Thursday, October 6, 2011

Confused? Oh baby, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

Happy birthday, Seekerville!! Is everyone having fun??

I can't hear you!

Everyone having fun??

WooHoo~~Much better!! Yayayayayayay!

And here's something else to whoop about. I'm giving away a surprise box of goodies including edibles and readables, and that's all I'm gonna say. Gotta keep with the theme of surprises, right? Just leave a comment and you'll be in the drawing! 

Audra here. Well, this has been a journey of change of all of us. When we first dabbled around banding together, we all knew how to make friendships work. But publishing books? I think each of us had a dim concept of what the future would be like ... or better yet, how we thought it would be. LOL! All those active imaginations, you can only guess what our dreams spun through our minds.

And then it happened.

To all of us.

One by one, we were picked off the island by wise and insightful editors.

God is good.

Still, I was curious. I knew what I thought selling a book would be like, but I wondered what my Seeker buds thought of it -- and more importantly -- how surprised (or just out-and-out wrong) we could be.

For today's post, I asked my buds, once the blush of that first sale wore off, what piece of being a published author surprised them the most. In true Seeker style we had some differen - and definite! - opinions : )

Julie Lessman, who interprets the concept of Rewards Per Page as more reasons for having her characters kiss:

A Heart Revealed
Oh, man, the biggest surprise for me was what an emotional roller-coaster it is AFTER you get published. Like a lot of unpublished writers, I thought all the anxiety and self-doubt would dissipate after I signed on the dotted line. I mean that would validate me, wouldn’t it? Give me confidence as a writer? But I discovered (AGAIN!) that true confidence is not in accolades from your editor or a really good review, but instead in where your heart is with God. HE is my confidence when my sales rankings on are high or low, which is why I CLING to the following Scripture from 2 Corinthians ll:3: Do not let my mind “be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”

Gateway Weddings
Myra Johnson can organize a writer with charts and schedules while creating sizzle between her characters from the first glimpse across the room:

My first surprise came when my publishing house went through a re-organization and I was told I wouldn't get to write the next two books in my series. Then at ACFW I was stunned to learn I'd get to write them after all--with no change in the due date! But after being told several weeks ago it was a no-go, I had no reason to even start writing the next book. Now I have to hustle!

Ruth Logan Herne does her best brainstorming as she fingerpaints with small children, assists in puppy birthing, decorating the perfect wedding cake...I'll stop right there or blogger will toss me off the Internet for excessive verbage, LOL!

Mended Hearts
The thing that most surprised me about being published is that I still have to clean the toilets and the litter box. I mean 'sup wi dat????? Shouldn't there be someone else to do that since my fingers are like insured by Lloyds of London? Or they SHOULD be, right?
But no. And that's the biggest surprise of all, is that you're still expected to do all the things you do now (most authors keep their day jobs for years after being published unless your last name is Rowling). So that means on top of writing the book, you need to market. Do art work. Edits. Revisions. More edits. Check other people's edits. Maintain a public presence (which is only fair, even for the introverts because SOMEONE is investing a lot of money while gambling on your success) And work, clean, take care of kids, etc. But who better than a woman to pull that off, the masters of multi-tasking? And I wouldn't change a minute of it, I love it that much.



The Price of Victory
Sandra Leesmith, our wandering vagabond, sees a perfect setting each day as she travels the countryside, offering her readers a glimpse of far away places:

I was surprised when I read in my publisher's contract that I was required to have a social media presence. Thank God and Tina for Seekerville. But I really do need to work on my Facebook skills. My facebook page is Sandy Wardman Smith and I have two author pages with my children's author page Sandy Wardman and my romance page Sandra Leesmith. But I have no clue what to do with them YET. That is my October birthday bash present to myself. I am going to Facebook School. LOL

Debby Giusti, the very first Seeker published, is always on the lookout for new and unusual settings and situations for her suspenseful tales:

Usually authors need to submit a completed manuscript before their second story
is accepted for publication so when I finished SCARED TO DEATH, my second story,
I submitted it to Krista Stroever, my editor at the time. Book two dealt with a
black market organ racket that I thought worked well in the story. Naturally I
was surprised when she emailed me about a problem that needed to be fixed.
Turns out Krista's father ran one of the largest tissue and bone banks in the
The Captain's Mission
US. She had discussed my story with him, and he had insisted organs were not
bought on the black market in this country.

Fearing Krista wanted me to scrap the story, I called her. By the end of our
conversation, we had agreed that a transplant tourist racket would work instead
of the black market angle. After major revisions, I resubmitted the story.
SCARED TO DEATH went on to win the Daphne du Maurier Award for Inspirational Suspense and was one of four novels Karen S. Wiesner analyzed in her book FROM FIRST DRAFT TO FINISHED NOVEL. The three other stories she featured were I AM LEGEND, by Richard Matheson, HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS, by J.K. Rowling, and THE FRIDAY NIGHT KNITTING CLUB, by Kate Jacobs. Being grouped with such notable authors and winning the Daphne taught me a valuable lesson: The editor always knows best!

Wanted: A Family
Janet Dean weaves romantic notions in historical settings filled with emotion, principles and grace...just like herself : )

After my second book, I could sell on proposal. I wrote 30,000 words of a story with an unacceptable heroine. Of course, I didn’t know the heroine, a ditzy secondary character I loved, was unacceptable, but my editor did. From that experience, I learned to run a blurb past my editor to make sure that the story would work before I wrote the proposal. I’ve had blurbs turned down since then but never wasted time on a story that wouldn’t fly.

Mary Connealy views Rewards Per Page as an excuse to eliminate characters, one shot at a time:

Out of Control
The surprise to me was the marketing required. It's an amazing amount of work. And I was determined to be a great partner in marketing my book. But the number of hours required for it was unexpected. It's fun, doing the blog interviews and connecting with readers, but it can be almost overwhelming at times.

Love By The Book
Cara Lynn James entertains with wit and humor even as her graciousness extends into pages of her books:

I was amazed that extensive revisions had to be finished in a short period of time. I was also surprised that some of the time allotted for writing the second book was eaten up by revisions and promotion on the first. So I was really working on both books at the same time.

Missy Tippens weaves her southern charm into every page of her novels. How in the world she and Ruthy decided to run a cafe together, I'll never understand. Check out the Yankee Belle Cafe on our new website Lots of goodies there!

