“I work out as often as I write” / Melissa Palmer

bioheadThank you to Colleen Story, for this inspiring interview with Melissa Palmer on her Writing on Wellness blog. We are reprinting it here with Colleen’s permission.

Giving the Body and Mind Equal Attention

Whether I like it or not, the dang human body needs sleep, even if I’m on a roll. I tend to stay up way too late writing, much to the chagrin of anyone who has to deal with me during the daylight hours.

I work out as often as I write.

The body feeds the mind as much as the mind feeds the body, so I try to give them both equal attention.

I do at least three cardio and three strength training workouts in a week. (I have to, or I’m unpleasant to be around.) I get out into the gym, turn on the Matt and Kim Pandora station, and it’s like I’m on my own little sunshine planet.

I had to give up long distance running after an injury—I’ve moved to cycling. But, I’ll share a secret with you. I get on the spin bike, pop on an episode of Supernatural, and I am in happy town. With that combo, I can do anything.

Read more

“Submitting to a Small Press” / Julie Musil Interviews WiDo’s Managing Editor

IMG_4672Have you ever considered submitting to a small publisher? Were you confused about their place in the industry, or what they bring to the table? Author Julie Musil interviewed Karen Jones Gowen, Managing Editor at WiDo Publishing,  for her  blog to shed some light on small publishers and bust some common myths.  The post has been reprinted here with Julie’s permission.

Julie Musil: What are some common misconceptions about small publishers? Can you do a little “myth busting” for us?
 
Karen Gowen:

“A small press can’t do anything for me I can’t do as well or better for myself.” A common misconception, that doesn’t take into consideration the cost of time and money it requires to do it all yourself rather than sharing the load with professionals who are willing to invest in your work.

“Small publishers can’t get my book in a bookstore.” If a small publisher has the right distribution channels then your book can certainly be in a bookstore. However, remember that ultimately the bookstore chooses what it puts on its shelves and with millions of books to choose from, they need to have a reason to stock yours. This is why we encourage our authors to promote themselves and their books the first 90 days of their launch, in partnership with their local bookstores.

Read more

“The Symbiotic Relationship between Editor and Author” / Tamara Hart Heiner

Authors and editors are different job titles, but they share the same role: to make something poignant, dramatic, and beautiful out of words.

The two go hand-in-hand. One cannot function without the other. Where would authors be without editors? And where would editors be without authors? The two are so closely related that many an editor has put his hand to pen (or keyboard, as it would be) and pumped out prose or poetry. And more than one author has hung out a shingle and declared herself an editor.

I would say that the very best editors are both, and here’s why.

Read more

“In the beginning, it’s close to impossible not to take rejection to heart” / Amy Saia

Amy Profile pic

Amy Saia lives in Kansas as a writer and musician. Her work has appeared in Haunted Waters Press and in 2012 her first novel, The Soul Seekers, was published by WiDo followed by The Time Seekers in September 2014. The final book in the trilogy is scheduled for release in 2015. Thank you to Colleen Story, for this insightful interview with another one of our WiDo authors on her Writing on Wellness blog. We are reprinting it here with Colleen’s permission.

Physical Wellness

So far, the biggest physical challenge of being a writer has been accepting the pure sedentary nature of the whole thing. I am not one to sit still, but so far it is the only way I can write. I’ve learned to take frequent breaks and stretch every day to keep my body flexible. Long writing stints can cause backache, and it’s usually a sign to take a day or two off. Another thing I noticed early on is to turn the computer monitor down so I won’t suffer any eye strain.

Read more

“It’s not the life you see on TV” / Clarissa Draper

DSC_0403Clarissa Draper, a Canadian currently living in Mexico, spends most of her time composing, planning, and writing code-based mysteries. Although she has written from an early age, she started writing full time in 2006, and is currently writing her third mystery in the Evans/Blackwell series.  Thank you to Colleen Story, for this fascinating interview with Clarissa on her Writing on Wellness blog. We are reprinting it here with permission.

Physical Wellness

When I write, I feel the urge to eat. Perhaps it’s because my brain is crying out for nourishment to feed the creative demons. Whatever it is, that urge to eat coupled with long hours of sitting causes me to gain weight if I’m not careful.

I’m not on a diet, but I find healthy snack and drink choices are crucial.  I stay away from alcohol, juice and soda. I drink my coffee and tea black. I also like to drink water with a squeeze of lemon. Also, I try to keep snacks like nuts nearby. I can eat a few and it takes the cravings away. I also love vegetables, so snacking on baby carrots and tomatoes are no problem for me.

I don’t have a routine for exercise, but what I’ve started doing this year is not sitting for long periods of time. Every twenty minutes or so, I like to get up and walk around. Perhaps I’ll just take a jaunt around my office or I’ll take my dog for a walk. Walking does get the creative juices flowing.

