Tag Archives: how-to

Paying market for articles about writing


Moira Allen, the editor of Writing-World.com is seeking quality how-to articles on the craft or business of writing. Between 1,000-2,000 words. Pays $.05/word. Be sure to read her guidelines carefully HERE:


10 Questions for Christy Strauch, “Passion, Plan, Profit”


Author interview with Christy Strauch

1. Tell us about your latest book.

My latest book (as compared to the first two I wrote which are still, blessedly, in my desk, never to see the light of day), is a business plan book for right-brained creative people who want to make money and have a prosperous business doing the work they love; but are afraid of the “business side” of business.

2. How did you get started as a writer?

I have been writing on and off since I was twelve. I finally caught fire when I joined the Phoenix chapter of Romance Writers of America ten years ago (I was an avid romance reader at the time). Surrounded by people who actually finished and published books (whatever you think about romances and their writers, you can’t argue with the fact that they are prolific); I learned that the key to a completed book is the formula Ass+Chair (attributed to the film director Oliver Stone).

I wrote two novels (see the answer to number one above about where they ended up); then realized I wanted to write non-fiction. Specifically I wanted to share my experiences in my own businesses, and help other people succeed. I took what I learned about perseverance from my romance writer buddies and finished the business plan book, and am halfway through the next one: The “I Hate to Market” Book.

3. What does a typical day look like for you?

Writing isn’t my only day job. I am also a business coach and workshop leader. The ideas for my books come from clients, so even though I love writing, I don’t think I’ll ever stop coaching and teaching to write full time.

4. Describe your desk/workspace.

I wage a weekly war with paper on my desk. Sometimes I win, sometimes not. I signal to myself when it is time to write by perching a painted wooden crab at the top of my laptop screen. This helps me ignore the paper if it won this week’s battle, and reminds me that I am now in writing time.

5. Favorite books (especially for writers)

I love Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott; Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg, and The Artist Way by Julia Cameron.

The Artist Way created the foundation for my writing; it taught me to think of myself as creative. Natalie Goldberg’s book is full of low-risk, no-judgment exercises that got me started writing regularly. Annie Lamott’s book helps me remember that all I have to write next is what’s in front of me; I don’t have to knock out War and Peace by 5pm today. I strongly recommend these books to anyone who wants to write (and to writers who might occasionally get stuck).

6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you

I got (because I asked for) a ukulele for Christmas in 2008, and am teaching myself to play it. I used to own a computer company, and I have big, lovely feet.

7. Favorite quote

Besides the “Ass plus chair” quote attributed to Oliver Stone, I also like this one from Anne Lamott:

“For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”

8. Best and worst part of being a writer

The best thing is about writing is the creating of something (a story, a how-to book like mine, a memoir, a poem or any other piece of writing) that didn’t exist before the writer wrote it. Writing is just like painting or dance or singing or even building construction; writers create something that didn’t exist before they put it on paper.

The worst part about writing is that the creation process is a bit mysterious and somewhat uncontrollable. My wooden crab and I show up to write regularly (that’s the part I can control), but there’s no guarantee that we’ll actually create anything worth reading. I show up to serve what needs to be written through me, and try not to get too freaked out if occasionally I can’t write anything, or I don’t like what I’m writing.

9. Advice for other writers

I have two pieces of advice. First; treat your writing as sacred. Give it regular time; don’t relegate it to the bottom of your to do list so that you only do it when absolutely everything else is done. It’s like exercise. If you only get out and walk or do your run once every other week, it never gets easier. Exercising and writing are most enjoyable when you make time for them almost every day.

The second piece of advice: give your unconscious mind time to work. My books explain (sometimes complex) concepts to my readers; many times when I start the first draft, I can’t figure out how to explain clearly what I want to say. So I go for a walk, read something that pertains to the work I’m doing, call someone, or work on something else for a few minutes. My unconscious almost always works out the problem on its own while I’m letting it alone to think.

I try to treat my writing gently. It’s a paradox: I have to be ruthless in setting aside time to write, and I have to be kind to myself as I’m doing it.

10. Tell us a story about your writing experience.

I really (really really) want my book to change the lives of people who are struggling to create prosperous businesses doing the work they love.

Right before the book was actually printed, I realized that I was terrified about it being published. What if it didn’t help people? What if they didn’t do the work in the book? What if it was a big failure? Part of me wanted to change my mind and not go through with publishing it.

At the same time I was struggling through my writerly angst, the printer was sending my publisher the proof of the book, and we absolutely couldn’t get a clean copy. It took six rounds of proofs to finally get one free of errors (free of at least the errors we knew about).

Two of my author friends, Sam Beasley and Suzanne Lorenz, who wrote a brilliant book called Wealth and Well-Being, talked me off the ledge. Theirs is also a workbook, and they’d already come to the realization that they couldn’t force people to do the work in their book either. They told me that I’d done my job; I’d written the book. I couldn’t control what happened to it after that.

My publisher got the clean proof the day after my friends helped me let go of worrying about the outcome of the book. It was as if my fear was participating with the printer in continuing to produce proofs with errors. Once I stopped worrying, we got the clean proof and published the book.

Where can people buy your book?

My book is for sale on Amazon. If you type “Passion Plan Profit” into the search box on the Amazon site, my book comes right up.

Christy Strauch is the author of Passion, Plan, Profit: 12 Simple Steps to Convert Your Passion into a Solid Business. In addition she is president of Clarity To Business and has worked with over 300 small business owners, from artists to real estate agents, helping them do what they are passionate about – and make a profit. Her book is available at Amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/Passion-Plan-Profit-Simple-Business/dp/0984055703

10 QUESTIONS FOR…Darlene Dennis, “Host or Hostage?”


Author interview with Darlene Dennis

About Darlene: (Retired English teacher, consultant with Houghton Mifflin text book division, compulsive cook, hostess, rose gardener, aqua exerciser, traveler and mah jongg player)

1. Tell us about your latest book.

In the world of “how to” books, there has been a curious void on the subject of entertaining and managing house guest visits.  Here is a book that fills that vacuum. “Host or Hostage? A Guide for Surviving House Guests” defines the idiosyncratic world of entertaining house guests from beginning to end.  It is the first practical hands-on guide dealing with the nitty gritty of how to invite or avoid house guests, how to make them comfortable and how to manage their timely departure.

2. How did you get started as a writer?

I entertained a bottom of the barrel house guest from hell and decided there were no books that dealt with this particular subject.  I started interviewing people anywhere and everywhere about their house guest experiences and learned that there are people with hellish house guest stories around the world.

3. Describe your usual day.

I begin the day at 6:30, take coffee and the newspaper to my husband in bed, feed and walk the dog and then work out at the YMCA from 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM.  I write or market sporadically.  As an attention deficit person, I jump from task to task in a cycle that keeps me entertained, the house more or less in shape and our social life buzzing.

4. Describe your workspace.

I have a beautiful large office with two desks.  The bay window looks out on the mountains east of us in Encinitas.  Both desks, the round black marble table and the book case are usually a mess of papers.  I’m always in trouble for not being neat.

5. Favorite books

Ooooh!  As an English teacher, this is a tough question.  I especially love Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Lord of the Flies, The Odyssey, To Kill A Mockingbird, Silas Marner, Lorna Doone, All Quiet on The Western Front, Treasure Island, The Prince and the Pauper and everything by Pat Conroy.

6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you

I’m a compulsive cook, baker, hostess, rose gardener and book collector.  I can walk into a thrift shop and decorate my house with amazing antique furniture and paintings, as well as fill my closets with upscale clothes, including furs; my jewelry box is filled with gold and diamonds from thrift shops.  Acknowledging people and talking to everyone I meet is one of my techniques for educating myself.

7. Favorite quote

“Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone.”

8. Best and worst part of being a writer

I most enjoy interviewing people to access anecdotal material for my book.  I also enjoy finding appealing vocabulary in everything I read that I can use in another context in my writing. The worst part is being unsure of my own writing style and not knowing whether or not others would enjoy what I have written.  It took the kiss of approval from Joyce Wadler and her editor at The New York Times to lift my confidence.

9. Advice for other writers

Decide on your theme and your audience.  Put your nose to the grindstone and write.  Then find a great editor.  Beware of some self-publishing houses.  Do not give any money to the snake oil hucksters who offer to make you rich if you pay them a lot of money to show you how to access media attention or become a famous speaker. There are no road maps to publicity and publishing success.

10. Tell us a story about your writing experience.

My story is one of, what I suspect, is destiny.  In my fury after entertaining Boorish Bob, I told everyone I was writing a book; never mind that the only thing I knew about writing was to explain the process to high school students and give them writing assignments..  I set about interviewing everyone everywhere.  I would conduct interviews at dinner parties (those discussions were hilarious),  the person sitting next to me at the doctor’s office, the dental hygienist while she cleaned my teeth, the person next to me in the aqua exercise class, the nurse who checked my breasts for cancer (She gave me a great story) and people who traveled with us abroad.   I simply couldn’t stop this obsession with writing about overstepping house guests who seemed to harbor a sense of entitlement.

After boring /irritating everyone for two and a half years, Dianne Kernell, whose locker is across from mine at the gym, said, “Darlene, bring me two of your chapters.”  Now Dianne’s husband is a top of the top academic author.  She is a professional editor and also edits for Sam.  With much trepidation, I gave her three chapters.  She came back to me and said, “I didn’t know what I was going to do if I didn’t like this, but here’s what you need to do . . .”

I was in my late sixties at the time and I decided that I didn’t have enough time left on the planet to wait for an agent to accept my manuscript and then wait for a publishing house to buy it.  I hauled out my “Little Red Hen” archetype and decided to do it myself.  It took one expensive wrong turn with a self-publishing house that I quickly learned was out to pick my pocket.  Dianne discovered that their business manager was one of three attorneys that had been disbarred in Minnesota the year before.  I threatened them with the Attorney Generals office in order to have my money returned.  Then, scrolling the internet, I found the perfect person/company to do the publishing.  Brett Burner of Lamp Post is honest, talented and inexpensive.  The result is a professional product that appeals to a broad range of people.

The point of this story is that everything including Boorish Bob, the clod who overstepped my household boundaries, fell into place, assuring that this book would be written and published.  In less than a year, five journalists, including Joyce Wadler of the New York Times have either used my book as a muse for an article or reviewed it.  I have also been interviewed by three radio personalities including Patt Morrison of NPR and then a television interview at KATU Portland.

I compare writing and publishing “Host or Hostage? A Guide for Surviving House Guests” to a three year pregnancy.  I dream that my baby will grow up to influence hosts and hostesses to establish boundaries so they are better able to enjoy entertaining  without stress.

Where can people buy your book?

Host or Hostage? A Guide for Surviving House Guests is available at www.hostorhostage.com. Soft cover $14.99; Hard cover $25.99.

It is also available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com and other internet sites.

This book is the perfect closing gift for Real estate companies.  House guests have a tendency to arrive at a new residence before the furniture is arranged.

2 Amazon spike days today! Win free stuff!


BOOK #1bookbybook

Book By Book; The Complete Guide to Creating Mother-Daughter Book Clubs By Cindy Hudson


Buy Cindy’s book k on Tuesday, September 15th and e-mail the receipt to cindy@cindyhudson.com within 24-hours and you’ll get a chance to win a copy of one of six book she’s giving away. Plus, everyone who orders will receive 10 tried-and-true recipes that are not in the book.


All you have to do is:


1. Order the book


2. Email a copy of your receipt within 24 hours to cindy@cindyhudson.com


She’ll send you the recipes and enter you into a drawing to win one of six books:


    * Jane in Bloom by Deb Lytton

    * Brooklyn Bridge by Karen Hesse

    * The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

    * The Hearts of Horses by Molly Gloss

    * Books to Check Out for Kids: A Journal

      * Books to Check Out: A Journal


Buy it HERE on Amazon!



BOOK #2: Thirsty by Kristin Bair O’Keeffe (a novel)thirsty


Purchase Kristin’s book on Tuesday, September 15th and e-mail the receipt to kristin@kristinbairokeeffe.com within 24 hours.


You’ll have a chance to win some pretty cool prizes (from China!).


* 5 people will win beautiful bookmarkers handmade by a designer in Shanghai.


* 1 person will win a free review of a 10-15 page fiction manuscript along with a 30-minute phone consult. (This review will be scheduled for mid to late November after I’ve returned to China from the U.S.)


Buy it HERE on Amazon!

10 QUESTIONS FOR…Brad Berkowitz, author of “The 21st Century Guide to Bachelorhood”


Author interview with Brad BerkowitzBrad Book PhotoBook Cover

1. Tell us about your latest book.

My book, The 21st Century Guide to Bachelorhood: Lessons Learned Over 20 Years is a funny, but poignant look at dating from a guy’s point of view. The book is a practical, sometimes hilarious, guide to being a single guy and describes why guys do the things they do. The book will show guys the best places to find women, how to prepare for a date, the common pitfalls of a relationship and the things to avoid in relationships.

2. How did you get started as a writer?

I have had many interesting and funny dates in my life. Friends told me that it would make for a funny book so one day, I sat down, and started to put my thoughts together. I decided not to make it a book about my dates, but about the things I have learned along the years.

3. What does a typical day look like for you?

I used to be a Wall Street analyst/trader, but left the business in September 2008 thinking the economy was going south and along with it, the stock market. I had been working on Wall Street for 22 years and wanted a change. I had been working on 3 different books along the past ten years, but just never had time to finish them. As a goal, I have decided to finish all three this year. The first was published in February and my publicist begins work on it on Monday. The second is a book about the life of 3-time world champion boxer Iran Barkley. The third is a science fiction book.

I have also been working as the Director of Business Development for a sports marketing company.

4. Describe your workspace.

I work from my apartment at my desk in the corner. I have everything I need here.

5. Favorite books (especially for writers)

I have always enjoyed Stephen King books.

6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you

a) I used to co-host a sports television show in Manhattan for fun for six years. I have met many interesting athletes and have some funny stories about them.

b) I drove a car in then VP George Bush’s motorcade when he was running for President. It was a great experience, even though I didn’t vote for him, driving along the streets of Manhattan with all the people watching.

c) I went shark cage diving a couple of years ago for Great White Sharks

7. Favorite quote

“No one’s gonna really be free till nerd persecution ends”

8. Best and worst part of being a writer

Best: I am my own boss. I work when I want to. Worst: Lack of personal interaction. Getting into the proper mindset to write.

9. Advice for other writers

Learn about how to get a publisher. Do as much research as possible. Write an outline before you write the book.

10. Tell us a story about your writing experience. 

I saw a guy on the subway reading my book and laughing. I asked him if he liked it and he said the book was very funny. When I told him I wrote it, he didn’t believe me since I have a stock photo on the cover.

Where can people buy your book?

My book is currently available on line at Amazon.com and BN.com. The reviews have been very positive. My author website is: http://136084.myauthorsite.com/

10 QUESTIONS FOR…Praveen Puri, author of “Stock Trading Riches”


Author interview with Praveen PuriStock Trading Riches CoverPraveen Puri

Growing up in the Chicago area, Praveen Puri was interested in both the humanities/writing and math/science.  This continued into college, where he majored in computer science, while getting a minor in history.

After college, he neglected the writer inside, and focused on his career as a programmer.  As the years went by, Praveen started to get restless and started to explore a variety of subjects.  He rediscovered his love of writing, while developing a passion for business, trading, simplicity, minimalism, and Eastern philosophy.

While on the surface this might appear to be a very eclectic mix of subjects, Praveen feels that the key principles that underline all his interests are simplicity and minimalism.  Programming, trading, and writing are the disciplines he uses to express these qualities.

Today, Praveen writes and trades part time, while working full time as a vice president at a major bank.  He has written Stock Trading Riches, as well as two Sudoku books.  Praveen lives in the Chicago area with his wife (Rasika), son (Anshul), and 2 cockatiels (Mickey and Donnie).

1. Tell us about your latest book.

Stock Trading Riches teaches my trading system, which I am very passionate and proud of.  It reflects principles from Taoism, jazz improvisation, simplicity, and minimalism.  It allows anyone, no matter what their level of financial experience, to take charge of their investments.  Not only does it make me money, but it feels like a form of meditation.

2. How did you get started as a writer?

I enjoyed writing in school, especially in junior high school and high school.  I especially enjoyed writing essays in history class.  I also loved computers, and I feel that programming is a marriage of writing and math/logic.

3. What does a typical day look like for you?

I wake up and work 9-6 for a major bank.  I rarely go to the office downtown – instead I work from my home/office.  After work, I spend the evening with my wife and son.  After they go to bed, I write for a few hours before turning in.

4. Describe your desk/workspace.

It’s a large desk with my Dell laptop and a speaker phone.  Behind me, I have a hutch and shelves.  My Macbook and printer are there.

5. Favorite books (especially for writers)

“How to Sell Your Book on Amazon” by Brent Sampson, Peter Shankman’s PR book, and any book by Joe Vitale.

6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you

I’ve been to both a summer and winter Olympics, and to an NBA Finals game.  I once saw Tony Bennett perform at the re-opening of a major Chicago area mall.  I later saw him at an art store, and he was signing autographs.  He asked me how to spell my name, and I was nervous, blanked out, and gave him my driver’s license!  He looked at me a little weirdly, and copied my name off my driver’s license.  I lived my whole life (42 years) in the Chicago area – which seems strange when most people around me seem to have lived in many different places.

7. Favorite quote

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” by Leonardo da Vinci

8. Best and worst part of being a writer

Best: The feeling I get while reading a sentence that I have reworked and crafted to my satisfaction.

Worst: When I re-read something that I have previously written and then feel like rewriting a sentence or paragraph.  This then leads to wanting to rewrite something else, and so on… With writing, programs, and trading systems, you have to learn to accept them at a certain point, resist the urge to tinker, and move on.

9. Advice for other writers

Just write! Fight writer’s block by writing the middle of your story first.  Then, go back and craft/polish your work by adding the beginning and end.  On my blog “Tao of Simplicity”, I also have articles on Hemingway’s tips for minimalist writing.  This includes using action words and vigorous English.

10. Tell us a story about your writing experience. 

After Stock Trading Riches was published, I re-read it, and kept seeing things I wanted to rewrite!  As I said above, you have to discipline yourself to reach a feeling of satisfaction with your work, and just learn to accept it as is – without anymore tinkering.  So I actually destroyed the original Word version of the book!  I only kept the PDF version.  So, if I really want to “rewrite” it, I would have to write a whole new book.

Where can people buy the book and learn more about you?

My book is available at Amazon.com and Target.com

My Book’s Website: http://www.stocktradingriches.com

My “Simple Trading System” Blog: http://simple-trading-system.blogspot.com/

My “Tao of Simplicity” Blog: http://tao-simple.blogspot.com/

10 QUESTIONS FOR…Lisa Jander, author of “Dater’s Ed”


Author interview with Lisa JanderCoverSmallLisaTreeSmall

Lisa Jander is the author of “Dater’s Ed: The Instruction Manual for Parents” a Certified Life Coach, public speaker, and former director of a dating service in California. As the mother of two teens and surrogate to hundreds more, ‘Mama J’ shares her unique relationship insights with her readers in this, her first book, “Dater’s Ed.” She and her husband Owen live in Lake Orion, Michigan. Oops, with their children.

Lisa is 14-years old trapped in and old person’s body. She plays a cello named Sophia, wields a mean sledgehammer, and has more friends than dirty dishes. After a profound midlife awakening, Lisa decided to wrestle her dream to the floor and make it behave.

Lisa doesn’t know anything about cars, including her own.

1. Tell us about your latest book.

Teens pass Driver’s Ed, why not Dater’s Ed?

I was sitting at the kitchen table filling out my son’s Driver’s Ed log and he leaned over my shoulder and said, “I can’t wait until I have my license and I can date!” After my wheels stopped spinning I realized I was completely unprepared for my two teens to travel down that road. They were both accelerating toward the dating highway without a permit and headed for a concrete wall of a dating disaster.

I interviewed parents and teens and the findings were grim. Pregnancies, drugs, alcohol, betrayal, depression, failing grades….all wrapped up in a truckload of broken hearts. I had to do something radically different.

For the next few days, I skimmed through the Driver’s Ed manual and changed the word “driver” to the word “dater” and this great analogy popped off the pages. I thought about how different my dating years would have been if I had had a manual for dating – something that could steer me away from all the dating collisions I had as a teen.

So, I went to work and wrote my own manual to use for helping my kids date defensively, navigate safely and steer clear of unhealthy relationships. The book is called “Dater’s Ed” and all the analogies are of cars and driving. “Dater’s Ed” is to dating what Driver’s Ed is to driving. Together we define Boundary Lines, talk about Dating Under the Influence and even determine who is just a Salesman and who is part of their Pit Crew.

Now, I use 25 years of public speaking experience, my life coach certification and four years as the director of a dating service in California to help other parents prepare for and navigate through the teen dating years. I speak at libraries, schools, churches and youth coalitions to help change the direction and the speed at which these students travel down the road to relationships.

Now that my own kids are on their way, I am dedicated to bringing a fresh perspective to parents and students of all ages.

Buckle up…It’s the Law of Attraction!

2. How did you get started as a writer?

My book was born out of necessity. I had 59,632 words to say to my teens about dating and they wouldn’t sit still long enough to listen – so I wrote a book.

3. What does a typical day look like for you?

Scary! I am a “creative random” which means I can’t follow a straight line and I like to “decorate” what ever path I do chose for the day with my own personal color. I tackle whatever comes up in that moment because at my age – I won’t remember it otherwise. Whether a crisis or opportunity – everything gets top priority. Life is always an adventure!

4. Describe your desk/workspace.

Controlled chaos – piles of creative collections, hundreds of index cards that I use to jot ideas on and use like puzzle pieces on my dining room table to see how my thoughts are developing. All my ideas need to remain in a fluid state or the y become stagnant.

5. Favorite books (especially for writers)

Oswald Chambers – My Utmost for His Highest, Anne of Green Gables, Secret Life of Bees. I found I acted defeated when I read books on publishing or writing – they make me feel inept. (Except, of course, Wendy Burt-Thomas’s  “The Writer’s Digest Guide to Query Letters”)

6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you.

I learned to play cello at 47 with no musical background whatsoever.  After college, I was a ski-bum in Vail Colorado. Last weekend, I rode in a kayak on a frozen lake going 40 miles per hour in the dark behind a snowmobile.

7. Favorite quote.

”It’s more important to make a life than a living.”

8. Best and worst part of being a writer.

Writing is easy, even publishing is quick and inexpensive with all the options now in technology. Marking is where it gets tough. You have to be consistent and persistent and never let you foot off the gas. Don’t discount any effort; you never know what will work.

9. Advice for other writers.

Write a little every day. Blog, Twitter, Facebook… continue to market yourself because no one else will. Hire people to do what you aren’t good at doing – don’t try to be everything.

10. Tell us a story about your writing experience. 

I was writing a response to an inquiry on Facebook but I didn’t realize I was actually logged in on my teenage daughter’s page and I was responding as her.

Where can people buy your book?

“Dater’s Ed: The Instruction Manual for Parents” can be purchased online at www.DatersEd.com ($16.95 paperback, 272 pages) “Weekly Tune-up” can be found for parents at www.DatersEd.blogspot.com or for teens at www.mamajander.blogspot.com



10 QUESTIONS FOR…Lee Martinson


Author interview with Lee Martinsonbookcoverrealweb33lee

1.    Tell us about your latest book.

“A Heavenly College Education on an Earthly Budget” is a door that opens into to a new world of what real learning and real education is, and how a student can get it on his own terms, and for less money. It teaches such things as how important having a vision is—in fact it shows how having a vision is even more important than a college degree and more important than goals.


It shows how to disaster proof an education so the student can be assured of getting a job. It shows how to fall in love with, and become good learning all over again. It has 10 proven financial aid planning steps, and how to get admitted and win scholarships. It provides tools, techniques, and shortcuts for finding a college that will set the student’s brain on fire.


2. How did you get started as a writer?

I love words. I collect words. I play with words. One night I had a dream about a song, and that turned into a string of 40 + songs that I wrote lyrics for. Then one day I started writing instructional material for clients and it slowly got bigger and bigger and more creative. It then turned into a vision, which became a book, and a mission.

3. What does a typical day look like for you?

Get up; read the scriptures, newspaper etc. Have a leisurely breakfast with my family, and read something inspirational together. Perhaps play with my kids for a few minutes. Drive to the office.

At the office my day consists of writing, talking with clients, working on projects etc.

4. Describe your desk/workspace.

Desk? I have 7 desks. One is reasonably neat and that is where I meet with clients. The others are behind a divider and are cluttered with all the different projects and things I am working on. Two of them are higher desks that I stand at. I cannot bear to sit all day—it puts me to sleep.

I do some of my best thinking and working while on my feet. I think that there is an additional reason besides that of helping me stay awake. It is also because since I don’t have time to shower every day, when I stand, my nose is further away from my feet and it appreciates the distance, allowing my brain to concentrate on the task at hand.

5. Favorite books (especially for writers)

A Tale of Two Cities. A pillar of Iron. The History of the Peloponnesian Wars. The Agony and the Ecstasy.

6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you

·       I’m still married to the same woman I started with 22 years ago.

·       I once had a water balloon fight at Roseanne Barr’s house. She was my cousin’s best friend while they were growing up.

·       I don’t always follow the crowd—in many ways. For instance, did you know that if you sit on the bed, grab your pants in both hands and then roll back on the bed, sticking your feet in the air, you actually can put your pants on both legs at once? Sometimes I do that, just to start the day creative and different.

7. Favorite quote

 “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.

8. Best and worst part of being a writer

The best: The thrill of living out your passion on paper and having people appreciate it.

The worst: Taking all the risk and working so hard and then realizing it isn’t going anywhere unless you get better at marketing.


9. Advice for other writers

Ahead of time, know how and where and to whom you will market the book, and then keep that in mind as you write the book. This forces you to write better and more cohesively, so it will be tailored for the right audience. 

10. Tell us a story about your writing experience. 

One thing that made my writing so enjoyable was that I concurrently read classic books that inspired me and gave me ideas—and even epiphanies at times. It really lit up my brain and made it so that words would just flow out at times.

Where can people buy your book?

If they go to www.LeeMartinson.com , there are links to Amazon, and Barnes and Noble, or a link to buy direct. The thing about going there first is that they can also get a free report about Financial Aid and Admission Tips. 


10 QUESTIONS FOR…Shonika Proctor, multi-genre author


Author interview with Shonika Proctorcasstdcrop

I am a Washington, DC based writer. I write freelance for local newspapers. I have published 3 books and recently created branded training curriculum for teen entrepreneurs.

 1. Tell us about your latest book.

Indeed that is a loaded question because avid writers often have multiple projects in the works.  I have 3 books in final production (back from editor in layout and 1 book I am writing.

    • And Zen Again, 52 Thought Provoking Affirmations for Adults in Rhyme just came back from the editor. I originally wanted to call it ‘The Seuss Shall Set You Free’ but it was too difficult to get permission to use Seuss in the name.  
    • Chocolate Moose It is a children’s book that I released in early 2000. Highly disappointed with the final production of the first book, I hired a new illustrator and expanded the storyline so it can be published in a hardback version.
    • Building Blocks of Wonder: This is actually a 60-page coloring book. It will be bundled in a kid’s club package for a high profile individual in Washington, DC. I wrote the storyline and also created the kids club package for them so that they can reach the youth market.

The book I am currently writing is called 365: Infinite Expedition. It will be a collection of 365 inspirational stories from teen CEO’s who share the obstacles they have overcome as a teen CEO. It will also feature 12 stories from high profile CEO’s who got the entrepreneurial bug in their teens. ‘365’ represent the days of the year. I am actually collecting 730 stories because I am doing a U.S. and International version. I have allotted 2 years for this project.

 2. How did you get started as a writer?

When I was 8 years old my 3rd grade teacher, Ms. Lamboly, told me that I did such a marvelous job on the creative writing exercises that she thought that when I grew up I would be an author. I had no idea what that meant. She told me to write everyday. Although I wrote in that journal for years, well into my teens and early 20’s I never considered writing as a profession. In the early 90’s in the process of being dumped I wrote a letter to the prospective dumper to ‘argue’ my side of the story.  After reading the letter he thought that I plagiarized it, lol. Then he said that I was definitely a keeper because I was masterful with words which he believed was an incredible gift and he thought that I should definitely pursue writing seriously and professionally. So I did.

 3. What does a typical day look like for you?

I can find inspiration in everyone and everything around me so I move with my internal compass. As I do not have children, I have lots of ‘open time’. At any given point in the day I might be motivated to go out and explore the city, catch up with a local friend, volunteer for a few hours or take a mini multi day trip to the beach.

 4. Describe your desk/workspace.

I live in a ‘small’ row house so you have to be really ‘creative’ with use of space. My office is at the top level of my house and essentially shares the ‘landing pad’ of the spiral staircase. The landing pad is a 10 x 10 glass floor with a small wooden extension and my desk fits perfectly on the wooden extension. The interior walls of my house are glass and the separating walls of my house are brick. There is a huge light tunnel on the roof. So it feels like you are outside. The ceilings are 13’ tall and natural light shines through the house from all directions so it is very inspirational for writing. As for my desk it is crammed with piles of things to do, huge notepads to write ideas, mini recorders and a cup of tea is always nearby. My favorite thing about my desk is my chair that is like a vintage wooden chair from probably the late 60’s or early 70’s with some really offbeat green color fabric and leather. It is a bit eccentric and quirky…kinda like me 🙂

 5. Favorite books (especially for writers)

My favorite book is Slowing Down to the Speed of Life by Dr. Richard Carlson. It is my annual read and brings me so much personal and professional growth each year.

I also enjoy reading Dr. Seuss books. They are fast to read, have timely but timeless life lessons and always spark new ideas for me.

In terms of writing related books I tend to use reference books like The Writer’s Market or Grammar Girl’s tips and techniques on improving my writing. I am not sure how much it helps though as I write fast and usually don’t feel like going back through and checking behind myself because I just want to get stuff done and out of the way. So my editor always has a field day.

 6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you

·      I have not owned a TV since 1990….yes, I realize that I have missed life changing television series like Friends, Seinfeld and Sex in the City.

·      I am an avid volunteer. My mother got me started in volunteering when I was 12 years old and these days I volunteer more than 25 hours a month. I attribute volunteering with many life changing experiences including finding my purpose. In 2008 I did something volunteer related every single week and so did my significant other even though our interests are completely different.

·      I do not have a sense of smell (never had one) and people always think that is the strangest thing ever. I am still trying to figure out what other sense improved since I am without that one ;- )

6. Favorite quote

“The Earth’s most precious natural resource is truly a rare find. As it changes by the second it is that of our time.”

I made up that quote because the time I spend with others and myself is extremely valued.

7. Best and worst part of being a writer

The best part about being a writer is your exact words can be shared over and over again and every person who reads them will experience and feel something different. It is also the best all natural therapy that no money can buy.

The worst part of being a writer is the more you write the more ideas you come up with. So then you start to feel frustrated that there will never be enough time to say everything that you really want to say.

 8. Advice for other writers

Think Elvis! Copyright and publish your work even if you don’t plan on marketing it. Print on demand and self-publishing have simplified the publishing process and removed the barriers to entry. You don’t need to expend all your resources and time trying to get a huge advance and earn millions of dollars from book sales. However, you do need to get credit for your intellectual property and your original creations. If you can make enough money to supplement your income then that’s an added bonus. You never know how in the future, perhaps long after you are gone that something you create will come into play and earn licensing fees or royalties for your children, grandchildren or a charitable cause you feel strongly about. www.createspace.com is a very inexpensive and relatively easy way to get your work published and out there.

9. Tell us a story about your writing experience. 

In 2005 completely by a very random set of circumstance I started volunteering with teen entrepreneurs. Three years later while still working with them, a book idea popped in my head. The book idea was on a holistic theme in entrepreneurship that I thought was badly needed but missing in the industry. So I sat down and wrote the entire book in 12 days (36,000 words, 143 pages and no writers block).

Where can people buy your books?

My books are available on Amazon.com

Teen Entrepreneur Success Secrets: The Essential Guide to Starting and Growing a Business

Double Click on This, Preschoolers and Computers: How to Go Beyond Sit and Giggle

My blog is www.renegadeceos.com

Twitter: @teenbizcoach