I had no idea how involved an art fact sheet would be since I'd never
A Family For Faith
seen one. That's why I did a blog post on them once, to help writers prepare.
It's a great thing, and I love doing them. But I'd never imagined how much went
into preparing one.

(For an idea of what she's talking about, visit the blog she wrote in our archives

And me (Audra Harders, your host today)?

Rocky Mountain Hero

I had definite Barbara Cartland images floating through my mind -- sans boa and fainting couch. I thought after that first sale, all I had to do was come up with the ideas, write the stories and my editor would thank me...stop laughing! I did! Who knew there was a lot more that went into writing a good romance?

So, you still want to write? To publish? You've got to have grit to make it in this business.

But, you're not have Seekerville. And may we always be here for you to help you through the rough spots and cheer when the big day comes and you can shout--


Audra Harders writes "rugged stories with heart" featuring cowboys who haven't a clue about relationships rescued by ladies who think they have all the answers.


  1. Hey Audra,

    LOVE this peek into the minds of the Seekers... Oooohhhhh... I could be afraid, but... WHY?!

    Excellent information! And though we chose to independently publish, I'm finding most all of the topics mentioned things I'm facing myself, now that book 2 is in the works. Sheeeshhhh.

    Toasting Seekers and Seekerville. Wonderful place to hang out. May wants to know if she can be the mascot still since you've moved? She could guard the bicycle so Mary would have nothing to worry about! ;D

  2. Thank you for the encouragement, the great reminders, and most especially the knowledge that I'm not the only naive person in the world! (OK, I don't mean for that to sound cruel because you all are awesome - I just mean that it's nice not to be alone, you know? I'm sure I'm still more naive than all of you combined...especially now that you're all published! Wonders what surprises I'll learn on this writing journey, whether I ever get published or not? Perhaps (hopefully!) I'll learn that editing is not something to be utterly feared when it comes to my own work?)

    Anyway, happy birthday, Seekerville!!! And all you lovely ladies - keep up the great work! :D



    P.S. I'd love a chance to win a surprise box of goodies! Fun!!

  3. Hi Audra,

    What a fun bunch of writers!


  4. Thanks for the look into the future, Audra! It sounds like those of us on un-pubbed island should enjoy our calm before the storm.

    And eat chocolate.


    I'm so glad you Seekervillians are here to shine the flash light on the path to publication for us newbies - so much more fun than stumbling in the dark.

    Since I'm one of the first to comment, who's up for a late-night snack? Hot chocolate with marshmallows ready and waiting.

    Speaking of waiting - when I get "the call", you guys will be the second to know (after my dear husband, of course).

  5. Ralph Waldo Emerson said that life is a journey and not a destination, but methinks that Seekerville is about both. Congratulations to you all for making it to one of your first destinations together! May the road traveled be long and smooth.

  6. Hey Audra,

    Nice to know I'm not the only with insecurity issues or the person who finds it hard to cover all the social networks. Or the only one that thought my first book would sell Rowling style and didn't, so I still get to plug away at writing and get to clean my own toilet.

    Oh the pain.

    Speaking of pain I get a root canal tomorrow and could use some prays.

    I also have to thank the Seekers, they critiqued a short story for me and encouraged me to send it out. Well I just now, got an email that said they want to print in the November Harpsong Magazine.

    So thanks so much for showing us what it means to be a writer by living it out everyday.


  7. What a super fun post! Thank you, Audra.

    Christina Renee

  8. What fun! The question is whether you anticipate that the surprises will keep coming? Seems writing is an adventure beyond the pages.

  9. Unlike some of you describe, I HAVE thought about the social media thing required after publication. And the thought of keeping up a blog and facebook pages and everything else that I keep hearing about scares me silly.

    Not that I'm not already silly.

    But I just keep writing. Silly, huh?


    Oops! Okay, now the coffee pot's ready and the timer set for 3 a.m. ('cause of early rising Ruthie).

  10. Audra~

    I'm wondering if the illustrations in this post are intended as subliminal clues as to the contents of the "surprises."

    This is a great post. We all need to go into this with our eyes open.

    For instance, it's good to know my eventual publisher is not going to hire me a housekeeper so I can write all day every day. I guess I'm gonna have to get this balancing act right after all. Thanks for the head's up Ruthy.

    I like the Emerson quote, but I think of a journey, and I realize there are lots of destinations in a long journey. Perhaps the writing journey is like this...publication does mean you've arrived. You've arrived at one stop on the itinerary. But don't get too comfortable, you're gettin' back on that train soon to move on to the next stop. (As I am not published, I'm just guessing here.)

    I'm up for whatever is today's prize. I like surprises.

    andeemarie95 at gmail dot com

  11. I enjoyed this. This post showed me; you are real, you are Christians, you are real Christians. Thank you.

  12. Haha! Facebook School!
    Seekerville is totally unique- for posts just like this. Some blogs have an author or agent stepping in, or a little blurb here or there. Where do we get so many authors chiming in on one topic in one post? (Ok, maybe they're all over, but this is the only one I know!!)

  13. AUDRA!!! SUPER POST, my friend, and SO much fun to -- as KC said -- get a glimpse into the minds of The Seekers, WHICH sometimes, can be a very "scary" place to be!!

    This post is so very important because I don't think writers talk enough about the fears and foibles that arise when one achieves publication. It's not always pretty, and we need to know that many of our expectations will never be met, or at least not as quickly as we'd hoped.

    One day when I was having a particularly trying time regarding my writing, my husband said, "Cheer up, Julie -- you're living the dream," and I thought, he's right! But as published writers we ALL know there's a flip side to everything and sometimes, it feels more like a nightmare! :)

    Goodness, I'm waxing philosophical tonight ... or maybe I should say "this morning." I guess that's what happens when I'm tired but can't sleep ... :)


  14. Liked your post Audra. I've never seen a bunch of writers work hard and have so much fun at the same time. I love how you encourage one another and stand in the gab for the other. Love that.

    It was also fun to read. thanks for sharing. Love the surprise aspect of the theme.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY SEEKERVILLE!! This site is always fun to read and be part of!

    Nora St.Laurent
    The Book Club Network

  15. Wow, it all seems a little daunting! Although ... I was NEVER under the illusion that publishing a book would mean I wouldn't have to clean the house again. Unfortunately! If it takes me years to get published, it will be at God's direction because he knows that for a while I have my hands full with two tiny tots and won't be able to meet deadlines :)

    Thanks Seekerville for an entertaining and informative post - as usual!

