Monday, November 27, 2017


Let the countdown begin!

Christmas is less than a month away and I have some great gift ideas. 

Sure, they may be the gifts I want but if you are shopping for an author, feel free to use them as well.

1. Nice Pen- a nice pen to sign those new novels would be a great gift to give; especially if my name was on it.

2. Portable Hard Drive- I have been through the heartbreak of my computer crashing and it is nothing fun. This little beauty could be used to back up those important revisions you are making.

3. Professional Photo Shoot- Let me be clear; it doesn't have to be professional. I just need someone to dress me up, do my makeup and take some great photos of me.

4. Deep Tissue Massage- After all; sitting in a chair all day and writing is hard work. My back is always sore and would keep me motivated. Hint: Massage Envy offers great monthly plans

5. Pretty Journal- That I can travel with. Notes would be so much better if I had a dedicated place to keep them. Plus it would go nice with gift idea #1

6. Carry On Luggage- Now this may seem odd. This is the perfect size to keep my laptop (17 inches), journal, some extra books and all things related to writing. I would use this bag every time I had an appearance to go to. 

7. Wine- After all, I need motivation and for me; my favorite wine, from my favorite winery would do the trick. Hint: Romano Vineyard and Winery is in Brandywine, Maryland. OK; that's more than a hint. 

8. Touchscreen monitor- Yep; I have a desktop and all I want is a touch screen to go with it. That's simple, right?

9. New shoes- C'mon you knew that would be on the list, right? Size 9 with at least a 5 inch heel. Easy Peasy.

and finally

10. How about purchasing some of my novels. Give them as a set or gift them on Kindle! 

So what is on YOUR Christmas list?

Monday, November 20, 2017


You have submitted that manuscript. You waited months for an answer on whether your writing stood out. You were elated when they said YES! You received an advance! 

Now you are awaiting for your 'baby' to be delivered.

It went through edits, rewrites, more edits and now it's in cover design. You rejected the first one but the second one is spot on! Then you had to write a synopsis AND short bio.

Your novel is now in the finishing stages of book production.

But wait! You look at your desk and see it.

There's that check you received! You were scared to cash it because you didn't know if it was actually happening! You didn't want to jink it so you left it there, in the envelope until now.

You are published! 

You got an advance and now you have money!

But what will you do with that sudden 'extra' money that you have.

Here's an idea: Use it for marketing! Buy your business cards, buy a domain name or invest in going to a conference and getting on a panel to promote that novel!

See, getting money is great and getting money as an author is greater! 

However most authors look at it like 'extra' cash to spend on things NOT related to being an author. 

You have to invest that money back into your business. 

Remember, I keep telling you that you are now a SMALL BUSINESS and your business is writing. 

Buy that new laptop, Ipad, or desktop computer you've been eyeing for some time. Buy a printer or portable hard drive. Buy flash drives to keep your novels on. Buy that outfit that will become your 'author wear' when you travel and sit on panels to discuss your novel. Buy that carrying case, messenger bag or duffel bag to carry your manuscript when you travel. Buy a nice pen to sign your books with. Pay for some professional photos of yourself and your novel. There are endless possibilities.

Remember, you can write it all off come April so invest it now; you will get it back later.

So what are YOU going to do with that advance for your novel? 

Make sure you choose wisely.

Monday, November 13, 2017


With the end of the year fast approaching, you need to begin making plans now.

Make plans to get your writing schedule set for the new year. 

Make plans to attend some conferences.

Make plans to connect with authors outside of your genre.

Make time to treat yourself to that new book that you have been wanting to read.

Make time to research and visit some of the locations that you reference in your novels.

Make time to get a new desktop or laptop. (You do know that most laptops are built to last only 3 years.)

Make time to get your books in order and receipts ready for tax season. (You did keep your receipts for mileage when you drove to that conference didn't you?)

See, now is the time to make plans. 

After all; there are only 48 more days until 2018!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


That is how I feel when I spend time with other authors. 

In the past few weeks, different writer and fan conferences concluded.

MDC3Con (Creatures, Crimes and Creativity) and BoucherCon are two of my favorites. Thrillerfest is another.

This is the time of year for the three R's. 

Refreshing your desire to write. Renewing your goals and rejuvenating that manuscript that has been in your desk for months without seeing the light of day. 

This is also the time of year for the fourth R.


Reflect on what you have done for the last 10 months. Reflect on how your writing has improved. Reflect on what it is to be an author. 

This is the time that the leaves change, your wardrobe gets warmer and your writing should become easier as the day passes. 

This is also the time of year that authors gather to talk and share ideas. They share what they have learned with each other. They share their ups and downs. They share their successes and their failures. 

They also share what they plan on doing differently in the coming year. 

If you don't have a support group to talk to; you really need to join one. 

Better yet....create one. 

Create what you need. After all; writing is a solitary thing. But the benefits of being an author is that you get to meet some amazing people to reflect, refresh, renew and be rejuvenated with.

Are you ready for your new season? 

I am.