Wednesday, May 24, 2017

7 Shots at Targeting Your Dream Publisher

Ruthy here, still talkin' and walkin' Western because I love writing Westerns and cowboys and strong women who can stand their ground in and out of the saddle.



But I didn't start out writing Westerns. I started out with straight romance with a dash of women's fiction on the side... and there were no takers. NONE. And of course my nose got out of joint, I scowled, caused wrinkles, bought more anti-wrinkle cream and tried to figure out where I was going wrong.

Years ago, New York Times bestselling author Karen White told me "Write what you want... and when someone grabs you, specialize in that until you can spread your wings again."

Brilliant advice. Loosely translated it means enjoy what you do... but keep it in front of editors. When you sell... Specialize in THAT.... and once you're solid enough, it's amazing how many doors just might open up. And I owe a huge bundle of thanks to my amazing literary agent Natasha Kern for the boatload of opportunities she's arranged for me!

Vince Mooney once dubbed my work "Romance Realism" years ago. I love that title! But not every publisher is dying for that much realism, and so I targeted a line I loved, one that was open to new authors: Love Inspired from Harlequin.... And in doing so it cost me an agent (Nicholas Sparks' agent had called me after going over my submission, but when she found out I wanted to work with Love Inspired, she told me she was no longer interested because she didn't work with Harlequin)....

That was a weird night in my house, because two weeks later, Love Inspired rejected three different manuscripts. So I'd given up my shot at having Theresa Park as an agent and I got multiple rejections... Right then I was pretty sure I was just plain stupid.

And maybe I was, but I look back and have no regrets. I don't work well with major constraints and while Theresa liked the proposal I sent her, (which would be published later by Franciscan Media as "The First Gift"), I wasn't ready for prime time. I know that now. And it taught me a lesson: Learn all you can about your target publisher and aim high!

1. Read the line.... I can't emphasize this enough, it seems simple, doesn't it?  But you would be amazed (raises hand in guilt) how many writers NEVER read the line they're targeting because they're so sure they're better than the current authors in the stable.



2. Where do they sell their books? Are they on mass market displays across the country or are they limited to Christian retail and B&N and Amazon? What is their price point? Will people BUY YOU at that price point?


3. Does this publisher take wild chances? 

I love my work with Love Inspired, and they know I love working with them.... because I love the simple folk who aren't afraid to embrace Walmart and Kroger and Winn Dixie and Winco and Wegmans, etc.  But Love Inspired isn't going to take wild chances, so if I'm writing something outside the norm, it's not going to sell to them... So I better have another publisher in mind or be prepared to indie publish some things!




4. Does this publisher already have a voice like yours? 


If so, you probably want to look elsewhere. Why would a publisher with a successful Amish author want to be their own competition? Or if they've got a great Western author, why would they be looking for another? They want to compete with OTHER publishers... not themselves. It's important to examine who they've got doing what so you can be the person to fill a niche they might not know they have until you come along! Harlequin and Love Inspired are the exception to this, and it's a very important exception... They publish more books monthly and annually than any other publisher, and they sell a lot of books... and that means they need a strong stable of authors.



5. Scout the Internet for editor interviews from your targeted publisher

Learn about the editors. Not just one... all of them. If they give you a shot, or even ask for a full manuscript, you want to be able to carry on a conversation with them that makes you sound like a normal human being... this is NOT EASY when you are in editor shock. :) But editors are people, too, and what they want is the Next Big Thing.  Entice them with your talent, but it's plain old common sense to have a clue about the person you're submitting to.... and their team!



6. Keep your online presence stellar. 

I'm not kidding about this. I've seen so many Christian authors, male and female, putting really tacky post-election things on facebook and twitter... and I'm here to say that's pretty short-sighted. First, it's not exactly up there with living your faith and "being a light".... and Second.... EDITORS WATCH. MARKETING WATCHES. If you make it difficult for them to sell your work (and insulting 50% of the population for their voting choices in a free society might make it trickier, darlings!!!!) then you've tied their hands and publishers don't like that. If you're aiming straight at indie publishing, this rule might not apply because sometimes you can raise a furor among fans by getting them on your side... but that's a different blog post! If it's a publisher's money you're putting at risk... Don't give them a silly reason to stamp your proposal with the customary "Sorry, this is not right for us at this time...."

This looks fun! Check out the facebook page, a way to connect with great books and authors this summer!
LINK TO SUMMER BOOK CLUB!

7. Submit on a regular basis. Enter contests with your targeted editors/publisher(s) as final round judges and keep working until it's YOU in the winner's circle! Keep trying until it's your work being requested. Keep your name out there, don't get lax, your work ethic and effort will speak well of you. And when asked to Revise and Re-submit, do it. That's an invitation with so much merit and they've put the ball back in your court to see if you are:

A. Cooperative
B. Willing to work
C. Able to compromise
D. Willing to take direction
E. Prompt and focused

This is not the time to whine on facebook that you didn't get the contract, you worked so hard, and you just wish they saw your brilliance... :)

If you need a further reminder of this, go back to #6. Editors and sales teams watch the people they're considering. They know when you change your website, your blog, how often you post on facebook or instagram, how often you tweet and the list goes on. This doesn't mean you need to live on social media... That's a time drain none of us can afford. Not if we're serious about this career... but what you do post should be done to show you as a genuinely nice person. Three Faces of Eve was a GREAT horror show on split personality. For authors on facebook, simple and nice works better. Remember that even if they're not your "friend", your things can be seen and shared by others. Be smart.

And here's an extra tip: Be open to new opportunities when they come your way. Be ready. Like a bench player who gets called into the game when the star shortstop or quarterback goes out on injury... Like John the Baptist proclaimed... Be ready. When Susan Downs from Guideposts messaged that she wanted to talk to me, and offered me a spot on this year's amazingly fun "Mysteries of Martha's Vineyard" author group, I was able to jump on board... and practice something new to me! Be ready and willing. The good Lord might have given you a marvelous talent, but it's only as good as the work you're willing to put in!



Here are questions for you. How are you picking publishers? How are you targeting them? Come on in, grab fresh coffee and a slice of that rhubarb custard pie.... or the lemon bars, right next to it... and let's talk game prep. You're talking with a former soccer coach here, a woman that knows it's the preparation that makes the day... not the day itself!

And today I've got a copy of MY FIRST MYSTERY EVER.... 


to send to one lucky person! (Once my copies come!) Leave a comment inside and I'll toss your name into the bakery box from Candy Lane's Confectionery, one of the popular stop-by places in Vineyard Haven! :)

Multi-published, bestselling author Ruthy Logan Herne loves writing stories folks remember, sweet tales of faith, hope and yes... most of all... love. With over 40 novels and novellas in print, Ruthy is having the time of her life and loves to chat it up with readers and writers from all over the world! Friend her on facebook, give her a shout out on @Twitter or stop by her web page ruthloganherne.com or her blog www.ruthysplace.com




Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Cheap Gadgets for the Writer’s Toolbox

By Debby Giusti

What’s in your toolbox?

I thought it might be fun to talk about the cheap gadgets in my writing toolbox. We all have computers or laptops. Those are costly purchases that are almost a necessity for writers. But what about some of the inexpensive items that make our writing life run more smoothly?

Here are a few of the gadgets you’ll find in my toolbox:

AlphaSmart


The sturdy and durable word processor has 8 files, each of which holds roughly 25 manuscript pages of text. The Alpha’s narrow screen and lack of editing functions keep me moving forward when writing my first draft. Once a file is full, I download the text to my computer. Created for school children, the AlphaSmart is portable, battery powered and seemingly indestructible. If purchased new, the Alpha and the more advanced models--the NEO2 and the upgraded DANA—are expensive, but they can be purchased used at a minimal price online or on eBay. Since many schools are providing laptops or chrome books for their students, I suggest calling your local elementary or middle schools to see if they are phasing out of using AlphaSmarts. If so, you might be able to purchase an Alpha from the school at a reduced cost.



Kitchen Timer

When I’m on deadline, my kitchen timer is my best friend. I grab my AlphaSmart and set my timer for thirty minutes of non-stop typing. The timer’s constant ticking helps to keep me focused and on task. When the timer dings at the end of the thirty minutes, I relax my hands, stand and stretch, gulp some water and give my brain time to regroup before I set the timer again. When the words are flowing, I can fill a 25-page file on my AlphaSmart in six thirty-minute writing bursts. Best of all, the basic kitchen timer sells for under $5.



Multi-plug USB Hub

I’m sure you all use this gadget. I have two of them attached to my laptop. They allow me to keep my external hard drive, my printer, mouse and AlphaSmart cable hooked up and ready for use. The hubs cost less than $10 and can be found at Staples, Walmart or anywhere computer products are sold. 


