#IWSG Writing Surprises #insecure #writers #support #group

Let’s support each other during the August group meeting, hosted by Alex Cavanaugh.

Thank you to this month’s co-hosts: Renee Scattergood, Sadira Stone,Jacqui Murray, Tamara Narayan,and LG Keltner!

Today’s question: Has your writing ever taken you by surprise?

Some of my best writing moments have been surprises!

I had no clue how to write when I started my first story, Bad Blood into Good (awful title). The climax involved my hero eating poisoned food, turning his skin blue. When I returned his skin to a healthy color upon healing, one of my readers observed how this plot element exactly echoed my title. How fun when something unexpected like that happens.

Credit: Irina Kukuts from Pixabay


I love when writing takes a surprising direction, turning out better than we planned. I suppose we also face some nasty surprises as writers.

Here’s an article for insecure writers: How to Stop Self-Doubt From Holding You Back The idea of writing about your doubt intrigues me.

Also, I’m giving away a $10 gift card as part of the Back to School Giveaway. Enter here if you’re interested.

#IWSG Plentiful Publication Pitfalls

Happy August, writers! Join the Insecure Writer’s Support Group at Alex Cavanaugh’s blog.

Thank you to this month’s courageous co-hosts:

I love this month’s question: What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?

I’ve faced publication pitfalls galore so I hope that sharing them will help newbie authors avoid them. Here are beliefs that put the pain in publishing:

1) “I’ve got this writing thing.” I thought my debut novel was well-written. It wasn’t. WRITING IS A CRAFT. It takes years of developing the craft even to knock on the door of good writing. I feel more confident in my day job after over twenty years of experience, so why did I think I was competent at writing after only a few fledgling years of fan fiction? Fortunately I had the opportunity to re-edit my debut novel seven years later, so at least now I can read it without cringing.

2) “My book should hit the shelves soon.” I pride myself in finishing tasks efficiently and often feel impatient when others don’t do the same. The fact is that publishing is full of excruciating waits. Waiting for…responses to queries, publication contracts, multiple rounds of editing (fortunately my editor is super speedy–love her!), proofreading, cover design, book design, marketing materials, marketing assistants…and that’s before the book is even released. Not to mention it’s rare (and often requires years of persistence) to publish with a large publisher who gets your book on shelves.

3) “It’s clear when a book is good or bad.” Reading is so subjective! What one reader loves, another hates. Regarding one of my brash heroes, one reviewer said, “Where can I get a Dane in my life?” whereas another said, “Dane is the WORST hero I have ever read about.” I felt proud of the writing in my latest release–too bad it has been my worst seller. Considering the subjectivity and flooded market, we need to write the stories in our hearts instead of wondering what readers will like or buy.

One common thread through all of my pitfalls is expectations. I wish I could quiet my planner brain and live more in the present. I don’t know much about Buddhism, but one friend described it as “letting go of expectations”. Sounds like a good way to live and write.

#IWSG Inspringration

Welcome to May’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group hosted by Alex Cavanaugh. It’s a great place to vent fears and encourage each other.


Make sure to visit May’s Co-Hosts:

May’s Question: It’s spring! Does this season inspire you to write more than others, or not?

Thank goodness spring has sprung. These cold, cloudy days have been major downers. The longer daylight in spring often motivates many aspects of my life, including writing. 

I’m also inspired by different types of artists. Is anyone watching American Idol? I’m amazed by how much I enjoy the new season. Besides writing, creative pursuits like singing, cooking (in Chopped), and fashion design (in Project Runway) enthrall me.

Here’s a post that might interest you: Seven Ways to Build Your Writing Confidence.

Happy writing!

#IWSG Set Fire to the Rain

Happy spring, writers! Join us as we vent and cheer at the monthly Insecure Writers Support Group, hosted by Alex J Cavanaugh.


Thank you to this month’s co-hosts:


IWSG Day Question: 


When your writing life is a bit cloudy or filled with rain, what do you do to dig down and keep on writing?

This is a timely question for me because it feels like fog has rolled into my writing life. I haven’t written since December of 2017. I’m not upset about it–I just don’t have ideas for new stories whispering in my ear. So I’m not digging down deep for now, but that’s okay with me.

