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Where to Get Help Writing Your Book

Happy Halloween!

I meet people all the time who tell me they have a great idea for a book, but don’t know where to get started. Here are a few ideas I have for where to get help writing your book:

A great place to start is to join a writing group. These are people just like you who want to write and share their ideas. You can look for groups at your local library or community center, but if you don’t find one, start one yourself! Just post a notice asking other writers if they’re free to meet on a regular basis, usually once a month.

You could also do online searches for how to get started. Search “how to write a book” and you’ll find plenty of sites that give tips on how to get started.

Something you might do is talk to friends. Even if your friends aren’t writers, they might have a good idea for you to get started. You might use them as a sounding board about your book idea, or they might read through what you’ve written and give you thoughtful feedback.

Don’t forget that it helps to read well-written books. You can get a feeling for what works and what doesn’t. You might also try writing a paragraph or two of your book in the style of different writers. Not only is imitation the sincerest form of flattery, it’s also good practice!

Good luck with your writing, and let me know what worked for you to get help with your book here or at!

Interview with Self-Published Author Karen Magill

Today we’re going to hear from author Karen Magill. Here’s what she has to share with us:

Tell us about your self-published book and where it is available.

I have two self published novels. One is "The Bond, A Paranormal Love Story." A woman, Laura Neill, in Vancouver is struck while crossing the street. At the same time in Toronto a car also strikes Julian Rule.

When both have an out of body experience, their ethereal forms bond as one before separating - each taking a part of the other's soul with them as they return to their bodies. They are truly soul mates. When he senses that she is in danger - a feeling that is confirmed by a psychic friend - Julian goes to Vancouver to come to her aid. With the help of a detective, Julian is able to prove that Laura's fiance is a con artist and a murderer. When Julian confronts the man, he and Laura are placed in imminent danger.

The other is "Let Us Play, A Paranormal Love Story." In an uncertain time in the future, rock and roll music has been banned. Kaya More uses second sight to lead a group of rebels to bring it back. Their quest leads them from the streets of New York City to the peaks of the Canadian Rockies to the beaches of California. The pursuit heats up as combatants switch sides and the world joins forces as the rebels find adventure, music and love.

"The Bond" is going to be published in Turkish soon. I sold the rights to a small publisher in Turkey.

Why did you decide to self-publish?

I wanted to see what I could do on my own without a big house or agent telling me what to do.

What was your biggest challenge to overcome in self-publishing your book and why?

Promotion and getting the books selling. It is an uphill battle constantly but it is fun learning all the new ways to get more attention and to find your own interviews and such. It is a great learning experience.

What has been the best part about self-publishing your book and why?

I have really enjoyed learning about so much to do with the writing industry. I don’t think I would be learning all avenues if it weren’t for self publishing. Right now, I am waiting for a book on being one’s own literary agent and I can learn even more about the business. I don’t know if I would have learned as much if I had an agent and they handled everything.

What advice do you have for other writers who are self-publishing their book?

Learn everything you can and research anyone you are dealing with. There are a lot of good people involved with writing but there are a lot of scam artists too. Also learn as much as you can about promotion and marketing. You’ll need it.

Is there anything you would like to add?

I want to thank you for interviewing me and everyone for reading. Check out my blog on Vancouver and its history at and my website

Thanks so much for telling us about yourself and your books, and good luck with book sales!

Self-published Author Interview-Kelly Murphy

Today we’re talking to author Kelly Murphy. Here’s what she has to say:

Tell us about your self-published book and where it is available.

Hi, my name is Kelly Murphy. I was born and raised in Hamilton, Ohio till age 12. My book starts of memories I had from when my dad shot my mother in the mouth while laying beside her when I was three. My grandmother tried to raise me the best she could but was an alcoholic, and I went through about 32 foster homes from age 3 to 15. I went through a rape from 7 guys and also had a subarachnoid hemorrhaging on both sides of my brain. I was on total life support and totally brain dead. It talks about how through it all I have had Faith in the Lord and he was all I had.

I have a child with Aspergers/Autism and have two live births, my son and my daughter. My second book talks of the boy I took in that no one wanted. I had forgiven my father for what he had done and tried to get to know him, big mistakes, but I have answers I have always wanted and needed. I don’t have a good education so had a big fear, but when God brought me back for my children, He told me to write my memories while I still had them.

I am so blessed to be here today. Even though I have problem with reading, I was given the gift to write. My first book is called “ A World With No End From Beginning And Continuing” and is available at any online bookstore (and can be ordered at any bookstore). You can also go directly at and get it paperback or e-book.

Why did you decide to self-publish?

Well, I had a company that read and wanted to publish it but I didn’t have the $4,000 they wanted to do it all for me. I didn’t do well in school and needed an editor. I decided that my spelling didn’t matter but what did was the story behind it.

I feel these books are my calling in life and what I was meant to do is help others, so I decided that I would self publish so I could go ahead and help someone. And money-wise, I needed to take steps because I did not have $4,000 all at once. Trying to raise three children and get things done is a big task.

What was your biggest challenge to overcome in self-publishing your book and why?

Knowing that I needed an editor because of my spelling and grammar. I, at times, had low self-esteem when reliving my life to write the story - because I had a very hard life to overcome.

What has been the best part about self-publishing your book and why?

The convenience of doing the money part in steps, because I have always needed help financially, and I can get my story out to help others at the same time.

What advice do you have for other writers who are self-publishing their book?

Don’t let anything stand in your way no matter how different you may be. Write things down all the time and don’t ever give up on your dreams,  ever!

Is there anything you would like to add?

I would like to say that I'm sorry for all the mistakes in the first book. My editor didn’t do a good job, but the next book will have a better editor. Thanks for taking the time to let me share some of my life with you but you have to read it to know it all.

Thanks for sharing your information and inspiring story with us Kelly. Good luck with book sales!

How to Use the Cooler, Fall Season to be a More Productive Writer

One of my favorite things about this time of year is having my windows open to let in the fresh air. It’s so energizing to breathe in the delicious smells of fall that I feel like I can accomplish anything, and you can, too.

Take advantage of the weather this season.

If you are able to, try writing outside. If you normally write on a computer, take a notebook with you and try sitting on the porch just jotting down plot ideas, character descriptions, or favorite words you’d like to incorporate into your book.

If you use a laptop, take it outside and work as usual, just breathing in the fresh air.

Break up your writing with a walk around the block. It might be a treat for you once you write a certain number of words, or you might go once per hour. It will give you a chance to think and you’ll feel invigorated and ready to get back to work.

Does the weather in different seasons change the way you work? Please let me know here or at

What You Need to Do in October as a Self-Published Author

October is actually a great month to take stock of where you are with your writing. The September back-to-school feeling has worn off, and we aren’t yet in the November/December holiday rush, and it isn’t yet the resolution time of January.

  • What have you done thus far with your writing?
  • Are you on track to reach any goals you set back in January?
  • Do you need to do some extra work to catch up to where you’d planned to be?
  • Is there a habit you need to change that will improve how you work?
  • Do you need to modify your schedule to get ready for November?

Try working at a different time, such as earlier in the morning or later in the evening, to be sure you’ll be able to work enough to finish the year strong.

Are there any people you need to contact about your book?
Do you need to find a publisher, or meet with a writing group to finalize something you’ve been working on? October is a great month to do this before you and everyone else enter the final months of the year.

Have a wonderful October, and let me know if you have any tips for other self-published authors – I love to hear from you here or at!