Life After Retirement

15140870_sWhen I took advantage of early retirement from a 31-year teaching career, I had only a vague idea of what life on golden pond would look like. Sleeping in each morning. Leisurely breakfasts. New hobbies. Volunteering. Traveling.

These were my pat answers whenever anyone asked about my future plans. And at some point in the conversation I would work in one of my favorite quotations from Eckhart Tolle: “When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life.”

In theory, it sounded wonderful, but the reality was very different.

Continue reading on Chris the Story Reading Ape’s Blog.


The Right Hook

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After completing Between Land and Sea, I attended a number of workshops where the facilitators stressed the importance of a hook or logline.

What is a hook/logline?

Very simply, it is a concise sentence that answers the question: What is your novel about? An effective logline provides enough interest to prolong the conversation with a prospective agent or publisher, encourages readers to pick up the book, and creates tweetable buzz.

At first, I found it a daunting task. How could I possibly condense 69,000 words into 25 words or less?

Continue reading on Sophia Kimble’s blog.

A Tale of Two Trailers

booktrailerAfter signing the contract for Between Land and Sea with Soul Mate Publishing, I started brainstorming about different marketing tools. One idea that popped in my head was a trailer. In my research, I had discovered mixed messages regarding the effectiveness of trailers. Some authors and publicists were wildly enthusiastic while others suggested that trailers did not necessarily lead to more sales.

Weighing both sets of opinions, I reached the conclusion that it wasn’t just about sales. I wanted to celebrate the launch of my debut novel with a trailer. And to make the prospect of a trailer even more exciting, I could call upon the expertise of my musically-talented brothers.

Continue reading on Erin Bevan’s blog.

Magic for a Mermaid

24646207_sWhile planning Between Land and Sea, I considered different fantasy elements.

What advantage could I bestow upon a beautiful mermaid who had given up her tail and lost her mermaid powers?

A magic wand came to mind, but I quickly dismissed a possibility often associated with fairy godmothers and benevolent elders. In this case, there was no such elder. Her grandmother (and chief elder of the Mediterranean Kingdom) had reacted quickly and savagely to her granddaughter’s defection, aging her thirty years and adding twenty pounds to her slender frame.

Continue reading on Bethany Averie’s blog.

Chatting about Boomer Lit

9188269_sIn my late forties, I realized that I no longer enjoyed reading novels with 20something and 30something protagonists. It felt like poking into the heads and hearts of young women who could easily be former students. So, I started searching for novels featuring an older crowd and discovered several late-blooming authors who had launched successful second acts. I longed to pen my own novel, but family and career obligations prevented me from launching a writing practice.

When I retired six years ago, I was ready to write. At first, I focused on the non-fiction market and wrote book reviews and articles about careers, education, money management, personal growth and development, and wellness. While I was pleased with the response from newspapers, magazines, and online publications, I felt a growing restlessness.

It was time to pen the novel.

Continue reading on Mahrie Reid’s blog.