Editing tips by Sylvia Stein

The best advice I ever got as a writer was to wait and edit my draft once I was through writing it. Then begin on the revisions. This way I could see if the story made sense. I can’t tell you how important this piece of advice helped me with the editing process. This is why I wanted to share this with you today.

Next, is to make sure to find a great Editor. It is important to invest in this step. How do I know you may ask? I will tell you. Back when I wrote my second book a YA entitled, Chasing Clarity. I had to go back and revise so much of the mess which was not done by my an editor I thought could do the job. Not to say she did not have so much going on. But, I should have not just gone by hearsay. After this happened, I have learned my lesson.

I was more concerned about keeping up with my book released. I did not take the time to look at my final edits. Luckily, I had another colleague/ author who pulls me aside a day before the event. She worked with me to get my manuscript to where it needed to be.

This led me to change the release date and although it took a few weeks more than what I wanted. I was so grateful to have taken this advice. It is for this reason that as an editor, I give my all the manuscripts I read. It is important to work with the authors. I always asked them to read the work back.
I want them to be sure to agree with the changes or suggestions. I want us to be on the same page.

It is important to take the time to review and work together. To be sure the author’s voice shine through the story. Working with our authors is what I love about editing for Stitched Smile Publications. We have an amazing team here. Additionally, we always have our weekly meetings which only enhance our skills even more.

Finally, I will end the post with some advice on the book by author Amy Peters. It is entitled, “The Writer’s Devotional.
“A good editor makes sure the language is tight: not too flowery and not too staid. They make sure that each piece of writing has a “voice”, a unique cadence or rhythm. In the end, editing is about making sure the fluidity of the words shine through in the story you are creating.

Villains and Violence – Part 1

One of our VIP authors takes you down a dark path. And it’s a path led by violence. This is where real horror comes from; real life.

Creepy Ramblings From Your Friendly Neighborhood Psychopath

Though one can write about many things unfamiliar with enough research, writing about what you know, especially the things you know fairly intimately, gives a certain amount of authority to your voice. My most successful endeavors thus far certainly fall into this category.

My short novellas Ashley’s Tale and Ashley’s Tale: Making Jake both do a cannonball jump into the deep end of the violence pool but not mindlessly so. They focus on a particularly violent man with a vicious past and a disturbing philosophy and psychology.

My novel Low, which was just picked up by Stitched Smile Publications, revolves around a police officer and shows some of the lowest and most violent elements of society in vivid detail.

I like my villains to be smart, genuinely disturbing, and multifaceted. An atypically shaped peg that does not fit easily into any round, square or otherwise commonly shaped hole. I want…

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Flash Fiction / Short Story by Veronica Smith

Last week I was up late, waiting for my sleeping pill to kick in. I’ve suffered from Insomnia for years, and only Zolpidem lets me sleep through the night without waking every hour. But, if I stay up too late it tends to make me woozy. Anyway, this particular night I was coming from my bedroom to the hall and back out to the living room. I could have sworn I saw my cat, Stains, standing in front of the bedroom door and I had to wiggle my foot at him to make him move. I was too tired to realize he couldn’t have gotten past the closed hallway door. Once I got back in the living room, I saw him on the sofa and laughed, realizing how loopy I was. That meant it was really time for me to go to sleep. I remembered it the next day and wrote out this short story.

Ghost – written July 20, 2016

 

I shut the door behind me, kicking off my shoes as I walked into the living room. As I set my purse down on the kitchen counter, my cat, Ghost, came running from the other side of the apartment. I groaned when I saw my bedroom door was open. I must’ve forgotten to close it this morning. I just knew my bed would have a new blanket of long white cat hairs now.

“Rrar,” Ghost looked up at me, winding between my legs. A respiratory infection as a kitten had altered my cat’s typical cat-speak. I knelt, and as I pet him, he immediately turned around to present his furry butt, tail straight in the air.

“Not in your lifetime bud,” I laughed as I pushed him away. I know that’s a sign of affection for cats but not for me; I don’t do cat butt.

I took a beer from the fridge and sat on the sofa, clicking on the remote to watch something from my DVR. I had a long shift at work and doubted I would stay awake long enough to watch the whole show.

