Friday, July 29, 2011

Decisions Decisions Decisions!

I need to decide between the 3 images below for the book cover for Mr. Pitt & Lickety's Split...

First Image: The two characters have very prominent teeth and tongue features
Second Image has less prominent teeth and tongue features
Last image has no teeth and tongue features
 I am leaning toward the image with "no teeth and tongue" features. Of course my son likes the first image with the prominent features, LOL! Decisions, Decisions, Decisions...

My Son ~ The Illustrator!!

My children and I have a quasi-game we play with each other...we will take turns and scribble on a piece of paper, with your eyes closed for just a few seconds. Once the "scribbler" opens their eyes, we all take turns at trying to make pictures out of the scribble that was done.

I introduced my children to this as I had made this game up with myself when I was young...I use to play this when I was bored to death while sitting in church as a child. It is similar to the game you play when you are riding in an airplane and you try to find/spot as many objects or faces as you can in the clouds.

Well one particular time we were playing the "scribble game" as I will call it, and my son drew two cartoon-like characters. They were so cute! And from the original scribble drawing, he decided to create another drawing of the same characters, only it showed them in a front view position. Normally we just throw away our scribble "masterpieces," but this particular time, I had decided to keep his drawings. I am glad I did!

It wasn't until almost a year later...and after hiring an illustrator for my books...that I thought of the idea of using my son's drawings for one of the books! His drawings of the two characters were actually PERFECT for my book Mr. Pitt & Lickety's Split.

I had seen on Jeff's website (Jeff the illustrator) that he also does "re-illustrations" of pictures you submit to him. How perfect!!!!!!! My SON will be the ILLUSTRATOR, and Jeff is the RE-Illustrator of this particular book.

When I told my son that he would be illustrating one of the books, he was so excited! Of course, he would be ;-)  He's just 13 years old, he was 12 when he created the drawings. And as his mother, I am so proud of him, and just sooooo excited!!! Who would ever have thought that a game I made up as a child would be the catalyst to a book cover illustration created by my child.

Well Jeff the illustrator sent me the re-illustration today (just a rough sketch) of my son's illustrations. I just laughed, the characters are so funny looking...just like I like it!! Can't wait for my son to see son is currently away at a summer scholar program at Princeton University!!

Below are the pics of my son's original "scribble" drawing, then the drawing he created as a result of the scribble drawing, and thereafter the re-illustration sketch from Jeff. I will also post the progress of the re-illustration just as soon as Jeff completes it for the book.

God Bless!

MY SON'S ORIGINAL "SCRIBBLE" DRAWING FROM THE GAME WE PLAYED. If you were wondering why you can't see the scribble lines, once I had decided to keep the drawing I erased the lines (it was done in pencil) AND made a zerox copy of the original:




Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cruel Hoax = Valuable Lesson!

There was a cruel hoax done on an "indie" author recently. Apparently someone had pretended to be from a major publishing company and offered a "too good to be true" contract to this very young self-published author. She was not only devastated at not getting a deal from a major publishing house, she was also humiliated after she had to announce to all her family, friends, and followers that she in fact did not have a contract, but was the brunt of a big hoax. The author had contemplated never writing again! Thankfully she did not allow this cruel hoax to stop her writing and she has vowed to carry on.

Here is the link to check out the story:

My heart goes out to this young author. People can definitely be cruel!! It is a shame that you have to stay on your guard at all times. Why do people do such horrible things to others?? Well, we may never know the reason why people do the things they do that end up hurting or humiliating others.  However, I do know that I serve an awesome God and He not only is my savior, He is also my protector...whom shall I fear? No one! What shall I fear? NOTHING!!

The young author at one point vowed never to write again due to the hurt and humiliation of the hoax. My opinion, don't allow someone or something to steal your joy and quite possibly your God-given destiny! Pray and allow the Holy Spirit to lead you in the right direction. Sometimes the Lord allows us to go through challenges to either teach us a valuable lesson and/or make us stronger.

In the case at hand...if something sounds to good to be true, it just might be!! 

God Bless!!

A "Nitti Gritti" COVER Indeed!

Although my book "Nitti Gritti Smitty" has been up for sale on since June, it FINALLY HAS A COVER!!! Yeah!!!!! Created by Jeffrey Duckworth. You can check it out, link is below:

If you notice I had the illustrator change the title color from a blue to a burnt orange. I just wanted the cover to have a little more color since the "Vinny Vain" book cover was so colorful. I think the burnt orange looks much better than the blue!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Finding Support Of Others ~ Weeding Through "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly"

You know the quote "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly"

Well, I recently sent an email to a fellow author briefly describing reasons for limiting my exposure to certain forums and threads that authors frequently visit, in particular, that I frequently visit. I had expressed an interest in communicating outside of the author threads. So we exchanged information and I just sent her an email. I copied and pasted part of my email to her, which appears below...I label this "the bad & the downright ugly":

"I have found that the threads on _______ at times could be very negative and sometimes even hostile toward other authors. I have not frequented the threads as much as I use to in the very beginning as I prefer a more positive and encouraging environment.

Case in point, a brand new author published his first book and posted on the author threads introducing his book...well he received some pretty hostile posts from others about him "spammimg" the threads. I couldn't believe it, I thought about this poor sole who was probably so excited about publishing his first book, most likely got lack-luster response from family and friends like most of us, and was probably thinking that at least other authors would be just as excited for him bc they have been there at one point! Wrong!! He received such hostile posts towards him and his book...I was mortified. That was one of the reasons I wrote a blog post on my blog about "staying positive in a not-so-positive environment."

I felt the need to reach out to the other author OUTSIDE of the threads we normally frequent to be able to communicate without all the other nonsense that sometimes appears when you post in forums and threads. We are in the same genre of writing children's books and utilize the same quirky humor in our books. My thoughts were to be able to bounce off one another and help support one another as we both go through this process. Her name is Anna Coach and she wrote the most adorable children's book called "This Thing", available on for $2.99, the link to her book is below:

I believe I have found "The Good" and I will continue to weed through the "Bad & Ugly"

God Bless!

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Making of a Cover

The Nitti Gritti Smitty cover has been in development for the past couple of weeks now. It actually could have been available sooner, but I went on vacation and really didn't get that much of an opportunity to approve the different stages of development. Now that I am back from vacation, it's all steam ahead!

I just thought I would post the different stages of the cover art for Nitti Gritti, completed by Illustrator Jeffrey Duckworth...Here they are...






Thursday, July 14, 2011

My Inspirations!

I have so many people and things that inspire my writing, the Holy Spirit of course is the main inspiration. The other major inspirations are my three children! Children are definitely a precious gift from God.

My children never sees to amaze me, they make me laugh and ponder at life in ways that I could never imagine. My writing is definitely dedicated to my children and ALL the things they do to inspire it...Mommy loves you!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Staying Positive in a Not-So-Positive Environment

How can an author stay positive in a not-so-positive "book world"?

In the past few days I have come across some seemingly interesting, yet troubling threads/posts not only by fellow authors, but also consumers of our books as well. I have seen some downright hostile posts from authors to other authors, as well as consumers to authors trying to promote their books.

It would seem logical that after an author spends so much time, energy and effort to produce his or her material, the next step after production would be to promote it, right? Right! Well I am now learning that there are certain protocals to promoting your books in certain forums. If these protocals are not followed, an author could be the next subject/victim in a brutal electronic attack! Picture a person in water being surrounded and eaten up by piranha.

The following thread is a case in point:

Yes, I do believe that there are some authors out there that try to manipulate the system (and people) into buying their material. However, I strongly feel there are a good majority of us that are simply trying to extend our material to the masses in an honest, no schemes attached, way.

I have also noticed how people are quick to criticize another person without the slightest regard for how it would make the other person feel. What happened to compassion in our society? Even if you don't have compassion, weren't you taught that if you didn't have anything positive to say, don't say anything? The problem with the "book world" is that people make a living by writing down their thoughts, their behaviors, what's on their minds. Likewise, some consumers will pay big money to read what's on the minds of authors and what makes the author's characters come alive. So I guess it would seem natural that a person (whether author or consumer) would simply say what they are feeling at the moment, especially since it's so easy to do when one is sitting in front of a computer as opposed to in front of the actual person they are attacking. I thought the legal profession was harsh. I am certainly seeing the same critical narcisism in the book world as well. And of course I know that this is not limited to the "book world" (and legal profession for that matter) only.

So, back to the question at can an author (like myself) stay positive when it seems that there are so many negatives stacked against you...or at least it appears that way? ;-) By keeping your eye on the Lord and His promises!

"He delivered me from my strong enemy, from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me. They came upon me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my stay" 2 Samuel 22:18-19

Just remember that the Lord is with you ALWAYS. Place your burdens on Him and allow Him to fight your battles! Staying positive can be a challenge, but when you know you have someone else to fight for you, makes that problem that was once a MOUNTAIN seem like a mole hill!

Have a Blessed day!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

July 9, 2011 - First Book Cover Complete!

The first cover is complete!! Illustrator Jeffrey Duckworth ( did a fantastic job on the cover for Vinny Vain Liked to Complain. The first cover completed for my series, titled: Little Life Lessons; Love, Grace & Blessings - Stories For All God's Children.

The Vinny Vain book is available for purchase on, the link is below.

Next cover he is working on is Nitti Gritty Smitty...can't wait to see what Jeff comes up with! Nitti Gritty Smitty is also available for purchase in the Amazon store (for Kindle), no hard copies yet. The link is below.

June 30, 2011 - My UK Connection!

Someone actually bought one of my books in the UK!!!! WOW
Ok, I know 1 book is nothing, but still. I will celebrate that ONE book being sold in the UK. I kinda wonder now who bought the book? Did they like it?
I guess I will never know those answers, but it's nice to think that maybe, just maybe they really really loved it and in their mind gave it 5 stars and really wanted to leave a review, but simply didn't have time to leave a fabulous review.

Or the opposite could be true, they could have hated it and thankfully didn't bother leaving a review.

I'm hoping for the former rather than the later.

For my first month of sales, I did sell 14 books. Not too bad in a 10 day time frame. I'll take that and thank the Lord every day!!!  :-)

Correction: I sold 15 books (14 in the U.S. and that ONE book in the U.K.)  :-))

June 20, 2011 ~ Publishing Time!

Here goes nothing...Published 4 of my books on Amazon's Kindle. Not a lot of people are aware yet, not even family and friends know I have written anything, let alone children's books...I guess I will have to start informing people!
So the venture begins into the book world!

Here are the Titles:
(1) Nitti Gritti Smitty, available now on (Kindle books)

(2) Vinny Vain Liked to Complain, available now on (Kindle books)

(3) Mr. Pitt & Lickety's Split, available now on (Kindle books)

(4) My Forgivefullness, available now on (Kindle books)

I have completed two other books, but I have not published them yet. I am also in the process of completing two more books.

Year 2011

It is now 2011 and I have caught you up to where I am at in the present day of things. I decided to self publish instead of taking the "traditional" publishing route. More control, more royalties! Of course I may change my mind about my decision later, but for right now I feel I am moving in the right direction.

Side note: I did attempt to obtain an agent, but after sending my manuscript to one particular agency in New York and NEVER hearing from them. I decided, the heck with that!!!!  An author spends so much time developing their manuscript...writing, re-writing, editing, more editing. Then spending a GREAT deal of time putting together a synopsis, query letters, etc etc, and to NOT hear anything from the agency you spent so much time in researching and reviewing and getting to know them (of course not personally but after you have spent so much time researching their company, you feel like you know them personally!!). I was not only frustrated, but incredibly ANNOYED at their lack of response--even a "BUZZ" off would have been something better than nothing. At least some acknowledgment would mean that they at least received the material, may not have looked at it, but at least they received it. However, when you don't hear ANYTHING from ANYBODY, that pretty much tells you what???


WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All that time and effort and nothing...

I have received rejection letters before and even experienced the "No response means NO" policy. So why did this particular agencies response (or LACK THEREOF) annoy me so much? Because nowhere in their submission policy did they mention they were utilizing the "No response means No" method. In fact, there policy specifically stated that if an author didn't hear from them within 2 weeks, to send an inquiring email to XXXXX.  Which I did, but no response! SIGH. I don't mind the "no response means no" policy, as long as it is clearly stated in the agency policy.

So, I decided that route was NOT for me. I wasn't going to waste any more time on people that weren't interested in me or my material. So I decided to self-publish!

Year 2009

The year is now 2009 and the Holy Spirit had been nudging me to complete what I had begun back in 2007.

It took me awhile to get back into writing because I really lacked motivation, I think the "enemy" was trying to steal my joy and God's blessings over me. However, I eventually did (with the Holy Spirit's nudging) and in the fall of 2009, I had 3 more stories completed (Nitti Gritti Smitty, Mr. Pitt & Lickety's Split, and Vinny Vain Liked to Complain). The completion of the 3 additional stories completed the entire series, which would later be named the Little Life Lessons; Love, Grace and Blessings - Short Stories For All God's Children series! The date was November 2, 2009.

Side note: On October 9, 2009, the Holy Spirit spoke words to me and gave me a prophesy about the books. I will not write what that prophesy is at this particular time, but I do hold it near and dear to my heart. The prophesy, coupled with the Lord's grace and strength, is what keeps me motivated and moving forward!

The Beginning of the Journey ~ circa 2007

OK so I'm starting this blog "thing" to chronicle my experience into the publishing world. Many words to describe the publishing world...but I'll keep it clean. I CAN say that I am having a lot of fun thus far! Of course there are many frustrating moments, but it really is worth it in the end when you see your book begin to come to life.

So to recap (or catch everyone up), let me go back to THE BEGINNING of how this all started (me writing books and all). It was July/2007 and I was one month out of closing my law practice. For nearly 10 years I was in the legal world...Arguing - Examining and Cross Examining witnesses - Arguing - Power lunches - Power get the picture. But now I found myself at home. The first month as a quasi stay-at-home mom, cooking, cleaning, picking up kids from carpool...and quite BORED to death. I had been so busy for nearly 10 years, now I just found myself in a big house, alone, bored, and on the verge of an anxiety attack because I didn't know what to do with myself.
I remember sitting at my computer one night and staring at it blankly (awww my computer, what once had been so busy and filled with Briefs, Appeal docs and letters, now flashed pics with words of the latest celebrity gossip, and new and interesting ways to cook a chicken). I checked my email for the 100th time that day and saw that I had a new email from a friend regarding book publishing.

I thought to myself "Huh" wouldn't it be interesting to publish a children's book...a Christian children's book. Since the world at that time, and actually still is, obsessed with "dark" themed stories, I wanted to publish something more positive to feed into our children.

I remember asking and praying to the Lord that if He would just give me some words...stories...I would write them down and go from there...
Well that night I couldn't even sleep. My head was FILLED with so many words and stories!!! I had to get up and write down what was filled in my head. I honestly couldn't write everything down fast enough!! Within a few weeks from when I prayed for stories, I had a total of 3 stories completed (Frog on a Log, The Beetle & the Sun~ which would later turn into Baby Beetle & the Sun, and Hello Lord ~ which would later turn into My Forgivefullness). I also had many more stories in my head that needed to be put on paper.

I sent the completed stories to several publishers. Received many rejection letters, HOWEVER I did receive a contract on one of my stories (My Forgivefullness)...a 21 page contract for a two-book deal! I was excited at first, but after reading the 21 pages, and discovering many unfavorable commitments, I decided not to accept the publication deal. There's actually more to the story, but that's all I'll elaborate on for the time being...

After that, I decided to step back and breathe a bit, everything was happening so fast. It had only been a few months since I even started writing!! Thereafter I put away all of my manuscripts and ideas, and did not look at them or think about them again for another 2 years...that year would be 2009.