Read more

“Hatchette and Amazon, What to Think?” / Bruce Gowen

I have read with interest the ongoing battle in the press between Amazon and Hachette. The economic system embraced by businesses in the United States is one that offers the freedom to determine what products they will offer to the public and for what price. The public is not forced to purchase their products, and the company is free to succeed or fail based on market conditions and acceptance of their products.

There are arguments on both sides describing each behemoth—Hatchette and Amazon– as rich and not caring about the authors, just the bottom line. The truth is, if a company doesn’t care about the bottom line they will eventually go out of business.

Read more

“My biggest challenge with writing is being fatigued” / Kerri Cuevas

Kerri CuevasKerri Cuevas was born in Rhode Island, but now resides in New Hampshire, where the country air has sparked her imagination. She is the author of Deadly Kisses (Book 1 of the Deadly Darkness Trilogy). The sequel, Deadly Darkness, is scheduled for October, 2014 release. When she’s not writing books for young adults she enjoys hiking, fishing, canoeing, music, watching horror flicks, or making crafts with her kids. You can visit her website at kerricuevasbooks.com.

Physical Wellness

My biggest challenge with writing is being fatigued. I work full time and my job is physically demanding, and then I come home to three children.  Time isn’t on my side, and when I’m able to sneak in some writing my brain is on the fritz. What helps me is eating a healthy supper, allowing myself some “me” time, and taking a ten-minute power nap. When I can think clear again, I begin to write, but that mostly happens after the kids go to bed. Writing any amount of words is better than writing no words at all.

Read more

“I live in a perpetual cloud of self-doubt and self-deprecation” / Bethany Masone Harar

beth book photoBethany Masone Harar grew up in a family with “gypsy feet” who moved from place to place until eventually settling down in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.  As a teacher and writer of young-adult fiction, she is able to connect with the very audience for whom she writes and does her best to turn reluctant readers into voracious, book-reading nerds.

Physical Wellness

By far the biggest physical challenge for me is managing my weight.  As a full-time teacher and mother of two, the only time I have to write is in my “free” time (I’m laughing on the inside, because I barely know the meaning of that phrase), and that is the time I’m miraculously supposed to do everything, which includes working out.  Plus, my favorite type of exercise is Latin Fusion (a combination of Zumba, Latin dancing and Hip-Hop), which are scheduled classes at the gym.  Magically manipulating my schedule to make it to these classes is as hard as it sounds.

Read more

“Always Be Yourself” / Elizabeth Maria Naranjo

twitterpic2Elizabeth grew up in Cheyenne, Wyoming before escaping the cold winters and settling in the Sonoran Desert. She now lives in Tempe, Arizona with her husband and two children. Her short fiction and creative nonfiction have been published in “Literary Mama,” “SLAB Literary Magazine,” “The Portland Review,” “Hospital Drive,” “Phoenix New Times,” “Babble,” and “Bartleby Snopes.” The Fourth Wall is her first novel.

(The following post by Elizabeth Maria Naranjo first appeared on Colleen Story’s Writing and Wellness Blog. It is used here with Colleen’s permission.)

Physical Wellness

The biggest physical challenge is being sedentary. My two favorite hobbies—writing and reading—require no more from me than sitting still and turning pages or typing. And I’m way too comfortable with that. For example, I’d never look up from my computer and say, “Hey! You know what? I think I’ll go for a sprint around the neighborhood. It’s time to get out and exercise a bit.”

Read more

“I’ve always had a problem letting go of my writing” / Aviva Orr

Aviva-Headshot-672x372Aviva Orr  was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, and currently lives in Southern California with her husband, two daughters, and two Yorkshire terriers (Lucy and Branwell). She majored in English at college and graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a master’s degree. She took most of her classes in early British literature. In December 2004, she traveled to England and visited the Brontë Parsonage in Haworth. Soon after, the idea for The Mist on Brontë Moor was born.

(The following post by Aviva Orr first appeared on Colleen Story’s Writing and Wellness Blog. It is used here with Colleen’s permission.)

Physical Wellness

I’ve always been a sugar lover, so I can’t really blame writing for that addiction. However, I do find that I am less motivated to exercise and eat healthy because of time constraints. I am not a morning person, so getting up early to go to the gym doesn’t work for me. Writing takes so much time and mental energy that it can be difficult to devote energy to something else (other than your family). Staying in shape and eating healthy requires tons of planning and dedication. Since I’m motivated to keep my kids eating healthy, I do buy a lot of fresh fruit, salad, and healthy snacks. However, I don’t think that is enough to combat sitting for long hours in front of my computer.

Read more