend!  I'm very glad that I took his advice!!

Welcome to the blog today April!!

Writing seems easy until you sit down behind a computer—or pull out your notepad—and start working on your next masterpiece.  For some, writing comes rather easily and there’s no doubt in their minds they are the best.  For others, they make it through the first couple of pages then they read over and they wonder if they’ll ever be good enough to publish.  How do you know if you’re good enough?

The answer:  You don’t, and you won’t know until you take the risk and go for it.  There are some individuals who claimed they always knew what they wanted to do for a living and had no doubts.  For years, those individuals had me fooled into believing I was completely lost and doomed to be a failure because I wasn’t sure if I could succeed.  For the longest time, I thought most of the successful people in the world were 100% sure about what they wanted to do and their skills.

Then, I started taking risks.  The first writing risk I took was showing someone a poem I wrote about September 11th.  They asked the English teacher if I could read it out loud for the class and I was so nervous, but the teacher and the class seemed to like it.  My friends wanted to push it further: they wanted it published in the school paper, they wanted it hung up on a wall, and they even tried to convince the principal to let me read it over the intercom.  She said no, but I still remember the mixed feelings of uncertainty about my talents as a writer and pride because people seemed to enjoy it.

My courage grew and in college I went from becoming a poetry writer who dreamed of becoming more to:

  • My first newspaper job as a part-time staff writer and two feature columns.
  • Wrote two plays which were performed on stage in front of regular theater patrons (as well as students and staff).
  • Interviewing Frank X. Walker, the first poet I ever met in high school and we reunited in college.

I thought I was on the road to success, until the economy collapsed.  I lost a lot: an internship at C-SPAN, a first-tier graduate school degree, the chance to live in D.C., etc.  But, the biggest thing I lost was my confidence.  How was I going to become a famous author and media personality in this economy? 

A few months after working at a mediocre marketing job, I was laid off due to company funds.  That’s when I decided to jump back into the world of writing.  I found a website called eHow, which used to be its own freelance writing site before Demand Media bought it, and I started writing.  At first, I said to myself, “Am I making a big mistake?”  But, I kept writing and I ended up publishing articles which eventually earned me $200 a month in residual income.  I earned a second gig at as their Youth Travel Examiner and I ended up making connections in the hostel industry, wrote an interview which was later used for the Overseas Vote Foundation, and I was even offered a free hotel stay at a large chain hotel in exchange for a review (unfortunately, I was too busy to take the offer).

While I was making connections, I was still far from my dreams.  I wanted to work in the media.  I wanted to put my Master’s degree marketing skills to good use.  And, I wanted to write and actually make good money.

That’s when I applied for the closest thing to my dream job:  part-time radio announcer.  My radio experience was limited to one radio class in England and a B.A. in Communication.  Yet, I was more qualified than anyone else, and I lived in the region, so they said you’re hired.  Was I good at it?  Not really, but I took a risk and eventually—with the help of a radio talent coach—I ended up becoming a full-time radio announcer, operations manager, and…copywriter for radio commercials.

I asked my radio coach how he knew he was ready to become a radio announcer or program director.  His reply, “No one told me I was ready.  I just applied for the jobs and they gave them to me.” 

This was an interesting concept to me, so I started asking my other successful friends about their successes.  One friend, a business owner, told me he didn’t know he wanted to own a business.  He knew he wanted to get involved in music, so he started as a composer for movies and realized he needed to become a business in order to continue his career as a film music composer.  Now, he owns a successful business, has composers working for him, and their music can be heard in movies, commercials, and video games.

Another friend of mine, an actor, said he originally wanted to be a dancer.  However, when a teacher told him he would be good at acting, he decided to give it a try.  He wasn’t sure at first, but he stuck with it and has acted in films and television. 

I look back on the writings and other things I’ve done in the past and realized that some risks must be taken if you want to succeed.  You have to put yourself out there if you want to succeed, especially in writing.  Sometimes you’ll succeed and sometimes you’ll fail, but if you go out there and take the risk, then you’ll beat the guy or girl who is staring at the computer screen and wondering when they’ll know they’re good enough.

As for me, I’m not a famous author, but I am writing tons of radio commercials for my station, working as a radio announcer for a great station, doing voice over work, helping a few friends with their marketing plans for their businesses, and I occasionally find some spare time to hang out on Facebook.

