Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Marketing hmmmm cringe

Monday, 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

Sunday, 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 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?

Sunday, 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  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

Sunday, 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

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