Instead of writing, I’ve enjoyed hanging with my friends and family on the weekends. I visited one sister (along with my 4-month-old niece) in South Carolina in March, and I’ll visit my other sister (and three nephews) in Chicago in April. 

I also found time to assemble Pinterest recipes for Easter, each with only 3 ingredients:





I look forward to learning how you respond to the rain.

#IWSG Looking Back, Looking Forward #NewRelease

Happy December to all Writers! Join us for the Insecure Writers Support Group, developed by Alex Cavanaugh and maintained by lovely writers everywhere.


Visit today’s co-hosts:


Co-Hosts: Julie Flanders,Shannon Lawrence, Fundy Blue, Heather Gardner!

IWSG Question: As you look back on 2017, with all its successes and failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

After just getting weighed at the doctor’s *gulps*, I would have set up the standing desk I bought. Amazon delivered it months ago and it sits still neatly packed in its box while I sit my life away as a therapist and author. One hour of exercise doesn’t counteract fifteen of sitting. Sitting is the new smoking, they say, *coughs*

How’s your writing?

I’m in the exciting phase of writing: preparing for publication! My editor is polishing and my book designer is creating a cover for the launch of TWIN SACRIFICE. Inspired by a dream, I started this novel in 2009 and kept diverting to other projects before finishing it in 2017. It’s my first psychological thriller and I’m psyched for reader feedback.

Twin Sacrifice is up on Goodreads and I’ll post signups soon for the cover reveal on 1/10/18 and the release tour on 2/28/18.

Happy holidays!

#IWSG Reading Pet Peeves


Crap, where did June and July go? It’s time for the August edition of Insecure Writers Support Group where we share our fears and successes.

Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh and this month’s co-hosts!
Co-Hosts:


IWSG Question: What are your pet peeves when reading / writing / editing?


After working with professional editors for seven novels, I’ve become a stickler for grammar and spelling. One word I see consistently misspelled (even in traditionally published novels) is BLOND.

My editor taught me that the only time to use the spelling BLONDE is describing a female as a noun. 

The sassy blonde approached me.

When using blond as an adjective (or as a noun for a blond man), THERE IS NO E!!!

The sassy, blond woman approached me.

I fell for the blond dude in a heartbeat.

Holy Leo DeCaprio, he’s hot! I fell for that blond in a heartbeat.


Speaking of pet peeves, do you ever read an early work of yours and cringe? Adverb abuse was rampant in my debut novel, romantic suspense With Good Behavior. So I edited the hell out of it and we re-launch it on 8/14/17.

If you have a moment to share my re-release the week of 8/14, signups are HERE. Thanks!

#IWSG The Countdown to Publication: When is Your Story Ready?

Welcome to October’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group, hosted by Alex Cavanaugh. Join us HERE


This month’s question:

When do you know your story is ready?

My answer is simple: WHEN MY EDITOR FINISHES! 

I’ve worked with the same bomdiggity editor–Jessica Royer Ocken–for all seven of my novels, and I absolutely trust her ability to polish the manuscript. Then my amazing book designer, Coreen Montagna, swoops in to make it pretty. 

I’m lucky I met Jessica and Coreen, along with my astute critique partner, Nicki Elson, through my publisher. Now that I self-publish, I feel so grateful for the team that readies my story for publication.

I manage to publish one book a year, and 2016’s book launch (Spiked) happened October 1st. Once your story is ready to be published, how do you market your novel? I’ll share a couple of strategies I’ve tried.

Facebook Party. My zesty marketing assistant Mitsy Princell convinced me to host an all-day Facebook release party with over twenty author takeovers. Twelve hours later, with eyes glazed over and butt-cheek imprints on my sofa, I emerged scathed from the experience. But I so appreciate all the support from my fellow insecure writers! And the readers are way awesome, too.

Blogs and Goodreads. I hired a company (Raven Publicity) to run a cover reveal and ARC distribution to bloggers. Seems like book blogs are not as involved as in the past, but Create Space shares some tips for working with book bloggers. I’m gifting review copies at Goodreads’ New Adult Book Club and hosting two Goodreads giveaways. 

Ads. Last year I landed a Book Bub ad that was successful, but this year’s Riffle ad didn’t seem to help sales.

Giveaways. I’m also hosting a $25 Amazon gift card giveaway (feel free to enter HERE.)

What marketing strategies work best for you?

Happy writing!