Tag Archives: self-help

10 QUESTIONS FOR…Dr. Helen McIntosh, “Messages to Myself”


Author interview with Dr. Helen McIntoshPhotoofDr.HelenMcIntoshMessagetoMyself(2)

1. Tell us about your latest book. 

 Messages to Myself – Overcoming a Distorted Self-Image is for those who are struggling with ongoing self-image issues as well as depression and anxiety, and are having difficulties in their personal life and in their relationships.  I give a method in the book to bring healthy and lasting life changes for adults and children. This method offers readers simple, tangible, concrete help both in their thought patterns and in their relationships with others.   

2. How did you get started as a writer?  My heart longs to give encouragement and lasting help to those who struggle with social and emotional issues.  I first got started with a children’s book (Eric, Jose, and The Peace Rug) to help them with their issues like anger management, bullying, reconciliation, and conflict resolution.  I was a school counselor at the time, and there was a deficit in literature that really worked!  For my adult friends, I saw another deficit! So many of us are depressed.  They have been given “sticky note” answers – and nothing has helped.  I love help, healing, restoration, and reconciliation, and so the book came to me as a natural flow from what I needed myself and needed for others.

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

 I am officially retired from the school system but still do some crisis counseling in my church and community, and I do some teaching.  I am also working on a grief book for children and an adult book on suicide.  [Why is a sanguine like me writing about so many dark subjects?  Well…I just love it!]  Best of all is time with my husband, also recently retired, and seeing my adult children and grandchildren.     

4. Describe your desk/workspace.  

BUSY!  It actually looks pretty awful.  The stacks on my left look formidable, but I know where everything is.  Otherwise, I have surrounded myself with nostalgic photographs and things I love.

5. Favorite books (especially for writers) 

Anything by Jan Silvious.  The book Captivating by Stasi Eldredge is also a favorite. 

6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you 

I was a drummer in high school (the timpani), smoked a few cigars in my after college days, and lived in Germany as a child and France when older. 

7. Favorite quote

My favorite quote is from the Bible in Habbukah: Though the fig tree should not blossom, and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail and the fields produce no food, though the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls – Yet! I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.

8. Best and worst part of being a writer 

The best part is hopefully helping others by putting down truth in ink.  The worst part is the “fight to be still” in our very busy world and how hard it is to hear “quiet” in order put that down in ink!

9. Advice for other writers

Write about things you are passionate about because the journey is hard.  Then you will persevere!  

10. Tell us a story about your writing experience.

I wrote a lot of the Messages To Myself book in my father’s hospital room when he was asleep.  He died weeks later – but I know he was with me on my journey just as I was there for him on his journey to heaven.

Where can people buy your book?

 Readers can buy it on amazon.com!  Information and other ordering info can also be accessed on www.helenmcintosh.com or  www.peacerug.com

10 QUESTIONS FOR…Gary Spinell, author of “It Was YOU, All Along”


Author interview with Gary Spinellcover_proofJune022008Bio

1. Tell us about your latest book. 

Many people have heard and written about the law of attraction, yet millions of people still have difficulty incorporating the concepts into their daily lives. My book, It Was YOU, All Along, goes a step beyond the law of attraction by providing the reader with the necessary unique balance of practical and spiritual information and insight to truly have everyone create their own reality as desired.  The reader learns how to uncover the beliefs and actions that are holding them back from success.

2. How did you get started as a writer? 

The hard way, I just started…..by nature I am analytical and a numbers person, so writing never was my strong suit.  But as I helped create, great instructors came in to my life at the right time to help improve my writing style.

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

Well, I have a day job so that gets a lot of attention, and then I write at night, on weekends, on airplanes – especially airplanes – there I am a captive audience then.  I wrote most of my book on airplanes.

4. Describe your desk/workspace. 

I am one of those people who make notes of thoughts for my book. I carry around a pad and pen just to be sure I capture a thought when I have it.  My desk usually has small piles of articles and important papers, and I do know which pile something is in when I search for it.  I am not the greatest filer.

5. Favorite books (especially for writers)  

I like books that help motivate, like what Tony Robbins, or Deepak Chopra writes.  I have to say that my book does that too. 

