Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Stephanie Grey

Photo of Stephanie Grey

This Writerly Wednesday presents Stephanie Grey.

I like to put the interview up front to put a person with their book.


  •      What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale?
    I had a book trailer made and pinned it to my Twitter page, Facebook author page, and website. That seems to have produced more book sales than anything else that I’ve done.


  •      What do you like about your publisher or why did you decide to Self Publish?

Wild Dreams Publishing is based out of Australia and was founded by fellow authors who took it upon themselves to create a company that they thought was best suited for an author’s needs today. The people behind the scenes are great! They’re knowledgeable, kind, and they really care about your work as much as you do so that the best version of your book is presented to the world. They make it available on multiple platforms and are currently working very hard to have book stores pick up their titles as well.

  •      What do you have under your bed?

My husband’s 100-year-old hunting rifle that his grandfather gave him is currently underneath the bed. Sometimes Tabitha, one of my cats, is there as well, but that’s only when she’s playing Hide and Seek.

  •      Are you a plotter or a pantser when you are writing?

Oh, I’m definitely a pantser! I finished my third book three months ago and thought I’d try my hand at actually writing an outline for the fourth one. After a month of trying to get it done, I gave up because it just didn’t flow for me or feel organic. I have a lot of respect for the people who have the patience for that, but it’s much easier for me to begin writing and let my imagination guide me along the way.

  •      Do you write in a bubble or do you prefer critique groups, writing buddies or other companionship during the process?

I’m part of a few writing groups on Facebook, but I prefer to write alone. I wrote one children’s book for my nieces and nephews and my dad did the illustrations, so I wouldn’t mind doing more projects like that. The kids loved the story and his drawings!

  •      When do ideas come to you and how do you capture them?

Ideas can come at any time, honestly. Sometimes I’ll see something and one will just pop into my head. For example, I saw a photo accompanying a news article and it spawned an entire book based on that one little picture.

  •      What is your favorite word processing program and what other tools do you use, pen, notebooks, white board, index cards, finger on fogged bathroom mirrors?

I use Microsoft Word to write, but I always have a spiral notebook where I keep handwritten notes of my characters and scribble ideas.

Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Stephanie Grey

Photo of Stephanie GreyBio

Stephanie Grey can often be found writing at her desk, one of her cats curled up by her feet. She isn’t necessarily a crazy cat lady yet, but that’s only because of the limitations her husband has put on the amount of pets that they have.

She is a graduate of East Tennessee State University with a degree in journalism. Writing has always been present in Stephanie’s life. From a young age, she has been writing short stories for her family to enjoy. When she entered high school, she decided that she would one day write a full-length novel. She finally achieved her goal and completed her first novel, A Witchly Influence, that was released in the summer of 2017 by Wild Dreams Publishing. Her second novel, Division Tennessee, will be available in the spring of 2018. She continues to write and hopes to be able to share her stories with the world for many years to come.

Email, FB, Twitter links or addresses here.


Cover Art A Witchly Influence A Witchly Influence

As a freshly-minted divorcee, witch Carmen Devereaux returns to her home town in North Carolina. With this decision comes another change in her life: Fate has decided that she is to become an Influencer, someone who guides others to the paths that they were meant to take. She is assigned to Abby Windsor, a young school teacher, as well as her own stepbrother, Finn Cleary. Along the way, she encounters several obstacles, including getting stuck in her own past. With the help of Lenny the Snowman, Egbert the Lobbyist Pencil, and a Muse, she is able to Influence Abby and her stepbrother, helping them find their way as well as her own.

Cover art The GatekeeperThe Gatekeeper (short story available exclusively for Kindle)
Eleven years have passed since Lucy found out that she is a Gatekeeper for spirits with the ability to send them to Heaven or Hell. A visit from her cousin, Mary, along with Mary’s infant son, Jack, rattles her world when she realizes that it’s more than just an evil spirit after the boy: it’s a demon. Lucy must battle the demon to protect her family, but will she be strong enough to stop her worst enemy?


Buy Link(s)

A Witchly Influence

A Witchly Influence Buy Link

The Gatekeeper

The Gatekeeper  by Link Exclusively at Kindle

Stephanie, thank you for volunteering on such short notice to be featured on my Writerly Wednesday Blog Spot.


Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Kimberly Jones

Welcome to this week’s  Writerly Wednesday.

My Guest, today, is Kimberly Jones.

BioPhoto of two happy people

Kimberly Jones is a professional early childhood educator. Jones was born in the small town of Saint George, South Carolina, on September 12, 1982. She graduated from Woodland High School in 2000, Benedict College in 2004 with a bachelors of science in child and family development, and from Ashford University in 2013 with a master’s in early childhood education.



  1. What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale?

My favorite marketing task is attending book festivals around. It is amazing who would be interest in your books. You can also network with other authors, publishers, and illustrators.