Desk

For years, I worked on a 4-foot Folding Banquet Table instead of an actual desk. The tables are currently available at Target for a reasonable $31.49. Walmart also carries them. The 4-foot table provides a large enough work space for a computer, research material, paper and pens and other necessities. I stacked plastic crates--a cheap way to store files and books--under the table and had everything within reach that I needed. The table is small enough to fit into most bedrooms or alcove areas. Add a lamp and a surge protector, and you’ll be ready to work in your new office space.
Photo: www.Target.com


Yeti Rambler Tumbler

Writers need to stay hydrated that’s why I keep my Yeti close at hand. The Yeti tumbler is well-insulated, doesn’t sweat and keeps drinks ice cold all day. The tumbler can also be used for hot beverages and maintains the temperature of any drink for hours.  Order your Yeti online for $29.99 or find them at your favorite outdoors store.  

  

2 ½ inch Three-Ring Binder

When time permits, I print a hard copy of my manuscript, punch holes in the pages and insert them into a binder. The 2 ½ inch size works perfectly for my 55,000 word Love Inspired Suspense stories. I read my draft and make corrections on the page without fear of losing the initial text in case I decide later to include the deleted material. To make additions to the manuscript, I write on the blank backside of the previous page. When I’m ready to insert the changes into my computer file, I start on the last page in my binder and work forward so my hard copy pages sync with the computer pages. Binders sell for under $5.



WordWeb Pro

This online dictionary and thesaurus is better than cheap, it’s free for download at http://wordweb.info/. With a couple of key strokes, I can check spelling, word definitions and find synonyms and antonyms.



Ergonomic Keyboard

Laptop keyboards are not user friendly. Last year, I bought an external ergonomic keyboard that’s far easier to use and places my hands in a better position when I type. It also allows me to raise my laptop onto a box, thus elevating the screen almost to eye level. I use a Logitech keyboard that sells for $44, although cheaper models are also available.



Pillows

Pillows? That’s right. I have an old desk chair so I “pad” the seat with a pillow and use a Forever Comfy Combination Cushion to support my back. I sometimes add a lumbar roll for extra support. I purchased the Comfy Cushion for $11.99 at Ross. The lumbar roll was equally as inexpensive.




Briefcase

For conferences, I use a rolling briefcase. My first one was a Solo Rolling Briefcase that I bought at Ross for about $30. It came in handy during an RWA conference when I was staying at the “other” hotel, which meant lots of walking. As you can imagine, the wheels were a lifesaver and allowed me to cart my Goodie Room giveaways, conference program, handouts, notebooks and paperbacks without pain or strain. Walmart carries a Protégé 16 inch Rolling Briefcase for $27.00 and Amazon features AmazonBasics Rolling Laptop for $38.99.


Folding Cart

Another back saver is a Mobile Folding Cart from Office Depot that’s perfect for hauling books and promo items. I use mine when attending reader luncheons or signings. The plastic bin is large enough to haul a couple of cases of books, promo items and a giveaway author basket. When not in use, the cart folds up and has an easy carrying handle. The cart I have currently sells at Office Depot for $24.99.



What are your favorite writing tools? Leave a comment to be entered in two drawings. Each winner will receive a copy of AMISH REFUGE, the first book in my Amish Protectors series. The winners will also receive a two-in-one that features my story, PLAIN DANGER, as well as THE SHEPHERD’S BRIDE, by Patricia Davids. An added gift for each winner is one of my favorite writing tools, a Kitchen Timer!


Happy writing!
Wishing you abundant blessings,
Debby Giusti

AMISH REFUGE
By Debby Giusti

HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT
Miriam Miller barely escapes the ruthless attacker that killed her mother and kidnapped her sister. Running deeper into the woods, she’s running out of hope…until she falls into the arms of an unlikely bodyguard—a peaceful Amish farmer. Something about Abram Zook inspires her trust, but even in bucolic Willkommen, Georgia, Miriam faces danger. Both from the men pursuing her and from her growing feelings for the caring—though guarded— widower who protects her. Because if she falls for Abram she’ll have to embrace his Amish faith as her own—or lose him. With each minute, her abductor creeps closer, pushing Miriam to an inevitable choice: stay and risk her heart…or leave and risk her life.

Order HERE.









Monday, May 22, 2017

Whipping Writer’s Whiplash

with guest Susanne Dietze.

This past year has been an exciting one, with eight contracts due in a fourteen-month spread. Eight is great, but the projects often overlapped, which resulted in something I’ve named Writer’s Whiplash.