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

I earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, read tarot cards, and am a financial professional by trade – now how is that for an unusual combination?       I have 2 dogs and 4 cats, and my wife and I are planning to add horses and more dogs and cats to the family.  

7. Favorite quote  “Even if you are on the right track you will get run over if you just sit there” – Will Rogers

8. Best and worst part of being a writer?  

Creating something you believe can impact lives. 

Editing is definitely difficult and time consuming. 

9. Advice for other writers?

Just start.  Create it your way, yet take advice where ever you can find it.  Don’t expect perfection, as you will find it will never be perfect.  You could keep editing it for the next 10 years. 

10. Tell us a story about your writing experience.

As I mentioned, I am not the greatest writer.  Once I began writing the book, I knew I would need some help, not that I am a bad writer, just to be sure it grammatically it all flowed, etc.  Well I end up landing a job in my normal profession and I end up having to do a lot of writing for public communication in the job, AND when I got there my company had hired a consultant for me to work with whose prior experience was being an English teacher!!!!!  Sometimes you just can make this stuff up!  She obviously helped me a great deal.

Where can people buy your book?

Go to www.youallalong.com , or Amazon, and watch the book video trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WB3xCtjR2vE


10 QUESTIONS FOR…”Widows Wear Stilettos” author Carole Brody Fleet


Author interview with Carole Brody FleetWidowsWearStilettos.5.1.08_smallNews.h5_small


I am the award-winning author of “Widows Wear Stilettos: A Practical and Emotional Guide for the Young Widow”, (New Horizon Press); as well as the author and executive producer of my CD, entitled, “Widows Wear Stilettos: What Now?”.  I am the founder of Widows Wear Stilettos and http://www.WidowsWearStilettos.com, the first website of its kind; allowing actual interactivity between its visitors, as well as a place where widows of all ages find support, education and numerous resources.  I am currently working on my second book, “Widows Wear Stilettos: The ‘Answer’ Book – The ULTIMATE Question, Answer and Reference Guide for Widows”. 

1. Tell us about your latest book.

Widows Wear Stilettos is a self-help book for widows; particularly those widowed at a younger age.  Unlike other books of its ilk, Widows Wear Stilettos offers both practical and emotional guidance and includes advice relating to financial and emotional transition; raising children who have lost a parent; how to cope with the opinions and observations of those surrounding the widow; re-entering the world of dating and love after loss; beauty, fashion, diet and exercise and most importantly, returning to a fulfilling and abundant life after loss – and does so with compassion and where appropriate, a wry sense of humor. 

2. How did you get started as a writer?

Although I have always nurtured a passion and an aptitude for writing, and even though my previous career as a paralegal allowed me to write extensively (in the legal world anyway), it was not until 2005 that I began writing in earnest.  I wrote Widows Wear Stilettos in four months and was fortunate enough to have been signed by a literary agency forty-five days after I began the query process. 

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

Is there such a thing as a “typical day” for a writer?

Kidding aside, I will usually check email first thing; particularly because emails from the East Coast will have been sitting there for awhile.  This is also the time that I will respond to any urgent press queries, interview requests and so forth.  After emails have been sorted and prioritized, I take care of “office work” for the day, i.e., following up with media, returning phone calls, sending out thank you notes and so forth.  I generally do most of my “serious” writing in the late night and overnight hours. Of course, when there is a last minute interview or I’m on deadline to respond to a journalist, ALL of this goes right out the window! 

4. Describe your desk/workspace.

My office is in constant and complete disarray to the “untrained eye” – and by “untrained eye”, I mean any eyes that aren’t mine.  I have two calendars; one for all things book-related and the other for “personal business / time”; both of which are generally buried under paperwork, to-do lists and various legal pads.  I have a bulletin board that resembles a deranged multicolored porcupine because of all of the things stuck to and on it.  I surround myself with pictures of family, friends and other “creature comforts” – and there is ALWAYS music playing.  In other words, I have the typical “writer’s office”.  I was once told that if a writer’s office was neat and clean, it means that the writer isn’t working.  Whether that axiom is true or not, it makes me feel a little better.