2.   What do you like about your publisher or why did you decide to Self-Publish?

I decided to self-publish because, I have the authority of being myself of my creations. If and Agent/Publisher would like to work me, I’m open as well.

3.   What do you have under your bed?


4.   Are you a plotter or a pantser when you are writing?

I’m a plotter when I’m writing.

5.   Do you write in a bubble or do you prefer critique groups, writing buddies or other companionship during the process?

I write in a bubble then I usually ask for family and friends to critique my work. I ask children what do they think about my books. I am always open to selective criticism. They are the readers.

6.   When do ideas come to you and how do you capture them?

Ideas come to me when I’m cooking, watching tv, or just around the neighborhood. I completely stop everything I’m doing and write it down. If I don’t have access to a pen or paper, I usually put it my cell phone notes.

7.      What is your favorite word processing program and what other tools do you use, pen, notebooks, white board, index cards, finger on
fogged bathroom mirrors?

My favorite word processing program is Word 2016. I carry index cards in my pursed when we go on vacations. When I’m home I use my sons easel to help me brainstorm ideas.


Book Cover Art for A Mother's LoveA Mothers Love: The E.R.B. to my soul

This book is about mothers and the length they will go for their children. My mother leaving us was the most difficult thing we ever had to deal with. A mother is something that stays with us forever and will never be forgotten. My mother was our rock and we are a piece of her. We will always cherish her and remember all the good things she did for her family and community.

This book was created for parents explaining loss of a love one to their children. It’s always good to explain death and cry for someone you love. When a loved one dies, children feel and show their grief in different ways. How kids cope with the loss depends on things like their age, how close they felt to the person who died, and the support they receive.

Momma….Momma…. MOMMA!! The void will never be filled , and our hearts will forever remain lonely. Empty of your presence (talking about Edna’s excellence) and your motherly touch. We’re your product in which you loved so much. As every day goes by and the hours pass you’re finally in your Heavenly Home with Esau, Elijah and Mama Cora at last. We feel your strength even though you may not be around. In fact, we all know you’re in Heaven looking down.

Amazon Buy Link

See the other three titles by Kimberly Jones 

Thank you Kimberly Jones for being my guest.  I am wishing you best of sales.

Writerly Wednesday Presents Safdar Muttaqi

Welcome Back to Writerly Wednesday.

My Guest this week is Safdar Muttaqi

Safdar Muttaqi photo
Safdar Muttaqi

Safdar Muttaqi’s 


Part Myth

Part Legend

All Reality

Loved By Few

Hated By Many

Understood By None

The Dark Romantic Of The Night and the only guy on the planet who writes Unsophisticated Fiction For Those Who Don’t Belong.

Check out Safdar’s Website

Dark Musings | Ahh I Am Dead

Official Site of evil thoughts and badly written fiction by a guy who should be a best selling freaky author & radical poet


1.   What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale?

Advertising my website with a sinister visual on the back of one of my leather jackets. When it comes to writing – marketing – or whatever else I’m involved in – I like to think of myself as the walking definition of unconventional.

2.   What do you like about your publisher or why did you decide to
Self Publish?

Traditional publishers weren’t interested in my style of fiction. Self Publishing  was the next best thing.

3.   What do you have under your bed?

Spiders – dust – a box of comics – and plenty of broken dreams that can’t be fixed with glue or a needle and thread.

4.   Are you a plotter or a pantser when you are writing?

My brand of fiction is more about character and dialogue than plot. It’s a style of storytelling that only certain types of people will find entertaining. As a matter of fact – most critics would write my fiction off as – ‘All Style – No Substance.’

But that’s okay – my stories are designed to be read by those few individuals who are looking for something different and are sick to death of reading the same old crud the mainstream guys keep publishing.

5.   Do you write in a bubble or do you prefer critique groups,
writing buddies or other companionship during the process?

I work with only music and a cup of coffee for company. When you’re the God or Goddess of your own fictional universe – you don’t need anything else.

6.   When do ideas come to you and how do you capture them?

My ideas often come from comic books – late night B grade horror movies – music – and sometimes dreams. My most recent book – Safdar Muttaqi’s Forever Drifting Through The Great River Of The Sky was inspired by a woman I’ve never met but only seen on TV.

7.      What is your favorite word processing program and what other
tools do you use, pen, notebooks, white board, index cards, finger on
fogged bathroom mirrors?

Microsoft Word on my laptop when I’m in the house. When I travel I usually stick with a pad and pen.

The Secret To Unsophisticated Thinking: The Love Misery Cycle – Book One

cover art Blurb: 

A love sick fool.

A writer with problems.

A young mum looking for answers.

A little girl dancing with death.

A dark force from the past.

Buy Link 

THE SECRET TO UNSOPHISTICATED THINKING: LOVE MISERY CYCLE (Saf’s Unsophisticated Fiction For Those Who Don’t Belong Book 1) – Kindle edition by Safdar Muttaqi. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading SAFDAR MUTTAQI’S THE SECRET TO UNSOPHISTICATED THINKING: LOVE MISERY CYCLE (Saf’s Unsophisticated Fiction For Those Who Don’t Belong Book 1)

Second Title by Safdar Muttaqi

FOREVER DRIFTING THROUGH THE GREAT RIVER OF THE SKY: LOVE MISERY CYCLE BOOK TWO (Saf’s Unsophisticated Fiction For Those Who Don’t Belong 2) – Kindle edition by Safdar Muttaqi. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading SAFDAR MUTTAQI’S FOREVER DRIFTING THROUGH THE GREAT RIVER OF THE SKY: LOVE MISERY CYCLE BOOK TWO (Saf’s Unsophisticated Fiction For Those Who Don’t Belong 2).

Buy Link

Thank you for being my guest this week.  Your’s was a great interview to celebrate the return of Writerly Wednesday.

Come Back Soon for Another Writerly Wednesday Spotlight and Don’t Touch Anything Sharp!


Welcome Back To Writerly Wednesday

Welcome to Writerly Wednesday

Cup of Pens ClipArtIt has been awhile since my last Writerly Wednesday post. Welcome back. If you haven’t been here before, I post Writerly things here. I sometimes spotlight people in the Writing Arena, Authors, Editors, Publishers, Agents and people with mad marketing skills. I have guest guidelines here on the site if you are interested.

What I really want to share is news about The Writer’s Chatroom.

The Writer’s Chatroom has been open to guests since the olden days of the internet and it has gone through at least two major incarnations. Now it is going through another change.

Our head moderator, Audrey Shaffer has been running the place for twelve years and felt it was time to close up shop or pass the torch.

I’ve been hanging out in the chatroom for about eight years and it has become a habit. We have a mix of visitors and regulars pulling up virtual chairs every Wednesday and Sunday evening. I couldn’t envision my weeks without this chatroom so I volunteered to take up the torch and run with it.

The Chatroom is moving to my subdomain. I am keeping much of the content from the main site but bringing the core of the chatroom up to modern standards and expectations. The look and feel will be different but I am one of the few people in the world who things change is good. Change is growth. Change is good for our minds.

I want to invite you over to the new digs.

The Wednesday and Sunday Chats still happen at the regular site. This will eventually resolve at the new site. Join us at http://writerschatroom.com/Enter on Wednesdays at 6PM MDT and Sundays at 5PM MDT.

Audrey Shaffer is not completely disappearing, she is still running a lot of the background magic. We are thankful for the things she used to do and the things she continues doing.

Writerly Wednesday Spotlight – Castelane Inc.

Cup of Pens ClipArtHappy Writerly Wednesday to all of you.

I have been redecorating my website. For the last year I have been promoting the book trailer for If I Should Die (Author’s Revised Edition) and during that time, no one alerted me to the typo in one of the final frames. Audrey Shaffer noticed it last week.

I contacted Kim McDougall at Castelane Inc. Kim graciously corrected the typo during a very busy time of year.

Thanks Audrey Shaffer from The Writer’s Chatroom for alerting me.

Writerly Wednesday Spotlight – Castelane Inc.

Book Marketing & Promotion for Authors, Publishers, Publicists and More

Here at Castelane, we offer a one-stop-shop for eBook publishing services and book marketing at prices you can afford. We provide a variety of publishing options, precision editing, professional book marketing, book promotion and branding, video previews, custom design and more. Find all the publishing and marketing services you need right here, in one place.

Whether you are a new author looking to self-publish or a seasoned veteran, you understand the importance of professional design, copy editing and proofreading. We provide a staff of experienced professionals who will review your book for grammar, development and overall content, as well as design custom book covers and offer eBook conversion options for every book style platform – from smartphones to tablets. Every book needs a strong marketing plan by someone who knows the industry – with over 20 years of experience, we know how to utilize social media and other online channels to engage your audience and promote your brand through multimedia, famous author pages and more.

Contact Kim through her Website


Don’t touch anything sharp!

If I Should Die 

Visit All of My Writerly Wednesday Posts 

Hello World – Sally is in the Building!

A Sign Saying I'm BackI’m back.

I have renewed my Domains for Writerly Wednesday and Fiction Friday. I have my virus protection up-to-date and may be starting a job with another publisher, soon.

What? Someone asked where I have been?

No one would believe the stranger than fiction story behind my quiet spell. Let’s just say that when I am in a persistent vegetative state, a journal will surface.

I am going to put out a call for Writerly Wednesday Submissions and get back into my Fiction Friday Posts. I am even thinking about putting a toe into self-publishing my Spoon River of Houses anthology.

A few people have suggested I try my hand at some Writerly Workshops.

Hello World Name Tag

So, Hello World – Sally is in the Building!


If you have been a previous guest at Writerly Wednesday you are welcome to come back.  If you have a new book fiction, non-fiction or creative non-fiction that has a buy link, go ahead and shoot me an email. Full Info is here.. 

Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Narrator Becky Parker

This week at Writerly Wednesday I’d like to welcome my very first narrator guest.  Welcome Becky Parker, narrator of I Left My Brains in Francisco by Karina Fabian.   There are two Zombie Quizes included in this Interview – when you click on them you will be taken to youTube.  Other links will take you to the Amazon Audible Pages.


Becky Parker Geist Bio Photo
Becky Parker Geist

Becky Parker Geist (performance name: Becky Parker)

Becky Parker Geist is the founder and owner of Pro Audio Voices, serving clients internationally as a go-to place for exceptional voiceover for audiobooks, advertising and animation.

After receiving her M.F.A. in Acting in 1981, Becky began narrating Talking Books for the Blind through the Library of Congress, narrating over 70 titles in two years, and quickly became one of their most popular narrators. As a professional stage actress, she has toured internationally (England and U.S.) and on the east and west U.S. coasts. She performs a wide range of voiceover
work, but has a particular love for creating audiobooks with sound effects – the more theatrical the better! Becky brings her broad range of theatre skills –acting, directing, producing, marketing – to bear in all her voiceover and production work.

Committed to leadership and building strong, long-term relationships, Becky serves as President
of BAIPA (Bay Area Independent Publishers Association) and is a member of IBPA
(Independent Book Publishers Assn), APA (Audio Publishers Assn), and TBA (Theatre Bay

Becky is married to classical composer John Geist and has 3 adult daughters: Elise, Jes and
Jerrilee. As of 2015, Becky can truly say she is bi-coastal, going back and forth between New
York City and the San Francisco Bay Area. She has been having a blast working Off Broadway
in NY for the past few years and has been a professional stage actor in the Bay Area since 1985.

http://www.ProAudioVoices.com becky@proaudiovoices.com


  1. You are the Voice of the Neeta Lyfee Series. You are also my first interview with a narrator, voice over artist.  Your signature file says – Pro Audio Voices is a San Francisco Bay Area based company serving clients internationally as a go-to place for exceptional voiceover services for Audiobooks, Animation, and Advertising, with an emphasis on those with uplifting and inspiring stories and messages.  Can you tell us some of the steps involved in bringing the Neeta Lyffe Series to life?

In terms of the production process, first I read the manuscript – at least far enough to get a solid feel for the characters and story. Then I start recording. During the recording process, there are things I’ll check with Karina about, such as pronunciations of unusual names, words for which there could be multiple ways of pronouncing them, or words/names for which my online research comes up empty. I typically record a chapter then edit it, then send it on to Karina and Kim for corrections or final approval.

Audio editing involves listening to my recording with my director/editor ‘ears’ on. I’m listening for things like slurring, external sounds, content emphases that might be off, mis-reads or inverted word orders. I’m a believer in reading every word as written – word perfect – because I assume the writer and the text editor have already worked through the process to find the best expression.

Mixing – getting the right balance of sound levels between the narrative voice and the sounds/music – is really important to get right or else the sounds become a distraction instead of an enhancement. It’s all about the story and bringing it to life in the imagination of the listener. That is always my primary goal. Give the listener the most engaging, enjoyable audiobook experience possible.

I also then master the audio file, which is the technical and creative act of balancing, equalizing and enhancing, the digital files so that the finished product will have attained the maximum quality and competitiveness in the open market, and will produce the highest quality master files for duplication on CDs, etc. With the Neeta Lyffe books, it takes longer to edit since I’m designing the soundscape and sourcing or creating sound effects and/or music and mixing those elements in – making sure the balance seems right – all before I send it for approval.

Neeta Lyffe Book One cover art
Neeta Lyffe Book One

Initially, we had made no plans for adding sound effects into the mix in Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator. Sound effects, I believe, should only be added when they truly enhance the listening experience. There were moments in this first book in the series, when music was playing in Neeta’s mind, and when the characters were on a radio show and the story just started calling out to me for sound effects. I checked in with Kim at Damnation Books and with Karina to see how they felt about adding sound effects. They were both really excited about my proposal and that decision has made a big difference in the audiobook series. Only a very small percentage of audiobooks are fully produced with sound effects – and certainly sound effects are not appropriate for every book – but I think they really add to the fun of the Neeta Lyffe series.

I Left My Brains in SF cover art
I Left My Brains in SF

In Book 2, I Left my Brains in San Francisco, Karina had several references to a fictional song that is important to the plot – I won’t reveal how or why – no spoilers here! There’s a scene in which the song is playing, and I realized, “I need that song.” So I created it. It took a lot of time and work but it was fun and the team was really happy with it. In the audiobook you never get to hear the whole thing, so we’re giving it as a bonus download from my site in the audiobook (free code is in the closing credits).