  16. another wonderful posting....thanks for sharing :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

    happpy birthday, seekers :)

  17. What a great post! I always appreciate hearing about everyone's experiences!

  18. Andrea, I couldn't agree more. The Call is just another great step on the journey.

    So while it's a goal, it's not the final destination. And I meant what I said...

    I love the work, I've waited so long for this opportunity!!!! LOVE IT!!! But I'd still like a housekeeper. Or a wife. I'm so envious of Vince and Walt. They have wives.


    KC, my tweens are LOVING May's story!!!!! Just loving it to death.

    And Patricia, yes, the adventures keep coming. Harlequin has sent me to do a speaking gig with their distribution team in Depew, outside Buffalo... I got to meet up with a great bunch of female pastors for the Salvation Army last year... a sweet, local book club invited me to come in ONCE...

    Maybe a little Ruthy goes a long way, huh???? ;)

    But mostly doing this has connected us with you guys. It's so fun to see the real side of people. To just chat and encourage and let God do his job.

    Oh, that God!

    Hey, food. Stuffed French toast this AM.... sausages from Jimmy Dean... Fruit.... Real maple syrup... Scrambled eggs.

    I'm so hungry.

  19. So encouraging--and exciting. Thank you!

  20. I can't wait to "GET THE CALL" and join you Seekers on published island. Thanks for the insight into what happens after that. I can't believe I'll still have to do housework once I'm published. :)

    Please enter me in your drawing!
    annierains at gmail dot com


  21. Oh, how I love Seekerville and the wealth of knowledge found here! But I really love getting a glimpse of the secret lives of the Seeker ladies. What a hoot! Love you ladies!!


    [Yes, that's me yelling Audra ;)]

    I think I've got Facebook and Twitter down [though I've not been on it much since getting back from ACFW]. Blogging regularly is more of a challenge [though I do need to have a 'look what jumped in my cart lately' day...]

    But the rest of it... ugh. Trying to write a synopsis BEFORE the book is done?! This girl is way too much of a pantser to do that well! Camy's proposal worksheet and Randy's pesky Snowflake program are helping with that though.

    I'm staying home sick today :(. Don't feel good. Going to sleep for a long time after the bus gets here then work on a proposal because I gotta figure those things out...

    And I <3 surprises. Not really. But surprise goodies are good.

    Plus I've got cookies for snack time.

    carolmoncado at gmail dot com

  23. Morning, all! Wow look at all the party-ers up at all hours of the night. Well, I guess we do have different time zones.

    And night owls.

    And early risers.

    I know Helen has the coffee on, bless her heart, LOL! And did I hear something about Ruthy and French Toast? I've got fresh blueberry muffins and peach coffee cake in the oven as we speak.

    We'll leave the cake and ice cream for later.

    I'm ready for a great day in Seekerville!

  24. Mornin' KC and May! At times the minds of Seekers can be a spooky place...I leave it up to you, LOL!

    Amber...naive? Did you read my concept of post publication? Can anyone be more naive to hold Barbara Cartland up as a standard? Oh my goodness! YOu have nothing to fear, we're here for you, kiddo.

    Hi Janet! Grab a cup of coffee and a plate of goodies. The day is just beginning.

  25. Jan, when you get the call, you just Snoopy dance all around your husband. We won't mind being second.

    Mmmm, hot chocolate. With marshmallows. My fave!

    Laney, I'm with RWE, always enjoy the journey!

  26. Tina, frankly, the social networks boggle my mind. There isn't very much time left in my day to play on all the blogs, facebook and twitter though I dearly want to. Don't think the day job boss would be happy about it.

    Prayers for your root canal! Yikes!

    Christina, glad you've joined our party!

    Patricia, what would life be without surprises? Mighty boring, right?

    Helen, you've done so well with the social media aspect. Loved your website. It's a great marketing tool for who you are.

  27. Oooo, Andrea, I love your wisdom.

    Yep, publishing is just one stop on the road and we do have a full itinerary ahead of us. Very important to keep that in mind. Just because you reach your goal of publication doesn't mean you've reached the end.

    Just pick up the postcard and tshirt and keep on down the path.

  28. Mary, glad you've joined us for our celebrations!

    Virginia, glad you liked the post. There are so many things I couldn't do without my Seeker sisters and offering the perspectives of different insight is definitely one of them! And all the while having a blast doing it : )

    Julie! My roomie at ACFW! Yes, folks, Julie Lessman is 100 percent what you see is what you get. We had great late night talks of fears and foibles. And how we overcome them.

    Take it to the Lord in prayer. Always the best answer : )

  29. Thanks Nora! Glad you're enjoying the party.

    And folks, if you haven't checked out the Book Club Network, you need to scurry on over! Great place.

    Helen, you've got great perspective. I started writing toward publication with my kids were 2 years old and a newborn. Make the most of this time to hone your skills. My kids have definitely learned by example what it means to pursue a dream.

    Hi Karen! Hi Edwina! Glad you stopped by!

  30. As usual, great buffett, Ruthy. Love the stuffed French Toast. Mmmm.

    So, maybe we need to do a post on how we go about getting wives to do our chores? Maybe Vince or Walt would like to guest blog about it?

  31. Hi Janet! Grab a plate of French toast and sausage. Enjoy the day!

    Annie, I know. That whole housework thing bites. I'm lucky my husband doesn't mind shoving aside piles doing laundry, LOL! He does dishes, too. I love him.

    Sherrinda, I think you've had many glimpses into our lives and you have run away screaming. That gets you a ring side seat at the bonfire, tonight. Love you!

  32. Hi Audra,

    This is a fun post with lots of good advice laced throughout. And while getting published sounds a bit daunting, I sure hope to face these challenges in the future.

    Thanks to all the Seekers for the honest look behind the curtain!


    That's me screaming back at ya, babe! Have you guys tried Carol's amazing cookies?? Wow. I followed her all around conference for the chance to nab a few, LOL!

    Sorry you're not feeling well today. Don't you just hate getting sick when you have so much to do.

    Hmmm, another surprising fact...just when you have a deadline looming or a proposal requested, a cold or something unpleasant, will attack you. What a nuisance.

    Listen everyone! Always take your vitamins!!

    Get to feeling better, Carol!!!!!

  34. Audra, hope the realities of publishing haven't scared off anyone. :-) Truth is published authors and unpublished authors go through much of the same struggles. The difference? We get paid for it, but as Ruthy said, most writers don't earn enough to support themselves.

    Still, holding my books in my hands is heady stuff. Receiving fan letters or emails is a blessing. I wouldn't trade the experience.


  35. Loves 2 Read Romance - LauraOctober 6, 2011 at 8:30 AM

    Thanks for sharing! It's a very interesting look at how just getting published means more work not less. Which I think a lot of people underestimate. I love learning about all the different things that goes into publishing a book. It makes me appreciate all you authors so much more.

    Debby I think it is so cool that your editor used one of your stories for her book along with J.K. Rowling of all people. I would have flipped! Sorry huge Harry Potter Fan here.

    So I would love to win the box of goodies! Whats better than a surprised box of books?

    I brought some donuts and juice to share.


  36. Good Morning, Audra!

    What a great blog post because we all have dream of granduer (did I spell that right?) about our writing but in reality it's just like all have to work hard and improve if you want to keep publishing!

  37. I'm still waiting for that magical day when I can loll around on a chaise lounge sipping hot tea, letting my stories flow without effort while scantily clad men who resemble Orlando Bloom fan me with huge ostrich feathers...but only if I'm warm.

    Where does one go to hire a grape peeling?
    Wait, I can't hire one right now, I've gotta go to WORK!!!!!!!!!!

  38. What fun to read glimpses into the things you Seekers have learned on the "published" road. I appreciate how you share what you've learned and how you've corrected misconceptions.

    I appreciate the reminder that my heart and mind always need to be focused on God, finding my value in what He thinks of me, not someone else's review. :)

    I also found valuable (among everything else shared today!) the importance of trusting your editor/agent to know what stories are going to work.

    Thank you for this blog today!

  39. Audra, I love your tag line at the end. Makes me want to grab one of your books. Good going.

    Great insights from all of us. Hope you all in Seekerville see and understand that there might be days you long for the sandy beaches on unpubbed island. LOL

    And Amber-yes, we were all naive. That is why we started this blog to help others find out the info we had to learn the hard way.

    Virginia, yes, there is Facebook School. Our public library offers classes on Saturdays. Now that I'm home, I plan to enroll.

  40. Happy Birthday again today Seekerville!! Are we having fun or what! It's fun going to a birthday where you yourself get the goodies. That's my kind of party.

    Oh Helen, why does Ruthie have to get up so early? Ruthie what time do you go to bed? I'm just now staggering for the coffee!


  41. Wow, great post, Audra (and Seekers). Lots of good info here.
    I'm just really disturbed by one thing:

    I STILL have to clean toilets when I'm a published author?!?

    Well, I'd better reconsider writing then ;-)

  42. I can relate to all of those experiences, but I most relate to Julie--no surprise there. The first two years was such an emotional roller-coaster, it's hard to even explain it. And I didn't expect that. I didn't expect to be crushed by really negative reviews, since I already had so much experience with rejection! But now it was on the internet for all the world to see. I didn't expect to feel so strange, wondering where I belonged as a writer. I don't even know how to explain that one. It really requires "fixing your eyes on Jesus" to survive. For a person like me, anyway. Julie is right. The insecurity doesn't magically disappear when you get a contract, it actually gets WORSE! Not that I'm complaining. I am so thankful to have gotten that first contract. And two years later, I'm doing a lot better with the strange, negative emotions!

    And I agree with Mary. The marketing stuff is fun--but overwhelming. This time around I'm not putting nearly as much pressure on myself to market. I am doing some things, but hopefully not getting as uptight about it. What will be will be, and I'm trusting God and my capable publisher to bless me with sales. I'm done with thinking that it's all up to me. Because it's not!

  43. Okay - sad and funny thought:

    Is Ruthy equating 'living the dream' to not cleaning toilets and the litter box?

    I'm sure it's pretty close :-) Especially cleaning toilets after potty trainers. Sheesh!

  44. I forgot to say ... I just did a live, videotaped interview yesterday. I never imagined how nervous a person could get until I had to do one of those. Yesterday's was my third, and let me just say that it was terrifying. But it does get a little easier each time--emphasis on LITTLE. It's ridiculous how stressed I get before and during an interview. I don't think I ever thought about that before getting published.

  45. Sandra, I thought you were kidding about Facebook school!

  46. This was a great post, Audra!

    You and Julie in a room together... what fun!

  47. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

    I think the sheer volume of marketing involved is a surprise to most of us.

    And, for someone like me, who likes things in lists, not knowing exactly what came next after THE CALL, made me nervous.

    But, thankfully, Tyndale made everything easy, and I'm spoiled for life.

    But that makes me nervous for the next round because it can't be that easy next time! Ack!

  48. Does anyone else just totally find the name "Annie Rains" captivating??? Like Meg Ryan should be playing her in a movie???

  49. Oh my stars, see? Pepper totally gets me because my life is a diaper brigade.

    And such cute hineys!!! ;)

    So yes, the work continues, and yes!!! I get up early because I LOOOOOOVE TO WRITE. LOVE IT. LOVE IT. LOVE IT.

    And (do not throw things at me) I really think you get to become a better time steward when you pay the price of working and writing... because you can't waste time. There is no time to waste if you pursue the dream.

    So I do.

    And hey, Carol, um... not for nothin', but if you're not feeling well, I'll supply the cookies, okay? You rest. And sniffle. And take Tylenol.

    Sorry you're not feeling well!

  50. Loved this post, Audra, and the opportunity to see that even the awesome Seekers met with surprises post-contract. I sure did. There are many new lessons to be learned following the First Sale. While some are exhilarating, others can be daunting or downright scary. Even though I'd read about life "on the other side," I was unprepared for the emotional aspects. I think it's something you just have to experience to understand, kind of like parenthood. =)

  51. I read this last night, and thought I commented, but when it came up in my facebook feed I realized I hadn't. Carol gave me her cold and the brain isn't working. :( I think I wanted to comment on the fact that seeing my friends and crit partners get published I have witnessed the continual insecurity. I'd initially thought when you "made it" you'd believe in yourself--but I've seen differently. I'm sighing for my husband--sigh. Poor dear is going to have to listen to me blubber until the day I die over the fact that I'm no good, my story's not good enough....

