Friday, April 30, 2010

Find Out What a Writing Coach Can Do for You and Your Writing Career!

Suzanne Lieurance is a children's author, full time freelance writer, and the Working Writer's Coach. I'm a member of her Children's Writers' Coaching Club and her Write More, Sell More, Make More Money Than Ever in 2010 Coaching Program.

Membership in these two programs has had a BIG impact on my freelance writing career, so recently I asked Suzanne to answer a few questions about her coaching and this new program. If you're struggling with your own freelance writing career, one of Suzanne's coaching programs might be just the thing to help you take your career to the next level!

Donna: What Made You Decide to Become the Working Writer's Coach?

Suzanne: For many years I was a classroom teacher. I just love to teach and it comes naturally to me to want to help others. I seem to be good at explaining things simply. I guess that's one reason I'm also drawn to writing for children. I love to take complicated subjects and make them simple for children (as well as adults) to understand and appreciate. Anyway, while I love to teach, I didn't love being confined to a classroom all day, every day during the school year. So about 12 years ago, I decided to quit teaching and become a full time freelance writer. After a few years of successful freelancing, people started to ask me for tips and advice for their own freelance writing careers. And that led to me becoming the Working Writer's Coach.

Donna: You have a new comprehensive coaching program for anyone who wants to become a freelance writer. It's called the Write More, Sell More, Make More Money Than Ever in 2010 Coaching Program. I just love it! Can you tell people what this program is all about?

Suzanne: Sure, Donna. As you know, this is a new program that allows me to help more writers while still having time for my own writing each day. After all, I'm still a fulltime freelance writer and children's author myself! And I know what it's like when you're just starting a freelance writing career--or you've been at it for a couple of years without much success. You can feel frustrated and overwhelmed. Plus, it's just SOOOO easy to get distracted and, before you know it, your writing career has been pushed aside. My new ongoing program was designed to help beginning writers learn the basics to get their freelance writing careers started. The program also helps more experienced writers take their careers to the next level.

Donna: Do members get individual coaching through the Write More, Sell More, Make More Money Than Ever in 2010 Coaching Program?

Suzanne: That's a great question, Donna. Much of the coaching through this program is done on a group basis. However, any member is able to get individual coaching any time he/she feels a need for it. For example, many members of this program need individual help getting their major writing/career goals created for the year. I help them do this through a series of individual, personal emails (just to them, not to other members of the group), along with some short audio recordings where I talk to them about their goals, based on the information they've sent me via emails.

Every week, members also have the opportunity to ask me any question they have about writing or the business of writing. They just email their question to me. Over the weekend, I record an audio where I answer all the questions I've received that week. On Monday morning, members of the program have access to the recording in the Audio Center at the Morning Nudge Club, a sort of "online clubhouse" for all members of the program. The Morning Nudge Club also features a Resource Center with all sorts of professional templates, tools, articles, and other resources for writers. And, all members of the program also receive The Morning Nudge, a short email from me every weekday morning, with additional tips and resources to help them with their writing and their writing careers.

Donna: I just love The Morning Nudge and The Morning Nudge Club. But tell people what else you do to help writers in this new Write More, Sell More Coaching Program.

Suzanne: Well, after writers have created their major writing/career goals for the year, I help them learn to get a weekly marketing plan in place. A marketing plan is essential if they expect to earn a substantial income as a freelance writer! I also help them put together the other basics they need to have if they want to be taken seriously as a professional freelance writer--items like a professional resume and bio, publication credits, information for their websites or blogs that will be used to promote their freelance writing, etc.

Donna: This is such a great program. I'm sure people want to find out how to sign up for it. Where do they go?

Suzanne: That's easy. They just go to and click on the enrollment/payment form. Once they complete the form, they'll receive several emails from me with instructions for getting started with the program so they have access to all the resources in The Morning Nudge Club. Plus, they'll start receiving The Morning Nudge right away as well.

Donna: Anything exciting coming up for members of this new coaching program?

Suzanne: Ahh..I'm glad you asked that, Donna. Starting in May, we'll have a LIVE group coaching teleclass every month. Each class will cover some element of freelance writing and the business of writing! Stay tuned!

Donna: Sounds exciting. I can't wait! Thanks, Suzanne!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

April 2010 Releases from Guardian Angel Publishing

Guardian Angel Publishing is thrilled to announce the following April 2010 releases:

ANDY & SPIRIT MEET THE RODEO QUEEN- Academic Wings by Mary Jean Kelso, art by KC Snider.