Sometimes there are corrections that come back such as a pronunciation or the emotional tone of a line of dialogue. I make those corrections and send them back to be checked again. Then, once all the audio files are given the thumbs up, I upload them to ACX and we submit them for approval. Once it’s approved, the audiobook is launched! The primary distribution channels are Audible and iTunes.

Zombie Quiz #1

  1. You have also put together other promotional items for the newest Audio Book in the series, I Left My Brains in San Francisco. Can you tell us a bit about what goes into making Zombie Quizes? 

One of the voiceover products I offer through Pro Audio Voices is the creation of whiteboard animations. I use VideoScribe software package to make them (or work with other video professionals depending on the project needs). As with any kind of presentation or performance, producing a video first means thinking through the whole piece, what the intent is, how it will be used, how we want it to feel, and what response we hope for. Next is figuring out the text – and I turned to Karina for some of what I used, but also wrote some of my own questions that I thought fit the books. Then I gather the images. In this case Karina sent me the zombie hand – which was perfect! After that I record the audio, and this requires a bit of tricky timing to make it all work out right, because of the limitations of the software. Then I adjust the timings of the writing and between slides and such.

What we hope for with the animation videos is to get folks to play with us. We ultimately want people to know about the audiobooks, obviously, and hope they’ll decide to listen to the series. There’s a free audiobook offer on my website (proaudiovoices.com) when you subscribe to Audible and it’s great when folks use that freebie to get the Neeta Lyffe books. Again, the videos are a fun way to get our potential audience to play with us.

  1. What does your work area include? We know a writer has her software, her notebooks, pens, white boards, ocean side view, what does an Audio Artist have in her creative space?

My studio includes my microphone with pop screen (to cut the pop of air as in plosives like ‘p’), an audio interface (I use a Steinberg UR44) that connects my mic to my computer software, my Mac laptop with the Digital Performer DAW (Digital Audio Workstation, which is the audio software), and my iPad (to read from, so there are no noisy page turns as in a print book). I have a booth with soundproofing foam both to keep out external noise and to cut that ‘empty room’ rebound sound you get in a typical room. I have a notebook that I make notes about things like length of each audio track, settings from mastering the audio files, character and voice notes, pronunciations, etc. I also use my Mac for research for pronunciations, sending audio files, working on my website, etc. In and out of the studio, I use a small digital audio recorder to collect sound effects.

Many of the clips in my ever-growing collection of sound effects I created myself. Sometimes I’ll hear a sound and think I might be able to use that, so I’ll pull out my audio recorder that I carry around with me everywhere. These can be common sounds or really unusual ones, but sound collecting (this is also called “foley”) provides me with options when I’m looking for the perfect sound for an audiobook.  For other sound effects that I don’t have easy access to, I’ll often find what I need on freesound.org, a crowd sourced sound effects database. I’m very grateful to my fellow foley artists around the world.

Zombie Quiz #2

  1. What other things do you do that writers should know about?

I am really committing to helping authors succeed and do ongoing marketing of the completed audiobooks. That’s rare for audiobook producers. Most producers just produce the audio and move on. I consider the relationship I have with each author and title one that deserves ongoing attention. And I have very committed to helping authors succeed, as evidenced by my service as President of Bay Area Independent Publishers Assn.

The other big thing I’d like writers to know is that as an actor, my job is to bring these characters and this story to life in the mind of the listener. There’s a fine balance of narrative and dialogue that a lot of narrators miss, in my opinion. If the narrator is not feeling the character’s emotions on some level, and/or does not know how to effectively express them, then I think they are missing the boat and causing the listener to miss it as well. Narrating a story is a bit like weaving a tapestry, balancing the dialogue and the scene enactment with the narrative voice.

When I add in sound effects, it’s like adding another color to the woof (the thread weaving in and out of the warp) and how it enters and exits and shows up in the tapestry all should feel organic. The editing and mixing is with the ear of director-producer – a very different role from that of the actor. When I’m editing, I’m also directing, and sometimes find sentences or segments I choose to re-record because I know I can do them better. It’s WAY more than just saying the right words in a ‘nice’ voice. It’s more like producing and performing a one-woman show for an audience of listeners who will each experience it as a private performance.

  1. When did you know Audio work was what you wanted to do?

That’s an interesting question and makes me look back to my very first recording work. When I was in third grade my best friend and I used a reel-to-reel recorder to make our own “radio show.” We spent several weeks (maybe months) on it, and it was great fun. So I was primed from an early age. But as an adult I knew after I graduated for U of Illinois with my MFA in Acting and got my first job: recording audio books for Talking Books for the Blind through Library of Congress. Loved it! And I became one of the listeners’ most popular readers, which led to being hired full time as one of only 2 full-time staff narrators.

  1. For anyone thinking about having their work converted to Audio, what is the first thing they should do?

Well, I think the simplest thing is to contact me at Pro Audio Voices to talk it over and get their questions answered. If they have not yet been selling many books in their other formats (print, ebook), then I’d recommend focus on marketing and start building a following first. An audiobook edition will certainly help with sales of all editions, but marketing has to happen if an author is to sell any editions. There are other advantages, though, to jumping right in. One of the things I do in that first conversation is ask about the author’s goals. Are they hoping to: create another income stream from the same content (always a good idea), increase cross-sales of other editions (that works), build another business or speaking career (for example, a book about financial planning to serve and draw in clients; or demonstrating expertise for a speaker on multiple marriages), or what else do they want to achieve? This helps me give better advice to help them meet those goals.

They could also go to ACX.com and try to sort through the labyrinth to figure it out themselves. But there is no real guide available there, so most authors I’ve talked to find that just overwhelming and confusing.

Authors should also know there are some genres that don’t get as much action in audiobooks. Fiction dominates, and within that highest selling genres are romances then mystery/thriller, so if you have one of those, get it into audio. But all genres are represented, so if you’re writing in a different genre or non-fiction, don’t be discouraged. Think about who your target market is and are they likely to be listening to audiobooks. I can help you sort through these questions. And I have occasionally recommended to an author not produce an audiobook when I thought her/his book was not ready for that step. There are a lot of factors to consider.

  1. Tell us about how you handle scenes with many different characters talking.

Dialogue is some of my favorite stuff. I consider it very important to differentiate the voices so the listener can tell who is speaking without getting confused. When they get confused, you’ve lost them, at least for a while. I use a wide range of voices and several techniques to alter my voice to create different sounds. For example, I can focus it more into my nose for a more nasal sound, drop it into my chest for those big heavy guys, add raspiness or breathiness, raise or lower the register. Sometimes I’ll talk more out of one side of my mouth or the other, or open the back of my throat more. Even just changing my face into a squint or scrunch can change the voice. It’s really fun.

But one of the challenges in a book with lots of characters is remembering who sounds like what and how I made that voice. Consistency. The toughest is when a minor character goes away and later suddenly turns up again. Occasionally I have to go back to listen to what I did before. I really appreciate it when authors provide me with a list of characters (those that speak) and a few key characteristics for each to help me give them each an appropriate voice. Characteristics might include things like size, age, distinct vocal sound, life attitude, where the character is from geographically.

I do want to emphasize again, though, that the most important thing that is happening in the dialogue is the scene and characters coming to life through great acting. The vocal differentiations are a part of the craft of acting – finding each character’s voice – and the art is in truthfully playing those characters. As a listener I am often disappointed with the limited range of narrators in scenes with multiple characters. I consider dressing each character in appropriate vocal ‘clothes’ an important and delightful part of creating an exceptional listening experience.

Thank You Becky and Thank You Karina for being my guest on Writerly Wednesday.




I Left My Brains in San Francisco Audio Release is Live!

I Left My Brains Promo Art

I am keeping this post up because Karina’s Audio Book is Live..

Here is where you can buy your copy…  I Left My Brains in San Francisco. 

Come back Next Week to Visit With the Narrator of this Audible Release.  

Welcome to Writerly Wednesday.. this site has been quiet far too long.  I can’t think of a better way to reboot the activity of Writerly Wednesday than having Karina Fabian come back as a Guest.

I Left My Brains in San Francisco Audio Release

An Interview with Karina Fabian

  1. Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator and I Left My Brains in San Francisco released through Damnation Books and now both are available in audio format. Could you tell the story behind writing the first Neeta Lyffe Novel?

It all started with a mutual friend, Becca Butcher. When Kim wanted to launch Damnation Books with a zombie anthology, Becca nagged me to write a story. I don’t like zombies much. So I wrote a pun-filled story about a team of exterminators taking out a zombie infestation in a Korean restaurant. “Wokking Dead” was a big hit, as was the lead character Neeta Lyffe. People asked Kim when Neeta would get her own novel, and the series was born. It’s been a lot of fun. My zombies are far quirkier and more slapstick than most, and the political and social satire is very cathartic!

  1. What can you share with us about yourself? You are very busy and multi-talented. Does your mind ever go quiet?

No, it does not, and I always have several creative, marketing and writing guild irons in the fire. However, after this tour is done, I’m making a concerted effort to BACK OFF. I need to concentrate on family until the kids are out of the house. I have few precious years left with them.

  1. Tell us about your writing space. You favorite tools for writing, software, pen, paper, voice recorder, picture window? 

I have my own study, which features a black desk with a green backing that picks up the green in the Celtic dragon curtains. My two bookshelves are also black and green and crowded with books mostly about faith and writing or that were written by my friends. I have a desktop computer with two screens because I got spoiled on the two-screen set-up at work. On the wall next to the curtain is a big white board which has my life priorities in the form of a jar with rocks. The big rocks are the things I need to concentrate on. I also have in one corner of the board a 4-quadrant organization of goals and activities. I’m hoping this will help me keep more focused. I just started this method, though, so time will tell!

