Archives for the month of: October, 2015

One of the best parts of editing is coming across a reference that I’m not familiar with. I can get lost in a Google research hole for hours. Editing helps me continually learn new things. 


The thing I love most about editing books for authors that aren’t American and aren’t writing about American culture is how much I learn. I learn new phrases. I learn new words. I learn new meanings to words I already knew. I learn about different people and places. And the more I learn, the more enchanted I become with some place I’ve never been.

And, some times, I get that same pleasure just from meeting people online and having conversations with them. Because, who doesn’t want to answer the question, “That phrase you just used? What does it mean?”

I know several thousand authors prepping for National Novel Writing Month (November) right now. For some, it’s their very first novel, and they’ve challenged themselves to learn the discipline of sitting down and writing every day. For others, it’s a semi-annual event to help them focus on just one book, putting aside their lives’ distractions to zero in on publishing their books. For many long-time authors, this is just one month that they spend helping new authors hone their craft. 

Whatever stage you’re at, there are many resources available to help guide you in your NaNoWriMo journey. I could talk for quite some length about many books, websites, articles, and blogs. But, today, I’d like to give you just one. Mike Reeves-McMillan is an author of over 15 works of various lengths, both fiction and non-fiction. In The Well-Presented Manuscript, he lays out everything you need to know to have a successful book. Whether you’re self-published or traditional published, he will help you find the diamond in your rough draft. 

So, get with it! You’ve got three weeks to read this, and finish planning out your novel.

The Well-Presented Manuscript

Book Tour Banner


I had a chance to ask Sarah Elle Emm some questions this week. I hope you enjoy her vibrant personality as much as I did.

MrsA: Which author wasn’t your greatest inspiration, but did make you think, “Maybe I could be an author”?

SEE: I wanted to be an author from the time I was seven-years-old. My mom was always writing short stories, and she inspired me so much. I often wrote poems and wrote in journals Mom gave to me. Off and on while I was growing up, I talked to her about how I really wanted to write a book. I remember revisiting the book conversation with her when I was twenty-two-years-old, and she told me how she had heard Stephen King penned the novel Carrie when he was in his early twenties. (By the way, while Mom was pregnant with yours truly, she read The Stand by Stephen King, which she attributes some of my weirdness to, ha ha ha). Anyhow, I don’t know if it was because I was around the same age at the time as he had been when he wrote his first novel, but I remember thinking, wow maybe I really can write a book. I tried to write one then, by the way, but I didn’t make it too far. I actually wrote my first novel when I was twenty-eight. Meanwhile, my mom wrote a middle grade children’s book when I was in college, which also inspired me. I guess my mom has always been my first inspiration. She’s always made me believe I could write if that’s what I wanted to do.

MrsA: Tell me about the first time you thought, “Wow. I’m a real author!”

SEE: Well, the e-book version of my first novel, Marrying Missy, had been up online for a few days, and that was incredible. But the WOW-I’m-a-real-author- feeling didn’t quite hit me until I held the paperback book in my hands for the first time.

MrsA: What are you currently reading?

SEE: Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey

MrsA: What’s the oddest part about your routine that you simply must do in order to sit down and write?

SEE: I must have on cozy sweatpants, socks, and a t-shirt-hoodie combination. Of course, my favorite robe works too. It is just absolutely necessary that I am totally comfortable.

MrsA: What is your biggest writing obstacle? 

SEE: My biggest obstacle is making time to write. I exercise every morning, and I spend a lot of time prepping healthy meals for the meal plan I follow for my autoimmune disease, (SLE Lupus). I also do laundry, clean up around the house, take the kids to all of their activities, help with their homework, volunteer at their school, and I like to garden. So, I easily get caught up in all of those activities. I feel like I have to get everything on my list done before I can write. But I think about writing all of the time, and each day I can’t wait to get to the part where I write.

MrsA: How do you prefer to network, and what impact do you think those avenues have had on your sales?

SEE: I think using Facebook to promote books on sale and other relevant information has been very helpful to reach a broader audience and generate sales. Of course, I am on many social media sites…Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and I also have a website.

MrsA: Have any super fans found you yet, and if so, what sort of things have they done that seem surreal to you!

SEE: I have had lots of thirteen-year-old and up girls email me. They love the series. One girl wanted to name some characters for me to write about in other books. Most of them ask when the books will be made into movies, which definitely feels surreal to me. I’d be so flattered if the Harmony Run Series became a movie series.

MrsA: When people read your books, what do you want their greatest take-away to be?

SEE: I want them to feel inspired to have hope, even in dark times. I want them to recognize, if they don’t already, that we are all just humans, regardless of our outward differences, and we should try to live in harmony.

MrsA: What is one mistake you’ve made in your publishing career that you’d like to warn other authors off of?

SEE: Make sure you are very thorough about checking into companies before purchasing marketing materials, like ads and blog tours, before you send them your money. I learned the hard way. Even when I thought it seemed like a legit site, the organizer just disappeared from the Internet. I won’t be seeing that money again.

MrsA: Is there any advice you’d like to give to a new writer?

SEE: Work with more than one editor. Listen to their feedback and really think about what they have to say. And just keep writing.


Sarah Elle Emm is the author of the HARMONY RUN SERIES, a young-adult fantasy and dystopian series, released in May 2012 by Winter Goose Publishing. (PRISMATIC, May 2012, OPALESCENT, February 2013, CHATOYANT, September 2014, NACREOUS, August 2015) Her debut fiction novel, MARRYING MISSY, was published by Bird Brain Publishing in October 2011. Sarah is a graduate of The University of Evansville, she has lived and worked in Mexico, Germany, England, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and has traveled extensively beyond. Sarah lives in Naples, Florida with her family. When she’s not walking the plank of her daughters’ imaginary pirate ship or snapping photos of Southwest Florida scenery, she is writing.

To follow Sarah, find her at: