The Good, the Bad, the Challenges of Publishing

Want to learn more about publishing from the personal experiences of  authors? Tune in Oct. 2nd for a live interview…

“Okay. You just wrote the most beautiful, thought-provoking words in the English language. You feel that you have written the best story you possibly can. Now that your manuscript is complete, you are ready to get published. You send out query letters and get no responses. You seek niche publishers and find no interest. You settle for a quality self-publishing partner and finally get your new book in print and/or in the eBook catalogs. Your family, friends and close acquaintances love your work. You feel personally fulfilled. However, it’s a year later and only a handful of your books have been sold. Here’s the sad truth: most people who write a book will never get it published, half the writers who are published won’t see a second book in print, and most books published by so-called major publishers are never reprinted. What’s more, half the titles in any given bookshop won’t sell a single copy there, and most traditionally published writers won’t earn anything from their book apart from the advance. However, a rare few will ignore all this and succeed, but they’re the lottery winners. Everyone else has to work at it. How to best understand the good, the bad and the challenges of the book publishing business?”  #radiointerview #selfpubproblems

Join us for a live interview where we will be discussing these topics and more. Call in with questions, or interact online.

October 2, 2014, 6pm (AZ Time) – LIVING A RICHER LIFE ~ Life Changing Talk Radio

Or call the Toll Free number (855) 345-4714 to listen if you do not have browser access (You WILL NOT be asked to go on air for a question or comment) The show automatically starts at 9:00 Eastern, 8:00 Central and 6:00 PM Pacific & AZ time. We end at 6:45 PM Pacific & AZ time

Jenene Scott – Publisher, Literary Coach and Author of The Disillusionment of Anahera Daniels

Benjamin Phillips – Author of the YA Science Fiction novel, Eonian

Joann Burkholder – Author of the non-fiction counseling novel, Becoming an Oak of Righteousness

BW4C – Author of Shades of Black and Blue, a story of abuse and healing through poetry

How to Organize and Develop Your Writing Ideas

I was featured as a guest blogger by Editing Addict…

Editing Addict, LLC

 Guest Blog by J. D. Scott

You may have had ideas come to you in a flood, or you may labor over them until they’re fully delivered, but they all have one thing in common: they need to be developed into literature. So let’s go over some techniques to help you make the transition from a great idea into a great piece of writing!


  • Do you have a lot of creative ideas for writing?
  • Have you thought of more than you have time to develop?
  • So what do you do with them all?

~ Write them down: An outline or a paragraph for the more complicated ideas, or a sentence describing the simpler ones, will help you retain your thoughts later.

~ Keep them organized: Index cards, filing cabinet, files on your computer, a binder. If you have multiple categories, you may…

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Pruning is Painful

PruningI was trimming dead leaves from my house plants recently and thinking about how cutting out the unneeded is a crucial part of  writing as well as living a healthy life, although it can be a rather painful process.

The yellow and brown leaves were keeping my Pothos from looking like the vibrant plant it is. I didn’t however, just cut them off so it could look prettier. I also know those dead leaves could be a drain on resources that it needs elsewhere and that if I cut them off a new healthy leaf will grow in its place. When my plant gets too large I remove some of the long tendrils, even though they are healthy. The plant can only support so much life through its roots. Placing the healthy cuttings into water will allow them to grow roots of their own and start a new plant.

This is a very natural part of nature, but in our writing it can be a challenge. Cutting out unnecessary words may not hurt too bad, but how about when it’s a whole chapter, that page and a half that you spent eloquently describing the sunset, or eliminating an entire character? Do you tend to fight the process? I know it doesn’t feel good, but if it slows down the pace and if it is taking away from the “health” of your story, you need to sacrifice it for the overall good. What about that well developed character you spent so much time on, but now he/she suddenly has no point? Maybe if you plant them in their own story they will grow roots? Some things can be transplanted successfully and others don’t make it. It’s sad, I know. But wouldn’t it be much worse to lose the entire book because it is overgrown to the point where it is unreadable?

How do you tell what should go and what should stay? Get the opinions of others if it isn’t clear to you. Other writers and readers can give you an unbiased view, but then you have to decide to trust them and hit that delete button.

While you are doing your gardening, look around your life. Have you lost friendships or relationships to the pruning process? I’m sure it hurt. I know it has in my life. Can you see how maybe they were a drain on you, your resources or maybe you needed to let go so they could grow elsewhere? Trust the process even when you aren’t sure of the outcome. You can only keep you healthy and by doing the trimming you allow space for new growth. You can only support so many relationships, so make them good ones.

How do you tell who should go and who should stay? You aren’t looking for a perfect friend or partner, you’re not perfect and they’re not either. I know this because there is no perfect, but there is healthy relationships. Is there mutual respect? Are you both putting the other person’s thoughts and feelings above your own? Is there room for you to grow together through the storms? Are you a support to one another?

Don’t take this and go chopping at your  life with a machete! If you aren’t clear on what to do, seek counsel. A counselor would be best, however an unbiased take on the situation might be available  from other people in your life.

Happy growing!

Writing Process Blog Tour and How to Join the Bandwagon

How Does a Blog Tour work? 

What is a Blog Tour you ask? I wondered the same thing. I decided that a Blog Tour is tag for grown-up social media junkies. I was honored to be “tagged”in a blog by a writer I admire, and so I could not resist doing the same. I contacted two authors to follow me, H. Squires and Anna Questerly. They agreed to post their blog next Monday “tagging” two to three other authors and answer the same four questions about their writing process that I’m going to address below, and so the Blog Tour continues. Their  profiles and links will be at the end of this blog. Want to join the bandwagon? Contact one of them and introduce yourself. They might include you on their upcoming post!

How the Blog Tour Began for me.

s786516027604984688_p2_i1_w450 Galenewcropped



Last Monday I was featured on the blog of a wonderful author that I have the pleasure of knowing . Let me tell you a little about her.

Gale Leach’s first publication, The Art of Pickleball ,was the winner of the AZ Book Award.  She has also written Bruce and the Road to Courage that was followed by three more children’s books in the award winning series. Currently she is working on a YA Fantasy series called The Rift. Personally, I can’t wait to read it. Gale also has her own publishing company, Two Cats Press, and lives in AZ with her husband, two dogs, and three cats.

You can read more about her and her writing process at:

Ready for me to drop some knowledge?

1. What am I working on now?

I’m currently sprinting toward the finish line of my second book in the Anahera Daniels Series, The Emergence. It’s YA fiction, with a good dose of suspense and a dash of romance just like its predecessor, The Disillusionment. Although it has been a busy year and I am under a crunch to finish, I’m inspired to kick it into high gear by the endearing reviews and pleas for more. How could any writer resist that?

Let me catch you up a bit, without any spoilers. In The Disillusionment, Anahera learns she can travel to the world Posternis, that life as she knew it was painfully different from reality, and that she was being hunted by a Gargoyle Queen she had never met. Her life quickly becomes torn between two worlds as well as her High School crush, Nathan, and Adrian a Posternis native. When the deadly side effects of traveling force her to make a choice, life will never be the same.

In The Emergence, Anahera has fully embraced her gift and new reality, however when her Posternian family never return from an invitation of peace by the Gargoyle Queen on the world of Admeta, someone has to investigate. Anahera  launches a rescue mission, but not before being forced into taking Nathan and Adrian, the two boys that  pull her heart in different directions, along for the ride.

I have loved watching The Emergence unfold, chapter by chapter.  I’m a fan of  fast paced stories with cliffhangers and mystery and that is what I inspire to include in my writing. And most of all, I can’t wait to see how it ends!

I’m also currently writing a four part blog series called  Tips From Your Publisher: 4 Steps from Manuscript to Book. Stay tuned to find out how easy it can be, and some great tips on how to do it the right way, the first time.

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I intentionally wrote my main character, Anahera, to be strong, curious and independent. Although the love triangle between her and Nathan and Adrian is a major plotline, it is far from the sum of who she is. So many YA Fiction novels make  their characters dependant, even co-dependant, on their love interests and I disagree with the message it sends to our youth. We should be telling them, “You do not need him or her to be complete, you are complete.”  Every person has their likes, dislikes, talents and abilities. We are a WHOLE person and any addition to that should compliment what we already have. You’ll be hard pressed to find a book in my genre that doesn’t portray half a person in need of another to complete them. I think it is a missed opportunity to build self esteem, rather than insinuate they are not enough just as they are.

3. Why do I write what I do?

There’s not much of a mystery to this one for me. I worked as a nanny and in childcare for nearly twenty years. I love kids and believe that any time we invest in helping them grow and mature is time well spent. They are creative and fascinating and deserve a second look rather than to be over-looked. Several of my teen characters were inspired by kids that I mentored or have friendships with.  When the little ones I watched became avid readers they pushed me to open up to YA books so that we could have a dialogue about them.  There was no way I would turn down a chance to support such a great habit as reading, so I made my way through the stacks of books they left for me. Several I enjoyed whereas other caused me concern. They fed into a love starved craze that seemed unhealthy and even dangerous at times. It was those books that encouraged me to write the Anahera Daniels Series.

4.  How does my writing process work?

You mean other than ridiculous amounts of coffee and staring at the computer screen for hours on end?

Developing my story starts on paper. I make a rough outline of plot points that I know I want or need to happen. I don’t spend much time on this because I have discovered that they often take on a mind of their own and develop into something better than I had planned. I use it as a vague map that I only check in with if I start to feel a little lost. Then I just start typing. It comes. I watch each scene play out in my head like a movie. I often rewind and replay it again until it works and then describe what I am seeing, smelling, tasting, feeling and hearing on paper.

I guess you could also call me a spurt writer. When I’m not in my office with a cat on my lap (which by the way, serves to hold me down in a chair) I like to camp out at a local coffee shop. The people and movement are inspiring. I turn my headphones down to create a steady background noise and then attempt to attack a chapter. I keep each one around 2,000 words to maintain the pace of my book. I prefer to write each one in a sitting. It’s like riding a wave, and I want to take it all the way into the shore.  It also makes it easier for me to end the chapter with enough tension that the  reader will struggle to put it down. I am proudly guilty of causing reader’s sleep deprivation! Writing a chapter a day, two to three times a week is my normal and preferred process, however I also enjoy writers retreats to a cabin in the woods where I might write a couple chapters a day every day.

Whatever system you use to keep you writing, enjoy it, develop it, but don’t try and conform to someone else’s.

Meet the Upcoming Talent

  H. Squires Headshot

Heather Squires lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, two daughters, and a small zoo of animals she and her family have rescued. Heather’s love for writing began as a child when her family moved from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Phoenix, Arizona. As the new kid in a strange town, she became the target of bullies. Heather withdrew into the pages of her books and the blank pages of her journals. Writing short stories of adventure, heroism, and dark tales, she would envision the obliteration of tormentors and monsters.

 It wasn’t until high school that a teacher noticed Heather’s writing ability through an epitaph assignment. The same teacher encouraged her forward to work on the Utopian Newspaper as an editorialist. After high school, she decided to try novel writing; however, starting a family put that dream on hold. Resuming at a later time, Heather finished her first novel in 2005, but set it aside to write another book. Sharpening her skills, Heather’s second attempt at novel writing was completed in 2009. At the end of 2010, she got an idea for a third project. Then in 2011, Heather took a bold leap of faith and quit her job, in order to invest all her time to writing. The Sphere of Archimedes was published in 2013, as her first published work. Its sequel, The Omphalos of Delphiis anticipated in 2014.

You can check out H. Squires blog on Monday the 14th at:

Anna Questerly lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband, Thom, and their two Border Collies, Bridget and Bandit. When she’s not writing, you can often find her at her

MelPROMO2favorite bookstore, Dog-Eared Pages. Anna considers herself a minstrel. Although she cannot sing, dance, or play an instrument, she does enjoy writing stories.

Anna has wanted to be a writer since the sixth grade, when she first read J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. She dabbled with half-finished novels for many years after that, and never really settled down to seriously write and actually finish a book until recently.

Besides working on her next novel, she teaches writing workshops for young people who want to write. She loves to visit schools to talk about writing, and encourages young people to read more, and to begin their writing career while they are still young.

You can reach Anna through her website, from there, you can follow her on Twitter, friend her on Facebook, subscribe to her blog, or send her an email.

 You can check out Anna Questeryl’s blog on July 14th at:



Tips From Your Publisher: Do you have Analysis Paralysis?

1378858_577260572340905_836800784_nI’m not sure when it happened. It was subtle, slowly creeping into every area of my life. One day I woke up and my world revolved around writers groups, I had taken up residency in coffee shops with comfortable chairs and lots of outlets, and almost every friend I had was an author, editor, or publisher. Needless to say, I spend a lot of time with writers, both socially and professionally and there is a common thread I see in many of them. Analysis Paralysis.

Have you met them? The ones that spend truck loads of money on conferences, attend creative writing classes, they research how to create story plots, and talk about how they wish they had more time to write. None of these things are bad necessarily, however if you are using them to avoid the obvious, sitting down and doing the work, you may have caught this terrible disease as well.

What’s the cure?


Stop waiting to develop talent, because using the talent you have is the best way to make it stronger. Get an accountability partner that will check in with you and ask how many words you got on paper this week. Take new work to share every time you attend your writers group. Go away, get off the grid and have a writers retreat to refresh yourself. Ultimately, remember, your goal is to write…words on  paper….not think about writing. I’m not saying to eliminate time working on your craft. I lead and attend workshops all the time. I am saying find a balance. Use the gift you have. You won’t get  better studying the game from the bench unless you eventually get in there and play!

Disillusionment Book Review by City Sun Times

The Disillusionment was reviewed by Melanie Tighe at the City Sun Times! Take a read. Leaving a rating or comment of your own would be much appreciated.

By Melanie Tighe – Arizona author JD Scott’s The Disillusionment of Anahera Daniels takes teen readers on an adventure into another realm. A domain of the terrifying hive-like Cozen, ruled by a power-mad queen. A land where Anahera discovers those she trusted are not at all who they seemed. Secrets and legends come together and…read more

#bookreview #writerproblems #author #thedisillusionment


Melanie Tighe

Owner of Dog-Eared Pages Used Books in North Phoenix and is a lifelong lover of books. Visit or catch up with her on Twitter@dog_earedpages.

Tips From Your Publisher: Synopsis From Hell


Tips From Your Publisher: If you are  traditional or self publishing then you are familiar with the horrors of a synopsis. With traditional publishing, in order to find an agent, you write a query letter that includes all the excitement of your book with a hook that will bait them to want to read more  in about 200 words. For most of us, this is a daunting task to say the least. There are countless online resources to help you do this, but I found reading successful queries over and over while revising my own did me the most good. If self publishing is what you prefer, don’t think you are getting away without writing a synopsis. The back of your book will need a blurb that captures the essence of your book, includes a hook that will leave then wanting more…all in about 200 words. No matter what road you take the success of your book could depend on your synopsis. Here are a few tips that may apply to your synopsis. #writerproblems #abooksmind #tipsfromyourpublisher
1. It should be in third person, no matter how your book is written.
2. Do not mention more than 3 main characters.
3. Stick to the large plot, leave out details.
4. Don’t give away the end of your book.
5. The first sentence should be strong and draw in the reader.
6. Make sure it is well edited!
7. Get the opinions of others.
8. Mention the main obstacle or issue your character faces.
9. Clue the reader in on the setting/time period.
10. Write it well, it represents the quality of the interior, so show off your skills!

Tips From Your Publisher: Perfection Deception






Tips From Your Publisher: Don’t be so hard on yourself. There is no such thing as perfect, especially with a rough draft. Get it all on paper, the whole dirty mess, and then clean it up after. Polish it to the best of your ability. Let others read it and give you their input. Then send it to an editor and trust them to do their job. If you find things you could have done better after it’s printed and distributed, I suggest you let it go. Learn from your mistakes, set the bar higher and do better next time.

#tipsfromyourpublisher #abooksmind #writerproblems #selfpub


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