  52. LOVE this post! Definitely one I will refer to often!

    So exciting to read about each of your amazing publishing stories!

  53. For me, writing is easy. Submitting for publication is hard work. And it sounds as though staying published is even more difficult.

    But with or without the mountain of dirty clothes mocking me, I’m not giving up.

    Thanks for the encouragement, Audra.

    I think I’ll work on my social media presence while I have time. :)

  54. Happy Birthday Seekerville! This group of writers has inspired me countless times and I'm lucky enough to call Audra my BFF.

    We have another celebration over at Five Scribes, Donnell Bell's debut book is out and I was the honored one to interview her.

    Cheers and onward!

  55. Oh my goodness, these were SO fun to read!!! :-) You guys are too funny.

  56. I always learn so much from my Seeker buds and from all the comments on Seekerville. Sharing information is what writers do...and everyone reaps the rewards!

    Thanks, Audra, for such an interesting post. The topic was inspired...probably because I needed to hear everyone else's story.

    BTW, notice the emphasis on marketing and the time involved. We all seem to struggle with ways to interact with readers and still be true to our writing.

  57. Awesome post, Audra! Thanks for all the tips, gang!

    My first ms is sitting with an agent. I'm writing book two while I wait to hear whether or not they're interested in representing me. I was surprised with how overwhelming it is to start fresh. Since this is book two and two of my characters were sides in the first, I thought I knew them. Wrong! So, I had to back-track a bit, slow down, and figure out where I was at in the life of my characters chronologically, emotionally, spiritually... You get the point. I still have a little work to do on that front, but I think I'm finally up and running. And I celebrate every page I get written! :D

  58. Hey ladies -

    (by the way, where ARE the guys these days??? Vince and Walt, where oh where are you?? And there was that 3rd gentleman... but haven't heard a peep in awhile...)

    Ruthy, among other hilarious and endearing things you quipped today, hineys not the least, you said KC, my tweens are LOVING May's story!!!!! Just loving it to death.

    OOOOH - REALLLLY??? Thank you! May just did another backflip! She loves hearing that. :) Who would think a little abused dog could make a difference...

    Carol - hope you're feeling better ASAP! Yes -cookie therapy... Take her up on it, though I hear yours are hard to beat. Are you sharing with the Yankee Belle Cafe?

    You mentioned: Camy's proposal worksheet and Randy's pesky Snowflake program are helping with that though.

    I'm using Randy I's Snowflake and it's kicking my butt. However! For this recovering pantster, it's a real blessing. Amazing how I breeze along and then get stuck. Go to my Snowflake and realize I've not done something I needed to. And yeah. Well. There you have it. It's a good lesson in discipline because the payoff is so good!

    May has her own FB page and I've been learning what works and what doesn't. One thing is to have a theme (much like a book). Anything to go on her page must pass that theme test. I can tell when she doesn't follow that as closely as she should, few to no comments. When she does, wawzah... LOTS of comments and shares. Verrrrry interesting...

    (Amber, you probably have no clue where that phrase comes from. Imagine a little guy dressed as a WWII German soldier saying it. Arg I'm dating myself...)

    Alright - I'm writing words here but not on May 2, best get with it! Have a PAWSOME day sez May!

    I have some to share. Oh YUM...

  59. No Melanie, I am not kidding. Thank God for a Facebook School. LOL

    And I agree with you. Interviews are terrifying. They never get easier. But then a little tension gives you an edge. Right? You don't want to be complacent.

    And Pepper, Ruthy does equate success with the absence of a litter box. We all do, but that is why we get surprised. I mean shouldn't people be standing in line to do our chores so we can write?????? Oh we do dream big here in Seekerville.

  60. Fun post, Audra!

    LOL--I had to chuckle over Ruthy's "surprise" that she still had to clean toilets, empty litter boxes, and everything else a busy wife and mom has to do. I remember right after I signed my first book contract, it was lawn mowing day, and there I was, THE (soon-to-be) FAMOUS AUTHOR, bouncing around on a riding lawnmower across the hot, dusty field outside our back fence.

    And I thought (while coughing out grass clippings) . . . WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE????

  61. Thank you, Audra, and the rest of you Seekers for the insight into "ATC" (After The Call).

    Most of that stuff doesn't scare me, like marketing and social media stuff (maybe because I do a lot of that for my day job anyway, and I actually like it a lot), but I think what scares me the most is having to keep my day job in addition to being a published writer. I'm OK with having to keep doing my own laundry and cleaning the toilets, but I think juggling two jobs would be tough.

    Mary, invite me over when you get to be fanned by Orlando Bloom look-alikes. Or at least take a picture.


  62. KC, honey.

    You do NOT use "recovering" and "pantser" in the same sentence.

    As for the Snowflake Method, BRING ME MY MIGRAINE MEDICINE ASAP!!!

  63. I am so happy I found this blog! I am a huge fan of Julie Lessman and found it through Julie. So, thanks, Julie!

    I attended my fist ACFW conference here in my home town of St. Louis and was so blessed to meet such amazing people. I felt so small among such gifted writers.

    I am beginning my first novel, so you all have given me such great wisdom to carry away today.

    Blessings to you all!
    Robin Prater

  64. Thank Audra! I enjoyed the insight shared. Just last night I was questioning why I ever started this venture. I think my muse is bipolar.

    I so understand Myra, once I tried to plot and the result was the same a pushing the pause bottom during the middle of a movie.

    Linnette I'm glad to hear your working on the second while waiting for word on the first. I was a mess while waiting and wasted time. If I'd just kept righting I'd be so much farther and closer to the goal.

  65. Well that's it I'm never going to write a book if I still have to clean the bathroom. LOL Ruthy. It's definitely interesting to see how everyone's life changed (or didn't) in spite of being published.


  66. Tina I hope your root canal is painless! I got my wisdom teeth yanked out a few weeks ago and it wasn't bad at all. I've never had a root canal done before but I can understand your nervousness.

    XOXO~ Renee C.

  67. I want to say thanks for sharing the good and the bad. I've learned so much from you all. I don't say much, but I read each and every post. I'm truly grateful for you sharing your experiences and wisdom. Breaking into this business is hard, but with your help, the road isn't so rocky. Blessings to you all.

  68. Good morning!

    Thanks for this informative - thought slightly scary - post! LOL.

    Jan said: "I'm so glad you Seekervillians are here to shine the flash light on the path to publication for us newbies."