Do you know what I mean? Think of writing each individual story as cruising down a unique story highway (you can also call it a “story universe” but we’re sticking with the automotive metaphor, so bear with me). Today, you’re traversing the road for your current project. You’re driving at a comfortable speed. The scenery is familiar; you’re traveling with character companions you know well; you know where you’ve been and where you’re headed.

Then—cue the squealing breaks! 

You receive edits for a story you already turned in, and they’re due in seven days! Or you get a call that an editor wants a revise & resubmit on a proposed project, pronto! Or, as happened to me once, in one week you get edits for one story, galleys for another, a request for possible cover art ideas, while a deadline looms. 

In these situations, when time is of the essence, we do not have the luxury of staying the course on Story Highway #1 and reaching the destination before turning our cars onto Story Highway #2. We must change course immediately. Kick the characters out of the car, promise to pick them up later, and do a 180 onto Story Highway #2, burning rubber as we go.

But oh—I feel dizzy. When I have to slam on the brakes and turn immediately onto a new story highway, the car goes one way, but my brain is still going another direction. That’s when it hits. I go blank. I wonder where I am, who I’m with, and where I’m supposed to go. 

This is Writer’s Whiplash. 

It’s jarring, confusing, and maybe even panic-inducing. Maybe you’re one of those writers who has no problem with this, and I confess, the degree to which I experience Writer’s Whiplash has varied by situation. Sometimes it’s a minor pain in the neck. Sometimes I need a neck brace and a blankie.

But we’re valiant authors! We persevere, and Writer’s Whiplash is sometimes part of the business. Here are a few ways I handled my Whiplash:

Pull Over



The moment Writer’s Whiplash starts, stop what you’re doing. Pull off your Story Highway and take a pit stop. How?

I suggest a physical and a mental break. The amount of time your pit stop takes can depend on how soon a deadline looms, but if you have a full day between projects, take it. If you’ve only got five minutes, take it. Use the time by:


  • Getting up and doing something unrelated to writing (laundry, exercise, starting dinner, etc) to help your brain shift gears.
  •  Praying for wisdom and direction. God gave you these stories! Ask Him to help you write what He’d have you write!



Use a Map



I am a broken record when I come on Seekerville: organization was key for me when it came to managing multiple deadlines. I couldn’t have done it if I didn’t have ready-made tools on hand to use as a map to remind me where I was going.


  • First, I leave myself a trail of breadcrumbs on Story Highway #1, so I know how to find my way back. I do this by jotting notes in my manuscript (in all caps, marked with asterisks) that tell me what should come next in the plot, what’s the mood, etc. Then I get out my premade map for Story Highway #2 so I know where to go.

  • What is this map, you might ask? It’s my notes on the plot, which I did in advance. This doesn’t need to be finely detailed. A synopsis is fine for some people, but I need more. Before I start a story, I use an excel spreadsheet to block out the basics of the plot. I use a column for each chapter, headed with a note of what needs to happen at that particular point of the story (point of no return, black moment, etc.). Another option I’ve used is typing up rough paragraphs of what will happen in each chapter. Either way, I print them out and then I write notes all over them as I write, because things do change and evolve, but I still have the skeleton in place.

  • Don’t forget your characters. They should ride along with you in the car, but you may need to become reacquainted with them, so I make notes on them, too. Some authors like a sheet that describes each character—looks, personality, etc. Include horses, dogs, etc.—Writer’s Whiplash can erase them from your memory! When I was working on eight stories, that meant not only eight heroes and heroines, but their pets, horses, parents, siblings, kids, etc., all with distinct personalities and traits. If I hadn’t organized them, I might well have confused a few of them.


Use Landmarks



When we’re driving, we know to look for certain things to help us know where we are. The same is true in writing, and I’ve found that engaging the senses when I’m on a Story Highway can help me when I need to get back on that particular road. Some of these landmarks are:


  • Visuals. I’m a visual person, so I make a Pinterest board for each of my stories. I use photos of scenery, houses, dogs, horses, gowns, and characters so I can return to them later for reference. 

  • Sound. Some people don’t write to music, and not all who do can write to anything with lyrics. Find what works for you: sound or silence, but if you write to music, here’s an idea. Choose a “soundtrack” unique to each story. I don’t mean using a particular movie soundtrack, per se, but one of your own making that evokes the mood, feelings, and sense of place you need for each Story Highway. I had particular albums that I listened to for each Story Highway I traveled. That way, when I played one album on my phone, it would instantly make me think of the Story Highway I paired it with. 

