Posts Tagged ‘novels’

The Submission Process

Sunday, 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!

Tuesday, 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 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

The Keynote or Elevator Pitch

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Photo by Henry Diltz


The Elevator Pitch or Keynote. In the world of Iuniverse is a one or two sentence (25 word count max) where you succinctly tell readers what the book is about and why they should buy it.

I have taken the last few days and really thought about this. I have narrowed the field to 3 choices. The idea of summing up this book or any other book in 25 words is terrifying. There is so much that goes into writing a book and with The Mark of a Druid there are 5 plot lines, so… getting all that in was a real struggle for me.

Here they are. You tell me what would make you want to buy this book?

1. While a hypnotherapist researches reincarnation she finds out more than she expected. Ancient revenge seekers, druidic prophecy and a mysterious man vie to consume her.

2. Reincarnation, druidic prophecy, shape-shifting, ethereal visions, love and lies, create a dangerous struggle against ancient revenge-seekers bent on destroying Eve and her soul mate, Ryerson.

3. Revenge is exacted, love rekindled and an ancient prophecy undertaken while Eve searches for the truth to an age-old-question—Is reincarnation verifiable?

Now on two the keyword search criteria. I am enjoying how I have a checklist of things to do.

Keep Writing!

Rhonda R. Carpenter

Writing is a priority

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

Photo by Henry Diltz


We all have busy lives outside of our writing and if you are truly, a writer you will make writing a priority. This is something I think we all struggle with especially when we are first starting. By the time your day is done your mind is blown and not always in the zone of writing. You know what I mean, when the words flow onto the page and struggle is not even on the planet. Here are some tips to get yourself writing and in the zone!

Be persistent. Pick a time that you will have a quiet hour. Start with that. Make it the same time every day. Take your weekends off or if you have a fulltime job leave them in but take one day or night off a week. As I have said in previous blogs, I am a night owl and find creative writing easier to do when the house is silent. However, I know many writers that love the early morning hours. So, pick your time and stick to it. Trust me when you get in the swing of it, and an hour will fly by and you will be adding time to your project.

Before your fingers touch the keyboard, read the last paragraph you wrote and then meditate on it. Take 5 minutes and breathe. Close your eyes. Stop the flow of Life Talk in your head and Become Silent. Put your mind into the story. Be in your scene see it, smell it, hear it, use all your senses if you can and if not use your dominate sense. If you want more information on dominate sense discovery I will be happy to write about it. Take a deep breath and write. Let it flow, the creative process is not the place to edit, analyze or judge. Most Novels are created in funny little chunks that may or may not be linear. You can always cut it later. One idea will lead to another! The simple act of putting your mind there will start those creative juices flowing.

Put on inspirational music and create the mood. Light a candle or burn incense. When I was writing “The Mark of a Druid” I played lots of Celtic music. While writing “Truth Slithers” I have been listening to gospel. Who Knew!

I have a friend who likes to walk before writing. The act of expelling physical energy will release endorphins that will make you feel good. And clearing your head by walking couldn’t hurt.

Join a good writers group. I like the online forum listed in the blog roll. There is a very diverse group of people and it is secure. I may never have finished my first novel if not for the encouragement and technical help I received with this awesome bunch of folks.

Keep Writing!

Rhonda R. Carpenter

An Editing Revelation

Monday, April 21st, 2008

An Editing Revelation



<p><img src=”” /> <a href=”;friendID=116347465″>Photo by Henry Diltz</a> </p><p> Greetings Folks!

<p>Last week I talked about editing nightmare or a process? I personally have found editing to be a process that is accomplished in levels. But this week I started test recording for uploading “The Mark of a Druid” to <A herf=””>Podiobooks</A>  <p>To my surprise and delight I found it to be extremely helpful. I have read this book aloud several times but never into a recording system. While reading aloud is extremely helpful to help with sentence structure and pacing, you can’t listen to your work back. What I found when I replayed the first few tries of narrating chapter one was that it could be even smoother, more concise and much more cohesive.</p>


<p>Jumping up and down with excitement! Another way to make the better book!</p>


<p>What does that mean for the uploading of the work is … well. There will be a three-week delay in the posting of chapters and an eight-week delay in uploading pod casts to allow for rewrites and editing of sound tracks. New computer parts have been ordered to improve the recording process and facilitate the production of the upcoming Free serialized donor supported pod cast of “The Mark of  a Druid” on If I can do it faster I will that will depend on how easily I can get the hang of this new way of thinking about the book. I think 8 weeks is a good estimate considering there are requirements of having 5 episodes or chapters in the can.  </p>

<p>If you want to improve your writing I strongly suggest recording it even into a handheld devise. You don’t need to buy a bunch of equipment. A simple headset and free ware can give you enough of a feel to make improvements on your work in progress. </p>

<p>These are very exciting times in the publishing industry. Things are changing and I for one am thrilled to be a part of this new world of pod casts and hypertext novels.  </p>

<p>Your comments are always welcome.</p>


<p> </p>

<p>This week new products are available in the store at <A>LifeFirst</A> Under the Jewelry section we are proud to present this new line called the <a href=”;osCsid=a78be5e233dac4be5b1940d6f196db73″>Rock of Ages </a>. This includes Sterling Silver Celtic crosses and several many other lovely designs, as well as, Jewish symbols of blessing and a very cool treasure box. Each is set with a Jerusalem Stone, which has a very earth like energy when held or worn.</p>

<p>Also look under Greeting Cards our newest category in the store. We are ecstatic to announce the incredible artwork of <A herf=> Ami Reavis </A> Dragons and Fairy cards are perfect for any occasion.</p>

<p>In the next couple of weeks new Mp3’s will be up for download, I’ll let you know when they are ready.</p>

<p> Rhonda R. Carpenter</p>

Well Howdy!

Sunday, April 13th, 2008

I have found that weekly blogs are more up my alley than daily so check back once a week to see what is new.


As a writer, I find that there are such moments of doubt and then moments of clarity that I must be in a zone to write and editing is done in a much more conscious state. At least you hope you are conscious when your editing I know I do. The mind sees what it wants, what it believes it is has ready put on the page. So here are some tips I have used that really help in finding those crazy little nits that pop up in the written word.


  1. Read the work aloud. Sometimes if you read it aloud even to yourself, you will catch things that would have been easily missed previously.
  2. Print your work. While reading touch each word with a pen so your brain sees each one.
  3. Give a friend or writing group a chance to look at your work so they can catch what you have missed or not thought of. There is a link on the blog rolls of this page to the online writes group I use most regularly. They are a great group of people who are all about helping and not about beating you up and they are from all over the world.
  4. Hang upside down and read so you get a new perspective.
  5. Don’t rely on just your spell check to catch you errors. Not a one of them is full proof.
  6. Make a list of the thing you consistently do wrong in your writing. For me there and their, where and were are a couple of examples.
  7. Use a great online dictionary. I like but there are a ton of them out there you can use free.
  8. Walk away for a while a day is better than a few minutes and a few weeks is even better if you have the time. When you come back, you will have a fresh out look and may be able to make it flow better.


Keep writing I know I will!

Rhonda R. Carpenter


An Open Book

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008



As a fledgling author of novels, I’m told I should have a blog. “Okay…” I said a grimes on my face. What do I have to say everyday that anyone would want to read? My brain then ran through every negative comment I let it latch onto. The bottom-line is I don’t have a super exciting life, but I love what I do and I enjoy my writing, family, clients and friends. Just an average gal who loves to write fiction assist in empowering my clients, teach what I know and learn all I can. So maybe I need to blog about writing. I guess we will see!


Rhonda R. Carpenter