“Ghost,” I sighed as I saw his tail end running into my room; I still hadn’t shut the door yet. I turned on the bedroom light but didn’t see him anywhere. I heard another “Rrar” and looked out to see him standing on the sofa, his neck stretched out as he sniffed the neck of my bottle. I was dumb enough to give him a sip once and now he’s a damn alcoholic cat. I didn’t know how he’d gotten past me to get out of the room but I just shut the door.

I know; I’m weird. I’m one of the few cat owners that didn’t allow their cat to sleep with them. My apartment’s already covered in a light layer of soft white fur. Vacuuming once a week only kept it from getting too thick. Ghost was a serious shedder. I wanted one room that was clean and fuzz free. I was lucky, though, he didn’t sit outside my bedroom door howling and keeping me awake all night, I broke that habit when he was a kitten.

The late night shower woke me more than I hoped, but since I didn’t have to go into work until noon the next day, I could sleep in. I took a zolpidem, hoping it didn’t take too long to kick in. My body was exhausted but my mind was wide-awake. I resumed the DVR’d show and watched even after my eyelids began drooping. I think my chin hit my chest a couple of times before I decided I was ready for bed. As I opened my bedroom in the dark apartment, I saw Ghost sneaking past my feet into the room.

“No way Jose!” I spoke out as I turned the light on. He was nowhere in sight.

“Rrar?” I jerked back to the doorway and saw Ghost lying on the sofa, looking at me quizzically.

“How . . .?” I stuttered, then yawned and shook my head. I shut the door behind me and went to bed.

“Get out of my face,” I mumbled in my sleep. I felt a paw slip between my lips and a loud “Meow” right in my face. I spit out the fur that stuck to my lips, swiping my mouth with my hand. A fuzzy head bumped my shoulder as the meows got louder. “What the hell?” I was waking up, despite the fact that it was only three-forty-five in the morning. I groaned as I shooed him away. I sat up straight and whispered, “Ghost? How did you get in here?” I looked to the door but even in the dark, I could tell it was closed.

I picked him up and carried him out, turning on the living room light as I crossed the doorway.

“Rrar,” I stared at Ghost at his usual spot on the sofa for a couple of seconds before looking down. In my arms was a white, longhaired cat, similar in size to Ghost. It looked up at me and I saw its golden eyes gleam as it gave my chin a sandpaper lick. Then it faded away into nothing.

I looked back to Ghost and noticed what I didn’t see the first time. Wisps of smoke seeping through the wall that separated my kitchen and breakfast area with my neighbor’s. Our floor plans were mirrored.

My mouth opened and closed a few times without sound. I was stunned into silence and couldn’t give voice to my fear. “Fire,” I said, barely above a whisper. The impact of Ghost jumping into my arms released the hold on me. “Fire!” I screamed, “Fire! Fire!” I kept yelling it as I called 911 on my cell phone and raced out the front door. The hallway was filled with smoke and more was sweeping out in a wave under my neighbor’s door.

Oh god, he must be still asleep.

As soon as I gave the operator my address, I pocketed the phone and I banged on my neighbor’s door. “Wake up Kevin! Your apartment’s on fire!”

The commotion had woken up the other neighbors. Dean from across the hall came out, then Susan and Sol who lived next door to him as well.

“Make way,” Steven came running from down the hall, fiddling with his key ring, jingling as he searched for the correct one. He was our onsite maintenance man who lived in the building and was always there to fix things fast. I just hoped he would be fast enough.

“There’s heat,” he said as he put a palm flat on the door, “A lot of it.” He glanced around, noting in disgust the brand new smoke detector right next to the hallway light, smoke flowing through it, yet causing no alarm. “I told them not to buy that shit,” he muttered, “Dean, Susan, go get me your fire extinguishers quickly.”

They ran and were back within seconds, both reading the directions on the canisters.

“Jeanne, Please go get me a quilt, sheet, or blanket and soak it in water,” he turned to me as he added, “and don’t wring it out. It needs to be soaking wet. Go now.”

I went back in my apartment and tossed Ghost on the sofa, grabbing up the throw blanket draped on the back. In the kitchen, I cranked up both handles in the sink, pushing the throw under the flowing water. When I thought it was wet enough, I picked Ghost back up, tucking him under one arm as I ran back out, water trailing me then pooling below me when I stopped next to Steven. He had borrowed a soaking wet baseball cap from Dean and it sloshed as he put it on his head. He took the water soaked throw from me and wrapped it around himself. “Back up!” He took a step back and kicked the door in. All of us immediately covered our noses and mouths with our shirts and robes. The smoke rolled out so thick it was hard to see my neighbors, who were only standing a few feet from me.

“Rraarar?” in my arms, Ghost was getting restless. Not just because of the smoke and fire. He’d never been outside the apartment except for vet visits.

We all stood in the hall, feeling useless. The sirens that started in the distance were getting closer by the second. The fire department would be here in minutes.

Without warning, Steven pushed through the wall of smoke but he wasn’t alone. He was dragging Kevin, who wasn’t a light guy. He pulled him with one arm; in his other arm was a cat.

Behind me, I heard Dean say to Susan that Kevin didn’t have a cat and my head jerked up to look at the fluffy white cat under Steven’s arm. As soon as they reached the hall, Steven dropped to his knees and moved the water soaked throw from his shoulder to Kevin’s.

“I didn’t even know the apartment was on fire,” Kevin said hoarsely, his throat irritated from the smoke, “If it wasn’t for your cat, I’d be dead now.” He looked at me now then his words trailed off as he looked from my Ghost laden arms to Steven’s arm.

I gasped as I saw the familiar golden eyes. Both Kevin and Steven saw where I was looking and their eyes followed mine. Steven held the cat up higher in the light until it was close to his face. Those golden eyes locked onto Steven’s and it gave him a rough lick on his chin then faded away.

 

 

 

How to Twitter…

Let me start out by iterating, I am no expert. I’m still in the early stages of learning how to market, developing my brand, creating a recognizable online presence. I’m a newbie. A baby. But I’ve been crawling a while now, and I’m learning to balance on these shaky author legs of mine. So, if you’re interested, here’s what has worked for me.

I was late to the Twitter game. I didn’t start my account until October 2014. (For those who don’t know, Twitter’s been around since early 2006.) In my first year, I managed to gather about 200 followers. That number remained stagnant for about the next six months. It would fluctuate occasionally, rising and falling by five or ten, but always hovering around 200.

Within the last three months, that number has nearly doubled. How? There are plenty of algorithms and equations and mathematical gimmicks that will tell you, if you know how to figure them out.

I don’t.

Here’s what I can figure:

  1. Hashtags: Hashtags are vital. But not just any hashtags. You need to figure out which hashtags are going to get you hits. For example, as an author #amwriting is big. Authors use it all the time, to let audiences know they’re working. And then people who pay attention to #amwriting see the post, have the chance to like it, retweet it, etc. Or, if you’re a blogger, #blogger, #blogging, #BloggingGals (if you’re a gal), and #blog are all great hashtags when you’re sharing a link to your latest blog post. If you’re unsure of what to put after a hashtag, just start typing; Twitter will pop up suggestions based on what you’re typing if there are popular hashtags that already exist. That being said, don’t be afraid to start your own hashtag–if you use it long enough, it may take off, and you’ll see others begin to use it, too! Just make sure, especially if you’re a beginner, to use hashtags that are already proven tried and true.
  2. Networking: Or in Twitter lingo, use of your @. Using the @ is how you get other people involved; it’s just like tagging someone on Facebook. This is where both your followers, and the people you’re following become important. You can let them know when you want their specific attention, and by hitting them up with an @, you also get the attention of their followers as well. Again, this leads to likes, retweets, replies, etc. Which ultimately leads to followers. So, in my case, if I’m going to tweet something about Stitched Smile Publications, I might type something like this: “#Areyouallin @suturedsmile @unsaintly @zombiepaloozaradio @pardeetime @AJBrown36” and then attach a photo. Now, I’ve used our slogan as a hashtag, and I’ve tagged SSP, Lisa Vasquez, Jackie Chin, Donelle Pardee Whiting, and Jeff Brown, who are all administrators for SSP.
  3. Consistent Activity: Twitter works best as a marketing tool when you use it, and use it often. Twitter is based hugely on the here and now. It follows trends that change on a daily–sometimes an hourly–basis. If you’re not tweeting, people forget about you, because they’re not seeing you. So make sure you’re tweeting at least once a day. Keep your page active, so your followers have something to follow. If you’re bad about remembering, set an alarm. No shame in that. Just make sure to do it.
  4. Variety: Twitter is just like any other social media source when it comes to this rule; if all you do is share links to your book asking people to buy, your followers will lose interest. You may even drive them to click the dreaded unfollow button. So don’t be that person. Tweet about your book, definitely, but tweet about other things, too. Tweet links to your blog. Tweet photos. Tweet about your day. About where you’re going. What you’re doing. Who you’re doing it with. Tweet about what you’re reading. Tweet about the Olympics. What your kid just said. You want your audience to get to know you, not just as an author, but as a person. So when @johnsmith1 sees that you write horror, which he likes to read, but you’re also a huge Denver Broncos fan–so is he!–he has more than one reason to interact with you now. Also, don’t be afraid to follow the trends. That’s what people are looking at, RIGHT NOW. It’s not cheating to use that to your advantage. It’s smart.
  5. Reciprocate: Just like you want people to like/retweet/reply to your tweets, it’s just as important that you like/retweet/reply to other’s tweets. The keyword to social media is social. It’s a two-way street. Actually, it’s more like a twelve lane highway, but you get my meaning. When someone retweets you, like the retweet. Or send them a shout-out; it can be as simple as “Thanks, @johnsmith1!” If @NFL or @BradPitt or @Maroon5 tweets something about their newest venture, and you’re a fan, retweet it. This lets your followers know you’re a fan of the same things they are. And here’s the kicker: reciprocating isn’t simply the polite thing to do. It’s also advantageous. Because when you retweet your fellows or reply to their tweets, you garner the attention of their followers, which ultimately may gain you,new followers. Therein lies the beauty of social media.

