Category: Write Monday

Want to sell more books?

Write Monday for author know-how

What I wish I had known when I started writing a novel. What I wish I knew before I launched my blog. What did you wish you knew, if you could, before you began blogging or writing for publication?

First thing this morning I wrote two blog posts. Then I cut the second blog post out of a Microsoft Word document and pasted into an MW file, which I named and saved. This afternoon, the new file for today’s post had been lost!

Don’t you hate that? 


Thank goodness for Time Machine back up. I actually found the entire lost file and restored it. If you use a Mac computer,  you need this. I will add a little on Time Machine at the bottom of today’s post.

Writing sites worth knowing in 2018

This morning, about 6AM, I read three writing newsletters. I subscribe to a variety of blogs and newsletters on writing. Not more than five at a time. In the next weeks, I plan to blog about each one of these five long-lasting value email newsletters for writers.

I have challenged myself to define how each writing site and email updates provide ongoing value. Plus make a case for why other writers would benefit from subscribing.

Do you fight for time to write?

Like all bloggers and writers, I must fight for time to write. Family demands time. Work demands time. Preparing and eating healthy food takes time. Home management and cleaning demands time. Of course, planning for fun activities takes time too. Maybe that’s why those social and fun events are last on my list.

My struggle with writing time continues. As well as keeping up with my three separate volunteer commitments. The artist inside must live in a balance of reading for inspiration and recreation.  Due to advanced technologies of the World Wide Web, ongoing time must be spent on technical know-how (and problems created by computers, word processing software, software bugs, wifi, and connectivity, etc. The list goes on, and on. But let’s not go there.

Sometimes, I unsubscribe too.

What it takes to keep me subscribed to a newsletter?

What makes me drop newsletter subscriptions?   I ask myself this because I look at the time when I also will offer email updates for my Dog Leader Mysteries fans.

What lists do you subscribe to?  What newsletters do you keep reading? Week after week, year after year, what of value to you gain by your reading choices?

My short list of why I read and keep reading

  1. Valuable writing content.
  2. Personable writers who disclose enough in their topic choices, word choices, writer’s voice (humor helps, honesty, asks interesting questions, a writer that illuminates novel ideas or includes inspiring thinkers and thoughtful quotes.
  3. Writers who spark my own writing mind to write fresh content.

Why I stop reading. What makes me unsubscribe?

  1. Repeated selling of a writer’s products
  2. Constant selling of other peoples products.
  3. Too many emails a week, which disrupts my workflow to crunch emails.

Ideally, I like a newsletter email no more than once a week.

Some weeks my workflow contains flextime. My general rule of accepting only once a week update bends. Especially for special events, new products or learning opportunities.

Are you an author who wants to sell more books?

Tim Grahl happens a thought leader in book marketing and sales. His experience stands as a solid understanding of what authors can do to sell their books. I want every writer who has written and gotten his or her book published to meet Tim Grahl.

Why? Because Grahl creates the best content for writers, who are serious about writing.

His updates and newsletter vary depending on new content and new professional webinars. After taking webinars with Grahl and signing up for his self-directed online courses, Author Guides, and

“Tim Grahl is fast becoming a legend, 
almost single-handedly changing the way authors around the world spread ideas and connect with readers.”

This is what Grahl offers Indie and traditionally published writers, too.


Get Tim Grahl’s FREE 7-day course on how to connect with readers, build your platform, and sell more books.

"What does it take to run a successful book launch? Over the last 
decade, I’ve worked with hundreds of authors and launched dozens of 
books to the top of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, 
and other bestseller lists. Along with the launches, I’ve run, and 
I’ve studied hundreds of others."

He states, “Anyone can run a successful book launch. A successful book launch always starts with a good plan.”


Tim Grahl proposes three mindsets for book launches. There are three different mindsets that an author brings to every launch. If you start from the wrong mindset, I can give you all the tactics in the world, but they’ll fall flat. Every author brings one of these mindsets to a book launch:

So, do you want to sell more books? What are you waiting for? Ride a link over to

clock edited

Thanks all for dropping by. If you liked this post and this blog please subscribe to our email list. We will be moving sites in the coming year, 2018. If you are subscribed to us (not following just on WordPress, then you will keep receiving our blog posts and author support posts on Write Monday.

Thanks for reading, Deborah Taylor-French

About Time Machine for Mac Computers: Time Machine is a backup software application distributed with the Apple macOS computer operating system. The software is designed to work with the Time Capsule storage product, as well as other internal and external disk drives. It was introduced in Mac OS X Leopard.

