Some Editing Advice

Why is it important to review your manuscript when you edit?

One of the best things a Writer looks forward to when working hard on their WIP  is to finish it and then begin the journey of proofreading it. I know this can be a tedious task, and it does take even more work once the first draft has been finished. The main reason is that here begins the underlying work of reading over it again and hoping to perfect it before sending it to the editor or beta readers you have chosen.There is so much advice one can give on the process of editing. The list is endless. However, this post today is only going to focus on one.Always remember to review your manuscript when you edit! I can’t emphasize this enough. It is an ongoing process for all those who write and also edit.

Some may still be confused. What this means is simple. Reviewing your manuscript is making sure when the editor sends their suggestions or comments you read through your work once again to make sure there is fluidity, and it all makes sense.

Never just accept the changes. Be sure to Read it aloud and always check if the sentences flow well with one another.

Think of it like a table reading.  For example, like when an actor has to review the script for the first time with their cast for a movie or television show.   Over the course of time,  I have learned these tips as an Editor for SSP, and I am sharing it with all of you today.   There is not harm in reviewing your work to make it the best you can for your readers.


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.

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.

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.

Editing Tip: Showing and telling By Editing intern Sylvia Stein

As an editing intern with Stitched Smile Publications, I am so happy to be working with an amazing group of editors and authors.   As both an author and editor, I know how important it is to be able to work on the best possible manuscript.   This is why I am sharing a short editing lesson on today’s blog.

This is all taken from Chapter 1 Show and Tell, and this is taken from the book by Self-Editing for Fiction Writers:  How to edit yourself into print by Renni Browne and Dave King.

I will begin by showing a sample of this paragraph:

The conversation was barely begun before I discovered that our host was more than simply a stranger to most of his guests.  He was an enigma, a mystery.  And this was a crowd that doted on mysteries.  In the space of no more than five minutes, I heard several different people put forth their theories — all equally probable or preposterous –as to who and what he was. Each theory was argued with the conviction that can only come from a lack of evidence, and it seemed that, for many of the guests, these arguments were the main reason to attend his parties.

In a sense, of course, there’s nothing wrong.  The paragraph is grammatically impeccable, and it describes the mystery surrounding the party’s host clearly, efficiently, and with a sense of style.

Both the authors continue by stating, “Now look at the same passage as it actually appeared in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby:

“I like to come,” Lucille said.   “I never care what I do, so I always have a good one.  When I

was here last, I tore my gown on a chair, and he asked me my name and address — within a week I got a package from Croireir’s with a new evening gown in it.”

“Did you keep it?”  asked Jordan.

“Sure I did, I was going to wear it tonight, but it was too big in the bust, and I had to be altered. It was gas blue with lavender beads. Two hundred and sixty-five dollars.”

“There’s something funny about a fellow that’ll do a thing lie that,” said the other girl eagerly. “He doesn’t want any trouble with anybody.”

“Who doesn’t? I inquired.

“Gatsby.  Somebody told me—“

The two girls and Jordan leaned together confidentially.

“Somebody told me they thought he killed a man.”

A thrill passed over all of it.  The three Mr. Mumbles bent forward and listened eagerly.

“I don’t think it’s so much that,” argued Lucille skeptically: “it’s more that he was a German spy during the war.”

One of the men nodded in confirmation.

“I heard that from a man who knew all about him, grew up with him in Germany,” he assured us positively.

“Oh no,” said the first girl, “It couldn’t be that because he was in the American army during the war.”

As our credulity switched back to her, she leaned forward with enthusiasm.  “You look at him sometimes when he thinks nobody’s looking at him.  I’ll bet he killed a man.”

So now the question Browne and King post here is “What’s the difference between these two examples? To put it simply, it’s a matter of showing and telling.  The first version is a narrative summary, with no specific settings or characters.   We are simply told about the guests’ love of mystery, the weakness of their arguments, the conviction of the arguers.

In the second version, we get to see the breathless partygoers putting forth their theories and can almost taste the eagerness of their audience. The first version is a secondhand report.  The second is an immediate scene.

This was just a short sample lesson on Showing and telling.