So that’s it. That’s what I can tell you about how to make Twitter work for you. I will reiterate, I’m no expert. I can’t tell you how any of this works; I just know that in my case, it is working. If you’d like a visual, feel free to look me up @Briana_R_Author.

What about you? Anything you’ve found that I’ve missed? What’s been working for you? Let me know!

Much love!

 

Getting personal with Jack Ketchum

By Becky Narron and A.J. Brown

Becky Blog 1

I have been honored to meet, talk to and interview many talented and amazing authors. This next man certainly needs no introduction. I am thrilled that he was more than willing to take time to talk to me and let me do an interview with him. He has been nominated for seven Bram Stoker Awards and won four of them. Many of his novels have been adapted into movies, including The Girl Next Door. He is a super nice and intelligent man who I’m very proud to have met and with whom I have become friends. Please make welcome Jack…

How old were you when you first wrote your first story?

I’m guessing I was ten or eleven. I know I was copying stories like those I’d read by Bloch, Bradbury, and Theodore Sturgeon. Never Lovecraft, by the way. He slid by fast in my imagination. Old Gods never got to me like people did.

How many books have you written? And what’s your favorite book you wrote?

Twenty-nine books to date. Novels, novellas, nonfiction, poems, story collections. I’m not going to name a favorite. Would you do that to one of your children? Of course not!

Anything you won’t write about?

Nothing. Though some stories are harder to write about than others, places I’d rather not visit in my imagination for any period of time. Usually, I go there anyway.

Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job, etc…

I’m sixty-nine, be seventy in November. Ancient hippie, so I never cared much for marriage, though I’ve been with the same woman since the seventies, quite happily. No kids. Five cats. And no other job except writing since 1976, thank you very much.

Who or what inspired you to write?

Pre-teen angst? I don’t really know. I just loved reading so very early and loved escaping into those worlds books afforded us, and I guess I had worlds of my own I wanted to explore and escape to, however, strange and grim sometimes. It just seemed natural to write, as a natural extension of reading.

What do you like to do for fun?
Read, write, mess with my cats, travel, watch movies, spend time with good friends in good conversation.

Any traditions you do when you finish a book?

I usually have a scotch whiskey. Maybe a couple.

Anything you would change about your writing?

I can’t change much about my writing. I do what I do. Though that doesn’t stop me from reading something and saying to myself, hey, how’d he get that effect? Think I’ll take a shot at that sometime! I’m still learning. That’s part of the fun.

Where do you live?
New York City.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Total immersion in the process of putting it together, of having the idea, the characters, the themes, the places and times, the sensory factors, and going into that wonderful zone where all these things have to converge in order to make a story. Magic!

 

 

Becky Blog 2

 

 

Photo credit: Steve Thornton

As always, Jack it was my extreme pleasure to talk to you. Thank you for taking the time to let us get to know you better. I wish you much happiness and continued success.