NaNoWriMo Sustained Story Mind

“William Faulkner’s conviction that the writer’s duty is “to help man endure by lifting his heart” comes to mind — storytelling is still literature’s greatest duty.” Susan Sontag, Sontag on Storytelling, BrainPickings

Thoughts of my writing friends moved me to write this morning. Shout out to my friend, poet, scientist, and animal lover, Briahn. Another shout to Redwood Writers, a branch of the California Writers Club. We need inspiring and thought-provoking quotes. I hope you find in this post a kernel of encouragement.

I am a storyteller writing novel-length fiction.

Like most of you, I continue reading a variety of nonfiction in the form of news, writing craft advice, history, and biography. This day I find myself charmed by a post on BrainPickings.  BrainPickings brings together both sides of my mind. Currently, it is the only email subscription I read daily. You might want to pop over and steal a few minutes to read the full post.

“Be serious.” By which I meant: Never be cynical. And which doesn’t preclude being funny.” Susan Sontag

“Serious fiction writers think about moral problems practically. They tell stories. They narrate. They evoke our common humanity in narratives with which we can identify, even though the lives may be remote from our own. They stimulate our imagination. The stories they tell enlarge and complicate — and, therefore, improve — our sympathies. They educate our capacity for moral judgment.”

Hi-fve or low fi, I love music.
You’ve got dog music?

By the way, I have thrown caution to the winds and jumped into my third National Novel Writing Month. Although I “won” the two years I entered, this year seems a wilder breast to get a handle on. On one hand, it does not matter if I write a 50,000-word manuscript again in thirty days but on the other, I want my Dog Leader Mysteries book two in good shape to go in 2018. Book one in the series sits on the editor’s desk, and hopefully, I will have a final draft off to copyeditors early next year.

Remember, it is not how many words you write.

Think of it as how many story arc’s you keep. Only keep the parts of story action, theme, and words in your story that matter. The revision comes much later. Keep writing forward in your first draft,  add all the details the story needs.

Later, like months later, you will revise by creating a new document draft to fit your dreamed-first draft story vision. Keep going. You didn’t learn to walk in one day. No one writes a novel in one day either. One page, one step, and fall. One page, one step, and fall not as far. Two steps, find your balance in your story world. Look around inside, write what you see. Fall.

Write what you envision and keep going. Feel your story. Write each day in a state of expectation that your dream story can be caught on paper.

If you stop writing, don’t beat yourself up.

Start again.

Be glad for starting. Be grateful for the story mind in you that wants to know the deeper story you write or want to write.

Get closer to your vision (outline or synopsis) in your story mind

Do not let go.

  • Keep asking, where does my character want to go?
  • Am I lifting my reader’s heart?
  • What happens next in this story?
  • What do my main characters want and need?
  • Where do I see this story ending?
  • Try out a few endings (early to see where it is headed).

Do you read novels? What fiction do you enjoy? Do you write stories? Are you taking on National Novel Writing Month this year?

Thanks for reading and sharing,  Deborah Taylor-French

Don’t miss this Wednesday’s post by Cindy Grant.

You will want to see and read it. High-quality informative writing from a writer who loves pets. Plus fab professional dog photographs,



7 story start tips : Write Monday

What type of story do you want to tell?

I can think of dozens of types of stories, mythical, cultural folktales, fairytales, cautionary fables, historical or generational stories. Yet most stories will boil down to what the story leaves the audience or readers feeling. Happy or sad? I can think of happy endings in war stories, family sagas or generational stories. Romance and fantasy could end either way, even if contemporary fiction genres tend to lean romance to happy endings. But truly if you live through the loss of your first BIG love, you know romance does not promise happy endings. So you the story-teller or writer must make this first and huge choice, happy or sad.  

A sad or happy story?

Well, of course, there is the option of leaving the ending open to interpretation. You could leave your characters hanging, waiting for a phone call, not dying after being shot or wishing he had killed the guy, and wondering if he did? Yet the bulk of stories are looked at as happy or sad. Do you like to watch happy TV shows and movies? Do you enjoy sad endings? Some people do.

Alex Hair Flip

How to add emotion to a story

  1. Start with an undo character, fighting for someone else’s safety
  2. Hurt your main character either physically or emotionally early in your story
  3. Begin your story with a loss for the character, family or village, etc.
  4. Have your main character suffer a social rejection at school, within a town or by a good friend
  5. Show your main character fighting for emotional or physical control (We love grace under pressure.)
  6. Create challenging “bad” weather” that stops your character just as he or she starts wanting to achieve, learn, etc.
  7. Set up a worthy opponent or “bad” guy or girl early in your story 

For more ideas on helping your live audience or readers feel emotions from your story

visit “How to Add Emotion to a Story” at WikiHow.

