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The Writing Realizations I Wish I Had When I Started

Growth is inevitable and I believe it’s one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves as human beings. It can be physical, emotional, spiritual, or educational, but no matter how we choose to grow as individuals, the goal is always the same: We want to be the best version of ourselves in everything we do.


For writers this is especially true.  We desperately want this growth to happen on the page word-by-word, day-by-day, chapter-by-chapter. It’s an insatiable hunger. 


Although I’ve been writing for over 25 years, I’ve only taken myself seriously as a writer the past 5 years, working feverishly night and day to grow, develop, improve.


And what I’ve come to realize recently is that taking myself seriously has been the biggest writing mistake I’ve made thus far, and I think it might be a mistake many other writers are making.

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It's The Love Inside That Matters

I recently came across one of my favorite poems written by my grandma, Vera Ann Diethorn, between 1974 and 1975.


She was a mother of 8, a grandmother to 17, married for 60 years, and one of the most optimistic, loving, talented women I've ever known.  She raised her entire family in a 1000 square foot, 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom house outside of Pittsburgh, PA—a reminder that it’s not the size of the home you live in, but the amount of love that lives inside that matters. (My great grandmother--her mother--lived there too.)


She was 82 years of wonderful when she passed in 2000. Her poem was untitled.


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Authors Unite to Support Reading, Writing, and the Arts


Pittsburgh, PA—July 16, 2015— More than forty authors will come together on Saturday, September 12th, 2015 in Beaver, Pennsylvania to participate in the Beaver County BookFest, a celebration of reading, writing, and the arts. The BookFest has grown into one of the largest literary festivals in the state, attracting participants and attendees from across the country. This will be the sixth year for the event, but a first in Beaver County. Admission into the BookFest is free and all attendees will have an opportunity to meet  and talk to the dozens of writers who will be signing and selling their books in the Author Tent.


This list of this year’s authors include:


JONATHAN AUXIER, author of the children’s book Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes, an ABA New Voices pick and aBookPage Magazine Best Book of 2011.


KIM LEHMAN, author of Righteous and First, Last, and Always, both Amazon Bestsellers in Young Adult Contemporary Romance.


LINDA M. AU, award-winning humor writer and author of the cozy mystery, The Scarlet Letter Opener, and the women’s fiction book, Gray Area.


STEPHANIE KEYES, author of The Star Child, a recently named a Finalist for the 2014 Dante Rossetti Awards for Young Adult Novels.


The festival will also feature food and retail vendors, as well as an interactive Children’s Tent, where kids can listen to readings, watch performances, and take part in various activities.


For a full list of the participating authors visit: 

Light Your Writing Fire - 12 Quotes to Inspire

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Change the Rules of Writing

Have you heard the following?


  • Write what you know.
  • Write every day.
  • Read as much as you write.


Good rules, in theory, but following them doesn’t have to be the case for everyone. Let’s dissect...

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10 Small Ways Readers Can Help Indie Authors

With over 129 million books in the world, it's no surprise that independent authors struggle to come up with creative ways to get their books noticed and sold.


Consider these statistics:

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5 Things You Didn't Know About Righteous

  1. It took two months to write the first draft and four months to edit the book. By the time the book was published it went through eight different versions.
  2. The main character, Righteous, was inspired by two characters from other books/movies: Olive Penderghast from Easy A and Lizbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
  3. Dustin’s name was Dennis in the original draft and he was not Finn’s brother. The name and story were both changed after receiving feedback from beta readers.
  4. The principal’s last name was originally Bane, and Righteous’ mom’s name was Lorraine. Both names were changed in the final version based on reader suggestions.
  5. The song Magda sings when she first meets Righteous is the same song Audrey Hepburn sings in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s. (An all-time favorite actress and movie of the author.)

Readers Respond - Interesting Statistics

One of my favorite features on Goodreads is polling. For me, the polls provide valuable insight into what hundreds (sometimes thousands) of readers think about various topics. Below are a few of the Goodreads polling questions and results that I found interesting as an author. (Result shown reflect August 1st data)

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The State of Being a Writer

“You’re writing a book? Hmm. That's nice.”


“Writing isn’t really a job. It’s more of a hobby, right?”


 “All you do is write all day?”

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