Thursday, May 22, 2014

Moving Forward - Editing

The next step with my book is sending it to an editor. I will be honest that step scared me to death. I took two extra weeks going over it again adding things and telling myself it’s not ready.

If you’re writing a book, please do not do this to your self. Set deadlines and send your book on.

For me not submitting my stories has been a big issue with me. I get scared and put them in the closet telling myself, they aren’t ready.

I have five books in the closet that I said aren’t ready. This year I decided I was taking them out of the closet and have one last look before I submit them to an editor.

They will never see another reader’s eyes if I don’t get them out of my closet.

Moving forward is my mantra this year and I will move forward even it means knocking my own self over the head to get past my fears.

Are you moving forward with your writing?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Podcast Friday - The Literary Entrepreneur Podcasts

The Literary Entrepreneur Podcasts are podcasts created by Tyora Moody.  She shares information on how to market your book.

Check out her book:

The Literary Entrepreneur's Toolkit: Building and Managing an Online Presence for Authors

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Help Me Choose My Book Title - Part 2

One of the first lessons I learned when I was a member of RWA was not to get attached to your book title.  Sometimes the publishers will changes your title to what they want.  Which meant for me I never put too much into a title?  Most times, I’d called the manuscript by the heroine's name.

When you decide to self-publish your book, you are the publisher and you come up with the great titles.  I never imagined coming up with a title that fit the book would be such a pain.

You have all these ideas in your head but when you have to sit down and put it all on paper, it’s hard.

I came up with 10 titles and I asked you and a few writers’ friends to help decide which title was the best.  I received some good feedback.  Some wanted me to have brand in the title, some wanted guide, some wanted promotion, some didn’t like the main title, See Ya On The Net.

As I researched creating a good title, I found:

The title has to convey what’s inside the book.   

The title has to pop in order to grab the reader’s attention.

The title has to say what the book will deliver.   

Now tell me that’s not hard to come up with?

I couldn't move to the next step of finding a book cover because I didn’t like the titles I came up with.

The book is a guide to helping you, so I knew I wanted to keep that term.  The book is more about making a promotion plan.  So I kept messing with it. 

I decided I didn’t want to give up my tag line – See Ya On The Net.  That’s LaShaunda.  That’s how I signed my emails since I came on the net.  That’s what I titled my blog when I started blogging.  That’s my brand.  I didn’t want to recreate a brand just for this book.  I have always been about being on the net and using the net as a way to introduce yourself.  That’s what this book is all about.

I popped into my business coach group and asked for a little help and this is what we came up with.

The Ultimate Guide To Become a Book Promotion Star: 
Create Your Unique Plan of Action

The title says everything I wanted it to say and tells you what you need to know.

How did I do?

Thursday, May 08, 2014

On Tour With Lori Soard

Today I have a guest blogger, Lori Soard. Lori is one of the first writers I met online. I love that she is always willing to share her knowledge of writing.

Why I Started Writing

People often ask me when I first knew I wanted to be a writer, but the answer really isn’t an easy one. You see, I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t hearing stories, reading stories and living out stories. Sometimes I wonder if I could have been anything other than a writer.

My mother and father were big on storytelling. From the time I was a baby, they would read to me and tell me bedtime stories. Probably even more influential was my mother’s family. They were from Appalachia and when we would visit, they would all sit around and tell stories about family, people they knew, and things that happened in the mountains. Some of it was folklore, some was gossip and some was just intriguing.

Barbie Soaps

I always loved my Barbie dolls and my mom would have Guiding Light and Dark Shadows (the 70s version) playing in the background. My mother never stifled my creativity. She didn’t care if I made a huge mess creating a Barbie house out of books and knick knacks. Instead, she would help me figure out how to make a bed for my Barbies, what to use for a table and so on. I would fill up my room with a house with book walls and furniture and she never said a word. I realize now that most moms would have freaked out over this mess.

My Barbies lived out some pretty dramatic moments, even in those early years. As an only child, these dolls were often my only companions. The hours I spent coming up with the stories of their lives helped me learn to live in a make believe world and come up with a plot that worked.


My dad and I had a tradition every night. He would come and tell me a story about Geraldine Giraffe. Good old Geraldine was always getting into some sort of trouble. The stories were hilarious and always ended with the other animals helping Geraldine out. I am putting some of these into a book now and I’m so excited about it. As I got a little older, he would ask me to add to the story and would let me tell him stories.

He had also read somewhere that studying vocabulary makes kids smarter, so we would play a game with words out of Reader’s Digest. He would say the word and I would guess the meaning and then we’d learn the real meaning. It was a bit like the game Balderdash, but without points or competition.