See WikiHow post below on “Adding Emotion a novel your are writing.”

We love our readers.

Do you love rainy nights? Do you love telling stories that turn your audience’s expectations up-side-down? Do you love include weather references that set up one idea, such as a dark and stormy night and turn it into the best night your main character ever had?

Think of your story as a slice of an ongoing story.

Things have happened before we start listening or reading.

Know that things will happen after listeners or readers finish with your story.

Please share if you enjoyed our

“Write Monday” Dog Leader Mysteries blog post.

Readers, please suggest stressors for my list.

Move Over Miss Marple: Write Monday

IMG_4483Source: Move Over Miss Marple

Susan Holmes: Write Monday

In praise of dog mystery books with female protagonists, please met author, Susan Holmes. We connected on and follow each other’s blogs. That seems to be the strength and high point of blogging on this platform of WordPress, connecting with other writers and readers. After all every writer at sometime and for inspiration reads with a passion. So I invite you to read Holmes’ blog and books.

As a taste of her fiction, Susan Holmes offers seven links to her first book in her series A Waterside Kennel Mystery. If you have an appetite for mystery go and sample a link or two or five at Dog Mysteries Book 1.

Susan Holmes: a great storyteller

About author Susan Holmes

“Her third book, Deadly Ties is the first in the Waterside Kennels mystery series. The series is set in northwest Arkansas using both real and fictional settings. In pursuit of authentic material for the series, she joined Search and Rescue exercises, ventured deep into caves, and followed the trail of Ozark legends. Years working as a publicist for professional artists provided the background for the art elements of the story. Technical details came from experts in the fields of bioarcheology, forensic anthropology, and even fire sciences. She worked closely with dog trainers, kennel owners, and veterinarians to create an environment that dog lovers are sure to recognize and appreciate.” About Dog Mysteries Web Page

Quoting her book reviews

“A suspenseful page-turner: If you are looking for an engrossing whodunit with keep-you-guessing plot twists, strong characterization, and a fascinating Ozarks setting, I highly recommend reading this book. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. Keep them coming, Dr. Susan Holmes”! –Rackerman October 17, 2013

“This book is a must read! A suspenseful story, charming characters and attention to detail made me feel like I was in the Ozarks. If you want a book that will keep you guessing, this is the one for you. I cannot wait until the next book in the series!” –Jennifer J. Ryan October 27, 2013

“A Compelling Mystery: Brava, Susan Holmes! I loved Deadly Ties. I loved that it takes place literally in my own back yard. The story kept my attention throughout. The writing is great, the detail believable and the plot twists truly surprising. I’m looking forward to seeing the series continue. I can’t wait to find out what my neighbors are up to next.” –Judith Tavano November 24, 2013

“First rate!: I couldn’t put this book down! Enough plot twists to keep you guessing with dash of romance, and of course dogs!” –Sueg628 January 16, 2014

“Woof Woof Wonderful: Great setting, lively, interesting characters and the suspense keeps building to red-herring twist at the end. Had to stay up all night on a work night reading this one and want to read MORE. SOON.” –Black Belt Granny March 25, 2014

“Perfectly captures the culture and beauty of my home state, presenting an intriguing, masterful mystery along the way… a thrilling read!” – Jack R. Cotner, author of Mystery Of The Death Hearth and Storytellin’: True And Fictional Short Stories Of Arkansas

This latest book is not only the first novel of a new mystery series, it’s a first class piece of storytelling. Excellently paced and plotted, it’s filled with characters who, like real people, can give you a sudden jolt by revealing an unsuspected side. The Ozark mountain setting is vivid both as a realistic background and a place haunted by legends. Holmes creates a compelling puzzle in which old wrongs and rumors reach out from a past that is anything but dead—but nonetheless deadly indeed.” – Bethany Campbell, nationally bestselling author of Whose Little Girl Are You? and See How They Run

“This course will explore the role of female sleuths in American and British mystery fiction. The first session will introduce types of female characters—both amateur and professional—in crime solving fictional roles. We’ll explore the differences in character roles and responsibilities within the context of the genre.”

Deborah + Great Morgani
Deborah + Great Morgani

Unless otherwise specified, all content on this site is copyright protected. All creative works copyright © Susan Holmes, 2013-2015. All reblogged content remains protected by original blogger’s copyright.