Andy and Spirit meet the rodeo queen who teaches Andy cowboy skills.

KLUTZY KANTOR-Littlest Angels, by J. Aday Kennedy, art by Jack Foster.

Klutzy Kantor Pegasus tickles the funny bone while teaching the lesson that practice makes perfect.

THE SOGGY TOWN OF HILLTOP-Littlest Angels by Kevin McNamee, artist Eugene Ruble.

This fun, rhyming picture book teaches more than just a new way to drink water.

NANA'S MAGIC TEA BERRIES- Chapbook for Tweens by Marlys A Rold.

Kimberly drinks the extra two cups of tea her brothers reject, and finds herself falling into a totally new adventure in Scotland at Loch Ness.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Reality and Spiritual Worlds Come Together in Connection

Title: Connection

Written by: Jo Ramsey

Paperback: 182 pages

Publisher: Jupiter Gardens Press / January 2010

ISBN: 978-0-9826023-3-1

Price: $12.95

Kindle: $3.96

14-year-old Shanna Bailey’s life never seems to change for the better. Always the target for school bullies, Home is no solace for Shanna’s mother dishes out mental and physical abuse, daily. Shanna’s only escape is found in the pages of her daily writings. Resolved to her unhappy life, Shanna dreads the beginning of high school, until the day she meets Jonah Leighton at high school. The only drawback, Jonah is an outcast himself. Ignoring comments to stay away from Jonah, Shanna finds herself drawn to Jonah and him to her. This shocks Shanna, for she does not feel worthy of anyone’s friendship.

Reluctant at first, what Shanna learns through their new friendship leaves her spellbound. It begins to make sense to Shanna, her writings and her need for “imaginary” friends. Not imaginary at all, but her spiritual guides. This is where reality and spiritual worlds come together for Shanna.

Along with Jonah, they witness bizarre behavior from the resident “mean girl”, Kaylie Sturbridge at their high school. For some bizarre, but not to Jonah. With the trust they have developed Jonah explains to Shanna the dark forces attempting to penetrate Kaylie and how they may help her. Shanna believes him immediately; however will the duo gain Kaylie’s trust in time?

Come along for this fascinating story of finding one’s self and accepting our differences are what make us special.

Visit Jo Ramsey at:

Friday, April 23, 2010

Book Review ~ If You Lived When There Was Slavery in America

I invite you to be transported through time in my book review of
If You Lived When There Was Slavery in America by Anne Kamma at

Thank you for your interest.

Monday, April 19, 2010

2010 Indies Choice Book Awards

The American Booksellers Association recently announced the winners of the 2010 Indies Choice Book Awards, reflecting the spirit of independent bookstores nationwide and the IndieBound movement.

Check out the details at:

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Step into the past through Black History Children Book Reviews

Travel back into time through intriguing black history children books. I invite you on this journey through my weekly book review feature at
Stop by for a spell and leave a comment if you are so inclined on your children book recommendations. I look forward to your visit:

Friday, April 23rd:
If You Lived When There was Slavery in America by Anne Kamma and illustrated by Pamela Johnson

Friday, April 30th:
America's Black Founders ~ Revolutionary Heroes and Early Leaders by Nancy I. Sanders

Friday, May 7th:
Under the Night Quilt by Deborah Hopkinson and illustrated by James E. Ransome

Friday, May 14th:
Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen Levine and Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Friday, May 21st:
D is for Drinking Gourd ~ An African American Alphabet by Nancy I. Sanders and Illustrated by E.B. Lewis

Friday, May 28th:
January's Sparrow by Patricia Polacco

Thank you for your interest.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Celebration Series of Poems iPad Bound

Media Release


Carolyn Howard-Johnson e-mail:


Magdalena Ball e-mail:

For Immediate Release

Celebration Series of Poems iPad Bound

Technology is ever changing. It’s almost impossible to keep up with the latest news, gadgets, and trends, especially when it comes to e-books and reading habits.

Yet the least likely of tech-geeks, authors Carolyn Howard-Johnson and Magdalena Ball, are always keen and to meet their readers’ needs, and when announced its new deal with Apple to produce formats suitable for the iPad and Apple’s new iBookstore, the authors immediately agreed, and jumped into action, pulling together the appropriate formatting for all of their celebration series books and putting them forward for conversion.