Learning to Read

I can remember my first grade teacher so vividly. Mrs. Young was everything that Mrs. Deerman (my mean and cranky kindergarten teacher) wasn’t. She was kind, encouraging and she loved books. She taught us how to sound out words and how to string them together and read sentences. She loved the written word and it came through in her teaching. She made me fall in love with it, too.

She encouraged me to read books that were challenging and was my cheerleader when I finished them. I don’t think I ever stopped reading after finishing that first book. I still love to read today. One of my favorite things is to discover a new author I’ve not read before. Right now, I am reading a book by one of my writer friends, Becky McGraw. I’ve recently read Richard Paul Evans, Karen Kingsbury and I am getting ready to read a book by John Green. My reading is very eclectic.

The Light Bulb Moment

As you can probably tell from my childhood, I grew up reading, listening to stories, making up stories and eventually writing round robin stories with my best friends in high school (we would each add a little and exchange between classes). I had always journaled, always written short stories, already lived in my own world, which family and friends affectionately call “Lori La La Land”. However, it never occurred to me you could make money writing. I was in college to get an English teaching degree. I had to take some electives and thought I’d take some journalism classes because they seemed related. Our first assignment was to find a local business, write an article answering “Who, What, Where, When and Why” and submit it to our local newspapers.

I wrote an article about a local exotic farm. It was so much fun. I also adore animals and I got to go to this man’s farm in Greenfield, where I was living. It was “Skunk” Irving, founder of Irving Materials (a concrete company). I didn’t realize just how important he was to be honest. I was young and green and fascinated with the llamas. He was wonderful to me. Answered all my questions, posed for photos. A friend of his also had camels and worked with me to answer questions and take photos.

I completed my assignment and sent it to our local newspaper, assuming it would never see the light of day. They called me and wanted to know if they could print it and they would pay me $25. I was ecstatic. Publish it and pay me? Heck yeah! Yes, I was very green.

The next week, the article came out on the front page of the paper. It was like someone shone a light on my life. I had never thought about writing for a living. You could make money doing something this much fun? I started my first book the next day and I’ve never looked back. Today, I am a full-time writer, mixing fiction, non-fiction and business writing/promotion (websites, press releases, etc.) to make living.

Are some people meant to be writers? I think so. I think it is definitely a combination of childhood influences and interests that shape us into who we are. If writing has always been a dream of yours, what is holding you back? Even if you only write one page a day, you will have a book by the end of the year. I encourage you to follow that dream. Your life will never be the same.

Lori Soard has a PhD in Journalism but she's hardly the stuffy professor type. She enjoys writing romantic comedies, such as Finding Ms. Right, gets excited over a good comedy and has even seen one of her books turned in a Manga comic. When she isn't working on fiction, she is writing articles and designing websites.

------------ Visit my websites: (websites, promotion, content writing, social media)

Friday, May 02, 2014

Curly Sister - Khara Campbell

Tell us a little about you and when and why you decided to start wearing your hair naturally?

I was born and raised in Nassau, The Bahamas however I currently reside in Maryland with my husband and three children. I am the author of debut novel Not My Will which was released March 11th. Aside from being an author, my husband and I run a small business and I am also a bookkeeper and office manager for two other small local businesses. I started transitioning in 2000 because I was tired of the damage to my hair from getting perms, I also wanted to embrace my natural hair texture. I did my big chop in 2001 and haven't looked back since. I also had locs in my hair for about two years, I combed them out because I wanted to be more versatile with my natural hair.

What was your biggest hair obstacle to overcome?

I've been natural since 2001 so the biggest obstacle was doing my big chop. I wasn't sure if I would like my hair that short or if others would as well.

What are three products you can't live without for your hair?

1. Tea Tree Deep conditioner
2. Miss Jessie curly pudding
3. Hair and scalp oil.

What are your favorite styles to wear?

1. Braids
2. Afro Puff
3. Twists

What natural site/blogs so you follow?

To name a few:
Natural Hair Daily

Any advice for the newly natural sister?

Find yourself a hair stylist that REALLY caters to natural hair. Not every beautician knows how to care for your natural hair. Also learn what works for your hair, a product that may work for someone else may not work for your hair. I've had many trials and errors over the years. I've also had some beauticians damage my hair because they weren't used to styling natural hair.

Do you have a site/blog/facebook to follow?

 twitter: @KharaCampbell instagram: @KharaCampbell

Would you like to be my next Curly Sister? I have slots available for JUN/JUL/AUG. Send an email to