5.     Favorite books (especially for writers)

Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers. Editors and Literary Agents (aka, a writer’s Bible)

Guide to Literary Agents (another writer’s Bible)

In an Instant (Random House), Lee and Bob Woodruff (beautifully written and a #1 New York Times bestseller)

6.     Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you

  1. For reasons that would take too long to detail here, my “mascot” of sorts has become a skull or skeleton (not “scary”; rather on the “kitschy” side).  I have since amassed quite a collection and my house looks like my last name should be Addams – but in a funny way.
  2. I am a classically trained musician (cello) who is an out-loud headbanging heavy metal fan who was also totally and completely into the “disco scene” (I came of age in the 1970’s after all).

7.     Favorite quote

I have two:

“When you do what you’re taught to do by people who have gone before you and have already achieved what you are trying to achieve, your own chances of success increase tremendously – because they are doing something that you’re not doing…yet!


“We will remain the same until the pain of remaining the same becomes greater than the pain of change”. 


8.     Best and worst part of being a writer

Best part:  SO many “best parts” but certainly having the opportunity to effect positive change, shift paradigms and create a “dialogue” would be my favorite aspects.  Another “best part” is receiving positive reviews; be they from professionals or the public-at-large.  It is a wonderful reinforcement of the work.

Worst part:  Mean-spirited critics. They are everywhere and it takes awhile to grow the “skin” that it requires to stomach petty criticism that has nothing whatsoever to do with your work. 

9.    Advice for other writers

  1. One of the wisest things that I learned early on is that agents and publishers want to represent “careers” not simply “books”.  Do you have an idea for your next book?  How about the one after that?  Could your book / idea be turned into a movie (theatrical or made-for-TV), a miniseries or a television series?  What about a CD or DVD series?  You will be asked about subsequent books and multimedia possibilities – have answers ready when the question is asked.
  2. My agent once told me that, “You are never finished until you quit writing”.  Choose never to be “finished”. 

10.  Tell us a story about your writing experience. 

Prior to being signed, I had queried a literary agent who reviewed my proposal and thereafter informed me that, “Death is a hard sell”.  Resisting the urge to tell her that my name was not Dr. Kervorkian and that I was not “selling death”, but in fact, offering advice, education and most importantly, hope, I quietly informed her that she clearly did not understand the message that the book conveys.  I love to share this story with new and aspiring writers as it obviously demonstrates that not everyone is going to understand what it is that you are trying to accomplish – but in no way does that mean that you should ever stop trying!

Where can people buy your book?

Widows Wear Stilettos: A Practical and Emotional Guide for the Young Widow  (New  Horizon Press) is available at all major booksellers and retailers; as well as online at all major bookselling websites.  The CD, “Widows Wear Stilettos: What Now?” is available exclusively at www.widowswearstilettos.comYou can also follow me on Twitter at @WidowsStilettos


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….”Die Healthy” author Lorraine Mignault


 Author interview with Lorraine Mignaultbookcover11lm1

Lorraine Mignault is an award-winning Canadian inventor, and author of Die Healthy: Pursuing the Dream of Wellness and Longevity.


Lorraine’s bestselling book was approved for Foreign Rights – and showcased at the Frankfurt International Book Fair October 2008, and upcoming 2009. Her Foreign Rights Agent has several publishers interested in translation rights worldwide.


With several discoveries to her credit in beauty and health, she has garnered attention both as an inventor and author in the books Canadian Women Invent! and Miracles of Hope and Promise.


A woman with a passionate, life-affirming outlook, Lorraine is a nominee in the YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction Awards 2009.


1. Tell us about your latest book.

How can we change our lives for the better and ensure a long and healthy life? Die Healthy: Pursuing the Dream of Wellness and Longevity points the way.

Die Healthy is a fabulous life guide in beauty and health that is environmentally published and designed with the reader in mind.

A beautiful interior of coloured graphics and charts  make for an easy, interesting read. There are case studies on how clients took back control of their own well-being. The book is a wonderful resource for educators, health professionals and laypersons.

2. How did you get started as a writer?

People in my business and personal life encouraged me to write Die Healthy. The comprehensive, revolutionary book content is as a result of my lifestyle programming, including research and product development in nutraceutical and cosmeceutical  technologies, all of which are subject of intellectual property rights.


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

I seize the day bright and early … usually 5:30 AM. This allows for quiet time, my fitness program – and a great healthy breakfast. Being an inventor, the workday is a scientific and creative blend of innovation activities – and writing.


4.  Describe your desk/workspace.

My desk has a large work surface to accommodate the day’s activities. I enjoy working in an eastern space,  in a warm decor that offers extensive natural light.


5.  Favorite books – especially for writers.

Books on medical science, innovation, beauty, health and fitness are of special interest because of my work. However, books for writers such as The Creative Writer’s Style Guide by Christopher T. Leland and Mega Creativity by Andrei G. Aleinikov, PhD. provide information for refining one’s skills.


6.  Tell us 3 interesting things about you.

I am a gifted first soprano, with formal Bel Canto vocal training. My vocal power has surprised many as a singer, speaker – and fitness expert. I have an interest in architecture based on Ayurveda. Sharing my “wealth of wellness” concept with people worldwide through my book is my special way of making a difference in so many lives.


7.  Favorite quote:

What we eat, drink and breathe has a direct effect on how we look, feel, age and the quality of our lives.


8.  Best and worst part of being a writer

As a writer, I enjoy the opportunity to write on subject matter close to my heart, especially on beauty and health. On the other hand, finding enough time to write is the worst part.


9.  Advice for other writers

As a writer, research your subject matter before embarking on a book project. Visit local bookstores and study your genre of books to ascertain whether you should undertake your project.


10.  Tell us a story about your writing experience.

I am honoured to have been published on the Official Web Site of The Secret Movie. My inspirational story and writing experience are captured on http://www.thesecret.tv/secret-treasures-stories-read.html?id=3645

 Buy the book:

Lorraine Mignault is an innovative woman raising the bar in all fields, showcased on www.positivelivingessentials.com  To buy Die Healthy: Pursuing the Dream of Wellness and Longevity, check the book link on her site.



10 QUESTIONS FOR…Marilyn Hontz, author of “Shame Lifter”


Author interview with Marilyn Hontz 978-1-4143-1896-7hontz_marilyn_03edited

I’m married to a minister and we’ve been at the same church for 33 years. I’m also a mom of 5 grown children and 6 grandchildren, living near gorgeous Lake Michigan in Holland, Michigan. I speak at various conferences, retreats and workshops. I’ve written two books, Listening for God and Shame Lifter, both published by Tyndale House Publishers.

1. Tell us about your latest book.

Shame Lifter is about a subject that is not too often talked about – unhealthy shame.  I believe shame is responsible for many of things we can’t stand about ourselves.  While shame is usually at the core of most addictions and eating disorders, I believe it plays out most openly in the “lies” we believe about ourselves. Shame has a hideous way of encouraging you to believe lies about yourself, i.e. I’m not good enough, I’m worthless, I’m fat, ugly and stupid.  That kind of shame paralyzes a person.  Shame Lifter, written in narrative form, takes you on a journey which begins by examining whether or not shame exists in your life. It reveals shame’s tenacious grip in your life as a result of verbal, sexual, physical or emotional abuse.  The book shares steps to overcome shame, helps you recognize shame in others, and how to become a shame lifter for someone else.  Bottom line: To extend grace to the disgraced – either to yourself or to others.

2. How did you get started as a writer?

I came into writing in a very non-conventional way. No literary agent – no manuscript.  I experienced the every “wanna-be” writer’s dream. I was approached by Tyndale House Publishers and asked to write a book based on a recording of a speaking event of mine they had heard.  Thus began my life as a writer.

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

Starting early in the morning is my best writing time.  I generally start around 8 a.m.  I break at noon for lunch and then maybe tack on 1 or 2 hours after lunch.  I seek to keep my evenings free…unless, of course, a thought comes while I’m standing at my stove fixing gravy for dinner. I suppose I should add that my writing routine is generally interrupted every two or three hours by my chihuahuas, Paco and Zorro who want to be let outside.

4. Describe your desk/workspace.

I write at a desk in my kitchen where the sun can stream into our large bay windows…that is, when the Michigan sun actually shines.

5. Favorite books (especially for writers)

I enjoy the classics like:  Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion, by Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte’s, Jane Eyre.

6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you

1.  It’s exhilarating to find a long lost sock and realize I still have its mate!

2. I received an Autoharp when I was 12 that has been sitting in my closet…I’m thinking about dusting it off and giving concerts at my speaking events.

3.  I absolutely love praying for people.


7. Favorite quote: “God has good works that were planned in advance for us to do.”

8. Best and worst part of being a writer:

Best:  Having written

Worst: Writer’s block

9. Advice for other writers

·      Give yourself permission to write – let other things go

·      Consistent time slot for writing

·      Remember writing is fluid…some days its easier to write than others

·      If an idea or quote comes to mind, write it down on a piece of paper right away

·      Write with a person in mind

·      When you write, don’t just tell it, show it

·      Write!  Even if you’re not published, keep writing


10. Tell us a story about your writing experience. 

When the publishing company first called to ask me to write for them, I laughed and said, “I can’t write. I’ve never had a creative writing class.”  There was a moment of silence.  Then the publisher said, “Can you send us just one chapter and then we’ll be the judge whether you can write or not.”

Where can people buy your books?


Barnes and Noble

Christian bookstores

10 QUESTIONS FOR…Karin Schumann, author of “Mothers Need Time-Outs Too”


Author interview with Katrin Schumannmntot_cover_art

Katrin (center)

Katrin (center)



Katrin Schumann is an award-winning writer, editor and artist who has struggled to be published for 15 years and FINALLY DID IT: Mothers Need Time-Outs Too (McGraw-Hill 2008). She is currently completing a novel, The House of a Thousand Eyes, about the search for love and redemption in post-war East Germany. After five years working for NPR in various capacities, Katrin started her freelance fiction and non-fiction work. In addition to teaching, she ghostwrites and edits non fiction book proposals (one of which sold for almost $¾ m). She studied Modern Languages at Oxford (BA) and journalism at Stanford (MA). Born in Germany, Katrin grew up in NYC and London, and now lives with her family in Dedham MA.

1. Tell us about your latest book.

 The fact that I broke into publishing with a self help book is nothing short of a miracle as I had never read a self help book in my life. (Something to do with being German, or something to do with never realizing how much help I needed getting my life in order?) It’s been an eye-opening experience on many fronts: working alongside two co-authors; working on deadline; dealing with a large publishing house; getting insight into the self help industry…

For the past three years I have been saying I’m almost finished with my novel The House of a Thousand Eyes.  I’ve day dreamed many times that when I’m being interviewed on NPR I’ll be able to claim, “the first part of the book wrote itself—it was almost no work at all!” So when, in my last edit, I cut almost the entire first part out… I had to wonder what that meant…

If it weren’t for my agent, I would be a nervous wreck. She loved my novel the minute she read the first page (yes, which is now edited out…) and I have to believe she knows what she’s talking about. Right?

It’s a novel about the Germans after the war. I think it’s a fascinating topic, and still totally taboo.

2. How did you get started as a writer?

On my mother’s typewriter in the dining room, writing about horses. Of course.

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

I fantasize about having a typical day that starts around 8 and finishes around 5, but I do not ever have a typical day, although I work about 40 hours a week.

I have three kids. My work day is constantly interrupted. I am an incredibly focused writer, however, and find that the busier I am the more I can achieve. Martinis in the evening help, too.

I try to get to a writer’s coop in downtown Boston once a week. It’s pathetic how hard that is to achieve. I love being downtown as I get about ten times as much work done then as when I’m standing in front of my fridge eating day-old noodles.

4. Describe your desk/workspace.

I have lilies from my mother-in-law on my desk. My book, in Spanish, (HASTA LAS MAMAS MERECEN DESCANSO!) is propped up on my windowsill, as are two mocked-up copies of my novel (for inspiration). I have three in-boxes with my current projects and bills. Three spiral bound notebooks (one for each project). A Real Simple magazine (pitching them for the mom book). A Spanish music CD. All 400 pages of my novel, printed out and hand-edited. An article my mother sent me about why we shouldn’t be drugging our kids. Nail polish. Tissues. Gum. Water. And of course, a computer.

5. Favorite books (especially for writers)

I was inspired in the early days by a book called HOW TO WRITE A BLOCKBUSTER, by Albert Zuckerman. No nonsense and helpful. My favorite book of all time for writers is Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird.” Buy it. Read it! It’s a must have. In fact, I use her mantra about writing “shitty first drafts” every single time I sit down to write something. All I have to do is write a shitty first draft. It takes the pressure off, and then like magic, what I write is usually not so totally shitty after all.

6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you

Oh, crazy… I wish! I have a big tattoo but how crazy is that, these days?

Um, interesting? I grew up in London and used to hang out on the Kings Road munching No-Doze. I sometimes yell affirmations out loud when I’m driving.  I’m a night owl who has to be up and running by 6am every day TO DRIVE CARPOOL!

7. Favorite quote

It’s on the back of my business card: I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues, Duke Ellington.

8. Best and worst part of being a writer

Best: Getting to write

Worst: Getting paid for writing

9. Advice for other writers

If you stick with it long enough, you will make it.

10. Tell us a story about your writing experience. 

I was hobnobbing with the literati at a book party with my agent and some of her clients. The owner of the agency was chatting with me and asked me who my editor was at McGraw-Hill (for the book I had just published). The editor is the person who BUYS YOUR PROPOSAL and EDITS YOUR BOOK and SENDS YOU A MILLION E-MAILS.

I blanked on her name. Then this uber-agent asked me who my first agent was. I blanked on his name.

Smooth, very smooth.

Where can people buy your book?

Go to www.momstimeouts.com

10 QUESTIONS FOR…Justin Sachs, author & radio host!


Author interview with Justin Sachs, author of “Your Mailbox is Full”securedownloadsecuredownload-1

1. Tell us about your latest book.

Your Mailbox Is Full is a book written for teengers that gives them the tools they need to become successful in high school and throughout their lives. Things like goal setting, time management, living a healthy lifestyles, and modeling and attracting success. Written in a fun and quick read, teenagers love the graphics and the simple action items at the end of each chapter.

2. How did you get started as a writer?

After working for Mark Victor Hansen, Co-Founder of Chicken Soup for the Soul Series, it only made sense. He was such an inspiration. I had always wanted to write a book, but it wasn’t until I met him, and attended his events that I learned how easy it could be to write and publish a book!

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

Wake up, spend an hour or so writing, begin working on Marketing and PR for my book, do a few interviews for my new radio show, Motivational Minds Radio (www.motivationalmindsradio.com)  do some school work, go to the gym. Eat a few times somewhere in there.

4. Describe your desk/workspace.

Cluttered. We’ve found that the most creative people in the world have the most cluttered workspace because of all the projects they are working on! 

5. Favorite books (especially for writers) 

So You Want to Write by Ann McIndoo, If You Could See What I Hear by Kathy Buckley

6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you

I walked on fire with Tony Robbins at the age of 14,


7. Favorite quote

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

8. Best and worst part of being a writer

Best part: having a finished product you can be proud of! Worst part: The writing is just the beginning. Once you’ve finished writing, there’s marketing and pr, distribution, retail sales, etc.

9. Advice for other writers

Set aside a specific amount of time every day that you will devote to writing no matter what! Settle for nothing less than writing for that amout of time EVERYDAY! You’ll be amazed how quickly you can write a book when you focus on it EVERY day!

10. Tell us a story about your writing experience

Never be afraid to ask for help. I was once at a Mark Victor Hansen seminar where Lisa Nichols was speaking. I wanted to ask her for help, b/c she worked with teens just like I do. I finally got up the courage to approach her and ask her for help, and it turns out she invited me to her event the next weekend and we had a great conversation about her work with teens and how we could partner in the future.

 Where can people buy your book and learn more?

My book is available on my website: www.YourMailboxIsFullBook.com Also check out my new radio show at www.MotivationalMindsRadio.com we are always looking for motivating and inspiring guests!!

 I recently appeared on TV too:


10 QUESTIONS FOR…Alison Blackman, author of several nonfiction books


Author interview with Alison

I am a
freelance writer and creator of the Advice Sisters Online Publications.  I have been providing content online
for 16 years and The Advice Sisters http://www.advicesisters.net  is actually credited with bringing the
advice/infotainment genre, online! All of the content on my web site and daily
blog http://www.advicesisters.net/advicesistersblog.html  focuses on providing lifestyle ideas to
an international audience of educated, upscale adults, focusing heavily on
fashion, beauty, and ways to make life easier, more successful and more
fun.  My Web Site and my Blog are
my online portfolio. I am the author of The
Everything Dating Book
2nd Edition Adams Media 2006);  Recruiting
Love: Using the Business Skills You Have to Find the Love You Want
Books, 1998) and contributor to several other nonfiction books.

1. Tell us about your latest

I am
working on a self-help book that I hope will help people stop being timid about
moving ahead with their lives and careers, learning and being inspired by real
life examples.

2. How did you get started as a

I have
been writing for so long, it’s hard to remember.  However, I discovered that every job I had I ended up either
volunteering or being “volunteered” to write the newsletter or the
annual report or what have you, so when I decided I wanted to work for myself,
writing seemed like the natural choice.

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

 I get up about 8:00 and have much-needed
coffee.  I talk to husband who his
dragging his feet going into his own office.  I can’t do any work if there is noise or distraction so I
don’t even listen to music.  When
husband leaves, I go through my emails and then start thinking about writing
reviews or my blog posts.  I tend
to be distracted by email and sometimes, computer problems. I do all the
technical work on my web site and blog, myself.  I wish I didn’t have to because for every little thing I
fix, ten more seem to crop up that I caused because I’m not technically savvy
enough!  Sometimes I work through
lunch and sometimes, it’s dark outside before I finally turn around and stop
for a rest. I work out for an hour, or eat lunch. Then back to the computer
until husband comes home or I have evening events. I work on the weekends
pretty much the same way but with mor breaks.

4. Describe your

workspace is a very old, beaten up computer hutch from Ikea.  I have a photo of my husband and I when
we were a a Matsuri (festival) in Japan that always makes me smile. I have
beauty review samples and business cards scattered everywhere!

5. Favorite books  

really have any

6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy
things about you 

I am a
twin (my twin sister was part of the Advice Sisters before she died) and that’s
why i am still known as: “The Advice Sisters”  I am a genuine redhead, and I have
never met a cat I haven’t loved!

7. Favorite quote 

the moment I could talk, I was ordered to listen” (Cat Stevens–i think he
changed his name but this quote was the one I had in my school yearbook many
years ago)

8. Best and worst part of being
a writer

best part of being a writer is being your own boss and being able to share your
thoughts with others.  The worst part?  No Money!!!!!

9. Advice for other

quit your day job unless you become a celebrity

10. Tell us a story about your
writing experience.

I once
met an agent early on in my career. He had just repped a best-selling book in
my field, and somehow he took a bit of pity on newbie me, and helped me revamp
my proposal document. Alas, he was never home and I had to pitch (literally) my
work over the fence of his house so it would land near his door. I’d just leave
it on the street!  He never did
become my agent, although I did sell books after that. (grin)

Where can people learn more
about you?

 The Advice Sisters Web site is http://www.advicesisters.net/  My Blog is
http://www.advicesisters.net/advicesistersblog.html  the Feed is: http://feeds2.feedburner.com/advicesistersblog  and you can follow me on Twitter “
Advicesisters”  Please check
me out!



Blackman, Publisher/Writer-AdviceSisters Publications

Advice Sisters http://www.advicesisters.net

Guide to Life, Success & Happiness Blog:


Works Beauty, Cosmetics & Fashion review column: http://www.advicesisters.net/whatworkscol3.html


Me: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=732170494