The celebration series has been designed specifically to replace the trite, cliché sentiments of greeting cards, at prices that are little more than the cost of a high end card. Many of the books are beautifully illustrated with paintings or photographs, with poetry designed along themes that focus on mothers (She Wore Emerald Then, www.budurlcom/MotherChapbook for the paperback and for the e-book versions), fathers and other men (Imagining the Future, for the paperback and for the e-book versions), and love (Cherished Pulse, for the paperback and for the e-book versions).

More books are in the works, including a Christmas chapbook. Hard copies of all the books are available at Amazon as giftable, low-priced paperbacks, or you can pick them up in whatever format suits, including the iPad, Kindle, Epub (Stanza reader), .pdf, LTF (for Sony reader), and more at, Note: As this date Smashwords doesn’t accept coauthor listings. That these formats are evolving is evident!

So, though two authors are involved, this page lists only Ball who set the page up.

As far as Howard-Johnson and Ball are concerned, whatever format suits their reader suits them. It’s all good.

Magdalena Ball runs the highly respected review site. She is the author of the poetry book Repulsion Thrust, which was published in December 2009 to unanimous 5-star reviews. Her novel Sleep Before Evening, published in 2007, was a Next Generation Indie Book Awards finalist.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson's poetry appears frequently in review journals. She is listed in Poets & Writers and her chapbook of poetry, Tracings ( ), was given the Award of Excellence by the Military Writers Society of America. She is also an award-winning novelist and short story writer and instructor for UCLA Extension Writers' Program.
For more information on any of the chapbooks in this poetry series, contact either of the authors or visit media rooms at or

Support material available electronically or by post on request.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Writing for Children – A Beginner's Workshop by Karen Cioffi

To register for this FREE workshop to be held in the password protected room in our General Forum (link in the navigational area in the conference website

--need to register by giving yourself a username & password, wait for a confirmation that you have been accepted, then you can link into our forum--the password will be issued to all who register a few days before the workshop begins)--send me the following within the body of an email:

your name

your email

place Karen Cioffi on the subject heading email Lea Schizas at: museitupeditor AT yahoo DOT ca


Do you want to write? Do you want to write for children? Have you written a children's story or other fiction story and aren't sure if it's in good enough shape to submit to agents or publishers? Do you know proper punctuation and formatting? Do you know how to show rather than tell?

While this workshop is geared specifically for new children's writers, it offers the basics of writing in general with additional information for the children's writer. Some of what will be included is:

The different genres of children's writing

Point of View (POV) when writing for children

Basic structure, formatting and timeframe (for all genres)

Basic grammar and punctuation (for all genres)

Different methods of writing (for all genres)

Building a three-dimensional character (for all genres)

Showing vs. Telling (for all genres)

Finding age appropriate words

Resources and tools to help you hone your craft (all genres)

This workshop will provide the basics to get you started in the right direction. You will also have the opportunity to get a critique of up to 250 words of your manuscript or article.

Karen Cioffi is a published author, writer-for-hire, freelance writer, and reviewer. She is the founder and manager of VBT Writers on the Move (a group of authors utilizing cross-promotion to increase visibility and readership) and on the team at DKV Writing 4 U ( where you can sign up for her FREE monthly newsletter. You can read more about Karen at:

Handout: Yes (and exercise sheet and an ebook of writing instruction)
Door prize: Two ebooks:

Writing, Publishing, and Marketing – You Can Do It
A Writing ebook (a compilation writing articles - untitled right now)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

GAP Family Blog Believes In Changing the World by Investing In Children One Child at a Time

To engage a child in the wonders of learning about the world through reading is an important routine a parent/guardian needs to instill in their child. By introducing the author and/or illustrator behind the creations of their favorite books it will provide a timeless connection for the child.

Visit the GAP Family Blog often and discover their latest featured interview at:

Encourage your child (or yourself) to leave comments and/or questions for the featured guest and to check back for their response. Be sure to use this terrific opportunity to have your child meet an author or illustrator they may not have the chance to meet in person.

Visit children’s author, Donna McDine on Wednesday, April 7th. She will be checking in throughout the day and evening to field your questions and/or comments.

Thank you in advance for your interest.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Who is the Renowned Author Mama?

Over the last couple of years I have had the wonderful opportunity to host Christina Katz several times. I'm thrilled to welcome back Christina again and she shares with us her latest accomplishment.

