Empowered to Network

Month: November 2014

Writing Styles: I can’t stop reading until I finish! – Part 2

As a follow-up to my last article, I am describing different writing styles that ignite my emotions. While I can keep writing on this topic forever, I am going to narrow it down to two more styles that I look forward to when I consider buying a book. Yes, I am one of those that sometimes can’t wait for the book to be for free or offered at $0.99. While I’m too old to be part of the NOW generation, when I see a book that its excerpt excites me, I buy it. I am a Kindle Edition member and love it!


I enjoy books that make me laugh out loud when I read them. The problem is that I only read late at night and my laughter can be somewhat annoying to my husband. I’m encouraging him to read so we can have more peace at night so we’ll see what happens. In the meantime….

Derrick Hibbard, an indie author of several non-fictional and fictional books, wrote Impish, about a lawyer who made a contract with the Devil and then tried to revoke it. This book made me laugh out loud the two nights it took me to read it. (I’m a slow reader) Below are just a few of the many funny lines in this book:

“I’m going to lose this bad boy.” He lifted up his white shirt and squeezed the skin around his belly button, making it appear to be a mouth. “No please don’t get rid of me”, the belly button said in a high-pitched voice. You’re gone buddy, Cal replied, “History”. Location 1% in Kindle, Derrick Hibbard, 2012

As a disclaimer, humor is like beauty, in the eyes of the beholder. But I enjoyed it and would recommend it.

Action Packed and Fast Paced

“You need to come with us..Like h…I do,” I said as I kicked the guy in front of me in his knee. He jerked and doubled over; I put him in a head lock and cut off his circulation. I looked to Jones and saw that he already had the other man pinned to our table.” 253 of 3428 location in Kindle, 2014, Karina Espinosa

These are a few lines from Karina Espinosa’s latest novel Greed, part of her series, Sins of the Fallen. In two lines she crafted a visually vivid fight scene, and as a female, writing from a male perspective. She has a loyal fan base including myself, because of her fast paced, action packed writing style. This book left me gasping during several scenes and to top it all, she has an excellent sense of humor.


I want to clarify that my opinions of these writing styles pertain only to fiction work. When it comes to non-fiction, I focus more on the value of its content advice. For example, when building my blog, I had to find a quick reference and quality guide so I purchased Molly Greene’s book, “bLog It! The author’s guide to building a successful online brand”. It was very well written, easy to use and helped me in setting up my blog from scratch. It also contains other valuable information regarding social media.


Writing Styles: I can’t stop reading until I finish! – Part 1

As a writer, I’m always looking at the styles that other writers have. While I have my own, I like to see not so much their syntax but their descriptions, dialogue and most important, how they make me feel. I’m not a Reviewer as I don’t have the experience to be one. However, passion is not an acquired skill nor requires experience. These are some the writing styles that I’m passionate about. This blog is not to review the author’s or their books but to share with you the different styles that keep me up all night!

Poignant and Lyrical

Meg Collett, The Hunted One, is a book that I can read over and over and never get tired of it. She is a master at describing one scene in one word. An author of a few words, her dialogue is many times short, direct and does not need any elaboration. Her descriptive words have the perfect balance of complexity and simplicity. In her books, the Hunted One, for which she’s received rave reviews, she gives life to her characters with minimal effort. I just purchased her book “fakers” and can’t wait to read it. I emailed her to ask her why does she excels in this area and if she was influenced by other talented writers.

“So I put a lot of effort into my descriptions and scene-setting. I think sometimes what you don’t say is just as important as what you do. My writing style was heavily influenced by Andrew Davidson (he wrote this book called “The Gargoyle”). His writing was lyrical and very poignant. But he made you feel the scene rather than just read it. I always aim to achieve that! “ Meg Collett, 11/11/2014

My hat off to you, Ms. Collett, and hope to continue seeing you succeed!

Beautiful Descriptive Prose and Romance

I’ve read many books that are written almost like poems. The descriptions are elaborate and transport me in a limousine to the setting of every scene. Their scenes are better than movies that have won Oscars. The skill set and talent that I think it takes these authors to write this type of novel inspire me to keep writing. The combination of words is like crocheting exquisite lace. I’ve read several works of this kind, but then I learned of John J. Geddes. Just his tweets s “like having a candle light dinner”. After reading several of his exquisite paranormal, romance short stories, I purchased his book, “Epiphany”.

