August 3rd, 2008

Photo by Henry Diltz

Welcome Readers!

The Update… Chapter 4 is still trying to crawl out of the can. But just a few more tweaks and I should be moving on to the next chapter. The plan for this week is to get 4 and 5 completed. I am now looking at possibly releasing the serialized pod casts a couple of weeks for the book release date which we still don’t have. At least not written in wood yet.

Iuniverse is doing their thing on cover design now and I should have something from them in the next few weeks, Sooner I hope. It will be exciting to see what they come up with for a cover. I gave a description of what I thought it might look like in my initial upload. I as a writer may have been a little detailed for the types of covers they do, I guess we will see if they use the detailed description or a cover type I said I liked that is out there. Of course it would not be the same but general I liked the cover It made me see and want to pick the book up and something similar may do well for the cover. Maybe they will do a combination of the two. There is a sense of excitement and fear around what they will come up with. So hold it in the light you guys that it will be perfect.

I am still thrilled we were ahead of schedule with the edits and I am hoping we will have a Oct 31 release. I believe the way it works is that 35 to 45 days after the printing set up is complete it will go live on the net at B&K and Amazon as well as other places.

The new website for The Mark of a Druid is being built for background now but there isn’t much we can do without the cover art being complete. So shift the focus to Pod casting, Clients and start recording, recording, recording.

I want to be sure that I have several episodes in above the allotted 5 for podiobooks.com so that I don’t let anyone down. The process calls for the initial 5 then weekly uploads until the book is complete. The way I see it and I have listened to many of the books on poidiobooks and itunes I don’t want to disappoint the listener. Say I get sick or I have a big conference or god forbid a vacation then who would do those weeks. If I have some in reserve then I can upload them from where ever I am. And everyone gets their fix.

As for the rest of this week. I have clients scheduled and my sister’s wedding gifts went out Saturday. This will be a breeze week! Congrats Kelli and Tim! Kiss the kiddo’s for me.

Okay it is off to record for me.

Keep Writing! I Know I Will!

Rhonda R. Carpenter

Editing is done!

July 27th, 2008

Photo by Henry Diltz

Welcome Readers!

July comes to an end this week and I am thrilled with were I am with the book. Edits were right on time and I clicked accept on the last of the changes at about 2:30 this afternoon.

One word, Exciting! I owe a big thank you to Ashley D. Kuhre editor extraordinaire. She did an incredible job of cleaning up my grammar and punctuation. She completely respected my writing and style and made interesting and useful suggestions most of which I gladly accepted. What I didn’t accept were a matter of voice and nothing more. So thank you Ashley! You rock! I can never thank you enough.

Four days ahead of schedule the MS is going back to Iuniverse for the next step. I have a few small details to look over tonight and I plan on sending the MS back to my contact in the am. Again one word, Exciting!

So you may be asking yourself what changed in the book? Well, the advice of the EE from Iuniverse was to tone done the sex scenes and bump up the descriptions of Wales. As I stated before I was not so keen on toning down the intimate scenes. But after doing some research and having a look at my target audience again and listening to the specifics that Ashley gave on the issue… I thought it might be best to do as suggested. Other than that all of the changes were straightening out POV and grammar. They went quickly and smoothly.

Now for the pod book update. I believe I have the tech stuff for the most part worked out. Three chapters are in the can and chapter 4 about halfway in the can, sucker keeps trying to crawl out. This will be a great week to record. I have a light schedule as I freed it up to do editing. And since I don’t have a lot of clients scheduled this week for the same reason. I can limit my daytime actives to fielding calls, marketing, maybe jumping on my favorite forum for a check in and doing my sister’s wedding gift. Nope, I’m not going to tell, I hear she reads this blog.

It never fails when I work on a project whether it is editing or just re-reading, the action of working on my joy, writing, always makes me want to write more. Ideas flood into my head. It is like waking up a sleeping chatterbox. I scribble notes for later. Writer tiny characterizations for later and time slips away. I hope it is like that for you.

Keep Writing! I Know I Will!

Rhonda R. Carpenter

Edits due in!

July 20th, 2008

Photo by Henry Diltz

Welcome Readers!

The big week has arrived. This week the edits for The Mark of the Druid will be in on Wednesday by midnight. I must say I am very excited to get on with the next step. I will have exactly 7 days to determined the changes that will be made and the final returned to Iuniverse for cover design and polish.

I would really like to have the book considered for Editors Choice offered by Iuniverse, but at this point, I have not made a decision. The cost is not the biggest concern for me it is about not slowing down the process. I guess after I see what the editor has come up with then I will make a choice if it is worth adding 3 weeks to the release schedule. I really would like to have this book be a fall release and at this point if you count off the 13 weeks on the projected schedule that would make the book release a Samhain for those of you who don’t know the Druidic feast days this is Halloween or there in abouts the Fall Equinox. When I have made a choice I will let you all know.

I have had a very successful week pod casting or should I say recording. The first chapter of the book is in the can and two should be done by tomorrow night. I am finding the process fun and challenging.

There is a lot on “the plate” for this week. I want to have chapter two firmed up and in the can, Chapter 3 well underway and then there is starting on the edits while keeping up with marketing and networking online.

Oh and clients. Grin.

Truth Slithers is on hold until the edits are in and I go back into wait mode for Iuniverse to do their job. I am still very happy with my choice to use them to publish this book. Enjoy your week!

Keep Writing I Know I Will!

Rhonda R. Carpenter

Bubba has been chosen!

July 6th, 2008

Photo by Henry Diltz

Welcome Readers!

Well, I am so excited to tell you all that one photo from Bubba’s Words of Wisdom has been chosen as a semi-finalist in the cutest Pet contest. It was actually a fluke that I entered the contest. Someone sent me their pets photo and I had been working on the translating for Bubba that day and it just made sense.

Bubba’s photo will be a appearing in a coffee table book ISBN#978-0-9770401-6-2 set for release fall of 2008. The Title of the book is Cutest Pet’s Around the Globe Photo Book

When Bubba got the letter today he was so shocked he had to laid down and take a nap. I on the other hand spent the afternoon giggling at the comedy of circumstances that took me on the road to entering him. This contest is put on by Cutestpetscontest.com. Grand prize is $1000.00 and runners up get $100.00 pet smart gift cards. So if you have a chance go vote for bubba to be on the cover with 9 of the other finalist. Click here to vote http://www.cutestpetcontest.com/bigpic.php?enum=100326190

Well that said it is time to recap the week. Chapter one of The Mark of a Druid for the podcast version is on the can so they say. I love learning new things. But I would not call myself one of the most savvy geeks our there. So this was a big accomplishment for me. Now that I have all the settings correct and I know how to do basic music mixing. I think that the chapters should move on pretty quickly. It took about 22 hours to cut, edit and mix the first chapter. So count it up folks 46 chapters to go. But I am only required to to have 5 in the can before I can start pod casting on Podio books and itunes.

I am hoping to time the release as close to parallel as possible. The release of the paper back is still not firm yet but it is looking more and more like an end of October event. For me that means a Samhain release. For you that may mean a Halloween release or close anyway. So we may have the pod casting started before if we can get the final cover in time.

This week I am also working on Truth Slithers and recording for Lifefirst.com. So this looks to be another busy week. If you haven’t heard the interview on Blog Talk Radio check out the link below.

I was interviewed by Dr. Sally Witt on Blog Talk Radio. If you would like to hear the interview or listen to any of her other shows click here http://www.blogtalkradio.com/drsallywitt Thank you, Dr. Sally for a great interview and a wonderful time.

I want to give out a big thank you to Neil Dixon author of Persistent Spirit for his inclusion of my promo on the end of his chapter 23 pod cast. If you are not listening to his weekly pod casts yet of the Table Rappers Series then you are truly missing out on a great piece of entertainment. Also I am happy to spread the word that Persistent Spirit has been nominated for the European pod cast awards. So go vote! Here is the link. Vote

Keep Writing I Know I Will!

Rhonda R. Carpenter

Marketing hmmmm cringe

June 30th, 2008

Photo by Henry Diltz

Welcome Readers!

What a week! Lots going on of course… I spent my time marketing online and seeing clients, researching press rooms and did my first video webcam interview for the book and my websites.

I worked on writing chapter 3 of “Truth Slithers” and had a wonderful conversation with a publisher who is interested in shopping “The Mark of a Druid” with some foreign movie investors. Now, I know what that means… nothing at this point, but it is nice to think what that could mean if they like the story and think it could make a good film. All things of this nature take even longer than print publishing. So, I have zero expectations about where these talks will go.

On the other hand, I did manage to land a back cover review for the print copy of “The Mark of a Druid” So that is awesome news one down hopefully two to go by the release date. Wish me luck.

You know how it is as a parent you think for the glimmer of a instant that you have carved out a space for yourself and then things change. When we moved into this house, I was thrilled that I would have a private office that had a separate entrance. And a view of trees. Our middle son has been out of the house for several years now. He did two tours in Iraq with the Marine Corps and has been in school in Northern California for over a year. This week he called to see if he could come home for a bit and we of course said, “yes.” So we spent the weekend moving my office from the bottom floor to what we like to call middle earth. It was a big job. Now I’m set up in the what was the unused Dinning room and I am so much closer to the coffee pot! One thing that did not suffer was my view! Actually, it got a lot better I can’t even see a neighbors house nothing but trees and blue sky and I am so grateful that we still own this huge house. But I am unsure as to how this will change the pod casting, aspect that I had just gotten worked out, I need to do for the audio book. This week will be a big test week for pod casting in this space. If need be I will empty a closet and make this happen, but it would be great if everything I have to do would be here in one room.

Another busy week of waiting scheduled.

Keep Writing I Know I Will!

Rhonda R. Carpenter

Editorial Evaluation underway

June 22nd, 2008

Photo by Henry Diltz

Welcome Readers,

Well, as weeks go this was a slow one. Not to say that I wasn’t busy. I worked everyday, but the anticipation is building for the next step of the publishing process to begin. It is like that Carly Simon song, Anticipation, is making you wait. Keeping you waiting.

It never fails to feel like hurry up and get the formatting correctly done, get this work submitted, or quarried which ever the case maybe and then it is all about waiting… “The Mark of a Druid” is currently in Editorial Evaluation at Iuniverse. So far the process has been pretty smooth. The first step for this company is internal review. Which equates to does your manuscript meet the formatting requirements for publication. I heard on the 13th that my book clear step one. YEA!!! I expect to hear about the Editorial Evaluation the end of this month to the beginning of July. It takes any where from 2 to 4 weeks.

I find my thoughts drifting to the Editorial Evaluation. There is likely nothing more frustrating than waiting for someone to tell you how you can make your joy better. It is the nature of the beast to fret over what the editor will say. A book is something you worked hard on, give a lot of thought to, and labored over for long periods of time. Let’s face it, many people say they want to write a book and never do. Others write all the time and never consider publication. Then there are those who just want to have others enjoy their work. I would write weather I was publishing or not. That being said, I am so excited about publishing this book. I want it to be the best book it can be. So I am look forward to what the editor will say and it is hard not to think about that all the time. If you let it, it could drive you crazy! I know for sure that whatever the report suggests I will listen and think hard on my changes and improvements that will come from it. The years with my forum have taught me how to take a critique so I am sure that whatever is in the evaluation will be helpful.

This week I made it a point to work on the upcoming things that had nothing to do with the editorial process but would be forward steps in my process to market and sell the book, when it is released this fall. I chose the music for the serialized pod casts of the book that will be available this fall into the winter (not sure yet) although, I would like the releases of the paperback and audio to happen at once. I also chose the sound effects I will be using. Talk about fun. If you are a book listener then you know that music with the reading of a book can create greater tension and suspense as well as emotional response. So with all of that in mind I spent hours looking for Royalty free music that would fit with my story. Once that was completed, I cut and ran a new promo by the mentoring section at Podiobooks.com. Really helpful and informative folks hang out there. I uploaded the new run in the promo section here on my site. Of course this all comes with clients and family and pets and groceries and lifefirst and all the other things I do. I know it sounds busy and it is, but it is all about making this dream happen. So it’s great and I’m enjoying the road I have chosen.

Oh and if you have not see yet I have added two colleague’s promos to the colleague’s tab above. The first is “The Fox” by Arlene Radasky and the second is Neil Dixon’s “Persistent Spirit” of the Table Rappers series. Click on over and check out their promos and subscribe to their free pod books. You won’t be disappointed. I promise!

The webcam came this week and I spent a good deal of my time learning how to shoot with it and setting the stage for what is to come on this website. Yes, that’s right we will be having Vloged book reviews and interviews with authors in the near future. Sounds like a blast. I am always up for learning something new. So wish me luck. I will let you know when they are starting to be posted for viewing.

You may ask, when does she write? Late at night! LOL When everyone is asleep and the house is quiet. Usually between 10 and 2 am. I did write this week almost every night. I am working on Truth Slithers a story of Murder and unrequited love, loosely based on a true family story. I won’t say more than that at this moment, but it is going well. And I am hopeful that it will be complete and ready for first draft editing by November.

Another busy week ahead. I hope you are inspired to…

Keep Writing, I Know I Will!