  • Scent. Smell is the fastest sensory trigger to memory. It can take us back to a place and time we haven’t thought about in years. Try assigning a scent to each story freeway (think of it as a car air freshener!). This can be a scented candle, the aroma of a coffee blend, the lavender blooming right outside your window, or maybe something else. When you were in the groove on one story freeway, tangerines were in season—now the smell of tangerine can take you right back.


Writer’s Whiplash may be unavoidable at times, but it’s manageable—and it’s also proof that we are blessed to have multiple projects and opportunities. 

I’ve found organization to help, but do you have any tips to help me cope with Writer’s Whiplash in the future? I’d love to hear what you do!
Leave a comment today and you could win a copy of My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho: Rebecca’s Plight. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.




My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho: Rebecca’s Plight


Journey now to Ruby City, Idaho of 1866 where...

A Marriage Mishap Creates an Awkward Love Triangle in this Silver Mining Town

Looking forward to a quiet life and a full stomach, mail-order bride Rebecca Rice is pleased to marry her shopkeeper intended, Mr. Fordham, until the justice of the peace calls him Thaddeus, not Theodore—proceeded by the title Deputy.

Is it possible to marry the wrong man?


When the newlyweds realize they’ve married the wrong partners with similar names, an annulment seems in order—and fast, since Rebecca’s true intended is impatient to claim her as his own, not to mention Rebecca would never marry a lawman like her father. But when the legalities take longer than expected, Rebecca wonders if Tad wasn’t the right husband for her all along. . . .


Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she's the award-winning author of a dozen new and upcoming historical romances. A pastor's wife and mom of two, she loves fancy-schmancy tea parties, the beach, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos. You can visit her on her website, www.susannedietze.com, and sign up for her newsletter for an occasional cheery hello: http://eepurl.com/bieza5


Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Weekend Edition













If you are not familiar with our giveaway rules, take a minute to read them here. It keeps us all happy! All winners should send their name, address, and phone number to claim prizes. Send to Seekers@Seekerville.net

Ruth Logan Herne's Sack-O'-Stuff Talk Like a Cowboy Weekend Edition Winners are Josee Telfer for the Writers' Sack and Jana Vanderslice for the Reader's Sack! 


Monday: Janet Dean's winner of a $10 Amazon gift card is Kav.

Tuesday: Melissa Jagears threw down the gauntlet with her post,"5 Ways to Maximize Your Writing Time." Tracey Hagwood is the winner of a print copy of A Love So True!

Wednesday: Sandra Leesmith talked about her ride-along with the Yavapai County Sheriff. Winner of the surprise package of Seekerville books is Kathryn Barker.


Thursday:  Laurie Tomlinson was our special guest with her post, “A Primer on Branding for Authors." Winners of With No Reservations- a print copy goes to Cynthia Herron,  and two winner's choice ebook or print recipients are Josee Telfer and JenBCo.












Monday: Susanne Dietze is back in Seekerville. On the heels of a very busy year, she brings us "Whipping Writer's Whiplash." Stop by to chat. Leave a comment for your chance to win My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho: Rebecca's Plight.

Tuesday: Debby Giusti's blog post features "Cheap Gadgets for your Writing Toolbox!" Stop by and leave a comment about your own writing tools, especially those under $50! Two winners will be chosen to receive surprise gifts, including one of Debby's favorite items from her toolbox and a copy of Amish Refuge.

Wednesday: Got a dream publisher? Got goals? Dreams? Aspirations? Come by today for Ruthy Logan Herne's "7 Ways To Target Your Dream Publisher."She's got a sack o' stuff for one lucky commenter, and a treasure trove of free advice! 

Thursday: Melanie Dickerson is our special guest with her post, "How to Take Your Career from Whine to Shine." Stop by and you could win a copy of The Noble Servant!

Friday: Today we bring you The Best of the Archives. Comments are closed to allow us all to catch up on our reading and writing.   


Congratulations to Janet Dean (The Bounty Hunter's Redemption) and Tina Radcliffe (Rocky Mountain Reunion), finalists for the prestigious Holt Medallion Award.

2017 Holt Medallion Finalists.









Drop Tina Radcliffe a line if you want to participate. We'll share submission tips and questions.