Christina will be checking-in throughout the day, so be sure to leave her a comment and/or question. She looks forward to interacting with our visitors!

An Interview with Christina Katz About Author Mama ~ April 2010

Why would you do an e-book after two traditionally published books?

Like most traditionally published authors, who blog, teach and speak, I have a backlog of quality content to draw on and some of it, though not all of it, will lend itself to the e-book format. So I plan to write several e-books over time and Author Mama is the first. I have old sketchbooks full of ideas I’ve had over the years, which will lend themselves well to e-formats. Equal opportunity access to e-publishing technology offers all of us writers a lot more creative leeway than we have traditionally had, which can lead to exciting and fun possibilities.

Besides being in e-book format, how is Author Mama different from Writer Mama and Get Known Before the Book Deal?

Author Mama is the story behind how I landed my book deal for Writer Mama and then wrote the book. I wanted to describe in play-by-play form what writing a non-fiction book is like for the benefit of moms considering the possibility with the lessons I learned along the way. One of my students who is on the verge of querying agents with a nonfiction book proposal says that Author Mama “goes there.” In other words, it deals squarely with the rollercoaster ride that most first-time authors experience. The format of my traditionally published books is not as driven by my personal experience, even though it informs them both. In Author Mama, I include all of the books that I recommend first-time authors read before, during, and after the book deal, so they can become as informed and empowered as possible.

Who are the intended readers for Author Mama?

Well, my two traditionally published books don’t target the same exact audience and neither does Author Mama. When I wrote Author Mama, I had my Writer Mama readers in mind, but of those readers, I was specifically focused on anyone seriously considering writing a book someday. Not every writer mama wants to write a book someday. Some are perfectly happy writing and publishing articles. So Author Mama is a slice (a writing book), of a slice (for moms), of a slice (who are considering becoming an author some day), and therefore too small of an audience for a traditional publisher. But many of my students and fans have this question and would like to answer it for themselves. Author Mama is for them.

Did you have any hesitations about self-publishing?

Considering how much content I have sitting around languishing on my hard drives, I am sorry that it’s taken me this long. The person I had the hardest time convincing was myself. I’ve had some hang-ups about e-books that I’ve had to get over in order to move forward. As long as my work continues to serve the best interests of my readers, why wouldn’t I self-publish? I certainly have a lot more to offer than I would just letting it sit around collecting virtual dust. At this point in time, I feel like it would be foolish not to e-publish, even as I continue to write traditional books.

Are publishers anxious about traditional authors self-publishing? Doesn’t this undermine their business?

I think, when it comes to self-publishing the opportunity always exists to take the enlightened view or the fearful view. I have heard people in publishing make comments that authors self-publishing is terrible news, which is absurd. The fearful attitude is, “Oh no, if that author can self-publish, then we lose.” The enlightened view is that when the people you partner with are more successful it’s good for you too because it raises all boats. Besides, when all the folks involved in a partnership are empowered and come together because they want to be there, that’s good for the relationship. It’s important to have good boundaries and communication in business and know the difference between what’s yours, what’s not yours, and what is joint ownership. When you keep these things in mind, and communicate clearly, there is really nothing to fear but fear itself.

How do you keep people from "stealing" your e-book?

I can’t stop people from stealing my e-book. I am completely powerless over that aspect of e-publishing, as most of us are. However, my target audience is not teenage boys and young men, who are supposedly the folks who do most of the pirating, according to the experts who study these trends. So I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. Also I don’t plan on giving my e-books away to avoid the impression that they are “freebies,” whereas with a traditional book I always do a lot of giveaways to get the content out into circulation. E-books are a lot easier to circulate. I can send one to you in seconds. So at this time, I don’t see the point in giving them away and encouraging others to share them without permission. I’d prefer to sell them to a smaller, more exclusive audience, who will see the value and, hopefully, respect my copyright.

What are three major points you hope aspiring writers learn from reading Author Mama?

That landing a traditional book deal and delivering a well-written book is possible but not easy by any means.

That someone else has survived the rollercoaster of emotions that come part and parcel with a first traditional book deal and you can too.

That some writers actually give up along the way and don’t succeed at delivering their first book but this won’t happen to the writers who read Author Mama because forewarned is forearmed.