Rhonda R. Carpenter

Author’s do you want to publish?

June 15th, 2008

Author’s do you want to publish?


So what are you waiting for? Ask yourself this: Is my book good enough? If you are a writer, then you are probably a reader. And if you are like me you read in the same or a very closely related genera to what you are writing. Sure, I write self-help too, but I love the writing process for fiction. Self-help is a much more linearly structured. If you are worried your book is not good enough… don’t despair. You have options. Don’t fold your arms and let the book sit in a file on your hard drive. Or worse, on a note pad not even typed up. The next three questions are about doing diligence.


I have belonged to an on-line forum for years working the kinks out of my book. When I started writing, “The Mark of a Druid,” I hadn’t written anything like it before. I had a training course completed and in print, then I moved it to an online format, but it was nothing like a fiction novel. I felt lost and unsupported. This forum-The Books and Writes Community on the CompuServe network located at http://community.compuserve.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?nav=start&webtag=ws-books  has been a real godsend. Not only for the writer’s workshop where you can get your work read by other writers, from all over the world, giving you a diverse view of your work, and critique others works, which is the real learning experience. But the research and craft section is invaluable. There is a YA section, tech, poetry and more. Hundreds of great people, valuable information and help!


So if your book is NOT:

well crafted?  as clean as you can get it? Even written?  Check out this writing community we have just moved back to our home site after 3 plus years and it is great to be home.


Things you should do while you are writing. Boy, oh, boy, I wish I had known this before I started my book.


Do your research. Most writers research their subject, time periods and characters, but do you research your local bookstores? Do you go just sit, have coffee, buy books, (of course) watch who is buying what? You should. It is a real eye-opener. Visit your bookstores—libraries and ask questions. Remember to be kind to the bookstore workers and the librarians, they are you first face to the public—Not to mention a wealth of information about marketing and placement.


Where should your book be placed? What section? Find out who your neighbors on the shelves would be. Are their books selling? Is your cover design equivalent, worse or better or maybe you don’t have one yet.


Think about hiring an editor. Or when you have the book as good as you can get it, if you are going the iuniverse or self-publishing route, sign up and get your editorial evaluation. Let an editor read it. You will learn a lot from getting a real opinion on your project. Cause let’s face it, you spend hours, months and sometimes years perfecting the story. You are TOOO CLOSE to it to be objective. Your books are like your children. You nurture them, you care for them, and you love them, they are close to your heart.


Who do you think would buy your book? I thought well… people like me… But when I took the time to go sit in the bookstores, I found that my target audience was a touch older than me a mix of male and female and they are mostly middle class folks. I even talked to some of them and ask what they liked about the genera and if a book like mine would interest them. The response was an overwhelming yes. Now I am not saying it is easy to walk up to a complete stranger and ask a question. But if you wander the store you will run into people and I have a rule if I see a person twice and we have made eye contact I introduce myself. “Hi, opps we keep running into each other, my name is Rhonda Carpenter” and I extend my hand. Worst that has happened is the guy looked at me funny and introduced himself. You will have a great opening to talk about the book in their hand. And ask what is it about this author they like. Or even better, all people love to hear you are writing a book or you have one coming out. You can even hand out your cards this way. Something that sends them to your website, trust me they will go look at your site.


Or is yours a family story that you don’t intend to sell but want for posterity? Then you should really think self-publishing. You can get a small number of books printed and with a professional place like iuniverse, for not a lot of money and turn out a quality book your family can be proud of.


I have said it before the publishing industry is changing. The big houses just don’t take new authors seriously enough and they Don’t promote them. Their ad budgets are slotted for their big names and their celebrity books. Now that is not to say your couldn’t get a good deal from a big house, or even an indy house, but you are talking one year at best to see your work on the shelves or online bookstores. And that is not to say that big deals don’t happen. They are just sparse.


More next week on what you should do before you publish or query.


Keep writing!

Rhonda R. Carpenter


Busy Busy Busy

June 8th, 2008

Photo by Henry Diltz

Welcome Readers,

This has been an incredibly busy week. With getting the short promos done for “The Mark of a Druid” and working on “Truth Slithers”, blogging, marketing, clients and the standard family stuff there has been little down time.

I wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who has commented on the pod cast promos. THANK YOU!

If you haven’t heard them they are located on the Pod Cast tab at the top of this page. Let me know what you think.

Writing is a passion. I wake up and go to sleep with stories whirling around my head. Some writer’s say that they hear their characters, others that the words just come out on the page, while still others can see the story like a movie in your minds.