Thanks so much April!!  I'm the one who is afraid of taking any risks.  Right now, I'm taking a HUGE one by deciding to publish my first book!!  It's been a long time in coming, and I'm hoping I'm able to reach the goal I've set for myself in finishing next year sometime.  Crossing my fingers I'll be editing it by next summer!! 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Guest Post by Doreen McGettigan

Today I am having Doreen McGettigan on the blog today!!  She is one of my amazing Twitter friends!!

Welcome to the blog Doreen!!

Thank you so much Jess for inviting me over…

Your Published…Now What?

When I was 10-years-old I decided I wanted to be a writer. In my late 20’s I finally got a job writing for my small town newspaper.  Shortly after I got that job I started my first novel. That novel sits in my office, unfinished 25-years later. Life got in the way.

In 1999, my younger brother, David was the victim of a random road rage attack. When the investigation and trial did not go the way they should have gone, I did what I always did when I was angry and frustrated, I wrote. What I wrote became my first book.

Once I knew the book was going to be published I started to dream about the release date, the release party and all of the book signings I would have.

My release date was 11/8/2011. I naively thought that day would be magic. Balloons would fall from the sky, I would have trouble keeping up with review requests and the media would be beating down my door. I couldn’t wait to go into Barnes & Noble, my local book stores and libraries to see my book on the shelf. Unfortunately there were glitches and it was not even available on Amazon. I was devastated. While my publisher dealt with the distribution problems, I turned my attention to marketing.

I suggest if you are writing a book that you pick one person that you think would love your book and write with them in mind. I did not believe the experts when they told me I had to identify my audience, my book was for everyone. I was wrong; you need to zero in on that reader right from the beginning. You also need to prepare a marketing plan and budget as you are writing.

I also suggest you come up with talking points. A 2-sentence pitch, to use as you place your book in potential reader’s hands. Plan your swag, something to put in their hands if they are not ready to purchase just yet. Bookmarkers are perfect for a book store event. I also hand out pens, notebooks and candy bars.
It was a whole month after my release date before I had my first book signing and it was in a local restaurant. A long month later I found myself on a book tour that took me from Philadelphia to Virginia, Florida and Arizona. Standing in a Barnes & Noble, meeting people that were there to by my book, what can I say…it is a dream come true!

I would say the hardest thing for me to do since being published has been finishing my 2nd and 3rd books. Here I would suggest you have your outlines prepared and as much written as you possibly can for your next couple of projects before your release date.

I have learned that after publication you will need Patience, Persistence and Persuasiveness to get attention for your book. Of course clothes are really important too. How is it possible I never even gave a thought to what I would wear…

Doreen has written for several Philadelphia area newspapers, worked in advertising, owned several small businesses, and worked with a victim’s service organization. She and her husband John are empty nesters except for two little terriers and they have 11 grandchildren. Doreen’s second book will be released in 2013.



First let me say how sorry I am for the loss of your brother... I could not imagine losing mine... 

You're advice about what to do after you're published is great! I know I'm going to be looking back at it once my book is published!  It seems so far away, but I know it will get there at some point!!  

You're book looks amazing!  Can't wait to read it!!  Thanks again for visiting the blog today!! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Another Week Started...

It is another Monday, and here I am.. back at work.  The boys have gotten through their first full of week of school, although Dylan is taking a little bit to get back into the swing of things.

I've tried to get writing, but I've been coming down with a head cold for the past few weeks.  I had a sore throat for the past few days, and today my head is getting foggy.  It's only a matter of time before it's full blown.

Also, I'm taking a little break on reading for a little bit.  I read four or five books for the month of August, and it got me burnt out on it.  Don't get me wrong... great books were read, but I was losing sleep reading them.  Now, I'm going to pace out my reviews.  Not have so many due in one month.  I also want to focus on my book.  It's hard to write when I know there is a review due in a couple of days.

There is one book that is out that I'm going to buy today.  I didn't know it came out at the beginning of the month, so I'm going to head on over to Barnes & Noble.  I went there on Friday, but I don't really need a reason to go in there... I love going in there.  It is my version of Heaven...

Also, there is the usual to be done around my house.  I have a mountain of laundry that needs to be done, that I just could not do this weekend.  I just didn't have the energy.  I need a laundry fairy to come and do it for me... plus the folding and putting away.  I would love that!!!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Book Trailer for The Broken Destiny!!!

Alright, here it is!!  The official book trailer for The Broken Destiny!!!

I love it... so much so that I almost posted it two days earlier then I had to!!  Yes, I was that excited to see it!!  Thank you Carlyle for letting me be a part of the reveal!!  
How to contact Carlyle:
Twitter: @CarlyleL

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