You can connect with Jack:
Twitter@JackKetchum

http://jackketchum.net/

A big thanks to A.J. Brown for helping me on this one 😊

Writing: Always make time

typewriter 1

Time and time you will hear the comment from other writers. Well, I just don’t have the time to write. “Nonsense there is no such thing! Believe me, we all lead busy lives, some of us have a 40 plus hour job, we have kids, chores which need to be done.
However, there is a way to write. I found this lesson out back in 2010. I kept wanting to write and kept making up excuses as to why I could not do it. Then one day my husband said, “If you really love it, you will make time!”
He was right. I did. I cut out time which I spend on watching TV and then I never stopped. I am not saying you have to cut it out all together but I found so much could be done by not watching it. Now do not get me wrong, I still take the time to watch the shows I love. But now I pick certain days to watch them and then the rest of the time I schedule a few hours for writing only.

If I have to change the times of it, I adjust it, but I never go a day without writing. Even on vacation. Another thing I do is carry a notepad and write out stuff when I can. There is something about jotting stuff down on paper and pen.
I also would recommend laying off the social media sites when you write. It is hard to keep the ideas flowing by the constant notifications on FaceBook, Twitter, Google, and Instagram, etc. I know we all depend on the Internet to get our work promoted but when writing dedicate the time to only the craft of what you are working on.

Lastly, put passion in it. By this I mean to dedicate the time to it and you will notice how you are growing the seeds to a beautifully nourished garden of creativity and joy to all the readers you reach and this in itself speaks volumes.

Under Pressure…

I have 1484 ‘friends’ on my Facebook page. Whether I know all 1484 of them personally doesn’t matter. At some point, we made a mutual agreement to become acquainted. One of us sought out the other one and said ‘hello.’ The other one responded by accepting that ‘hello’ and becoming friends.

Isn’t that how life happens, how friendships are born?

I find it interesting that we view total strangers as friends. I have never actually met, face to face, with probably 1300 or more of these friends. Still, those perfect strangers are my friends. But what I—and more than likely, you—fail to realize is on the other side of the device (where you are reading this right now) is a person. For me there are 1484 people looking back. Of those 1484 people, probably less than 200 of them actually interact with me. I’m okay with that.

Why?

Well, because they are all people, and they have lives and cares and worries. They have dreams and ambitions. Some are sick and in need of prayer or comforting words. Others are fine and life is being very good to them right now. But all of them are people.

A little perspective if you will. On my friends list:

There are rich folks and there are poor folks, and there are those in between.

There are folks from every state in the United States.

There are folks from England, Australia, Canada, Germany, Russia and, yes, the Middle East.

There are folks who work as lawyers and nurses and teachers.

There are folks who work as bartenders and taxi drivers and in retail stores.

There are folks who work in factories and restaurants.

There are folks who work in the business of religion and others who work in the business of politics.

There are cops and firemen.

There are single moms and single dads raising their children the best they can.

There are married couples raising their children the best they can.

There are gays, lesbians, and bisexuals.

There are straight folks, too.

There are musicians and voice instructors.

There are successful writers, as well as fledgling ones with dreams of writing for a living.

There are readers who love books.

There are Baptists, Catholics, Mormons, Non-Denominationals, Methodists, Nazarenes, Atheists, Agnostics and maybe even a Satanists or two. And yes, there are Muslims, as well.

There are liberals, and there are conservatives.

There are folks who like heavy metal music. Others who like rap. Still, others who like classical, and some who like country and some who like bubblegum pop. There are those who like it all.

There are sports fans and there are folks who can’t stand sports.

There are those who love movies and television.

There are those who don’t care much for either.

There are those who love The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, and those who have never seen the first episode of one or both shows.

There are those who will only drive a Chevy or a Ford.

There are high school friends on here, too.

There are whites, blacks, Asians, and Native Americans.

Why does any of this matter? Simple: all of them are people. People with hopes and dreams, and people who just want to make it home to their loved ones at the end of the day. They, like you and I, have feelings. They, like you and I, have ambitions. They, like most of us, are saddened by events where people are killed recklessly and needlessly because of hate and fear.

During this week where America celebrated its independence, at least seven people died who should still be alive today. The key word isn’t black or cop. The key word here is ‘people.’ Seven people are dead and millions more are angry and some are even enraged to the point of…hate.

Today I sit at my kitchen table having not only celebrated my nation’s independence, but also my birthday. Seven people will never see another birthday. Their families are forever changed, and many of them are mad, not just at those who killed them, but at other people as well—people who have nothing to do with the events that unfolded this week.

There are those who want revenge and those who want to take away someone else’s freedoms and those who want justice now. There are those who will lump everyone into a category because of a few people’s actions. There are those who will scream and demand change, demand our government do something about this.

Here’s the problem with that: change will never come about until we, the people, change our way of thinking and change our hearts. We, the people, are the only ones that can bring positive change. Not our governments and not our laws. The people. The same folks I have mentioned up above can make a change, but in order to do so, we have to change our hearts, we have to learn how to be compassionate again. We have to learn to love our neighbor. If we can have total strangers on a social media site that we call friends, and some of which we come to cherish and possibly even love, then why can’t we do the same to the people we come in contact with every single day of our lives?

I’m reminded of the song Under Pressure, by Queen and David Bowie. At the end they come to the conclusion that it is love that can make a difference in every person’s life. But love is so old fashioned…

And love dares you to care for

The people on the edge of the night

And love dares you to change our way of

Caring about ourselves

The way I see it is, love dares you to look in the mirror, but we don’t want to do that. We want to lay blame somewhere else. We, as a people—not as a nation, as a people—need to step back and look at ourselves, and make a change, starting with ourselves. If we don’t, I fear for myself, my children, my friends, my fellow people. Because, the way I see it is if we don’t make a change in our hearts and our mindset soon, then we will never have true freedom again. We will all be prisoners to fear and rage and hate, and no one will be safe.

This, well, this is how I see it. Until we meet again, my friends, be kind to one another.

Unleashing the voices within- prerelease party

Stitched Smile Publications had the awesome event this past Thursday for the pre-release party of Unleashing the Voices within which is an amazing anthology with 22 stories and some very talented authors.

This event had an incredible variety of authors from Ty Schamberger, Justin Gowland, Mark Deloy, Briana Robertson, R. Judas Brown and Jeff Parsons who
are some of the authors who are included in this fantastic book coming out on June 22, 2016. I have to say it was really nice to interact with all of them. I also thought Becky Narron did one amazing job hosting this event.

Finally, a big Kudos to SSP, our fantastic team. Our boss Lisa Vasquez, Marketing Director, Jackie Chin, and our amazing host and executive assistant, Becky Narron. I also want to send a big shout out the amazing authors who came, and readers really know how to put this event together. It was great to come to this pre-release event.

Below is the summary of it.

Stitched Smile Publications presents: The Voices Within anthology.

They start as whispers, or static, beckoning you to listen and to be heard. They are the voices that creep into your psyche and coil around your own thoughts until one day you can’t tell the difference between which ones are yours and which ones aren’t. What happens when the voices become too much? What happens when the voices become too real? Come explore what happens when the voices are unleashed.

The book was released on June 22, 2016, and I hope you will get your copy today.

Put Your Best Grammar Forward

I’m going to make this short and sweet.

Grammar matters. Punctuation matters. Proper grammar and punctuation matter. Especially if you are/market yourself as an author. Yes, even on the internet. And in this day and age? Maybe most importantly on the internet.

Now, I’m not talking about the occasional typo or the use/lack of use of an Oxford comma. I’m not harping on ending a sentence with a preposition, or using slang, or any of the broken rules that ultimately add flavor and personality to a piece.

I’m talking about everyday, basic, English 101. I’m talking about capitalizing the first letter of your sentence. I’m talking about ending your sentence with a period. When I get a notification informing you’ve posted in one of the multiple author groups I’m a member of, and I read your post, and this is what follows:

“hey i’m (so-and-so) and i just released my book, (title), its available on Amazon, check it out leave a review k thanks.”

Guess what? I’m probably not going to buy your book, let alone read it. I can’t speak for the person next to me, but you’ve given me no confidence in your writing abilities.

Indie publishing is hard enough. It offers more than enough obstacles for those of us trying to make it in this business. Do yourself (and us) a favor-don’t make it harder. Don’t give your audience such a blatant excuse not to check out what you have to offer. Because the fact is, you might have the best story to tell, the most compelling characters, the most beautifully developed world. But if you can’t construct a proper sentence, the chances of anyone finishing your work decrease. And that’s just depressing.

So dot your “i’s” and cross your “t’s.” More importantly, CAPITALIZE your “I’s.”

Much love!