So now that you have taken a look at this, I hope you will take a look at this book.  As an editing intern, this has been such a great reference book to have.

If you have time check it out:








Dredging up Memories by AJ Brown


On May 6, 2016,  I had the pleasure of attending the release party for Author AJ Brown or for those of you that know him better Jeff Brown.    He is one phenomenal author for Stitched Smile Publications, and I am so happy to have not only attended this party, but also purchase his book.     Once I began reading this book I could not put it down.  Wow, what is there to say, this is Master Telling at it’s very best.   I give him 5 stars. It is one amazing book and if you have not gone out to get it you need to do so today.

My review: 

Dredging up Memories is the best book I have read in a long time that reflects upon the zombie apocalypse. Author A.J. Brown masterfully creates this amazing story and brings it to life in the main character of Hank Walker. I could not put this book down. This is master storytelling at it’s best. To take a protagonist and put him through so much loss and devastation due to the zombie chaos. Then have him try to keep himself together by finding a bear dressed up in a bunny costume, which he names Humphrey. Then give Humphrey life by imagining the voice a little girl to help him deal with all the tragedies he has to endure as he has to take on the part of arming himself with the task of being the executioner of all the people he cares about who are turning into zombies. How does he find solace? How does he find strength to keep going? As he fights to stay alive and work on being with his family which he hopes found safety after the contamination broke out. His only friend has become Humphrey who appears to tame his sanity. I tell you this is one amazing book and the journey AJ Brown takes us into is just one that a reader should not miss.




One on one with author Lori Fontanez



Sylvia Stein (SS):  Tell us about yourself?

Lori Fontanez (LF): I live in a rural area of West Virginia, I am married and have four children. Well, three of them are adults and one still lives at home. I call her the teenager. Lol! I have two cats, Sunshine and Moonshine; they live outside. We also have two dogs. My dog, Millie, is a Boston Terrier. She’s my world. She stays with me at all times. I have fibromyalgia and a few chronic illnesses that sometimes causes me grief. I enjoy reading and writing. I have just learned to sew. I love doing crafts, I have to keep busy so, I even play video games on the Ps4 and the Wii. I like the shooting games.


SS:    How did you get started in writing?

LF:    I’m in the group called ATZ with Jeff Clare, he’s the leader. LOL! Anyways November of 2015 he was going to do an anthology, and I submitted a story. It was accepted, and the book came out around  Christmas. Then I met Lisa Vasquez, and she took me under her wing. I met Veronica Smith and she did a lot for me with editing.  From there I have continued to write and would love to do this full-time. I need to find a place, I can go to write without interruptions.


SS:  What type of books do you write?

LF: I write #Horror, I have always liked scary books, mysteries. Thomas Leeland beta reads and said,”I write like Stephen King.” I love that. My stories can be very twisted and Intense.


SS:   How many books or stories have you published?

LF:    I have a few anthologies stories: ATZ A Very Zombie Christmas, Fifty Shades of Slay,  Grynn anthology, Painted Mayhem and Bite Size Offerings.  I recently have my first solo book out called Stalker.


SS:   What is your current book?

LF: I am working on the paperback of Stalker, It will include a few short stories that never found a home. I sent a ghost story to Lisa Vasquez called The Closet, I’m waiting on her to read through it. Stalker 2 Obsessed is in the works. Mirrors is a creepy story that I have been working on.


SS: What can you tell us about this book?

LF: Stalker is a short story that is intense and is a good story, I don’t want to brag, but I liked this story. The stalker is in the book some just to as an introduction. The second book is very intense, and he will blow your mind.


SS:  What can you tell us about the type of characters you create?

LF:  I create the characters, and they rule me. I plan a story on paper, and the characters take it their way. I like horror so, most of my characters are shifty and not to be trusted.


SS:   Do you have a current book you are working on?

LF: I am working on a few, Stalker 2: Obsessed is first, though.


SS: What is your writing process, do you have a particular schedule you follow?

LF: My schedule is screwed up, I write when I can. There are two many things going on with the after school activities; I have taken my laptop to track meets.


SS:  Do you prefer music when you write?  Why or Why Not?

LF: Most of the time I listen to music, It’s calming and love my rock music when I write. I love AC/DC, Ozzy and Everlast. Lately, it’s been Hoozier. There is more It just depends on my mood.


SS:  What is something we do not know about you?

LF: Yep, I am sentimental, I get my feelings hurt easily, I love helping people. I gather things all the time in case someone needs it. I collect baby clothes mostly and house hold items. Someone in our area is always in need. I knit hats for the cancer society.


LF: Thank you Sly for the interview, It was fun…..Have a great day.
SS:  Thank you for having me, Lori.  Lori Fontanez is an author from Stitched Smile Publications I hope you will take the time to check out her work.   



For more on  Author Lori Fontanez be sure to  check out her links:

my twitter wouldn’t keep the link, but my name is Lori7566 on there


Review for Strigoi The First Family by amazing Authors Donelle Pardee Whiting and Michael S. Freeman


The First Family is one page turner you do not want to miss out on. The collaboration by the talents of these two authors Donelle Pardee Whiting and Michael Freeman is so captivating and full of surprises it grabs you from the first page till the very end. I love how they incorporated this story by making it about the history of the family Dracul and going into the history of events and combining the freelance writer who gets invited by the elderly man to speak about the first member of the family which was cursed. This was one captivating plot because I thought they brought out some of Anne Rice’s tendencies as she did in Interview with the Vampire. This has so many historical references in it, but I love how the plot centers around it within the story.

My review of this book is 5 Stars:

Make sure to check this book out today!strigoi


Check out the books on Amazon and Create Space:

The Unfleshed Cover Release Party



On April 5, 2016,  I attended another amazing release party for Stitched Smile Publications where I am an editing and now a marketing intern.     This event was for our amazing Ceo and Boss Lisa Vasquez, who is also an amazing cover designer and author.    For this event, Lisa unveiled the cover for her upcoming book, ” The Unfleshed.”   The event was from 7 -9 p.m. central time.    This event not only had Lisa Vasquez but included other amazing Stitched Smile Authors like  Veronica Smith, Lori Fontanez, Anthony Vidal,  Donelle Pardee Whiting and Jeff Zimmerman.   This was all hosted by our very talented Marketing Director Jackie Chin.   The event offered some amazing prizes and games to help all readers and authors connect. As a new intern for Stitched, I really enjoyed interacting with all the readers and authors.     I was blown away by the amazing cover of The Unfleshed by our very talented Lisa Vasquez.      This was one amazing event, and a very big congratulations goes out to Lisa, Jackie and our very talented authors, winners and all those who attended this fabulous unveiling.












My Review of talented author Isabel Castruita’s, ” Hell’s Guardian Chronicles: Crimson Savior


Zyra Falls had been in Witness Protection her whole life until the Red System attacked. Struggling to survive, she has to learn to become a Hunter and control her latent powers. But will Queen Velika take her revenge out on Zyra and the innocent Lugat? Or will Zyra do what she must do to save them from her wrath?


My review:  I gave this book 5 Stars it is Wickedly engaging  

I think this is one wickedly engaging book by Author Isabel Castruita. From page one to the very end. This story keeps your adrenaline pumping, and I loved the main protagonist of Zyra Falls. Immediately the pacing in the story begins as Zyra is trying to stay under hiding but then the red system attacks and it all changes for her. This Book one by author Castruita is entitled, Crimson Savior ( Hell’s Guardian Book 1 also introduces other characters which come into play in Zyra’s story. This is one book that keeps you going and at the edge of your seats. I am excited to read the next one.


If you have not picked up this book yet you should do so:  It is available:




Isabel Castruita is the author of YA urban fantasy novels. Born and raised in Colorado, she works on her two series full-time. A Gemini, who became inspired to become a writer after reading novels like Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale, the Resident Evil series by S.D. Perry, and the Vampire Academy and Bloodline series by Richelle Mead. A lifelong reader, Isabel has always had a fascination with the supernatural and the paranormal as well as folklore. She enjoys watching creepy ghost shows and is obsessed with anime. Isabel recently signed with: Stitched Smile Publications and her books are being re-released in March 2016.