Wednesday, December 30, 2015

TOP 5 POSTS FOR DECEMBER 2015!

December is one of those interesting months. Folks are busy planning parties, shopping for gifts, and - dare I say it, taking a well-needed rest when they finally get a break.

I wanted to take just a pause today and share with you my top posts for December 2015. I wanted to know, if, during the month of December and all of its busyness, what my readers made time to read.

So here goes!

1. Patricia Kiyono is a well known author, so it's not a surprise that she comes in first. See her author interview here: http://idea-creations.blogspot.com/2015/12/author-interview-patricia-kiyono.html.



2. In second place is Nirit Littaney. An author of children's books, Nirit was excited for this interview - her first one! http://idea-creations.blogspot.com/2015/12/author-interview-nirit-littaney.html.

Nirit Littaney

3. Third is my post announcing my updating of marketing book, Marketing Your Book on a Budget 2016! You can find the post here: http://idea-creations.blogspot.com/2015/12/marketing-your-book-on-budget-2016.html.



4. Fourth place goes to author Julie Carobini! You can find her author interview here: http://idea-creations.blogspot.com/2015/12/author-interview-julie-carobini.html.



5. And finally, in fifth place, enjoy Editing to Death? by yours truly. You can find the post here: http://idea-creations.blogspot.com/2015/12/editing-to-death.html.



HANDS DOWN, author interviews have been the most read. I will continue these in the new year, so if you haven't interviewed with me and would like to, drop me a line at: kathy@ariverofstones.com.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

MARKETING YOUR BOOK ON A BUDGET 2016

It's here a week early!

Get Marketing Your Book on a Budget 2016 in eBook and now paperback format!

Every year I go through this particular book and update everything! That means I let go of links no longer working for me, and add new links for free or low cost places to market your book! Plus, this time around, expect some new information on getting audio reviewers! 

Here't the new cover!



Kindle: Ready today!

Paperback: Is here!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

To all my author friends and fabulous book readers, Merry Christmas!!


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Joy from the Parable series by Yours Truly

Tell me a little about yourself (where you live, who you are, what you look like, what you hope to achieve, etc.)

My name is Joy and I live with my mother. We live anywhere we can find, and sometimes I am able to spend a few nights at a homeless shelter for teens. My father is no longer in the picture, and that's fine with me, though at least with him, we had a place to live. My greatest hope is to find a better life for myself and my mother - even though she has given up all hope and I'm carrying the burden for both of us.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

My spare time is plentiful. Mother and I walk the streets and make infrequent visits to see Virginia and Richard at Just Desserts. I wish for a job, for a way out, but so far, all we really have is each other.

What is your favorite color and why?

I love pink. Actually, I love any color besides black.

What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite?

That's easy. Cupcakes. They make them at Just Desserts and once I've saved up, my mother takes me over there for a special treat. Each cupcake is always served with a glittering ring on top - but the first ring was my favorite. I can't tell you why, you'll just have to read the series. It starts with Conquering Your Goliaths: A Parable of the Five Stones, next you'll want to read The Feast: A Parable of the Ring, and finally, you'll want to get your hands on, The Gift: A Parable of the Key.

What would you say is your biggest quirk?

I keep thinking that my mom's going to change, but I'm not sure if this is a quirk. Perhaps liking cupcakes so much is a quirk, but I think there's something else to liking them that I just haven't figured out yet.

What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why? Share a line in the book where this irk is manifested.

My antagonist is the whole world and not anyone in particular, though my mother comes at a quick second, and my father definitely would if he was still around. Let's see, if it wasn't for my mother being addicted to drugs maybe she'd be able to get a job and then we could rent a place. I'm old enough to work but it's hard to get a job when you're homeless. I have high hopes that one day Virginia or Richard will ask me. I know I can work hard, I just worry what will happen to mother if I go to work. Will she be able to work with me?