  1. Where can we stalk you?


  1. Many of us do not have a clue about the process involved in taking a novel from print to audio. Can you share a little bit of the behind the scenes experience?

In a nutshell:

  • My publisher says, “I want to make an audiobook and I’m hiring an award-winning narrator to do it.”
  • I do the happy dance.
  • Becky (said award-winning publisher) calls me and we chat about voices.
  • I do more happy dancing because this is going to be so freaking awesome!
  • Becky starts the narration. She writes to ask about voices or words or to point out typos and make sure they are typos. (I cringe here.) She sends me the chapters to listen to, to critique.
  • I spend many hours marveling at my own words coming back at me in a different way. It is amazing how a different reader can change even the tone of a scene. It’s a whole new novel in some ways.
  • I happy dance because it is still freaking awesome.
  • The publisher takes care of the production, cover, loading on audible.
  • I recruit Becky for a book tour and we have a ton of fun with interviews, making videos and she even turned my TREE song into a real tune.
  • People buy the audiobook and post reviews saying how freaking awesome it is. (OK, guys – that’s your role!)
  1. Does Neeta ever touch anything sharp?

Only when taking out a zombie is involved. In fact, I thought of you when I wrote the opening line of the third book, Shambling in a Winter Wonderland: Neeta’s mother had told her the only time she should run with scissors was when a zombie was involved. Neeta wondered what her mother would have said about surfing with a katana.

I am keeping this post up because Karina’s Audio Book is Live..

Here is where you can buy your copy…  I Left My Brains in San Francisco. 

Come back Next Week to Visit With the Narrator of this Audible Release.  

Cover art for Neeta Lyffe
Neeta Lyffe

Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator  is available at Amazon in Trade Paperback, Kindle and Audible Formats

By the 2040s, the shambling dead have become and international problem. While governments and special interest groups vie for the most environmentally-friendly way to rid the world of zombies, a new breed of exterminator has risen: The Zombie Exterminator. When zombie exterminator Neeta Lyffe gets sued because a zombie she set afire stumbles onto a lawyer’s back porch, she needs money, fast. So she agrees to train apprentice exterminators in a reality TV show that makes Survivor look like a game of tag. But that’s nothing compared to having to deal with crazy directors, bickering contestants and paparazzi. Can she keep her ratings up, her bills paid and her apprentices alive and still keep her sanity?

I Left My Brains Cover ArtI Left My Brains in San Francisco (Neeta Lyffe Book 2) is available at Amazon as Trade Paperback, Kindle and Now as Audible Format.

Sequel to Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator

Zombie problem? Call Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator—but not this weekend.

On vacation at an exterminator’s convention, she’s looking to relax, have fun, and enjoy a little romance. Too bad the zombies have a different idea. When they rise from their watery graves to take over the City by the Bay, it looks like it’ll be a working vacation after all.

Enjoy the thrill of re-kill with Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator.

I am keeping this post up because Karina’s Audio Book is Live..

Here is where you can buy your copy…  I Left My Brains in San Francisco. 

Come back Next Week to Visit With the Narrator of this Audible Release.  

Stalk Karina at …

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/10981939-karina-fabian

Thank You Karina for letting me have you as a guest, again.

Come back on 21 October when Becky Parker Geist, the narrator of both of Karina’s books, submits to an interview!

I am keeping this post up because Karina’s Audio Book is Live..

Here is where you can buy your copy…  I Left My Brains in San Francisco. 

Come back Next Week to Visit With the Narrator of this Audible Release.  


Submission Packet?

Submission Packet ..  What is it  and why should you be working on it?

blue file folder clipart
Submission Packet

A submission packet is a group of files you’ll be glad you took the time to do.

A Submission Packet includes the following –


• A Query Letter
• You will want to include 2 synopsis files.

A Synopsis of about 1600 words
A Longer Synopsis of about 800 words

• Sample Chapters (1-3) or 50 pages
• A Cover Letter



You may want to write your synopsis first.

A synopsis is your novel’s plot told though one character’s eyes. This should be presented in the present tense and in 3rd person.

It does not matter that your novel has been written in first person past tense or that you have many plotlines and character viewpoints.

Choose the Main Plot and the Best Character to tell the story.

Start the synopsis with a hook, a first main event. Include the most important plot elements. Stick to the important points. Tell how the story ends.

Write the first Synopsis using about 1600 words. Then rewrite it cutting the word count by half.

This will give you a long and short synopsis.

Query Letter

After you have tucked the Synopsis files away in an easy to find folder, start your query letter.

A Query Letter can be distilled into a Hello I have this – are you interested?

Use the information you just finished up writing in your synopsis.

Think about the first part of the query letter as a blurb.

Read the blurbs for the books you find online. Go to a bookstore if you still have one nearby and read the book jackets.

A query letter is not a synopsis and needs to be kept to a single page.

Cover Letter

Your cover letter is one you will send while buzzed about the reply to your query. The Editor or Agent wants to see your work. You will be glad you have this one ready to go.

You’ll want to follow the guidelines to the letter. You should begin by indicating someone asked for your sample chapters or full on manuscript. You will know who to address so use that name and address.

A cover letter ‘covers’ your submission.

It doesn’t need to be epic long.

With the Synopsis, Query Letter and Cover Letter you’ll want to have three chapters or the first 50 pages ready.  The whole manuscript is very important as well.  The Manuscript is the Product you offered to the submissions officer and if you are a new author you should darn well have this final revision ready and waiting.

The there are more odds and ends you should be ready for.. with your submission packet ready and waiting it won’t be such a head spin when the other pesky things come your way.

There will be a contact to sign and more forms to fill out.

Maybe you already sent your sample chapters with the query letter because the guidelines asked for it or maybe you will be sending chapters with the cover letter. But with the cover letter, most of the time, you will be sending the full manuscript.

In any event, somewhere along the line you’ll find yourself answering questions you never saw coming. Take your time and answer them fully because it helps the cover artist, publisher and your assigned editor.

There will be formatting issues to address. These guidelines will probably come with the request for the whole manuscript. Sometimes these can be very hard to follow, especially if your word processor is different than the publisher uses.

You will be one step ahead and able to relax and enjoy the ride if you have most of this prep work done ahead of time.


5 Things Successful People Do.. a Writer’s Chatroom Topic

Grant Cardone Founder and CEO, Grant Cardone Sales Training provided the core of the things I’ve chosen for thisWriterly Wednesday Post. You Can find the original article here.. I have used the 1 – 5 headings word for word and put my personal thoughts below them.

Thank you Flo Stanton for providing this link.

This is going to be the topic at The Writer’s Chatroom, tonight, 20 August 2014 at 6PM MDT..

5 Things Successful People Do that Others Don’t

Are you stalled out in your writing life? Are you having trouble finding the time to write or promote or blog? Do you need something a little more serious than butt glue?

Let’s try some of these pointers from Grant Cardone about Successful People..

1. They Go to Work to Prosper, Not Just to Work

I know some of you are thinking that writing for the big payoff is similar to selling your body for grocery money. You need to take on the attitude .. “I’ll Write For Money.” “I’ll Write as if my Life Depends on It.”

If Writing has become a painful, drag yourself to the computer issue, then, maybe now isn’t the time for you. But then I’ve heard Dr. Phil say, “Fake it Till You Make it. Think .. When Harry Met Sally.

2. They Exercise Incredible Drive

Are you driven? If this is an issue for you then concentrate on this aspect of success.

Think Nike.. Just Do It.

Life is a Story – Tell it Big. Don’t let another day pass without doing something in your writing life.

Once, I can’t remember exactly what it was, I complained that I couldn’t do something.

My Darling Husband asked.. “When have you ever started something you really wanted and didn’t finish?”

3. They Never Make Excuses

Can’t Never Did Anything.

The parrot crapped all over my submission. Print a new copy.

I’ve already had 6 rejections. Rack up 60.

Don’t blame it on economy. Don’t blame it on the stuck up editors and publishers you are trying to approach.

Don’t say you don’t have time.

Anyone who can’t find time should visit with Karina Fabian.

Don’t get lost thinking someone else can do it better. Do your best and honor those who came before you by writing through the excuses.

4. They Focus on Their Goals Daily

I have never been able to plan into the future.

At Audrey’s Goal Setting Chats each year I tell myself, “This is the Year I will Set and Achieve Goals.”

Then I think, “Nevermind.”

I do have a task list, a small list of goals that I jot down in my DayTimer and I check them off as I finish. These goals are realistic for me and I tend to get them done.

I do not believe in multi-tasking.

Don’t kid yourself into thinking you can do more than one thing at a time.

I recently saw a demonstration on Brain Games that validated my stand on multi-tasking.

Do one thing, one do-able thing.

Then move on to the next.

Checking off a bunch of small tasks will boost your ego.


Do it one day at a time.

Finally, Successful People –

5. They Are Willing to Fail

I and the author who wrote the original post, like to think of failure as a learning or teaching moment.

Remember the 6 rejection letters? Big deal, right? Maybe, you can tweak your submission letter. Maybe, you didn’t adhere to the guidelines. Maybe, it just isn’t the right market for you.

Be willing to collect a wall full of rejection letters. It is proof that you are a writer.

Don’t set your goals so big you are destined to fail. Don’t make excuses. Become excited about what you chose to do and write toward the big payoff. You define the payoff. Make it a goal you can reach and then get it done.

Thank you again, Flo Stanton for the topic and thank you Grant Cardone for writing the post I relied on when I wrote this post.

Don’t touch anything sharp.

If I Should Die and Milk Carton People by Sally Franklin Christie are available at your favorite book-seller in print and e-formats for your favorite e-reader.