It is fantastic. Every emotion that I could hold inside just erupted when I read this book. In this short sentence, he uses several beautiful descriptions that show a part of the personality this character in his novel.

“The intoxication of celebrity totally fulfilled her and she was never more sparkling and effervescent than in a room full of adoring strangers. “ Epiphany by John H. Geddes, 94 of 5497 or 2% using Kindle reader, 2013

Even his tweets are full of flavor.

Tweeted 11/14/2014
“she vanished and there was no trace of her, only footsteps in the sand.”
“she was a parachute descending out of a clear sky-another part of my landscape”

I strongly recommend you subscribe to his tweets. There is nothing more enchanting than to end dinner with a French delicacy.
Mr. Geddes, please, never stop writing. It would break my and many of your fans’ hearts!

Going Against Expert Advice: Lessons Learned by a Newbie

As I start this article, I feel like Jerry McGuire when he wrote his Mission Statement. Some people disagreed with his concept of spending more time with his clients even if it meant less revenue for the company where he worked. But at the end of the movie, not only did he win the heart of his lovely wife but also came to learn many lessons about his craft. And this is my intention. I am writing this article to share with you how going against the grain can sometimes be painful to your ego, force you to take the longest distance to your destination and in some cases, you may have to reinvent yourself again. Would I change any of the actions I took that got me here today, No, I wouldn’t. It’s been a journey full of lessons and as I sit here, I know similar situations will be around the corner. But now, I will follow the expert advice that is readily available all over the internet.

So, I will share my story as I share some ideas that looking back would have made better sense and hope that at least for some of the newbies, this information will be helpful.

1. Find a Writing Buddy

The main reason I started to write was because I had a friend who encouraged me to join the Nanowrimo Contest. It took me several weeks to spell and pronounce the name correctly. I had just quit my job to dedicate more time to my special needs child who was attending elementary school. I had the time and for some reason, the hunger to write and express myself on paper. I was fortunate that my writing buddy is an excellent writer and had several years of experience under her belt. Also, the one-on–one offered me more time to discuss questions and issues that came up during my writing.

2. Take your time to publish your first novel; Find a Good Editor

So I entered the contest and in two weeks, completed my novel. First mistake, I decided to split the novel into a series and then publish it a few months later. I did have the novel edited by a professional editor, but only once. Even though I edited my work at least six times, a professional is the key to creating quality work. Also, be selective in choosing your editor. I know it’s expensive but it’s worth it. Later in the article I will share with you the consequence of poor editing choices. Do your research, ask people in the industry for recommendations; my conclusion is to select a good, professional editor even if you have to pay more money. I’m living a conservative lifestyle and don’t have money to blow away but if you are committed to be in this business long term, then look at it as an investment.

3. Take your time to publish your first novel; Research your audience

I had not read books for a long time before I wrote my novel. But ask me about any movie and I can tell you anything you want to know. I was and continue to be a movie junkie. As a result, I did have many ideas for good plots that I felt I could convert to novels. To top it all, I was a Healthcare consultant and travelled around the States and the world, spending many hours in planes. So I read many books but they were professional, self-improvement and non-fiction books. This alone gave me the confidence to write. When you are unaware of your audience, you have a big chance of failing in this business because they are your customers. Like any company, knowing your customer is the most important aspect in developing a product that they will buy. If you are in this field to write and never make a penny, then this may not be important to you. But in my case, I would like to be paid for my services and do not want to release bad quality work because it reflects on my reputation. Been there, done that.

4. Take your time to publish your first novel; Research your genre

Once you select your genre, this suggestion goes hand in hand with the earlier one. Read books in your genre so that you can understand the wording that is being used. The audience likes the genre because of the way that it’s written so if you write something completely out of the ball park, they will put that book down in the first inning and they will never buy another one from you again.