Joy peered behind her mother like a small child. But she wasn't a small child. What was the woman doing to her only daughter? Whatever it was, she wouldn't stand for it.
"We have a right to our privacy!" the woman screamed, taking her daughter by the hair and pulling her in front of her.
"I'm so..." Joy began.
"Don't you go apologizing!"
"We're... in... their...house," Joy stammered.
Grace glared at Virginia. "It doesn't matter," she wheezed, letting go of her daughter's hair and taking her daughter by the hand. "I suppose you want us to leave."
Virginia was dumb struck. What could she possibly say to this woman? Do? And then the words came:
"We will not allow drugs in this house! I don't care if it's booze or needles!"
Joy blinked her large green eyes. "I told you, I told you they'd find out!"
Grace scowled. "I told you to be quiet."
Joy laughed. But it was a sickly laugh, almost as if she couldn't believe what her mother had told her to do.

What or who means the most to you in your life? What, if anything, would you do to keep him/her/it in your life?

God means the most to me. Perhaps you don't believe me, but my grandmother always told me to remember who I was, and I know that I'm more than a homeless girl trying to take care of her mother. I have a spirit and I know God is my father. I also love Virginia and Richard. They continue to help me and I'm happy they are in my life.

What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?

I know that I can have a better life. Sure, it's hard now, but I have this feeling that God is leading me along somehow. How else would I have ever met Virginia and Richard?

If you could tell your writer (creator) anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be?

Sometimes I get tired of waiting for my mother to be like she used to be. I get short tempered with her (at least in my mind). I'm tired of taking care of her. I have sometimes thought to just leave her and find my own way, but I just can't do that. If someone is sick do you just leave them at the side of the road because you don't like what they're doing? My mother was good once. Maybe she will be good again.

Ask me any question. I've always wanted to know what a character thinks about writers like myself. I'll answer the question at the end of this interview.

Why do characters have to go through so much bad stuff? Why couldn't you have made things just a little easier on me?

Great question, Joy. You know, life isn't always about what you want, and sometimes it's worse than you could ever imagine, but that's how life is. That's why the stones and what they represent are so important - Listening, Trust, Optimism, Tenacity and Constancy, aren't just fun words to memorize, they are new ways of living and remaining close to God.

This is one thing I know for sure because I created all of my endings; they are always hopeful. You will get through this hard time. You will. And you will just love the ending (and the new beginning) I have given you.
***
Thanks, Joy!
Learn more about Joy and the author,
yours truly,
Kathryn Elizabeth Jones
by clicking on the social media tags on the front page



Tuesday, December 22, 2015

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Amy from A Door Cracked Open

Tell me a little about yourself (where you live, who you are, what you look like, what you hope to achieve, etc). 

I'm Amy, tall and skinny with brown hair tied back usually in a pony tail. I hope to one day be able to make something of myself until I begin a mission God has planned for me.

Get the Book at Amazon!

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love reading and writing. 

What is your favorite color and why? 

My absolute favorite color is blue. It is a calming color for me and peaceful. 

What is your favorite food and why? 

I'm a picky eater, but I love mashed potatoes, peas and gravy. They're easy to eat and the potatoes are filling. 

 What would you say is your biggest quirk? 

I think most people think I'm odd and very shy. 

What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most and why? Share a line in the book where this irk is manifested.

On announcing that she planned to go abroad to work....her father yelled at her: "You're going to pay your way here first. Don't think we've kept you these past weeks for nothing." 
"But I couldn't work with two broken arms."
"You didn't even try." Albert shouted ...
Amy was hurt and annoyed by that! 

What or who means the most to you in your life? What, if anything, would you do to keep him/her/it in your life? 

The most important thing in my life, is to reach my goal and be a better person. I have to keep believing that it's the right thing to do, even if I don't know yet how to achieve that. 

What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit? 

Despite the appearance of being stupid, I'm a real thinker. I don't think this comes across in the book. 

If you could tell your writer (creator) anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be? 

I would ask my writer to put me in a different country altogether, find me some friends and change my family. 

A question for me:


Kathy, how many books have you written so far and who are your readers .... in general? Which genre are they? 

I have written 8 books - not including the ones I've never had published. My readers are primarily women ages 25-85 (and older). Many of my older women readers like my mystery books. I have a few male readers who enjoy my Parable series. Besides mystery books I have published Christian fiction and nonfiction, one middle reader and one marketing book for authors. I update this book every year - things are constantly evolving in the marketing industry, and authors like to have a book that's not only hands-on but current.

***

Learn more about Amy and her creator, Carmina 
Edwards on Facebook:







Monday, December 21, 2015

CHRISTMAS IS ALMOST HERE!

Scrambling to get your Christmas wrapping done?

Need to finish the Christmas baking?

Is company coming this week?

Want to write at least one line this week?

Never fear. Listen to this calming Christmas music and it just may give you an idea or two to write about:



MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Nirit Littaney

    Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?

My name is Nirit. I'm 44 years old. I'm a life coach, a nutritionist and a spiritual mentor. In my mid-twenties I got sick.  For many years I was confined to bed by an incurable illness. I lost my 30's. I was 100% handicapped. I lost basic capabilities of the human body. For years and years I could not sit, stand, walk, talk, I could barely breathe. I suffered a hand and a leg paralysis, blindness in one eye, bladder incontinence, lack of sensation in my body, cognitive problems and so much more when it came to disabilities.

 Nirit Littaney

I was basically a corpse. I was a dead person with a beating heart. There is nothing worse than being trapped in your own body. I got crazy amounts of steroid infusions every few weeks. I was hooked to a monster cocktail of sleeping pills.

At some point I felt I was on the verge of losing my sanity. As far as I was concerned, I had two options. Either to commit suicide or to pull myself out of the hole I was in.
If you are reading these lines, you probably realize that I chose the second option. But that is a story for a different interview.

What leads to the second part of the question…

The years of rehabilitation were unbearable. I had to heal and rebuild myself and my life from scratch. I totally lost my former life. I did not know where to begin.   
I still had many physical limitations. I was not my own person yet. I could not do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. I longed for doing much more than I could. I was frustrated and bored.

One of the things I missed most was using my brain and my cognitive abilities. They were atrophy over my "death years". In my essence I'm a very creative and a full of ideas person.  I wanted to express myself after so many years of silence and destruction. It was time. I wanted to be heard!! I wanted to create.  

I believe that when the student is ready, the teacher arrives. And so came into my life the "teacher" that connected me to the Amazon world and taught me what I needed to know so I could get started. It was a totally new world for me and I had to learn a lot. The idea of writing children's books appealed to me and pulled me in right away. Since I don't have children myself (yet!), that was also a consolation for me, to write to children and to reach out to them. It felt right. I've written 30 stories in no time. I've published 11 of them on Amazon. Almost all of my books were #1 Best Sellers.

The idea of thinking of something (a story) and then to solidify it into a book, was magical to me.

For me, to write children's books is not only a way to express myself and to share my creativity with the world, it is also a major way to be a part of the cycle of life again. To touch children's lives all over the world with my stories, means the world to me. Sometimes I read the reviews to my books and I literally have tears in my eyes…

You are welcome to take a peek at my children books here…


How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

Unlike many other authors, I don't have a writing schedule.
I'm working from home, so I write on and off all day. It's also depends on what other things I need to do each day other than writing. So it changes.
I really to try to balance my writing with everything else going on in my life. This is one of the major lessons I've learned throughout my struggle …

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?

I write everywhere! Whenever I can! Whenever I want! I really don't have a system I'm following. It's more like "free style" with me.

Mostly I write on my computer at home. I can't go around with a lap top since it's too unwieldy for me. I write a lot also on my smart phone! Yes I do! And after, I copy-paste it to my computer. This allows me to write anywhere, anytime. For example, my husband and I went recently on holiday to Berlin. The flights were perfect time for me to write. As I mentioned before, I'm not carrying my lap top with me because of its weight. But my cell phone is always with me and accessible to me. So I just pull it out and put my thoughts in the "notes" section. When I get home I copy what I wrote on my phone, and transfer it to my computer. But still, my major writing is done on my home computer.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

My favorite part about writing is when my thoughts are embroidered shape and all the details are connected and forming a beautiful story. When that happens, and I feel the flow, it's a peak moment for me.

