Wednesday 24 April 2013

Judy Roth ~ Thoughts on Editing

Hello Anna and thank you so much for having me. I know your guests are primarily authors, but I thought it might be kind of fun to hear a little about how one goes from author to editor and what the day in the life of a freelance editor is like.

Excellent, and welcome. How did you get started writing and editing? 
When my youngest son was five and ready for kindergarten, I came out of the early-years-fog and wondered what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I knew I no longer wanted to pursue my original path as a counselor and social worker but that was about all I knew. I started to think about what I enjoyed doing and what came easily to me in school and the answer was writing. To that end I took every class, joined every writing and critique group, and did my best to hone my craft. Then somewhere along the line a funny thing happened, I started getting favorable feedback on my critiques. Giving that a little thought, I realized as much as I enjoyed writing and creating my own worlds, what I really liked was helping others find their voice. From there I spent a few years interning for publishing houses in and around New York City and offered myself up as a mentor with my local RWA chapter, judged every contest I could find, beta read for anyone asking and in return asked only for a critique of my critique. I learned a lot and continue to. Writers are amazing people.

Interesting the unexpected twists and turns life can take, isn't it! What is your typical day like?
One of the wonderful things about being self-employed, at least for me, is there isn't really a typical day. Having said that, here is what needs to be accomplished each day and roughly how it gets accomplished (or doesn't . I’m up at 5 a.m. and at my desk as soon as coffee is made. While the caffeine does its thing, I go through emails and do my best to respond to everything I can. Then I play a game of solitaire, maybe two. From then on I spend six to eight hours editing and try to devote at least two hours to personal writing projects and a little marketing. At some point in there, exercise takes place every day for at least an hour and a half, errands are run, laundry is washed, and dinner gets made.

I have often joked I owe my some of my success to Freecell! Great you can limit yourself to two games! What is your next project and when will it be released?
My long time critique partner and multi-published author, RC Bonitz and I have joined forces and we are currently working on two projects. One is a romantic suspense which will be released some time in the future (really, we are working on it) but we got sidetracked by a second top secret non-fiction project. We are planning on a fall release.

Sounds interesting! How does your family feel about your writing career? 
Overall supportive. My husband bought me my first official pads of paper and my first laptop. I mean seriously, pad of paper, what’s that? It definitely shows how long I've been writing and there were a lot of years where I had nothing tangible to show for it. For non-writers, that’s a little hard to understand. And I think my journey into editing just baffled them—like, where did she come up with that? But again, they have been supportive, offering invaluable business and technical help. No one has offered to make dinner. LOL

Shame on them! Are you a plotter or a pantser?
As a writer I’m a pantser all the way, but I have tried very hard as an editor to be a little more organized. I have lists I check off to be sure I’m touching on everything, and I try to have the first round be all about the big picture, the second round a real look at consistency, and have each round after that go to the smaller and smaller picture until, voila, we’re done. In reality, however, once a pantser always a pantser, it’s just how my mind works, and I tend to do a little of everything all at the same time.

I'm a pantser too! What genres are you drawn to as a reader?
Before I began editing I might have been able to answer that question. Now I can’t. To me a good story is a good story. I’m a sucker for terrific characters and I’m willing to go back in time, off into the future, dig into a mystery, hang with the vampires, heat it up, or enjoy a lovely fantasy. As long as the world building is seamless, as long as I can see where I am, I’m all there.

Do you have any words of inspiration for aspiring authors? 
I have lots of words of inspiration, but the bottom line is you gotta want it. I am continually inspired by how committed authors are to their craft. How receptive they are to critiques and how willing to learn. As an author, especially in the beginning, I just thought I was a masochist; turns out I’m not alone. So on to the words of inspiration. If you have a story to tell and you are willing to work hard to tell it well, I believe there is a place for it, that it will find a good home. Especially with the evolving market and the option of self-publishing. You can do it.

I agree. Stay positive. Do you belong to a writing organization? 
Writing can be lonely, and worse, insular. I think writing organizations and critique groups are essential. Do not ask your spouse or sibling or best friend to read a draft—ask another writer. How do you find other writers? Well, the local coffee shop is one place to look but a better place might be writing organizations. I belong to RWA and one of the Connecticut chapters, CTRWA. The authors I've met through this group have been invaluable to me as a writer and editor, but more importantly, they are incredibly generous with their time and knowledge and quite frankly just brilliant and fun people.

What are you reading now? 
One of the really cool perks of being an editor is I get to read all day long! I do try to read for fun at night a little, and I am currently enjoying Kristan Higgins’ new book, The Best Man. She writes laugh-out-loud small town contemporary romantic comedies. I have also found a huge appreciation for audiobooks. They are perfect for a walk or run and because the listening is a different experience from the reading it’s a total treat. I’m currently listening to Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey by Alison Weir. It’s an insightful and fun Tudor era historical.

I'll check those out. What happens when you and an author disagree on a suggested change?
That depends on whether I’m working on the ms for a publishing house or I’m working with an author independently. In both cases, I feel like it’s my job to help the author’s voice be heard, and to that end, if we are not seeing eye to eye I try rewording my suggestion to see if I am not being clear. But ultimately, it’s the author’s name on the cover and it’s her story. So to me, there is no agreeing or disagreeing. It’s about getting the story to where the author wants it. The only time I ever have to put my foot down is if a publishing house has a specific guideline.

Thanks for sharing your experiences and thoughts with us, Judy. Where can you be found?
At my desk, but if you aren't in the neighborhood I can be found at my website: Or I can be reached at my email address judy dot b dot roth at gmail dot com.

Thank you so much Anna for having me. This has been fun!

Wednesday 17 April 2013

Welcome Ruth Glick Writing As Rebecca York

It's a treat today to welcome Rebecca York, an author with a wealth of experience to share, both in traditional publishing and indie. Tell me, Rebecca, if you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
I grew up in Washington, DC, and love living outside the city, where I can drive in to the Kennedy Center or to see the cherry blossoms. I’d love to live somewhere warm in the winter because I hate the cold, but it would be difficult to move my three cats to an alternate location.

I sympathize. I’m struggling with what to do with one cat when we go away for long periods. Have you had other careers before becoming a writer?
I was a college student, a graduate student and a mom before starting to write articles for my local paper. I gradually slipped from articles into novels.

Are you a full time writer or do you have a “day job”?
I am a full-time writer, and I always have several projects going in various stages of development. I might be writing a novel and working on a proposal. If I stop and edit a novel, I focus on the editing until I've been all the way through the manuscript.

Do you have other talents? Or is there a talent you don't have that you wish you did?
I wish I could draw better. And I wish I could sing. And I wish I knew Photoshop (but not enough to spend time learning it). I am a great cook. I’m good at gardening and decorating and craft projects.

My eyes glaze over after a while trying to figure out Photoshop. How did you get started writing?
I started my career writing articles for newspapers and magazines. The idea of writing a whole book would have terrified me back then. Some of my early articles were food oriented, and that led to my first cookbook, DON’T TELL ‘EM IT’S GOOD FOR ‘EM, which I wrote with two other authors. (This got me an entrée into the low-fat market, which is a whole other story.)
I was always interested in writing fiction, so I gradually began writing novels while I kept up my nonfiction career. My first novel was a kids' science-fiction story, INVASION OF THE BLUE LIGHTS, which I wrote in a class at my local community college. I read it chapter by chapter to the group, did a ton of editing, and started sending it out on my own. I got four form rejections. Then an editor at Scholastic wrote me a two-page revision letter. I was smart enough to know it was a good letter and took her suggestions, adding more stuff of my own. I sold it to her, then got the contract and knew I didn't have a clue about what to ask for; so I got an agent to negotiate the contract. The book is now available in an electronic version (see ).

My career took another direction when a friend asked me if I wanted to write a romance, I told her I hadn't read any, and she brought me shopping bags full. I loved them because they were an expansion of the romance subplot I’d always looked for in the books I read. And here were whole books where it was the main plot. I started in straight romance and quickly got bored with that. I wanted more action and switched to romantic suspense. My agent sent my first romantic suspense to Harlequin Intimate Moments, and the editor said it had “too much plot.” 
Lucky for me, Dell was looking for women’s fiction that combined romance and suspense. My first romantic-suspense series was THE PEREGRINE CONNECTION for them. Then the Harlequin Intrigue line started. At first, the plots were pretty timid, but when they began taking more mature plots, my agent submitted to them, and they liked my idea for 43 LIGHT STREET, a series centered on a building in downtown Baltimore. If you move in there, someone will come at you with a knife or a gun—but you’ll find a great guy to help save your life. And the two of you will end up happily ever after. After years of writing romantic suspense—usually with paranormal elements—I know that’s where I belong.

How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?
I've written 140 books and novellas. My favorite is usually the book I’m working on at the moment; but right now, I’m still in love with Frank Decorah, the hero of ON EDGE. I will always love Ross Marshall, the hero of my first werewolf book, KILLING MOON. Another personal favorite is DAY OF THE DRAGON—again because I love the hero, Ramsay Gallagher.

Wow! 140! Tell us about your current series. I’m most excited about my Decorah Security series, my entrée into the indie market. It revolves around a detective agency where all the agents have paranormal powers or take on paranormal cases.

I launched the series with a novel, DARK MOON, a novella, CHAINED, and a short story, AMBUSHED. During 2012 I added another novel, DARK POWERS, and a short story, HOT AND DANGEROUS. This year I published ON EDGE—all the while keeping up my “day job,” writing for Harlequin Intrigue, Sourcebooks and Carina Press. I've put several of the above titles together into a DECORAH SECURITY COLLECTION that’s doing really well on Amazon.

Indie publishing is a wild ride with some big advantages and also some disadvantages. Nobody tells you how long to make the book. If you have an idea that will work better for a short story than a novel, you can go write and publish it. And nobody censors you. If your bad guys tend to use the “F” word when they’re angry, they can sling the trash talk with the best of them.

Then there’s the book cover. Over the years, I've been disappointed by so many of the covers my publisher has provided for my books. Now I get to pick the guy, the pose and the background. It’s exactly MY vision of my story, which is more satisfying than you know. And it doesn't matter if romantic suspense is “in” or “out” or if an editor wants paranormal or not. I can do it my way.

What is your least favorite part of writing?
I hate facing a blank page. I try to write as fast as I can so I can go on to the fun part—editing.

What is your typical day like?
I get up and read e-mail, do some social media stuff and read some of the paper. Somewhere along the line, I eat a little breakfast. By eleven, I panic that I haven’t written anything and get started on my current project. My goal is to write ten pages a day. If I try to write more than fifteen, my production for the next day will be very low. If I haven’t written ten pages by 10:00 in the evening, I keep working.

I wish I had your discipline! How does your family feel about your career?
As a dumb little 18-year-old, I was somehow smart enough to find the perfect husband, a guy who’s supported my career since the beginning. Not only that, because I can’t spell and proofread, he does that for me. He loves getting involved in the business of writing and loves going to conferences with me.

What a great guy! How has your experience with self-publishing been?

I love being in charge of my own books, covers and production schedule. I've sold more than twenty-seven thousand indie books, but I’d love to sell more. Part of the key to success in self publishing, I think, is in having a lot of books out. I wish I had the rights back to older traditionally-published books, but that’s not going to happen. That means I've had to produce a lot of new material while still working for traditional publishers. I think that if I were not a very experienced writer, I wouldn't be able to produce the volume of work I’m putting out now.

What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?

Never put out a book that hasn't been professionally edited.

What advice to you have for aspiring writers?
Apply the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair. Work at your writing as many hours a day as you can. Find a good critique group or critique partner because you can’t always evaluate your own golden words. But I emphasize the word “good” here. You need advice you can trust.

Great words of wisdom, Rebecca. Thank you.

Wednesday 10 April 2013

Lois Winston Shares The Wealth

Please help me welcome Lois Winston to my blog today. Here is a brief bio:
   Emma Carlyle is the pen name of award-winning author Lois Winston. As Emma, she writes romance, romantic suspense, and chick lit. Lois also writes in those genres, plus mystery and non-fiction. She currently writes the critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series featuring magazine crafts editor and reluctant amateur sleuth Anastasia Pollack. In addition, Lois is an award-winning crafts and needlework designer and an agent with the Ashley Grayson Literary Agency. She’s also the author of Top Ten Reasons Your Novel is Rejected. Visit Lois at, visit Emma at, and visit Anastasia at the Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers character blog,

You're obviously a multi-talented person, Lois. Did you have other careers before becoming a writer?
   After graduating art school with a degree in graphic design and illustration, I worked as a layout artist for a major department store. When my children were born, I began freelancing as a designer of needlework and craft projects for kit manufacturers, craft and women’s magazine, and craft book publishers, eventually, becoming head designer for a craft manufacturer and editor of their craft book division.
   I didn't begin writing until the mid-90’s. After I sold my first book in 2005, the agency that reps me invited me to join them as an associate agent. I still continue to juggle three careers – that of a published author, an agent, and a designer.

I'm envious. needlework and crafts are not my forte. Do you have other talents? Or is there a talent you don't have that you wish you did?
   I've always loved Broadway theater, especially musicals, and wish I could have been on stage, but as I discovered early on, Broadway isn't interested in singers who can’t sing, dancers who can’t dance, and actors who can’t act. Who knew?

LOL. How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?
   I've traditionally published five novels (Talk Gertie to Me; Love, Lies and a Double Shot of Deception; Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun, Death by Killer Mop Doll, and Revenge of the Crafty Corpse) as well as having been part of one non-fiction anthology (House Unauthorized: Vasculitis, Clinic Duty, and Bad Bedside Manner) and three romance anthologies (Dreams & Desires, Volumes I, II, and III.) I've indie published five novels under my Emma Carlyle pen name (Hooking Mr. Right, Finding Hope, Lost in Manhattan, Someone to Watch Over Me, and Four Uncles and a Wedding.)     
   In addition, I've indie published a mystery novella (Elementary, My Dear Gertie,) one collection of romance short stories (Once Upon a Romance,) a mini-mystery connected to my series (Crewel Intentions,) and a non-fiction book (Top Ten Reasons Your Novel is Rejected) under my own name.
It’s hard to pick a favorite because they’re all my babies, and you shouldn't show favoritism to one child over the others. But since Talk Gertie to Me was my first published novel, it will always have a special place in my heart.

Love your titles! How has your experience with self-publishing been?
   I came a bit late to the self-publishing party, only putting up my first book the end of June. So I haven’t seen the huge numbers that those who began a few years ago have seen. My books are selling but not as well as I had hoped. Every day there are more and more books competing for attention and readers’ dollars. I also don’t write erotica or erotic romance, two of the biggest selling genres in indie publishing.
   I've also found that there are so many free books available that readers don’t have to buy books. Other indie authors complained that they didn't see the huge upsurge in sales right after the holidays this past year that they saw the previous year, even though the sales of tablets soared. With the introduction of the mini iPad, Surface, and Kindle Fire prior to the holidays, expectations were high for better sales than the previous year.
   I believe the plethora of free books seriously impacted ebook sales and will continue to do so as long as authors continue to make their books free. However, I know of authors who write series and have found that going free with the first book in the series has resulted in huge sales of the other books in the series. Since the free book promos work well for them, they’ll continue to do them.

I have to admit that offering Book#1 of my first series free helped sell the other books when I first published. Now I tend to agree with your observations about FREE books flooding the marketplace. What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?
   I think authors need to be aware that self-publishing is not a road to quick riches. Yes, there are some authors who have made gobs of money doing so, but just as most traditionally published authors don’t receive 6 and 7 figure advances and land on the NY Times list, most self-publishing authors don’t make hundreds of thousands of dollars on their books. We hear about the huge successes; they’re written up in newspapers and national magazines. Everyone knows about Amanda Hocking and E.L. James, but they’re the exceptions. Most writers who self-publish will find that they won’t make more than a few hundred dollars a year for their efforts.
   That said, though, you never know what’s going to strike a chord with readers and start receiving buzz. If a writer wants to self-publish, she should do so, hoping for the best but being wise enough to understand the odds are against her.

I agree. It's difficult to know why a certain book "takes off". One of mine, Wild Viking Princess, has handily outsold everything else I have written! What was the deciding factor in self-publishing your books? Did you decide on ebook or print only or both?
   I had the rights back to two of my traditionally published books. Seeing other authors successfully self-publishing their backlists made me realize I should give it a try. I then decided to publish some manuscripts that had never sold for one reason or another, even though most of them had won various awards, including two that were RWA Golden Heart finalists. I decided to take a pen name and publish the unsold manuscripts as Emma Carlyle. I’m still not sure that was the best decision. At the time it seemed to make sense, but Emma Carlyle has no fan base. It’s been difficult to get noticed in the over-saturated indie market. If I had to do it all over again, I probably wouldn't have taken the pen name.

I've wrestled with that too. I'm writing a contemporary novel-a big departure from my medieval series. I can't decide whether or not to publish it under a different pen name. What did you do to promote your work?
   I do guest blogs like this one (Thank you, Anna, for inviting me!) I also have my own blog, Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers ( and two websites ( and I’m on Twitter (@anasleuth) and Pinterest (
   I’m not on Facebook. I've actually vowed to be the last person on the face of the earth not on Facebook. I’ll also occasionally use promo sites; however, most of them require that you have a huge number of reviews on Amazon before they’ll accept you, and I haven’t reached that number yet. In addition, I attend conferences, teach workshops, and do book signings.

Does any of it work? 
   That’s the million dollar question. What ultimately sells books is people talking about them. All the self-promotion in the world won’t help an author if the people who read and like her books don’t tell others about them. Buzz is what makes an author successful.

All self-pubbed books are rumored to be shoddily edited. What do you say to that?
   I've seen plenty of traditionally published books that are shoddily edited. I recently finished reading one such book from a major publisher. I was appalled by all the holes in the plot, clichéd characters, and poor writing quality. There’s a certain percentage of bad editing in both traditional publishing and e-publishing. The difference is, with e-publishing, the burden falls on the author. She needs to make sure her work is perfect before uploading it. That means taking the time and going to the expense of hiring a professional editor to do content, line, and copy edits, not just typing “the end” and uploading to Amazon.

How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?
   Extremely like, especially if they've been mean to me in the past. I've gotten even with a lot of childhood bullies by putting them in print. I own a T-shirt that says, “Careful, or you’ll wind up in my novel,” and I mean it. I’m always careful to change the person’s name at least slightly, though, so I don’t get sued. I’m sure these people would never recognize themselves, but I know who I've based the characters on, and that’s all that matters to me. Revenge is sweet. And cathartic.
   The one exception to this is the mother-in-law in my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries. Anyone who knew my mother-in-law knows that Lucille is based on her. But I don’t have to worry since my mother-in-law is no longer alive.
   Sometimes friends inspire plots. Years ago I had a friend who had recently gotten a divorce and was plunging back into the dating scene. I went with her to Barnes & Noble once day where she proceeded to purchase an armload of books on relationships and dating. This was back when The Rules was a bestseller. That trip to the bookstore is what inspired me to write Hooking Mr. Right.

Love the T-shirt idea! Was your road to publication difficult or a walk in the park?
   It was a ten year journey, uphill all the way. At first I didn't know what I was doing, and the rejection letters reflected that. Very quickly I realized that I needed to learn how to write a publishable novel. So that’s what I did, joining writing organizations, taking workshops, reading books. All that work paid off, and I found an agent. You’d think a sale would be right around the corner at that point, wouldn't you?
   Not so. The writing gods continued to laugh in my face. I still received rejection letters, but they were mostly full of praise for my books. The reasons for rejection often had nothing to do with the writing but more about marketing. Or the editor had recently purchased a book with a similar plot. Or a similar book hadn't done well for the publisher in the past. Several times I was “this” close to a sale that ultimately fell through because the editor left or the line folded or two publishers merged. It was very frustrating.

Give us an elevator pitch for your book.
Hooking Mr. Right

   After writing a doctoral thesis that exposed fraud in the pop-psychology genre, thirty-two year old professor Althea Chandler has to sacrifice her professional integrity to save her family from financial disaster. She secretly becomes best-selling romance guru Dr. Trulee Lovejoy, a self-proclaimed expert on how to catch a man, even though Thea’s a miserable failure when it comes to relationships—especially those with the opposite sex.
   Burned by a failed marriage, Luke Bennett finds himself pursued by Dr. Lovejoy toting women after a gossip columnist dubs him New York’s most eligible bachelor. When he at first mistakes Thea for one of the women out to snare him, sparks fly, but the two soon find themselves battling sparks of a less hostile nature, thanks in part to an alley cat named Cupid.
   Luke believes he’s finally found an honest woman. Unfortunately, Thea is anything but honest. She’s got more secrets than the CIA and a desperate gossip columnist out to expose her. Cupid definitely has his work cut out for him.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us, Lois. Here are the buys links for readers who would like to get to know you better:

Wednesday 3 April 2013

Sharing The Wealth - Sandy Loyd

Welcome, Sandy. Tell us about yourself.  First of all I’d like to thank Anna for inviting me here today. My name is Sandy Loyd. I was born and raised in Salt Lake City, but left after high school to see the world. In my earlier life, before I started writing, I was a sales rep for a major manufacturer and I traveled a great deal. I was able to live and work in some fabulous places in the US, including South Florida. I've met a lot of people and have seen a lot of places, which is a good thing because I now have a million stored memories to draw from for my novels. I currently live in Kentucky and am able to write full time since I've recently become an empty-nester. But I’ll always be a western girl at heart, so I try to get back to the Wasatch Mountains every year to renew my muse. 

How did you get started writing?
I never wanted to be a writer. It seemed like a lot of drudgery. But I’m an avid reader and according to my family, I've always got my head buried in a book. Or did have until I started writing. Now, I’m always on my laptop. What got me writing was that I didn't enjoy the books I was reading. So, I challenged myself. Rather than complain, I decided to do better. Of course, that’s when I realized how extremely talented and gifted writers are. I've worked harder at writing than I ever did selling, and the drudgery just disappeared. I love everything about writing now. Well, almost everything. I hate revising.

You and me both! How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?
To date I've published eight books: four contemporary romances and four romantic mystery/suspense/thrillers. My favorite is my latest release, A Matter of Trust. I love the romance in the story. I love the plot and the characters. It’s a fun book to read and even more fun to write.

How has your experience with self-publishing been?
It has been an awesome experience. I’m filled with energy to do what I love doing. My muse has been lifted up with writing and promoting. I have no time to devote to querying for something I no longer need, thanks to Amazon, Nook, Kobo, iTunes and Smashwords.

I feel the same way.What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?
Do your homework and make sure your book isn't one of those poorly edited stories. There are a million places to go for help if you’re thinking about doing it.

And my experience has been that it is a sharing community with lots of people willing to offer advice and expertise. What was the deciding factor in self-publishing your books?
I was at a conference two years ago that focused on going it alone and I realized that it was a fit for me. But, my books needed much work before I put them out. In the meantime, epubbing exploded and is still exploding. 

Did you decide on ebook or print only or both?
I have both. Createspace with Amazon makes it so easy and relatively inexpensive to do. 

What went into the process? Share your ups and downs and how you went about it. If you used a service, can you share?
The process for self-publishing is extensive. That’s one of the negatives of going it alone. You have to do everything yourself. Fortunately, there are writing loops like,, & They provide a fountain of necessary information such as references for editors, cover designers, and formatters. I belong to several RWA chapters and within those chapters and the above loops I found what I needed. I used KelliAnn Morgan’s Inspire Creative Services for my first three covers and I used Judi Fennel at to format them. I learned how to upload them myself because with eight books and more in the works, having someone do it for you can get expensive, especially when it takes time to recoup the expenses. I use Bulletproofing for my editor, but like most good editors, she’s booked more than a year in advance. I think Judi and KelliAnn are really busy too. Don’t let that stop you. There are others out there just waiting to help and the resources are there to help find them. Once a book is ready to publish, the true work begins because then you have to sell it.

Great advice. All self-pubbed books are rumored to be shoddily edited. What do you say to that?
I say that’s totally misleading and wrong. Too many self-pubbed authors are hitting best sellers lists and the people who put them there don’t buy shoddily-edited books. On the other hand, there are plenty of traditionally pubbed that books are shoddily-edited for sale. Good and bad writing is everywhere. Newspapers are notorious for bad writing. I've recently started reading more self-published authors and I've found many I love and will read anything they write. In the long run, readers decide what they like. Poorly-edited self-pubbed books won’t sell any better than traditionally published works.

What advice can you offer readers of self-pubbed books in making a decision on what to read?
Read the blurbs first. It that interests you, then read the first few pages. A poorly-written book is usually obvious from the first page. What I find interesting is that too many people who don’t like the subject matter or how the author presents the work might consider it poor writing, when in reality it is voice. I haven’t clicked on an eBook yet that didn't let me know in advance whether or not it might be something I’d enjoy.

Do you have critique partners?
Yes. What makes a critique group work is to have a well- rounded group of writers who are at a similar skill level. Other writers can help with all those things that make up bad writing – like plot holes, no character development or a story that doesn't flow. They will also tell you if your characters are likable or not and if their actions and thoughts make sense.

Do you belong to a writing organization?
Yes. Writing organizations are a writer’s salvation and joining one is the best thing any writer can do. I belong to RWA, Louisville Romance Writers, Utah Romance Writers, Kiss of Death, From the Heart Romance Writers and Central Ohio Fiction Writers. I love them all and have met life-long friends. More importantly, I have learned the craft of writing through them. I've taken at least a hundred on-line courses that all RWA chapters offer. I attend my local chapter’s monthly meetings. LRW is a small chapter full of talented people who are willing to share their knowledge. This year LRW can boast of a RITA finalist and a Golden Heart finalist. Conferences (both national and regional) are also a great place to learn about craft and the business of writing. I try to go to at least three conferences every year. If you surround yourself with writers and continue writing, your skill level can’t help but improve.

Where can readers find your books?
I’m available at most online retailers for both eBooks and print copies of my books.

Author page at Amazon –
My website URL is
Links to A Matter of Trust:
Amazon at
Barnes & Noble Nook -
iTunes – 

Thanks for sharing your insights, Sandy. 
It was great to be here. Thanks for having me.
If you leave a comment you have a chance to win an eBook of Sandy's latest - A Matter of Trust.