And big congratulations to Ruth Logan Herne! Her Western series is still locking up two spots on the Evangelical Christian Publishers Fiction Bestseller List, and Ruthy is thrilled to share this joy with her friends in Seekerville! Huge thanks to Waterbrook Press/Penguin/Random House for their daring marketing to put Ruthy's series out in mass market paperback format. We're thrilled to see our girl on the list again! 











Debby Giusti signs her latest Love Inspired Suspense and the first book in her Amish Protectors series, AMISH REFUGE, at Books-A-Million, The Avenues, Peachtree City, GA 30269, from 3:30 PM - 6:30 PM on Tuesday, May 30. Proceeds benefit Pregnancy Aid Clinic.












Social Media Only Works If You are Providing Value (BookEnds Literary) 

Amazon Charts, Amazon’s new bestseller list, ranks titles by ‘most read’ and more (TechCrunch)

Harlequin Closing Five Lines (PW)

Amazon's New Policy Change, From Play It Again Sports to Read It Again Books (The Write Conversation)



9 Reasons a Book Was Rejected for a BookBub Featured Deal (BookBub)

5 Ways to Survive Rejection as a Writer (Janice Hardy)

Knowing When to Walk Away From a Publishing Deal (WITS)

A Cheat's Guide to Writing A Synopsis (Writers Helping Writers)

Thanks for the link love!




Leave a comment today if you have not read these Holt Medallion finaling books and let us know you want one. We'll be giving away ecopies! Winners announced in the next Weekend Edition!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Best of the Archives: Are You Right Where You're Supposed to Be?



Memorial Day marks the official opening of Unpublished Island for the season. As we speak, hammocks are being hung, beaches are being combed and the huts are being aired. This post is from May 3, 2011, and is a reminder that we all started on the island. 

(Comments are closed today so we can all catch up with our writing and reading.)

Today we're going to give you a pre-opening day, behind the scenes tour. ONE DAY ONLY! 



Today's post comes to you from the shores of Unpubbed Island. For those of you unfamiliar with this terrific island, it's the place the Seekers started.

We're proud of our humble, and sandy beginnings.

Pull up a hammock, because whether you're unpublished, newly published or multi-published, there are still nuggets of sandy wisdom to be gleaned here on Unpubbed Island.


A few things to consider:


1. Where you are is a wonderful location. 

Don't let today slip through your fingers because all you can think about is tomorrow. Become totally committed to savoring each minute of your presence in this day and this place on your writing journey.

Once you leave today behind, it's gone forever.


2. Whose yardstick are you measuring with?

Living with 12 talented women isn't easy, and the hard part isn't sharing the single shower. The real challenge is living day after day with 12 TALENTED women. Anyone can cheer a friend when they are face down in the sand. But the true test comes when YOU are face down in the sand and they're wearing a hand woven crown of banana leaves on their head. Can you cheer for them from your heart? Sure. Once you stop measuring your success by someone else's yardstick.

The yardstick in your back pocket is uniquely yours. It's the only one that matters.



3. Get the sand out of your ears. 

The downside of today's communication modalities (texting, email, Twitter, Facebook) is that it encourages self-centered communication. What you have to say becomes the most important part of the communication. In your next real conversation I encourage you to listen. Hear the subtle nuances of inflection and tone. Pause before you respond. Fight the urge to interrupt, because truly, how can you respond until you hear? And how can you grow unless you hear?

If you don't take time to listen, how can your fictional characters?


4. Reaching tomorrow's dream begins by living it today

Planning is only a very small part of reaching your dreams. If you want to be a published novelist, live today like a published novelist. It doesn't get any plainer than that.

Take action today.

5. It's absolutely true that quitters never win and winners never quit

Resist the urge to constantly evaluate how far you have to go, instead, turn around and look how far you've come. Listen to that still small voice that says don't ever, ever give up.


6. Faith is not optional.

 Sure it's a walk in the dark, but faith goes hand in hand with expectation. Not just ordinary expectation but confident and joyful expectation.


Okay class dismissed. Help yourself to the giant fruit bowl of mangoes, peaches, pineapple, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and of course toasted coconut wedges.


For the Unpublished Island Newbies:

Please review the following posts then head to the Spa for your free massage. We'll then meet you at the Coconut Shack for our afternoon mixer and Newbie OrientationMap of the island can be found here.














So what do you think? Are you right where you're supposed to be?



This post was brought to you by Tina Radcliffe, who is as we speak searching for a full-length bathing suit for the opening day of Unpublished Island.