My least favorite part is when I'm stuck. When that happens, I feel helplessness and I'm always breaking my head with "where will my inspiration come from next?"  And it always does … I worry for nothing … But I still don't like it!

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

I'll be referring to my NEW HOT release "Zigi the Alien and the Laughter Journey". 

This fresh and funny book is the third in the "Zigi the Alien" series.

Get the book at Amazon!!
The idea for this series came from the same source all my book idea comes from … life!  This time it was a TV show that inspired me. Someone on that TV show wore a costume of an alien. The Alien character was so cute and friendly. I totally fell in love with this alien on screen. As I watched the show (there were a few episodes) I started thinking "maybe I could write a book about a cute, friendly and harmless alien"… 

On a different TV show I heard the name "Zigi". It caught my attention right away, so I embraced it too. I still didn't know, at that point, what my alien would do. But that was a minor problem hahaha.

And a whole series was born! 

It took me few weeks to write this book. During the editing process I re-wrote major parts of it. That took few more weeks as well. The illustration part took 2-3 months. There are other parts, like preparing a landing page for the free gift for the kids, preparing the free gift itself, and other things ... So all the parts together can take me up to 6 months to produce a children book.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

For me, marketing is the most difficult part of this business. It doesn't matter how awesome the book is, if it will not be market well, it will not sell.

I tried so many things. Some worked better than others. Some didn't work. I tried doing Press Releases for my books. I've learned (the hard way) that PR doesn't bring traffic to digital books. I tried a blog tour. That didn't work for me at all.

There are many free and paid promotion sites that promote books. Most of them will not promote if they are not paid (for guarantied promotion). So it depends on the book and how much money I want to invest in its promotion. But these sites are great (like freebooksy…)

I also do social media promotion. Mainly Facebook. I'm registered to about 300 groups for this purpose. For twitter, pinterest and other social media, I hire sellers from Fiverr or Upwork sites to do the promotion for me.

There are bloggers that review my books and post the review in their blog. That helps too. I don't have a winning promotion formula yet. I'm still looking for one!
Nirit, you may also want to check out my yearly updated marketing book, Marketing Your Book on a Budget. Lot's of FREE advertising ideas!! 

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

Yes, I do have a new book out ! As I mention on question no.4 , The book's title is 
"Zigi the Alien and the Laughter Journey".

It was actually published just last month (November 26th). You can find it here

I'm currently working on a very "big" and special book. "Big" because of the book's concept. It's not a children book. It's my "life work" book. It's a life changing book.

This book reveals my personal story. I bring my knowledge, my experience,  my insights, my tools, I share my credo. I'm pursuing it to help people who want to help themselves HEAL. The book is very different from other therapeutic books out there. What I was missing in self-healing books when I was sick, I will give to YOU in this book, with much love, to the world. I'm working on the book diligently. So now, children's books will be on low heat for a while …

You may want to check out my children's book a "Fairy's Fairy Tale Kingdom" story at: http://amzn.to/1ePkh7t until you see something else new from me.

Get the book at Amazon!
Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

I have many projects on the back burner.

I'm working on the fourth "Zigi the Alien" book. Telling you about it will be a spoiler, so I will just say that it will be another AWESOME Zigi book!!

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

As the Nike's add says : JUST DO IT !
If you want to write, just write. If you want to publish, just publish. Things have a tendency to get along on their own.
What's the worst thing that can happen ??
Even if you do something and fail it, I believe that it is better to regret a chance that was taken than to regret not taking the chance at all.

***
Thank you, Nirit!

Learn more about Nirit and her work:


My Facebook page :

Twitter :







Tuesday, December 15, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Janina Rossiter

Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?

When I was studying at University, the first two years were focused a lot on basic skills, like painting and drawing and I always loved that creative aspect. In my everyday life I work as a graphic designer for packaging design products, so was missing that creative freedom a little in my job. In between switching jobs a few years back, I had some free time during which all I did was painting. My cousin’s wife saw some of my paintings and thought they were really cute and asked if I could do her an illustration with a Penguin riding a buffalo, as she had always wanted one. So I made her one and that was how Tovi was born. After creating that visual I decided to make a story out of it, as ideas were popping into my head and I wanted to make that penguin and buffalo come to life. 