5.  Subscribe to Blogs and Read Them

When you have a family and a full-time job, it’s hard to make time for all the demands of this business so take your Time. The business is not going to go away. I’m over 50 years old and changing to a different discipline has been a very humbling experience. Having been a successful Health Care executive and owning three business, to transfer and start in this career has not been an easy road, and I’ve come to accept that it will be very bumpy for a while. But when I went to a Statewide Writer’s Conference not too long ago, I noticed that many of the writers were either my age, and in many cases older. I cannot tell you what a sense of relief that offered me. It gave me hope that I can write for a very long time and still make it. Yes, there are many young and wonderful writers that we can learn from and will be around for a long time too. So age doesn’t matter in this business. Also, make sure you network because many authors will be your clients. Take your time.

6. To  Blog or Not to ; That is the Question

Well, if you are reading this you know where I stand with that. But it’s been over a year that I’ve been writing and just started a blog. With determination, I will continue it. A major part of your success will depend on marketing your product and social media will get the word of your novel out in the market. This part of the business is the scariest for me not because of its complexity but of the time commitment it requires. I cannot say, Take your time, because in this case you need to be available at whatever time. So know that once you publish your novel, if you don’t start the ball rolling, you are going to miss momentum and potential opportunities that will make your book successful. I found the following website in researching which web hosting product to select,


I decided to start now because I’m planning to publish my 4th book in the spring if 2015.

7. Research your Publishing Options

With the internet and eBooks, there are so many options for publishing; indie, self-publishing, hybrid, traditional and so on. Compare them and check which one not only fits your financial goals but also your time limitations. Your time is money and if you go pure self-publishing, your flying solo. Some people love it and after doing it several times, it’s become second nature for them. But there are options that will support you in some aspects of the business, allowing you time to breath. Whatever you decide, be aware that the marketing will mainly fall on your lap. The audience wants to see you so no matter which route you take, if you make it big, be ready to travel and invest considerable amounts of time unless you can clone yourself.

8. Reviews of Your Work Can Hurt

One of my first reviews was a one star. That evening I called my writing buddy and cried like a baby. And for those of you who think I was exaggerating, I’m just a very sentimental person. After a few days, I re-read the check and did what everyone tells you not to do; I emailed my reviewer. However, my email was not to insult her but instead to thank her. I think she was shocked and to be honest, I didn’t think she would respond. But she is professional and did. Every point that she noted from the fact that I wrote like a child, that my work should’ve been edited more, that after 11 pages, she had to put the book down and that she couldn’t believe anyone would ever release a book in that condition, I analyzed and concluded that she had given me the aspects of the novel that I had to check to improve it. For me, that was priceless. I’m now in the process of editing the book and publishing a 2nd edition and will feel proud to do so. And every bad review that I got for the book, I will read and take into consideration. In my email, I explained to her that it was my first book and that the 2nd one of the series was in the process of being released. I asked her if she would give me another chance. And she said, not only a 2nd, but a 3rd, a 4th and so on because this is what she does. She reviews books not only for her audience but also for the writers to consider suggestions for improvement. Since then, I’ve kept in communication and have utmost respect for her work. I will be sending her my new book in the spring and hope she enjoys it.

9. Your Reviews Can Hurt Other Writers

No one likes to have their baby called ugly so my recommendation is not what you say but how you say it. I have not been the most diplomatic person when it comes to this. Perhaps being in Consulting and telling companies how to improve their operations hardened my speech. This is an area that I need to work on. I’ve seen the work of some colleagues and while I’m the least person to have the ability to give a proper opinion, I can at least recognize some syntax, POV and character consistency issues. When I see how some writers give their comments in such a soft yet assertive way, I applaud them. Now if you are a professional reviewer, your job is to be assertive and direct but from one colleague to another, you can be less aggressive. Again, this is just my opinion.


There are many other lessons I learned but these were the major ones. So to summarize, after going through these experiences, I changed my pen name. Yep, my insecurity got to me and decided to start anew. Interestingly enough, I do like my new pen name better than my old one and will not be changing it even if I get remarried. This is a craft and I need to learn many skills. I am taking internet courses for writing but am planning to go back to school and take some formal English writing courses as recommended by my writing buddy. There are so many factors that will influence your success and skills in one of them. But I think that the most important one is to be determined and be ready to like rollercoasters because you will have lots of ups and downs; but if you have the desire and passion to write, it will be a great ride. Finally, thank you Writing Buddy for being my seat belt and helping me stay on my seat.

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