For me the characters talk to me tell me their story and it is like I am standing in the room along side them. While I don’t see pictures in my mind I have a more emotional connect to the story. It feels like either a pressing matter that must be told or a sleeping giant waiting to come to life.

The hardest parts for me have to do with perspective. I am getting better at it but sometime it is hard to see on the page when another character has taken over a scene. Then of course, there is the dreaded spelling and commas… Need I say more?

If you are a writer let me know how you work. I am sure it will help others to think about their processes and make their work better.

Keep Writing, I Know I Will!

Rhonda R. Carpenter

The Submission Process

June 1st, 2008

Photo by Henry Diltz

Welcome Readers,

As you know I announced last week that I had signed with iuniverse to self-publish my first completed novel, “The Mark of a Druid” and the submission process was very interesting and informative as well as a challenge.

I want to thank all of you that voted for the elevator pitch. It was a tough decision and finally I made a decision. While I agreed and loved number two from the list, I was concerned about it sounding like a laundry list. Which is a big no no as I have been told on my forum. So I came up with a new pitch and I must say I love it.

Blood oaths and karmic debts of the past entangle with today in a way that makes the reader stop and wonder… Have I lived before?

So would you turn the book over and read the back cover?

The first run of the back cover blurb … drum roll please

Have you ever had a dream so real that when you awoke, it didn’t leave the recesses of your mind for days? Eve McCormick just did, and this experience will change her life and the lives of those around her permanently. A twenty-six year-old hypnotherapist who oversees a research project based on discovering the answer to an age-old question, “Is reincarnation fact or fiction?” must learn to trust a Welsh stranger. An ancient Celtic prophecy and long sought-after revenge entangles the past with the present in the struggle for existence that threatens to destroy her project. A druidess and a shape-shifter must join as one to save the Druid way of life, while a Queen conspires to kill Erin’s only High King. Will the oaths and agendas of the past reach across the centuries to strengthen or destroy?

Formatting for the submission guidelines gave me a fit as well. I have read many books on submitting your work to agents and publishing houses, but I must say that the submission guidelines from iuniverse were very detailed and comprehensive. I was even able to catch a few things I had not done correctly to meet these standards. For example, did you know that straight quotation marks are not an industry standard? Now I had not noticed that my quotation marks had turned straight and when I tried to change them my find search and replace function would not work completely so I had to go through the book line by line and replace the quotation marks with Smart quotes. This is supposed to be an automatic function in word but somehow my settings had shifted and I could not get it to work. Over 5000 quotation marks later (thank you hubby) for figuring out how to get the function back.

The frustration is now over. The submission is complete and now it is all about waiting for the editorial evaluation. Ahhhh I am so excited. This week will be recording the final promo podcast. I will be posting it here so come back and listen.


The writer’s forum that I have been a member of for the last oh 5 or so years have changed locations and moved back to our original home on the CompuServe network. See the links on your right of left for the new link. This is a great place to hang out and get help. If you ever wanted to write a book, poetry, a novel or even a tech book this is the place to go. The people are great and the information invaluable. There is an incredible research and craft section as well as a kidlit section and much more. I am formally inviting you to check it out and meet other writers. Some of the folks that frequent the forums are very successfully published authors and those trying to or even considering writing. It is a very diverse community and I am honored to be a part of it.

Keep Writing, I Know I Will!

Rhonda R. Carpenter

The Contract is signed!

May 27th, 2008

Photo by Henry Diltz


The contract is signed! I have been playing with the idea of self publishing for a long time. As I have said in previous blogs the publishing world is changing and self publishing completely has a upcoming market share in the book store world. After researching self publishing entities I have chosen to go with iuniverse. They are making real strides to give unknown authors a viable outlet for publication as well as, being connected to Barns and Noble and having a distribution agreement with Amozon.com and many other brick and mortar bookstores.

I am going to conical the publication process here. Pod casting is going a bit slower than I had hoped but I still feel confident that it will happen this summer along side the publication of the paperback version of, “The Mark of A Druid” I am looking forward to a long and prosperous relationship with iuniverse.

Marketing, which in the past was one of my downfalls, is moving forward at a wonderful clip and I am looking forward to the cover design process so that I can begin to market the upcoming release of the paperback.

So with my check lists in front of me I start the process this week. By next week the submission will be done and I will have about two weeks or so of straight pod casting work while the MS is being reviewed by my SSA at iuniverse.

Check back to find out what happens next!

Keep Writing!

Rhonda R. Carpenter