I wrote a few stories but it in the end it took another two years until I decided to publish the first of the Tovi books. Really, it was the birth of my daughter that motivated me to have the books out there in the real word and not just on my 
computer.


Get the Book at Amazon

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

I tend to write in the evenings after a full day of work or sometimes at the weekends, when my daughter is having her nap. I try never to give myself any time pressures, so I won’t publish a book until I think it’s perfect.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?

I write and illustrate at home on my desktop. I do a lot of the illustrations on paper beforehand and then I scan them in and redraw them on the computer.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

I love to be able to put the ideas that are going around in my head onto paper and to create a story out of them that can reach so many people. The only negative aspect of the whole process is that I wish I had more time to dedicate to it, since it takes time to create and to write and as a mum working a full-time job, it can be hard to find a spare minute!

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

My inspiration tends to come from my own experiences, which I can then mould into a fun little story.

For the Christmas themed book, for example, the idea came to me a few years ago when my family and I celebrated Christmas by blending our different traditions. My husband is English and traditionally celebrates on the 25th, whereas my family and I are German and celebrate on Christmas Eve. For me, the tradition has always been to exchange gifts on Christmas Eve, with the 25th and 26th being a holiday when we would visit our extended family. So when we decided to do it the English way (on December 25th), it meant that we enjoyed Christmas Eve simply having a nice dinner and taking more time to just talk to each other without a thought for presents. For most people Christmas has become a commercial event that is often associated with the stress of getting the right gifts, so I wanted to focus on a story that was not about the presents but about spending time with the people you love and having fun together.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

I only work with Bookbub and I’ve been fortunate in that it’s been very successful each time. I do also post a lot on Facebook and Instagram for my followers to see what Tovi is up to and when new books are coming up, etc.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

I am currently working on Tovi’s next adventure: Tovi the Penguin goes away to the Seaside. The inspiration for this book came last summer when my family and I all went off to Britany for our summer holiday. I am very excited about the book and I’m looking forward to publish it and getting it out there for others to read!

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

Not really. As long as I have new ideas I will keep writing the Tovi adventures.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

For me, writing and illustrating means doing what I love, so I would encourage anyone who is thinking about it to give it a try. There is no more satisfying feeling than to see your own creation come to life.

The best piece of advice I could give though is to remember that while starting a project of your own will always mean putting a little of yourself out there, you shouldn’t be scared of doing so as this is also what will inspire you to keep going when it gets tough. One of the biggest lessons I learned has been not to be embarrassed about what I create and to be proud of it no matter what others may think.

Question for me:

What advice would you give a writer? Would you prefer the traditional publishing route or do you also believe in self-publishing?

Great question. I think the answer to the question depends on the writer. I started out in the traditional venue and sent out book requests until my fingers turned blue. When a local publishing house finally accept my work, I was ecstatic, though, as it turned out, I wasn't completely happy with my choice. 

I had very little say on the cover and the price of the book was much higher than I thought it should be. In the end, and a few years later, my brother helped me by purchasing the rights back to my book and I have been on my own ever since.

Self-publishing has been the best choice for me. I have much more control on what I do including book covers, price and more. I have also been able to help other writers, through Idea Creations Press, to get their own dream book in print.


***
Thank you, Janina!

Look for Janina and her books at the following sites:

https://www.facebook.com/ToviThePenguin/

Tovi the Penguin: goes Camping (Volume 1)
by Janina Rossiter

Tovi the Penguin: goes away for Christmas (Volume 2)
by Janina Rossiter

Tovi the Penguin: goes to London (Volume 3)
by Janina Rossiter

Tovi the Penguin: goes into space (Volume 4)
by Janina Rossiter



Monday, December 14, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Julie Carobini

Tell me about yourself. What got you started in writing?

After my son was born, I poured out my angst about motherhood into an essay…and it was funny. That story, Baby, Cordless Phone, and Me, was published by Expecting Magazine (an offshoot of Parenting) – three times (because their readership kept changing ;-). After that, I wrote more essays, and eventually, started writing fiction. I’m now the mother of three (that first kiddo is now 24-yikes!), married to Dan, and we leave near the beach in California. So most of my fiction is set on the coast.



