book tour

The Benefits of Being a Late Blooming Writer and The Christmas Village Giveaway

Melissa Ann Goodwin is a wonderful writer that I was introduced to by WOW (Women On Writing). It turns out that Melissa and I are both bookish types that hail from the same New England town…small world! I love her post and am taking it to heart – Thanks, Melissa!

Guest Post: The Benefits of Being a Late Blooming Writer

by Melissa Ann Goodwin

Many of us who delayed pursuing our true callings tend to be pretty hard on ourselves for taking so long to get cracking. For many years, I beat myself up for doing everything except write. But now I realize there are a lot of reasons why it can be better to come into your own a little later in life. Here are three reasons why, for me, it’s been better to be a late blooming writer:

I’m less eager to please:  As a young woman, I craved approval from others. Back then, I would have been so flattered that someone wanted to publish my work that I fear I would have done whatever they asked (or told) me to do. I wouldn’t have had the courage or confidence to say NO, or to stand up for my own views. My soul would have ached for authenticity. Now that I’m older, I have a very clear sense of myself and of what I want to present to the world under my name. Of course, I want to “please others” in the sense that I hope that there will be people out there who love my work. But at least they will love the true essence of me and what I have to offer.

I’m Waaaaaaay Less Sensitive to Rejection: By the time we reach middle-age, most of us have experienced plenty of rejection. When we’re young, it’s all so personal and painful! Over time, we grow to realize that it’s not always personal, it’s not a reflection of our true worth, and it’s not necessarily an indication of the quality of our work. It’s just someone’s opinion. Had I pursued writing more aggressively when I was younger, I think it’s likely I would have given up, because rejection was so hard to take back then.

I’m less afraid:  It’s pretty common for writers to be afraid of both success and failure. In middle-age, I have a far different definition of both than I did in my twenties or thirties. Back then, it was about recognition and money. Now, my definition of success is realizing my potential as a person and a writer. As long as I’m doing that, there is no such thing as failure.
I hope that my thoughts here will help folks out there who’ve been tough on themselves for getting a late start. Don’t despair! Everything you’ve done, everything you’ve been through, matters. It will all go into the cauldron and make you a better writer or artist or teacher or whatever it is you aspire to be. But don’t wait too much longer – time’s a-wasting.

About the author: Melissa Ann Goodwin is a native New Englander, now living in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her husband, artist J. Richard Secor. She has written extensively for Fun for Kidz, Boys’ Quest and Hopscotch for Girls. She was a regular feature article contributor to the Caregiver’s Home Companion for more than five years. Her poetry took 10th prize in The Writer’s Digest 2010 annual competition. WOW! Women On Writing Blog tour. We’re hosting a giveaway of her book. The Christmas Village is her first novel.

The Christmas Village is a sweet tale of magic and escapism, hope and courage. Young Jamie Reynolds and his mom are in bad place – his father has left them after some financial misdeeds (vague but troubling) and Jamie feels like an outcast, especially when his best friend isn’t allowed to be friends with him anymore! His mom decides that they will spend the holidays with her family in Vermont. A dream of a simpler life is granted to Jamie and he is drawn into a sweet world where he makes good friends and where trust and kindness carry the day. Great story and lovely life lessons told in a quiet, understated manner with a little magic (and time travel)  thrown in for good measure.

You can win a copy of this engaging book (in time for Christmas, no less) by making a comment below. Thanks!

Winner will be chosen by super fun plug-in called And the Winner is… and your name will be posted here. You will be contacted by email as well by the publisher and they will mail the book to you. Good luck!

Author’s Websites: 
Melissa Ann Goodwin
The Christmas Village
Twitter: @GoodwinMelissa

The Author, Melissa Ann Goodwin now…




and then…

Melissa Gulley is the winner of The Christmas Village. She will receive an email from Women on Writing and they will send her a copy of this wonderful book!

What to look for in an Indie publisher…and win a book

birds of paradise giveaway and guest post by author kathy handley on capability mom blogI am pleased to present another guest post from the site WOW! Women On Writing™ (really lightens up the writing for me and nice to introduce other voices). This blog is one of the stops on the blog tour for Birds of Paradise and this post is by author Kathy Handley and her advice on what to look for in an Indie publisher. Thank you. Kathy and WOW! for the book and sharing a copy of this book with a reader…yes, a giveaway!
  Birds of Paradise, follows a group of runaway teens through a quickly changing world but one in which friendships and alliances are made and honored. There are connections and an underlying sense of caring and thoughtfulness in this tale of friendship and growth. Ms. Handley writes with both sensitivity and clear-sightedness and captures the language and feelings of teenagers.


After an author has taken on the creation of a book project, the question of publishing arises at varying stages of the process. The brand new writer often thinks that she is read to publish and starts asking questions and researching the avenues of getting the book into print. Conferences offer classes on “query” writing and general sessions and sometimes an agent will request a partial manuscript or even the whole manuscript.  Meanwhile authors are also encouraged to have their drafts critiqued and polished up–most need it. Often an author will ultimately turn to an indie publisher. It is lovely to talk to authors who have used small presses and found them to be professional and considerate.

I discovered two new presses in the New York-New England area–run by two amazingly capable women; Stephanie Blackman, of Riverhaven Books, Inc. who published my first two books, Birds of Paradise and A World of Love and Envy as well as several books by Virginia Young and several other writers, and Michelle Toth, of SixOneSeven, Inc. who published her first book, Annie Begins, and has opened up her business to other authors.

It is important to note that several very talented authors who self-published their books had them picked up by major houses.  Lisa Genova’s Still Alice and Brunonia Barry’s The Lace Reader are prime example of best sellers with fabulous second books to follow …

My personal needs in a self publisher (after the fact for me)

  1. An honest forthright person who readily and often communicates directly with the writer.
  2. A person who will get answers, investigating the nuances in the process and supporting the writer during promotions
  3. One who will give you an honest estimate of expenses
  4. One who will encourage promotion–planning events and working in tandem with the writer.
  5. One who will participate in an interview in person and/or by phone and provide references and samples of work
  6. Do it yourself:  Michelle Toth started her own company and published Annie Begins – only totally brilliant folks will do this!

Considering Indie publishing means that you are ready to do the work and celebrate when you hold your book in your hand.

Good Luck,

Kathy Handley

About the Author:

Kathy recently won Word Hustler’s Page-to-Screen Contest (2011) and currently serves as Prose Poetry Judge for the National League of American Pen Women Soul-Making Contest. A collection of her work has just been released under the title A World of Love and Envy (short fiction, flash-fiction, and poetry). She credits the folks at Grub Street, the creative writing center in Boston, for offering her the classes, encouragement, and schmoozing opportunities she needed to finally become a published novelist. Read Kathy’s Grub Street post here.

Author Websites:

Book Giveaway Contest: If you would like to win a copy of Birds of Paradise, please leave a comment at the end of this post to be entered in a random drawing. The giveaway contest closes this Sunday, October 16th at 11:59 PM, PST. For an extra entry, link to this post on Twitter with the hashtag #BirdsParadise, then come back and leave a link to your tweet.  The winner will be chosen at random from my favorite plugin “And The Winner Is…” and announced in the comments section of this post on the following day Monday, October 17th. Good luck!

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