Is this book only for nonfiction writers or can fiction writers benefit from it too

Author Mama is specifically about my nonfiction book writing process, which is different from the process for other genres like fiction or memoir. However, a lot of my readers, who write in other genres, have said over the years that they find a lot of takeaways in my nonfiction experience. Also, I fully expect Author Mama to convince a few readers to try writing a nonfiction book, who might have only considered themselves other types of writers or not even writers at all.

Can I order a print copy of Author Mama?

When the book comes out in the final version in May, I will make it available for purchase in print-on-demand format, as well as all the other e-formats. During April, while it’s in beta, Author Mama is available in PDF format, which means you can print it out and put it in a binder yourself, if you prefer a hard copy. I’ve invited the first readers to participate in the process, so I’ve included a feedback form with the e-book but participation is voluntary. However to sweeten the deal, I will provide those who share feedback on the beta version with the final version for free, after it’s updated in PDF form.

How can I order this e-book for someone as a gift?

Sure you can. When you place your order, simply submit their e-mail address in the notes section and I will e-mail the copy to them instead of to you.

Thanks for your questions about Author Mama. If you’d like to learn more, please visit

About Christina Katz, The Author Mama

Christina Katz has been teaching writers to cultivate thriving careers for the past decade. Many of her students start by writing short articles and work hard and long until they eventually succeed in landing traditional book deals. Christina is the author of Get Known Before the Book Deal, Use Your Personal Strengths to Grow an Author Platform and Writer Mama, How to Raise A Writing Career Alongside Your Kids, both from Writer’s Digest Books.

In addition to writing books and articles, Christina publishes a weekly e-zine, The Prosperous Writer, hosts The Northwest Author Series, travels to writing conferences and literary events, and coaches a hundred writers a year. She holds an MFA in writing from Columbia College Chicago and a BA from Dartmouth College. She lives in an idyllic cottage in Wilsonville, Oregon with her husband, daughter and far too many pets.

Keep up with Christina, if you can, at

Monday, April 5, 2010

New Publisher Blasts into Cyberspace

For those of you who have surfed the Internet in the search of starting or expanding your writing career many of you have met Lea Schizas. Her impressive creditials will leave you inspired. She is the creator of the Muse Online Writers Conference and now the creator of MuseItUp Publishing -  

PROFILE of MuseItUp Publishing:

We welcome new and seasoned Canadian and American authors to send us their manuscripts. Our view is that new writers aren't given an opportunity to showcase their talent. Although a submission doesn't guarantee an acceptance, we will offer comments with tips on how to improve your manuscript and invite you
to resubmit. Simultaneous submissions will be accepted provided it is clearly stated in your cover letter that another publisher is considering your work. Our authors do not pay a fee to e-publish their books with us. We provide editing and cover art for all our books, and assign the ISBN number to your work.

We are a small and upcoming royalty paying independent Canadian e-publisher, open to the following genres:
• Romance (no erotica) - everything from: romantic comedy, contemporary romance, fantasy romance, historical romance, paranormal romance, romantic suspense, western romance

• Paranormal - Fantasy - we love vampires, ghosts, witches, werewolves and shape shifters...and dragons

• Mystery - Suspense -Thriller - captivate us with the pacing of your novel.

Hint: we love cozy mysteries

• Young Adult - we're big fans of the Potter & Twilight series but seeking a unique voice for this target group

• Horror & Dark Fiction - scare the living daylights out of us with your settings, dialogue, and characters - not with blood and gore and missing human parts. Use the power of your writer's voice to draw images that will leave readers sitting at the edge of their seats.

We're seeking quality work, not first drafts, ranging from 3,000 words minimum to novel length. Please see our Theme word count below. We are currently NOT seeking: short story collections or anthologies, Poetry, or nonfiction.

We are an e-publishing house with the aim of publishing e-books first and print books to follow an e-book release within a year (only novel length books will be considered for print.) If print is not published within a year of the e-book release, print rights are reverted back to the author and the e-book rights are still maintained until the duration of the contract.


Lea Schizas

Anne Duguid
Antonia Tiranth
Carrie RO
Chris Speakman
Fiona Young Brown
Karen McGrath
Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz

Cover Artists:
Delilah K. Stephans
George Schizas


Thank you for your interest in MuseItUp Publishing -

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Prayer

God our Father,

by raising Christ your Son

you conquered the power of death

and opened for us the way to eternal life.

Let our celebration today raise us up

and renew our lives by the Spirit that is within us.

Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever. Amen.