How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

In addition to being a writer, I’m also a freelance editor for a few publishing houses, so writing does have to be squeezed in sometimes. That said, I’m a better writer in the afternoons and evenings. Wish it weren’t true—but it is and I know it. So it’s best to allow myself those times to write (and not waste time trying to in the mornings J)

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?

I use a laptop to write so I’m not stuck in one place. As for my method, I used to be a pantser, but it gave me anxiety not to at least have a plan. So what I do is start as a pantser, and then I stop and figure out where I’m going with the story. Who are these characters? What makes them tick? I’ve used Angela Hunt’s Plot Skeleton very successfully (you can find it online). Basically it’s a plan to come up with the “bare bones” of a story. That way I don’t over-outline and get bored, BUT I don’t end up down too many rabbit trails either. Win-win.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

My favorite part of writing is actually stringing the words together until they sing. But it is difficult to sit so long! Sometimes I get stuck and won’t let myself up until I figure out a solution, but really, that’s counterproductive. I have to push myself to get out of my chair and go for a walk. It’s amazing what fresh air can do. I often come back with the problem solved!

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

Years (and years!) ago, I wrote a few chapters of an inspirational romance which was set in a cabin in the woods. I sent those chapters with a query to a publishing house, and the editor wrote back: "Could you send the rest?"

Of course! I wrote the rest of the chapters and sent them back—and the book was rejected.

Broke my heart, but I wrote another book. That one was rejected, too! Finally I wrote a chick-lit called Chocolate Beach, and that sale led to many other book contracts.

I never forgot about those original characters in the town of Cottage Grove, though. Admittedly, when I dusted off that manuscript, I realized it needed some work. So I called my mom, Elaine, a super-devoted mystery fan, and asked her to brainstorm with me.  The result was The Christmas Thief.


What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

My monthly (sort of) newsletter provides the initial bump in sales. These are loyal readers and they deserve to be the first to know when a book or a discount is coming up, so I always tell them ASAP. I also like to do print book giveaways through Goodreads. I find many new readers there and since GR organizes the whole thing—including providing a widget for me to share on my website–it’s really a win-win. The biggest bump in sales that I ever see, though, is when I place an ad in BookBub, a reader subscription service. Pricey, but for me it’s been worth it.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

I recently released a novella for the holidays. The Christmas Thief is a cozy mystery that readers can curl up with and likely read in one night by a crackling fire. It’s all about one young woman’s dream being turned on its head. Here’s the back cover:

There's a thief in the small town of Cottage Grove, and Tasha's a suspect. Not exactly the dream she'd had in mind when she moved into her rustic fixer-upper cottage. Marc Shepherd wasn't part of her plans either. The Stetson-wearing contractor moved in next door, kicking up dust and threatening to cut down a beloved pine that shaded Tasha and her dog, Wolfy's, cabin. With Christmas around the bend, and a criminal threatening the community's peace, will Tasha solve the puzzle ... before it's too late?

Amanda Flower, USA Today Bestselling Author calls it “A perfect holiday season escape."

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

I’ve been working on a story close to my heart, one that is “inspired” by a true story—my own. Currently the draft is done and my agent is shopping it, so hopefully I’ll be able to announce something on my website soon!

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

I’d tell her/him that it takes more than talent—it takes tenacity. And it also takes skill. Skill can be learned and practiced, but tenacity has to be within a person. If she believes she has a story to tell and can dig up the persistence to go after it, to learn what she needs to learn and to write that story down, that’s all the talent she will need.

People often ask where I find ideas to write about, and I tell them ideas are in life, all around us. My own life, friends’ lives, the news … of course, my favorite thing to do is to find the nugget of truth and start asking “what if?” How about you, Kathryn? Where do YOU find ideas to write about?

A great question. I get them from others mostly, and my husband, primarily. He has a way of sending me ideas just when I need something new to write about. I also get ideas from the news, from television programs, from movies and from reading books.

***

Thanks for joining us Julie!

Learn more about Julie: