“Focusing on self is not true creativity” / Carol Pratt Bradley

Carol Pratt BradleyCarol Pratt Bradley is a historical novelist with a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Her history interests currently include the Ancient Near Eastern world, Reformation England, and 17th century America. She is the author of The Light of the Candle, an imaginative story of the biblical Daniel. She has been married to her wonderful husband Bryan for over three decades. Their three daughters and one son have grown and left their parents to survive on their own. They have a Yorkie named Ozzie, who sleeps beside Carol on the couch while she writes.

This interview originally appeared on Colleen Story’s Writing and Wellness blog. We have reprinted it here with Colleen’s permission.

As Writers, We Must Practice Balance

Writing is part of who I am, but it is not all of me. I like the description of myself as a house filled with various rooms, each with a different purpose.

If I give all of my attention to only one room, making it bigger and more elaborate than the other rooms, then my house is not balanced. To be a productive, creative being, I must practice balance like a tightrope walker in a circus. So I’ve found I need to be careful of how I see my identity. If I see myself only as a writer, I have built that one room too big, to the neglect of the others.

I’ve heard various writers tell how they fit writing into their days, spending long hours at a desk, staring at a blank wall, etc. That may be good for them, but I’ve had to find my own way.

I’ve learned that I am a people person, who goes crazy if I’m alone in the house too much, which does nothing for my creativity. I need variety to my days:  taking nightly “walk and talks” with my husband, going to a tai chi class with a good friend, doing yoga with my twin sister, pulling the ever-present weeds in my flower beds, attending church on Sunday, going to plays and lunches, and enjoying bridal and baby showers in my neighborhood. I need to laugh and talk with friends, and make new ones. Being actively involved in life fuels my creativity.

Read more

“I want to write these stories, and I want people to read them” / Scott Keen

DSCN0553-2Scott Keen grew up in Black River, NY, the youngest of three children. While in law school, he realized he didn’t want to be a lawyer. So he did the practical thing—he became a writer. Now, many years later with an MFA in script and screenwriting, he is married with four daughters, two of whom he homeschools.

Scott was interviewed by Colleen Story on her Writing and Wellness blog. We have reprinted it here with her permission. Thank you, Colleen!

The Pull-Up Bar as a Headache Cure!

One of my biggest physical challenges to writing, and many other things, was neck pain and headaches. Like most everyone else who stares at a computer as part of their job, I hold my tension in my neck and shoulders. There were plenty of times I couldn’t write because of this.

I realized that my life is pretty sedentary. I did not do a whole lot of exercise or stretching that stretched me physically, and that in itself can be pretty depressing.

So one small change I enacted was to buy myself a pull-up bar. Using that each night has eased a lot of my headaches. While it hasn’t cured them completely (I still hold tension there), strengthening the muscles in that part of my body has helped me tremendously.

Read more

“I refuse to settle for a life that is any less than what I dream it to be” / S. B. Roozenboom

author photoS.B. Roozenboom grew up in the Great Northwest. She is the author of three young adult novels: Markings, Predator Girl, and Taste of Silver. Her first science fiction novel will be released next year from WiDo Publishing. When not writing, S.B. can be found high up in the Cascade Mountains, down on the Oregon coast, or cozied up with a latte in Starbucks.

She was recently featured on Colleen Story’s Writing and Wellness blog. We have reprinted the interview with Colleen’s permission.

When Life Interferes with Writing

Gosh, these last two years have held so many physical and mental challenges for me that have really messed with my writing ability. I used to sit down at a computer and complete ten, fifteen pages a day with no problems. I knew exactly where I wanted to go with the story, I knew exactly what I wanted to say, who I wanted the characters to become… but not so much lately.

Most people start writing novels later in life. They don’t sit down at seventeen years old like I did and birth three books in three years. I am now twenty-four which means I’ve hit that “Transitional Stage” in life where I am no longer a teenager whose day-to-day consisted of homework and chores… I’m an adult trying to figure out how the heck to run my life.

Read more

“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