All You Zombies by Robert Heinlein

A story stranger than fiction

“I’m going to tell you the strangest story you ever heard.”

Thus opens a famous fantasy story by Robert A. Heinlein. How could I not read the original story after watching the movie version entitled, Predestination?

As we watched the first fifteen minutes of Predestination (streaming on Netflix), my friend related, “Oh, I read this story as a teen. I think this is the same story. Back then, I thought it was the best short story I had ever read. I think this is it.” After watching for another ten minutes, he paused the movie to explain that the story and characters came from Robert A. Heinlein.

A short fantasy fiction entitled, “All You Zombies.”

Available on Amazon
What is predestination?
"Learner's definition of PREDESTINATION: the belief that everything that will happen has already been decided by God or fate and cannot be changed" Merriam Webster, anEnglish Language Learners Dictionary

pre·des·ti·na·tion prēˌdestəˈnāSH(ə)n/ Google
noun (as a doctrine in Christian theology) the divine foreordaining of all that will happen, especially with regard to the salvation of some and not others. It has been particularly associated with the teachings of St. Augustine of Hippo and of Calvin.”

The subject of predestination, as an article of Christian faith, ruled my life. As a bookish child, I read often. Looking back, my study of the Bible had been colored by the church I attended. I began attending Sunday morning services with my beloved grandmother, Alice. I remained in that church from eight years old until the age of fifteen. As a solemn introvert and serious thinker, I attended Wednesday night Bible study along with friends. As preteens go, we lived in our heads and looked like nerds. In mid-week Bible study, we discussed the idea of predestination. We grappled with why an all-powerful God allowed free will, why that same one God let innocent babies and young children suffer and why God gave humankind the choice to commit violence, war and torture.

Fast forward a year or two, the church that baptized me, split in two! Feeling shocked, hurt and confused, the Bible study group  ask me to choose between them and the mother church. By this time, the Bible study group believed that humanity did not have free will, that God predestined individuals for salvation or damnation. Could I stay where I began my study and belief in Christianity?

Did I believe in predestination?

In hindsight, I chose the wrong church. The new one held the belief that God creates all human beings and either predestines them for salvation or damnation. This idea of God seems twisted and cruel. Why would God send the bulk of all mankind into sin and suffer an eternity in hell? That’s not what I believe now. But the idea that humanity lives without free choice, comes as a premise in the bizarre and fascinating story, All You Zombies.

Robert A. Heinlein at his desk reading
Robert A. Heinlein
Living in a time loop?

After seeing the movie, I got busy and found a paper copy of Robert A. Heinlein’s at my local library. Now I find I want to read all the stories so I will be looking for my paperback copy. Living in a time loop, what would that mean to you? Would you repeat parts of your life to figure out what happened and why? Would you relive your best times over and over? Would you live all the parts of your life, playing different roles, such as your best friend, your father or brother?

By the way, the story opens from the barkeeper point of view with data as to date, and time and setting. The movie opens and ends differently. I liked both versions, the original short story and movie. The only spoiler I will add is that the movie has been stretched into an action thriller. Thus the close character point of view seems weakened, yet I found the end of the movie an example of how to end a story splendidly.

Could you read just one?


Predestination, a movie take on All You Zombies-

Ethan Hawke Is A TimeCop

“The most famous story of time travel and predestination is getting a movie adaptation, starring Ethan Hawke. Robert A. Heinlein’s “All You Zombies” features a guy whose very existence is a time paradox — but the movie looks like more of a gritty, noir-influenced thriller. The movie entitled Predestination comes from Peter Spierig and Michael Spierig, the Australian brothers who previously directed Hawke in the futuristic vampire film Daybreakers.” In the movie of Heinlein’s All You Zombies

A bit more that I read on this movie from the site link above:

“Peter Spierig and Michael Spierig, the Australian brothers who previously directed Hawke in the futuristic vampire film “Daybreakers.”
The new movie, made from Heinlein’s story, received mixed reviews and a weak response, but we enjoyed it for the story and the bareness of the filming. No special effects were used, an exception to the rule of thrillers. The film focuses on the plot and doesn’t let us marinate in the characters’  internal conflicts, yet the characters become unforgettable.”

You will find available as an Amazon e-book with four other fantasy stories by Heinlein,  “All You Zombies-“: Five Classic Stories by Robert A. Heinlein Kindle Edition

The image of Heinlein at his desk came from “Robert Heinlein and the Harsh Politics of Science Fiction.”

Thanks for reading and sharing, Deborah Taylor-French

Bonus: Blast from the past band, The Hooters, singing (of course) “All You Zombies.”