    So true, Jan! Such a comfort to know that we have so many wonderful people to turn to for advice!! How lucky are we!

    Hope everyone has a great day!

    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

  69. A peek into the minds of the Seeker's eh?

    Dark and damp is all I want to say.

  70. Myra,


    I'm definitely still in the treatment program... I'll let you know when I get to the half-way house. BBWWAAAHHHAHAHAHAHAA :)

  71. LaShaunda

    AMEN!!!!!!! What a blessing these folks are. I used to lurk too, but it's more fun if you join in. Be ready to take the abuse though... (It's good practice for writing critiques.)

  72. Unless you're Stephanie Meyer or J.K. Rowling, yes, you still have to clean the toilets!!!

    This, and many other facts of the writer/mom/wife's life, are what keep us humble.

  73. LOVED reading your stories! But I might be a naive fool, still, but I look forward to the day I can say I worked hard and caught the eye of an editor. I think the work and emotional drama will be worth it.

    I hope.


  74. Jamie, that's Ted Dekker advise! Keep writing! He kept writing through one rejection after another with "Black." Finally, after receiving a ms every six months (four total), they stood up and took notice that he was cranking out books. Hmm... Maybe we should consider this guy? :D

  75. No, PEPPER! Surely you know that once you get a book contract, the toilets begin cleaning themselves.

    Which I assume.

    btw, I haven't looked at my toilet since I got the book contract. And now I'm afraid!!!!!

  76. Linette -

    I'm right in the same trench with you - working on the second while waiting word on the first, and slogging through getting those words down!

    And these characters! If they were my children, I could bribe them or threaten them. These people don't listen to anything I say.

    And Ruthy - I'm there with you on changing diapers. I love it.

  77. AUDRA SAID: "Yes, folks, Julie Lessman is 100 percent what you see is what you get."

    Right back at ya, my friend, which is one of the reasons I LOVE you so much ... that and your INCREDIBLE patience and kindness.

    And, LOL ... you have NO idea how many times I wish I could just fake it, but nooooo ... good and bad just spills right out of my mouth, making me wonder at times if I need to wear a muzzle. My poor kids say they wish they could put a shock collar on me and zap me whenever I start to say something that will embarrass them. Trust me, if they did that, my eyes would be glazed ALL the time!


    "I can relate to all of those experiences, but I most relate to Julie."

    LOL ... two peas in pod, Mel, just harvested 30 years apart ... :)


  79. MEL SAID: "You and Julie in a room together... what fun!"

    HA!! For me, sure. But for Audra?? Uh, not so much ... unless you count racing pulse, chewed nails and pacing "fun"! :)

    The woman's a saint, trust me. Just like my hubby ...


  80. Thanks SO much for being here, Seekers - LOVED this post. And SO glad you're here as I work through this thingy I like to call a writing career.

  81. LOVED this post, Audra---thank you (AND the Seekers who contributed) so very much! I giggled at your Barbara Cartland comment, because I confess for years I had the same "fantasy"--oh well! It's a nice thought...(except I wouldn't wear that boa either, and I'd be surrounded by cats, LOL). ~ It was wonderful meeting you in person in St. Louis, and I was sincere when I told you you're even prettier in person than in your picture. Having my pic made with you, Ruthy, and Cheryl St. John was a thrill for me. ~ Thank you again for this post---you ladies make all of us feel SO welcome! Hugs from Georgia, Patti Jo :)

  82. Thanks Renee,

    Ended up being a dual. Ugh. I'm still numb so things are okay

    Tina P

  83. ROBIN!!! You sweetheart, you -- I am SO thrilled you came by Seekerville and am hoping you win BIG TIME!!

    I cannot BELIEVE I didn't get the chance to meet you at ACFW -- MAJOR bummer!!! Hopefully next year OR before since you live so close!!

    You said: "I felt so small among such gifted writers."

    Oh, honey, MOVE OVER!!! We ALL feel "small" at conferences because there is always a brighter star, a bigger author, a better marketer, whatever. Which it boils it down neatly that it ain't about us -- it's about Him, a true balance that every author struggles with constantly ... if they're human, that is. Now May the K9 Spy??? Not so much. :)

    And WHOO-HOO, thank you SO much for the great review and posting in sites -- you are an absolute DOLL!!

    Hugs and more hugs,

  84. Great post Audra! And wonderful insights! Seekerville is a great way for authors pubbed and unpubbed to get a peak into the writing world! I can't imagine how my writing world would be without the internet!

    Eva Maria Hamilton at gmail dot com

  85. RUTHY SAID: "I love the work, I've waited so long for this opportunity!!!! LOVE IT!!! But I'd still like a housekeeper. Or a wife. I'm so envious of Vince and Walt. They have wives. Brats."

    LOL!!! You are SUCH a hoot, girl, and I'm with YOU -- bring on the housekeeper ... and cook ... laundress ... errand boy, etc. But I'll keep the spooning job ... :)


  86. CAROL!!! Get well, girlfriend ... we and our cookies suffer when you are off-kilter, you know???

    PAMMY SAID: "I think the sheer volume of marketing involved is a surprise to most of us."

    Oh, AMEN to that!! YIKES!!! Wish my daughter was studying to be a publicist instead of a lawyer ... something practical that I can use, you know???


  87. OMG, guys! I'm at work and can't play too much. I'll try to fit in a comment or two when no one is looking (hee).

    Melanie, a video interview! I'd be a nervous wreck. I think I was when I did the interview at ACFW. The fellow doing the taping was so nice and told me I did just fine...heaven help me, I can't remember a thing I said!

    Uh oh. Did we forget Orlando on the island? Quick, we better make a midnight run and bring him to Seekerville, The Town along with a varied assortment of palm frons to fan the air.

    A grape peeler? I've a cherry pitter. Does that count?

  88. RUTHY, YES!!! I thought that EXACT same thing when I saw the name "Annie Rains" -- killer name for a book!!! I call dibs ...

    And, CAROL ... shame on your for giving Melissa your cold!! But your chocolate chip cookies go a LONG way in making up for that, my friend ... :)


  89. Mary,
    Self-cleaining toilets! YAY!!!

    Now what about the hineys?

  90. Oh what a great post! Thanks Audra and everyone for sharing.
    The fact that I'm still doing polishes and contesting on the completed MS and in frantic "get 'er done" mode (Courtesy of Lena Nelson Dooley, LOL) on the current WIP makes me feel like I'm already practicing being published.
    Boy would I love to throw in a marketing element and get a taste of your ladies' days =)

  91. I think what most surprised me was how many projects would be in various stages simultaneously. Proposal stage, first draft, content edits, copy edits, galley proofs, new release, repackage...

    I used to be a linear writer, one project at a time until it was finished.

    Not so much anymore.

  92. Uh... I didn't have a cold peeps. We'll leave it at that.

    And the cookies were made pre-sickness.

    Slept until about 12:20. Still have the headache but feeling much better overall. Have an hour before I have to leave to get DS4 from preschool. Should probably work on my proposal between now and then. But then I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing and I want to cry and hide under the couch. Even with the Kaye Dacus sample Pepper sent me earlier to use as a guide.

    Maybe it's because my head still hurts so badly. And because I've not had any caffeine [or chocolate] yet today.

    I could have ice cream for lunch [with chocolate sauce] right?

    My BFF is waiting for me to make my first million so I can hire her to be my personal assistant. Hate to tell her it's not happening anytime soon ;).

    Girls can dream though! [Of course, in our dreams, we have those fancy foot spa pedicure chairs to sit in while we brainstorm my latest masterpiece and she handles all my scheduling... Ah... dreams...]

  93. Thanks for all the thoughts of all the published authors. It really shows that a lot of persistence and prayer pays off. I can only hope I have the same persistence to continue striving towards what I hope God has called me to do.

  94. Mary just throw some bleach in that toliet and run! haha

  95. This post is Seekerville personified.

    First you fill us up with great (albeit somewhat terrifying knowledge), then you reassure us we're not alone, and finally you ply us with books and goodies!

    No wonder I love it here. I think I'm pitching a tent on the village common so when I have nightmares about all this stuff, you can come invite me in for milk and cookies, okay?


  96. Good info. I always learn something at Seekerville.

  97. Great post! It's great to know all of this stuff now instead of later! Thank you ladies for sharing your knowledge with us :)

    crazi.swans at gmail dot com

  98. another fantastic party day on Seekerville!

  99. Uh, Julie don't you already have a name?

    Oh, wait, you mean as a character, ignore this comment.

  100. Informative and entertaining post!

  101. Love this post--you ladies are fabulous! How interesting to see this kind of insight--and how wonderful to know we have other writer friends and God supporting us all the way :)

  102. Fun post! I think it's hilarious how everyone thinks it's easy street from there on after you get 'the call.' I think I was happier thinking it. Who needs reality anyway?

  103. Oh Ruthy, where have you been?

    All writers have maids. All the ones in the movies and on tv have spotless houses and cozy little places to write. I don't know where you messed up, but someone should be following you saying, "Mrs. Herne, let me do that for you."

    Great article.

  104. Connie, you have movies and real life confused, sweetie.

    Unless . . .


    Can you hire us some housekeepers, groundskeepers, and personal chefs for our new Seekerville digs?

    Oh. Wait. That would still be a fantasy life, wouldn't it?


  105. Wow, that is so neat to hear how authors feel about being published. I really enjoy this site.
    Trinity Rose
    wandaelaine at gmail dot com

  106. Enjoyed the post Audra. It's always great to read different takes on the writing journey. Thank you.

    We are all so blessed to have all you wonderful ladies at Seekerville teach us the tricks of the trade. :)

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  107. That is a line up of wonderful authors! Thanks to all of you for not only writing the books for us to read but doing all the marketing necessary to promote your books.
    Blessings to all you writers!


  108. Myra! So happy you get to finish your series. Yay!!!!!!!!!!!

    But you use charts? Really? Don't think I could force myself to do that one. :-)

  109. Since Ruthie has writing and cleaning bathrooms down pat, I think she should come clean mine. :-)

  110. I love these posts. Each mini-interview gives an individual glimpse at life once you, as a writer, have "made it", as in, got published.

    The rush-rush-rush of writing, marketing, revisions on top of normal life and other jobs is pretty scary. You all do a great job.

    I look forward to juggling the writing ball.


  111. Great post, Audra. You ladies always make me laugh! Today was tiring enough that I truly needed a good laugh. Now, I've got to write...

  112. Great post today. Somewhere in my head and heart I want to think I need this information. Of course! I hope I'm not the only one who thinks so.

    It's a blessing to be part of all of YOUR journeys and learn from you. What a group of talented, caring women. You've put so much of yourselves into this blog and touched so many lives.
    Happy Birthday again. Oh - did I miss the cake of the day?

  113. Did someone say milk and cookies?

    I'm in!

    It's a milk and cookies kind of day here.

  114. Deb, you WILL need this info. We're just not sure when... But hang in there, kiddo! And Dianna!!! I've missed you! Good to see you, girlfriend!

    So I've waited like all my life (well all her life of like twenty years, dagnabbit) for that cute Naomi Rawlings to invite me over and it's to CLEAN HER TOILETS....

    But I am humble enough to welcome the opportunity, woman. Because I'm THAT NICE...

    And the fact that it's not likely to happen is reassuring, LOL!

    Some of the gals mentioned the 'working simultaneously' on projects. That part didn't bother me because I always work two projects. It keeps my mind fresher. So when I had to schedule time for edits and writing, it was already 'built in'... and it really helped. Just a thought to help youse prepare.



    Repeat after me: I am not nervous to be hosting my boss.

    I am not nervous to be hosting my boss.

    I am not....

    Breathe in. Breathe out. Eat chocolate. ;)

  115. I really should've called in sick today. You guys look like you've had an awesome time! Give me a second to catch up on posts and I'll be back!

  116. Yep, Melissa is here tomorrow. She is sooooooo nice.

    And sweet.

    And smiles a lot.

    You'll like her : )

  117. I think insecurity is the constant state of being for a writer. But belonging to a group of writers or aspiring writers sure helps to stay sane, especially AFTER getting published. It's all much harder than I thought it would be--but no one ever said writing, selling and getting published would be easy! I just assumed incorrectly that it would be.

  118. OH my goodness, did I miss quite a day! I'm so glad the Seekers kept the party going, although I notice the snacks really took a hit. Well, the least I can do is roll in the chocolate fountain with buckets of fresh raspberries, strawberries and mangos for dipping.

    I really love seeing everyone have a great time in Seekerville. Our town would be nothing without you guys.

    And really? Everyone relates to Ruthy complaining about scrubbing toilets? Now that says something right there about a what a gal really wants.

    Who needs diamonds? Give us a maid! LOL!

  119. HAPPY BIRTHDAY SEEKERVILLE, there is a great group of authors here and love all the tips you gave. Thanks for sharing the information with us.

  120. Patti Jo, Casey, Helen, Carol--I loved meeting you guys in St. Louis! Every year I look forward to conference just to meet all the folks I've come to know as "friends" face to face and give hugs all around.

    May God bless this coming year so we have lots of joy to share next year in Dallas : )

  121. Pepper, did you really ask what to do with a hiney?

  122. LOL, Audra
    Mary had given me advice about the self-cleaning toilets, but she didn't give me any kid self-cleaning hiney tools? Especially the little ones whose aim is somewhat in question. :-)

  123. Jamie, a bipolar muse is hilarious!!

    Keli, love equating the emotional roller coaster of publishing with parenthood. That's it exactly! I loved my girls, adored them. Yet there are moments when I pulled out my hair.


  124. Lots of excellent insight to publishing!

    The party continues!


  125. I loved "peeking" into your minds today, ladies! As readers, it is great to know what you all think about on a "daily basis" when you aren't writing! It's so nice to know that you are just regular people like the rest of us! I think most of your readers would feel the same way if WE were ever published! We'd expect something BIG to happen too! But for most of us, it's just normal life with a little "fun stuff" like a book signing or Conference for you guys thrown in here and there, I would imagine! SOOOOOO, keep on doing the fantastic writing that you do! As a dedicated reader, I count the days until your new books come out and am so glad you use your talents to bless us :) It's especially terrific when I get to win a book too!!!!!


  126. Wonderful post! I'm going to have to hang here more often.

    Lisa Mondello

  127. LOVED meeting you too Audra!

    Oh Ruthy...I can now hear your voice FOR REAL in your comments. Scary. ;-)

  128. Hi Crystal, nice to see you!

    Valri, so glad you enjoy Seekerville and all our books. We all fantasize about leaving the dishes and toilets behind, but alas, somethings just insist on following us through life, LOL!

    Lisa, thanks for joinging us. Stop by each day in October and help us celebrate out 4th birthday!

    Sherri! So nice to see you in St. Louis. Loved the picture taken of you, Cheryl, Ruthy and me. I've got to post some pics on my website!

  129. Casey, glad to see you got home safely from your cross country drive!

  130. Thanks for the insight into the "real" publishing world - as opposed to, ya know, the imaginary one I like to inhabit :) You girls are gems, each and every one.

    Happy Birthday, Seekerville!!

  131. Audra:

    I loved street walking with you!

  132. AUDRA!!!!
    You and Helen went STREET WALKING?!?

  133. LOVED this post! It scared me to death. Haha! But thank heavens you ladies are here for us at Seekerville. Thank you for all you do!

    P.S. Mary, let me know where you find those Orlando look-a-likes. I've been looking for one for years. LOL

  134. Great post, Audra! Have read some of the books you featured; loved them! Seekerville has such great writers! Want to be included for your "surprise". Thanks.

  135. Only 137 comments? Surely you can do better than that!


  136. This post was very enlightening. Thanks giving us a glimpse of what comes after publishing!


  137. Julie!!! DEFINITELY NOT 30 years. Twenty, max. :-)

    Audra, I was a total bundle of nerves all day Wednesday. I couldn't do a thing all day but stress over that stupid interview until it was over. And when it was over--SHEER BLISS! But I had to force myself to forget it and not try to remember everything I said. LOL

  138. Yep, STREET night...with Helen and Ruthy...and a guy!

    The fountain lights were gorgeous and the night air very refreshing.

    Aaaah, Pepper? I think we asked you to join us, but nooooooo. YOU had other plans, LOL!

  139. Who else was going to keep Casey Herringshaw and Carol Moncado out of trouble?
    Especially at night!!!

    Otherwise, I would have loved to come go on a walk with you :-)

  140. Wow lots of potty mouths around here today.Sorry I couldn't resist.

    Anywho since everybody seems to agree that bathroom cleaning is not a fave chore I think that Seekerville should give away Free Bathroom Cleaning for a year. Tehehe

  141. Diana, Aly, glad we entertained with our mundane, real world lives, LOL! See why we have to make up alternate worlds in our heads??

    Hope we're always here for you, Natalie!

    Jackie, have you checked out the latest? Out of Control? The Captain's Mission? Oklahoma Reunion? Great stuff here!!!

  142. Melanie, give me a break. I've been at work all day and the boss kinda frowns on blog entertainment. LOL! I'm not about to tell him "Hey, it's my job!"

  143. Renee, I'm a huge fan of Scrubbing Bubbles!!

  144. Pepper:

    You don't know what you missed!!!

  145. They ARE good but so is Mr. Clean! His Magic Erasers work wonders let me tell you.

  146. HEY!

    You didn't keep Casey in line!!

    Ya'll have seen the pics of our girl haven't you?

  147. Pics? Carol, where did you post pics?

  148. Casey chair dancing is on my Facebook page. :D

    Those MBT folks sure throw a party ;).

  149. Great post, Audra! I'm sorry I can in late. Was a busy day away from home, mostly.

    What fun! I'm still laughing at Ruthy who thought toilets would magically be cleaned. :)

  150. I'm a little late to the party, but wanted to say how much I enjoyed the post, Audra! It's so good to hear the reality of the joys and challenges of being published. It really helps to give a good perspective. I just finished Rocky Mountain Hero and really enjoyed it ; ). God bless, Stacey

  151. Congrats to all and thanks for your honesty. I'm reading many of your titles as a result of this blog. Have a great weekend!

  152. I'm late, but glad I didn't miss this post. Good things to keep stowed away in the hope I'll need to know someday. =]

  153. Thanks so much for this helpful post!
    Amber Schamel
    Larkspur, CO

  154. A lot of authors talked about marketing being something they didn't expect was going to take up so much time ... As a reader, I just wanted to say that we really APPRECIATE all the the time you all take to interact with us in person or online (especially for those of us who don't live in highly trafficked book tour areas/cities)! Thank you!

  155. Great info. Thanks for taking the time to share it!!

  156. So interesting to get a little peak behind the scenes/writing process with my favorite authors!